Wednesday, December 31, 2014


On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me six geese a’laying …

Dearest Jonathan,                                                                       12-31        

Don’t you think six laying geese are a bit much? They have overwhelmed my small fowl pen, and my cook Matilda has to carry a huge basket out to gather so many large eggs. At her advanced age, this is an absurd burden. Also, their appetites (and the accompanying problem) are proportional to their large size. Please, Jonathan, I’m already convinced of your good will. I need no more evidence.     

Desperately, Alicia.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014


On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me five gold rings…  

My dear Jonathan,                                                                       12-30     

Thank you so very much for your gift of five gold rings. I wore them all, but couldn’t decide which hand, or which fingers to wear them on, and they caught at my needlework so. But I’ve solved ALL my problems—except for the poor partridge’s dilemma. I pawned the rings and bought birdseed and hired my neighbor’s stableman to build a bird pen and clean my front lawn. The aroma lingers, but I can step outside again now, if I wear my galoshes.

Love, Alicia.


Monday, December 29, 2014


On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me four calling birds…

Dearest Jonathan,                                                                       12-29

I miss you so. I was thrilled when I heard the postman at the door again. Alas, instead of your calling card, he brought me your gift of four calling birds. They fill the whole neighborhood with the loveliest of music, my dear, but… I hesitate to trouble you with such a small problem. These birds all have prodigious appetites, all but the poor pining partridge, and have almost emptied my larder. Alas again, another problem accompanies this. My lawn is beautiful, almost like real snow, but the aroma, Jonathan! Need I say more? I think these are enough birds for me now. 

Love and longing for you, Alicia.



Sunday, December 28, 2014


On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me three French hens…   

Dearest Jonathan,                                                                       12-28

Thank you for your most recent gift of three French hens. At first I was hopeful for the poor partridge—his loneliness is made more acute by the presence of these shameless turtledoves—but none of the three hens will have anything to do with him, since he isn’t of their race. I’ve taken him in with me.    

Love, Alicia.   



Saturday, December 27, 2014


On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me two turtledoves…

Dearest Jonathan,                                                                       12-27

The partridge seems less lonely now that the turtledoves you sent today have joined him—but I miss you, dear Jonathan. I look forward to your next visit.          

In sweet sentiment, Alicia.


Friday, December 26, 2014


On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree.

Dearest Jonathan,                                                                       12-26

I was overjoyed with your companionship at my Christmas table yesterday, and with your most thoughtful gift. The pear tree is lovely where I had it planted by my front step—but seeing the partridge alone in its branches has quickened my desire to see you again.                                               

Yours, Alicia.


Thursday, December 25, 2014



Thursday, not my usual day for posting, but I want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. For the next few days, starting tomorrow, I’m planning something a little different. While the subject of these daily posts might not seem to fit the theme of my blog, I think humor always helps to ease our burdens. Hope you enjoy.

And yes, I know the total count is wrong, but this is the only way it would work out.





Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV

The Greatest Story of all time. First chapter, except for backstory, is Christmas. Baby Jesus in a manger, wise men and shepherds, running for His life from Herod. Then His journey, His ministry, more enemies, the drama of His death and resurrection.

But the Story doesn’t end there.

Get this! You and I—and the sweet old man next door, and that brother-in-law or coworker nobody can stand—are chapters! We’re in the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Famous—at least in Heaven.

When an author gets a live idea and lets the characters tell the story, it draws readers into can’t-put-it-down sleepless nights. All we authors have to do is edit and polish.

Jesus, Master Author, does that with us. He lets us choose our paths, backtrack, stumble, make U-turns—but He’s there, watching over us, rooting for us, rescuing, weaving us into the Story, editing, polishing, making everything work together for good to us who love Him.

Me, a story—and I get to choose what I say and do. Will I be bold and decisive, or wishy-washy? Will I be kind or cruel? Hurtful or helpful? Will I live with purpose, or squander my days? Will my words be honest or contradictory? Rambling or straight-on? Better choose wisely. After all, I’m the only Bible many people will ever read.

