Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Have Pressed Pause

I am now in an odd place of being between this and
that. I am doing a big project on Covenant which is
fascinating to me but I have no idea how to break it
down into small pieces. Our lives are somewhat in a
state of flux--good flux. Anyway, the bottom line is
that I don't know right now where God wants me to go
with the blog, so, you will have to check back now
and again to see. Each blog takes me about two hours
from start to finish and has been a major part of my
life for the past three years. There have been over
10,000 hits! You readers have been a huge blessing
to me and I do pray for you.

Ten Thousand Reasons

Monday, September 22, 2014

Seven Year Re-Set

The evening of September 24 begins a New Year on
the Jewish calendar. The day marks the 7th year when
God asked His people to let the land rest, to cancel debts,
to trust Him. Have you ever wondered why there are so
many down turns in the economy that begin in the
September/October time frame? Has it been something
you have even noticed? It has caused me to wonder...
Actually, there are mysteries contained in these patterns.
Jonathan Cohn has written a book called,
The Mystery of The Shemita--the 7th year--, in which
he takes the reader back to 732 BC where ancient
Israel's hedge of protection was breached by an enemy
attack. What does this have to do with America?
Everything! Cohn has done extensive research into
the major downturns of the stock market, and turned
up some amazing correlations tied to the Shemita.
The book is hot off the press. At the very least it is a
fascinating read. At most it shows the hand of God
in every aspect of our economy.

Reader, how comforting to know that God is sovereign
over the markets, the world economy, and, He is not
keeping these things hidden. What a great God is
our God!

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Died?

Yesterday I asked you, 'what died?'

My identity died. You see before I came to Christ
I lived out my life from the failure of Adam. He
passed it all to me when my life began. Sigh...
But, when I confessed my sin and believed that
Jesus died for those sins, I not only received
forgiveness but a whole new identify! 'Jesus
became sin so that in Christ I could become
the righteousness of God.'

Reader, I am no longer a sinner saved by grace.
I am a saint who sometimes sins. Do you catch
the difference? The first eight chapters of
Romans contains the most compelling argument
for sainthood--what we were; what we have
become. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

His Love is Amazing!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Two Points of View

Righteousness, or being right with God has two points
of view:
  • Righteous works--behavior oriented
  • Righteous identity--state of being
Most Christians think of righteousness in terms of 
their performance. Some are better at it than others!
Holy behavior is important, but Abraham was 
called righteous because he believed God. 

Salvation is a two sided coin.
  • Jesus living inside of the believer
  • The believer living inside of Jesus
Did you know that for every verse about Jesus
living inside of me, there are ten verses about
my being in Christ? 

God chose me in Christ before the foundation
of the world. You and I were placed inside of
Jesus before the world was formed. This is how
Paul can say, '...knowing this, that our old self
was crucified with Him.' Romans 6:6.

When you died with Christ, God executed 
everything about you He could not tolerate
as a holy God. He buried it all with Jesus.
(See Romans 6)

Dear reader, here is my question for you.
What died in you when Jesus died?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I see two pictures:

1. Jesus: glorious, beautiful, holy.
2. Jesus: sin drenched

I live inside time; God lives outside time.

Two thousand years ago, He, the Father, made His
precious Son to be sin. Outrageous, is it not, that
perfection took imperfection into Himself? Why?
So that in Him we might become the perfection,
or righteousness of God.

Righteousness: To be pure in heart, holy, a saint.

I cannot add or subtract anything to the following
statement: 'I have been crucified with Christ.'
'It is finished!'

Reader, did Jesus bear all of your sins when He
became sin? Are you now righteous in his sight?
The answer to that question determines your

My favorite rendition of Amazing Grace

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Big Word

'Jesus had to be made like us in every respect
so he might become a merciful and faithful
high priest in things pertaining to God, to 
make propitiation for the sins of the people.'

Propitiation--what a big word! It is defined
as the 'atoning sacrifice offered to God to
satisfy our God whose wrath is against us
because of our sin.'

To atone means 'to stand as an equivalent.
It results in reconciliation between two parties
at odds with each other.' Jesus stood as our

Ug, I hate to go from verse to definitions like
this, but we throw around these words with
little understanding of their true meaning.
Bottom line:

'For our sake he made him to became sin who 
knew no sin so that in him we might become 
the righteousness of God.' (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The priests never became a sacrifice; they
offered up the lamb. Jesus gave Himself as
the sacrificial Lamb...

Ah, reader, you have no idea how much I long
to fully appreciate what I have written today!

Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven

Monday, September 15, 2014


'Jesus had to be made like us in every respect so
that he might become a merciful and faithful
high priest in the service of God, to make
propitiation for the sins of the people.' 
(Hebrews 2:17)

Stop right here! Put up your tent. I want to camp
on this verse. Ponder with me on the wonder of

  • He was made like us in every way
  • So that He might become

Faithful--One who is firm in adherence to the 
truth, constant in performing of duties and 
services, exact in attending to commands.

'Since we have a great high priest...let us 
draw near with a true heart in full assurance
of faith...let us hold fast the confession of
our hope without wavering, for he who 
promised is faithful.' (Hebrews 10:21-23)

Dearest reader, ponder these verses. What 
does it mean to you right now, that Jesus is 
your faithful high priest?

Like Father, Like Son
Great is Thy Faithfulness

Friday, September 12, 2014

It is Impossible

The ingrained lie in each one of us is that 'God helps
those who help themselves.' Not So! You will not
find those words in the Bible. But do you think that
you should be able to live the Christian Life? Living
the Christian life is impossible. Try harder, fail. Try
harder, fail... Only One ever lived the Christian life.
His Name is Jesus. Jesus lives in you. He is your
life. He is your victory. He wants you to come to
the end of 'trying harder.' It is the broken vessel that
releases the fragrance within. Feeling broken and
helpless is not such a bad thing.

Reader, God is waiting for you to cry: 'Help!!!! I
can't do this. Lord, please live your Life through me.'

Thursday, September 11, 2014


'Jesus did not die to help out the angels but the
offspring of Abraham. He had to be made like
us in every respect so he might become a 
merciful and faithful high priest--for us.'

I love the word merciful. The verse says that
Jesus is merciful to his kids. We tend to think
that He expects perfect behavior, that He
stands in his perfect priestly garments with a
frown when we fail. Not so! His heart is
moved with compassion by our struggles.
He was tempted, but unlike Adam, did not
sin. He was made like us not to show us the
way, but to be the way. He who lived a
sinless life lives in us, so He can give life
through us.

Reader, does the fear of his displeasure keep
you in bondage? Jesus is your freedom!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Gold Nugget

We pushed our way into the bank to see the gold
nugget. I don't know what I expected but it looked
like an ordinary rock to me; nothing glittered,
nothing shone. The rock was balanced on a scale
with a four pound weight. That little rock weighed
in heavy!!!!

I am like that gold nugget. There is nothing on the
outside that makes me truly of value or different,
if anything, the body is aging into new folds and
wrinkles. BUT, the Lord Jesus and His glory dwells
within! CS Lewis wrote a little book called,
The Weight of Glory.
Glory is heavy--with promise

Papa--Remind me the of the value within the
Christians I encounter--regardless of the outside.
Each of us is a gold nugget, in a rather ordinary

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Forty Four Years

The number rolls off my tongue. The years roll back to
that special day when we pledged ourselves to each
other "until death do us part." That day I could not
even fathom the ten year mark!

Forty four years puts us back,
Before Roe Vs Wade;
Before desk top computers, Cell Phones, iPads;
Before Don't Ask Don't Tell; the Aids Epidemic;
Before the end of the Vietnam War.

