Thursday, May 31, 2012

Turning Points

There have been many turning points for me over the 41 plus
years of marriage. Sometimes they come as “ah ha” moments
where the scales drop from my eyes suddenly and I receive 
insights--related to me mostly. The biggest turning point in 
recent years, and which continues to grow, is my view of God.
He has gone from a distant, uninvolved God who dwells “out
there” somewhere, to a very real, very present Papa. Glen and
I recently attended a marriage renewal weekend where truth I 
have heard before was activated--the “ah ha.” I heard that Glen
was not designed to meet my needs. My source is God alone.
God’s desire for me is to minister to Glen and leave the outcome
to God. God’s grace is sufficient for me to be able to walk this
out on a daily basis. God wants me to be so occupied with Him,
so full of Him, that Glen becomes irrelevant in terms of my 
happiness. Wow!
Isaiah 43:18, 19 says:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God is Able

We are coming up on 42 years of Marriage--to each other. It has been
a hard slog, but divorce was never an option for either one of us. I was
38 and married ten years before I decided to grow up and take responsi-
bility for myself and my actions.Until then I was perfectly content to let
someone else handle my life including the training of my children. After
all what is the church for? The decision to grow up and become an adult
was a major turning point but change came rather slowly. I felt inadequate
on the inside as one who only had value to God, but who often doubted
God’s pleasure and acceptance of her. I was deeply into performance, but
things kept coming up to show me how poorly I played that game! The 
unfilled needs--holes-- of things like love, worth, acceptance, adequacy 
and security drove all of my relationships. Even though I have been a 
Christian since childhood, I only realized over the past ten years,
 WHO I AM IN CHRIST. He is the only source for getting my needs met.
This unfolding revelation is changing all of my relationships including the
one with Glen. God has been part of every twist and turn. 
My God is able!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Can This Marriage be Saved?

In Genesis 2:24, God says:
“A man shall leave his mother and father and hold fast
to his wife and they shall become one flesh.”
When I began to consider marriage at age 27 I had holes, empty
places, that I thought would be filled by my husband. I honestly
thought that God put two people together because without the other
we could not be complete. Did I read the wrong books; listen to the 
wrong people or was I blind and deaf? I also thought that to 
“be one flesh” was to lose ones individuality. But I also had this idea
that Glen would meet all my needs, fill all my holes and adore me. After 
I got married I thought marriage to my husband was some kind of 
cosmic joke. Perhaps I had married the wrong man! We were as 
different as can be in how we processed information, the number of 
words we had for spending each day, and who we thought was the
most important of the two of us! My Glen was a medical student, was
not interested in filling my holes, wanted a wife who would take care
of him, adore him, and meet his needs.
Can God save this marriage?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Great Book!!!

I just finished reading a book that is centered in WWII. It is the book
assigned by my Book Club for this month--and so timely in terms of
Memorial Day. The title of this #1 New York Times Bestseller is
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand who authored Seabiscuit. Unbroken
is a story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I found myself
angry at how the events of life played out for the protagonist,
Louie Zamperini, but by the end of the book I was able to see the
fingerprints of God from beginning to end.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Yes, there is much anguish as I read through Psalm 22,
but I am amazed at the praise and hope which flows
through the lips of the Son and written down by the Psalmist:
“You are holy
enthroned on the praises of Israel...
I will tell of your Name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will
praise You.
Praise Him!
For He has not despised or abhorred
the afflictions of the afflicted
And He has not hidden His face
from Me,
but has heard, when I cried to Him.”
I see something here, a principle found throughout the
Psalms. No matter how bad the situation, the Psalmist
almost always includes praise, often at the beginning but
also at the end. When I am able to speak the truth about God,
I find lightness even when nothing is moving.

GOD IS. He is present.

