Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Cry of the Soul

“Return, O Lord, how long?”
“Have pity on your servants.”
(Ps 90:13)
Is there a gap between verse 12 and verse 13?  It would
seem so. Verse 13 is a cry from the heart.
How many are saying today:
“How long before I sense your presence?
How long before I see justice?
How long do I have to endure pain, weakness, weariness, 
a lousy marriage, a rebellious child, be without a job?”
This cry is found all through the scripture, in almost every
story. Even in the book of Revelation we see souls
beneath the altar who cry with a loud voice, “O Sovereign
Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and
avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
(Revelation 6:10)
The cry of the soul is really asking, 
“Is God good?”
“Is God good to me?”
“Does God love me?”
Papa, even as I write this my own unanswered prayers
almost overwhelm me. I am in the prayer of Moses. His
prayer is my prayer:
“Have pity on me.” 
“Deliver me.” 
“Give me a new song.” 
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Heart of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days,
that we may get a heart of wisdom. 
        (Ps 90:12)
I read the word, “so,” and it takes me back to what?
It takes me back to previous verses showing that man 
is fragile and does not live very long.
When I was young I thought I would not die; that
life would progress at a steady pace; that everything would
be the same--forever!  Well, by the time I finished nursing school 
everything began to shift. Change can happen slowly, almost 
imperceptibly, or it can be severe and immediately life altering. 
Regardless, by the time one is 70, changes are not subtle!
Moses is saying here that we need to take the time to realize
how fast time goes, as this leads to wisdom.
Papa, show me what really matters in life!
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Friday, July 27, 2012

How Bad is it, Really?

“For we are brought to an end by your anger;
     by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before You,
     our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath.
We bring our years to an end like a sigh.
For the years of our life are seventy
     or even by strength eighty,
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
     they are soon gone, and we fly away.”
Psalm 90: 7-11
I see Moses looking back and contemplating his life. He had
been “herding cats” through the desert for forty years. His memory 
drifted back over those who were killed or had died out-- all because 
of rebellion. Almost an entire generation, GONE.
A friend has been reading through this Psalm with me. She
does not like it. From verses three to eleven it is depressing, 
simply depressing. But, think of it this way: if the patient does
not know just how bad things are, will he search for remedy?
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Like a Dream

As I took a quick look at the next two verses in Psalm 90,
I could not believe it! There was the word, “dream.”
"You sweep them away as with a flood;
they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers."
Think of a village tucked at the bottom of a mountain.
The rain falls, the water gathers together, and suddenly,unexpectedly, 
the village vanishes under flood waters. Mount St. Helen’s erupts, the side 
of the mountain slides off and shoots down into the valley sweeping away 
everything in its path. How about the fire storm that suddenly swept into 
Colorado Springs?
Moses says that this is what we are like: a dream, grass, flowers. 
God simply breathes and we vanish. It is like we never existed. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Watch in the Night

By now, dear reader, you probably have your nose in 
Psalm 90 because you are wondering where all this
is going.
In verse 4 it appears that Moses is taking a detour:
“For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.”
Actually it is not a detour just more bad news. Moses 
is pointing out that there is GOD and then there is MAN. 
GOD has given MAN a certain number of years to live 
but not even Methuselah lived a thousand years. We 
think that life is so long, but it is hardly a blink of God’s eye. 
I got a taste of that blink when I came back from two weeks of
vacation with family, (read, grand baby). It seemed no time at all. 
It was like a dream when I awakened in my own bed, in my own 
home, my vacation over. Was I really there? 

Monday, July 23, 2012


In verse three Moses says to God:
“You return man to dust
and say, ‘Return, O children of man!’”
God made man from dust and man
returns to dust when he dies. Not a very 
auspicious beginning-- or end.
Why does Moses need a dwelling place, a place
of safety? Because the man Moses is physically
only a pile of dust!  Hum...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sun Glasses

Glen walked into the family room and asked,
“What are these?”
I stared at the hand holding my missing sun glasses.
“Where in the world did you find them?” I asked.
“They were sitting in the basket in the kitchen!”
Dear reader, these new sunglasses had been missing for
three days. I had called every store I had visited earlier; both
of us had been in said basket several times during the
search. As a matter of fact I had emptied the basket at one
point! We were speechless. (The dog was innocent this time.) 
I have no idea whether we had both somehow overlooked these 
oversized glasses or if Someone had delivered them to the basket 
when we were not looking. Regardless, I could see God's 
fingerprints. He is in the mundane! 

