Friday, August 31, 2012

Not Again!

Here is that sentence again: (for the third time!)

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have 
been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
(Colossians 2:9,10)

Now, how did that last phrase slip in?
How is it connected to the theme of fullness and filled?
Why in the world did the Apostle Paul put it there?

I probably could come up with something, but I have not had
time to ponder it, so I am going to pack it in and take up the 
pen--so to speak--on Tuesday.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Outrageously Wonderful!

Just when I am trying to get my imagination around the truth in
Colossians 2:9, “in him all the fullness of Deity dwells in 
bodily form,” I read on.  Actually, the sentence goes on into verse 10:

“...and you have been filled in him,”  New English Standard
“ him you have been made complete,”  ASV
“ have been given fullness in Christ,” NIV

The Apostle Paul writes long sentences in his letters and man has
divided these sentences into verses. However, verse 9 should NOT
have been separated from verse ten as they are of one piece. The 
subject of dwelling and filling continues and it is so important to 
read it that way.

Jesus is God incarnate and you, me, us, have been filled in Him, not 
with Him--how odd. Ponder this...

When did this filling take place? At salvation! It is written in the past tense.

If God filled me at the time of salvation, then I must have, within me,
all of God that I will ever need, right now. But, what if I don’t know this 
part of the Gospel? What if I think that I must work, work, work, in
order to be filled in Him? Knowing that I have been filled in Him,
changes the way I think, behave, and the way I live my Christian life.

Christ in me, the hope of glory! (and I don’t have to wait until I die
to experience His glory in me!)

My dear Papa, I need your Spirit to help me grasp Jesus in me. Give
me revelation and wisdom. Enlighten the eyes of my heart to know
the hope to which I have been called! And, I do pray this for others, like 
those who read this blog! How can we possibly grasp this truth 
without your help? It is unbelievably outrageously wonderful!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I  just returned from a long weekend with my dear friend, Sandi,
who lives in South Carolina now. We have known each other for
twenty years during which each of us has experienced both
tremendous joy and deep suffering. Long ago we decided to love 
each other no matter what took place between us. 

We had a wonderful time. We took our breakfast in the screened 
in area at the back of the house and also the front porch--for variety . 
Sandi puts together both color and comfort. From there we explored 
the charming downtown area of Aiken; the shopping mall in Augusta; 
Starbucks of course; and so much more. We spent evenings watching 
the second PBS series, Downton Abbey. And, oh yes, did we talk! We 
never seem to run out of words when together. Fortunately our men 
were busy elsewhere.

I am so grateful for my friends; love the variety. I find that with my
Christian friends especially, we can pick up where we left off even
after many years of separation. So, today I celebrate my friends and
give thanks to Papa for the richness of life.  

Sandi has contributed to my story page. See her two stories,
The Barren Woman’s Song, and Mimi.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Father's Pleasure

In the last blog we looked at a caution: Beware that you are not drawn into
the world’s way of thinking, and not according to Christ,

“For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Col 2:9
There’s that word “in” again. 

What an outlandish statement! The fullness of the Godhead dwells in 
Jesus bodily--not just in a vague spiritual sense. Has any man, any
spiritual leader of any religion ever made such an outrageous claim?

Paul gives us two more scriptures:

“For it was the Father’s pleasure for all the fullness to dwell 
in Him.”  Col. 1:19
“...God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself...” 2 Cor. 5:19

But what about the Gospels? What does Jesus say?
Take a look at John 14:

“He who has seen me has seen the Father” vrs. 9
“I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.” vrs 10
“Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else
believe on account of the works themselves.” vrs 11

Philip asked Jesus to do something all the disciples wanted. These
twelve men had walked intimately with him for three years and yet
it would take the resurrection for them to really see it.

I have spent the last couple of days mulling the simple sentence
written above. It won’t lie down and there is definitely more to come,
but I sense that it will take Eternity to fully unwrap it.  In the meantime 
I can say:

“Christ in me, the hope of glory!” 