And that, dear reader, is the way out of darkness 
when every door is closed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Check out Mimi in the story section of the website:

Psalm 22

Surely David is amazed by what he wrote the day Psalm 22 was
penned. One writer I know writes that all the words of scripture
were spoken by the Father to the Son and by the Son to the Father
before time!
So, here we are centuries before Jesus goes to the cross, and yet
the cry goes up to the Father--in the present tense. But then, God
dwells outside of time. I picture them standing together where the 
Lamb lies dead before the foundation of the world. While at the 
same time, they watch Jesus as He is being crucified.
The Father has his arm around His Son, 
holding Him fast 
as Jesus watches and speaks:
“My God, My God, WHY have you forsaken Me?
WHY are you, my dearest Papa, so far from seeing
me, even deaf to the words of my anguish? I cry to You
but all I hear is the echo of an empty room. I find no
rest day or night. I am like a worm; not even a man.
I am scorned by men and despised. You, Papa, were
there at my birth and I trusted You back then. You
were my God from that point on.
Oh, God, be not far from me, for trouble is near
Ps 22:1,2,6,9,10,11 loose translation by Jane
Papa, as I meditate on this scene I am amazed by the
anguish expressed by my Lord. The whole picture is
beyond my understanding. As the day progresses 
something begins to happen and I think us as your kids. 
Groaning in the agony of circumstances does NOT 
mean I don’t have faith. I can fully express my emotions 
to You without denying my trust in You. How often I have 
stuffed down my emotions fearful of Your displeasure. 
I have the freedom to ask why...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Psalm 21--part B

Obviously I am getting further and further from reading just one psalm
a day let alone five. Dietrich Bonhoeffer would not only have his
students read five psalms a day but also meditate on a verse of 
scripture for 30 minutes--the same verse for five days running!

Ps 21:2
You have given Him his heart’s desire
and not withheld the request of his lips.

Papa, You see my heart’s desires, deeper than I can know,
and You set up circumstances, allow me to fail, lose 
control, be adrift, so that You can answer the deepest desires
of my heart. In the midst of the deep yearnings of my heart, 
You pay attention to the little things that I bring to You throughout 
the day. No request is too small for You.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Psalm 21

I love to open the Psalms and read what is penned for that day
of the month. Sometimes I read all five, but often I get no further
than a couple of verses in just one Psalm! I found this gem yesterday:
O, Lord, in Your strength the king
And in Your salvation how greatly 
he exults. Ps 21:1
Papa, my Lord, I rejoice in Your strength--You are THE mighty
God, strong on my behalf. Be exalted in your strength. May I
rejoice in this aspect: the strong One, the mighty One.
And, I greatly rejoice in your salvation. You died to set me free
from isolation, loneliness. I can live each day in that intimate 
fellowship that You have obtained for me.

Oh, yes, Papa, I exult in your salvation!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Little White Lamb

One afternoon I was lying on my back pondering God’s love for me. 
A picture came to mind of a spring meadow and a little white lamb 
who was fast asleep--all by himself. But was he? No way! 
Next to him sat the shepherd. The tired little lamb--after all he 
had played the morning away--was loved and safe in the Shepherd’s care. 
The lamb doesn’t have to do anything, say anything, be anything--

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two Cups--Part 2

The Cup of Redemption
“And when He had taken the cup, and giving thanks, He gave it
to them; and they all drank from it.
And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which
is poured out for many.”  Mark 14:23,24
"And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten and 
said, 'This cup which is poured out for you; do this in remembrance
of Me.'”  Luke 22:20
Jesus drinks the cup of sorrow as He dies on the cross and gives to us: 
the cup of blessing, 
the cup of redemption, 
the cup of the New Covenant, 
the cup of Life.
Papa, When I consider the two cups and how there would be no cup
of redemption if Jesus had not willingly drunk from the cup of sorrow,
I stand amazed and speechless by your love for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Cups--Part 1

The Cup of Deep Sorrow
The past few weeks as I have considered the subject of grief,
I began to ponder Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There
was this cup which then led me to another cup...
Jesus speaks to His Papa:
“My soul is very sorrowful even to death...
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass
from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as
You will.  Matt 26:38,39
What is this cup Jesus speaks of? What is the brew  
bubbling up which is so overwhelming to Him, that He begs
His Father to remove it? Dear Reader, was this not the 
vileness of sin that our spotless Lord contemplates? Is the cup
not full of the rebellion and independence which captured the
imagination of our parents and spawned sin, death and destruction
ever since? The sorrow over this cup is so great our Lord sweats 
great drops of blood.
Papa, What is happening to You during those dark hours in Gethsemane?
How is it that your love for us, for me is so strong that you set before
your beautiful, holy Son, this cup, a cup of sorrow like no other?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This One Hits Home!

