Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"As I Have Loved You"

Jesus gave  his disciples a new commandment just before he was cricified:

that you love one another as I have loved you

 What was "new" about this? Love your neighbor as yourself was a very OLD commandment.  Wasn't that good enough? Was "as I have loved you" different?

Immediately after washing the disciples feet he gave this command. Ok, so it's about having a servant attitude. "If I your LORD and  teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

But something even more powerful jumped out at me earlier in this scene. The Bible says that Jesus knew that Judas was about to betray Him. He told His disciples that HE KNEW one of them was about to betray them. He KNEW that Satan had entered Judas' heart.

And then He did it.

 He demonstrated the NEW commandment.

 He washed Judas' feet.

I don't think it was easy for Him either.

He told them clearly that one of them would betray Him and He was troubled in spirit.
The Prince of Peace was troubled in sprit because those whom He loved were betraying Him. Not just Judas alone, but the whole Jewish nation. His own people.

Still, Jesus washed Judas' feet.

That was new. That was supreme love-- agape love-- deomonstrated.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deliberate Choices

According to the Nelson Study Bible agape love is based on
 "the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved."

It seems to me that the Lord wants every choice I make to be deliberate. He wants me to think, act, speak . . . love . . .deliberately.

That's hard. The world all around says do what feels good, don't over-think it, follow your heart. But sometimes my mind and heart feel like doing or saying something unloving. So those ideas don't work in agape-land!

The ability to make deliberate choices requires deliberate preparation.

 My prayer and goal for 2012 is to grow in choosing to love others as my Lord has loved me----


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Am the Sparrow

Thrown from my ship
I cannot sail
The water's dark
The sun is veiled
The sea is angry, cruel and deep
The shore beyond is far too steep.

I grasp the slippery rope of fear
That pulls me down
But then I hear

The voice that calmed the stormy seas
Echoes round
And touches me
Reminding me, though I'd forgot,
I am the sparrow
That He sought.

Now standing on the sun-washed shore
I can hear Him
Speak once more

With broken wings I now can fly
The greater heights
I dared not try
And to this day I must be brought
For I am the sparrow
That He sought.

Though I've not exhausted the subject, I feel I have contemplated  trust fully for now. It has been a life-changing, life-saving study, and I am better for it--and grateful.

Trust has also lead me to my next subject:


The hard, sometimes seemingly impossible, agape love.
The kind that requires a lot of trust.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Does Trust Look Like?

Early into my year-long exploration into TRUST, I wrote this question down:

 What does trust look like?
The answer surprised me.
Peter says that when Jesus suffered "He didn't threaten, but ENTRUSTED HIMSELF to Him who judges righteously."
This was surprising to me at first- to think that Jesus entrusted Himself to His father during His horrible suffering, just like we are told to do.
Jesus had to trust too?!
Had to just let events unfold, bad as they were?
All the ugly lies, the taunting, the humiliation and unjustness . . .  simply had to be endured?


Trust looks like Jesus Christ, the son of God.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Falling Bricks

"The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."

In the middle of a sleepless night this verse came to my mind  (much like a brick on the head!).
I understood the message clearly: Vicki, your angry attack (of earlier in the day) won't bring about the righteous change you desire!

The amazing thing is, I have never understood that verse before!!

As I travel through my life, I find scriptures that were once a mystery to me, often suddenly become clear and meaningful. After all, the Word IS active and sharper than a two-edged sword.

When I was young(er) I was impatient to understand ALL of the Bible. I now see that it is a process; that God, in His wisdom, knew I couldn't understand everything at once (not that I'll EVER understand it all). The gentle, sometimes not, unfolding of truth in our lives, I believe, is a part of His master plan.
And I praise Him for it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

diddy kit
phone & charger

This is a copy of the list my son made the night before he left to move across the country. I found it later on the day he left and it struck me:

This is what life on earth boils down to, isn't it?