Gas was 35 cents a gallon; rent in NYC, $95;
the home we bought in St Louis, $27,500.

Much has changed. New wrinkles and rolls. We
have lived in a bunch of houses in our many
moves; have traveled into the ends of the
earth, even lived overseas. Dull is not something
I would tack on to our life together! Friends of
every stripe and color live all over the world.
We are rich in so many ways.

We are a good fit.
We are good for each other.
We can see why God placed us together as man and wife.

Thank you, Glen, for loving me and being
there when I need you. I love you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We Can Live Free!

'...that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
and deliver all those who through fear of 
death, were subject to life long bondage.'
Hebrews 2:14,15

When Jesus died everything changed! Satan
lost, not just some of his power, but all of
his power. How does he wage war now?
Through deception. He is like the wizard in
The Wizard of OZ who worked his magic
behind the curtain. He was such a small
nothing. Yes, the devil can still roar, harass
intimidate and make our lives miserable--if
we let him. The truth is that Jesus, has
delivered--past tense-- us from sin, bondage
and death. We can live free! Jesus said,
'It is finished!'

A few days ago my blood pressure shot up
and I had some difficulty getting it down.
For some days I had been walking out of
my own resources in a series of difficult
situations. I was clueless but my body was
not. Fear had taken over. When I was a
child I posted this rhyme:

Fear knocked
Faith opened the door--
and, there was no one there.

Reader, the indwelling Christ is our only source
for victorious living.

In Christ Alone

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


'Since therefore the children share in flesh and 
blood, he himself likewise partook of the same 
things, that through death he might destroy the 
one who has the power of death, that is, the 
devil.' (Hebrews 2:14)

Jesus became like us in his suffering. But even
more startling, Jesus received death into himself.
He did this in order to destroy death and also
the one who uses death as a weapon--the devil.

Do you not think, reader, that when death entered
into Jesus, all hell celebrated? Satan thought he
had won. He now had the world and everything
in it. It was his, just as he had planned. Really?
Does it not seem that way sometimes in your

Thankfulness Corner:
Summer heat gone. Lows in the 40's

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

His Pleasure

Glen's brother and wife arrived late Friday afternoon.
Getting the hay in had taken time early in the day.
They came with a purpose: The wrap around deck of
40 years needed some serious help.

The two hour power outage left us in close proximity
by candlelight as we sat around the uncleared dinner

A sudden storm caught us by surprise. Lightning,
booming thunder, heavy rain soaked the land--and
the deck.

The goats next door discovered a hole in the fence
and followed each other into the pasture where
three calves grazed. It took time to sort them out.

Men gathered together around the piano in the
living room to practice, 'Be Thou My Vision.'
As the music filled the air in perfect harmony,
memories stirred of other times over the years...

What about the deck? It received its first coat on
Monday morning, followed by a surprise visit by
the family from Boise. The painting crew met for
Pizza. The second coat went on as Labor Day
waned. Mission accomplished!

Seriously, reader, God wrote the script. He
watched with pleasure as we received all the
gifts He had planned for us!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Into Darkness

Drum Roll!

Since, therefore, the children share in flesh
and blood, he himself likewise partook of
the same things...(Hebrews 2:14)

God stepped out of light and into darkness--
and became one with us. He identified with
my humanness--hunger, sleeplessness, pain,
thirst, hard beds and difficult people.

Reader, Image is everything, is it not? I
try to hide my flaws under make up and
hair color. But God in Christ takes it on.
He is the most real, authentic, transparent
One ever. But do we not measure Him
by the Christians we know?

Oh, my Jesus, have mercy...

Thankfulness corner:
Strips of golden light caress bales of bundled hay

Thursday, August 28, 2014


A friend attempted to post a comment but was
unsuccessful. She sees a disconnect between our
glorious Lord and the slaughter of the innocents
overseas. Well, here we are in Hebrews and
bang up against the issues of suffering and death.

Continuing from yesterday's verse:

'For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom
all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory,
should make the founder of their salvation perfect
through suffering.'

Can you think of one god out there that takes
into himself suffering, our suffering. I cannot.
I wonder if the phrase, 'made perfect through
suffering,' has to do with his identification of
us, for in the next verse the writer says, 'that
is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.'

Dearest suffering reader, your God entered into
the suffering of being human. He is not aloof
from the intense pain of the wanton slaughter
experienced by people just like you. Take heart.
Lift your eyes toward your Lord.

Beautiful Beyond Description

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Hebrews gives me spiritual heartburn! It is a heavy
meal from the first few verses. The first chapter
contrasts the Son of God with created angels. It is
no contest. Jesus wins hands down.
God puts everything under the control of His Son,
but we can't see it yet. I look around and see chaos
and disintegration at every level. Where is God in
all of this? Ah...

'But we see him who for a little while was made
lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned 
with glory and honor because of suffering death,
so that by the grace of God he might taste death
for everyone.' (Hebrews 2:9)

We see Jesus, not crowned with thorns, but crowned
with glory and honor. But, He first had to walk the
way of the cross and taste death for me, for you. I
love this verse. It moves me to the core. Death seems
to reign in this moment, but it controls nothing.

Dear reader, put down the newspaper, turn off the
TV and gaze upon your Lord.

'Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.'
( I sang this chorus as a young teen while at camp.
It was the life theme of the director. Have any of
you sung it?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

He Wraps Himself in Light

Who is this Jesus that I worship? The disciples
were continually amazed by Him. We read in
Matthew 17 that Jesus took some disciples up
to a mountain and was transfigured before them
so that "his face shone like the sun." A voice
spoke to them out of a glory cloud and they fell
in a terrified heap. John had a vision of His Lord,
resurrected and glorified, and he fell on his face
as one dead.

We each have a picture of Jesus that we carry
around in our heads.
But, is it anything like the real deal?

"He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God
and the exact imprint of his nature,
and he upholds the universe by the word of his
power." (Hebrews 1:3)

Well, I just want to fall on my face and worship
I am speechless. I have nothing more to say.
At least not today, not now.

He Wraps Himself in Light:

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Sturggle

I sit here and struggle. I have looked at David and
his God, Job and his God, but how do I focus on
the Son and his God? How do I comprehend His
greatness and then, dear reader, how do I use
words to draw you in? I don't want to entertain
you, but move your focus from yourself to
Someone so great He defies understanding.

The farmer is bailing hay today. He uses a tractor
to draw the loose hay into a baler that forms large
bails of hay to be picked up by another machine
later. But, God grew that hay quietly using water
and sunshine. Last evening the setting sun flooded
this field with a light that took my breath away!

We who have grown up with Christian concepts
and Bible verses can look at the most outrageous
statements and think, 'Oh, I've read this before.'
Yes, but each word of scripture runs deep. When
is the lat time you went for a swim?

Thankfulness Corner:
Sky and land colored by the setting sun. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Day of Wonder

Yesterday we took a day trip through the
mountainous terrain of Idaho and Oregon.
Winding back roads led us through valleys
beside rivers and up over mountains, hills
of sandy brown; each turn a new vista-- the
handiwork of our Creator. We followed the
Oregon Trail and thought of the plodding
pioneers who covered five or ten miles in
a day. They had time to absorb the beauty. 
Our conversation ran like this:

"Look at that!"
"Oh, its gone."

It was a day of wonder landscaped by our
God of Wonder.

"For by Him all things were created in 
heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. 
He upholds all things by the word of His 

Reader, this is your Lord!

