Tuesday, December 29, 2015


For me the days between Christmas and the New Year
are a between time. The mad rush of shopping and
parties are over. Family has returned home. The
New Year has not yet begun. It is a quiet time
pregnant with possibilities. I catch up. There are letters
to write, turkey soup to make, friends to call, and time
to walk. With temps in the teens, and six inches of
snow on the ground, walks are shorter than usual. We
took the path less traveled today and I discovered new

During this week I spend more time sitting with my
Bible letting God speak to me regarding the coming
year. He usually gives me scripture or a few words to
ponder. This week I have come across three words
over and over:

Steadfast Love

Love and Faithfulness feel warm and fuzzy. I like those
words. But the word "suffering" seems prickly like
the seed of a Puncture Vine. Suffering and a loving God
don't go together in our minds, do they? I wonder how
a sovereign God views these words? Think about it.
Love and Faithfulness became a Man and died on a

I have a feeling we will revisit this topic in the coming
year--here on the blog and personally...

In the quiet of this week, ponder this with me.

Happy New Year, reader!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joy Comes in the Mourning

Yesterday we looked at the babe born to Mary
in the darkness of night. Today I want to look at
another Mary, Mary Magdalene, out of whom
came seven demons. Talk about darkness!

It is the end. Three days ago the light of Mary's
life died on a cross and with that death Mary
lost everything. Everything! The poor woman
has been weeping ever since and she is not
sleeping. Mary comes to the tomb while it is
still night only to find the tomb is empty.
Crushed she turns away in absolute despair.
Not even a body to bring her comfort!

Mary turns and sees someone through her tears.

Jesus says to her,
"Woman why are you weeping."
    What a funny question. It is a cemetery!
"Who are you looking for?"
    She had come for a corpse.

Pause: Jesus does not speak his first words after
his resurrection to the men, the brave hearted, but
to a woman. A weeping, despairing woman. No
faith here. Reader, Jesus wants to know you in your
feelings and your words. He wants to know you so
deeply. Love never hides from the beloved. Total
safety; total trust.

Back to the scene where Resurrection Life stands
looking down at a weeping Mary who sees nothing
but blackness. "You weep, but maybe there is
something else, a new possibility, beyond all logic."

"Why are you weeping?" It is a question to gently
bring her into joy never before defined. Death is
gone, defeated. A new way of living stands before
her. The invisible is dancing with laughter.

Then Jesus speaks her name: "Mary"
His voice penetrates her to the very core. He's alive!
She grabs hold of Him.
"I'm alive, but we are not just going back to what
was. I'm alive so all impossibility is possible."

A new word comes into being: Joy! The joy of
God comes. He comes in. We are in Him.
Intimacy not doctrine.
Jesus is alive!
He's alive!
He sets us free from the possibility of death.
He brings us out of bondage.
Gone are the negatives!
(bits and pieces taken from JOY
by Malcolm Smith)

I cannot do Christmas without the cross where all my
sins were nailed. But I cannot do Christmas without
the resurrection either. And, everywhere I look in
scripture I see that He is coming again for me and we
will be together for all Eternity. Birth, death,
resurrection, return. What a package!

I know this is long but there is so much. If you
have some time over the next week, go to the
website below where Malcolm Smith spends an
hour at the tomb with Jesus and Mary. It will be
an hour well spent.


He's Alive! An old piece but so uplifting!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Splitting the Darkness

Mary gives birth to a Son in a dark stable, at night.
The shepherds watch sheep the same night when
suddenly light splits the darkness and an angel
makes a great announcement. He says that this
night Light has been born

What happened to this Light? This Light was
crucified on a wooden cross because men prefer
the darkness.Why?

Reader, I have been pondering the contrasts with
all the lights of the season shining out from trees
and buildings, but the reason for the season is not
to be found! I have not seen one nativity scene
peaking out in the dazzle of the light shows.
The birthday child is not honored.

Are not we who live at the end of the age, finding
that there is deep darkness settling around us?
Jesus was not born in an easy time for Rome
pressed a heavy boot on tiny Israel. The law was
a burden the people lifted every day. No, the
Savior came at a time of darkness and fear.

Isaiah says, "The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land 
of deep darkness, on them light has shined."

Take heart, dear reader, for deliverance is closer
than you think! He IS the light of the world.

For it is the God who said, 'Let light shine out 
of darkness,' who has shone in our hearts to give 
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in 
the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

He has come. He will come. He is always on time! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Death is Swallowed Up

We visit First Corinthians fifteen one last time.
But, it is not yet finished.

...But when this perishable will have put on the
and this mortal will have put on 
then will come about the saying that is written:

'Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?'

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.

Oh that we may see and understand this great
mystery that God is ready to unfold in our
generation! Paul says that God Himself gives
us the victory through our Lord. So in this
between time how then are we to live in light
of our glorious future?

'Therefore, my beloved brethren, 
       be steadfast,
       always abounding 
 in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord, 
       your toil is not in vain..

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Mystery

Mystery in scripture is speaking of something that
has not been known or understood but is now
being revealed.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
Nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

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;
for the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable,
and we shall all be changed.

Wow! Reader, the resurrection is like the small bare
seed that brings forth the mighty Oak. What we will
be is hidden from our eyes for now, but God has
given us first of all spring when all the seeds come
up in completely different forms and secondly, God
has given us the resurrection of His Son.The scripture
above speaks of an instantaneous transformation.
One moment you are on earth and the next moment
you are totally changed--in the blink of an eye!

As for this moment, the land has put on a white
garment which makes it a real possibility that we
will have a white Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Yesterday we looked at differing bodies of things
in this dimension, but today we will get a glimpse
into another dimension.

Paul has just gone through the differing bodies in
this world and now he makes an odd statement:

So also is the resurrection of the dead.

It is sown a perishable body
      It is raised an imperishable body
It is sown in dishonor
      It is raised in glory
It is sown in weakness
      It is raised in power
It is sown a natural body
      It is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body,
      there is also a spiritual body.

I am not making this stuff up! He continues to
lay out his arguments for resurrection:

The first man Adam became a living soul.
The last Adam became a life giving spirit...
The first man is from the earth, earthy
The second Man is from heaven.
The organ swells to its most glorious sound:

... just as we have born the image of the earthy,
    we shall also bear the image of the heavenly!

Well, reader, is not this the most glorious
message for this Christmas Season? I just
read an article that said in the month of
September a Christian died every five
minutes from violence erupting because of

Thank God for resurrection!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Two Questions

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

Paul spends several verses on the seed that is
sown, the bare kernel such as a grain of wheat.
What grows from that seed is God's choice.

Paul says that all flesh is not the same flesh:

One flesh of men
Another flesh of animals
Another flesh of birds
Another of fish.

He continues:

Heavenly bodies and earthly bodies differ
      in glory.
Even the stars differ in glory.

Glen and I were watching a dvd in which the
heavens were displayed as one galaxy after
another appeared on the screen. To compare
a grain of wheat with a galaxy is not a fair

The glory of the heavenly is one
The glory of the earthly is another.

There is one glory of the sun,
and another glory of the moon,
and another glory of the stars;
for star differs from star in glory.

So, reader, where am I going with this? It is
not where I am going but where Paul is
going. I am trying to unpack something that
is beyond comprehension! It keeps getting
fuller as the organist pulls out all the stops...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Life from Death

Paul says:

'What you sow does not come to life unless it

What does he mean?