Something to lay our head on at day's end, something to put on, and something to clean-up with. (Of course food comes in handy, but that was already packed in his truck!)

How empty and futile life would be without the Lord living and working within us!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lazy Eye

I am working for an optomitrist, and I've heard him talk to patients about having a lazy eye.
A lazy eye is one that wanders- never fixing or focusing upon one thing for very long. Medically speaking, it's usually not a big deal, but if we take the leap into the spiritual realm, it's a deadly condition.

 While our lazy eye may not be fixed on anything evil, it is neither fixed on anything holy and is therefore vulnerable to Satan's ability to draw us gently, subtly, sometimes without our even realizing it, toward our destruction.

The Great Physician has the cure of course, which is simple yet requires great effort and discipline to apply.
 Paul says to "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus". Literally that is: "fixing  your eyes upon Jesus".       

 It's one of those laws of nature I guess, that when you are in motion, walking or driving, you begin to move in the direction in which you are looking. A runner who is competing is taught to keep his eye on the road ahead, not to look to the left or to the right. When I take a walk I'm always looking at the flowers, trees and shrubs in the neighborhood and inevitably I end up on the lawn, smelling the flower that drew my eye- my feet don't seem to have any say in the matter! I am drawn.

The rest of Paul's statement in Hebrews says "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him . . .  endured."

Just this morning, during my shower, my mind began to wander frantically about, worrying about everything I could find to worry about. I stopped, and literally looked intently at the wall and remembered: "fix your eyes upon Jesus."  The stressing stopped, the focus resumed, the blood pressure dropped!  I'll have to refocus throughout my entire day. That's ok. I know where to focus, and on whom to focus.
For this precious gift I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The one talent man

The parable of the talents has always made me . . . nervous.

Heard a great sermon on it recently.  The point was made that the one talent man was afraid of his master and reacted to his fear by choosing to preserve his life, i.e. stay healthy, safe, comfortable, well-insured. This seems to be an especially great tendency when we're in pain- just curl up in a safe corner. But God didn't give us life to hold onto; he gave us life to give life!

I need to TRUST that God knows me and what I can handle and then find my life's purpose, which always involves service and souls.
We are promised that if we abide in Him we will produce fruit. That's what the master expected-

Productivity. Not preservation.

Come to think about it, preservation is what HE is all about!      

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


 Kin-Tsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken porcelain vessels with a gold-laced glue, making the repaired object more valuable than before.

Apparently they believed that when an object had been through a hardship it becomes more valuable.

 This became such a highly skilled art-form that people would purposely break their vases just to have them Kin-Tsugi-ed!

It doesn't sound very American, but I like it!

It reminds of Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works..."

God created me, a porcelain vase. He made me beautiful, useful . . . and fragile. I got cracked.
 He repaired me with His love and grace and mercy. And I became better, more beautiful, more valuable, and more useful to Him.

May all of God's children get Kin-Tsugi-ed somewhere along the way!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lessons from the Garden

I've always likened Jesus and his disciples' going to the Garden of Gethsemane to a parent having to take the kids along and telling them to "stay here and be good while I take care of important business."

HE was going there to pray to HIS Father and prepare HIMSELF for what was to come. They had no- where else to go and needed to just patiently wait.

But today when I "randomly" opened my Bible and read the account in Luke 22 it hit me:

He brought them there for the exact same reason He Himself had come:

To pray and be strengthened for the ordeal which was about to begin.

At least twice He tells his disciples to pray, lest they enter into temptation---that's what HE was doing!
He couldn't do their praying for them. Strengthening their connection with God was something they each had to do personally.
But there was a big difference in their praying. Jesus prayed more earnestly as he contemplated the horrors to come. The disciples fell asleep.

Are the two different outcomes surprising then? That Jesus endured the cross while the disciples fled in the face of fear?
This strikes me in a very personal way. My Lord and Savior prayed exactly as I should pray in the face of trials. I used to see His prayer in the garden as almost supernatural. Now I see.
It was a prayer of trust.
Thank you Lord, for once again opening my eyes to a richer, deeper understanding of you.

