Friday, December 21, 2012

Eleven Days Until Christmas

Twas’ eleven days before Christmas, around 9:38
When twenty beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air;
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what happened that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven,” declared a small boy. 
“We’re spending Christmas in God’s house!”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their Savior!….The children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy that only heaven can bring;
Those children all flew into the arms of their king.
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of your mom and dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools.”
“I’m taking back my nation; I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space….some skipped and some ran.
All displayed enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

My website and blog:
Be sure and watch the roses on the Home Page

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Slaughter of the Innocents

Well, the Kings did find Jesus and then received a heavenly message 
to skip Jerusalem on the way home. Joseph had a visitation by the same 
angel and packed up his family and headed for Egypt.

Herod was furious! He wanted to be the only king, so he sent out an edict 
to kill all baby boys two years and under who lived in Bethlehem or in 
the surrounding area. 

“Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
She refused to be comforted, because
They were no more.’” (Matthew 2:18)

Jesus comes to bring peace, but the first major event after his birth 
is the slaughter of the children; blood flows. It was incomprehensible then. 
It is incomprehensible now. “How can a good God allow...?”

Well, God protected His son, but what about all of those innocent babies? 
Jesus escaped scott free--or did He? He lived only to die a gruesome death 
on a cross some 30 years later. He too, was innocent.

John the Baptist sums it up with this cry:

“...Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

I cannot fully partake of the Christmas story without looking at the cross. 
From the very beginning of the story we encounter evil, sin, blood and tears.
Really, the story, the whole story, is incomprehensible.

Read a Christmas Story: The Redeeming Power of God

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Wise Men

Wise men, the Magi or kings from the east, studied the heavens 
and when an unusual star appeared, they did some research and 
found that a king had come, the Christ. They packed costly gifts in 
order to worship this One. Unsure of where to go, they stopped 
in Jerusalem and were told to check out Bethlehem.  Evidently 
Jesus had been living quietly with his parents, unseen, and unknown 
for quite some time. King Herod, the Priests and the Scribes were clueless. 
The prophesied King had arrived and was living right under their noses, 
and they had missed the whole show!

Papa, I want to stay alert, be aware, of what you are doing in our world today.
I don’t want to miss a thing!

See a Christmas Story: The Redeeming Power of God

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Tears

“Silent Night, Holy Night,
All is calm…”

Well, our Savior was born like any baby is born. But wait! His teenage Mom
was away from her family and with a man she had only recently married. She 
was in labor. Do you think that it was a supernatural birth just because it was 
a supernatural beginning? No, for out of her came groans, tears, blood, sweat, 
torn flesh, then the cutting of the cord. She bore the brunt of the pain, but Joseph 
suffered as he was in a  place he had never been before either. And what about 
the baby? His body had to conform to the birth canal. Jesus was born into our 
world to parents who had never had a course in childbirth or childraising! 
The whole scene seems doomed to failure. And yet, and yet…

“God became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have beheld his glory.” 

Dear Reader, linger awhile and ponder this. It will blow your mind!

Check out the website:

Monday, December 17, 2012


The killing of twenty little children last Friday is overwhelming 
and even today, I am stunned. As this thing unfolded in the news 
my heart was broken over the carnage and loss of life. I listened 
to the newscasters trying to make sense of something so senseless. 
I can only come up with one thing: What we saw was the face of evil.

Listen to what Jesus says:

The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: 
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it 
more abundantly. (Jn 10:10 KJV)

Jesus came to give us life through His Life. 
Killing and destruction are not from Him.

I cannot make sense of things that don't make sense
without spending time with the One who is the giver 
of Life.

Have you met Him?

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Tell You a Mystery

Both the Old and New Testaments are full of allusions to the times 
in which we live today, which include:  the last days, the rapture, 
the tribulation, the second coming, followed by the Millennium. There 
are far more prophecies concerning these days than the prophecies 
pertaining to the birth of Christ. The season of His first coming makes 
me think about His next coming. 

Today I was listening to the music from Handel’s, Messiah, and 
specifically to the music he wrote from 1Corinthians 15:51-55:
(read the whole chapter. You’l be glad you did!)

“Behold! I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall 
all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last 
trump: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised 
imperishable, and we shall all be changed”...then, 

“O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?”