God of Wonder

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Incomparable Jesus

"He is the image of the invisible God the first
born of all creation." (Colossians 1:16)

Jesus, born of a woman, is the image of God the
Father, whom no man has seen. Jesus said to
Phillip, "Whoever has seen me has seen the 
Father." Outrageous!!!! This Jesus and no other is
our Lord. These declarations are the cornerstone
of our faith, a stumbling block to the world. Many
talk about God, but Christianity, and only
Christianity has met the invisible God in the Son.

Reader, what we need more than anything else
is a far greater revelation of our Jesus!

There is None Like You!

Thankfulness Corner:
chirping crickets at night

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


The Centrality of Jesus Christ by T Austin-Sparks,
a British Theologian in the early 20th century, is
the size of a dictionary! I am blown away by his 
comprehension of the Christ who dwells in every 

One quote: "...the need of the Lord's people is to 
have a new apprehension of the greatness of their
Christ, a new appreciation of the Son of God's
love--what a mighty, majestic, glorious, wonderful
Son He is!"

No, I am not going to bore you by quoting a 
man, but I do want to focus on the Perfect Man
who took on flesh and became like us in every

Dear reader, open a newspaper, watch the news,
do we not need a far greater revelation of Jesus
than ever before? Come with me to see, "Him 
who for a little while was made lower than the 
angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and
honor because of the suffering of death, so that
by the grace of God, He might taste death for
everyone." (Hebrews 2:9)

Thankfulness Corner:
Long, fat stems topped with large Sunflowers

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Now?

Well, we finished Psalm 23. Really? I don't think
it is possible to completely unpack a verse of
scripture for eternity is too short to plumb the
depths of God. This weekend I have been
asking God, "What now? Where do You want
me to go with the blog?"

You must know, reader, that this blog is a
tremendous blessing in my life as I discover
hidden treasure. And, you are not just a
hidden number, you are a name and a face.
I write to: Sarah, Audrey, Chris, Linda, Lori,
Yo, Sandi, Corene, Marilyn, Eila, Leslie,
Arlene, April, Dee... Names keep floating
through my mind...My desire is that you be
refreshed and encouraged. May your roots
ever go deeper into Jesus.

Thankfulness Corner:
Pink mountains outlined in purple at dawn.

Friday, August 15, 2014

To Loiter, Linger, Dally

"...and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

I love that word "dwell" which means, to loiter, linger,
abide, dally, to continue long in a place.

For me it has the sense of coming home, of being at
home in a place that fits me completely. In my
imagination I see myself walk into the house of my
dreams. I kick off my shoes, lean back, sip a refreshing
cool something as I gaze through the clear side of the
room at the towering snow capped peaks in the distance.
A lion is taking a drink from the flowing stream as two
lambs frolic on grass that never needs mowing. My
grandchildren are busy climbing a very large tree.

Jesus says, "In my house are many mansions. If it
were not so would I have told you that I go to 
prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come again and will take you
to myself, that where I am you will be also.
(John 14)

Oh, dear reader, take some time out of your busy
day to ponder the words of Jesus. Let your imagination
soar. "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard...what God
has prepared for those who love Him." May Joy fill
you today!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Surely, Without Doubt

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life..."

Or, only goodness and steadfast love shall 
follow me all the days of my life.

It takes a lot of living, maybe even old age :-)
to really believe this! David says there is
nothing that has happened to him that is 
outside of God's goodness and his love. I 
can only get a handle on this by getting an
eternal perspective on life. 

The biggest question we can ask:
"Is God a good God?" Well, is He?

Thankfulness Corner:
Mosquitos, swarms of them in the evening 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

God Shows Off

I have always thought that Psalm 23 was about me!
It has been over the summer that I have really been
aware that God is showing off. (I have been in this
psalm since May!)

He is my Shepherd and this results in, "I shall not
want." Why shall I not want?. Because:
He makes me lie down and feed on His Word.
He leads me beside life giving water
He restores my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness
This path takes me into deep dark valleys
He is with me
He protects me against enemies when I am helpless
He rescues me when I get stuck
He prepares a banquet in the midst of my enemies.
He anoints my head with oil.

He is faithful and true even when I am not! He
initiates and I respond. He is always the Giver.
He is the Lover. It will always be so.

Thankfulness Corner:
Rain! Beautiful rain!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Cup Overflows

As you go back and read Psalm 23, notice that
it was written in the midst of life. Stuff keeps
happening to David throughout his life, yet,
God reveals Himself to David as Life in the
midst of death. He knew the Shepherd who
would "never leave him or forsake him." This
is why David could write, "my cup overflows."
An overflowing cup is not dependent on good
things happening. It is possible to experience
an overflowing cup in the midst of the worst

Dear Reader, has this been your experience?
Have you even thought it possible? Ah, that's
the rub.

God, give us eyes to see your abundance in
hard times.

Thankfulness Corner:
A quiet late summer day

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Oily Post

"Thou anointest my head with oil."

Anointing oil contains:
Liquid Myrrh
Aromatic Cane
Olive Oil
(Ex 30:22)

This fragrant oil was to be used only in a very
particular way--but not as a perfume!

As we look back, again, at Psalm 23, we find
that David is currently experiencing the valley
of the shadow of death. He is beat, the enemy
has not yet been defeated, but God sets a table
of refreshment while anointing David's head
with oil--fragrant oil.

Reader, God comes in the midst of the trial to
bless you and let you know that you are not
alone, ever. He is your provision in the valley.
Recognize it, receive it, rejoice!

Thankfulness Corner:
A phone call from a dear friend

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Table

'You prepare a table before me in the presence of
my enemies.'

The table is set, the dishes laid out, fork in hand,
the guest sits. Behind stands the Deceiver. "Do
you know where the food comes from? Doesn't
look that appetizing, does it? A little on the thin
side perhaps? Not quite what you are used to?
I've got a few side dishes to add and your favorite

But what is on this table? Provision, renewal,
sustenance, revival, purpose, direction, love,
laughter, peace, contentment...God provides;
I receive.

This table reminds me of many tables spoken of
in scripture. One story stands out. Elijah had taken
on the enemies of God and defeated them. A
woman threatens his life and Elijah runs until
he can run no more. He is more than tired. He
no longer wants to live. An Angel comes and
gives him bread and water. He sleeps.

'And the angel of the Lord came a second time and 
said, "Arise and eat for the journey is too great for
you." And he arose and ate and drank, and Elijah
went in the strength of that food forty days and 
forty nights.'

The table is set;
Jesus is Living Bread.
He is Living Water.

Reader, eat, drink and go in the strength of that meal!

Thankfulness Corner:
The setting sun is just above the mountain as we drive west.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


This is for someone out there in blogland:

'In Christ Jesus we work no longer for life but
from life. The summons of the gospel is to
behold what is accomplished for us in Christ
and to live in it. '

This pithy statement blessed me so much
yesterday. I stopped working for God
several years ago and my Christian life has
never been the same!

Thankfulness corner:
Peach Juice dripping off my chin

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


When life falls in, where do I go for comfort? Food,
internet, shopping, games, books... Well, in the end,
it leads to more anxiety.

As I pondered the verse from yesterday--"Thy 
rod and thy staff they comfort me," it led me to
the third person of the Trinity and to the fourteenth
chapter of John. Funny how the Old Testament
spills over into the New!

Just before Jesus dies He and his disciples have
dinner together, but fear has crept in. They know
that something big is coming and they are terrified.
Jesus comforts them as He uses both the rod and
the staff. The rod is the truth: "I am going away, 
you won't see me anymore." He follows this
statement with the staff of promise: "I will pray 
the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that He may abide with you forever."

The valleys in our lives are places of truth and
Jesus says that "If we know the truth, the truth 
will set us free." Every valley is also enclosed
by hope, the promise of God.

David fears no evil because God is with him,
and God knows how to use both truth and
promise to bring comfort.

