Friday, November 28, 2014


You remember the story....

Jesus was taking the boat to the opposite shore to get away from the crowds. He asked his disciples to join Him.

 A violent windstorm came up, and the waves began breaking into the boat, 
so that the boat was rapidly becoming swamped.
 But Jesus was in the back of the boat, asleep on a cushion. 
So they woke Him up and asked Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?”
Mark 4:37-38 

The sea was calm and peaceful at the start. There was no hesitation from anyone as to whether they should make the journey. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a storm of great magnitude came upon them! They panicked, felt helpless, uncertain and incredibly fearful and out of control.

Life does that to us more than we care to admit. Totally blindsides us, sidelines us. Events surprise us. Circumstances catch us unaware. "Why me?!" "Not again!" Rather than act, we react. We react with...

Of course, there is a healthy type of fear, a rational fear, that helps rather than hinders. The fear that we sense when something truly dangerous to our health and well being is threatening.

The type of fear we experience that interferes with all that we are created to be for His glory is irrational fear. Self doubt, insecurity, persecution. Fear of rejection, failure or exclusion. Fear of being alone, forgotten. The list goes on. The weight of this type of fear drags us down. It is baggage bearing great weight that drags us under. We carry it with us at all times. 

We choke on it. It suffocates. We retreat with it. It inhibits us.  It steals our joy. It is a thief. And, worst of all, 

Yes, fear is a liar.

I am in a season of uncertainty in my journey in this life. This past year has brought changes, heartache, challenge and, yes, fear. The past eleven years I have been plagued by it. And, honestly, as I look back, fear has been lying to me my entire life.

Recently, nothing terribly serious has happened but yet a series of unfortunate events have changed my life in ways that I didn't expect. It has brought me, in some ways, out of my comfort zone. Into uncharted waters. I've been set off course to a new destination.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of the future. Fear of being hurt, alone, forgotten.
Most of all, fear of not making my life count for His glory. 

I long to be on a sea of glass with my sails unfurled headed with eyes focused upon my certain destination. A sea of calm, a sea of tranquility. Perfect wind in my sails. A gentle breeze on my face. Pleasant temperatures surrounding my presence. A heart full of joy and anticipation in what lies ahead.

I long to set sail with no fear, no regrets, no uncertainty. In or out of my comfort zone. Gazing at the beauty of sunrise and sunset in the clear, endless sky. Gazing at the still moon's reflection over glassy waters beneath my skiff. Resting my head with confidence and sleeping a deep, undisturbed sleep. Just like Jesus did. But I can't. Fear has whispered lies and I've listened. I am fearful of what lies ahead....

Then He got up, rebuked the wind, and told the sea, “Calm down! Be still!” 
Then the wind stopped blowing, and there was a great calm.   
He asked them, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?”

 Overcome with fear, they kept saying to one another, “Who is this man? 
Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
Mark 4:39-41

Or can I? With Jesus, yes, I can do all of that. Even in the here and now. He promises His presence. Always. He promises me a future and a hope. He promises me that He will never leave me of forsake me. He promises He will be my strength and my guide. He promises me that He will go before me. He is for me and not against me. And, so much more!

Tear your hearts, not your garments; 
and turn back to the Lord your God. 
For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to become angry, 
overflowing in gracious love, and grieves about this evil.
Joel 2:13 

Fear is a liar. The author of fear is the evil one, the father of lies, the devil himself. He wants us to fear and to run and hide. He wants us to doubt ourselves. He wants us to doubt every one of God's promises. He wants us, most of all to doubt His perfect, unconditional love for us. He wants us to question our very purpose and the reason for our existence. His desire is to render us unbelieving and ineffective for the Kingdom of God.

 This is how love has been perfected among us: 
we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, 
during our time in this world, we are just like him.  
There is no fear where love exists. 
Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, 
and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love. 
1 John 4:17-18

Where is my faith? Where is my faith in the storms of life when the wind and sea rage and I'm being tossed about like a boat in the ocean? Are my eyes fixed on the One True God? Is Jesus my anchor?
The devil would have me think that my Lord and my God has abandoned me. "I will never leave you or forsake you" says the Lord. I am NOT alone. Nothing is too big for Him to handle!