The Rapture has always been immenent, meaning it could happen today.
Is there anything you need to do to prepare? His coming is more sure than 
the dawn. And, yes, we do not know the day or the hour, which is why we 
need to be awake, alert, watching.

Check out the story pages

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Those Who Have Died

The Thessalonian church experienced much persecution from its 
very inception taking away both friends and relatives. They were 
also very concerned about the Lord’s return feeling that it had all 
ready happened; that they had missed it somehow. Paul answers 
their heart-felt questions in both of his letters to this church.

He begins in the 13th verse of the fourth chapter of 
1 Thessalonians: 

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who 
have fallen asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. 
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through 
Jesus, God will bring with him, those who have fallen asleep. For this we 
declare to you by word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left 
until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

Now I don’t know if you are encouraged by this word from Paul, but I am. 
I KNOW that I will see my friends and family and that we will be reunited 
at the time of the Rapture. Oh, glorious day!

Maranatha--Come, Lord Jesus!

Check out the story pages

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Difficult Times in the Last Days

We have heard from Jesus and Peter, now we will hear from Paul. 
Does not the following line up with what we are seeing in our culture?

“But understand this, that in the last days there will be times of 
difficulty. For people will be:

Lovers of self,
Lovers of money,
Disobedient to their parents,
Without self-control,
Not loving good,
Swollen with conceit,
Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. 
Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“How then should we live?”   
This is a quote from Frances Schaeffer, who was teaching in 
Switzerland when I was a college student back in the 60’s. 
He said that the philosopher speaks to the first generation; 
the next generation absorbs it, followed by the generation who lives it.

Check out the story pages

Monday, December 10, 2012


Peter continues the discussion of the last days:

“Knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come 
with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where 
is the promise of his coming? For, from the day the fathers 
fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning 
of the creation...they are willingly ignorant...that the world that then 
was, being overflowed with water, perished.” (2 Peter 3:3-6)

Back in the 1970’s, it seemed that most Christians were speaking 
about the Rapture, which means “the catching away.” There was 
an excitement, an anticipation of an event that would bring about 
tremendous change for both those who were taken to heaven and 
those who were left behind. Books were written on this subject. 
Today it seems that no one is interested in the Rapture and those 
who believe in the immanent return of Jesus, are scoffed at. In fact, 
the comments made sound very much like what Peter speaks of in 
the verses above. 

When I feel the warmth of the sun on my back, hear the birds singing, 
the laughter of my grandson, everything feels normal; I cannot imagine 
that it will not continue indefinitely. But scripture declares that all things
 have not stayed the same because there WAS a real flood, and it 
destroyed the world.

It could happen tomorrow. So what do we do with today?

Check out the story pages

Friday, December 7, 2012

It Could Happen Tomorrow!

In the words of Jesus concerning a future event:

“But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the 
angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.  
And, as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming 
of the Son of man. For as in those days which were before 
the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving 
In marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 
and they knew not until the flood came, and took them all 
away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. 
Matthew 24:36-39)

I often hear people saying, “Well, no one knows the day or the 
hour,” thus ending the conversation on both the rapture and the 
tribulation. But Jesus is pointing out that since no one knows, 
we need to be alert and watch for the signs of His coming and 
the signs of the tribulation.

I watch Noah play and I think about the people in that day, who came 
outside to bask in the sunshine and took the building of an ark on dry 
land as a joke! Then the door was shut and no amount of clamoring 
gave entrance to safety. The coming of Jesus will take most people 
by surprise, including Christians.

Dear Reader, consider both the cross and the blood as the way into 
the Ark of Protection and choose eternal life by repenting of your sin. 

Tomorrow may be too late for that day could come tomorrow!

Check out the story pages

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heavy Seismicity

I came across an article a couple of days ago talking about the
number of earthquakes over the weekend:

Alaska had numerous small quakes and a 5.8 earthquake in
Anchorage yesterday.
Iran a 4.5
Romania a 4.6
Hawaii a mild jolt
Indonesia a 4.6
South America a 4.5
Afghanistan a 4.1
Vanautu Islands, located between Australia and Fiji, a 6.4 followed
the next day by a 6.0
Sichuan, China a 4.8

Written on December 2:
"As it stands, there have been twenty earthquakes today, 207 
earthquakes in the past seven days, 822 earthquakes in the past
month, and 17,474 earthquakes in the last year."