“From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God!”

Thursday, July 19, 2012


“Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
ever from everlasting to everlasting,
Thou art God.”  (Psalm 90:2)
The second verse is like a pipe organ with all of the
stops pulled out on the last phrase. I need the King James 
in order to capture His glory and majesty. He is God--
before creation, before the mountains were raised up.
He is still God in the present moment. From the beginning
to the end, from everlasting to everlasting, He is God!
Listen to the beat:
When life implodes:
“Thou art God!”
When fires, earthquakes, floods come:
“Thou art God!”
When nations rise against nations:
“Thou art God!”
When I wake in the morning:
“Thou art God!”
I revisit this verse when I read the newspaper,
when my flight is canceled, when I have a bad
Lyme day. Oh, dear reader, listen to the music--
“From everlasting to everlasting
Thou art God.”

Stories are a place of encouragement.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Psalm 90

A Prayer of Moses, The Man of God
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place
In all generations.”
Psalm 90:1
Dwelling place: A refuge, a place of safety, a home
For all generations: Not just in the past, but NOW!

Psalm 91 verse one continues this theme:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty... 

My dear Papa, You are my dwelling place, but 
often I am so busy going here and there, that I 
forget, not just the dwelling place, but YOU. Things
are going pretty well and I can handle life. Not so!
I am  glad that I don’t have to be conscious of 
where I live in order for it to be true. It is true
whether or not I sense that I am safe. You indeed 
ARE my refuge, a very present help in trouble. 
Dear Reader, He is your dwelling place also, even if
God does not feel real to you today.

Do stop by tomorrow so that together we may swim in this sea of Life. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Extraordinary Ordinary Day!

My United flight was canceled and I was rescheduled for the next day.
Hum. Wonder what God was up to?
When I got to the gate I found myself seated next to a woman who 
looked as if she might be from Idaho rather than DC or Chicago. I 
introduced myself and we started to talk. Not only was this stranger
from Idaho but she grew up in Weiser and had Glen’s parents as her
principal and librarian in Junior High School!  Karen knew Glen’s brothers. 
Now how could something like this "just happen?”
On the trip from DC to Chicago there was a  passenger in the middle 
seat next to me. He was a seven year old Chinese boy who was going 
to pick up his plane to China in Chicago. This wiggly talkative young boy 
was flying to China ALONE--and not for the first time,either, although 
I think his older brother was with him the previous summer. 
He had an 18 hour flight ahead of him.
I listened to him chatter:
“I can speak chinese clearly and with the correct pronunciation.” he
said proudly, “My classmates are stupid.”
I wondered, “What does he know about Jesus?”
The only thing I could think of was to sing him a song:
“Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.” etc.
When I began to sing about Jesus the boy’s eyes became
wide, but when I finished he said with an emphatic tone,
“Jesus is old and weak!”
I wish I had thought to ask him how he knew this, but 
I was so taken aback by his response I was speechless.
My ordinary travel day became an extraordinary day
very quickly. I had anticipated that God had something
in store for me as He had “gone out of His way” to inconvenience
a whole bunch of people! Evidently a problem in Atlanta 
had disrupted a number of flights. I wonder how many
of the passengers considered that God was in the mix?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The House Next Door