For you, God, tested us,
    to purify us like fine silver.
You have led us into a trap
    and set burdens on our backs. 
 You caused men to ride over us.
    You brought us through fire and water,
        but you led us to abundance.
Psalms 66:10-12

Read the last part of that verse. Over and over again. Abundance. He brings us through the fire to a life of abundance!

I can have that sea of glass as long as my heart and mind are stayed upon Him. Yes, here and now. I need to get on the boat, as His disciple, and stay there. Despite wind, rain and torrent. I must not abandon the ship.

I cannot listen to the lies that fear whispers.  The Lord has promised me the peace that surpasses all understanding and the gift of His Spirit to guide. I know His purposes. I know His promises. I know His plans. I know His unfailing love. I know my destination. I know the evil one has already been defeated!

But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what He has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me? 
Psalms 56:3-4

Where there is fear, His love has been cast out, rejected. Where fear exists, there is lack of trust, belief, love and faith in Him. Where His love exists, fear cannot exist simultaneously. Fear becomes fallacy and love and truth reign supreme.


Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 
Isaiah 41:10

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, 
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 
Isaiah 41:13

I must confess that, for me in this moment, I have to consciously make this choice. Out of obedience to Him knowing He is love. Out of obedience, fruit will come forth. Each day that passes will be born of love rather than fear. Each day, it will become a more natural, integral part of my being. The sea will become more and more a sea of glass... And, then, I will truly be ready to walk on water with Him.

Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, since He is good, for His gracious love exists forever. 
Psalms 106:1

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


In our family, we're not much for watching television but do like to have a movie night once a week.  Usually family friendly stuff.  My youngest was at a sleepover last time so we decided to watch Source Code. (Honestly, I'd never heard of it but my husband requested it from Netflix.)

Interesting movie, engaging plot line. I won't be a spoiler but will share some detail as to what I find intriguing.

The main character is being sent back in time to figure out who set off a bomb on a commuter train killing hundreds. He has to go back again and again and again searching for more clues until he figures it out. The poor guy is confused, exhausted, frustrated and alone. Eventually, our hero solves the mystery, and, in turn, gets to make things right and inherits his freedom and a new future.

Right now, I feel very much like him. Uncertain, tired, frustrated (and a bit angry) and alone.

I'm in a fog. I'm in a holding pattern. I'm often just going through the motions. Though I know I am not alone as the Lord promises me that He is always with me, He is being very quiet, very subtle in guiding me through each day. He is keeping me waiting. Waiting upon Him, trusting Him, developing my faith and trust in light of the uncertainty of the future.

Days come and go. Some days are hard. Sleep is restless. The heart is heavy with hurt some days.

I know He is doing a work. The Light is there. Yet I still struggle even in the knowing. The days have turned into months. Years really. It is a slow process. I'm not getting any younger and most of it doesn't get any easier.

The journey is two-fold: 1) pulling out bad roots, ingrained habits that run long and deep and 2) making me rely solely upon Him and His will for me--no strongholds, no crutches, no dependencies-- so that He can lead me to a more meaningful purpose, one to which I've truly been called.

He tells me to remember that, for me, ALL is grace.

For us, ALL is grace.

We only get one shot at this life. Unlike my movie hero, I can't go back in time to change history or to make things right. I can't undo the wrongs that I've done or that have been done to me no matter how much I'd like to do it. But all is grace......

We must continually look to the only source. In His grace, it is not a race. Not a race against time to erase all the wrongs and make them right. No works to earn freedom and a new future. In Him, I am forgiven. In Him, I am redeemed. In Him, I'm given a future and a hope. In Him, we can 'pay it forward' rather than looking to the past.

He keeps no record of wrongs. He blots out our transgressions. He carries our shame.