Sometimes I choose well, sometimes not. Don’t know about you, but I need to go back to the Author pretty often for some more editing. When He’s finished, though, when I’m complete and polished, I’ll be a masterpiece within the Masterpiece.

And the Never-Ending Story still doesn’t end. Home—and the sequel begins.

Avi, my Creator, I want to write great stories like none that have been written before, stories that will reach deep into the heart of seekers and show them who You are. But even more than that, I want to be an amazing story, a word of truth written by the Word who is God. In Your holy name, Amen.






Monday, December 15, 2014


Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Em=with; anu=us/we; el=God. God with us.    

Whole self-contained worlds built within geodesic domes. Gardens, streams, waterfalls, flowers, shrubbery. Beautiful—but incomplete. Did you know you can’t grow trees safely in geodesic domes? There’s no wind, and without the struggle of standing against the wind, the trees grow spindly and weak, but are still tall enough to fall and break the dome.

Did you know if you try to help a chick hatch by breaking the shell open, it will die? Without that struggle, that exercise, it will be too weak to live.  

Did you know if you try to spare a kid any pain or responsibility or accountability, he’ll be too weak to take his place in society?  

Me, I’d rather be strong, because it’s coming. Whatever it is.

Christians have faced persecution, are facing it, will face even more in the future. Beatings and beheadings and everything in between.    

What is my own struggle to that? A broken childhood, an abusive marriage, half a mortal lifetime of lonely search and struggle. I can rejoice in my trials—this side of them—because I value the strength they built into me.

But can I face something like what’s going on in the Middle East even as I pen these words? Can I stand? Not in my own strength—but I have the promise of Romans 14:4. “He will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” I have the promise of Hebrews 13:5. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I have the promise of Matthew 28:20. “Surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” I have the certain knowledge that I’ve already been through the worst I’ll ever face, because I’ll never again have to face anything alone.

God is with us.

Avi, Immanuel, You are here with me, have been here, and will forever be with me. You will never leave me nor forsake me. If I'm faced with what I cannot face, help me to stand, and give me time to remember the cost of denying You. In Your holy name, Amen. 




Tuesday, December 9, 2014


The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love. Psalm 34:18 NIV

Anybody see the moon Sunday night?

Imagine a clock face, hands radiating from the tiny dot in the center. That was the size of the halo around the full moon, straight overhead, not one star within its circle. It was like a porthole in the heavens, opened to allow my heavenly Father to watch over me.

I stared back as long as my neck held out, my heart filled with gratitude.

My dogs circled around me, searching the night for elusive prey. Then, completing our bedtime walk, we rounded the house and started down the driveway. A darker shape moved in the darkness ahead of me.

Too far.

I called to her, strained to see. The electric gate stood halfway open. My little black runner was out. I ran to get leads and high value treats, then ran back down the drive. What was that white shape there, just across the road? “Ruthie?”

The shape moved.

“Ruthie! I got bacon.”

The shape ran to me. One on lead. One who could see/smell/hear in the darkness, lead me to the invisible black dog.

A shadow moved from the roadside bushes. “Misty! I got bacon.”

The shadow moved down the road. Yeah, bacon’s great—but not worth losing this moment of freedom. Ruthie strained at her lead; I followed. Misty circled my neighbor’s house, sniffing, sniffing.

“Misty! Bacon!”

No dice.

Near enough to toss a yummy in front of her. She snapped it up and kept going. Another piece. A third. Snap. Snap.

Finally I sat on the concrete drive and waited, breaking off bits of bacon to feed to Ruthie. That was the last straw—and Misty was there, accepting her treat, safely on lead.

How could I be so calm (relatively) as my desperate prayers fountained upward? Why was I not furious with my husband for not making sure the gate had really closed? With myself for failing to check? These are my friends, my responsibility, my canine anchor babies holding me to this halfway-house world until my assignment here is finished.

Could it be the peace of that porthole moment still bathing me?