A long time ago I read a book by a Chinese
believer entitled, The Seed must die. His son
had been killed by the Japanese and his sorrow
was so great it felt like death. In that sense he
died also. As he worked through his pain he
came to the place of forgiving the man who
had killed his son. Corrie Ten Boom was able
to reach out and shake the hand of a man who
had been responsible for the death of family
members, who was now a brother in Christ.
Jesus says,

'Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies, it
abides alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit.
Jn 12:24

Believe it or not, it suddenly came to me that there
is no resurrection unless there is first death.

Reader, are there situations in your life that feel
like death? Expectations that have crashed?
Promises that have died? Friends who have
betrayed you? I can identify with each of these.
We have a choice, we can either surrender our
loss and pain to God--fall into the ground and
die--or we can become bitter and abide alone.

What happens to the seed that dies?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wake Up!

Reader, in our journey through First Corinthians 15,
we read, 'For, as in Adam all die...but wait! 'In 
Christ shall all be made alive.' Paul keeps churning
out verses, each pregnant with depth and awe. Hope
grows, crashes, grows again:

'Then the end comes.'
He must reign until he has put all enemies under 
        his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death'


"If the dead are not raised, 'let us eat and drink for 
tomorrow we die.'"

Paul is building the concept that it is resurrection
and only resurrection that gives us hope. No wonder
in this Christmas season we perceive such a sense of
despair. Anyone who really looks at the brevity of
life, the fragility of our bodies, has to eat, drink, and
buy, in order to survive.

WAKE UP!  Reality is not necessarily what you think
it is...

Friday, December 11, 2015

First Fruits

The fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians is like a
symphony, a mystery story, where all the pieces are
laid out in order before the climax of symbols, drums,
trumpets. The beginning is the Gospel, then comes
the essential resurrection of our Lord. Now as the
music plays, another layer is added.

'Christ is the first fruits of resurrection...'
     First fruits? You mean there's more to come?

'For as by a man came death, 
by a man has come also 
the resurrection of the dead'
Drums, Symbols, Trumpets, please

'For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ
shall all be made alive.'

Paul goes on to clarify

'But each in his own order. 
Christ the first fruits,
Then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Reader, if you are a believer, resurrection is in
your future!!!!!

I found the most beautiful rendition of
Handel's Messiah on You Tube. Let it play in the
background and be blessed.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

He Lives

Everywhere I turn in scripture I bump into the word,
'resurrection.' But I must stay in this place for now...

Paul begins this glorious chapter by focusing on the
resurrection of Christ. All that follows is predicated
on the fact that Jesus did, indeed, rise from the dead.
In fact, Paul makes the case that without the
resurrection, we are still lost:

'...if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then
our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain...
If Christ has not been raised your faith is futile and
you are still in your sins. (1Cor 15:14,17)

Reader, where are the founders of the major religions
of today? I would submit to you that they are, dead,
buried, lifeless--except for One. Jesus lives. And,
because He lives, I live also.

Do you need encouragement today? Check the video

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Empty Manger

The 15th chapter of First Corinthians begins with the
Gospel and ends with the demise of death. In between
Paul concentrates on resurrection. The words 'raised'
and 'resurrection' are found in nineteen verses but
implied in almost all of the verses--58 verses in all.

So, you ask, why are you talking about resurrection?
Two reasons. I just finished reading 1Corinthians 15,
and secondly, because of a discovery last Sunday. I
was admiring the Nativity scene on a table at church.
Such rich colors. All the pieces were turned toward
the manger in an attitude of worship. But wait, the
manger was empty, baby Jesus was missing! As I
stood there pondering all the worship without the
presence of the babe, some scripture floated through
my mind. 'He is not here for He has risen,' and
'why are you looking for the living among the dead?'

How true! When Paul preached he rarely mentioned
the birth of Jesus but usually went to the crucifixion
and then camped on resurrection. Skim through the
Epistles and see what you find.

So, reader, as you come to the manger this season,
continue on to the life giving resurrection of our
living Lord!

'He is not here, He has risen!'

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I have set my blog primarily to encourage Christians
in these difficult days. But, what is a Christian? Paul
says it all in these few verses:

'But I would remind you, brothers,  of the gospel I
preached to you, which you received, in which
you stand, and by which you are being saved, if
you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless
you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I 
also received: that Christ died for our sins in 
accordance to the scriptures, that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day in accordance to 
the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then 
to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five 
hundred brothers at one time.' (1Cor 15:1-6)

We did not pursue Him, He pursued us. We did nothing
to obtain our salvation, Christ did it all when He died,
was buried and then resurrected. We are not saved by
praying a prayer, being baptized, joining a church, or
doing good works. We are saved when we believe the
Gospel as written above.

Reader, we are warned in scripture that many will
come and declare themselves to be Christ in the last
days. Everything points to these days as the last days.
I would encourage you to search the scriptures and
see if these things are true.

PS Here are some scriptures to back up what Paul
was thinking when he used the phrase, 'according
to the scriptures.'
Death: Ps 22: 14-18; Isaiah 53:5
Burial: Isaiah 53:9,12;
Resurrection: Matthew 16:21; 17:29

Monday, December 7, 2015


Did you know that Charles Wesley, the brother of
John Wesley wrote 8,989 hymns? Below is an
excerpt from his Prayer Journal:

I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what
you will: put me to doing, put me to suffering: let
me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Incompetent, Uncaring, Powerless

Yesterday caught me by surprise early in the day as I
received a message of failure, loss and turned inward
to the worst sort of self-centeredness: self-pity. I
turned away from Life and bought the lie that God
is incompetent, uncaring and powerless. That IS what
we believe when we get caught up in the 'woe is me'

This morning I dove into Ephesians 1:15-23 in
preparation for the class on Sunday. (Honestly I am
not making this up.) Here is the gist of it:

That you may KNOW

  • The hope to which you are called
  • The riches of his glorious inheritance
  • The immeasurable greatness of His power
Well, I bowed my head, confessed and repented.
Repentance means to turn around and go the other
way. I turned from myself to Him whom my soul
loves. I confessed self-pity and the implication of 
the belief that God is powerless. Joy, confidence are 
restored. Wonderful!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


We have entered into the 'season of joy.' It is a
season of generosity, celebration, candles, trees,
chocolate, eggnog, music and parties. It is a
season of great expectation in the natural that
frequently ends up flat with disappointment.

What is Christmas about anyway? Oh, you know
the story, but have you ever taken the time to
ponder what happened to our world when light
split the darkness and changed it forever? The
Creator took on flesh and became one of us.
Knowable, touchable. Religion was not born
2,000 years ago; intimacy, relationship arrived
in a very small package. Mary caressed the face
of God. This woman experienced the closeness
and joy of all the interactions every mom
experiences with her ever changing baby.

Dear reader, intimacy is available to you! Jesus
is not a religion. He became flesh so that you can
know Him, up close and personal. He enjoys
watching you and He loves to lavish you with

The extravagance of our God is breathtaking!

Joy to the world the Lord has come... 

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Grumble

I recently read through James in one sitting. Phrases
popped out:

'Be quick to hear, slow to speak
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not
       bridle his tongue...
The tongue is a fire
No one can tame the tongue
The tongue is a restless evil';

Yuk, I am undone. Perhaps James, the brother of
Jesus, is writing to the unbelievers? No so!

The grumble begins in the mind before it slides out
of the mouth. I've tried to turn off the negativity but
it just seems to grow bigger. David said, 'The fire 
burned and then I spoke.' Words hurt, kill, destroy
joy. Words set an atmosphere of life or death.

