Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Yes Girl

No Danks.

That's what my granddaughter used to say when she didn't want something offered.

That's how I just responded to God, as he responded to me and my plea to show me how and where  I could serve him;

No Danks.

No thank you.

Oh God please,  NO!  Not her.


I'll serve in a soup kitchen, sleep next to the homeless, sew barbie clothes for the under-privileged, organize a litany of library books by the Dewey Decimal system but please, not her.


Maybe you can agree with the lines written by C. W. Vanderbergh:
To love the world       
For me is no chore;
My only real problem
Is my neighbor next door.

Perhaps your familiar with Talmud, Avodah ,  Zarah 17b (whatever this is, I just liked the quote):
"He who studies the Scriptures, but does no works of love, lives without God".

And like the compassionate gentle savior that He is, I heard him say; You can love the sinner without loving the sin.  In mercy it is OK to speak your hurt over offenses suffered, just love her in the process.

This is my will. She needs to see me in you.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for [her] will arise from another...And who knows but that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this?
  Esther 4:14 

If you love me, Feed my sheep.
 Jn 21:17

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

Beth Moore pretty much caps my reaction--"Do you know Jesus?  He's awful bossy !"

And so, I say yes to God. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#Life Interrupted. By Mercy

"Being critical of others and being a chronic complainer both come from searching for the negative everywhere you can find it. Even being thin-skinned and having feelings that are easily hurt means that you interpret other people's words to you in the worst way."  1

I was going the speed limit.  I was the recommended car length behind the person in front of me and there was no one behind me for at least 2 blocks.

So why did she feel the need to race up beside me and shoot herself between me and the man upfront?

I have no idea what possessed the maneuver, but my morning commute suddenly went sour in the first 10 minutes.
And hadn't I just prayed moments ago for God to anoint my day with a kosher mouth, and a gracious, forgiving and merciful attitude?

Not even 5 minutes on the road and already my spiritual gears are steering towards reverse with some not so gracious criticisms.

I have failed again.

Or have I?

Just recently a question was posed in my current on line bible study;  "Of all these fruits, list three that you want to focus on when you escape to the secret place with God this week." 2

I chose, and have prayed for gentleness, kindness, and love.

History has me taught that when I present a prayer before God, He listens, and I better be prepared to have my life interrupted.

Apparently the Lord thinks I'm related to Miriam.  He thinks I might have a grumbling problem.
I'm guessing a critical spirit and it's cousin, anger, are also on the line.

I have recently learned that Jewish culture so highly esteems the effort to judge others favorably that groups are formed for the sole purpose of "training" themselves on how to acquire the art of inventing compassionate excuses for peoples behaviors;

Perhaps that sharp tongued co-worker just discovered a spouses infidelity.

Perhaps that rude neighbor is deeply depressed, or suffers from anxiety.

Perhaps that person simply did not hear you.

Perhaps the car that cut you off is rushing to the bedside of a dying parent or injured child.

And so, the #Life Interrupted commute became an occasion to embrace gentleness, kindness, and love as I prayed for that person behind the wheel.

And that's not a fail. That's a #Life Interrupted. By Mercy.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. 
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, 
rather serve one another in love. 
If you bite and devour each other, 
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galations 5:13,15

1 Lois Tverberg, WALKING in the DUST OF RABBI JESUS,  pg. 110
2 Lysa Terkeurst, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY Yes TO God, pg. 56

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I am about to go the way of all the earth.
Joshua 23:14

Well, those weren't really her exact words.

It was more like;  I just can't get the job done

In essence she was saying,  I can't seem to die.

Sixty-four years of active living and healthy eating apparently made no difference other than to prolong the agony of the dash;   6/18/1932--8/20/1996.

Diagnosed with leukemia at age 63 and given an average of seven years to live, mom passed away in only three.


Mom was a very private person, and speaking about a personal faith as opposed to the practice of tradition was awkward and threatening to her. Yet had God not given me the courage to persevere in presenting the gospel to her, I wouldn't have the peace I have today regarding her eternity.

