Friday, September 28, 2012

The Flesh is Fixed in Stone

As a repeat from yesterday, a Christian does not have two natures.
This teaching actually is a reflection of Buddhism, typified in the 
ying and yang. The old nature has no power so Christ in me is
not battling the old nature. A believer’s old nature, the inherited 
life of Adam, IS DEAD, and the believer now has only one life within, 
the life of Christ. So why do I struggle so?

As I grew up I developed flesh patterns to make life work. I wanted
to be liked; I wanted to be safe; I wanted to feel good; I wanted things 
my way! I can’t change my flesh patterns by trying harder, reading 
“how to books” or listening to sermons telling me to do this or that program
in order to be good, or pleasing to God. When I stop dwelling in the Vine, 
I start using the patterns I have always used in order to feel better. The
flesh is fixed in stone. The Apostle Paul, the greatest Christian who has
ever lived put it this way: “In my flesh dwells no good thing.”

My Papa God knows what my default system is. He understands how my
flesh patterns grew and why I go there. He is not displeased by my flesh, but 
leaves it there so I will turn to Him and snuggle. I hate the feelings of 
vulnerability and failure. I want to stay hidden, strong and independent.
Here is the struggle for the believer: Keep going, push on, just do it, or
give up, surrender, and come back to the One who is Life. His is the
only Life within and without Him we can do NOTHING!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dead is Dead

Yesterday I wrote about our hope in His appearing and John says
that such a hope fixed on Him will purify us. (I John 3:3)

Back in Colossians 3 Paul says, “Therefore (since we have this hope
of His appearing) consider the members of your earthly body dead
to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed which amounts
to idolatry.” (Col 3:6)  Verse seven goes on using the past tense...”In them 
you also once walked.” 

When was the last time you saw a corpse smoking? Drinking? Dating?
How about struggling not to sin? 

Dead is dead. 

I used to think that there were two of me. A good me; a bad me-- kind of
like having a white dog and a black dog inside. Then I discovered that 
this does not come from Christianity. So, where does the struggle 
come from? Tomorrow, dear reader. I will look at this tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Christ is Revealed

When Christ who is our life appears, then we also will 
appear with Him in glory.” Col. 2:5

Yesterday I spent time looking at the fact that all Christians are 
hidden in God, but that position is not apparent to the human
eye. Christians and non-christians can look pretty much the same.

In this verse Paul jumps into the future to say, “That which has been
hidden away for centuries, will someday appear or be revealed.”
First Christ; then us.

...awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(I Corinthians 1:7)

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as 
yet what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be
like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” (I John 3:2)

Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John speak of a future 
appearance, a future revealing of Christ, at which time all of us
who are Believers will be able to see our true identity and the 
true identity of others.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but today I have hope even
when the headlines scream, “no hope.” Do you know Him?

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Hidden With Christ

“ have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Col 3:4

(I can't do on without looking at this again. And, yes, it may look
like the same thing all over again, but it keeps getting bigger!)

“I died, I'm dead, but I live.” 

The paradoxes can give me whip lash. How do I live if I am dead? 
My life, your life, dear Believer, is hidden with Christ. That puts us 
into a different realm, does it not? The real me, my true identity, 
not necessarily what people see, is hidden with Christ who dwells in 
another realm--an invisible realm. So, regardless of what happens 
here on earth, whether I recognize it or not, I am safe. Men can kill 
my body, but they can’t touch my soul.

Papa, It is a very strange thing to live in more than one realm at the
same time, especially when that “other realm” is invisible. It truly 
blows my mind at what I see in the scripture today. Dead, but alive,
not only alive, but dwelling in another dimension. I draw on You 
today that I may begin to grasp the truth. If I can just grasp it, this
truth will set me free.

To see my stories, Click here

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Invisible Revealed

I prayed to see the invisible through the visible.

Yesterday was a day of heavy rain and strong winds and I was
out in order to keep an appointment on the other side of the city.
Traffic was heavy, traffic lights were out, and driving was difficult, 
but I barely got wet, did not have a problem with falling branches
though I saw plenty of them on the ground just off the highway.
The power of God was evidenced in the storm, both in the wind
and in the rain as well as in His protection. The point is that I 
recognized it and was grateful.