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty
deceit, according to human traditions, according to elemental
principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Col. 2:8

So what would be examples of “philosophy,“ empty deceit” and 
“human traditions?”

1 God is irrelevant to life.
2  Political Correctness
3  "We have always done it this way."
4  "You have to compromise your core beliefs, or you are a bigot." 
5  "We can all work together for the common good."
6  "As long as you do your best, you please God." 

There are many other ideas floating around in our culture. Even if you
are “in Him,” Paul says you can be taken captive and rendered ineffective.
I am so prone to being deceived as the world’s thinking can really look good,
which is why I have to go back to God for His perspective. God has always 
shown me the truth about any given argument when I take the time to ask 
Him, and even when I don’t. He wants me to live, “according to Christ,” and
not according the the world's thinking.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Well, Paul uses the word “in” a great deal, but what does Jesus 
Himself say?

I found it in John 15:4,5 out of the Philips Translation:

“Jane, you must go on growing in me and I will grow in you” 
(“You will grow in me? Really, Lord?”)

“For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares
the life of the vine, so you can produce NOTHING unless you
go on growing in Me. I am the vine itself, you Jane, are a 
branch. It is the one who shares my life and whose life I share 
who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from
Me--booming voice--YOU CAN DO NOTHING AT ALL.”

“Nothing at all, Lord? Are you serious about this? Am I serious about 
this? I don’t think I have any idea just how intimately You are 
involved in all of my actions, my successes. You know, Lord, if
I walked in this truth everyday, the Christian life would be easy.”

NEW STORY, “My Psychotic Dog” : Click here

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Stunning Surprise!

Saturday afternoon Glen said to me, "I am taking you out for your
birthday dinner tonight so wear something nice. We will leave at 5:30."

Now my birthday was in July and at the time Glen had promised me a
surprise, but that was six weeks ago.

We set out for an unknown destination--just a tad late. The traffic
was heavy as we drove into Old Town Alexandria, VA, and
the first parking garage was full. But, by then I was pretty sure we
were going to The Chart House which sits on the Potomac River
and is one of my favorite restaurants. We headed upstairs into a
darkish room with full daylight streaming into the back windows.
I could see four people sitting at the table but I could not make out
who they were--until, I heard a familiar voice cry out, "surprise!"

I could not believe my eyes! My brother and his wife live in Lancaster, PA
and my cousin and his wife live in Boston, MA. Glen knew that I wanted
my 70th birthday to be all about family--and we did have a party in July
with our children and Glen's family in Weiser, ID--but I never dreamed
Glen would go to the extent of talking "distant" relatives into this. My brother
drove down from Lancaster and picked up my cousin who flew in. I can
understand why the Pennsylvanians were looking for a good meal, but the

My husband worked hard to make this happen.
My brother, cousin and their wives did their part.  Awesome!

Friday, August 17, 2012

How Do I Live This Christian Life?

"...IN HIM, Jane, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
(Col. 2:3)

"Therefore, Jane, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord--which, by the way
was by faith alone--, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established
in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." (Col. 2:6,7)

I like to imagine that Papa Himself is speaking to me about His Son through 
these.scriptures. It begins to be a conversation and draws me into the Living Word.  
In just three verses I counted five “in’s.”

In him
in whom are hidden
walk in him
rooted and built up in him
established in the faith.  

Really, the Christian life is all about Jesus!

I guess “in” is the “in thing” with God! 

NEW STORY, “My Psychotic Dog” : Click here

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Papa's Secret

As I continue to slowly read through the book of Colossians with you, with
a few digressions, I see the same theme over and over:
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Listen to Colossians 2:2,3 from the Phillip’s translation:

“...How I long for you to grow more certain in your knowledge and more sure
in your grasp of God himself. May your spiritual experience become richer 
as you see more and more fully God’s great secret, Christ himself!
For it is in him and him alone, that men will find all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge.”