I love Michael Wells as he is concentrates on the simplicity of Christ in the 
Believer’s life. This is what I read this morning:
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
How does one take the smallest particle and make it smaller?
By exploding it! The nucleus of the atom is a very small thing,
and yet it can be made smaller through an explosion.
There is a lesson here for all that would decrease that God 
might increase. The smallest bit of self-life will be made 
smaller only after God magnifies it through an explosion.

“Oh, I was doing so well loving God and walking in holiness,
and then you entered the room. I can walk perfectly well with
Jesus until you enter the room. I do not really have any problems,
and am walking in the Spirit, until you enter the room.” 

Though we do not like being confronted with it, whenever a “you” in
our life enters the room, our self-life explodes! We did not think
that we had a self-life that ugly until it was inescapably revealed
to us. We need not be discouraged or avoid the present situation,
when we see God and have a move in Him. He is only exploding
self so that it might decrease in us. We can simply acknowledge
to Him the flesh when we grasp our weak inability to love. We
decrease that he might increase.
My Weakness for His Strength
Volume One
Michael Wells, Abiding Life Ministry

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

The day was fast approaching and I hoped that I would wake up on
Monday without having to go through Sunday. I am not sure why
it is such a difficult day for me, nor am I alone in this. It is a day set 
aside to celebrate motherhood, but so often there seems to be little
to celebrate: singleness, ones own difficult Mom, the death of a child,
barrenness, empty nest... Our culture does not honor motherhood as
anything special. Even the church can produce some pretty lame sermons
on Mother’s Day. One pastor in particular stands out to me because he
used this particular day to excoriate women! (I hid in the nursery.) My kids
left home to seek their fortunes at 20 and 17 and have lived across the 
country ever since making it difficult to be together on this day.
This past week a friend and I sat over lunch and compared notes. She too
had some bad memories but I love her slant on it. Donna noticed in scripture
that God honored mothers and she has taken this as her foundation which
has changed the day for her. She celebrates God’s heart for her! Donna 
invited us over to spend Sunday with her and her family, including two
delightful grown sons. 
However, when Sunday morning arrived I noticed that self pity had also
arrived. The presence of self pity usually leads to “a bitter root expectation.”
I spent some time sitting with Papa regarding this and then headed down-
stairs to fix breakfast. There at the bottom of the stairs stood Jesus! No, I
did not see Him with my physical eyes but I knew He was there and that
He was holding a white box tied with a red ribbon. What was in that box?
Well, throughout the day I received the individually wrapped gifts: the sermon,
the flowers, the cards, the phone calls, the fresh strawberries, the steak dinner
lovingly grilled by my husband, balloons, laughter--all tied up under a blue
sky with lots of sunshine!
Thank you, Papa, for bringing light into a dark place, for showing up and 
showing off! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ponder This!

But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief...
He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressor. 
                  Is. 53:10,12

He (Papa God) made Him (His Son)
who knew no sin, to be sin, that we
might become the righteousness of God.
                  2 Cor. 5:21
I cannot think of a single “god” out there who is all about giving 
and sacrifice for his adherents. No, in every story “the god” 
is brutally demanding of his subjects, sometimes to the point 
of shedding their own blood. It is always, “Do this, do that and
 then I might help you;  I might show you favor.” 
Our God hung on a cross and died a brutal death so that we 
might be righteous as He is righteous. 
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I want to love, honor,
and adore the One who loved me enough to pay the ultimate
price in order to make me His own. It is always and forever about