Amazing God!

(I have never seen this before! I love it when
God gives me new insights as I mull on a verse.)

Thankfulness Corner:
The wall of eight foot corn around the house.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spare the Rod!

You have heard the saying, "spare the rod and spoil
the child" but in Psalm 23 we read:

"I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Our little group has been discussing this psalm and
last week we looked at the rod and the staff in
Strong's Concordance. The group was split over
whether the rod was for correction or for the killing
of a beast, the kind you meet in a dark valley.

Rod: Stick for fighting, Correction
Staff: Support, Sustenance
Comfort: To strengthen, invigorate, to cheer
enliven, to console, assist , encourage, to
ease and quiet. To give hope. 

The phrase above is so terribly important. David
claims he fears no evil, he is not afraid, because
God is with him, that God's rod and staff bring
comfort. How, in what way?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thankfulness Corner:
Sparkling jewels coming off early morning grass

Monday, August 4, 2014


Shadows seem to bump the light. I love to watch
the leaves blow in the wind on a sunny day. The
parts in shadow outline the leaves in sunlight. But,
there is no contrast in God.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from
above, coming down from the Father of Lights
with whom there is no variableness or shadow
of turning." (James 1:17)

There is not the slightest variation or the
slightest shadow in our God. He cannot give
to us anything sullied or warped. Every good
gift flows from our heavenly Father; He can
give nothing less.

Thankfulness Corner:
His great faithfulness!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Night Falls

So many are walking through very deep dark valleys
right now. Things happen that don't make any sense.
The world gets darker as values change, war rages
in various places, Ebola terrifies. Things that used to
be right side up are now up side down and in side out.
Old ways of getting life no longer work. Night falls.
Where can I turn? Well, how about the Shepherd?

"I am the light of the world. He who follows Me
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light
of life. (John 8:12)

Jesus is the light and that light shines out of me, is
seen by others in the valley even when I cannot
see by that light. However, I see the lights of those
who have gone before, and the light coming from
those who walk with me. This Light is in me, this
Light is with me. He will never leave me nor forsake 
me--no matter what!

Thankfulness Corner:
The first Sunflower is dressed in bright yellow.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Pause Button

I have hit the pause button because this verse
is so critical to every Christian.

"Even though I walk through the valley of
      the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For You are with me."

Yesterday I asked a question: Does God turn
His face away in disgust when you fail? Do
you turn your face away when your teenager
fails? Well, yes, that happens. But God is not
like us. He says very clearly in Hebrews:

"I will never leave you or forsake you."
(Hebrews 13:5)

Forsake: to quit, leave entirely, desert, abandon, 
depart from, renounce, reject.

Several years ago I met a woman who had just
moved into Assisted Living. She was confused
and bereft. But, her heart remembered that verse,
"only would someone show her where it was in
her Bible?" I just "happened" to have that
particular verse on a card.

David speaks of fleeing to the uttermost parts of
the sea, "If I say, surely the darkness shall cover 
me and the light about me, be night, even the 
darkness is not dark to You...for darkness is as 
light to You." (Ps 139:9-12)

So, you see, dear reader, you cannot hide from
God, and God will never hide from you! So many
believers think that God will not be with them,
rescue them, care for them, unless they get all
their ducks in a row. NO! His faithfulness, His
presence, is not dependent on us. Believe it--
and the darkness will begin to fade.

Thankfulness Corner:
The sunset began with gold, drifted into dazzling pink,
then outlined the clouds in salmon. Be still my heart...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Question

"Even though I walk through the valley of
         deepest darkness,
I will fear no evil--no harm."

Why? "For Thou art with me."

Several months ago I explored the deep dark
valleys of David's life. I do not believe that
David wrote this psalm early in his life. No,
he wrote it looking back on the faithfulness
of his God in every horrible situation. David
experienced the presence of his God by faith,
and the presence of his God without faith. It
was not his faith that kept God near, but
God's promise to David.

Dearest reader, is it not the fear of losing God
through unbelief that makes your valley's so
dark? What if you have been neglecting God,
do you think that He will reciprocate by
neglecting you? If you slip and slide down
into a dark pit through your own choices,
do you feel you deserve His back instead
of His face? Is that true? This brings me to
the question: Does God turn His face away in
disgust when you don't measure up?

Thankfulness Corner:
A dog who loves to play--even at age ten

Monday, July 28, 2014

Deepest Darkness

"Even though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death--or valley of deepest darkness..."

David speaks of the walk through a valley so dark
and so deep that it feels like death. Deepest
darkness: no light at all, can't see your hand in
front of your face, or the person standing next
to you. Separate and alone. Even if he can see
you, the darkness hides him. Who has not been
there? CS Lewis had something to say over the
death of his wife in A Grief Observed. He
called out to God and instead of an answer "he
heard the door slam and a bolt fall into place."
Sometimes the darkness falls suddenly but leaves
ever so slowly. These valleys sometimes seem
to run together, no light behind, and none ahead.
Every one of you reading this post has been there.
Where is God when you need Him the most?

Thankfulness Corner:
Shadows mixed with sunshine

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Indwelling

"He restores my soul and leads me in paths
of righteousness, for His Names sake."

His Names Sake? Yes! For His honor and
glory. But which or what Name is this?
Well, here are a just a few:

"Savior, Provider, Comforter, Peace, Redeemer,
Shepherd, Beautiful One, Righteous One, 
Faithful One, Holy One, Eternal One, Creator,

Now David knew God as the One who dwelt
near him, as the One he dwelt in. But he did
not know God as the One who dwelt in him.
How outrageous that God would live in him!
It was unheard of--before the cross. But, oh,
dear reader, since the cross, the Mighty God,
the Beautiful One, the Holy One--dwells in
us. He leads from within, and His righteous
Life flows out from each of us as we walk the
path given to us.

Oh, that I might grasp this and hold on. The
Faithful One abides in me even when I am
faithless. The wonder of it all. I am undone!

Thankfulness Corner:
Deep Blue Sky!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Initiator

"He leads me in paths of righteousness..."

As I ponder this sentence today, I am stopped by
one thing: God is the initiator. I am the responder.
It has been this way from the very beginning:

I did not choose God; He chose me. I did not
"accept Jesus as my Savior," no, He accepted me!
I only responded to what He had all ready done
for me. Don't you see, reader, we get it backwards
when we focus on what we are doing for God
instead of on what God has all ready done for us.

He leads me, but how?

Thankfulness Corner:
A low of 58.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


"He restores my soul."

Restore: To revive, to resuscitate, to renew,
               to bring back to life

David begins Psalm 23 by saying:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I will not lack."

Why will I not lack? Because He provides
green pastures, and still water in the
darkest of times; in times of failure. God
initiates everything. I am the dumb sheep
and cannot turn to Him when needy. I
certainly cannot provide for my own lack,
though I tend to try--harder.

If I know Whose I am, I will stop trying
to figure out all the angles when life goes
south. He Himself is my restoration. He
restores my soul!

Dearest reader, hang out with Him besides
still waters and see if He will not restore
your soul.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


"He leads me beside still waters."

Refresh: To cool, give strength to, to revive
               what is drooping.

Sheep will not drink from fast moving water,
so the shepherd takes them to water that is
both shallow and still.

But, why does He lead me to quiet water?
I like the sound of a babbling brook and I
love to sit and watch the surf crash against
the rocks in the ocean.

Quiet, still, clean water reflects the sky, the
trees, the surroundings. As I wait on Him
His heart is reflected. As I sit beside Living
Water, the Living God refreshes my soul.

O, Living Water, refresh my soul today!

Monday, July 21, 2014


"He makes me to lie down in green pastures."