He transforms me, if I yield to Him, and helps to relieve my burdens, give me rest, learn His ways. He helps me to forgive those who burdened me and love them anyway. Even those I might never see  again in this life.

All is grace. He makes me better going forward rather than going back in time. All is grace. Every breath I breathe. Every morning when I awaken. Every step I take. Every choice I make. He wants me to see, understand and embrace that grace. He supplies grace in every moment. I, too, need to give grace in every moment.

And, to give thanks. To give thanks during the pruning and plucking no matter how much it hurts. For me, giving thanks in difficulty has always been the hardest part.  "This is my will for you" He reminds me.

All is grace. His will is grace. His love is grace. He is grace. He is the only source that will get us through the toughest times, the deepest waters, the hardest hurts. Not only get us through but bring us through in glory. I don't deserve anything but, nonetheless, He gives me everything I could ever need. Undeserved, unmerited favor in the eyes of the Creator of the Universe....

Love. Light. Freedom. Future. GRACE.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom.  
As all of us reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, we are becoming more like Him with ever-increasing glory by the Lord’s Spirit. 
2 Cor 3:17-18

ALL is grace. Our Lord is the source. He is the only One Who can make all things right and just.

Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and—look!—all things have become new! 
2 Cor 5:17

Praising Him for the good, the bad and the ugly, knowing He works ALL things together for good according to His PERFECT will.....!
Now if the ministry of death that was inscribed in letters of stone came with such glory that the people of Israel could not gaze on Moses’ face (because the glory was fading away from it), will not the Spirit’s ministry have even more glory? 
2 Cor 3:7-8


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Glue. Sometimes messy. Always sticky. A bonding agent.

Cement. Sometimes messy.  Mostly firm. A bonding agent.

When my sweet girl goes out with her friends on her own, I tell her "Stick together like glue."  Common cliche but I know she gets my meaning and the importance of it.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

When we make an agreement, we want it to be 'cemented in' or 'like concrete' so that it cannot be violated or broken.

You don't often hear the phrase "Stick together like cement."  Once things are bound by cement, they are practically inseparable.  It would take a high-powered jack hammer and a lot of time to break the cement into rubble and separate it from whatever it is binding or covering.

We like the flexibility of glue and the permanence of cement. And, each are necessary depending upon the task required. And yet....

We go about our days, our busyness, trying to manage the time and resources at our disposal. We work, we serve, we play. The nuts and bolts of life. So much to do, so little time. We stress. We have anxiety. We worry. We weigh everything on our 'to do' list and wonder how we are going to get it all done. We hope to remember everything we might forget.

We remember to hope for God's intervention. We even send up a quick prayer asking for the Lord's assistance. Maybe too little, too late. We put bandages on what we can, the quick fix, and salvage the rest as best we can.

We face temptation.  We ignore it, fight it with the flesh, try to fix it ourselves. We have temporary victories and pat ourselves on the back. Then it returns. It happens again. Eventually we come unglued and give into it. It rules our lives.

We do it our way rather than His. We fool ourselves into thinking that we know best. I know I do.

Too much glue. Not enough cement.

Too much busy. Too much self.

Not enough prayer. Not enough fasting. Not enough of Him.

We use glue when cement is what is needed most. Cement. Prayer. And fasting. Prayer and fasting.

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. Matthew 9:14-15

Prayer and fasting holds all of it together. Praying and fasting accesses the only One we will ever need in a much deeper, more intimate way. It invokes intercession and the power of His Spirit. It illuminates His Holy Word imparting wisdom and discernment. Our life, our works become focused on Him rather than on ourselves. We begin to understand His will, His ways, and follow His plans rather than our own.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:26-28

As we, in earnest, seek Him, our will becomes in alignment with His. Our faith is increased, our trust is increased.

We acknowledge our weakness; He is magnified. We surrender to Him in weakness; He is glorified.

