Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and fasting, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.    Philippians 4:6,7 NIV
Our Sunday School teacher urged us to make time in our hectic mornings to give Jesus the first moments of our day. Wednesday night, he asked how it had gone. Well, if I go to bed after some quality time with Jesus, I wake up with Him on my mind, too. But, my morning still starts on the run with fixing breakfast while the morning souls on TV—not my choice—yell at me. And no, I can’t get up any earlier. Even if I could, I’m on automatic pilot, nothing much to give to anyone.  

This Sunday, the teacher gave us each a slip of paper. At the top was written, MY PRAYER; at the bottom, THE MASTER IS LISTENING. We’re to write in whatever’s most pressing to us, and post it in a prominent place.

A Wayne Watson song popped into my head: “Do you miss Me, child, when you’re running, the way that I miss you.” I wrote it down. Then a Faith and Melanie song: “Slow me down, Lord.” A praise chorus, “I will seek You in the morning.” A Michael Card song: “When the morning falls on the farthest hills…”

But I’m still tangled in the rush, no time for myself or for Jesus.

Found another song on my computer yesterday. I love, love, love Celtic music, so I had to check this one out. “I heard the voice of Jesus say, come unto me and rest…”

I’m about to wear my pocket tape recorder out on that one.

This morning I woke with that song in my head. Then, when I stepped outside, I realized I do have a few minutes most mornings. While my dogs sniff around the yard and take care of business, I’m just standing there looking for peace—and breathing in the new day the Lord has made. 

“Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget.”

Avi, please fill my head with Your song again today, and give me rest in You even as I work. Give me words to tell this lonely world who You are. In Your holy name, Amen.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


…and on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and
they were all scattered… Acts 8:1 NIV
The stones that struck Stephen fell smack into the middle of the newborn church and sent Christians fleeing in every direction like ripples on a pond. Wherever the believers were scattered to, they preached the good news. Everywhere they preached, many believed, and the church grew, even in the face of persecution.
Or was it because of the persecution?
Last Sunday, TV preacher James Merritt quoted Billy Graham: “Mountaintops are for the view and inspiration, but fruit grows in the valleys.”
The church grows explosively in seasons of persecution. Worldly wisdom says, “Look what’s happening there to those people! No way I’m getting anywhere near that storm.” But people hungry for more look and say, “Wonder what they have that’s worth so much? I’m gonna check it out.”
When the things of the world—civil rights, property, livelihood, even life—are taken from you, you learn what you really need. And you learn what you really have that can never be taken away.
Avi, I like the life You’ve blessed me with here. I like being free to worship You openly. I like being able to talk to You out loud. I like being able to talk about You anytime I want to. I don’t want to be persecuted for my faith.
But if I’m tested with the things that have happened, and are still happening, to so many Christians, help me to remember what an honor it is to stand with You in the sight of that great cloud of witnesses and face down the enemy.           
Help me to trust You with my life, Avi.  
In Your holy name, Amen.


Thursday, April 14, 2016


Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.              Hebrews 13:17 NIV
Our Creator placed the man He created in charge of the family He created. As head, man has to answer to God not only for himself, but for his wife and children. As head of our home, my husband answers to God for how he leads and loves and teaches—but I feel I, his wife, need to do all I can to make his job easier and to insure his success. I don’t want to watch on judgment day as Jesus blames my husband for my failures.   

The same is true of our church leaders. Though we elect them, it’s God who puts them in place and gives them authority, and it’s God to whom they will ultimately answer.
I don’t want to make their jobs any harder than they have to be. I don’t want to be a stumbling block. I don’t want it on my conscience before God that I failed these hard-pressed men. I don’t want to stand before God on judgment day and see Him come down hard on them for my failures, to hear Him turn to me and ask, “What did you do with these, my servants?”  

I want to help them succeed. I want to build them up, not crush them. I want to hold them up in prayer, encourage them, share any small wisdom I have with them, help in practical ways where I’m able.
Moses couldn’t do it alone, and neither can our guys. We have to step in like Aaron and Hur and hold them up, hold them to God’s standards, not ours.

Avi, give us peace in our homes, in our nation, in our congregations. Help us to see each other as You see us, to love each other as You love us. Give us the unity You prayed for us, and help us to value it as You value it. Help us to build up, and not to tear down. Give our leaders courage to follow Your way, not the world’s. In Your holy name, Amen.





















Wednesday, April 6, 2016


You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5 NIV
Darkness will never understand light—but what about the captives of that darkness? Men and women and children groping a way through impenetrable darkness to the Light who is life, the Light no human can understand.
They must see the Light and come to it if they're to live—but how can they when they're blinded by the darkness?
We’re it, Christians. Tiny candles shining through vast stretches of darkness. Sometimes it’s pretty tempting to crouch under one of those handy bowls.
Yeah, if we go low profile and put our candles under a bowl, we have the illusion of safety—but there’s a second consequence. Our flames will flicker and die for lack of air.
What is our light, our breath? The Spirit of God living in us. We are not alone with our burden.
We have to kick that bowl and the fear that pushes us under it back into the darkness it came from.
Never forget. He who is in us is greater than the Prince of Darkness who is in the world. Give light and hope fearlessly to the captives, that they may see the way of escape.
Avi, You are the Light of the world—but the darkness is growing. The world cannot see Your light, except through the cracks in these vessels of clay that we are. Too often, all they seem to see is our brokenness.
What an awful responsibility You’ve left to us tiny candles! 
Hold us high, Avi, and light the way.
In Your holy name, Amen.