This morning I opened the blinds and was struck by what I saw.
The sky across the lake was dark with clouds; the sun was shinning
in gold glory upon the houses against the sky. What a picture of God’s
beauty in the aftermath of chaos!

Papa, How swiftly you answered my prayer to see You in the visible
things around me. You highlighted Your handiwork through the storm 
and the beauty of the sunrise. How grateful I am that I got up early 
enough today to see the sunrise. Thank You for the show!

To see the story of our time in Holland, Click here

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Set your affections on things that are above, not on things that 
are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ 
in God.” Col. 3:2,3

Why should I set my affections on God? For the very reason that God in
Christ saved me through death and now I am hidden with Christ in God.
There is so much here. This word is not a passive word. I looked it up in 
the dictionary and was amazed to find three pages devoted to this three
letter word.  For us it boils down to:

Set: to fix the heart
Fix: To direct the eye without moving it. To fix your attention on 
something.  (Or to look steadily at Someone with your 
heart. My take on it!)

What a challenge these verses are to me! God is asking me to fix my
heart on the invisible, when the visible, tangible clamors for my 

Papa, I bring this problem to You. May I hear Your whisper today.
May I see the invisible through the visible. 

To see the story of our time in Holland, Click here

Monday, September 17, 2012


Paul goes on in chapter three of Colossians:
If then--see verse 12 in chapter three--you have been raised with Christ,  
seek the things that are above, not the things on the earth.”

As I was reading this first verse I found two things jumping out at me: “If then,”
and “seek.” I went back into chapter two to see what Paul was referring to 
and found those verses that thrill my heart so. Regarding the word, seek, I
often do the opposite and seek the things on earth like, food, friendship, 
starbucks, money, or whatever, as a substitute for Him. Why do I do this after 
all He has accomplished for me and in me? Well, “above” is invisible. Secondly,
I am uncomfortable as I view my own failures and foolishness down here in
light of God’s immensity, purity, and glory. When I meditate on me instead of
on Him, He feels distant; I stop pondering who I am in Him. Personally, I find
that I have to sit with Him, worship Him--music helps--, read scripture and be in 
fellowship with other Believers. Is that not seeking the things above? 

Papa, Thank you for the reminder today not only of what You have done for
me in raising me up with Christ into the heavenlies, but also, how I lose contact
with this reality if I do not seek you regularly. Relationship with You demands 
that I show up now and again!  Well, Amen.

To see the story of our time in Holland, Click here

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Orange

The speaker held up a large beautiful orange. It was just before lunch.
He then squeezed the orange and out flowed black goo. He told the 
people that God uses circumstances to reveal our hearts. The pressure
brings out what is in there--like black goo.

To see the story of our time in Holland, Click here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


In the last blog on Colossians, we heard, felt, saw, something really 
tremendous. It was like the crashing of a wave on the beach at high
tide, or the climax of an orchestra piece with the rolling of drums
and the clashing of cymbals. Listen to the music:”

“Christ utterly wiped out the damning evidence of the law...
Completely annulled it
Nailed it to the cross.  

He drew the sting of all the powers raged against us,
He exposed them as
In his final, glorious, triumphant act!  (Col. 2:14,15; JB Phillips)”

Then silence

Like a wave that crests and then retreats, Paul goes on and I 
paraphrase his thoughts:

“Well, if this is true, why do I get bent out of shape over the small
stuff people judge me on--like what I eat, whether I eat or fast, what
I drink, whether I am in church every time the door opens. When,
REALLY, it all about Christ.” (Col. 2:16,17)

Papa, I stand amazed at how easily I am drawn away from the simplicity
of Christ. I get caught up in what people think about me and thus I become
the center of my life.  I need your help here. I want to focus on what Your 
Son has accomplished for me in those hours he hung upon the cross.

See my new story:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Story

A new story is posted: "The Netherlands." After I wrote about our move from the states to Holland it seemed fitting to do a second story about our time there. It was an eye opener for me to see what God
did in our lives and the lives of those with whom we came into contact.  It was the best three years of
our time in the military and I want to share the story with you, dear reader. Click below--and enjoy.

Monday, September 10, 2012


In the next few verses Paul brings the circumcision part to closure.

The following verses are breathtaking, AND, life changing. At least
they were for me. I like the book of Colossians but I love what God
says in the middle of Chapter 2!