How long does it take to begin to unpack these two verses? A lifetime and 
maybe even an eternity. What wonderful verses to use as prayers over 
yourselves and your loved ones. 

My dearest Papa, I pray that I would grow more certain of You. You are not
a distant, uncaring God. May my spiritual experience become richer as 
I gaze on Christ. Show me the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that 
are found in Him and Him alone.”

NEW STORY, “My Psychotic Dog” : Click here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to Coffee

What does being a “new creation,” with old things passing away and 
new things appearing, have to do with coffee?

An itinerant Missionary was speaking in a church somewhere overseas 
in the middle of nowhere. He asked the Pastor to stand up and then said,

“This man knows I love coffee, can’t do without coffee, but I have been at 
his house for the past three days and he has not offered me a single cup 
of coffee. Is that not true?” said Mike looking at the Pastor who was red in
the face and looking down at the floor. He nodded.

“However,” continued Mike, “When I arrived at his house I told him that
I had brought my own coffee and he was not to offer me any coffee. So,
it is TRUE by all outward appearances that your Pastor has neglected to
show hospitality, but the TRUTH is an entirely different matter.”

So dear reader, it is true that you may not feel like a Christian or act like a
Christian but the truth is that if you are “in Christ” you ARE a new creation.
Decision time: Are you going to look at yourself and how you measure up 
and pattern your life out of these observations, or are you going to believe
what God says about you and live from His perspective?

Believing God’s truth has brought a fundamental change in how I live!

NEW STORY, “My Psychotic Dog” : Click here

Monday, August 13, 2012


“...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; 
behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

This verse has always bothered me. I want to change the words to:

“If anyone is in Christ he begins to be better.” Or,
“If anyone is in Christ his behavior is perfect.”

According to this verse, at the moment of salvation something happens.
The old passes away and the new comes. At salvation I looked the same 
and I don’t think my behavior changed. The triggers that made me mad were
still there.

God told Adam and Eve that if they ate from a certain tree they would surely
die, but they did not die for another 900 or so years. Did God tell the truth?
Yes, because something deep inside of them died, that something called  
spirit; no longer could they walk and talk to God in the Garden. That dead
part of them has been passed down through the generations. No amount of
good works, nice thoughts, or successful living can change it. This is why
the law of Moses was fundamentally flawed in terms of salvation. BUT, 
when we accept into ourselves what Christ did for us on the cross, that dead 
thing comes alive! From this point on, no matter what our behavior, 
we ARE a new creation.

What does this have to do with coffee? Plenty! But you will have to wait
until tomorrow’s post. 

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Man Had Tears In His Eyes

Sometime ago I met a man who had grown up in an Orthodox Jewish
home. He had burned out on the law in his twenties so when he heard
the good news that Jesus had paid the whole price, he came to trust in
Jesus as his Savior. He carried a worn New Testament with him but it 
was the book of Galatians that was dogeared. When I asked him what
verses he liked he shared this with me:

“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written,
‘cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book
of the law and do them.’” Now it is evident that no one is justified before
God by the law for ‘the righteous shall live by faith.’ But the law is not of
faith, rather, ‘the one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed
us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written
‘cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree--’”  (Galatians 3:10-13)

These verses are indeed amazing but I could not see why this man had
tears in his eyes as he shared them with me. I did not “get it” at the time. 
I thought that he was a nutty, uneducated individual who did not yet 
understand how much work it took to be a Christian! Inside I questioned
his faith.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Moses was the lawgiver--laws he could not keep.
Jesus is the law fulfiller--He fulfilled the law, all of it, the whole thing.

To Fulfill means: To accomplish; to complete; to perform what is 

Jesus said this to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets,
I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:11

Since my blog on Moses I have wrestled with what Jesus accomplished
for us on the Cross and how to bring it to you, the reader. As Christians
we have heard the words but do we embrace the gift of a fulfilled law?
Jesus performed what was required in the law, so I do not have to perform 
to get God’s OK. THIS IS HUGE!

