May 31, 2011

Playing Dress-Up

Last Sunday a little boy of about six or seven years old came to church wearing a button down dress shirt that was one size too large and a man’s clip-on necktie. The end of the tie reached almost to his hips, but he was beaming with pride at being able to dress-up like a man. Isn’t this just the same picture of believers when we first try to put on the Armor of God? The only piece of the armor that actually fits is the Helmet of Salvation.

May 30, 2011

Over Shadowed Memorial

My father was a Navy veteran, but he was also an alcoholic and a less than commendable dad. He passed away years ago and I have yet to visit his grave site, even though I occasionally pass through the community where he is buried. I have to admit that for me, his actions in life over shadow his military contribution. I realize that in a sense I’m setting a double standard. It would be wrong for me to begrudge my Dad being honored for service when I know that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the only reason that God overlooks the actions in my life.  

Over Shadowed Memorial

My father was a Navy veteran, but he was also an alcoholic and a less than commendable dad. He passed away years ago and I have yet to visit his grave site, even though I occasionally pass through the community where he is buried. I have to admit that for me, his actions in life over shadow his military contribution. I realize that in a sense I’m setting a double standard. It would be wrong for me to begrudge my Dad being honored for service when I know that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the only reason that God overlooks the actions in my life.  

May 27, 2011


An article in our local paper describes the efforts of a 5th grader who is organizing a club to stop bullying. The strategy of the club is to “talk, walk and squawk”, which means ask the bully why they are being mean, walk away and tell an adult what happened. I love it…maybe we in the church should adopt a similar slogan. Though believers hate to label it as such, there are bullies in the church. Our normal Biblical remedy for bullies is to take all our burdens to Him. However there is also Scripture that directs us to talk and walk first…then we can squawk to the Lord.

May 26, 2011


I have a friend (a believer) who over the years has spread rumors, gossiped and embellished situations. Recently an immediate member of his family was stricken with a life threatening disease and now there is a noticeable change in my friend. It appears that his prayers for a miracle are now intertwined with asking forgiveness of those who have been his targets. It’s as though he suspects that his past behavior might hinder his prayers for a miracle and he is trying to make amends. Out of this sad situation I see shades of David’s heart and I’m struck that miracles do come in all shapes and sizes.

May 25, 2011

She Did What She Could

It’s often subconscious, but we believers do compare ourselves to one another in our service to the Lord. It may be that we feel guilty knowing we should do more or we critique others thinking they aren’t doing as much as they should or could. The cranky disciples were critical of Mary anointing Jesus with perfume, but the Lord stops their criticism and draws attention to her beautiful act of preparing Him for burial. In a sense Jesus actually anoints Mary (and all of us) when He tells the disciples, “She did what she could...” (Mark 14:8 NIV)

May 24, 2011

In Style

I ponder the styles today, especially the frayed jeans with rips and holes. Although it might well match their style, I can’t help but believe that these young people wouldn’t be caught dead driving around in my husband’s old dilapidated 1981 Ford trash truck. The body is rusted through, the sun visors hang at an angle and the door handles are loose. We can indulge personal choices to a degree, but there comes a time when, according to Jesus we are expected to put on the wedding clothes. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:11-14 NIV)

May 23, 2011

God is My Strength

When I hear people talk about God being their strength it conjures up in my mind the thought of God lifting them up and getting them through trials and tribulations. I seldom have the image of an already victorious man giving credit to God for strength. Certainly the song lyrics, ‘when I am weak, He lifts me up’ are correct; however I’m wondering if we should also in our strength be thinking, ‘when I am strong, He keeps me up’.

May 20, 2011


Monday I mentioned Mikayla, severely autistic and unable to talk, but who can communicate things like yes, no, sleep, come and go with limited sign language. Mikayla was playing with her iPad when her younger sister started playing with the iTouch. Signing to her mother, Mikayla said, “I want two.” meaning she wanted both devices, not just one. Unable to convince her mother to let her have them both, Mikayla came close to me and picked up my hand. Then taking my index finger she decisively pointed it at her mother and then again signed, “two”. There was no doubt that Mikayla thought of me as her advocate and that my finger had the power of persuasion over her mother. I think there is a little of Mikayla in all of us. As believers we’re confident that Jesus is our advocate, but we just can’t help but pick up His finger and point it at whatever it is we think we just have to have. “Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.” (Job 16:19 NIV)

May 19, 2011

Google Glitch

I haven’t been able to post blogs because of a glitch with Google blogspot, so I’ve spent the last two and a half days repeatedly checking in at the site to see if the problem is fixed. Sort of reminds me of impatiently checking in with God when my prayers aren’t answered right away.  “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught…” (Psalm 55:1-2 NIV)

May 16, 2011


We just had a mini family reunion and one of those visiting was my severely autistic niece. Unable to talk, Mikayla uses limited sign language to get her point across. She loves beds, blankets and closets and when she saw my large walk in closet it was as though the heavens had opened up. Recognizing the glory on Mikayla’s face her mother Mandy redirected the 12 year-olds attention to another room, which didn’t have clothes for playing dress up. After about a half an hour later Mikayla emerged from the room in stealth mode. A light bulb went off in Mandy’s head and she laughed, “Oh, that’s it, she’s mad at me. She’s not looking at me and she’s trying to sneak back to the closet. She thinks I won’t see her.” The whole scene was so Adam and Eve-ish!