Avi, thank You for the difficult times You’ve brought me through, the lessons in trust, the reminders of how close You always are to me. When I am afraid, help me to remember that You are the God of forever, faithful without fail. In Your holy name, Amen

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.   Hebrews 10:25   (NIV)

There’s a place of gentle hills where a highway crosses a wooded stream, where the air currents are powerful and varied enough to delight the kings of the air. On a blue morning of sunlight and white clouds brushing the treetops, I saw a congregation of hawks in a dance of praise to their Creator.

I couldn’t begin to count the tornadic cloud of their main body—50, 60, possibly more. They soared and swirled and banked, riding the wind on outstretched wings. Then one or several would glide away to circle one of the smaller updrafts surrounding the main column. Others would leave their smaller circles to rejoin the congregation, over and over and over.

How like Christ’s church! We come together to worship and praise God, return as families to our lives in this world, then gather again and again. Is our praise as pure and instinctive as theirs is? When the hawks separated, they continued their dance. Do we? Do we continue to celebrate our Savior, making those who do not know Him hungry for the Bread of Life, thirsty for the Living Water? Do we by our eagerness to return to the House of God make others wonder what’s there? 

Or do we slip back into the world, forsaking the assembly of saints, compromising our witness?

Avi, our Father, thank You for the joy you give us, for the peace that passes understanding. Help us to set aside the world with its cares and temptations, and praise You with our whole hearts, untainted by the world. In Your holy name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scornful of its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2, 3 NIV
Got joy?
What is joy, anyway? Where does it come from? How do we get some?
Not happiness. Happiness depends on what happens to you. Lots of things can make it go away, from stubbing your toe to losing the big game to getting jilted. Joy is independent of what happens. Joy exists in the presence of, in spite of, things that go wrong: pain, loss, disappointment, sickness, grief, frustration, exhaustion, put-downs, bullies, you name it.
Joy comes from the One who made us in His own image.
And, just as I can do nothing to make Him love me more, nothing to make Him love me less, His joy doesn’t depend on my successes and failures. He loves me anyway. And, He rejoices over me with songs of joy.
I come to You in this season of thanksgiving to thank You for enjoying me, Avi, and for letting me enjoy You. Nothing else drives home to me how much You love me, how valuable I am to You, how so not worthless I am. In Your holy name, Amen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014



I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. Joel 2:25 NIV

Eight years old! Today I would be the special one!

But no one mentioned my birthday. Mama’s busy, I reasoned. She’ll cook my cake while I’m at school. That afternoon I leapt from the school bus and hit the ground running—to fresh disappointment.  No word, no smell of baking. Aching with loneliness, I waited outside, near enough to hear her call, far enough to be out of the way.

Supper passed without comment; I choked down the food I had no appetite for. She cleared the table and set us to do our homework. I tried hard, but my mind was on my non-birthday.   

“Y’all get ready for bed, now.”

I stood, then she caught my shoulder and stopped me. I held my breath. What had I done? Would I be sent out into the dark to pick a switch for a spanking?

“You never did say anything about it being your birthday.”

I had spoiled her joke! Guilty, I could neither look at her nor answer.

“Well, here’s your present.” She handed it to me and turned away.

My mother taught us of God’s love—but could even God love someone her own mother couldn’t love?  No. If I let Him see what was inside me, His anger would be even greater than hers.

And, His power was greater. 

I ran from Him. Finally, flushed from my last hiding place, my strength gone, I turned—and found Him waiting, His arms open wide to welcome me.

Years later, with land taken for road improvement, I’d lose young oaks I’d planted, nurtured and loved. I prayed to see their leaves brilliant once more with autumn color, their bare branches white again with snow.

Autumn came, with its bright colors. My trees still stood, but their destruction was imminent. 

Eight years old—but this time, I was a child in the family of my heavenly Father. I spent a tranquil day alone with Him, then went out to look at my Southern autumn, snow-covered, birthday-card  trees and reflect: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you.”