Rest: To pause, to cease, stop, be quiet, still,
          to be undisturbed. 

I recently came across a picture of a man lying
on his back in green grass, with his arms flung
out and his eyes closed. It was a picture of
perfect trust and surrender. He was resting.

How can I rest when my heart is anxious?
How can I rest when my schedule is full?
How can I rest when I have so many needs?

I used to think that God threw us on the ground
and pinned us down so we had to rest! But it is
not like that at all. The Gospel is a place of rest,
of abiding. I eat the green grass of His Word, and
meditate on it, and I receive Life. My schedule
can be full, but my heart can be at peace. Our
journey is an inward one, which means that we
can find ever increasing rest in the midst of an
increasingly chaotic world.

Papa, if You did not initiate the "pause that
refreshes," I would never rest.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Little Lamb

Well, today will be the last day of the
first verse of Psalm 23--maybe. I know
that I have only scratched the surface.
Surely the whole gospel is packed into
those nine words!

"The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want."

When I was a little girl I was enthralled
with the picture of a shepherd holding a
little lamb around his neck. The story told
was that the lamb refused to stay close to
the shepherd and was in danger. So, the
shepherd broke his leg and then carried
him until he was all better. From then on
the lamb stayed close to the shepherd and
was safe. It was such a comforting story
and the picture went right to my heart. I
very much wanted to be carried, to be
close to the shepherd's heart.

Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd,
the good shepherd lays down his life
for the sheep...I am the good shepherd,
I know my own and my own know Me."
(John 10)

So, you see, dear reader, I cannot read
the first verse of Psalm 23 without wanting
to jump into the arms of my Shepherd. His
Name is Jesus. What a place of safety!

Thankfulness Corner:
Incredibly cool mornings, before the 100 degree slam!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Lord Is

This verse keeps unfolding as I ponder these

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

IS. Jehovah means "be"
Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM.
The Lord IS my shepherd. The "Be;" the
"always existing One;" the "I AM;" is.

I have to stop and step back from the
clamor and disfunction of this world,
otherwise I lose my balance; I lose
my connection with Him. I listen to hear
His voice.The I AM lives inside of me.
I catch this, then lose it, even as my fingers
close on the truth.
The Lord IS.

Thankfulness Corner:
Sun glinting off leaves of corn

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Name

The Lord is my Shepherd;
I shall not want.

What Lord?
What is He like?
Is He the only Lord?
Is He the top Lord?
What does this Name mean?

When I look into a verse instead of just at
a verse, I often have more questions than
answers and the questions become the basis
of my quest.

Lord=Jehovah: To be, to always exist,
self existent, eternal, unique, the only One.

This Name was so sacred to the Jews that
they neither pronounced it or wrote it out.
But David did both! He declared: "The
Lord (Jehovah) is my shepherd."

As a Jewish boy, David heard all the stories
about this God: how he created the heavens
and the earth; how He brought the flood on
the earth; how He came down upon Mt Sinai
with a trumpet, earthquake and fire! David
also heard how God saved Noah out of the
flood; how God called Abraham; how God
appeared to Moses out of the burning bush.

Yes, David knew all about the God of the
Jews, but one day, as David was tending
his sheep, God came and revealed Himself
to David as a shepherd. The shepherd David
had a revelation of an aspect of God that no
one had ever seen before.

Dearest reader, you can know all about God
in the same way you can know all about
George Washington, but it won't carry you
through the pain and inconsistencies of life.
May God reveal Himself to you personally.

Thankfulness Corner:
Grass, two chairs, two cups of coffee and Glen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The first line of Psalm 23 reads, "The Lord is my
shepherd, I shall not want."(lack) But, I feel the
lack of so many things. Little foxes of discontent
ruin my joy. Deep desire really has nothing to
do with things or circumstances. It has everything
to do with fundamental needs that God built into
me from the very beginning: I have a need for
love, security, value and worth, acceptance and
adequacy. Just like I cannot find the treasure of
wisdom in a quarry, I cannot find rest for my soul
in my relationships. Empty people cannot fill my
love tank!

I will visit this verse again tomorrow. It has been
water to my thirsty soul over the past week.

Thankfulness Corner:
Cool air flowing over my body at night.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Over So Soon?

The past two weeks I stepped out of the present and
into the past. It has been a full house here and at
"the place" where Glen's Mom lives. Numbers varied:
six, nine, twelve, thirteen, to twenty, then, back to
twelve, nine, six, and three. For the past twenty or so
years it has been the same. Mom puts out a list on the
kitchen table, and her son's come with the tools to fix,
trim, cut down--and food, lots of it! (This year it was
a new kitchen faucet, the clearing of the bank next to
the river; the hedge along the driveway cut back; built
in deck furniture taken apart and moved.) A puzzle
comes out. A niece arrives and bakes pies, cookies and
cinnamon rolls. Even so, brown cows are made nightly
with root beer and vanilla ice cream then served in large
beer mugs kept year round just for this purpose. As the
hot days melt into evenings, games appear, bedtimes are
pushed back. Mornings are never early! And so it goes.

Over? So Soon? Some things in life feel like they
should never end and times with family and good
friends are at the very top. I think it is because we
belong to eternity as well as to time. We "know"
deep inside that relationships are meant to be forever.

Thankfulness Corner:
The taste of cold tea on a hot day.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Forty two years ago, two unmarried and two married
brothers, and their brides, gathered over the 4th of
July to spend a week with Mom and Dad. A picture
was taken. Summers passed, sons married, babies
came, laughter flowed--and the double wide trailer
over a double wide basement, overflowed into the
house next door, an RV, a motel. Nine grandchildren
in all. Each summer a toy closet was unpacked by
eager hands; a pool table took on a life of its own
to the sounds of click, click. Outside, under large trees,
children squealed as they ran down the hill, as they
floated on a pond originally made for fish. The 4th
of July itself was one long picnic ending with a fire
works show in the backyard--serious stuff! And,
yes, each year a picture was taken.

The Dad/Granddad dies, the children grow up and
move away. Gone are the sounds of children's
laughter. But wait, not so fast! The Great Grands
come, pull out the toys, play on the pool table,
float on the pond, run the hill. A picture is taken.

Pictures pile up. Happy memories flow.

Thankfulness Corner:
For the moments of family and laughter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Childlike Wonder

We have had almost one week of a three year old.
The weather has been cool with plenty of Idaho
sunshine, but threatens us with 100 degrees today.
The three year old finds joy in everything--well,
almost everything. Noah brings life to the adults who
have forgotten what childhood is all about. His little
hand came in contact with a one week old goat. That
same hand steered a John Deere Tractor working the
fork lift as he helped drive around the parking lot.
Those hands worked a tractor puzzle numerous times a
day, with the help several adults who rotated through.
The train was a continuous source of delight. He held
a fishing pole at the local fishing pond, but caught
nothing. Perhaps night crawlers would make a
better bait, than ham.

I hear him calling. "I'm awake now. I want to go
potty now." Ah, Glen answered the call.

Last evening we had some friends over and with
them came four little boys who ranged from 5-10.
Sarah told Noah that friends were coming to play with
him. They scattered to explore, leaving the littlest one
alone. There he stood on the step yelling, "Friends,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Intimate God

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
(Ps 139:24,25)

We have come to the end of David's
short journey of prayer into the
wonders of an intimate God. It began
with a request; transitioned into flight;
ended with a heart cry. Once David got
a glimpse of the baby, his conception
and growth,  he was undone. Now in
complete trust David cries out:
"Search me, know me, try me, see me,
lead me!"

Dear reader, If you want what David
discovered, meditate through this Psalm
over the summer. Pray it as David did.
Ask God for insight. Share your
discoveries with others. It will change you!