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Man of Sorrows


His appearance was so marred,
beyond human semblance.
He had no form or majesty
that we should look at him,
no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
and as one whom men hide their faces
he was despised, 
and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has born our griefs
and carried our sorrows
yet we esteemed him stricken
smitten by God,
and afflicted....
Yet, it was the will of the Lord
to crush him;
He put him to grief.
Is. 52:14; Is 53:2-4,10

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


How can I talk about suffering and grief without mentioning Joseph
whose story covers 22 chapters in Genesis? (Gen. 37,39-50)
Joseph is:
The favorite beloved son of his father
Hated and betrayed by his brothers into slavery at age 17
Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned
Interprets the dream of the cupbearer to Pharaoh, but forgotten
Remains in prison two more years.
Poor miserable Joseph. If I had been in Joseph’s shackles...!
But what is the truth?
The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man.” Gen. 39:2
The Hebrew for successful means: to prosper, to get on well.
The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave
him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Gen. 39:21
“...The Lord was with him. And whatever he did the Lord made it
succeed.”  Gen. 39:23
The Lord was with him and so Joseph was a “lucky fellow.” Old English
I find this truly amazing. Somehow Joseph understood this truth even
in the midst of his suffering.
In the last chapter of Joseph’s life we see the death of Jacob and the
terror of his brothers: “PLEASE forgive us,” they plead.
Joseph says to them: “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for
you, you meant it for evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring
it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So
do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” and so he 
comforted them.   
Papa, Joseph walked it out one dark day at a time--for years! What a 
great story of one man’s trust in you, and how it played out over time.
Time... I keep trying to figure it out in terms of the next day, or in terms 
of a week, or maybe even a year. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Loved With Everlasting Love

Back in the 1960‘s I was involved with a campus ministry 
called Intervarsity Christian Fellowship or IVCF. 
One of my favorite hymns from that time has been humming
in my head today.  
Loved with everlasting love, 
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His and He is mine.
Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His and He is mine.
Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest:
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
Oh, to lie forever here,
doubt and care, and self resign,
While he whispers in my ear--
I am His and He is mine.
His forever only His,
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss,
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His and He is mine.
Wade Robinson/J Mountain

Monday, May 7, 2012

What About Job?

The first chapter sets the stage: God says to Satan, “Have you considered
my servant Job?” Job belongs to God and it sounds like God is offering up His
servant to the enemy. Hmmm. Then all hell breaks loose--against Job. First comes
the attack on his possessions, then his children and finally on Job’s body. He suffers
great loss, tremendous grief, and unremitting physical discomfort--all in the same
period of time. His friends suggest that there has to be a REASON, like sin, 
for his suffering and Job better confess it! The implication in all of their arguments 
is that since God is good and God is just, it HAS to be Job’s fault!
As I read through this book, I see God touching Job at his core. God wanted to 
reveal Job’s heart to Job. I think that we see Job’s heart in the confession: “I know
that my redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin
has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25,26) 
What an amazing man!
Then in the fulness of time--after man has had his say, God speaks directly to Job
out of a whirlwind: 
“Who are you? Speak like a man! Where were you when I...?
What do you know about simple things like where the snow is stored, 
how to set the constellations in place, 
the way of the eagle?” Then God moves on: 
“Can your own right hand save you? 
Can you conquer the Leviathan? No?” 
At this point all of Job’s questions vanish and he says,
 “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eyes see You.” Job worships God out of his brokenness.
God does not answer Job’s “why” questions or deal with his confusion, nor does he
explain the conversation He had with Satan. He does not usually answer my 
“why” questions either.  Answers fail to alleviate the pain if they don’t speak into 
the deep recesses of my heart. I need the big picture: “Jane, where were you when
I hung the stars in space, when I set the ocean currents in motion, when the sun
began to flood the earth with light and beauty flowed forth in various colors?”
Suddenly the suffering of Job becomes the glory and majesty of God.  It really
is always and only about HIM, is it not?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rachel...Weeping for Her Children