Avi, thank You. You’ve brought me into Your family and made me a child of Your own heart. You haven’t forgotten me, nor do You ever fail to tell me of Your love. Help me to remember You always. In Your holy name, Amen.





Tuesday, November 11, 2014


You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.                              Psalm 18:28 NIV

       As I drove to an early morning assignment, a shadow lay across my soul. The night sky softened, and sunrise began to play hide-and-seek among trees lining the highway. A fire-edged blue cloud appeared above a distant line of hills—and was gone. Afraid I’d miss the brief sunrise, I sped around a sharp curve.
       Straight ahead, a majestic fireball sat enthroned on the horizon, draped in robes of dark pewter cloud, an endless soft blue stretching beyond it. My breath left me and, like Job, I put my hand over my mouth.

  We’re candles in the darkness, reflections of the light that cannot be overcome by darkness. 
But we hold His light in fragile earthen vessels.  The weight of this broken creation threatens to crush us. We tremble and cry out for relief.

       Then a window opens in heaven and, if we but look, we catch a glimpse of a world beyond, a soft reminder of His loving presence. Jesus is still enthroned at the right hand of the Father. Our God reigns, even in the darkest hour before dawn.

Prayer: Our Father, teach us to seek Your light in every dark valley. Help us to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. In Your holy name, Amen




Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.                                 Colossians 3:23  NIV                                                       
I took the plunge this year and signed up for the November NaNoWriMo challenge. National Novel Writing Month. A novel in a month. A whole novel. 50,000 words. 1667 words a day for 30 days.
Whatever made me think I can do this?

Day 4. I’m working on it, putting in some hours—and I’m already behind. In all fairness, though, I’m pushing to finish an online computer class, too.

All I have to do is my best—every day. My best isn’t the same every day. Some days there’s more of me. Some days less of me. Some days less of me left over from the other demands on my life. And when those demanding days come on days that started with less, well…

However much I am, however little, He deserves my best.
Jesus promised not to give us more than we can handle—but He does give us more than we can handle. Why doesn’t my burden feel easy? Why doesn’t my yoke rest light on my neck? What’s the deal here? Why the contradiction?

No contradiction. He gives us more than we can handle in our own strength. He wants us to bring our burdens to Him. He wants to work with us, through us. If we give our burdens to Him, He will gladly place His hands under ours and take the full weight.

Will my 30 days run over into December? Will I meet my goal? Or, will I collapse under a weight too heavy for me?
Depends. Will I let Him carry my burdens, or will I try to go it alone?

Avi, help me to focus all my efforts on pleasing You. And when all I have to give You isn’t enough, please work through me to accomplish Your will. In Your holy name, Amen.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. II Corinthians 8:12 NIV

I’ve been thinking about a line in my blog post of two weeks ago, THE HOLE IN GOD’S HEART, “…separated from Your very self.”
What a strange concept to self-contained humans!

But, I think it is possible for us to get our finite minds at least partway around this. We’re flesh, but we’re also spirit—and the two are meant to function together. Our spirits make their homes in our bodies, and our bodies are how our spirits get around, how they touch this world and make a difference. Except for prayer and communion with God, our bodies are the only way we have to use our God-given gifts here.

But if our bodies, for whatever reason, are unable to use and express our spiritual gifts, there is a divide within us.
The mom who puts her deep artistic urges on hold while she raises her toddlers, longing for the hours of freedom to paint when they’re finally in school. Then the economy tanks and she's forced to take an exhausting salaried job, no end in sight, her goals unreachable.

The teen-aged musician whose parents belittle his gift, who push him along a path to traditional, but for him empty, success.  
The new retiree, a gifted writer, who finally has time to write that world-reaching Christian novel she’s had to put off for years. But suddenly she’s the full time caretaker of an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s. Still separated from the dream of expressing a vital part of herself, separated from who she really is.