I went back over an eight day period in November and counted
eight earthquakes over 6, three of them over 7!

Why is this important to talk about? Because of the words of Jesus:

"Then he said unto them, 'Nation shall rise against nation and 
Kingdom against kingdom:  And great earthquakes shall be in
divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights
and great signs shall there be from heaven.'" (Luke 21:10,11)

The disciples had asked Jesus in Matthew 24, "Tell us,...what
shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world."

As I go about my daily life I am also listening for the sound of
the trumpet! The hour is late, a time is coming when every thing
will shift. We can use the Mayan Calendar, and the date of
december 21, not as a place of truth, or fear, but as a wake up call
"to watch."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Live Wisely

Paul continues to give encouragement to the Colossians:

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best
use of the time. (Co. 5:5)

As I look at this verse, I find myself examining how I have
lived out the last 24 hours. I come up with a lot of failure.
Tender spots are touched and protective flesh rises to the
surface. I express an opinion about something that does
not really matter and it causes offense, distance. Paul is
addressing something far deeper here than speech. He has
discussed details in the previous verses. I am reminded of
a verse that seems to summarize wisdom:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do
all to the glory of God. Give no offense...
(I Corinthians 10:31)

Papa, I cannot live this Christian life wisely so I turn
to you in my need and say, "help."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Open Season

In Colossians 5:3,4 Paul says: At the same time, pray for us...”

What does he want them to pray for? Release from prison, a clean 
cell above ground, a hot shower, health? Does he pray that the
persecution of Christians will stop? No! He prays:

“that God may open to us a door, to declare the mystery of Christ,
on account of which I am in prison--that I may make it clear, which
is how I ought to speak.”

I have heard it said that there were more Christians killed for their
faith in the last century then all the previous centuries combined. 
There are an estimated 400,000 Christians in North Korea today,
of which 100,00 are in prison for their faith. It is also open season
on Christians in Iran where scores are coming to Christ every day.
China has killed numberless Believers.

Papa, I sit in the warmth of my study and I ponder Paul’s prayer for
You to open a door so that the mystery of Christ, the Gospel, would
continue to reach out to those who are imprisoned in the darkness
of despair. So, this is my prayer also. May you open doors for the 
message of the Gospel to be declared in all of the hidden places
across the earth, but especially in the prisons.

See my stories:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was a very special holiday for me.
Bigger than christmas in SOME ways. I loved getting together with extended
family for a turkey feast. Then, adults worked in the kitchen while children
played. Now, most of those adults have died and our relatives, including our
children, are scattered across America.

Yesterday we invited a couple of people to join us for an early dinner. It was
a beautiful day. I so enjoyed getting the table ready for my guests. I carefully
set out my wedding china, my mother's wedding crystal, and my great grandmother's
silver. Memories flooded my mind as I worked, so many sweet memories.

Our guests came early and we laughed together as we prepared the food. There
was a discussion about the turkey. It had been baking far longer than the directions
suggested but the temperature was not moving past 160. Raw turkey was not acceptable.
During this time it was noted that the refrigerator was not working. (We hustled around
to find ice and moved the freezer items into a small freezer in the basement.) Turkey
with all the trimmings and no place to put the leftovers? It turns out that the
thermometer was broken and the bird was completely cooked through, the meat
absolutely delicious. A guest took the left overs home and today we discovered
that all we needed to do was reset the temperature. It was not the compressor after all!

After a sumptuous meal we pitched in and had the kitchen cleaned up in a record
15 minutes leaving us plenty of time to take the dog on a long walk in a wooded area.
After some light refreshments we played a rousing game of cards. Laughter flowed
like water. What a perfect day to give thanks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Pilgrims--some unknown facts

When I was in grade school I loved the celebration of Thanksgiving because
we got to dress up as both Indians and Pilgrims, and we got to taste some of
the foods they ate. We also heard their story every year. 

