Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paul's Passion and Courage

And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem,
constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will
happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit
testifies to me in every city that afflictions 
await me. 
BUT, I do not count my life of any value nor
as precious to myself, if only I may finish my 
course and the ministry that I received from the
Lord Jesus Christ, to testify to the gospel of the
grace of God.  Acts 20:22-24
Papa, Paul’s courage and trust in you amazes
me. I do not see it in my life or in the life of the
church here in America. He challenges me to be 
faithful to that which you have called me and 
to testify to the truth: 
Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Heard God Laugh

Last week was the week of the missing. Every time I turned around 
something I wanted had vanished. This has been happening somewhat
more the past few years but last week was something else! Anyway, I
would look and then look again. Finally in exasperation I said to Him,
 “God, where is it?” Within minutes of this cry I found the 
missing object. This went on every day--even three or four times a
day.  It was a crazy busy week and I had not spent much time with my
Papa God. About the fourth day of this I said to Him, “I think You like 
it when I have to ask You to show me where the missing item is. 
I'm beginning to think that you have set this up so I will talk to You!” 
 I heard God laugh. 
Then I laughed too.
 Incredible to think how the Creator of the Universe is interested 
in the mundane; that He desires communication with me and the extent 
to which He will go so that we stay connected. 

AND, I sat down with Him today with an entirely different agenda. 
I had no intention of putting this down on paper!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From Defeat to Victory

The Christian Life--Part Five
“If then it is so simple to live a defeated life, would it not be good news 
that it is equally easy to live the victorious life? What is the answer? It
is found in the simplicity of the gospel... The answer is not something we
must do but rather something we must believe! The great secret of success
that has been concealed from the majority of Christians far too long is this:

Christian growth is simply accepting what we have always had from the 
beginning, from the first day we gave our lives to Christ! And this simple 
life--the victorious life--will be experienced only through the abiding life.”

“Abundant life is not something to work for, but rather something given to
be worked from. My acceptance is not based on what I do but rather on
what I am. Abundant life does not require that I imitate Jesus, but rather
that I participate in His life; it does not require that I work to believe, but 
that I work because I believe. Be assured of this: If the abundant Christian 
Life requires great determination, self-will, intellect, talent, and ability, then
are we all too weak, blind, and stupid to ever arrive...God’s answer is 
specifically designed to be within the grasp of the weak, the failure, the 
unacceptable, the ignorant, the frustrated, and the hopeless. The answer
is the simplicity of the abiding life.
Excerpts from Side Tracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells.
Go to and get the whole book. You will be glad you did!

Monday, March 26, 2012

THe Christian Experience--Part Three

“Why was it that Christianity was so difficult for me? Why is it 
that many of us strive for years to attain spirituality through 
a sequence of methodologies, programs,and techniques; 
and when blueprints for success fail, we give up and resign 
ourselves to a life of mediocrity, frustration, and regression? 
Is this the abundant life of which our Lord spoke? Did He 
speak of a life of defeat, turmoil, self-effort,endless entreaties
 for joy, and bondage to emotions, thoughts and sinful behaviors
 for all who would dare to call upon His name? Was the life 
that He came to give characterized by conflict in families, 
endless trips to counselors, and depression so deep that 
many would wish to be taken out of this life in order to gain
 some measure of relief?... ‘Accept Jesus Christ today 
so you will not go to hell in the future. Jesus died for your sins, 
now work hard to please Him.’"
"The cry of many is, ‘I cannot please God; I cannot change. How do I get out of 
the hell that I live in daily?'”
Excerpts from Sidetracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Christian Experience--Part Two

“Still suffering under the delusion that knowledge is the answer 
and the veiled promise that when one moves he will leave all 
problems behind and start over again, I decided to attend 
Bible college and then graduate school, where the emphasis 
was really quite simple: Success rested on my intellect, ability, 
talents, and appearance. If all of these could be perfected 
in some measure, I would be a success--I would be acceptable 
to God and to His people. How I envied the student or professor 
who could preach from the original Greek text. If only I had the ability
 to speak, to be witty, to be clever; if I could just sing or play an instrument, 
then I would be living the abundant life! Maybe if I could memorize
the whole Bible as some had, ask the audience to pick a Scripture verse, 
and then quote the one before it and the one after it--yes, then I would 
have arrived...Little did I know that I was looking for something seen, 
something of this world, something that did not require faith, some type 
of magic formula to deliver me from myself and others from the same 
state of defeat.”
Excerpts from Sidetracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Christian Experience--Part One

...“My fall to the life of defeat that I lived for the next nine years took a 
relatively short time. Soon prayer had become a struggle, Scripture 
had lost its attraction, unconquerable sins appeared on all sides, 
and the emotional awareness of God had disappeared. 
I coped in various ways. I read self-help books and how-to books 
which all promised to give me one time relief. Those how-to books 
eloquently described my condition but sent me away powerless 
to escape. The more I read the more angry and depressed I became. 
They told me of the great example of Jesus, how He prayed, fasted, 
helped others, worshiped, was devout, fed the hungry, and loved--
and then they told me to imitate Him! Didn’t they realize that I wanted 
to be like Jesus and I wanted to please God, but I simply couldn’t do it? 
Didn’t they realize that if I could imitate Jesus, He would not have 
had to come?”
Excerpts from Sidetracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lost and Found and Lost Again