Are these dreams doomed, this season of life endless, these gifts revoked? Or, is there still hope? Always, when the God who made us and created us is in charge.
PRAYER: I want to know You more, Avi, but this one hurts. When the season feels like forever, when I’m numbering down the days I have left to accomplish all that’s adding up, when I’m counting down my strength and energy, please let the ache to use my gifts well be enough. In Your holy name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.               II Timothy 4:2 NIV
This morning in the doctor’s waiting room, a tired looking lady watched me as I transcribed notes from my tape recorder. I don’t remember how the conversation started or took the direction it did, but after it had started I put my pen down and told her what I was doing—writing—and about the place I write.
I would've been pleased with a prefab yard building, any place out of the wind and rain where I could focus without distractions, but God is generous in supplying what we need  in order to do what He calls us to do. He gave me a real cottage, so much more that I would’ve been willing to settle for, for a fraction of what it should've cost.
She nodded at this—but when I asked, “Do you go to church anywhere?” her expression hardened.
“No,” she said. She looked away, then back again. “I can have a relationship with God without going to a church full of hypocrites.”
I nodded not in agreement but in understanding. I had no words for her. I can’t answer such a personal objection unless I have time to listen to her and find out where her pain is, assuming she’s even willing to share.
Later I wished I’d remembered to tell her about the three great humiliations of Christ: 1) taking on one of our broken bodies; 2) being mocked and rejected and dying in a humiliating manner in our place; then 3) going back to Heaven and leaving His reputation to us.
What kind of God would do this? It’s hard enough to fathom a love that would come for us, die for us—but a love that would place His own good Name in the hands of bumbling,  unfinished people? How unworldly of Him!
Yes, how unworldly. How heavenly.
Avi, I cannot always be prepared. My mind is too small, too distracted, too slow to change gears out of season. Teach me to listen for Your words even in the storm, and speak through me when You will. In Your holy Name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.
                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 42:7 NIV 

 We’re made in God’s image with a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill.

Does it make sense that the God who made us would give us something that’s outside the pattern He made us by? Something He Himself lacks?

God doesn’t get lonely in the sense that we do—or does he? Why else does deep call to deep?

Here is a mystery: God is complete, lacking nothing—but there’s a hole in His great heart. A Grace-Potts-shaped hole. A ______fill-in-your-own-name-shaped hole.

He wants His children back.

God and Adam walked in the garden every evening. Perhaps there was a taste of bitterness for God in the knowledge that Adam would betray Him but, for that moment, they both knew the intimacy we’re made for. Then, when the bond between God and man snapped, God’s heart cracked with a sound echoing through the ages.

He still aches for His loss, for our loss, for what He knew we would have to go through alone. For what He knew He would have to endure to get us back: separation from His very self. For knowing that some, loved as deeply as every other one, would still refuse to return to Him.

God aches with unfulfilled hunger for a unique intimacy. We, lost children and the object of that hunger, are the only ones who can satisfy it. He wants us to choose Him, to love Him and accept His love. He wants a relationship with us. As He walks here with those who will join Him, He gives, and enjoys with us, hints of Heaven, tastes of what is to come.

Walk with Him, and enjoy His pleasure.
PRAYER: My need for You is so overwhelming at times that I don’t know how I can survive until I’m completely filled with You at home, Avi. I can’t imagine how consuming the heart hunger is that compelled You to pay such a price for me. Let me be a part of the healing of Your own heart. Make me Your home here, and shine Your light out through the cracks of what I am not, for Your glory. In Your holy name, Amen.







Tuesday, September 30, 2014


If anyone considers himself religious and yet doesn’t keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26 NIV
What does a tongue do? Aside from helping us to swallow and expressing a few body language shortcuts, it digs words from our hearts and speaks them.

When James wrote the Scripture above, literacy was rare. People had only their tongues to speak with. Today, though, we have other tongues—pens, publishers, keyboards—which have the power to reach the entire world. Toss a pebble into a quiet little pool and the ripples spread to the edge, then die out. Sling that same pebble from your computer keyboard, and it will fall into thousands of interconnected ponds and pools and oceans at once. The ripples can take on a life of their own and become a tsunami.