The Lord reminded me of an incident back in college.
I got a letter from a boyfriend saying he was dating
my best friend. I was stunned, mad, heartbroken. So
glad I waited a day to write. By the end of that day I
was able to go to God and forgive, surrender, to thank
Him. I woke the next morning--to joy! It filled me so
full that I was unable to connect with the emotions of
the previous day. I sat down and wrote a letter of

Reader, I realize that God does not always work in
the instant, but I met Joy that day--His Name is
Jesus--and I can revisit the memory as a place of
hope for this moment. Scripture says it is a process:

'Do not be conformed to this world, but be 
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by 
testing you may discern what is the will of God, 
what is good and acceptable and perfect.'
Romans 12:2

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

Last evening as we drove down the mountain to
our digs, the moon shone full, outlining the snowy
hills. I love the mountains in Washington because
they are bare and the light changes and passes into
shadows creating the most beautiful shapes and
colors. We drove up as the sun went down and the
shadows appeared bluish purple.

My heart is so full of joy today and I have been
singing since I 'awakened the dawn with praise.'  It
is not related to Thanksgiving Day but its song has
infiltrated my heart as I think of the abundance we
enjoy everyday. How God has blessed this nation!

'Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with

For you have delivered my soul from death,
      my eyes from tears,
      my feet from stumbling,
I will walk before the Lord,
       in the land of the living.'
Ps 116:7-9

'The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing your song again...'

10,000 Reasons:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We drove over the top of The Blues and looked down
into Pendleton OR, only there was no town, just white
as far as we could see. Then we went into the mist
where we remained until we arrived at our destination
of Dayton WA some hours later. The temperature
dropped 23 degrees in ten minutes and the vapor clung
to every branch and blade of grass. The mist cleared
up as the snow fell that evening. We were so glad we
decided to make the trip a day early!

So, here we are in Dayton WA visiting Glen's brother
for Thanksgiving even as we celebrate his mother's
92nd birthday. The big day was yesterday and was
celebrated by snow, a difficult  puzzle, an invitation to
a lovely dinner from friends in town. Venison was on
the menu along with all the trimmings. The house itself
was 102 years old and such a pleasure with the high
ceilings and wooden beams. When it was time to leave
Ruth's leg cramped and she went down. Unhurt but

This morning I read the following in James:

'...you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is
your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little
time and then vanishes.'

Oh, reader, we do not know how long we have! At 92
Mom seems to be healthy in every way. But her lifetime
and ours is but a mist--here for a time then gone.

 'O, Lord, teach me to number my days that I may get
a heart of wisdom.' I am so grateful for this day this
moment. Bare trees laced with snow against a blue sky,
men in the lobby enjoying coffee and laughter, family
and friends, a turkey dinner tomorrow. Give me eyes to
see what is solid, eternal,  knowing that my life is but
a mist.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

For years Samaritan's Purse has gathered millions
of shoeboxes stuffed with all kinds of goodies
which are opened by children all over the world.
This year our church became a relay station for
this area and I had the opportunity to receive boxes
as they arrived. Each box is prayed over and then
taken to a big city where volunteers place the story
of Jesus in the correct language. Today this will
happen all over the US. Our little church has
gathered close to 500 shoeboxes. (One church of
12 members brought in 176 of them! This is their
project which they work on all year.) It is expected
that 10 million boxes will be delivered this
Christmas. Many of these children have never
received a single gift let alone a whole box full of
surprises. Most have never heard the story of Jesus.
I am amazed at the number of "closed" countries
who allow the children to receive the boxes! The
kids are instructed to tear up the literature.

Why pray over the boxes? Because they need to
go to just the right child. Case in point. In one
place all the boxes had been distributed and one
little girl was left out. When her sister opened her
box it had two of everything!

What happens after the gifts are opened? The
children are offered an opportunity to attend a
three month course about how to become a
Christian, how to maintain a relationship with
God, how to share the gospel, how to plant a
church. Did I say plant a church? YES! As
the children learn they share with their parents
who also come to Christ and soon a church is
planted in that area.

Other things are set into motion. A nine year
old boy sent off the box with his picture and
address but heard nothing back from the nine
year old girl who received it. Then came Face
Book and she found him years later. He went
over to the Philippines several times. They are
now married! How do I know this story?
Because his wife came into the fellowship
hall to deliver their boxes!

Reader, I am laughing. God is awesome! The
message of freedom in Christ is making its way
into the dark corners of our globe bringing
hope and light! Hallelujah!

"This gospel of the kingdom will be 
proclaimed throughout the whole world 
as a testimony to all nations, and then 
the end will come."
(Matt 24:14)

Friday, November 20, 2015

How Safe Are You?

Reader, you are this safe:

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress
        and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
        my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord, who is worth to
         be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
Ps 18:1-3

Reader, this was the view of one who only knew
God in the Tabernacle. Worship went up from
there and brought David into God's presence and
from there His protection, shield, salvation and
stronghold. But wait, what do you have today?
God says you are IN Christ. We walk and live in
Him. So, how does this become a reality when all
that we know in this world seems to be rapidly
slipping away? Last evening I stumbled upon these
verses. Write them down, ponder them, memorize
them. This is the  truth!

'If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the
things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the 
right hand of God. Set your minds on things that 
are above, not on things that are on earth. For you 
have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in 
God. When Christ who is your life appears, then 
you also will appear with him in glory.' 
(Gal 3:1-4)

Dearest Believer, whether you live or die,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Can Discern?

In today's reading the psalmist is looking at
creation and shows how it declares the glory
of God. He uses word pictures that capture
my imagination. The middle of the psalm
focuses on the precepts of God which are
perfect, sure, right, pure. I feel clean in the
reading. He likens the just decrees of God to
fine gold and to the sweetness of honey.

Then he says this:

'Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden
Keep your servant also from 
       presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
        innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the
         meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Ps 19:12-14

As a child I prayed the last verse but had little
understanding. Now I realize that what my heart
meditates on runs out of my mouth. For me it
is important to wallow in a verse, ponder it,
meditate in it, so that my speech brings life
not death to others.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reading Through the Psalms

As a young adult--so many years ago--it was
suggested that I read through the Psalms each
month by date. So, on the first of every month
I would read, Ps 1,31,61,91, 121, and go to the
next one in each group the next day. I stopped
reading the Psalms this year because I was
reading through the Bible chronologically. I have
so enjoyed it but have missed out on beginning
each day with worship. Recently I have gone
back o the Psalms. What have I noticed? Well,
no matter how grouchy the Psalmist is he tends
to end with praise and or thanksgiving to God.

So, reader, weep, wail and complain to God if
you must, but make sure to speak the truth
before leaving that place. If your heart is
grumpy, pick out a psalm that expresses how
you feel and which takes you to the place of
worship. Psalm 13 is a case in point.

'How long O Lord, will you forget me forever?
How long...must I have sorrow in my heart? ...

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
       my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt
       bountifully with me.'

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Wild Ride

Three weeks ago we took off for California and parts
beyond. We spent one of those weeks driving the
2500 miles--in stages. The area between Nampa
Idaho and Winnemucka Nevada is a barren
unpopulated road that runs along the borders of Idaho
and Oregon. We carried our lunch but there were no
road side parks so we ate in a small cafe attached to
a gas station. We drove through miles and miles of
scorched earth, a reminder of the Soda Fire in August
that burned uncontrolled for days, blocking the only
convenient road to Reno.

While in California we visited many of our old
friends from MAI as well as family. We stayed with
my brother and his wife and their three dogs in
Oakdale and spent a pleasant time visiting with
Betsie's 97year old Mom never dreaming that it was
within the last two weeks of her life. So grateful for
the time we had with her. We had a delightful lunch
with our son, Michael and an evening with his
daughter and granddaughter, Sophia. Sophia is two
and was born with Spina Bifida. She gets around
surprisingly well using legs that the doctors said
would be useless! Thank you, Jesus.