May 13, 2011

Pass It On

I used to tire of religious and political emails that say pass-it-on, but lately they just make me mad and I hit the delete button. Instructions that I must send the email on to others conjures up all kinds of resistance such as, ‘I’m capable of making my own decisions…, you’re not my parent…, and don’t tell me what to do!’ As believers we do something similar to others. Rather than allowing the Spirit to motivate them, we’re often busy trying to tell people what there gift is and then we take it a step further and let them know when, where and how we think they should use their gift for the Lord. It’s no wonder that some in the faith get burned out and hit the delete button.

May 12, 2011

The Enemy

Lately I’ve found myself in the strange position of championing a sect that, from a belief stand point, I oppose. I remembered that Jesus was in opposition to chief priests and teachers of the law, yet at least one of his secret followers was in fact a member of the Sanhedrin. However I think the most applicable Scripture for me comes from Paul, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12 NIV) I need to be reminded that the enemy is not flesh and blood.

May 11, 2011


Email spam used to be easier to identify, but the spammers are getting craftier all the time. Two that I’ve gotten in the past say, “The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.” And, “You’ve got great points there, that’s why I always love checking out your blog.” I have to admit that just knowing the comments were false, didn’t stop them from striking a chord for my ego. No doubt we as believers are also guilty of using religious spam on one another. “I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.” (Job 32:21-22 NIV)

May 10, 2011

Silence Before the Shearer

In last Sunday’s newspaper a letter writer took pot shots at me in my position as an elected official. The writer said that I was, ‘devoid of experience, should be sent packing and that my service was a sham.’ [Not exactly what I wanted to read on Mother’s Day.] As I contemplated whether or not to respond to the writer the verse that came to me was, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7 NIV) It’s remarkable how Jesus could take the abuse and yet remain silent. I decided that in my situation I did indeed need to respond to the letter writer and I found a way to remain silent, yet still speak the truth.

May 09, 2011

National Day of Prayer

Last week while attending the National Day of Prayer a woman’s “amens” mixed with “yes, Jesus” were said throughout the public prayers. I considered her to be a sister of faith with a more charismatic bent, but I was surprised to learn that she was Catholic. Most of my knowledge of Catholicism is of traditions, ritual and structured worship. I’d wondered if their denomination was changing, or if I’d met my first charismatic Catholic. I’m now pondering how structured worship may in fact restrict the Spirit.

May 06, 2011

Locked Out

Awhile back we put a new electronic lock on the front door. Now I no longer have to check pockets and purse to locate keys before I close the door behind me. I love knowing that if I forget and leave the keys on the cabinet that I won’t be locked out…I can always get back in. I’m wondering if we believers feel something similar when it comes to sin. There is freedom in knowing that we have a repentance key which can always get us back into the right relationship with Christ.

May 05, 2011

Protective Custody

I like to watch a TV crime drama series titled ‘In Plain Sight’. It’s about the witness protection program where people are taken to a new location, given a new identity and must start a new life. Invariably the character being protected can’t stand leaving their old life behind…especially on such short notice. That so reminds me of our new life in Christ. We keep trying to find a way to let our new self walk arm and arm with our old self. Maybe those who struggle with being a new creation should start thinking in terms of just being in protective custody for awhile.

May 04, 2011


I grew up hearing my family say, ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. For me the phrase has always been a reality and it still rolls off my tongue. Well, at least it did until a friend pointed out, “Only in America can beggars be choosers.” I have to admit, he is right. In America people can make more money begging than if they worked in a fast-food restaurant. Some folks have been known to refuse a job or a hand-up because it might cause them to lose their entitlements. Many of us would like to blame the cycle of State and Federal programs, but clearly Scripture doesn’t agree. “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” (Proverbs 21:25-26 NIV)

May 03, 2011

His Glory

It seems like every time I turn around lately someone is heading into a crisis and even believers struggle a little as they come to grips with their situation. Recently one of my retired pastors was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. I know he will handle the situation well and I expected nothing less than a stoic response as he got his latest test results and prognosis. However, even from a faithful servant I find it thought provoking to hear, “To God be the glory.”

May 02, 2011

Love Your Enemies

Steve took an interesting direction commenting on the April 28th post, He Loves Them. For me, this is not a love vs. hate situation. It’s actually an acknowledgement that I have enemies. However, just because I have enemies, doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are God’s enemy. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16a) My enemy may be a family member or even a believing brother. I don’t want to hate them, I don’t want to love them…I just want them to go away and leave me alone. My current enemies have brought me to my knees and to Scripture…which both are getting well worn and callused.