He told them, “Because of your lack of faith I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20-21

In our humility, He is mighty to use us as conduits for His love and grace. It prepares our hearts to receive what He has in store for us.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:1-3

In our repentance and dependance, He breaks the ties that bind, heals the wounds that hurt, pulls out the rotten roots that run deep and does a greater work in our hearts than we would have ever known.

In our surrender, He transforms, transfigures and heals us. 

Prayer and fasting. It is the conduit that brings it all together--His Word, His Spirit, His Will, His Purpose, His Glory--and bonds it together it like cement.  It builds a faith that is unshakable, immovable, unstoppable.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-29




I want to live like that.....!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Okay, I'll get right to the point. Our guinea pig died this afternoon. Suddenly. With very little warning.

To add insult to injury, we've only had Pippin for two and a half weeks. Inherited from a neighbor. Such a very short time. In a blink of an eye, Pippin was part of our family and then she was gone. No more chattering, no more crunching, no more life. Suddenly.

Precious Pippin

My sweet daughter is gentle-spirited, compassionate, kind-hearted and very much an animal lover. She realized something was wrong with Pippin this morning right away. So in tune. Now, my daughter is away and the guinea pig has passed.  I grapple with exactly how to tell her what as transpired in her absence when she returns home.
It is times like these that make very little sense especially to the young and innocent. (And, to apply reason when explaining sudden death to children is next to impossible.) Frankly, it doesn't always make a lot of sense to me.  It is heartbreaking not to mention a shock when so unexpected. And, it is times like these when it is most difficult to give thanks.  

Yet I do. 

  • I give thanks to Him who created us and every creature that roams upon the earth, in the sky and under the sea. To love, to enjoy, to understand Him more and more.
  • I give thank to Him for His marvelous creation and how it reveals His creativity, His depth, His glory, and His plan for the future for all of us.

  • I give thanks to Him for my compassionate child whose depth of heart moves me to compassion, love, and hope in Him Who is the author of life, breathing life into us from the moment of conception and Who holds our time in His loving hands.
  • I give thanks to Him for the opportunity to share this part of life, experiencing death, with my two precious gifts of life so that I can show them His glory even in the sad times, the difficult times.

  •  I give thanks to Him for His perfect work in our hearts and His transforming power as He molds us into being like Him even though sometimes it hurts. It is times like these that we know we have life and we are living for Him and because of Him. It is times like these that we truly treasure His gift of eternal life.

"But, as it is written,
'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him...'" 
1 Corinthians 2:9

  •  I give thanks to Him for the precious gift He gives us in the hope of His salvation, in the Kingdom to come where life springs eternal in a way that only He can give. In the blink of an eye....

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:52

Yes, He gives and He takes away. Yet, in each moment, there is something to be thankful for. For we know, no matter how dark it may seem in the moment, His love endures forever. For that reason alone, we can give thanks in all circumstances!

 "As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” 
2 Chronicles 7:1-3

And, I must not forget to share that, just the other day, my lovely daughter mentioned that she'd like to have a pet rat or two. I did tell her that the guinea pig was enough for now; we'd consider rats once Pippin was no longer with us. Perhaps God's providence is upon us.....?! Either way, I ran out to the pet store and purchased two small rats who will be waiting for her when she returns home. To comfort, to heal her heart, and start again..... As His love would have it.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I'm an active listener by nature. Much more so than a talker. (My husband might disagree as he is always ready to lend an ear for me when I need it!) I express my love for others by my gift of time in listening, contemplating the words given, asking questions of interest and giving words of wisdom if the situation requires it.

A little more than five years ago, I was asked to join in my first experience with conversation prayer. Hmmmm....  I'm thinking to myself, "You mean you want me to talk out loud while I pray in front of all these people!?" "You want me to converse with my heavenly Father where everyone can hear me?!" A tough hurtle for someone who listens more than speaks. My throat begin to tighten, my mouth became dry, and my palms began to sweat. Uncomfortable! I enjoyed my prayer time with my Creator, one on one, but this format was definitely outside of my comfort zone.