We then took highway 99 to Palm Springs where we
spent a windy night. The next morning we found a
tree taking up the two parking places to the left of our
car!  The wind continued to blow across highway 10
along with dust storms as we drove into Arizona.

We arrived in sunshine that afternoon and settled into
the next ten days of the most beautiful weather--cool
nights and warm sunny days--all of them spent with our
daughter, son in law and grandson, Noah. Last summer
Noah was diagnosed with CIDP, a rare disease that
strips the nerves in hands and feet. It happened slowly
and presented itself on the fourth of July in Weiser.
Fortunately the treatment and his age combine
together for an expected complete recovery. It will
take a year. In the meantime he is symptoms free. He
spent much of the time with his Grampy at the new
park and they played football in the living room. I
found myself drinking it all in and thanking God for
medicine and this four year old who is only quiet
when sleeping!

After a fun filled, food filled time--David is a chef--
with our Arizona family, we headed for home. We
took highway 93 to Las Vegas, got side tracked into
a national park that contained parts of Lake Mead--a
lovely mistake that put us into Saint George some
time after the dark through steep canyons. I wish it
had been daylight for glimpses of the canyon walls
were beautiful! We were not far from Bryce Canyon.

The next day we took off into Southern Utah. I did
not know it was mountainous and we did not get a
road report. Not good. Soon after hitting the road we
climbed to 5500 feet in rain at 37 degrees. The highway
continued up and the temperature continued down. At
34 degrees we hit sleet, snow and fog. It was not just
one pass but mountain pass after mountain pass with
no towns or gas stations anywhere. We did find quite
a few chain up areas. Our problem was that we had not
thought to bring chains or winter clothes! We left for
for the trip in October. Then Glen cleaned his glasses
and the frame broke! It was three hours before the road
led us down into Provo and lots of traffic. I was so
grateful for civilization and rain!

We continued into Idaho as the sun was setting. The
sky was black with clouds but the horizon was dotted
with flame colored mountains. God's glory at the end
of the storm. It was stunning and lasted a long time--
enough time for me to relax my grip and to give thanks
to God for his protection and presence throughout our

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear..."
(Ps 46:1,2)

Monday, November 16, 2015

This Day

A poem was sent to me by a friend who doesn't write
poetry. Enjoy!

This Day

I lift this day to You, Lord...
Not knowing what it brings;
Will there be mountains to climb, 
         or rivers to ford?
Will I be earthbound or have wings?

Will I choose to be a blessing
And stop to listen for a while?
Will Your love glow from within me?
Will I go the extra mile?

Will my family know they are cherished
And live securely in my heart?
Will I give love in which to flourish
Which will be remembered when I depart?

Will I listen for Your Spirit...
To comfort and to lead?
Will I be cleansed by the blood
Of Your precious Son and Seed?

Will today I pause to praise You,
And worship at Your throne?
Will I acknowledge You, My Savior,
As king of hearth and home?

So, Lord, forgive my failings
And remind me of your love,
That is never changing, never ceasing;
Always shining from above.

When my day turns into night
And I close my eyes to sleep,
I will know I'm loved, forgiven
A Beloved one to keep.
Sandi Savell

Friday, November 13, 2015

A feather

This morning I picked up a downy feather and
as I studied it a poem from the way past--think
childhood--came to mind.

'A spot of whiteness on the grass
Caught me as I hurried past.
I paused to marvel at a feather,
Beauty fallen from a wing,
But marveled more at God's perfection,
Poured into so small a thing.'

I am amazed at the shades and softness of this
feather--a feather hidden below the surface.
God is not only the maker of feathers, He is the
keeper of birds, for not one falls to the ground
that He does not know it.

Reader, if your heavenly Papa cares this much
about the detail of a hidden feather, how much
more does He care about YOU!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Great Read

Not long after 9/11 a number of novels were written
having to do with these events. However, one book,
The Last Jihad, caught many by surprise. The author,
Joel Rosenberg, had started the book before the day
planes took down the towers. It shook him so much
that it was nine months before he finished it and got
the book published. Rosenberg searches the scriptures
to see what sort of things are next on God's prophetic
calendar. I think it was in his second book that he wrote
of the discovery of oil and gas off the coast of Israel.
The head of a particular company picked up the novel
just before catching the plane back home. He was
stunned to find the hidden secrets plainly marked out
in this book. He knew the author could not have been
aware of what had been discovered. He gave out copies
of the novel to those who worked in the company.

Joel's books are fast paced and hard to put down. I
would recommend a quick look in the local bookstore
as most of his novels have been best sellers. Think
Tom Clancy...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Oh No!

Up early this morning to get a post up but I did
something wrong and the draft has disappeared
into cyberspace! I don't have time to reconstruct.
so, I will leave you with a word for a new week.

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my
            whole heart;
 I will recount all of your wonderful 
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, 
             O, Most High.
(Ps 9:1,2)

Reader, rejoice!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hard Sayings

Recently I have been reading through the Gospels.
One of the things that has struck me is the hard
sayings of Jesus. He was not wishy washy, or a
people pleaser. Many times his words resulted in
some trying to kill Him. It seems that I tend to
overlook the 'difficult to understand' in the Gospels.
Here are a few of them:

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For
whoever would save his life will lose it..."

"You leave the commandment of God and hold to
the tradition of men...."

"Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of

"The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

"(Not even his brothers believed in him.) '

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because
I testify about it that its works are evil.'"

(To the Pharisees)  "You are from below, I am from
above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless
you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."

"I have not come to bring peace but a sword....A
persons enemies will be those of his own household."

The explanation for the hatred comes in John 5, early
in the ministry of Jesus: "This is why the Jews were
seeking to kill him, because not only was he breaking
the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own
Father, making himself equal with God."

Reader, we cannot get around the fact that Jesus spoke
truth and that his words offended many, but
particularly the religious of that day. Jesus told his
disciples that' if they persecuted Him, they would
persecute His followers.'

Have you set your heart to walk with God even when He
does not make sense, life does not make sense and He is

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

He Loves

"Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
(Ephesians 5:25)

The Lord thinks everything of the Church. The circle of
His interests all center there in this present day. 'He loved
it and gave Himself for it,' and He is engaged in active
service on high today on behalf of it; and He is going to
take it to glory to be with Himself soon, and then bring
back and display it in all the brightness ad splendor of His
own glory with which He will adorn it, when it will shine
forth as the Holy City, New Jerusalem, having the glory of
God--the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

 It is an immense thing, for our souls to get hold of that,
and to find ourselves in the power of it.

Especially is it needful for those who are young in the ways
of the Lord. It is a great thing for us all to see that the
affections of the Lord's heart flow out at the present time to
His Church and not to the world.
William Easton 1850-1926

Oh, reader, read it again, then again. Soon, the Lord Jesus
is going to take His church, His Bride, to be with Him
and then to display her in all the brightness and splendor
of His glory. I know that the words and sentence structure
are odd, but the meaning is the biggest hope we have!
Do not think that things will not change, that Christ is
not coming in our time. He is at the very door. My heart
leaps for joy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Treasure

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
( Matthew 6:21)

In Christ Jesus we work no longer for life, but from life. Our
high endeavor is not to shape our life in the flesh into
conformity to an ideal life that is set before Him. It is rather
to reduce our life now hid in Christ to an actual life within.
The summons of the Gospel is not that we behold what is
impossible for us in Christ, and reach forth to it; but rather,
that we behold what is accomplished for us in Christ, 
appropriate it and live in it.