Some pebbles need to be thrown into the hearts of men: comfort, healing, forgiveness, instruction, encouragement, exhortation. But some pebbles need to be hurled straight back at Satan. Gossip and slander are obvious, or should be, to every Christ-follower. Others, intentional or unintentional, are more subtle. Words that nibble at the foundation of the faith of a child of God. Words that throw a “road closed” sign in front of truthseekers.
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was my mother’s default advice whenever we ran crying to her about some childhood cruelty.
She was wrong.
 Sticks and stones can break a bone—but words can break a heart.
Everyone has a voice, even the mute and illiterate. Everyone makes an impression in this world. Everyone makes a difference, good, not-so-good, or bad. Our duty, and our joy, is to shine the love of Christ, the knowledge of Christ, the hope of Christ, into this dark world.
Have you examined that word you’re about to load into your slingshot? Is it a building stone? Or, is it a wrecking ball?
Dear Jesus, You prayed for our unity. Help us to use words to reach into each other’s hearts to draw together, not to drive apart. In Your holy name, Amen.




Tuesday, September 23, 2014


And he (Abram) believed God, and He credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15: 6 NIV

Abram was a giant of faith, prominent in the honor roll of Hebrews 11. God commended him for his belief; he honored God with his trust.

And how much credit do we get? The big one, for sure, if we believe that God Himself died in our place so we could be forgiven. Eternal life has already begun for us, if we accept His sacrifice.

But we still have to get through this joyful, broken, impossible life.

Do we believe the promises He gives for the journey? When we feel alone, do we trust our feelings, or do we believe, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”? When our heavy loads threaten to overwhelm us, do we believe, “My yoke is easy, and My burden light.”? When we stumble over temptations, do we believe, “But the LORD is faithful, and will make a way of escape.”?

When we wander in the wilderness of what-if’s and how-can-I’s, do we believe He will always make a way where there seems to be no way? When the journey seems too long and we lose sight of our destination, do we believe, “I am preparing a place for you, and I’m coming soon to take you home.”?

Day to day practical faith is hard to maintain. Even Abram, champion of faith, faltered and trusted instead in his own strength and wisdom. But our God is a God of forgiveness. Like Abram, we must turn again to our Shepherd. We must let Him lift us up and set us back on our feet to follow Him.

Cast your cares on Him, the One who has never broken a promise.
PRAYER: Father, I believe; please help my unbelief. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee. Psalm 42:1

I want to go home. I look forward to being with my God in Heaven, long for it, ache for it—but one thing troubles me. We are to “rule” with Christ. This seems so far outside my talents and abilities in this world that I cannot imagine ever being able to do it, much less enjoy it.

But Heaven will be joy. I can’t reconcile this.

I’ve been reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. The first thing I did was scan the index, then go straight to the two chapters on animals in Heaven. Then I started back at the beginning. Last night he brought me up short on Page 221 with this: “Of course, not all positions of responsibility over others involve people. Adam and Eve governed animals before there were any other people. Some of us may be granted the privilege of caring for animals. Perhaps some will care for forests. Ruling will likely involve the management of all God’s creation, not just people.”


I put the book down and turned out the light, but sleep eluded me. Pictures of my new home raced through my mind: out on the hills with David, watching over my flock, writing songs and books and hymns of praise to my Father, just like David.

Hmmm, maybe not. I’m not that familiar with sheep…

I know! I’m traveling from flock to flock at Jesus’ side, checking on their welfare and visiting with their shepherds. As we walk together, I play for Him some exotic heavenly instrument made just for me. My dogs, all the dogs I’ve ever loved (Hey, it’s my fantasy) follow at our heels or race across the fields and back again.

No, even better, we ride side by side on matching white horses. Mine’s a sweet mare named Contentment At Last. I call her Ten. And her foals are Peace Everlasting, Here I Belong, and Home Forever.

