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:

' 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?