Risen with Christ, the first fruits of our spirits already 
carried up with Him into glory, our life hid with Him in God,
how shall not our heart be where our treasure is!? How shall
not our love be ever kindling and burning upwards, purging
itself of all earthly dress, till it is wholly intent on Him?
Why hang the damps and corruptions of the grave about us
still, our sinful affections, and all these clinging habits from
which our Lord has ransomed us! It is ours even now to walk 
with Him in white, and to be ever breathing with Him the 
freshness of  the morning of the resurrection and endless life." 
AJ Gordon

"Before my conversion I worked toward the Cross, but 
since then I have worked from the Cross. Then I worked 
to be saved, now I work because I am saved." 
Dwight L Moody

Reader, The words above are old fashioned and may be hard
to grasp. However, the very first sentence says it all,

"In Christ Jesus we work no longer for life, but from life."

Dearest reader, does not your heart sing for joy when your
heart is where your treasure is, the treasure that is Jesus?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Celebrate and Be Glad!

"My son," the father said, "you are always with me, and
everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and 
be glad, because this brother of yours was dead, and is
alive again; he was lost and is found." (Luke 15:31-32)

"There's a story about a man who dreamed that he went
to a great palace, and was joyfully greeted at the door;
then he went in, and at each successive room he entered,
he was, each time, even more joyfully received. At last
he entered into the presence of a great monarch and
was there received with great acclimation. It is more than
that with the believer in Christ!

The prodigal son entering the Father's house demonstrates
the nature of our salvation. It is not simply for my benefit
that I am there, but God has a delight in having me there...
Love delights to have me in its company.

If a Christian's need was the measure of Christ's work,
human joys would be enough--but when divine love is
the measure--the Father's house and the joys therein are
the only thing that will satisfy.

It is the Father's good pleasure that His house be filled,
therefore, "We had to celebrate and be glad because this
brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost
and is found." That is why the reception of the believer
in Christ is so satisfying and completely full of joy.
Every believer now has a home there. We are dwelling
on the joyful gain which is ours at the finish--what we
are ultimately saved to."

JB Stoney 1814-1897

Reader, Oh, how I need to ponder the Father's love daily.
When things are going badly and my emotions tank, I
do not consider that His love never changes towards me;
if I was at that moment, caught by death, His joy in
seeing me would be bright and glorious because it is not
based on my behavior. We are all prodigals who have
been set apart and bought with a price and destined to
enter into joy unspeakable and full of glory!

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free!"
Begin today to live in the truth and rejoice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The End of the Spear

They are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of 
Christ. (2 Corinthians 8:23)

"I walked out to the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious.
To stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree
with wind tugging at your coattail and the heavens hailing
your heart, to gaze and glory and to give oneself to God,
what more could a (Christian) ask?

Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing
God on earth. I care not if I never raise my voice again
for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him.

Perhaps, in mercy, He shall give me a host of children
that I may lead through vast star fields to explore His
delicacies whose fingers' ends set them to burning. But
if not, if only I may see Him, smell His garments, and
smile into my Lover's eyes, ah, then, not stars, nor children,
shall matter--only Himself.  Jim Elliot

Reader, many of you have not heard of Jim Elliot who
was killed along with his four companions by the Auca
Indians of South America in 1956. Jim was but 29 and
as yet none of that tribe had been won to Christ. Shortly
after the massacre, many of the Auca Indians came to
Christ through the ministry of Jim's wife,  Elizabeth Elliot,
who wrote the book, Through Gates of  Splendor. The story
is dramatically told in a film called: The End of the Spear.
The full length movie made it to the local theaters and is
one of my favorites. I would say that the death of these
missionaries was the impetus for thousands deciding to
go to places where no one had heard of Jesus.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Little Thing?

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive 
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
(1John 1:9)

"Christian, how you think lightly of sin. Take heed, lest
you fall, little by little. Sin, a little thing? Is it not a poison?
Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Do not the
little foxes spoil the grapes? Do not little strokes fell mighty
oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stone? Sin,
a little thing? It girded the Redeemer's head with thorns and
pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish,bitterness and

Could you weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you
would flee from it as from a poisonous snake, and abhor
the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which
crucified the Savior, and you will see it to be exceeding sinful.

As for our own faults (flesh patterns), it would take a large
slate to hold the account of them; but thank God we know
where to take them (To the cross) ,and how to get the better
of them."
Charles Spurgeon.1834-1888

Reader, sometimes I need to dip into the writings of Christians
from a previous century in order to grasp a concept that seems
to be missing in the teachings of today. Repentance simply
means to turn around and go in a different direction. When we
turn, there is Jesus with His arms open wide ready to clasp us
to His breast. When we get caught up in a sinful pattern we
move away from God.  He does not move away from us!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Composite

Well, today I pulled out my Bible to search out the
scriptures that seem to point to this time. Here is
a summary of parts of Matt 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:

"See that no one leads you astray
Many will come saying, 'I am the Christ'
Wars and rumors of wars
Nations--people groups--will rise against nations
Great earthquakes in various places
Terrors and great signs in the heavens
Famines and pestilence
These are but the beginning of birth pangs
You will be hated by all for my names sake
You will be persecuted
You will be delivered up by relatives and friends
The end will not be at once.
This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed 
  throughout the whole world as a testimony to
  all nations, and then the end will come."

What a collection of the "signs of the end of the
age." For the Believer it is not a time for fear,
closing up shop and moving to an island. Just
before  WW2, a man looked over the world to
find a refuge and decided to move to an island
in the Pacific--he chose Guadicanal!

We are to remain in the Vine and rest in the fact that
God says, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you."
We are to occupy until He comes to get us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nearing Midnight

Yesterday I was glad that I took the time to worship
at sunrise. My heart was fixed even as I read the

Will CA be toast? Warning comes because of the
200 plus quakes that hit San Ramon area yesterday.

Robots cheaper than any human worker

Twelve nations have drones flying over Syria

The looming military showdown in South China Sea

Heavy snow warning: Worst El Nino in history
   means UK faces winter white-out

World turning against Jerusalem

UN Chief tries to calm Israel-Palentinian violence

Ebola worst infectious disease in the world--in
a class of its own.

Olaf strengthens to a major hurricane, still far off

Volcanoes today: Karymasky, Dukono,
Piton de la Fournaise, Batu Tara, Sinabung,

WOW! So are we to run and hide in despair? No! We
are to continue living lives of hope and fullness
because the One who dwells within is as calm as a
poached egg. It helps to read the headlines with an
open Bible. In the next few blogs I will explore a few
verses and you will see Who is really in charge of the
events that swirl around us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Awaken the Dawn

It is 7AM and my eyes fly open. The room is pitch
black. Is it raining? Foggy? No, it is still an hour 
before sunrise! When did this happen? Very quickly
it seems.

As I stood at the window watching the sky begin to
lighten in anticipation of the sunrise, my heart
began to sing--

"When morning gilds the sky
my heart awakening cries.
'May Jesus Christ be Praised!'

David breaks into song in Ps 57:

"My heart is steadfast, O God,
My heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre
I will awaken the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among
       the peoples;
I will sing praise to you among the 
For your steadfast love is great to the 
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Reader, awaken the dawn with praise. Make
melody to the Lord in your heart. And,
because the sun sleeps longer these days,
you don't even have to get up early!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Stormy Weather

Not long ago I had a rather vivid dream. Since I rarely
remember dreams, this one caught my attention. So
did the content. However, I then forgot about it--
until today.

The Dream
I was at a beach on a dark windy day. I walked out
on a sandbar and stood watching the roaring water
at my feet. I knew it was over my head, and I knew
that the Lord wanted me to jump in and swim to the
other side. No "other side" was in view as the sky
darkened. I stepped into the water and as it went over
my head, I started to swim. Instantly I was on the
other side. Blue sky overhead; calm water lapped at
the sandy beach. People were laughing and shouting as
they played ball. I walked to land.