I have penetrated this veil of sorrow, loss and grief, and now,
want to dig deeper. Where do I go? As I ponder this question
stories come to mind. The first one is about women...
“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the 
wise men, he became furious, and he sent and killed all the male
children in Bethlehem and in all the region who were two years
old or younger according to the time he had ascertained from 
the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet
“A voice was heard in Rama,
weeping and loud lamentation. 
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because
they are no more.”  Matt 2:16-18
Violence, death, helplessness, mourning, loss, wailing. Why?
Because a baby was a threat to the reigning king. All the males
two and under in the whole region, are dead. The “prince of 
peace” has arrived--and his birth has brought a sword.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but the magnitude of pain
in that one verse, takes my breath away. Why? Why did God not
prevent it? Why was there an ancient prophecy? Why did God
allow it, for what purpose?
I think about the women. Mary leaves ahead of the slaughter sitting
on a donkey with her baby safely tucked into her arms, while Rachel 
sits desolate, her arms empty. And where, pray tell, was God in all of this; 
distant, uncaring, asleep?

NO! Papa God was weeping over each woman; He was weeping over the 
dead babies, the little lambs who were now cuddled in His arms. What else 
caused Him to weep? Papa God was looking 33 years ahead and saw 
 HIS only Son, His innocent Lamb, flesh torn, hanging on a Tree.  God
spilling His blood to redeem evil man, even those who had killed the innocent
babes years before.  Another woman is in the picture. Her name is Mary
and she sits weeping, stunned, helpless, full of sorrow.

Papa God, I so misunderstand life when I only look at the now. I have to
see things from your eternal perspective with Your purposes in mind.  I 
still do not understand why the babies were killed, but I do know you
cared and there was redemption.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Firm Foundation

I find that if grief does not bring me to God's Perspective,
I cannot find my footing. I recently came across an old hymn 
that says it very well:
How firm a foundation, yet Saints in the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word;
What more can He say than to you He hath said
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
Fear not, he is with thee, O be not dismayed,
For He is Thy God, and will still give thee aid:
He’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by His righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters he calls thee to go,
The rivers of grief shall not thee overflow;
For He will be with thee in trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall be,
His grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee, its only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
He will not, he cannot, desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
He never will leave, He will never forsake.
Charles Wesley

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Grace Disguised

A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser
How The Soul Grows Through Loss
Jerry, a son, husband and father, loses his mother, wife and four year
old daughter in a head on automobile crash. Two small sons and a
daughter survive the crash in fairly good shape. Three generations of 
women gone in the blink of an eye. Jerry is transparent as he shares 
his difficult journey through dark days of anger and deep depression 
while at the same time caring for his three grief stricken children and 
working to pay the bills.
“The experience of loss does not have to be the defining moment of our
lives,” writes Jerry Sittser, “Instead, the defining moment can be our
response to the loss. It is not what happens to us that matters so 
much as what happens in us.”
Both of these books revealed unknown, unacknowledged and 
unexpressed grief in my own heart. This is not a bad thing
because a festering wound of any sort cripples and binds our 
hearts. God wants hidden things brought into the light; His light
of healing and restoration.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grieving Forward

This past week I read two books on Grieving and would like to
share them with you the next two days.
Grieving Forward
Embracing Life Beyond Loss 
by Susan Duke
Susan is a Mom whose first born son, her only son, was suddenly
killed in an automobile accident. In the book she describes her
raging emotions, the shock and disbelief when the doctor came 
and said, “I’m so sorry but we couldn’t save your son.” Susan was
under the impression that his only injury was a broken leg. This son 
of hers was 18 and loved life; he was a real joy to her. Susan takes her 
readers through the first few weeks describing in detail, the physical
and emotional impact of her sudden loss. She then introduces
us to the long journey through grief and anger to the point where her 
needs become a springboard bringing hope to many grieving
Moms. None of it was easy. It was not a short process and the
pain is still very real.

I have heard it said that at first pain will sit on top of you, then it
walks beside you, finally you walk on it--but it never entirely goes
away. Loss brings change, change that is permanent and to be
able to find new meaning a purpose in life is not easy.