When we come to one of Heaven’s mighty rivers, our horses leap over effortlessly. We enter the forest my best friend cares for—a forest of trees more luxurious than the cedars of Lebanon, loftier than the mighty Sequoias of California—and see herds of graceful deer eating from his hand. I lift my instrument and begin to play his favorite song. He turns to us, and the joy in his eyes matches my own. He lifts his trumpet to join me as Jesus sings, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul has longed for My children.”

 Avi, my Father, thank You for the promise of a home with You. Thank You for paying the price to fulfill this promise. Amen.







Tuesday, September 9, 2014


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way—yet was without sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV

This morning I carried food from the kitchen to the dining room, and had to turn around and carry it back—again. Both hands full of breakfast, I couldn’t set a plate down to clear a space on the table. As hard as he tries, my husband can’t seem to make much headway with his stacks—but couldn’t he at least leave clear the places on the dining table that I need for our plates?

Clutter is a serious problem for me. Clutter robs me of focus. Ten years of it have robbed me of the will even to deal with my own clutter. Does Jesus understand this, too?

Grieving parents have told me He cannot understand what it is to lose a child—but God the Creator lost his first son, Adam, and God the Father sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Paralytics have told me that even Jesus can’t possibly understand what it’s like for them. But on the cross, He was little more able to move than they are. His back, rubbing against rough wood, was as open as the worst bedsore. Elderly men and women have told me that He can’t possibly understand what it’s like to outlive your strength and vitality. But, was He not at the end of His strength when He fell beneath the cross?

I’ve got it! What about trying to live a productive life while overwhelmed with clutter? Surely He, omnipotent God of order, can straighten out any amount of CHAOS* with a word or a wave of His hand.

What about the clutter in the human heart, the human mind? How frustrating it must be for Him to watch us struggle with what none of us can do, when He’s ready to use His endless power for our benefit. But He chooses to live with it. He will not force His way into any heart. Softly knocking, He waits for an invitation.

Then when that invitation comes, stand back! Watch while He rolls up His mighty sleeves and makes the dust fly.

And my own heart, His home? Some heart clutter, I hope no serious competition to Him. But what about the clutter in my mind? I need His hand, for I cannot clear it alone.

Come, Lord Jesus, and still this storm of busyness in me. Prepare Your home in me, and sweep my heart clean. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


*CHAOS: Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome








Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24 NIV

Four common, lowercase letters—w-a-n-t—but how rich the story they tell.

Have you ever felt unwanted? Chosen last for every childhood game? Overlooked for promotion? Perhaps you heard cruel words from those who should have spoken instead of their love.

My parents wanted me, loved me—but there’s a difference between wanting and loving a child made in your own image, and wanting who that child really is. So much difference that as a young adult I doubted love even existed. I believed it was a fantasy made up by people not as perceptive as I, people who needed to fool themselves.

Good news! God made you who you are because He wants who you really are. God don’t make no junk. And He has no hidden motives. He wants you simply because He loves you. He is love.

And He wants you with Him.

Enoch walked with God for 300 years (Genesis 5:21) then was no more because God took him home. What was it like to have such a friendship with God? How is it even possible? God is holy—and we are dust clinging to His sandals.

I don’t know what it was like for Enoch—each one walks alone with God—but I do know it is possible. Why? Because that’s what He wants with each of us. Four small letters prayed with fervor in the Garden: w-a-n-t. Four more small letters: w-i-t-h.

And is it possible we can be even closer to Him than Enoch was? Mark Moore, professor at Ozark Bible College, said that most of us have Old Testament Bible characters we’re eager to meet. “But, no!” he said. “They’re eager to meet you—because you have God’s Spirit living in you. They want to know what that’s like.”

God’s Spirit in us, 24/7/365¼. Helping, comforting, guiding, encouraging. He calls to us each moment, “Come, walk with Me today. You may have to stay here until your work is done, but I’m here, too. I will be your home in this broken world.”

There’s so much more. Accept His friendship.

Avi, my Father, draw each of us closer to You every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
P.S. I’m still looking forward to meeting Enoch, and amazed that he’s waiting eagerly to meet me.