There were about 102 passengers and 30 crew members on the Mayflower,
but some of the passengers were called Strangers because they were not
part of the Pilgrims and were not coming to the new world to escape 
persecution. The Mayflower sailed from Holland where the Pilgrims lived 
for a number of years after fleeing England. (One Thanksgiving we visited 
Leyden and attended a Thanksgiving service in the church where the 
Pilgrims had worshiped.) Two died on the 65 day voyage in a very stormy 
crossing. The ship was forced by storms to go further north than intended  
and landed in an uninhabited area in November of 1620. They built a common 
house which was destroyed by fire in January of 1621 which meant losing 
supplies and  forcing them to shelter on the cramped ship. William Bradford 
said of that winter: “...soon a most lamentable blow fell upon them. In two or 
three months time half of their company died...scarcely 50 remained, and 
sometimes two or three persons died in a day. In the time of worst distress, 
there were but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendation 
be it spoken, spared no pains night or day, but with great toil and at the risk of 
their own health, fetched wood, made fires, prepared food for the sick, made 
their beds, washed their infected clothes, dressed and undressed them; in a 
word did all the homely and necessary services for them which dainty and 
queasy stomachs cannot endure to be mentioned.”  Approximately 55 people
survived the voyage and that awful winter but in March when the ship sailed, not 
one of the Pilgrims was on board. 

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

With Thanksgiving

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with 
thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

I want to move on, find something exciting that will grab my
readers and hold their interest. Some of you may want me 
to move on too. After all, it is such a small verse. However,
it is pregnant with life and so it has to be eaten in small bites.

How appropriate to find ourselves looking at the word, 
“thanksgiving,” the week we celebrate the holiday. It is 
a day set aside to celebrate, with gratefulness, all we have
received--and we are richly blessed.

Gratefulness means that we understand that we are the
recipients of kindness, and that we are ready to acknowledge
it. It takes humility to express gratefulness. Pride has need of
nothing and no one, but at the center of humility is the 
recognition that I need others because I can’t make it alone.
When the Pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving they 
were giving thanks to God because they KNEW, they would
not have made it without Him. Half of them had died the first 
winter and without the help of a friendly Indian, they would 
have continued to die.

Glen and I have been in many third world countries. We would like
to bring their gift of hospitality so generously given, to this land, but
without having to give up central heating and running water!

Papa, As I think about the coming Thanksgiving Day when we will
gather with some special friends to eat our planned feast, I am so
grateful to you for the abundance I have received on so many levels.
I am especially thankful for the gift of eternal life. 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Be Watchful

Yes, I am still on the same verse!!!

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with 
thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

Watchful means “to keep awake, to be vigilant.”

What are we to be watchful of? The government, our enemies, 
current events? No, that is not what Paul is talking about even
though the early church was under persecution.

I found a couple of verses that answer this question:

Watch and pray, that you might not enter into temptation. The spirit
is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) 

“Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)  

Adam was told to watch over the garden. He had no idea what was 
coming his way. The snake took out his wife while he was getting 
a sandwich! The night Jesus warned his disciples about keeping alert 
was the same night he was arrested. The disciples fled and Peter denied 
he knew Jesus.  We as Christians find ourselves broadsided by attacks 
on a regular basis. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. However, 
do you notice that every time failure came God intervened? He lets us 
fall into the pit so He can rescue us! I love this about Him!

When I detach myself from the Vine, I start believing lies about my friends, 
myself, and my God. This combination leaves me feeling isolated and alone. 
As I try to work this out within me, I end up discouraged and depressed. I 
remember a blurb on TV that aired many years ago. It went like this:

“Does God seem far away?”
“Who do you think moved?”

Papa, I thank you that Your love covers my stumbles and failures, that
"All things work together for good to them that love God and are called
according to His purpose."

The time leading up to the wedding, REALLY happened. I know, I was

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Continue steadfastly in prayer being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 4:2)

Prayer. What a huge subject! I am reminded of many years ago when
I struggled with the verse: “Pray without ceasing.” I could not imagine
how this was possible. At one point I attended a church whose goal was
to transform the city so we fasted and prayed all night in order to make
this happen. I went on a prayer journey to some very spiritually dark 
countries. What were the outcomes of these initiatives? God knows, but
I don’t.

In the last few years prayer has become something so natural, like breathing.
Often I am not aware that I am talking to God or that He is talking to me. It
can also be specific, urgent and emotional. The “steadfastly” part of the verse
means to me that I don’t stop praying, even while waiting years to see results.

My Dear Papa, My morning was so perfect today. There was the quiet sense 
of your presence as I went from one thing to another. How wonderful to 
experience this kind of prayer on the day I would be writing about it!