Today I read this in John 6:
"When evening came, his disciples went down to the
sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to
Capernaum. It was now dark and Jesus had not yet
come to them. The sea became rough because a
strong wind was blowing... They saw Jesus walking
on the sea and coming near the boat and they were
frightened. But He said to them, 'it is I; do not be
afraid...' they took Him into the boat and immediately
the boat was at the land to which they were going."

Reader, look at the scripture. It is windy, dark and the
sea is rough. Be honest, as you look at world events,
does it not seem as though night is falling--and 'where
IS Jesus, anyway?' He is right there in the dark and in
the wild waves. He says to you, "it is I, be not afraid."
Your circumstances can change, instantly...

Friday, October 16, 2015

High Over All

God has...given Him a name which is above every name.
(Phil 2:9)

There is a reader out there who needs this message!
Read the words and then tap into the music...

Jesus! the name high over all,
In hell, or earth, or sky;
Angels and men before it fall,
And devils fear and fly.

Jesus! the name to sinners dear,
The name to sinners given;
It scatters all their guilty fear,
It turns their hell to heaven.

Jesus! the prisoner's fetters breaks,
And bruises Satan's head;
Power into strengthless souls it speaks,
And life into the dead.

O that the world might taste and see
The riches of his grace;
The arms of love that compass me
Would all mankind embrace.

His only righteousness I show,
His saving grace proclaim;
'Tis all my business here below
To cry: Behold the Lamb!

Happy, if with my latest breath
I might but gasp his name;
Preach him to all, and cry in death:
Behold, behold the Lamb!
Charles Wesley


Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Do I Walk With God?

As a continuation from yesterday's discussion of what it
means to be a 'not," Mike addresses a very real question.

"Walking with God, and how we do it depends on two things:
(and how important it is to not mix them up!)

1 What must I do because God refuses to do it for me?
2 What must I not do, for God alone will do it for me?"

"In Luke 15 we see the Prodigal Son coming to his senses
before dying of hunger. 'I will go to my father, though I 
am not worthy, and ask him to make me a hired man.' How
many of us see other believers full and we hunger? The
Prodigal lost his image, he got up and went, he showed up
and the father filled him with his image by running,
embracing, and restoring his son.

After you show up, you listen. Luke 12:12, 'the Holy Spirit
will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say...'
When you hear a teaching it isn't creating something new in
you but revealing what has already been in you. You have
everything pertaining to Life in you in Christ.

As you hear truth, you hear the divine 'Uh huh' in you, for
'My sheep hear My voice....'"

Once you have shown up and heard the Lord, preach your
gospel, no one els's. Own it"

As I came to the end of the article and read that we must not
preach something that belongs to someone else unless we
first own it and make it our own, I sat there and pondered this
statement for 'to teach that which we do not 'own,' is to be a
hypocrite. Ouch!

So, reader, wrestle with what you hear and stay with it until
you hear the voice of the Shepherd speak the 'Uh huh.'

Aside note: I discovered on Face Book yesterday that Mike
Wells died on October 11, 2011. It was the day that God
gave me the idea of a website and blog. I called a friend on
the 13th to tell her what I was going to do and how I was
going to write to Mike and let him know. Mary said, "Mike
has died. He developed a respiratory infection in an out of
the way area of South America and died in the night." I felt
such a sting of loss. Though I had never met him his letters
detailing his journey's were so transparent and real that it
seemed that we must be friends. He helped me to become

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Glory Sullied

Michael Wells of Abiding Life Ministries is now enjoying
the fruit of his labor for God took him while on a
missionary journey to the least of these. He introduced
me to a whole new aspect of the word, 'Christian:'

"Christ in me the hope of glory."

So, I am now on a treasure hunt through scripture, through
the changes in circumstances, relationships, and losses, to
find out what this means. How do I live the Christian life?
By whose power do I live the Christian life? How does my
failure affect God, affect me? What about the law?

Yesterday I reread an excerpt from Disc 1 of
"Simple Foundations," by Michael Wells. He says:

"Christianity is unbelievably simple. At times we are
overwhelmed by the world, but we know simply
changing our focus to Christ, we overcome the world..."

"And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God
took him."

"The goal of Christianity is to walk with God and grasp
Him and become 'a not' to have all the assurance and
confidence we want in Him. Too often we use God 'to
become' and build our image as somebody special. Where
we hold our image and identity, we are a threat to the
glory of God, for that is the seat of our pride. God isn't 
interested in our image, but in His image in us. We
experience failure where we hold our image in any area
of our lives..."

"How big is our God? The goal of Christianity is not in
becoming, but in the not, which is the natural result of
walking with Him. 'Not I, but Christ..."

You, dear reader, are on this journey with me as you read
my blogs. Tomorrow I will share a little more from this
lesson. In the meantime you can check out the
Abiding Life website for a variety of helpful info:


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Glory Filled

Ah, reader, did you know that you were chosen in Him
before the world was formed, before sin entered? We
have been brought into Him by the shedding of His
blood, to be one with Him in glory!

What does it mean for us in our daily lives? In
Isaiah 62 God lays out the promises for His people.
First to the Jews, then to the believing Gentiles:

"You will be called by a new name
You will also be a crown of beauty--a jeweled crown
You will no longer be called, 'forsaken'
Nor will it be said of you, 'desolate'
But, you will called, 'My delight is in you!"

Read it again. This is your identity. This is who you
really are!

As I was pondering the blog for today, God put a
song in my heart and I found it on You Tube.
Listen to the video. The visual is pretty lame.
Some of you may remember this old chorus.

"Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.
When at the cross the Savior made me whole.
My sins were washed away
My night was turned to day.
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul."


Monday, October 12, 2015

Behold The Word!

What word?

We have a friend who closes his letters and notes with
the word, "glory." Ten days ago I started to really look
at this word and last week's blogs flowed from this.
Now it seems that everywhere I look in scripture this
word pops up. Surely His glory is dressed in vibrant
colors of gold, purple, fire red; the blues of the sky;
the magenta of sunset!

Hit pause and breath in the Word:

...behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in fire
...the appearance of the glory of the Lord was 
        like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
The glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle
The glory of the Lord appeared unto them
The heavens declared the glory of God.
The God of glory thunders
His glory above all the earth
The whole earth shall be filled with His glory
The glory of the Lord shall endure forever
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed
His glory from the rising of the sun
I will set my glory among the heathen
His glory covers the heavens
Power and glory forever
And the glory of the Lord shone 
Exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Ah, reader, I am speechless in the presence of His

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cracked Pots

Yesterday we saw how we are being transformed
in the presence of the Lord--His glory within.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says this:

"We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show the 
surpassing power belongs to God and not to us."

What an incredible verse! Treasure, clay jars,
surpassing power, God's, not ours.

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed.
perplexed, but not driven to despair,
persecuted, but not forsaken,
struck down, but not destroyed."

The power we need really is surpassing, is it not?
We live in a world that increasingly hates us.
Life itself batters the outer man, and aging has
such a huge impact. The clay pot gets scratched,
pieces break off, even holes appear! But wait,
does not His glory come through with greater
clarity due to all the wear and tear?

Dearest reader, take heart. You may be a cracked
pot, but your beauty and value comes from the
glory within. You shine! (But you will never see

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Behold means to fix the attention, to attend, to gaze

In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul tells us that "our lord is a Spirit
who brings freedom."
"And we, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the
Lord, are being transformed into the same image from
one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the
Lord who is the Spirit."

The key word here is "beholding." How do we do this?
It is taking a block of time with the Lord. No agenda,
but to be in His presence with His love letter--the Bible.
It is reading until something comes alive and then to
let that be the spring board for listening, responding.
It is to wallow in His goodness.

Yesterday we looked at how we bear his image, His
glory. It is part of our position in Christ. Today our
focus is on the transformation within that comes
through communication, daily intimacy.

Reader, don't let the urgency of the hour take you
away from that which is essential to Life.

The Frame Removed

(If you have not looked at the previous blog, check
it out before reading this one)

Yesterday I spent some time talking about the glory
of God becoming our glory out of John 17.

Today I am returning to the Garden of Eden where
God said, "it is good." No death, sickness, hurts,
accidents, nothing to cause fear, isolation. The
couple was placed in the Garden by God Himself
who met with them intimately in the cool of the
day. There was no lack. But, danger entered the
garden in the form of a beautiful reptile whose
name was Lucifer, Light Bearer. His object was to
deceive Eve and cause her to separate herself from
God, from His glory, from that picture. She did not
know that her glory, came from God just as the glory
of the frame comes from the picture it surrounds.
The snake told Eve that she, in herself, could have
glory independently of God. She could be her own
god. You see, reader, sin is not what we do but who
we become when we separate ourselves from the
Source of our glory. Sins follow. That seed of
rebellion, taking the glory to oneself, was passed
down from Adam through the generations. Each
lives out his life separated from God until he
recognizes that he has no glory, that life is a sham.
Before Jesus went to the cross He told the disciples
that they would be given the glory that Christ had
received from His Father, that Christ would dwell
in them just as God dwelt in His Son. When we
come to God in repentance we come home to the
picture where we belong. It is our position now
and not based on our behavior.

God says in Isaiah 62 that He does this for the
  • You will get a new name
  • You will be a jeweled crown, a crown of beauty
  • You will no longer be called "forsaken."
  • Or called "desolate."
  • You will be called, "My delight."
Reader, if you want to get a fuller picture of your glory
in Christ then go to the website of Malcolm Smith
and click on the webinar: "You are glorious"

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Glorious Frame!

The seventeenth chapter of John has glory as a
central theme. Have you ever pondered this one?

"The glory that you have given to Me, I have
given to them...I in them and You in Me."

First of all, what is the meaning of this shining word,
"glory?" It means "heavy, weighty, to lay heavily,
dense, abounding with..."  There is nothing
frivolous about the ancient Hebrew when it comes
to glory. Over and over this adjective is given to
God. In the verse above Jesus says that God's glory
is ours! How can this be?  Recently, I came across
an analogy that was helpful to me. Think of God's
glory as a picture, around which is a plain wooden
frame, ordinary, common. But when the frame is
placed around the picture it comes to life in a
marvelous way. The glory coming from the picture
impacts the frame. The two become one.

"I in them, You in Me." When God's glory comes
into us and resides there, we become partakers of
His glory. Just like the common frame, we go
about living a common life; getting dinner, going
to work, playing with the children, cleaning toilets--
all the while God's glory is pouring into us as light
and life. You see, dear one, behavior does not define
who you are. Behavior flows from who your are in
reality. The frame gets a new identity from the
picture it surrounds. We receive a new identity the
moment we respond to God's love through
Jesus Christ our Savior. Jesus says,
"I give to them my glory," before we have lifted
a finger to deserve it--as if we ever could!

Dear reader, You are a glorious frame!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Good People?

"...as God has said, 'I will dwell in them and walk in 
them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my 
people.'" (2Cor 6:16)

God Himself dwells in us; walks in us. We are His.
An old Saint who now dwells in heaven puts it this

"God's aim and purpose in the Gospel is not to make 
good people, a mere matter of conduct; but rather a 
people so"peculiar" to Himself that He can come and 
live in them and be Himself the regulator of their lives. 
Wonderful! Really, wonderful!

Stated boldly, stripped of superficialities, the Christian
Life is a reincarnation of Christ. He who walked the earth
nineteen hundred years ago, walks in us: "I will dwell in
them, and walk in them." He who once found flesh and
blood expression for Himself in one body now claims a 
similar expression in any body--yours, mine--the bodies 
of all who will believe and receive the benefits of the

The life thus depicted is too wonderful for words. It is
staggering in its possibilities. To think of anyone missing
it!" Norman B Harrison

Reader, think of a car whose engine is running at full
power but the wheels are standing still. The power is
certainly there but something is off in the outworking 
of that power. Reader, get connected to the truth and
live life boldly!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dead, But Alive

"...count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in
Christ Jesus." (Rom. 6:11)

How do we count ourselves dead to sin? Does this
verse make sense in a culture that cannot call
anything sin? Think about it. Even today a dead
man does not have any desire for alcohol, drugs,
sex. He cannot. He is dead. Romans 6 says that,
we were united with Christ in death, then buried 
with Him. We were also united with Him in 
resurrection so that we might walk in newness 
of life.

The battle is in the mind. You see, as a Christian
you are positionally dead to sin, but alive to God.
However, the tempter comes and tells you that
you are powerless to break away from evil habits.
Remember, it is not a question of your own power,
but when you honestly repent of the wrongdoing
and turn to the Lord for divine help to overcome
your besetting sin, He will undertake for you. As
you reckon yourself to indeed be dead to sin, but
alive to God through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit
will work in you. He will cause you to triumph
over tendencies toward evil and give you the
power to live victoriously to the glory of God.

Reader, the Christian Life is not a passive life. We
do not win the daily battle lying down. It is first
of all knowing whose we are, what we have,
and then seeking God and His power to live in the
truth of that reality. Go for it!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Yesterday's verse:
"You are complete in Him."

I don't feel complete today. I went back
through my life and counted the losses, the
hurts, then, I looked at the present. By the
time I finished counting, I felt lonely, empty,
unfilled. Is God's word not truth? If I look at
my bodily weaknesses, the things I want but
don't have, the verse rings false. What is my
focus here? It is on people,things, and ME!

A song comes to mind from the past:

"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 

Reader, look again at the blog from yesterday.
What do you have that makes you feel complete?
An experience, a position, a calling? What do
you have that makes you feel incomplete? What
do you really believe about yourself? About God?
Wrestle with it!

Monday, September 28, 2015


I came across a verse today that leaves me a little
breathless. I am unsure just what it means or how
to unpack it. Col 2:10

"and you are complete in Him" NKJV
"and you have been filled in Him." ESV

According to the dictionary, complete means "to 
be filled, having no deficiency; perfect. That which 
is complete cannot be more or less so."

You have been filled, (past tense.) Fullness means:
The state of being filled so as to leave no part 
vacant, the state of abounding or being in great 
plenty. Abundance.

Verse 9 says, "For in Him the whole fullness of 
deity dwells bodily," followed by, "and you have 
been filled in Him..."(ESV)

Jesus is the fullness of deity and I have been filled in
Him. Does this statement contradict the verses above
or contradict the whole of scripture, the Gospel? I
cannot add to it by being good, or trying to please Him,
nor can I subtract from this fullness by messing up.
Where does that leave me?

It means I can no longer call myself broken, or a
sinner. My identity is in Him who has made me
complete--in Him. To think less of myself is not
walking in the truth. If I do not believe this word
then I will live defeated and empty--in the midst
of plenty.

Reader, is this not incomprehensible? Can you
wrap your mind around it? We are not asked to
understand it, but to believe it.

Friday, September 25, 2015


"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as 
some understand slowness. He is patient with 
you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone
to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

"...the Christian must never lose sight of the fact that
he belongs to heaven, that he is inseparably linked
with an earth-rejected, heaven-accepted Christ--
that his life is hid with Christ in God--that it is his
holy privilege to be looking out, daily and hourly,
for the coming of his Lord. There is nothing to
hinder the realization of that blissful hope at any
moment. There is but one thing that causes the delay
--God's patience and His unwillingness for any to 
perish, rather, desiring all to come to repentance.
Such precious words for a lost and guilty world.