You really were the Son of Man.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Praise and Thanksgiving

"Praise and thanksgiving bring me back into the presence of God, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures evermore."

                                                                                                     J.K. Dean 
                                                  What more could I say?!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Hopeful Trustful Heart

I've just finished reading "North and South," my online bookclub's latest read, and I have been contemplating this statement, made toward the end of the book:

"I must not think so much of how circumstances affect me myself, but how they affect others, if I wish to have a right judgment, or a hopeful trustful heart."

I know it's just another way of saying what Jesus already said, but sometimes someone says something familiar in a new way which turns a lightbulb on in my head!

I'm still contemplating the connection between unselfish thinking and a hopeful, trusting heart.
Hmmm. . . .
maybe, by focusing on others, I'm trusting God to take care of my circumstances instead of worrying about them!

Maybe, by encouraging others who are discouraged and offering hope, I myself, grow in hopefulness.
Hmmm. . .

Monday, June 6, 2011

Surrender Or Go Home

Jesus' discussion with the rich young ruler always made me a little. . .  uncomfortable. Of course we know that we can't "love" riches and get to heaven. I was pretty sure, though, Jesus was saying more than that. Last week I heard a sermon based on this passage (Matt. 19) which was enlightening  (thanks again, Olin!) and also related to trust, so I wanted to share my "discovery" here!

Their conversation immediately follows Jesus' statement: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

The rich ruler had a lot to offer. He had power, wealth, influence. He was ready to do some great work of benevolence or service. Maybe he thought Jesus would ask him to fast or build or feed the poor- some great work which HE was capable of doing. But the Lord told him he had to realize that Jesus was the source of what he wanted- it was not within his own power. Jesus wanted him to become like the little children he had just blessed: insignificant and totally dependant.
 What held him back was the way he looked at what was "his."  He grasped tightly his security, for fear of. . . probably the same things we all fear.    He had a trust issue.   He needed NO FEAR!
Jesus said, in essence, surrender or go home.

Fear asks, will I be alright?                 Jesus answers, More than alright.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Father, Son and Sparrow

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him." ~Psalm 37:7

Rest in the Lord today.

Today my family is fed, dry, warm, safe.

Today we are healthy, we have jobs.

Today my children are faithful to their Lord,
and they want a relationship with me.

Today we have a house.

Today is a good day.

Today, I will rest in the Lord.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jesus Take the Wheel

Speaking of letting go and letting God control our lives. . .

The country song Jesus Take the Wheel has it exactly right, I think.
But, it's scary to think of letting go of the steering wheel of my car while I'm driving down the freeway!!

He IS a better driver though. And HE knows where I'm supposed to go. AND he knows what obstacles are ahead which I cannot see. He keeps the gas tank full, air in the tires and oil in the  . . .oil thing . . .

                                                   Ok. Jesus, take the wheel.  I'm ready.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Heavenly Father . . .

The other day a regular customer of mine said, "My church went through a spell, well, I guess ALL churches probably did, of not saying 'our heavenly FATHER.'"
She paused.        I didn't get it.
She explained, "You know, heavenly FATHER," thinking that the added emphasis on  father would help.
 It didn't.
She then explained that this was to be politically correct in not offending women.
I had heard of this, but never actually talked to someone who practiced it.
(And, no, my church didn't go throught that . . . . . . . spell.)

The question that has been rolling around in my mind since is: How could anyone have a relationship with their father without being able to address Him as such!?
Saying or hearing the words  dear heavenly Father is such a comfort to me! I know I am connecting with the one who knows, loves and cares for me. He has clearly revealed HIMSELF as Father.
What makes anyone think they have the power to NEUTER GOD?!