Thankfulness Corner:
10 weeks, baby plum size
Grandson Noah, warm hugs and laughter

Family, vacation, two week interlude.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Warm Sand Falling

"How precious to me are your thoughts
           O God.
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than
           the sand.
I awake and I am still with you.
(Ps. 139: 17,18)

Dear reader, you are not just one of the
crowd. The scripture is  not speaking of
group thoughts melding together into one.
His thoughts toward us are singular. Each
one of us is an individual worthy of
thought, no, thoughts. God goes out of
his way to let you know of the multiple
thoughts He has of you each day.

Long ago I sat on the beach at Pensacola.
The fine white sand stretched as far as the
eye could see. I scooped up a handful
and let it trickle out between my fingers.
Warm sand, sparkling as it fell. Count it
I could not; enjoy it I could. "If you could
count his thoughts toward you, they
would be more than the sand."

If our enemy understood us as God does, he
would use it to torment us. What a nightmare!
But no, this God is the One who sent His
only Son to die in our place. He covers us
with his feathers, shatters mountains on our
behalf, goes into battle to save us. David is
thrilled to awaken and find himself still with

Reader, are you thrilled by your God?

Thankfulness Corner:
Car glides to a stop. Door opens.  Family spills out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Unformed Substance

This just keeps getting better!

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance
   in your book were written, every one of
the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was none of them."
(Ps 139:16)

In this verse we step out of time and into
eternity. God ordained all the days of our
lives before He began to knit. He is at
the beginning of our lives and at the end
of our lives, at the same time. Do you
realize what this means? You and I are
invincible until the days ordained for us
are complete. Once that day comes, we
slip out of our earth suit and into the arms
of our beloved Lord. There are no
"accidental" deaths in God's eyes. Our
dying does not take Him by surprise.
Jesus died on the appointed day. Before
that day, no man could take his life.

Dearest reader, does not this verse give
both comfort and security?

Thankfulness Corner:
The clop clop of a pair of horses and two

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Made in Secret

"My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the
(Ps 139:15)

I find it so comforting to know that God,
not chance, put me together. He picked out
the color of my eyes, my hair, my facial
features. It is interesting that He does His
work in secret for nine months. I have no
say in the process, but neither does anyone
else! He does the work "intricately." That
word means, "to fold, obscure, complicated."

God is BIG to me in every way. How is it
that the same God who set the stars in place,
weaves the tiny babe together from a single

It was as David meditated on the darkness,
that God brought him into the wonders of
the womb. Not just any womb, but the
one from which he was formed. His flight
from God is halted. Not only does God
know David, but David is now enthralled.

Dear reader, God knew you in Christ before
the foundation of the world. How awesome
is that?

Thankfulness Corner:
Goats, large and small, hidden in tall grass, eating. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

National Old Time Fiddler's Contest

Our little town of 5,000 swells considerably the third
week of June when people from all over arrive to camp
out on every spare spot of green. Glen grew up here but
as far as he knows, never picked up a fiddle. His dad,
however, was the MC who spun the jokes between
contestants. Some attended just for the humor! The
grandkids came but only one of the cousins ever entered
the contest. The town comes alive with the arrival of a
sudden flood of people. Fiddlers get together for
impromptu jazz sessions; vendors fill the park spilling over
into a blocked off street selling everything from Bling, to
hamburgers, to fast freeze liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Mmm, that was good! One booth dedicated to Medicare
was strangely ignored. Saturday evening found us wandering
through the park as we listened to live Blue Grass. People
brought chairs and blankets, kids and dogs. The weather
was perfect this year and there were lots of opportunities for
family fun. It is a wholesome week of entertainment in a
small Idaho community. Some things don't change much,
which is a nice change!

Thankfulness Corner:
Breeze gently cooling my cheek on a warm sunny day.

Friday, June 20, 2014


David is so excited by God's handiwork in forming
him, that he bursts into a loud, "Hooray!"

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and
       wonderfully made.
wonderful are your works;
       my soul knows it very well."
(Ps 139:14)

How long did it take David to write this psalm?
Days, weeks? How long did the psalmist ponder
his beginning and just how God was so beautifully
and intimately involved in his construction from
the very first moment? I sit here and watch my
hand move as I write. How many cells are involved
in the formation of just one word? I feel the pen--
yes, I start with paper and pen--, and watch it form
letters. The muscles of my fingers orchestrate brief
delicate movements. The phone rings and I stand
and walk to the other room. Balance, strength,
bones, big muscles are all coordinated by the
nervous system--sight, speaking and hearing. The
foundation of what I am able to do today, was
laid down the first three months of life in the sacred
place of the womb. Pretty awesome if you ask me!

Dear reader, you, too, were wonderfully and
fearfully made and knitted together by God
Himself. Hooray!!!!

Thanksgiving Corner:
From a raspberry to a medium green cocktail olive!
(God is knitting in this the 9th week.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Raspberry

In the previous verse David talks about how
his God sees clearly even in the dark places.
His thoughts turn to a very dark place indeed.

"For, you formed my inward parts;
  You knitted me together in my mother's
   (Ps 139: 13)

The question of "when life begins," ends in this verse!

God takes a single cell and begins to knit, divide,
knit, divide... Another word for knit is to embroider
something like fine lace. From fertilization to the
completion of all the basic parts, takes about three
months. By then the heart is beating and transferring
blood throughout; eyes and ears are visible; hands
and feet have substance; nerves move the
developing muscles; cartilage becomes bone. From
a single cell to millions of specialized cells in just
three months of knitting?

At eight weeks the wee one is the size of a
raspberry, but one week before was only the
size of a blueberry. It won't be long before the
babe moves into the veggie section!

Thankfulness Corner:
A very special raspberry!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Back to Psalm 139 as David is trying to figure
out how he can hide from God.

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover
   me, and the light about me be night,'
Even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light with you."
(Ps 139 11,12)

David cannot go up, down, flee to a distant
shore, or cover his head with a blanket to
escape his God. Our God has night vision.
He sees our trouble; He also sees those who
harm and destroy under cover of darkness.
He knows their hearts, their motives, and all
of their actions. Our God is a just God who
will punish the wicked for all their wicked

Sunday a family was watching the World Cup
in a small village in Kenya. A stranger walked
in and asked,

"Are you a Christian?"
"Yes," came the reply

The stranger then shot the man dead.
Forty eight Christians living there died
just three days ago.

We are living in the last days which are spoken
of by Jesus Himself. It is so important for us
to know God, to be able to trust Him.
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows--even in the
darkest of times.

In Times Like These:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Only One Week

As I listened to the excitement in Mary's voice,
and as I heard her laugh, I knew that the crises
was over. It has only been a week of extreme
distress. Mary was not in her room when I called
because she was attending a Bible Study!
Yesterday her friends helped her clear up the
medication issue, took her out to lunch and
agreed that this was the best next step. We talked
about her new apartment, the furniture she was
planning to bring over. She chattered about the
volley ball game--she did great--, the book club
she wants to join, the pleasant couple at the dinner

For the past few months Mary has had some
health challenges that have kept her close to home
and isolated. These issues have cleared up. Mary
is by nature an outgoing, physically active person.
This is a perfect fit--and, I have the old Mary back.

Hooray for friends who care for this woman!
Hooray for a husband who left her financially solvent!
Hooray for a God who tenderly cares for the weak!

"He directs our steps, our going out and our coming in."

Thankfulness Corner:
Down into the forties last night, heat--on briefly

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Question

What is it like to get older and to lose the ability
to be safe in your own home? Very difficult.

At dinner last night, the gentleman across the
table told Mary that once she came to stay,
she would never be able to leave. Well, that
got her attention. Was that true? No more options?
Stuck without an exit?

This morning Mary was given an envelope
with her name on it that did not contain her
meds. She returned the envelope to the Aid
but was not given her medications in return.
Mary went to the desk to get help and left
empty handed.

Today is Mary's last day as a guest and a
decision must be made. I listen to her voice
and give thanks because it is a lucid day for
my friend. She is calm and deliberate. As
Mary talks I pick up on her question. Can she
trust the staff to listen to her and meet her needs?
As an RN Mary knows that people with
cognitive difficulties can be discounted. The
facility is new, the food is excellent, but will
she have a voice?

This morning I read:

"If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost part of the
Even there your hand shall lead me
  and your right hand will hold me.
(Ps 139:9,10)

Last night a word of caution; today a med
error. Is God leading Mary to another place?
Praise God for dear friends of 45 years.
They know Mary, love Mary, listen to Mary,
and, they are with her right now.

Thankfulness Corner:
Bales of hay scattered throughout the field.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

God Came

Mary, my friend, woke up Wednesday to a not so
normal day. The suitcase was packed. A friend
arrived and looked at her pill box and found a pill
that did not belong which more than doubled the
amount of heart medicine. Anne went ballistic!
Soon a couple arrived to pick up Mary and take
her to a pre-arranged five day visit at Assisted Living.
They ran errands, had lunch, got her settled in her
room, took her out to dinner. Thursday morning I
got a call from a distraught, angry, fear filled Mary.
Her version: She was the victim of a plot to coerce
her into something she had not agreed to all because
of an extra pill! The next few days were awful as
Mary slipped into confusion and paranoia. Mary felt
trapped, unsafe, alone. I was frustrated because she
was supposed to feel loved, grateful, and safe.

Then God came.

A phone call this morning:

"Jane, I'm all right," said a calm familiar voice. "I realize
I need to lean on God and embrace what He is doing in
my life. I should have moved much sooner."

Mary knows that her mind is failing, but today she
decided to own it and embrace it as a gift from God.
Tomorrow may bring confusion, but today Mary walks

Dearest reader, what is God asking you to embrace?

Thankfulness Corner:
Wind in the tops of the trees, but not on me

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Confined revisited

I awoke this morning thinking about the verse
in Psalm 139 that speaks of being confined.
We can be physically hemmed in by illness or
prison. We can feel confined when we want
to go forward and our way is blocked. This
is a barrier to the soul and all of its desires.
Our spirit is never confined. Think about it.
God comes into our spirits and brings Life.
At the moment of salvation we are "delivered
from the kingdom of darkness and transferred
into the kingdom of God's beloved Son."
Our spirit is now outside of time and all its
constraints. It dwells in the eternals.

What is the point? The point is that when God
hems me in physically or emotionally, my spirit
is free to receive joy, peace, contentment. I can
choose to live out of my soul or out of my spirit.

Papa, I choose to praise You! I stand in awe of
your goodness to me no matter what the

Thankfulness Corner:
The water flooded corn field reflecting the sun

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where Shall I Go?

"Where shall I go from your spirit
or where shall I flee from your presence?
(Ps 139:7)

So, how does David feel after reviewing God's
omnipresence? He wants to flee! He wants his
space. He wants God's presence on his terms.
God is much too close. He knows far too much
about David.

What about me? How do I respond to such
intrusive intimacy? Well, it depends on what
kind of day I'm having. It also depends on
how I view God. I can see Him as distant,
objective, a harsh judge, uncaring, or, I can see
Him as loving, compassionate, long suffering,
kind, patient, as one who
"Bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things."

His Name is Jesus!

What about you, dear reader, do you
want to flee, fight or...?

Thankfulness Corner:
The doe moving through the corn field

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Have you ever felt the hand of God on you and
you could not move? The door was shut behind
and the way was blocked before you? You are
confined and there is no way out.

I sit here and go back over my history and I
discover many times that felt tight, cramped--
God was not going to change my circumstances.

David speaks to this:

"You have enclosed me behind and before,
   And laid your hand upon me." (Ps 139:5

The word "enclosed" means to surround,
shut in, confine on all sides, encompass.

David is saying, "God you have put me into a tight
place, confined me on all sides, and your hand is
heavy on me. I cannot move."

I have a dear friend whom I have known for over
45 years. Mary's mind is failing and today she
leaves her home and enters an assisted living
facility. It does not feel right to her; she is afraid.
Her friends and family weep over how her brain
and body are being hemmed in by the aging
process. Is God still in control? Yes, His hand is
upon her shoulder. Mary is dearly loved. Her
heavenly Papa will not let go of her in this new
season of life. It brings me comfort to know that
she is safe.

Thanksgiving Corner:
The bright new green growth against the dark

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Tongue

"Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
(Ps 139:4)

What does this mean? That God knows what I say
before I say it? Well, yes. But there is more. He
knows it altogether. He knows where my angry
words spring from. Did you know that anger is not
an emotion? It is the effect of an emotion. Behind
the angry words are very tender feelings, like shame,
guilt, fear. God knows why I say what I say. Some
of my emotional baggage is tied to events from
childhood. God knows that. He is tender towards me,
not judging me. I am the one who sits in judgement!
"I shouldn't say that, it isn't Christian." I try harder.
I push down the tender feelings and they become
a volcano, ready to erupt under the right conditions.

Dear Christian reader, God is not "seeing" everything
about you so He can punish you! He wants to see
you walk in the freedom His Son purchased for you:

"If the Son has made you free, you shall be free 
indeed." (Jn 8:36)

How does your Papa God bring freedom?  It is
certainly not in anger through punishment! The
psalm we are in offers many clues. Stay tuned.
This is good stuff!

Thankfulness Corner:
Mountains of red in early sunlight.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Tie

We had a pastor who would throw his tie over
his shoulder when he departed from the prepared
text. A few times his tie went from the right
shoulder to the left shoulder and then we knew he
had really strayed and it was anyone's guess as to
what was coming! Yesterday I used a verse from
Ecclesiastes three eleven. I have quoted this
line many times without actually looking it up.
I have now departed from Psalm 139.

My take: "God makes all things beautiful in its time."
It reads: "God has made all things beautiful..."

Has made is past tense. How odd.

Has made in Hebrew comes from a root word:
To do or make in the broadest sense. Accomplish,
advance, become, fashion, maintain, perform,
prepare, surely, thoroughly.

It appears to me that God has made everything
beautiful at a prior point, maybe even before
creation? That the beauty He all ready established
will become apparent at the appointed time. Here
are two scriptures to make you think:

"...he chose us in him before the foundation of
the world." (Ephesians 1:4)

"...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
world." (Revelation 3:18)

Reader, what if everything was finished before it
began? If that is true, then we cannot mess up
God's plans or purposes through our failure! Does
this not free you to enjoy Him and all He has

Thankfulness Corner:
The cool breeze from the window on a sunny day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Ways

"You are acquainted with all my ways."
(Psalm 139:3-b)

Reader I would love to skip this part of the verse
and skate into verse four. You see, Psalm 139 is
quite personal. I invite you to meditate through it
with me. Please, if you get an insight, don't hesitate
to comment, to share it with me and with others.
Meditating in scripture with others is really a fun
way to study God's Word!
(You will find the comment box below.)

"God is acquainted with all my ways."

He knows that I have a tendency toward haste.
I make quick decisions and sometimes these
decisions make life harder. Last fall we moved
rather quickly. Yes, we prayed about the timing,
where to go, but not how to go. I purchased the
tickets to fly out to Boise when a bad event was
dumping tons of snow across our trip path--and,
I didn't want to lose money on the tickets.
Consequently, it was hard on us, the movers--
personal friends--, and the dog. If we had taken
six or seven days, visiting friends on the journey,
instead of twelve hours, the intensity of the move
would have lessoned.
Then again--maybe not!