Early in mom's illness, when prayers for healing began to be lifted to the heavens on her behalf, the Lord led me to Psalm 91.
It became a spiritual gift of encouragement, and a reminder of God's care and provision for us all.


The Psalm 91 mug.

I found the mug shortly after mom's diagnosis.


The confirmation.

Three years later.

The dying of a physical body is hard work and she was struggling, I knew it would be soon.
In the car and on my way to visit mom, I again poured out my soul;
Please God, I know I shouldn't ask this, but I need a fleece, an assurance of her eternal security. 
Grant me something unmistakably from you today. Move in an amazing, even miraculous way that assures me you have heard my prayer for her soul and answered.

The moment I entered her hospital room, mom waved her hand in the air and gestured to the Fall Precaution print on the wall behind her, asking ; What does THAT remind you of? 

I contemplated the print for several minutes and finally answered with frustration over my inability to get the connection ; I have no idea. What DOES it mean? 

Psalm 91
!  she said. "He shall give His angels charge over thee!"


Wow. Who would EVER, in a million years have pulled THAT from the print!

"The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes!"

Mark 12:11


I am eternally grateful that NOTHING is too hard for the Lord, that we can approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 1

Oh ye of little faith. 
Why did I ask for such a miracle and then let my words blow out the window as if the request was too much to ask

         1   Jeremiah 32:17  Hebrews 4:16


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teach Me, LORD

Teach me to share in the praise
of a bird singing sweetly
to cherish the voice of the wind
though it beat me completely.
Every step of the way
every hour of the day
let me feel you and love you
keep me from blowing away!

In Jesus name,
Amen and Amen

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Where Have You Come From, Where Have You Been?

Holy, Holy, Holy, are you LORD God, Most High.
Your are worthy to receive all glory, and honor and power.

Your are The God of Israel.
The  God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
The God of Moses, Miriam and Joshua
The God of Joseph, Mary and Isaiah
The God of David, Solomon and Job
The God of Rahab, Ruth and John.
The God of Jeremiah, Hosea and Paul.
The God of Peter, Adam and Eve.
You are Alpha and Omega
Creator of heaven and earth
High King of heaven
Ancient of Days
Beginning and End.
You are a refining fire
And consuming love.
You are El Elyon
El Shaddai

And yet--
You know me by name. You count the number of hairs on my head. You know when I sit and when I rise, when I go out and when I come in. You knit me together in the secret place and ordained all my days.

Such knowledge is too great for me.

Oh God, who am I that you are mindful of me?

May it be, when you ask, Where have you been and where have you come from, that I not answer as the evil one;  From roaming throughout the earth and going back and forth in it.

May it be I can say;  I have been to the Throne room of God Almighty, singing with angels and sitting at the feet of Jesus, receiving grace in my time of need, drinking living water that flows from the heavenly Jerusalem, placing my finger in the nail holes of a palm and saying in my soul; You are the Christ, The Living One, The Messiah, Who was and is and is to come.

Woe is me, I am a women of unclean lips.

Let it not be so that I am found indulging the lust of my eyes, engaging in corrupt conversation, judging the different, withholding from the poor, or roaming the earth in selfish ambition as I taste the temporary and delusional wares of the world.

Have mercy on me oh LORD my king. For you are worthy to receive all glory and honor and Power.

Amazing Love! How can it be, That Thou my King would die for me.

Revelation 4:8,11,  22:13  Isaiah 6:5  Psalms  8:4,139   Job 1:7  Romans 8:38-39  Matthew 16:16

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

But Me She Forgot

You know the place, right?  Dabar?  I have taken you there before.  It's the wilderness.

Hosea 2:13

"She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her food, rest, silver and gold.
Therefore... I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, so that I may speak kindly to her. Then I will make the valley of her disturbance a door of hope. And she will once again sing as in the days of her youth."