Posting this on Mother's Day is partly coincidence, partly by design.
I'm thankful for my mother and for being a mother and for all of the mother's who have helped make this a better world simply by doing what God designed them to do. It is a part of our heavenly Father's beautiful plan. But blaspheming against God by being "gender neutral" does not glorify mothers!

 The God of heaven and earth is our heavenly Father.
And I am so thankful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Summa sedes non capit duos"

Translation:   Supreme power cannot be shared.

 I have heard that Roman soldiers recited this, Rome's motto, every day.

Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it,
and God does not SHARE His power.

We are soldiers in a kingdom which cannot be shaken. We are told to take up our armor, to fight the good fight, to endure hardship as a good soldier; that we are to please Him who enlisted us as a soldier.
 And He who enlisted us is THE SUPREME, ETERNAL KING!

(Of course you knew I was going to tie this into TRUST!)

It seems very comforting to me that I am putting my trust in someone who is SUPREME POWER.
Why wouldn't I? He cannot be deterred, deceived, overthrown. My trust is COMPLETELY safe with Him.

"Supreme power cannot be shared." I think I should recite this every day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mercy triumphs over judgment

For the first time in my life I am attending a congregation which regularly has street people visit the worship services.
And I, like most, it appears, am uncomfortable with them. I am not used to being around them. At all.
I feel compelled to greet them, to smile and seem friendly, but I don't want to really engage them in conversation. Why? Because they might need something of me. They might ask me to venture out of my
 comfort zone.

This morning I was challenged by James 2, admonishing us not to show partiality. I believe he really is talking about THESE very same people; this conclusion is inescapable.
 James' summation of the subject is "mercy triumphs over judgment." I get that.

He then continues with the well known dissertation on faith without works being dead.
 No partiality. No judging. No faith without works.

I think I've got some growing to do in trusting God's wisdom in this area.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


That's my new slogan.

At our Fall ladies' retreat Andrea encouraged us to choose a life slogan or motto. I've thought about it for months, and while this particular slogan came to me early on, I wasn't sure it was THE one.
Then, a few weeks ago "my" store got some Hallmark wall plaques in with a picture of Snoopy and this slogan. Having been a lifelong Snoop fan, I took this as a sign that yes, this WAS the slogan for me.

(I have a feeling Snoopy will be visiting here often!)

What's your slogan?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our security in God's perfect love . . .

"THE MORE WE TRUST GOD'S PERFECTION, THE BETTER WE CAN DEAL WITH HUMAN IMPERFECTION. There is no other healthy way to survive life in a broken world. Nothing short of divine love can equip us to love others as we should, for it is our security in God's perfect love that makes it safe to love those who are not perfect."                ~Gary Henry

I have read that statement again and again and each time I do a great wave of . . . relief . . . comes over me.
We do have true security in God's divine love. Try reading those words out loud.

There! Doesn't that feel great!?

Of course, trusting in God's perfection frees us to see our own limitations. And we discover that

                                 we are ALL in the same boat, after all.

Friday, March 25, 2011


"Bible meditation is simply prolonged thought directed to a single object of truth. Your mental chambers where thoughts abide are the secret workshop of an unseen Sculptor, chiseling living forms for a deathless future. Personality and influence are molded here."  (A. T. Pierson)

Recently an article in our bulletin on meditation, which included this quote (thanks, Olin!) caught my attention.  I have slipped it into the sleeve of my binder where I see it every morning.  In the past I have tried to focus on one single thought for a lengthy period of time--without much success. Like most, I suspect,  my mind wandered very quickly into my daily doings. I still need to improve in that practice, but it occured to me that my year-long inquiry into the topic of trust is meditation!
WOW! That was encouraging!
 And, the habit of daily reading the verses, articles, and yes, even my little blog, has helped me to think about trust all throughout my day; especially, PRAISE GOD!, at moments when I NEED to remember to trust!

 Is that not the purpose of meditation?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Go with the flow . . .

"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit." (Emmanuel)

Friday, March 4, 2011

What if . . .

