Tuesday, August 25, 2015


The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

What do you think Heaven will be like? What do you want to see, touch, taste, smell, hear? Who are you looking forward to meeting?

I want to see Jesus, the One who made Heaven for us and paid our admission price. I want to hug loved ones I’ve missed. I want to say thanks to the angels who guarded me so faithfully during my long journey home.

I want to feel the strength in my new body as I explore the home I was made for. I want to taste the living water, eat my fill of the wedding supper, climb to the top of the Tree of Life and try to see all there is to see.

I want to smell every exotic aroma swirling through that place. I want to join in with the heavenly choir. I want to hear birds sing and horses neigh and dogs bark and frogs croak and crickets chirp and heavenly deer bugle their praises. I want to hear the roar of waterfalls and the wind in the treetops of great forests.

Most of all, I want to hear the voice of my Shepherd, again and again and again. I want to hear my Jesus shout, “It’s time! Come on home.” I want to see the pride in His eyes as He proclaims, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I want to hear the joy in His voice as He sings songs of comfort and triumph and peace and welcome.

Avi, many doubt that You speak audibly to anyone today—but how can those who do not hear Your voice know whether others do? For who would tell such a thing? Who would risk sharing such a precious gift with skeptics? Who would want to be thought a fool, or looked at like some supersaint?  
You said Your sheep know Your voice, Avi. Open my ears to hear Your still small whisper in the restless winds of this life. Show me the way through this broken world. This weary sheep will follow.
In Your holy name, Amen.





Tuesday, August 18, 2015


. . . 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

Messed up. Again. And again. And again.

How about you?

A bee dancing to tell other bees where the best flowers are. An ant carrying a morsel many times her own weight. Newborn kittens heading straight for the food. A hummingbird dancing in midair. A mother eagle, fierce in defense of her nest, then tender with her chicks.

Wading in the surf, feeling the ocean just keep coming—like His love. Braced on a windy mountaintop, staring out at other mountains reaching to the horizon. Standing in the rain forest listening to a symphony of nature, awash in the rich aroma of green on green.

Lost under the night sky, looking at Abraham’s stars. Nova. Natgeo. The Hubble telescope. The enormous colors of outer space.

From small to large to immense. From near to far to light years away.

Big creation, bigger God. Jesus.

He made it all, more than our senses can perceive, from nothing to everything, in just six days.

But look how long He’s been working on us.

Easy part, knitting me together in my mother’s womb, setting me on my feet to choose my own way. Hard part, rescuing me from my mistakes nearly 27 years ago and beginning the good work of remaking me in His likeness. He’s still working on me, looong way to go yet. And He won’t quit on any of His children until the work is finished.

Wow, are we valuable, or what?

Avi, sometimes it’s scary on this potter’s wheel You’re shaping me on. Sometimes it hurts, when You pinch off that little chunk of clay that doesn’t belong. Then there are the times I feel like I’m about to go spinning off to nowhere. Help me to lie here quietly while You shape me. Then give me a mirror, ‘cause I want to see this masterpiece You’re making of me. In Your holy name, Amen.



Thursday, August 13, 2015


"I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3 NIV

Wednesday night prayer meeting. One guy said, “I want us to pray for Grace’s book, too.” I looked up, surprised and touched by this one who reminded us of my last week’s prayer request. There are no other writers there, no sense of being understood, no assurance that anyone had taken my request seriously—until now.

Déjà vu.

Our local congregation had split, and there were fewer workers to go around. I was scribbling away on a steno pad, half an ear on the conversation swirling around me. My brother’s emphatic voice brought me back. “Can’t nobody sit back doing nothing. Everybody’s got to pitch in and do whatever it takes.” I looked up to see him staring at me.

I waited.

“You could go down and teach the little kids.”

“I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

“You’re just sitting there. The class is just one hour a week.”

No. It’s hours of prep time and a tremendous energy drain. And, the kids need the best person for the job—which I’m not.

I didn’t quote Jesus’ words to Peter, but the thought was there.

I put pen to paper to finish my sentence, then looked back at him. “One of Satan’s favorite weapons is to say, ‘Look here! See this good work you could be doing, and this one, and this one. Think of the glory you could bring to God by doing all these.’

“He knows if he gets us too busy, too distracted, if we try to do every good work people point out to us, we won’t be effective. That if we try to do those we aren’t appointed and gifted to do, those we’re “serving” won’t get the best. And he knows what we are given to do won’t get done at all.”

My brother shrugged and looked away. End of conversation.

Avi, writing is tough enough and lonely enough as it is, without the finger-pointing discouragers. Just because people can’t see what we’re doing, that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing what You’ve given us to do. Help us to be patient with each other, and to leave the judgment to You. In Your holy name, Amen.



Tuesday, August 4, 2015


So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:17 NIV
Everything about the Akita puppy fit together. Structure, breed type, temperament, color. She was a delightful balance of affectionate puppy playfulness and oriental dignity. I wanted to name her Gei, Japanese for harmony. In English, same pronunciation, gay means merry, light-hearted, carefree.

The breeder shook his head. “Nowadays you have to be careful of connotations.”
Satan has stolen a lovely word, along with the hearts of men and women. Now he’s twisting a glorious symbol of hope and shoving his grotesque counterfeit in our faces. Rainbow flags everywhere. The White House and the Empire State building gleaming with colored lights. Crosswalks painted ROYBGIV. Even pulpits draped with it.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, natural disasters of all kinds, bigger and badder. Wars and rumors of wars. Persecution, genocide. Unborn infants harvested for body parts. Hearts growing cold. Evil rising all around us.
Jesus, who’s still in charge, said, “Don’t be afraid when you see these things happening.”

I’m not afraid—nothing can happen to me unless He lets it, and if He lets it He has a good reason—but I’m very sad for my country and for those who have bought into Satan’s lies.

You, too?
Remember our Hope: greater is the Faithful One who is in us than he who is in the world. Satan may have stolen this symbol, will steal other symbols, will steal other hearts—but he cannot steal God’s promises to those who love Him.

Not even one.
Avi, I long for the day You will clean up our mess and make this world new again. My eye is focused on the sky. My ear is tuned for the sound of that final trumpet. My heart aches to see You, for Your promises—all of them—are sure. In Your holy name, Amen.