Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Isaiah 59:1 NIV
Prayer requests in Sunday School. After one man shared an unspoken request, I said, “I have an unspoken request, too, but it’s only unspoken because people will think it’s trivial.”
“Go ahead,” another urged me. “Throw that trivia out here.”
Long story short, I asked prayer for my young rescue dog, suddenly timid after completing several obedience classes with confidence.
Does this seem too small to trouble God with? Is He too busy to bother with a dog?
Does a little child stop to wonder if her father is too busy? Does she think for a moment that he isn’t big enough, strong enough for what concerns her?
Has Jesus given us a quota? Did He say, “That’s too small to trouble Father with.”?
No, He said, “Ask, seek, knock.” Prayer is the door, the hinges, the key.
Our heavenly Father loves to give, and He takes great pleasure in our humble requests. The intimacy He longs for with all of us is found in the small things we share.
So, if the problem isn’t with God, where is it?
Maybe it isn’t that we doubt God is big enough, but that we feel too small. Pray continually? How is that even possible?
No problem. A prayer can be formed as quickly as a fleeting thought. Make every thought a prayer. Take them to Him one at a time, as they come up.
God wants to hear from us. I’m convinced His desire for intimacy with us is so strong that if we think what we have is too small to share with Him, He’ll keep on giving us bigger and bigger problems until we find one we think is big enough to take to Him.
Don’t know about you but, besides wanting to be close to Him, I don’t want problems any bigger than I need.
Avi, the mature Christian is a true child. Never let us forget what a privilege it is to be children in Your arms. Help those who cannot allow themselves to become children. In Your holy name, Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2015


That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.” “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of Yours?”  II Chronicles 1:7,10 NIV

This is way more than genie-in-a-bottle stuff. This is a serious offer from God, the Maker, Owner, Ruler of it all.

What if God came to You with this gift? Would you ask for wealth? Power? Pleasure? Long life? Would you be wise enough to ask for wisdom? Or, would you ask for something else?

Me, I need wisdom as much as Solomon did. My need, though smaller in scope, is as urgent as his. I don’t have a nation to rule, but I have myself to rule.
But I already have the promise of wisdom, just for the asking. (James 1:5) I just have to remember to discipline myself to apply it.
Forgiveness? That, too, is ours for the asking, another normal, everyday prayer. Abundant life? Already got it, just have to enjoy it.
But this special offer from God is on top of everything else He promised. That leaves us with a choice still to be made.
Good news! We can ask, for no good thing will He withhold from those of His saints whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11) And blameless just takes trying to remain in His will, and asking for forgiveness (see above) when we blow it. If it sometimes seems that He is withholding, it's only because He has something way better in mind for us. 

Go ahead. Shoot for the moon and stars. What'll it be?         

Avi, my prayer is the prayer of a child who wants nothing more than to be in her Daddy’s arms. I want to know You more. I want to love You more, appreciate You more, enjoy You more. And, I want to share You. In Your holy name, Amen.
 “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10



Tuesday, April 14, 2015


At that moment, the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks split. Matthew 27:51 NIV

The Veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, a panorama of angelic hosts woven of blue, purple and crimson, 60’ wide, 30’ high, and as thick as the width of a man’s palm. No human hand(s), even if able to breach security and reach that high, could tear it. Nor was the earthquake responsible. Even if it had been strong enough to level the whole Temple, the flexible fabric would have gone with the flow.

That left only God’s hand.


The Holy of Holies was God’s private place; the Veil, in essence, was His front door, closed and locked, separating sinful man from God’s holiness. One man, the high priest, could enter once a year to make atonement for the people, and that only after stringent ritual cleansing.

The Veil between holiness and sin separated man from God—but it also separated God from man. God wanted it gone.

But no can do. There’s a penalty for sin—death and eternal separation from God. There’s no way sinful men can pay that debt and find their way back.  

But God is good at making a way where there seems to be no way. A sinless sacrifice? No big deal. God just made a body for Himself, became a sinless man, and paid the price for every man.

Who woulda thought?

Avi, what You close no one can open, and what You open, no one can close. No more Veil, no more doors shut between us. That You would do this for us… You not only saved us from death, You gave us abundant life with You forever, the real thing. Don’t let me waste it. In Your holy name, Amen.





Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.            Isaiah 46:4 NIV

Happy birthday to me, tomorrow. 72 of them. Not that old, but it won’t be long now.  I’ve been around enough old people, worked in geriatric medicine for enough years, to be able to read the handwriting on the wall.

Best case scenario: at least the ebbing of my strength and energy. Loneliness. Decline of sensory acuity. Illness, injury. Disability. Alzheimer’s. Food poisoning, allergies. Plane crashes. Terrorists. The economy can go south when I can’t work anymore. Global warming. Another ice age. Can’t drive anymore. The list is endless.

Know what? It doesn’t matter. The Ancient of Days, who never ages and who has promised to go with me through the valley of the shadow of death, has also promised to rescue me, sustain me, carry me all the way. That leaves me free to kick back and enjoy the adventure of old age, no fear.

Avi, how wealthy I am! Not much of this world’s riches, but You give me so many chances to learn to trust You more and more and more. Thank You with all I am. In Your holy name, Amen.


Sunday, April 5, 2015


Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified. Matthew 27:26 NIV
I’m a seventh level, dyed-in-the-wool people watcher. Can’t help it. It’s especially hard for me to turn away from someone I catch only one intriguing glimpse of.

Like Barabbas, insurrectionist and murderer. Was he a criminal? Or, was he a Jewish patriot, an enemy only of Rome? Either way, he was a pretty rough man.

Barabbas knew he was guilty, and was waiting for his death. When soldiers dragged him from his cell and marched him off, surely he thought that moment had come. Surely he looked around in confusion as he was led straight to Pilate himself.

Was it possible? Did his breath catch in his throat, his heart pound? Could Barabbas himself be the one prisoner traditionally released to please the Passover crowd? All right! High five time!

But wait. Here’s Y’shua, the miracle worker. The people love him. Surely they’ll choose him.

But again they shout, “Give us Barabbas!” Three times Pilate offered them Y’shua. Three times they refused, “Give us Barabbas!”

Did Barabbas head for the hills? Or, did he stick around to watch? Did he even know it was God dying in his place?
Pilate never knew my name, never heard of me—but I stood beside Barabbas that day before the true Judge. I held my breath and strained to hear the verdict: Would He release me? Or, would He choose His own Son?

Avi, there are no words that will serve—for You have made a way, and we both live! The One who died to give me life lives again! And so we will be together for all Eternity. Thank You is too small, Avi, but I have no other words. Help me to live my thanks. In Your holy name, Amen.  

Friday, April 3, 2015


Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. Deuteronomy 24:18 NIV

I sit in my workroom on Good Friday and look at the dogwoods outside my window, their “blood-stained”, four-petaled blossoms reminders of the cross. When I need to remember what my God has paid for me, I think back to Calvary, to Gethsemane. I recall scenes from The Passion of the Christ, and see a small portion of what He went through for me. Often, even this isn’t enough to touch my fickle and distracted human heart.
But sometimes when I can’t quite manage the Redeemer’s perspective, I can look back at my own land of slavery and manage the perspective of the redeemed.
I’m from a background of abuse and belittlement. Even though He has healed those wounds, I can fast-forward to what my life would have been like without Him: a downward spiral to an early death from exhaustion, if not from human hands, then an unwelcome eternity. I can rewind to distant lonely memories and appreciate my adoption into His own family.
Where no one could accept me for who I was, my Redeemer looks into my soul as His voice drowns out those ghosts of the past. “I don’t make junk. I made you because I want you, just the way I made you.”
Where others used me, He gives me fulfilling purpose.
Where my earthly father’s protection failed, no one can snatch me from my Heavenly Father’s mighty hand.
Where my mother pushed and manipulated, He invites, and waits. Where her hands were harsh and impatient, His touch is unspeakably tender. Where she named me stupid, He gives wisdom simply for the asking.
Where my ex-husband shouted that he allowed me to wear an old coat he hated so he could look at it and hate me, too, Jesus dresses me in His own righteousness and tells me of His love.
Where my ex- held a knife to my throat and snarled, “I’d do it but you ain’t worth killin'”, He took my nails, my cross, and whispered, “You’re worth dying for.”





Will I forget my Egypt? Will I doubt what I’m worth to my Savior? Never.

Thank You for healing me, Avi. And thank You for leaving me these memories to remind me of what life was like without You. When today feels too heavy, never let me forget my Egypt, never let me be tempted to go back. In Your holy name, Amen.