The first few sessions, I listened. Just listened. (I am a good listener, remember?) I got the rhythm, the cadence of our group prayer time.  Okay. I will try it. I said something short and sweet.  During the next few meetings, I listened more than I contributed but did have a burning in my heart to share something more. There is power in the name of Jesus. Especially when two or more are gathered in His name. I felt empowered by His Spirit.

Once again, He humbled me.  He reminded me that this time was not about me but about Him.  He also reminded me that this conversation was to be Spirit-led rather than Me-led! So, I let go and let the Lord guide and the Spirit do the talking. I discovered:

  • The beauty of fellowship in prayer led by the Spirit.

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." 
Acts 2:42

  •  The blessing of humility in service through prayer as the body of Christ. 

 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord." 
Zephaniah 3:9

  • The power behind prayer as we gather in His name in full accord and of one mind. For our comfort and joy!

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." 
Philippians 2:1

Conversations. Two way conversations. Such a blessing and such a rarity. These days, meaningful conversation is truly a form of art, a skill learned and much needed to develop quality relationships among ourselves. And, with our Maker. Alone with Him or  together in one accord.

Listening is instrumental to a meaningful conversation. In prayer and with each other in conversation. Listen for His still small voice, His Holy Spirit to impart wisdom and discernment, to speak His will, to utter His love. He is ALIVE and speaks to those who humble themselves and are willing to listen.

He is always ready, available and such a good listener! I have grown to love conversational prayer and I still cherish my personal conversations with God! That face-to-face time is truly where I talk my heart and He speaks to it.  The blessings and benefits of collective prayer are amazing. As we pray, our desires and our wills become aligned with His and each other. Truly, we become of one mind in Christ.

And, believe it or not, I led a Conversational Prayer group as part of a weekly women's bible study as Prayer Chairman. Imagine that! If I hadn't stepped out of the comfort zone and into the 'unknown', He wouldn't have been able to use and bless me in so many ways!

Praising Him for the gift and power of prayer and a community that prays together! Praying that you find treasure, blessing and power in prayer in His name........

Thursday, July 31, 2014


I have two clocks--one in the master bath and one in the master bedroom--that are battery powered with moving hands and numbers on the face.  The 'old fashion' type. They both make a ticking sound to count the seconds.

As I sat in silence in my bedroom one morning, I noticed something disconcerting about these dueling clocks. One clock was, ever so slightly, just ahead of the other clock. I would hear a 'tick' followed immediately by another 'tick'. Again, again, again.  If I focused on the noise long enough, it started making me feel a bit nervous and unsettled. Something that is suppose to be rhythmic and soothing became rather disturbing! Praise be to our Creator for creating rhythm, balance, and order out of potential chaos. (Well, at least for me anyway...).

This ticking echo reminded me of God's timing. He is transcendent in time and space moving in and out freely without being confined to one place or one moment in time. He is everywhere all the time. Time does not matter to Him. He operates freely without the confines of time. He manages multidimensional time with ease!

How amazingly liberating! But, alas, this transcendent gift is not for us. Not yet. Now, time belongs only to Him. We are ruled by time. Not only our appointments, our calendars, our waking and sleeping, our eating but in life and in death. Even in one dimensional time, we find it difficult to manage. And, it is only by His providence that we receive the gift of time; He holds our every moment in His hands.

"Time and tide wait for no man." Geoffrey Chaucer

What a comforting picture that should be for us in the here and now. God is in control of all of it. He knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end. He is everywhere and in everything.  Way too much responsibility for me! Way too much to do and to be in charge of at any given moment. Too much juggling!

Let's rest in our transcendent God. Let's rest in His divine ability to manage every detail of everything simultaneously.   What a precious gift: His Word is Truth,  He Himself is love. He knows every thought before we think it, every word before we speak it, every hair on our head. (Talk about detail oriented!) His purpose is pure. We can trust Him with every detail in our lives. We can rest, truly rest, in Him. Whew! Let us manage it wisely as it is a gift to be used for His glory. Our time is in GOOD hands!

