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.