“Jesus makes an appeal to follow Him on the assumption that what
people are really looking for is rest. He knew that the crowds around
Him were “weary and heavy-laden” (Matthew 11:28).
As we look around us we find many who appear to carry heavy loads.
Each morning they have put on invisible backpacks, filled with weights
bearing different names, such as Husband, Wife, Children, Job, 
Finances, and so on--making up the loads that they must bear...
Our feeling as a new Believer is that if Jesus could forgive us, then 
He can do anything...A new Christian is so full of faith. His life can be
likened to a honey-moon; all he cares about is pleasing his Savior. 
The terms work and do never enter his vocabulary for all he is 
commanded takes place naturally out of love, with no effort involved.”
So, what happens?  He finds himself lost again.
Excerpts from Sidetracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He Chose Me

...For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world... (Eph 1:4)
I love this verse for it shows that my beginning was long before 
my personal history with God. He chose me before creation. 
I was sealed in Him before my first cry at birth. He has faithfully 
worked in my life to bring this reality to fruition. I am not a chance; 
I am not a mistake; I am chosen and I am loved. Throughout my life 
He has faithfully worked to show Himself as my Dad, my Counselor,
 my Sovereign Lord.
Papa, I do not understand this. Your truth travels in another dimension.
But, as we walk together, You reveal facets of Your character and 
of Your love that I have never grasped before.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Imagination, by Oswald Chambers

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee.”
Isaiah 26:3 (RV m)
“Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation of imagination
is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker’s life.
If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God, begin
to do it now. It is no use waiting for God to come; you must put your imagination
away from the face of idols and look unto Him and be saved. Imagination is 
the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him.
If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
it will be one of the greatest assets to faith when the time of trial comes, because
your faith and the Holy Spirit of God will work together. Learn to associate ideas
worthy of God with all that happens in Nature--the sunrises and the sunsets, the 
sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the
mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God."
‘We have sinned with our fathers;...and have forgotten’--then put a stiletto in
the place where you have gone to sleep. ‘God is not talking to me now,’ but
He ought to be. Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve. Provoke
yourself by recollection, and your affection for God will increase tenfold;
your imagination will not be starved any longer, but will be quick and
enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.”
My Utmost for His Highest, February 11.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bob's Story

Well, you won't find it posted here but on the website, where I posted
our pastor's story yesterday. Each of us has a story and he so graciously
sent his to me. It is a worthwhile read and if you have the time listen
to the music between the paragraphs. Music is very much part of
his story.  While you are at it, read some of the other stories...

Do any of you have a story you would like to share?
Contact me on the Home Page of the website.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Back in the year 2,000, Glen and I were traveling into Central Asia 
to encourage villages in community development. We were missionaries
with Medical Ambassadors International or MAI. On one trip Glen went 
west to Thailand and I went east to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was the last
five hours of a 24 hour travel day and I was able to stretch out over four 
empty seats to sleep. Only I couldn’t sleep. The flight got in at 11:30PM 
and my imagination took over. “What if I came out of customs and there 
was no one to meet me?” The taxi drivers swarm like bees. I had no
phone numbers, not even the name of a hotel. Deliberately I turned 
my attention to a favorite verse:
“The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want
He leads me...”    I slept.
I awoke in a drowsy state as we began our descent into Tashkent.
  I had this funny sense that I was covered with feathers.
 FEATHERS? Angels? Confidence rose. Customs was a breeze
 and Kyle was there to meet me. Much later I realized it was not 
an angel protecting me, but something much better.
God Himself was covering me. Oh, how personal He is!
“He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find
refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Ps 91:4

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Valley of Hope

Today I ponder the Valley of the Shadow of Death plummeted by wind and water. 
Suddenly I see something marvelous:  The canyon floor begins to lighten. 
The sun suddenly pierces through the clouds announcing 
a new day, revealing, not a storm but a waterfall cascading down the rocks 
onto the canyon floor. The source of the water is the very throne of God 
out of which flows the River of Life. The wind is the Holy Spirit blowing 
through the canyon of death. I hear a whisper:

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Broken Hearts

I have a few friends--actually quite a number--who are walking 
through unimaginable pain. So deep is the current valley of darkness 
that not a glimmer of light can be seen. The rain descends so thickly 
that the next step is blotted out; the wind howls through the canyon 
and the water is rising. Where does one go when life shatters?
Ah, but there is a cleft in the wall and a ledge beneath an overhang
 of rock jutting out of the canyon wall. One has to reach out and 
feel around to find the shelter from the storm. There is a place 
to sit and at the very back of the little cave, a meal of bread and wine. 
It is a safe place to hide. It is a teeth gritting time to speak the truth:
The Lord IS my Shepherd
I shall not want.
Even when I walk through the valley
Of deepest darkness, of wind and rain,
I will NOT dwell on evil outcomes.
I will NOT allow fear to over take me.
For You are with me--even now.
Your rod will defeat my enemy who 
Is saying to me, “Where is your God?”
Your staff will lift me up
And I will partake of the table set before me.
Your love, Your mercy and Your grace
(which are invisible to me right now)
Will follow me as I walk through the valley.
I am not alone.
Here I stand!