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He CARES for YOU [emphasis mine]. 1 Peter 5:7

He saves the best for last--this gift of transcendence. For life ever after. We will be transformed, a new creation, a new beginning with a divine nature. As transcendent as He is now. We will use it for His purpose, for His glory in ways that we cannot, at this moment, begin to fathom. I want to be a part of that.....when the right time has come!

 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. 
Hebrews 6:17-20

Friday, July 25, 2014


(In December 2013, I wrote a post entitled "Who's That Knocking at The Door?"  You may want to read that post before this one to help tie things together.)

Sweet Snuggles

Almost a year ago, my sweet snuggler of a dog developed the routine of coming to my bedroom door during my morning quiet time and asking to come in. He and I would enjoy each other's company as well as my time with God and his time being pampered.

Unfortunately, during the past few months, our morning ritual has changed a bit.  He now comes to my room VERY early,  scratching, whining and waiting to be let through the door.  If I don't open the door right away, Snuggles will wait outside continuing to whine and scratch until I do so.  Not helpful in my pursuit of prayer and quiet time with my Creator.

Why the change?  Well, we have another morning routine.  Snuggles gets one stick of dog jerky for his 'breakfast'. When?  After my quiet time, when I go downstairs to grab my cup of coffee and something to eat. Hmmmm......

Apparently, the treat has become more important than the pampering. Now, the food is the driving force behind his desire to seek me out in the morning. Satisfying his fleshly desire is more important than spending time with me feeling loved, comfortable and cared for. Hmmmm...

I recently realized how easily I can fall in that same routine. It is a trap, really.  How often do I allow my 'to do' list or the dog himself to get in the way of my quiet time?  How often do I pray for my own desires instead His desires for me?  How often do I ask for things that satisfy the flesh rather than fill the spirit?  How many times do I ignore or deny His will and press on toward my goal rather than His? How often do I just sit and listen, look and wait for Him rather than rushing ahead on impulse? How much do I ask to be blessed without giving, yielding, serving, asking what I can do for Him or just being with Him?

Fortunately, I can think outside the limits of a dog's life!  Praise Him for that saving grace!  I can  recognize what has become routine, what has become habit and move beyond it. I can make changes to improve my time with Him, my walk with Him, and my relationship with Him. If I anticipate the blessings of the flesh, I miss the most important blessing of all: being His presence!  Missing my walk in the garden with Him. Missing opportunities to serve, to help another, to worship. I focus on self rather than Him and others.

I wonder how many times I've missed something wonderful that He has waiting for me. Some blessing, some gift, some answer to a prayer I haven't even prayed yet. All because my heart and mind are not stayed on Him. The rush ahead. The anticipation of the treat. Hmmmm....

After all, it is NOT about the TREAT; it IS about the RELATIONSHIP.  That beautiful relationship of love is something we take into eternity...... Nothing is more important. Nothing. And, that is where we will receive blessing beyond measure. The treat is truly worth the wait!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


The cave. Cool. Dark. Sheltered. Protected.

Are you a cave dweller?  I've been known to be.

I go there when I need to unplug. I go there to decompress. I go there when I don't know where else to go. When I am fearful or discouraged. I go there to meditate. I go there in times of trouble--to self medicate, to lick my wounds, take time to heal.

Even Elijah fled from those who thought wrongly of him and sought to kill him.  Even Elijah, an ordinary man yet extraordinarily used by God, was discouraged, cried out to God and hid when he felt persecuted, uncertain and afraid.

"Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,  while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”  Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep." 
1 Kings 19:3-5

Even Elijah, a true man of God, took shelter in a cave.

"The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.  There he went into a cave and spent the night." 1 Kings 19:6-8

The beauty of it is that God is in the cave. God hears our cry. He knows our heart. God understands our need to be a cave dweller sometimes.  To go somewhere cool, quiet, and safe. He knows we will run, hide and seek solace. He knows we need that time to pray, ponder and regroup. And, He is there waiting to provide.

