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.



Monday, September 1, 2014


This unfamiliar template is Blogger Simple. The peaceful, uncluttered look fits the theme of my blog, and I don't want to give that up--but people are having trouble navigating. I have it set on Timeslide, my favorite layout, but you can change the appearance from your side by clicking one of the choices on the black horizontal bar at the top. I might even change it myself from time to time.

Want to leave a comment? That link is at the bottom of each individual post.

Want to check out other posts without going back to the main page? Click the forward or back arrow in the upper left corner.

Want to subscribe? Read more about me? Hover your cursor along the edge of the upper right side, and tabs for my sidebars pop out.

My plan is to post once a week on Tuesdays, Lord willing, as long as I have something to share.

Welcome all. Drop on in anytime. Blog door's always open.