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Foundation

“Others brightly outshine me, and rapidly outrun me. 
I will rejoice in that, and neither envy their fruitfulness, 
nor be alarmed because of my comparative leanness. 
My origin is as divine, and venerable, and holy as theirs, 
and my foundation is unmovable. 
Much more luxuriant branches may spread themselves at my side, 
but we have all one root.”  
(Crumbs for the Little Ones)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chosen In Him

...For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world... (Eph 1:4)
I love this verse for it shows that my beginning was long before 
my personal history with God. He chose me before creation. 
I was sealed in Him before my first cry at birth. He has faithfully 
worked in my life to bring this reality to fruition. I am not chance; 
I am not a mistake; I am chosen and I am loved. Throughout my life 
He has faithfully worked to show Himself as my Dad, 
as my Counselor, as my Sovereign Lord.
Papa, I do not understand this. Your truth travels in another dimension, 
but as I walk with you, lean on You, wait for You, You reveal facets 
of Your character and Your love, Your intention, that I have never grasped before.

To visit my website, click here

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Swing

At three years of age I loved to swing and could get the thing going 
until it jerked as it went high. I would soon become Robert Louis Stevens greatest fan!
(How would you like to go up in a swing...?) One day my dad was pushing me,
but I was unable to hold on and he could not hear me so that 
suddenly I found myself flying backward off the swing and landing--on a nail. 
The whole incident is seared on my memory. As I  grew into adulthood
 the questions in the back of my mind were:

 “God if you are so powerful, why didn’t you stop it? 
Weren’t you there? 
Didn’t you care?” 

Then a couple of years ago I was waking up from a nap with that question 
on my mind and I heard a question. “What if I had been pushing the swing?”
In that groggy state between sleeping and waking, I began to imagine what
that would be like. I “saw” myself as a little girl on the swing with Jesus standing
 before me pushing. The little girl said “stop, I can’t hold on!” Jesus said, 
“why don’t you let go and I will catch you?” In my imagination I saw myself
leave the swing as it peaked and He caught me. We laughed and I wanted
to do it again, and again, and again. He has not answered my question of where He was 
and why He did not stop the accident, but the memory holds pleasure for me now.

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Monday, March 5, 2012


Not long ago it was pointed out to me that the word for MIND in two verses
could be translated as IMAGINATION. 
The first one is found in the Old Testament in Hebrew: 
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose IMAGINATION is stayed on Thee 
because he trusteth in Thee.  Is. 26:3
The second verse is from the New Testament in the Greek: 
“Jesus said unto him, ’Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy IMAGINATION.’” Matt. 22:37
Now this made me very uncomfortable at first as I had grown up with the idea that
my imagination was bad. But, as I pondered these two verses and heard some 
recent sermons on how our imagination can and should be used to worship God,
I became very interested in the command to “love God with my imagination.” I
certainly do not have any trouble painting pictures on my mind that bring fear
to my heart!  The icing on the cake, so to speak, came in the last few months of 
meditating on 2Cor 2:18 which speaks of “beholding the Lord.” 
This is my new challenge: to bring every thought or imagination captive and to turn
“my vain imaginations” into something that brings glory and honor to God. There is
something about being a child as I think about the area of imagination.  Joy?
 I am not finished thinking about this so there will probably be more posts...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Psalm 23 as Poetry

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine for ever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O, what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house for ever.
Henry Williams Baker (1812-77)

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

God Talks to God

When Jesus went out alone at night to pray, did He ever pray Psalm 23?
 Did He look up and say, “Father Thou art MY Shepherd?” 
As He said this, did He think about the shepherds and the sheep 
he had seen that day? 
On that night in Gethsemane, did Jesus ponder how 
His Papa Shepherd had led Him for the 33 years of His life? 
As He looked into the Valley of Death laid out before Him, 
did He cry out in anguish as He observed the cup He was going 
to drink in the coming hours?
 Did the reassuring words of Psalm 23 wash over Him: 
“Yea though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, 
for THOU art with me?”
Have you ever in all your days thought about how God talks to God? 
That Gethsemane night did the Father speak Psalm 23 over His Son? 

“Son, I AM your Shepherd and tonight even as you begin Your journey 
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will be ahead of You; 
I will be with You. I will never leave You nor forsake You. 
I promise You that My rod and My staff will comfort You and
that You will sit down at the table I have prepared for You, 
even in the presence of Your enemies.”  
I can hear the Lamb respond: 
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of My life
and I will dwell with You Papa, in Your House, forever.  

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