The salvation is ready to be revealed; and God is
ready to judge. There is nothing now to wait for but
the gathering in of the last elect one, and then--oh,
most blessed thought--out own dear and loving
Savior will come and receive us to Himself to be
with Him where He is, and to go no more out for ever."

Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896) was one of the
early and most prolific Brethren writers and is still
widely read today.

Reader, now and again I dip into the past and come
up with a jewel. Be encouraged, "God is not slow
in keeping his promise..."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Big Untold Story

The Following was reported by Joel Rosenberg today:

"Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun
searching for the Messiah, and for atonement of their sins."

"Sundown today begins Yom Kippur, The Day of
Atonement. It is the highest holy day on the Jewish
calendar, and one of great Biblical, historical and
cultural importance to my people."

"God, through Moses called the Jews to this feast to be held
once a year by fasting, prayer, and the sacrifice of a perfect
animal. It was a day unto the Lord characterized not only by
blood but by humility and confession of sins to a merciful
God. In 70AD, the temple was destroyed by Rome and since
then there has been no provision for the covering of sin for
the Jew."

"We as Christians know that the perfect Lamb was sacrificed
on the cross forty years before the Temple was destroyed.
In 1973 there were fewer than 2,000 people who recognized
Jesus as their Messiah. Today some 300,000 have received
Jesus as their sacrificial Lamb. Not only that but, millions
of Jews are searching for the Messiah and thus reading
Hebrew prophecies, and comparing them with the writings
of the New Testament, and trying to decide whether Jesus
really is the Messiah we have desperately longed for over
so many centuries."

Reader, click on the following video and watch a story that
is going viral in the Jewish Community and then pray that
God will reveal Messiah Jesus to His people, the Jew, as he
takes part in the rituals of this high holy Day.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Can You Fly?

"For those who live according to the flesh set their 
minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live
according to the Spirit set their minds on the things
of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is
death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and
peace. (Romans 8:5,6) 

Since writing the blog yesterday, I have been looking
at various translations to see if I should water down
the words so it will make sense to my readers. What
I found were such differences in translations that they
actually changed the meaning! Please plow through
this as it is so important. In the verses above, the word,
'flesh,' found in the King James, the NAS and the ESV,
was translated differently as 'the mind of sinful man' in
the NIV and 'the Old Sinful Nature,' in the Living Bible.

Back in college I read a little book called, Two of You.
The author explained that we have two natures inside
that war with each other; our old sinful nature, and
God's nature. He used the black dog, white dog analogy
showing that a constant battle is fought between the two.
Does this ring a bell with any of you? I saw it as truth
and lived it out most of my life.

What does scripture say?

Romans 6:6
with Him that our body of sin might be done away with, 
that we should no longer be slaves to sin." NAS

Galatians 2:20

Scripture tells us that when Jesus died 2,000 years ago
something in us died with Him. What Died? Your
sinful nature, the old man, the old self died. It did not
rise when Jesus rose from the tomb. Every one of us
has to answer this question because it affects the way
we live our lives; in victory, or constant defeat. Your
belief system about these verses will affect how you
look at yourself and how you think God looks at you.
Does God frown or smile?

So what do we wrestle with each day? "The world,
the flesh, and the devil." The battle is definitely real!

Reader, if you do not know that your old sinful nature
died when Christ died, you will continue to see
yourself as a sinner--and you will walk it out. But, if
you know that God killed your old nature and gave you
a new identity in Christ, placed His righteousness in
you, that He now calls you His Holy One, it will change
you. Instead of "a Sinner saved by grace," you will see
yourself as a "Saint who sometimes sins."

Think of it this way. You were born into the turkey
family and learned to peck at the ground and gobble.
But when you became a Believer, God changed you
and put you into an eagle family. You can now soar,
but if you don't know this, you will never fly.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Flesh Pool

What is flesh? Good question. Sometimes we find the
word used for the physical body, but scripture also
indicates that flesh is how we get life apart from God.
God never speaks of redeeming the flesh, but that it
must be killed. Where does this flesh come from? It
comes from the patterns we developed in childhood
as a way of protection, as a way to live before we
had a relationship with Christ, on our own against a
scary world.

Romans 8:6-8 gives us a picture of flesh:
"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind
set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind
set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not
subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even 

So, how do we please God?
Jesus dwelt here in a body that was flesh. He came "in 
the likeness of man, emptied Himself and took the 
form of a bond servant." Jesus surrendered to love 
and was obedient.

I have Yucky Flesh as opposed to Grade A Vanilla Flesh.
My parents were unable to meet my needs for unearned
love so I became a grabber and tried hard to please
those around me. I wanted to be full, not empty. I came
to Jesus because I heard that He loved unconditionally.
Because my flesh has not changed, I can easily plunge
into working to get my needs met. Moment by moment
I have a choice: I can believe that I have to carry the load
and make life happen--flesh, or I can trust that Jesus has
carried my load and loves me regardless of my actions;
that His abundant life is available and sufficient for this
day--Spirit. Obedience flows out of love and trust.

Reader, do you strive to live a good Christian life so that
God will be pleased with you and love you? Flesh or
Spirit? Walking in both is like the man who had his feet
planted firmly in two boats!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Umbilical Cord

"...all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death. We were buried with
him by baptism into death, in order that, just as 
Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
(Rom 6:3,4)

Something happens at salvation that forever connects
us into God. Since we connot handle a direct
connection with the Father, Jesus attaches Himself
to the Father as an umbilical cord. He is the
mediator in heaven who provides a constant flow
of life so that the believer can always be soaked
with His "I." We can be in heaven with Him, while
at the same time, He is on earth with us. We as
believers have entered into the same kiind of
relationship that Jesus had with His Father on earth.
We have an "I" that of its own self can do nothing.
We as believers do much by doing nothing! Each
of us is unique and free but we must use that
freedom to choose to do nothing unless God is
doing it through us. Our only action is to invite the
Lord to come and soak us with life, be our life, in
the present situation. The life then expressed is not
of us, but of Him.

Reader, I get so caught up with looking at what I am
doing for the Lord, that I forget that I am made to live
my life out of His "I." That is the place of continual

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The New "I"

"But may it never be that I should boast, except in 
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the 
world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." 
(Gal 6:14

When people saw Jesus they saw God, for He was
attached by a divine umbilical cord to the Father,
whose LIFE flowed through Him. In the body of
Jesus, God defeated sin, the world, and every aspect
of the flesh. How? The 'I' attitude of Jesus was this:
"Of My own self I can do nothing." To the world
He was a defeated man; but to God the Father there
hung the greatest conqueor the world had ever known.

When Jesus died His Life departed and descended
into the grave. Death encountered a new foe, LIFE,
and death ran. Captivity was taken captive, as a
Man tore open the very gates of hell and preached.
All who believed in Jesus left with Him. In short,
hell was plundered. God's connection with His Son,
raised Him bodily from the dead. The Life in Jesus
overcame sin; Satan; the world; all 'I' attitudes. Death,
Captivity and Hell, were also defeated, all by doing
nothing of "HIMSELF!"

Reader, Jesus could not live the Chrisitan Life on His
own abilities. Why do we think we can? You see,
formerly dead in sin, believers are now filled with a
new 'I' that soaks into their whole being and gets into the
cracks, so that all changes. We may look the same but
we are not. His 'I' wraps itself around everything. Our
flesh does not like it. However, it is fighting an 'I' that
has already overcome flesh.