I pray for my readers. May they discover how much you desire their friendship 
and how you lean into them to listen when they speak. 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Masters, Treat Your Slaves Justly

Paul does not let the Masters of the slaves off the hook.

"Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that 
you also have a Master in heaven." (Colossians 3:25)

I have been thinking about the makeup of the early church.
Slaves and their Masters, all of whom were hungry to know
more of God, would meet nightly to worship, share, pray and
listen to Paul teach. Paul never taught more than four months
before he was persecuted and cast out of the city. After that he
did not visit these churches without coming in by night. Years went
by between visits. So, who was in charge after he left the area? 
I can’t find that he named a master to be over the slaves in the 
congregation. They came into the presence of God as brothers 
and sisters, equal in the sight of God. Paul did write letters to the 
Holy Ones, to reinforce what he had taught to them and to answer 
their many questions. It would seem that questions came up as to 
relationships in the home and at work which is why Paul addresses 
these things to the Colossians. The churches were birthed out of a 
pagan world and there were lots of questions. Surely if they lived 
out what Paul was teaching, it would draw many into the kingdom. 

I have been in small groups where the focus was body life in Jesus. 
These were wonderful times! We saw God answer prayer in so many
lives. We would leave these meetings full, not empty. It was a little
taste of heaven!  I sense that the pressures of persecution and mis-
understanding toward the early church provided the strong desire for 
the Believers to meet with each other in the evenings.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wrong Doers Will be Paid Back

By now some of you may be muttering: what about the abusive
husband, wife, master? Does God notice, does He even care?
Why would God put such impossible demands on us? He is 
certainly not politically correct!!! I know that at times I react to
these verses--which are also in the book of Ephesians. But
listen again to verse 24:

(Do these things) “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive
the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has 
done, and there is no partiality.”

What an encouragement for me to “stay the course.” God does
see, God does know, the abuser of power will be punished, and
God does not show partiality to those in high places of authority.
God is a God of justice. Hallelujah! 

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Slaves, Obey in Everything...

“Slaves, obey in everything, those who are your earthly
masters, not by way of eye-service, as people pleasers,
but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you
do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing
that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as 
your reward. (Colossians 2:22-24)

The early church was filled with Believers who were slaves--men
and women who came under the domination of Rome and were 
taken into slavery. They had no worldly possessions, worked 
seven days a week, and died young. Paul did not tell them to rebel, 
or try to escape, but instead asked them to “obey in everything!” 
Rome was a terrible taskmaster. The word “justice” was irrelevant to 
Paul. Why? Because Paul was looking at something far bigger 
than their current circumstances. He told them to:

Work, not to please people, but fearing the Lord.
Work hard, but do it for the Lord and not for men.
You will receive your inheritance from the Lord--later.

Paul points out that our behavior, our work ethic, is not 
to come from outward pressure but from an inward 
attitude of the heart. I can’t help noticing that Paul puts
the emphasis of these verses and the ones prior, on the Lord.
It is not about me; it is all about Him. And... there is a promise!
I have a future no matter what happens here on earth.

See “A Fairy Tale Wedding”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Children, Obey..."

Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 
(Colossians 3:20)

“To Obey” in Strongs: To conform to a command. To be below in an 
inferior position. To hear; to understand.

(I find it interesting that Paul uses the word “submit” in terms of the wife, 
and not the Greek word for “obey.” God does not regard married women 
as inferior--single ones either.)

Children are to be trained to listen and obey their parents but, according to
scripture, the weight falls on the Dads, “Fathers, do not provoke your 
children lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)

Obedience does not come naturally to children. They too want to be in 
control and the toddler age depicts the battle very well. I saw this while 
visiting my children and grandson.

I watched Noah implode just before bedtime. His mother asked him to pick up 
his toys.  I watched as she picked him up and said:

“Noah, look at me”

(Noah looks away and screams.)

“Noah, I want you to look at Mommy.”

(Noah looks down and continues to cry.)

The words are repeated and the mother lifts his chin.

“Are you ready to stop crying?”

(The crying begins to subside and Noah nods slightly.)

“Are you ready to put away your toys now?”

( A “yes” follows--a word stretched out beginning low and ending high-- 
and Noah smiles)

See my NEW story: