Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Parent's Prayer

This morning I had to make a tough parental decision.

It was so tough that I have been dwelling on it and when I tried to pray I couldn't.

(I'm big on dwelling...it's both a strength and a weakness).

So here is my prayer that I can't seem to pray in my head...maybe it will come out better as I type it.

God, I love my daughter who is growing up fast.
I need wisdom to know when to let her go
and when to say no.

Keep her from people who would harm her.
Bless her attempts to serve you.
Show her...more than anything...that you are real and that you love her.

God, keep our relationship intact through the teen years.
And let the day come quickly when she says, "Thanks for being a good Mom."
Bless her with great friends and a clear path for her life.

God remind me that you love her more than I can comprehend.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grace and Peace

The more I seek out God the better he becomes.

Listen to this:
This is from the book of first Peter.
To God's chosen, exiles (or foreigners) in Asia, Galatia....
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

That's it, right there.  Grace and peace be yours in abundance.


That means a lot in case you didn't study your vocabulary in high school.

Why should we have grace and peace in abundance?

Life is hard...even when it's normal life.
Bills, relationships that can go wrong at any minute, a certain spinning of wheels that I seem to feel a lot.
Time ticking by slowly.  Stuff you have to do that seems to keep you from the really important stuff (i.e. cleaning your house, waiting at stoplights, shopping for major appliances, painting your house....I could go on and on).

And that's if you have a great life.

What if you have a bad life?  What if you have a terminal illness or can't make your house payment, or you are watching your child destroy their lives with drugs or maybe you don't even know where your kids are.

I just spoke with a woman yesterday who didn't know where one of her daughters was.

I can't even imagine that horrible thing.

Why should we have any peace at all, from where I sit, the world seems to be spinning out of control.

Peace and grace.

Well I guess the grace is easy for me to understand, we don't have grace because we can do anything about it.  We have grace because a loving God gives it to us when we ask for it.

He pours it out on us...the Bible says where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.
Grace passes up anything we can do because of God's great sacrifice of his son Jesus.

Okay, grace is a gift.

But peace....hmmmm...doesn't even seem wise to even think we could have peace.

But then again....if God is good enough to give us the life of his son so that we don't have to pay for our own sins...maybe we should have peace.

Because if he would give us his child...what wouldn't he give us?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've been reading Max Lucado's book Fearless.

It's very good.

I decided today to copy down an except from it.

This was a prayer of a 7 year old son of a Bible translator who lived in West Africa.

He prayed this prayer as he watched his house burn to the ground.

Through wind and rain
Through fire and lava
The Lord will never leave you.
Through earthquakes and floods
Through changing sea levels and burning ash
The Lord will never leave you.
If you love Him, He will bless you
and He will give you many things.

Who can stop the Lord?
Who can chase a cheetah across the plains of Africa?
The Lord, He can.
Who can stand on Mount Everest?
Who can face a rhinoceros?
The Lord.
The Lord can give you sheep and goats and cows 
and ducks and chickens and dogs and cats.
The Lord can give you anything He wants to.

Who can stop the Lord?
Who can face the elephant?
Who is brave enough to face a lion?
The Lord.

Who's as fast as a horse?
Who can catch a blue whale?
Who is brave enough to face a giant squid? 
The Lord.
Just as Jesus died on the cross, 
so the Lord has done so.
The Lord will never leave His people.
The Bible is His word.
The Lord is a good leader.

The Lord loves you.
And He will not forsake His people.
The end.

This boy saw God through the flames.

Amen. And amen.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What did you  Say?

You know I was taught when I was a little girl that sticks and stones could break my bones, but that words can never hurt me.

Well that's on of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

Because words can hurt you.

James says some stuff about the tongue.

He says it can steer your life.

And boy if that isn't true.

I've let some dooseys slip out of this mouth.  Doosey's that cost me friendships and strained relationships to the point of breaking.

But I've also said some really good things too.  A couple of times my words  have even brought happy tears.

So yes James, you are right.  The tongue is a very powerful thing both for good and for evil.

The End

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Rich are like Flowers

I love flowers.

My mother in law loves flowers too.

BUT she is a realist.

She prefers silk flower arrangements over real flowers.


Real flowers only last a few days.
Then they droop, and brown, and sometimes if you don't change the water that they sit in gets downright stinky.

James says that the rich are like flowers.
They come and go quickly..they fade even as they go about their business.

Well, being on the poor side of American life this make me feel a little superior....BUT...yep, this is a big but...I'm on the excessively wealthy side when it comes world economic standing and that make me feel quite humble.

God isn't against wealth, in the Old Testament wealth was a sign of God's favor.  And I certainly know many wealthy people who have done phenomenal things with their wealth.
I have, however, seen that wealth can steal hearts away from God.

And I think this is what God (via James) is getting at.

When we invest our life in the pursuit of wealth we fade even as we live.

But if we invest our life in pursuit of God and godly things our lives gain the weight of eternal glory.

Eternal things that will not fade.

It's good to know that this is not all there is.

Thanks James, thanks God. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ending Hebrews Beginning James

Today I started the book of James.

I used to hate this book.

It made me mad.

Right of the bat James is just full of fun (insert heavy sarcasm here).
He says to be joyful when you suffer...oh wait, his exact words are "consider it all a joy when you face trials of many kinds."  That's the second verse of the first chapter, so I used to pretty much stop there and think,
"James!!!!  You're crazy!!!!"

I used to get mad, because who wants to suffer?

As I grew up I realized suffering is not optional.

EVERYBODY suffers.

No one is exempt.

One must look life squarely in the eye, both feet firmly planted in reality and admit that fact.

So why should we be happy about it?

Well, James goes on to say some things that are beneficial things that happen to you when you suffer and you belong to God (go ahead and read it if you want).

And those things do not include becoming a bitter victim of life's hardships.

So here's how I see it:
A) You can suffer and think there's no real purpose, rhyme or reason to it (and you will suffer...like I said, it's guaranteed in this life).
B) You can suffer and realize that God uses suffering for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (I didn't  make that up, it's in the Bible).

That's what James is getting at really.  
When we suffer, we grow.
We grow, we listen to God, we weed out what is of no value in this life and find out what does have value.

Suffering is a non-optional, not fun, sometimes heart wrenching thing.

But if it gets you closer to God and more helpful to humanity...bring it on.

(in small doses please)

However, not my will but God's be done. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More in Heeeeeebrews 

Sometimes I read something that makes me leave my grown up mind and retreat into a very childlike world.
That happened today

Some of you know my favorite quote from C.S. Lewis.
"I find in myself desires that nothing in this world can satisfy,
the only logical conclusion is that I was made for another world."

You all know what this world can dish out.

There's a lot of good, but we'd have to be grossly dishonest to say this 
world only keeps more than just a thin membrane of "everything's alright" over the horror and
complete chaos on this planet.

So when I read this morning "In just a little he who is coming will not delay." I felt my heart melt just a little.

Because I want my Daddy to come get me and take me home.

So I will wait for the arrival of the one who will make everything right.

That will be a good day.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Hebrews

I was reading in the book of Hebrews today. 

My maternal roots are in the Middle East, so I like to think that maybe at sometime my ancestors lived in the land Cannan.

It's possible.

The Hebrews were certainly unique when contrasted against other ancient Middle Eastern cultures.
They were as the Bible says, "a peculiar people"
I can relate to that.
I'm pretty peculiar sometimes.

But the Hebrews ended up with God telling them to build a very specific Temple.

The specifications were very precise.

The killed animals in that temple.

The blood of an animal would cover the sins of Israel for one year.
But every year the priest had to go into the Holy of Holies (a room with
the Ark of the Covenant in it...please see Raiders of the Lost Ark if you don't know what I'm talking about)
and kill another animal.

Hebrews (the book) explains that the animal sacrifices were a bloody picture of a final sacrifice to come.

You know who I'm talking about.
That very fabulous guy Jesus.

When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."

He said a mouthful that day.

Because he was right.  Jesus died and took away the sins of the world.

But unlike the annual sacrifice of the Hebrews, he only had to do it once.

Jesus is good like that.

And he can forgive you once too.

That's all it takes really, just ask him and he promises he'll do it.

Yep, he's good like that. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sometimes I'm pretty sure God hears me.  Sometimes I think he might be distracted by Facebook or texting.
(Not really God, I'm just kidding).  But sometimes my prayer seem to hit the ceiling and konk right back down on my head.

I used to feel inadequate when this happened.  Then I realized I just had to trust that God does indeed hear me.  Then I read the most depressing and delightful bit of scripture that I have seen in a long time.  It's in the book of Lamentations (which says enough in itself) and it's written by Jeremiah who is nicknamed the Weeping Prophet (I LOVE that nickname).

Here is what it says...he is talking about God.
Chapter 3
He has walled me in so I cannot escape; 

    he has weighed me down with chains. 
Even when I call out or cry for help, 
    he shuts out my prayer. 
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
    he has made my paths crooked.
10 Like a bear lying in wait,
    like a lion in hiding, 
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
    and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow 
    and made me the target for his arrows.

(At this point I'm thinking lightening bolt...right?)
But here is where the rubber meets the road.
Verse 21

Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, 
    for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; 
    therefore I will wait for him.”

I think this is pretty darn good.  Honest, to the point, and frank.
I like it.

But where else can we go?

That's all I have to say.