“You who were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of 
your flesh,
GOD made alive together with Him
having forgiven all our sins
   by canceling the record of debt
   that stood against us 
   with its legal demands.
This He set aside
nailing it to the cross."
(Col. 2:13,14)

Legally, the enemy has nothing on me except words of deception.
God not only has forgiven my sins but He has canceled the legal demand
which is the sentence of death to sinners. God said to Adam and Eve, 
“If you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will die.”
The separation from God happened immediately but physical death
took over 900 years. Legally, I am dead. BUT GOD, who is rich in 
mercy became a Man and took my sin and the debt against me into 
the cross when He died over 2,000 years ago. The record of my debt 
and its legal demands were nailed to the cross and I am free from the 
penalty of sin.

Oh, reader, ask Him to show you what this means for you today! 
Every time I read these verses I see something new!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I wanted to skip this verse. I tried to skip this verse. But, I heard my Papa say, 
“Go for it!”

“...and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made
without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision
of Christ.” (Col. 2:11)

Somewhat confusing but this confusing verse becomes more clear in 
Romans 2:29:

...he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of
the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men,
but from God.” 

(Please continue to the end.)

Why is Paul talking so much about circumcision? Because God set this up
as the centerpiece of worship in the Old Testament. In order to call yourself
a Jew, you had to be circumcised, if you were male. Women, of course, were
not included in this. Hmm.

The Apostle Paul was called to preach to the Gentiles and there was a HUGE
discussion over whether the Gentile Christians had to be circumcised in order
to be called Christian. Paul said a big, “NO!” This did not sit well with some of
the Jewish leaders who called themselves Christians. These men followed Paul
and would visit the new churches he had spent only four months establishing.
They preached, “You must be circumcised and you must follow the whole law 
in order to ‘be saved.’” These men were very persuasive in how they spoke to 
recent heathens who had no Jewish background. If they had been successful, 
the early church would have been birthed from law instead of grace. So Paul 
wrote his first letter to the Church in Galatia and then he mentions the issues 
of law and circumcision in other letters written later. It was an ongoing problem. 
One author called the men who visited all of Paul's church plants, 
“Paul’s thorn in the flesh.”

The really good news for both men and women, is that God now speaks to us
from the New Covenant where circumcision is all about the heart and God
takes care of this Himself, at the time of our salvation.


To see my stories, Click here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Today is a Special Day

This beautiful day marks the day we were married 42 years ago, as we 
said our vows in a small Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Pennsylvania.
The numbers keep rising, and the adventures continue. Fifteen months
after the wedding, during which time we lived in a 5th floor walk-up in 
New York City, we began our round the world tour with a 10 week stop
in India where Glen did a Tropical Medicine rotation for Medical School.
While in serving in the Military our family had the opportunity to live
overseas in The Netherlands for three years. Our children were in their
teens at the time and loved it. When Glen retired from the military we 
spent the next five years in Central Asia and Eastern Europe teaching
the principles of Community Development to the poorest of the poor.
It was called CHE--Community Health Evangelism. I loved getting my
feet into the “ends of the earth.” Our years together have been full of
twists and turns, but always upward.

So, Glen, I say to you, my dear husband, 
“Thanks, Honey, for the adventure it has been to be married to you.
You are one marvelous man and I love you.”

Go to stories and see: Moving, Military Style!
Coming soon: Our Time in Holland
To see my stories, Click here

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I like this word, “complete.” The dictionary defines it as, “to fill,
having no deficiency, perfect.”

“and in Him you have been made complete, (full) and He is
the head over all rule and authority.” (Col. 2:10)

Back in chapter one of Colossians there is a more complete 
description of both “rule and authority.” 

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on 
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or 
authorities--all things have been created by Him and for Him.
(Col. 1:16,17)

Jesus is the Creator of all. 
The Creator of all lives in me! 
He is the ruler over all rulers, 
whether they be kings, presidents, 
heads of churches, bosses, 
or the head of a home. 

I have been made complete in the One who is over all authority, all
rulers--visible and invisible. So, when I don’t like what is happening,
I can remind myself of just Who is in charge; the One who loves me
best, in whom I am complete, and, He holds my future in His hands
for His purposes. I am safe, even when it feels like I am falling.