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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Glen Time

Glen and I have been taking twenty minutes
each morning, coffee cups in hand, to sit before
God with a tiny slip of scripture. It is a time of
silence. I write something, check out another
verse, open a dictionary to get a clearer picture
of a word. Glen writes and the pages of his
Bible rustle. In the quiet God speaks truth. We
share what we have heard. We speak to God.
Then Glen goes his way and I go mine, united.

Thankfulness Corner
 Clear sharp air, setting sun, mountains--shadows

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning

Monday again. A blank page, a blank mind.
What next? I find myself muttering. Well,
muttering can be a good thing! I take a verse
and let it soak into my heart as I ponder its
meaning. For me, muttering is part of the
process. A verse does not become food for
you unless it has first fed my soul. Somedays,
dear reader, you get nothing, because I get

Thankfulness Corner:
 Leaf shadows flutter upon grass.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Not in Vain

So, what is the outcome of all this
incredibly good news? Paul
encourages us with these words:

"Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast, immovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing, that your toil is not in
vain in the Lord.
(1Corinthians 15:58)

In the light of all He is, God only
asks us to be faithful in His work.
Not in narrowness of heart, but in
the abundance of His resources.
Why? Because nothing done in
and through the Lord is in vain.
Did you get that? Nothing of Him
will be in vain. Nothing! Take
heart dear friend. The Father sees;
the Father knows.

Thankfulness Corner:
Incredibly blue Idaho skies

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Death Banished Death!

Paul says that the sting of death has been
banished. So, what is the sting of death?

"The sting of death is sin
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God
who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ."
(I Corinthians 15:56,57)

Well, I just finished reading through a
bunch of scripture to get some light on
verse 56. It seems that sin and the law
are joined at the hip! You can't have sin
without also having the law because the
law identifies what is sinful.
(Romans 5:12; 3:20; 4:15; 7:7
Galatians 3:10)

Death banished death! When Jesus
died, death died. Jesus took sin into
his body and banished the effects of
the law. Bet you haven't thought
about this too much. Go ahead, and
admit it! I'm in the same boat-- but,
this is worth some thinking time.

Thankfulness Corner:
The sound of a lawn mower

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Death Dies

We sat listening to the organ whose music filled
the church. As the melody rose and the stops were
pulled out, I could feel the sound throughout my
body. This is how I feel as I read the climax of
this chapter. Listen:

"When the perishable puts on the imperishable,
and the mortal puts on immortality, 
then shall come to pass the saying that is 

"'Death is swallowed up in victory'"
                                                       (Isa 25:8)
"O Death, where is your victory?"
"O Death, where is your sting?"

Isaiah wrote, "death will be swallowed up in
victory, but Paul wrote, death is swallowed
up in victory. Jesus conquered death then,
now and forever. Oh, yes, our earth suit
will die and return to dust, but not our souls.

Dearest reader, one day, perhaps soon, we
will be re-united with family and precious
friends. We will receive a new body--that
looks like us--a younger, slimed down,
unwrinkled, glorious YOU!

Thankfulness Corner:
The sound of gurgling water in irrigation ditches

Monday, May 12, 2014

Trumpets, Please

"For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable,
and this mortal body
     must put on the imperishable,
and this mortal body
     must put on immortality.
(1Corinthians 15:52b-52

Big words contain BIG things.

Imperishable: Not subject to decay, 
indestructible, enduring permanently.

Immortal: Unlimited existence, exempt
from death and annihilation. Having
life or being that will never end.

Here on earth the seed becomes a flower,
but it may be gone by evening. The
caterpillar becomes a butterfly that will
die four days later. But, when Jesus
comes into our lives eternal life comes
with Him. At just the right moment we
will rise to become what we truly are:
An imperishable, immortal, eternal being!

Show us Papa! Awaken our hearts to
embrace your plan for us. I don't want
to live in the dust when I have the
ability to fly!

Thankfulness Corner
Flowers dipping heads over newly planted pots

Friday, May 9, 2014

It Could Happen Tomorrow!