Ahhhh, Dabar, teach us again to hear the still small voice of God above the din, disappointments, distractions, and discomforts of life.  Forgive us of trying to re-write our story, of kicking against the bricks in protest with our self script on how it should be. Remind us that we are not the random beneficiaries of an impersonal scorching sun of chance or victims of life's pelting sands of misfortune. Forgive us of our doubt and disregard of you.
Sustain us with your word-- heavens manna.  Teach us to partake of your presence and trust in your sovereignty, even in the midst of  the mystery of adversity. 
Let us not forget you by failing to see you behind every soft or serrated moment of our day.
Take us through this valley of disturbance, to the door of hope. Speak kindly to us.
Take us to Dabar, take us if you must, because then and only then, will we sing of your glory once again as we realize all things work together for good.



He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness,
to humble and test you
 so that it might go well with you.
Deuteronomy 8:16

Hosea 2  1 Thess. 5:18  Psalm 91:1 Numbers 15:41 Romans 8:28

Thursday, August 8, 2013

With All My Heart

But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, 
since the offerings made by fire to the LORD, 
the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them.
Joshua 13:14

Clan by Clan the Israelites were allocated their inheritance, the promised land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 1 They were given the gift of rest.

The tribe of Levi inherited the gift of work, offerings made by fire to the LORD.

I think if I was Mrs. Levi, I would be a little unhappy with the retirement package.

I can't wait to retire to our 200 acres of "land" up north. I look forward to the day when my full time career gives way to full time tranquil idleness, my most arduous activity a stroll to my prayer altar deep in the woods to pray, meditate, dream, or blog.
I'm not really sure I would be pleased to learn my brothers had inherited the family homestead promising easy, carefree retirement living in a lush land of mountains and valleys that drank rain from heaven, while I was apportioned...WORK.

We've come a long way in 2000 years, haven't we?
What was once considered a privilege, is now considered a penalty. What was once accepted as an honor is now a hindrance.
Work?  No thank you.    Sacrifice? No thanks.   Worship? Rather not.

It has often troubled me to consider how much a part of early jewish life revolved around God compared to the 21st century of today. 
The lives of the ancient fathers, prophets, and people centered around expected encounters with the Lord. It was the rule, not the exception. 

God wasn't a by-product of a religious life in those days, He WAS life. 

Sadly, what was once embraced as a holy and devoted routine is now considered a radical fanaticism.
We would rather play, than pray. Pursue pleasurable agenda's rather than practice sacrificial obedience. Love self rather than the Lord.

In her book, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY Yes TO God, Lysa Terkeurst aptly writes;
...radical obedience is not really that radical. It is really biblical obedience--but we've strayed so far from biblical obedience that it now seems radical.

Where in the world have we gone wrong? We have lost all sense of God, We have--
exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. 2

We might think we desire rest, but our souls long to labor in worship.
For the Levites, loving the Lord wasn't a burden, it was joyful obedience.

I have been awestruck recently by the Hebrew definition of Love as used in Deuteronomy 6:5: Ahahvah
"Ahahvah goes beyond emotions. Ahahvah can also mean to act lovingly toward or to be loyal to.When the Israelites were commanded to love God as part of their covenant, we can read it as not so much about passionate feelings as much as an utter commitment to loyalty toward God, the One they obeyed."3

Love, then, meant action!  And actions speak louder than words.

If sacrificing my rest for the work of worship =loving God through obedience, then I will take the inheritance of radical sold out faith any day.  I will love. I will obey. I will do what he says do!

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5

1  Deuteronomy 11:11
2 Romans 1:25
3 Lois Tverberg, WALKING in the DUST OF RABBI JESUS, Zondervan 2012, 44-45

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cooper's Back

Now there's a surprise. The groundhogs back!

I had to get to work + the groundhog was eating the tomato's= Cooper's gotta go.

My daughter had affectionately named the furry little guy 'Cooper'.
He's sooooooo cute, look at him, awwwwwwwuuuuuh!   
(I admit, it WAS entertaining to watch for his cameo appearances as he scouted out the yard).

But cooper was a menace.
Cooper was razing the garden, taunting the dogs and intimidating the kids playing in their own backyard.

Hunter husband wanted to take care of business.
Princess daughter wanted to keep him for a pet.
Both relented and agreed to obtain a trap from the conservation department so cooper could be properly relocated.

Of course, Cooper would chose the day I had to work to check out the tomato in the trap.

BE CAREFUL, they're MEAN, and BITE, I reminded the boys as I dashed out the door,
Take the groundhog up to the park several miles away and release him!

Assuming my instructions were followed to a tee, I called home later that morning to see how the transport went.
GREAT, was the response, We let him go... at the top of the street!  

Sigh.  Boys!

Ever feel like you just can't get the job done?
Like you just keep going round and round that mountain in the wilderness as the Israelites did?

Joshua can relate:

"When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 
the LORD said to him, you are very old 
and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over".
Joshua 13:1

Joshua had conquered 31 kings at this point and captured a large portion of the land. 
He was tired. He was ready to retire and pass the baton. 
But more kings, more land, more work still hung on the horizon.

Do you want to be DONE with that thing you struggle with? 
Feel like ditching that neighbor or co-worker again?
Rather relax with your current read than invite "her" to lunch?
Does that ignore key on your cell tempt you?

Feel like that unction to show mercy keeps coming back after you have brushed it under the rug for the umpteenth time?

Bottom line, we have a job to do here on earth. 
As much as we would like it to be, life isn't a good book and cool glass of iced tea around the pool. 

Translated--It's not about me.

Life can be mean. People bite.

Never-the-less, the call to love our enemy, care for the widow, pray for the captive and take the gospel to the ends of earth, remains.

To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
Revelation 2:17

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
 Phillipians 4:13


 May you discover Joy for the journey.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Arabah !

Arabah south of Kennereth.

The wilderness, I am captivated by it.
Again and again I return to the place where God whispers in the wind to me, speaks in the silence,breathes beauty in the barrenness and rescues me in the rifts.

Arabah.  Wild and wonderful wilderness, you are my hiding place, you are my healing place.


I stood at the terminal gate, newly pregnant, cradling my 12 month old son in trembling arms and prepared to board the plane. Korea bound, compliments of the U.S. army.
With a last good-bye, my grandmother hugged me with her arms but more so with her words,
Fear not, for He is with you always.  Deuteronomy 31:6
It felt like I was headed for the most barren place on earth. Alone.
Her words became my oasis that year, the reminder that I wasn't going to be forgotten or forsaken.
All I had to do was follow the footprints in the sand as he led the way through my Arabah.

Check out Jeremiah 2:2,6
I remember the devotion of your youth, 
how as a bride you loved me
and  followed me through the desert.

Did you catch that?  
To state that one is following implies another must be leading. 

He was with me those 2 years abroad, through every homesick yearning, every cultural adjustment, every tear of loneliness, every feeling of abandonment.
I was the bride that had said yes to his call, the call to believe in him as the one true God, maker of heaven and earth and Arabah.
And he was my God that led me through the rifts of a foreign land, through my Arabah. 

...The LORD...
led us through the barren wilderness
through a land of deserts and rifts.

What is your current wilderness? 
He is there, you know, just a few feet in front of you saying, 
come on, follow me. Lets do this thing called life together.

 knows the foot prints of God in the sand,
receives the holy water from the heavenly temple,
prepares the way for finding Canaan.

For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
2 Cor. 4:17

Joshua 11:2  Arabah, south of Kennereth

Arabah, where the Israelites crossed into the Promised land of Canaan  Deuteronomy 1:1,8  3:17-18
Arabah ,where Zedekiah fled after Judah fell captive to the Babylonians  Jeremiah  52:7-8
Arabah, where waters will flow from the new Jerusalem to the Arabah  Ezekiel 47:1-12