More on our time in Idaho:
The house next door to Ruth’s house is for sale.
We call the owner and troop over to see the house. Glen is quiet, the kids 
and I are excited. We walk into a sweet refurbished kitchen and then into 
the living area. I love the look and feel of the house and, compared to 
Northern Virginia, it is a very inexpensive house to live in as it can be 
heated with wood in the winter, and needs little air conditioning in the summer, 
not to mention the low property taxes. It would be a delightful place to live! We 
can see the Snake river from the second story back deck which could be glassed in.
So what is the problem? My husband is not interested in moving back to Weiser
right now; he is not finished with his career; he is content with the way things are. 
I am the one who is restless.
For two days I plotted the move: where to place my furniture, how to make all of 
this happen-- but I did not call the realtor...
On the third day I surrendered:  
“What is your will, Papa?”
The most beautiful thing happened at this point. I “saw” that God knew the
deep desires of my heart and that He could meet them at any time. It is nothing for 
Him to do so. I have been looking for a “home” since leaving my childhood behind
at age 18. (First it was school, then apartments, then the military.)
A song rises in my heart:
“This world is not my home I’m just a passin’ through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue...”  
I can wait...I am, even now, at home in Him!
( I shared my love for Weiser, Idaho in a blog called, “The Place.”)

Friday, July 13, 2012

HER Lawn

I arrive on Sunday, but the wind did a number on her
beautifully manicured lawn on Friday night. 
“The mowers come on Tuesday and all that has to be picked up 
and I guess I’ll have do it,” she murmurs. 

I look at her lawn and it looks fine to me.
The next morning I went out early for a walk and noticed the sticks
hidden down in the grass so I spent the next hour collecting and disposing
of sticks and pine cones. The trash seemed to multiply. But, it was such a 
joy to do this for my 88 year old Mother-in-law, Ruth. 
The next thing I knew, Ruth was talking to a teenager and asking him to
come over to do some projects including the lawn. I tried to show her that
I had worked on it, but to no avail. Imagine my surprise when the teenager
found an hours worth of sticks and pine cones! I watched him.

I was triggered!
I was MAD!
“I did all that work, and, without a kind word, she is doing it all again?”
“I can’t seem to please her when I try to do the outside work. She does
it over again”--for this was not the first time this sort of thing had happened.
“I can tell by the way she looks at me that she is not happy with me.”
(which was not true!)
This sort of conversation within myself continues throughout the afternoon.
A little grumble here and a little grumble there can become a big overflowing
outburst and then what? I have a wonderful mother-in-law who has a passion
for the outside of her house. She almost died four months ago. What is all this
about, really? Me! If I concentrate on the beautiful person she is and all the fun we
have, if I look at the whole instead of the quirks, then things drop into perspective 
and I can let the whole thing go. My sweet Papa shines the light into my heart;
I receive His perspective, and peace reigns!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On Turning 70

Admitting you're 70 isn't easy.
It takes courage.
It takes humility.
It takes five to ten years...

(By then 70 looks awfully good!)

The little saying was printed on a framed picture
and was given to me by my husband when I turned 50.
I passed it on to a good friend when she had her 50th
birthday.  It seemed appropriate again so I just changed
the number...

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Monday, July 9, 2012

"The Place"

Two weeks have passed and I am back in Virginia. It seems like a dream.
So fast. Where did the time go? I want to introduce you to "The Place."

Glen's parents had lived in Weiser Idaho for most of Glen's life but in
1968 they bought some property outside of town on the Snake
River, and they put a double wide trailer over a hole that became the
basement. Glen and I married in 1970 and I first visited "The Place"
Christmas of 1971. That was the beginning of my love relationship
with both the house and the town which still counts 5,000 residents--
though not the all same people! It is a farming community where
family values stand and where there is a church on almost every corner.

We brought both of our children to Weiser as infants. (Now my grandson is
crawling down the very same set of stairs.) As they grew up cousins arrived
and everyone came together around the 4th of July for food, fun, and our own
fire works. Our kids spent two summers with their grandparents during the
transition times of changing military bases.

In the early years it was all about the children. They have all grown up now,
and scattered. Glen's Dad died 22 years ago and since then it has been about
helping Glen's Mom, Ruth, stay on this beautiful piece of property. Her four
sons and there wives come together around the 4th of July with tools in hand
to prune bushes and trees, dig up things to replant, clean out the concrete pond,
so it can be filled with clean water, and get rid of "stuff" that has collected in the
garage and the red barn. Ruth at 88 still runs the show and can be seen out
in the yard encouraging and even working alongside her kids. When the 4th of
July arrives that work stops and the center moves toward a huge family picnic
out on the deck under trees that started out so very small.  It was and is, our home.

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