The pause ends. The organist begins to pull out
all the stops. Sound builds...Suddenly, I hear a

"Behold, I tell you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep,
but, we shall all be changed,
in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet..."
(1Corinthians 15:51

What a verse!!!! When the Bible speaks of
a mystery, it refers to something hidden. Paul
says that something is coming this way. In a
split second we will all be changed at the
sound of the trumpet. God does not work
out of an evolutionary process.

There will be a generation that will hear the
sound of a trumpet.

It could happen tomorrow!

Thanksgiving Corner:
A glorious day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Pregnant Pause

Paul is going great guns and then it seems he changes the
subject. It seems out of place but it is not:

"I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit
the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit
the imperishable. (1Corinthians 15:50)

Ah, there is a catch is there not? We must be born from
above in order to get into this Kingdom.

"Jesus answered him (Nicodemus), 'Truly, truly I say
unto you, unless one is born again he cannot see the
Kingdom of God.'" (John 3:3)

Jesus entered into death for us; we must enter into
His death in order to live. We lose in order to gain.
What a messy, unyielding, unpopular message!

Search all the religions of the world and you will not
find a single one that teaches that death and surrender
is the only way to have Eternal Life. Christianity is
not for the fainthearted. Even many who call
themselves Christians expect that doing good works
will get them into heaven.

Dearest reader, I pray that you may be able to grasp the
truth of what the scripture has said today. Your life
depends on it. The hope presented in the 15th
chapter of First Corinthians rests on the verses above.

Thankfulness Corner:
Constantly changing shadows over face of mountains

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Every Stock of Corn

We are in a stunning passage. Paul lays the foundation
for the most incredible news. Go slowly through the
following verses:

"Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a 
living being; the last Adam became a life giving spirit."

"First the natural, and then the spiritual."

"The first man was from the earth a man of dust;
the second man is from heaven..."

Drum Roll!

"Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust,
we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven."

Paul gives us a clear picture of what we can expect
because of what we see in visible pictures everyday.
Do you not get it? Every stalk of corn is a visible
picture of our coming transformation! And, I have
hundreds of them to watch...

Thanksgiving Corner
The sound of the wind rushing, rushing

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Raised to New Life

Yesterday we saw how a bare seed becomes a life
giving plant. In verse 42, Paul says it will happen to
us also:

"...So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is:

Sown perishable         is raised imperishable
Sown in dishonor       is raised in glory
Sown in weakness      is raised in power
Sown a natural body   is raised in a spiritual body"

My body sags, wrinkles and runs down, but one day I
will have an imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual
body! It will not wear out or get tired. Death at the end
of this life is not the end, but the beginning.

Thankfulness corner:
Ugly seeds ready for the soil, sun

Monday, May 5, 2014

Death BEFORE Life

I left you Friday with a question: Life and then
death; or death before life?

Paul puts it this way:

"You fool! What you sow does not come to life
unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body
that is to be, but a bare kernel." 
(1Corinthians 15:36,37)

Wow, strong language! He calls them fools as
if it should be obvious. Well, it is obvious every
spring when crops are planted. Several weeks
ago a farmer took kernels of corn and planted
them. Bare things. Dead looking. But, today I
see rows of green leaves. If I were to dig one up
I would not be abel to find the seed. The seed died
and gave itself up for the life of the plant.

Dear reader, this grabs me today. Over and over
scripture teaches us that death leads to life, not
the other way around. It begins with the death
and then the resurrection of Jesus. When we die
to our plans, purposes, strength and resources,
God raises us up in a new way. The dying part, the
surrender is so difficult for me. I want a break, yes,
I do! God and I are having quite a conversation
right now. You may not need to be in this scripture,
but I certainly do!

It gets better. I promise you it does!

Thankfulness Corner:
The song of a single robin.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Big Question

"How are the dead raised?
With what kind of body do they come?"

Paul's response: "You foolish person!
What you sow does not come to life
unless it dies."

Do you get this? Death comes before life!
We say life comes before death!

So, which is it? Good question.

Until next time...

Thanksgiving Corner:
Crisp clear days