"God has made all things beautiful in its time."
So, dear reader, take courage. You cannot mess
up, even when you mess up!

Thankfulness Corner:
Robin is singing as I write

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our Journey

On a journey of rolling roads, train tracks, a river.
As we near Baker we are stunned by snow capped
peaks before us then down, down into the valley
where wagon trains once stopped to restock, fix
broken parts, study the formidable Blue Mountains
across the long valley. Some decided to stay. We,
however, continue to drive the Oregon Trail in
our air conditioned vehicle that moves effortlessly
on a smoothly paved trail through those same passes
of long ago.

Eventually, we leave that trail to head north east
into Washington where the topography shifts to
rolling green hills of various shapes and hues.
Fertile land is covered by green--grass green,
wheat green, barely green, pea green, then fallow
fields of brown.

Evening falls and with it comes the delicious smell
of sweet from blooming Locust trees and the Wild Rose.

What a deliciously beautiful country we dwell in!
With every new vista I see the handiwork of
my God.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Winnowing on the Journey

Well we are now in the third verse of Psalm 139.
(There is more here than meets the eye!)

"You scrutinize my path and
     my lying down
And are intimately acquainted with
     all my ways."

Well, I looked up the word "scrutinize" and it
is defined "to winnow." The word path means,
"my journeyings." (stay with me!) So, it could read,
"You winnow my journeyings."

When wheat is winnowed the husks blow away
and the kernels of wheat fall to the ground. The
wheat is then gathered up and one of two things
happens to the kernels before it can be multiplied.
It is either planted back into the ground or crushed
to make bread. In both cases the wheat has to die.

"Papa, let me get this straight. This verse seems
to say that as I go about my daily life, You are
in the process of getting rid of the chaff after which
I am either buried or crushed so others can receive
life? I don't like the process. It has been a hard
journey for me. However, it does put suffering
into a better perspective. The petty things that
harass, such as the inconvenient phone calls,
the car not starting, the missing house key--those
are the things that winnow..." All of this is easy
to say but not easy to live--with joy!

Thankfulness Corner:
Pools of water reflect the sky

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Yesterday's verse came with a myriad of questions.
The second verse begins to unfold as to how God
searches us:

"You know when I sit down
     and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar."

Sitting down? Standing up? How often I go
from one position to another. Does God
watch me casually from a distance or is He
present? Why does God care to know what
my body is doing at any given time?

He discerns my thoughts from afar: He
knows what I think before I even think it?
Or, does this mean He knows why I think
this way? Is He like the thought police
who want to catch me in a wrong thought?
Well, it depends on my view of God...

Reader, these are good questions, are they

Thankfulness Corner:
The flash of a bird with an orange breast.
A robin in the midst of hundreds of blackbirds!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Yesterday I blogged on "Searching for Treasure."
Today I opened to Psalm 139:1:

"O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me."

I got out my Strong's Concordance and read:

Search: To penetrate, to examine intimately
Know: Regard, understand, privy to, perceive

I then began to ask questions--of God

  • When did You know me intimately?
  • You knew me by searching me?
  • Did You perceive what it means to be me?
  • Did You like what You found?
  • Are there no secrets from You?
  • Are You searching for hidden treasure?
  • Am I a treasure to You?
  • Can I trust You?
The time today ends with a whole lot of 
questions but few answers--yet...

Thankfulness Corner:
Clear bright lines of light fall from ceiling
down wall--at daybreak.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Searching for Treasure

Ann VosCamp was barely able to get up mornings.
Her world had fallen apart at the tender age of four
when her little sister was hit and killed by a truck.
Every unexplained tragedy onwards left her twisted,
angry, depressed. One night Ann had a dream, a
vivid dream, of dying. She awoke heart pounding in
a pool of sweat. Amazed at her reaction to death,
Ann discovered she wanted to live, not die! This
dream, her journey, her search for living treasure
brought her to a single greek word: Eucharisteo.

Dear reader, this story, has become a springboard
for me. Each day I search out God's gifts to me, so
easily missed before. Hidden treasures of hope, joy,
encouragement, desire fulfilled. I want to live,
really live, until the moment I close my eyes for
the last time.

Have you read one thousand gifts yet? You
will be glad you did!

Thankfulness Corner:
Fresh, cool morning air through open window.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Puppet Show

The eight year old daughter sighs, then she
sighs again. Down goes her pencil."I hate
writing. My hand is so sore!" The mother looks
up and asks what the tired daughter would like
to do. "Can I do a puppet show," asks she with
shining eyes? With a nod of assent from her
mom, the small one bends down to write the script.
Within a few days she has put together a shoe box
stage, popsicle puppets, scenery, sound effects.

The script came out of Proverbs:
"If you seek for it (wisdom) like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    then you will understand the fear of the
    and find the knowledge of God.
    For the Lord gives wisdom."
(Proverbs 2:4, 5

Scene One
A boy is digging in a quarry. (Rocks bang)
A girl comes up to him.

Girl: "What are you doing?'
Boy: "I am digging for treasure"
Girl: "What kind of treasure?"
Boy: "I am digging for wisdom."
Girl" "You won't find wisdom in a quarry.
            You find it in the Bible.
            Come home with me and I will show you."
Off they go together.

Scene Two. Next Day
A woman is digging in the quarry. (bang, bang)
The boy from yesterday comes over.
Boy: "What are you doing?
Woman: "I am digging for treasure"
Boy: "What kind of treasure?"
Woman: "I am digging for wisdom."
Boy: "It is not here it is in the Bible."
         "Come home with me. I will show you."

This eight year old grew and one day she
graduated from high school. She was asked
to speak. The topic chosen was "Wisdom."

Thankfulness Corner:
Rows of corn lined with canals of water.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

To Be Known

I have a deep longing to know God and to be known
by Him. Oh, it is not that God does not know me,
but I want to know how he knows me--with affection,
distain, disappointment, formally, or as a parenthesis
in His busy schedule? Am I just one of many, or
does He know that I love chocolate mint ice-cream;
a warm fire on a cold night; a good book with cups
of tea; friendships and Starbucks; long walks in the
woods with my dog; gardens overflowing with color;
birds, but especially the Goldfinch and the Merganzer?

To know Him and to be known by Him-- essential
for this day, this hour. Perhaps we should go on a
search of some sort...

Thankfulness Corner:
Walnut trees shed leaves onto lawn--every day

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

one thousand gifts

I am reading one thousand gifts by Ann Voscamp--
for the second time. The book is pithy with deep
insights into life in general and Life in particular.
What is her secret? I have pondered the question
and have come up with this answer: Ann gathers
before she scatters. Ann is a meditator. She reads the
written Word and then wallows in a truth until it
becomes a life giving revelation to her. The Word she
embraces goes from her head to her heart during the
course of a very busy life. The breakthrough came
the day Ann encountered the Greek word,
Eucharisteo. That word changed the way she
looked at everything and brought her into intimate
contact with the Gift Giver Himself!

I so appreciate Ann's writing style, but even more,
I love the truths that have deeply ministered to me.
She is the reason I added "Thankfulness Corner" to
my blog. As I have listed the gifts from my Papa,
life is now landscaped by the eternal, not just the
temporal. A bonus:  When I read over my list, I can
clearly remember the scene that caught my eye
months ago. The feelings, smells, sounds come
flooding back.

Dear reader, make haste and order her book!

Thankfulness Corner:
Precious women; remembering