 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  1 Kings 19:9-13

It is there in the cave that we find Him. It is there in the cave we draw close. Then He comes to refresh, restore and renew. He breathes His life back into us as we seek His face, listen for His still small voice. He reassures us of His presence, His purpose and ours in Him. Just as Elijah.

The cave serves a purpose but only for awhile. Eventually we must emerge. With Him, His mercies are new every morning; He makes ALL things new. He is a God of second chances.

"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! " Luke 24:2-7

He goes before us. We emerge from the cave with a renewed sense of His grace, His strength and His mercy. We emerge with a new sense of life, vision and purpose. The world and our walk with Him look a little different.  We look a little different. Our spirit is nourished and healed. Our confidence is restored. There is understanding, surrender and peace.

The cave is there when we need it. When we need to be transformed. We will visit it as often as He guides us there. For a time. And, He is always there waiting........

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Honestly, there are times when I feel discouraged. I feel, in a sense, deaf.  I long to hear God's voice but can’t. There seems to be distance between myself and my Creator whether real or imagined. I wonder if He is there, if He is listening, what He is doing, and if and when He will answer.  My head knows the Truth but my heart doubts. Do you ever have those moments?

Yet why can't I hear Him?
  I do know that God speaks to us in so many ways. Through circumstances, through people, through trials, through blessings. Mostly through His Word. I do pray for eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to know the mind of Christ and the will of God. Even so, sometimes He still seems distant, quiet.  That is when I can become discouraged. Knowing yet not hearing. Searching yet not finding.
Of course, God is faithful. And, He is good. In His loving kindness, He revealed something to me through my precious family recently that brought me joy, reassurance and encouragement concerning His constant presence and desire to communicate with us in depth.

As He would have it, God often reveals things to me through my children. Very humbling and exciting!  My 14 year old son has been studying Hebrew for almost three years now.  He recently took it upon himself to do a research project on the tetragrammaton. YHVH - the 'unpronounceable name' of God.

Here is a summary of what my son shared with me: 

In Hebrew, characters not only have phonetic purpose but the characters in and of themselves have a pictographic meaning as well.
The letter on the far right is the yod. (Hebrew reads from right to left.) The letters all make the sound of the first letter in their name. Yod is y. Hey is h. Vav is v. Hey, is still h.

The yod and the hey together in context means; "His presence revealed." The yod in the context means "His presence" while the hey means in context; "His breath." "His presence manifested as His breath."

The vav means to join two into one. The hey means "revealed" or "manifestation." But, it denotes joining in union, like a marital joining. A Covenant revelation..... we have the yesterday in creation of Adam and Eve and the prophecy of the bride of Christ:

"His presence manifests in His breath (Us; He breathed us to life from the dust) as two join into one as one manifestation or revelation." 

As my son explained, I felt as if the doors of heaven were being opened to me so I could catch a small glimpse of His majesty. But, there was more....

In Paleo Hebrew, which works in pictograms, each letter had a meaning. Like hieroglyphs. Yod signifies a closed hand, a work or a deed done. The Hey, to the left of that, signifies the word "lo" or "behold!" The vav signifies a nail or peg, and signifies joining two things together. It denotes labor or a task.

Lo, the work and deed is done! Behold, the nails and pegs, the labor complete!”

My eyes filled with tears. God's very name is a tribute to the sacrifice of His Son. Absolutely amazing!
Not long after my son's research project, my husband was doing research on his own accord and came across this amazing truth in God's Word.  In using the pictographic translation of the Hebrew characters, in the Book of Genesis, the genealogy of Adam through Noah, the names of the firstborn sons, contain a message for us!

"Man is appointed mortal sorrow (death) but the Blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring the despairing comfort, rest." 

Once again, our death sentence through sin is turned to triumph through our Savior, Jesus Christ!  Such a comfort and confirmation of His perfect plan, His omnipotence and His omnipresence contained with the Scriptures.