“For Freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not
submit again to a yoke of bondage.”  Galatians 5:1

Monday, August 6, 2012


We have been looking at a Psalm of Moses over the past few weeks.
He is the man who got the Ten Commandments that no one has been
able to keep--including Moses!  I wonder what it was like for the 
Israelites when Moses explained things?

“God says you have to obey all of these laws exactly!” 
“No excuses!”
“You better get it right the first time because you don’t get a second
“If you fail to keep the whole law, God will be angry with you.”

The penalty for NOT keeping all of the Commandments was death--
unless there was a blood sacrifice, but the blood of animals did not blot 
out the sin, only covered it. No one knew for sure if he would be accepted
by God and whether they had done enough to win His pleasure. What a 

I hear Christians today wondering if they have done enough to please God. 
Has nothing changed?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Clouds of Glory!

Last evening I was outside watering and my eyes traveled 
toward the light above me. The billowing clouds were radiant
with reflected light from the sun. The golden colors shimmered
and changed over the next 90 minutes. I have never seen a 
sunset that continued to flow in beauty for this long. The last
half hour found me sitting and drinking in God’s glory. The huge
cloud above was laced with gold, but the center of the cloud was
translucent in color. How can I describe it? I could also see light 
from the hidden sun streaming up and away across the sky above
the cloud. Lightning flashed inside of the cloud and I could not help but
think of the soon return of our Lord.
“Behold, he is coming in the clouds...” (Revelation 1:7)
“...then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds 
with great glory.” (Mark 13:26)
“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air...”
(I Thessalonians 4:17)
By the way, as I was watching the sky I suddenly realized that I
was being watched. A Hummingbird was poised just in front of
my face, and, for a few seconds I looked right into her tiny face.
Last evening was quite a show! And, it was free. I had the sense
that my Papa God was showing off just for me! He does that, you

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Finish Line

We are coming down to the finish line. I never intended
to do a “superficial” meditation on this psalm, but it has
unfolded in my own time with God. I use the term, “superficial,”
because I have truly only scratched the surface but pray that
you, the reader, will read it yourself and receive additional insights.
“Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.”
“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and, establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands.”
Ps 90:16, 17
How often I rush past His work with hardly a glance. My mind
tends to wander as a walk, drive, or water the garden. I miss the
majesty of the clouds at sunset, or how the light filters through 
the trees in the early morning. His glory is manifested all around
me, but I need Him to reveal it to me. 
Question: How important is it that our children and grandchildren
embrace the glorious power of their creator God?

I like the next verse and how the psalmist asks that God’s beauty,
or favor rest upon him. It appears that God is the giver, but not 
necessarily seen by the recipient.
Verse 16 mentions God’s work and verse 17 deals with man’s work,
or in personal terms, my work. I am made in God’s image and deep
in my heart I want my work to be eternal not just temporal in scope.
God needs to be the One who gives my work meaning and the fact 
that Moses repeats it twice indicates how important this is to him also.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

He Satisfies My Soul

“Satisfy us in the morning with your
steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all
our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you
have afflicted us,
    and for as many days as we have seen
(Psalm 90:15,16)
Out of the cry of the soul comes the realization that
God and God alone can satisfy--come what may.
True peace never comes out of circumstances, 
but turning toward God provides satisfaction 
in the midst of the circumstances. God’s sovereignty 
is hidden within these verses. No, God does not afflict, 
but He permits it. The important thing in these verses 
is that God can give joy and gladness in the midst of pain; 
in the midst of evil.
My Dear Papa, 
I love You, because You first loved me! You were satisfied 
with me at my birth before I did anything to give You love. 
In these verses I am reminded that circumstances do not 
have to determine my emotional state. Lately I have been 
looking at what I don’t have in my life instead of looking at 
what I do have--YOU. So, this morning I sit with You. 
I am so grateful for this blog which calls me back each 
day to the place where I can focus on You instead of 
circumstances and say with all my whole being,
“You satisfy me!”
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