So, be encouraged!  His desires to communicate with us and reveal Himself to us are deep and intense. When we have the earnest desire to seek Him and know Him more, He will go to many lengths and use any method to communicate with us. He truly is  the God of details.

When we feel a lull in our walk, a time when the Lord may be quiet or we don’t sense or see Him working in our lives, remember and reflect on His multiple layers, His different ways of communicating with us, His depth, and the irrevocable proof that He exists. Reaffirm your faith in His unrelenting pursuit in revealing His majesty to us. In an intimate way. Be encouraged knowing He always speaks. Remember that we may need to change the way we listen and look in those places that seem least likely to find Him! Oh, how He loves us so…..

Friday, March 21, 2014


(Also see the post entitled In the Garden-Cultivating Our Relationship with the Lord)

In the beginning. In the garden.

So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” 
Genesis 1:27-28

Such a beautiful picture of a Father loving and trusting His children! He created them to be as He is. He blessed them. He granted enormous privilege. Most importantly, He talked and walked with them.

Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there He placed the man He had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden He placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9

She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.  At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:6-9

And, so it goes.  From that point forward, the garden stroll, the walk with God in the most perfect of gardens was off limits. The door was shut. Sin had entered in where it had no place. Where it had been forbidden. No direct access to the Creator of the Universe Whose power is beyond all comprehension. Access denied.

 And then came Jesus the Christ. The Door.  God had a backup plan! Hallelujah! Those who believe in Him will receive the gift of eternal life in circumstances far better than imagined. And, for now, those who believe can walk through that Door and, once again, walk with God in His garden. Anytime. Anywhere. Just by speaking the name of Jesus, believing, and following in His steps.

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:8 

This walk in the garden.... It is precious. It is a privilege that some know, few recognize and even fewer utilize. It is truly an undeserved honor bestowed upon us to walk in the garden with the Lord.

An honor and privilege bestowed upon us by the Almighty. Yet we take it for granted. Time flies, schedules fill, 'to do' lists multiply, activities accelerate. "No time for that walk in the garden today" we hear ourselves say.  Other things are more important......?

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

Without walking through that door and into His garden, we can never know Him.  Yes, we can know of Him but not truly know Him.     Without walking with Him, we won't understand our true purpose, be given access to divine wisdom and counsel, be comforted, be healed, receive peace. We will miss out on the most important things in life because we are worried about the insignificant details of our lives rather than leaving them with the One who has an answer for everything under heaven.

We call it quiet time. The daily bread and living water we MUST have each day to make this life's journey. To give, to serve, to love, to live fully. To receive His blessing. To give out His grace. To resist temptation. To live truth. To speak life into others. To live abundantly.

Quiet time. Time to be undistracted, undisturbed. Time to focus on the One Who matters most.  Time to cry out to Him with heart issues, praise and thank Him for all He does every day (the seen and the unseen), ask for forgiveness to release us from bondage, and seek guidance in the smallest of things knowing that He cares and He is into the details. You can talk to Him about absolutely ANYTHING!

Quiet time. It is also a time to enjoy being in His presence in stillness and solitude. To love and be loved. To write things down as He gives guidance through His Word, speaks to you in His still small voice, or answers a prayer through a devotion.

 Quiet time. It is truly the most important part of your day. Whether it is at the beginning, the end or some time in between. Whether it is in your favorite chair, on the back porch, or in the car. Take that time in that space to cultivate your garden. Bring an offering of sacrifice in time, praise, thanksgiving and fellowship. To grow in your relationship with Him. To know Him better. To become more like our sweet Savior. To develop and sharpen those gardening tools in your spiritual tool box.

Such a marvelous gift. What a wonderful relationship!  A small sacrifice each day after all He has done and continues to do for us!  Make time for Him. Be still and know Him. He is always waiting and wanting you to know Him more.....

Daily Bread + Living Water = Life More Abundantly in Him!