The holy women of the past who TRUSTED God adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet and submissive spirit. We can be their daughters if we do good and ARE NOT AFRAID. (2 Peter 3)
I did not, until recently, see what not being afraid had to do with the rest of this passage.

Being submissive and quiet is a scary thing when tough times come. What if my husband makes the wrong decision? What if he HAS made the wrong decision? What if his choices ruin us financially? What if he doesn't provide for the family as I think he should?

What if . . . what if . . .what if . . .

That's fear. God, I can trust. But man? Man is weak and vulnerable. And fallable. And easily deceived.
Why should I submit to all that?! Because God said so. Because he knew that having two heads never works.
Could this be the greatest test of faith for Christian women? Trusting God in submitting to our husbands' leadership without fear?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Fear

Remember when (about 20 years ago) we saw the slogan "NO FEAR" everywhere? On t-shirts and hats and bumper stickers. I tried to find a t-shirt back then in a baby size for one of my sons, since this slogan fit him so well. Never found the shirt. But the slogan still works for me. In fact, much more so now.

I've come to realize, in contemplating TRUST, that
The two are mutually exclusive.

Maybe I need to find ME a shirt, after all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Nuthatch Returns!!

 While in the kitchen, making a cup of tea this morning, I spotted him!  Flitting around on the iron chandelier again! Since I stayed home from work today, not feeling well, this was particularly cheering.  Thanks again, Lord.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"And being in agony. . .

What do we often do when we're in agony? Thrash about, clawing, scratching, screaming, blaming, condemning. . . . . . . fleeing. Literally or figuratively, we often lash out or try to run away.

But during Jesus' agony He prayed more earnestly.  Could there be a more stark contrast?

The implication is that Jesus was already praying, and then began praying MORE earnestly.

I've come to realize that Jesus really didn't want to go to the cross, any more than I would. But He submitted to His Father's will. Even if His will was very painful, unpleasant, humiliating, frightening. In fact, it seems that it was the very unpleasantness of it all that spurred the more earnest prayer. It was when most of us would turn and run or fight back that our Saviour stayed.    And prayed.     More earnestly.

I see Jesus' agony being under control, like all aspects of His life--agony under control, frustration under control, power under control, fear under control------LIFE--------all under divine control.

My life can be under divine control--IF I'm willing to hand over the reins.

(Sounds like a TRUST thing to me!)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Visit of the Nuthatches

Discouraged and overwhelmed, I stepped out onto the covered patio to get some air and  talk to the Lord.  I stepped off the patio and onto the lawn. Suddenly a nuthatch flew under the patio covering and just hovered, almost like a hummingbird, then finally lited on the strand of hanging lights.
Then two more- flitting around, hovering, then one lited on the light strand, near the first, the third landed on the iron chanderlier hanging over the table- only four or five feet from me. My heart filled to bursting, as the nuthatches and I just looked at each other and I recalled God's sweet promise, I care for the birds,Vicki,  don't you know I care for you?
 I have never seen nuthatches behave like this before or since.
 I don't expect to.
 They were the reminder I needed then and the inspiration for my year-long quest for a deeper TRUST in the ONE whose eye is always on the [nuthatch].

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sawn in Two

An interesting point from yesterday's sermon:

Some of the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 met with VERY BAD ENDS:

"...others were tortured,...others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword..."


That got me thinking.   Abraham is listed in the Faith Hall of Fame, and not to discount his faith, he looked forward to a son, a land, a nation and a savior.     
What did the men and women who were sawn in two have to look forward to?

"...not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection."

Yes, the same thing we have to look forward to.   A better resurrection.
My real question is this:  Can we trust God enough while we are being sawn in two to see past the blade and fix our eyes on what lies ahead?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Leaping Sparrow

          The spiritual implications of this were too hard to resist!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Winter . . .

. . . a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."    
                                                                   ~JOHN BOSWELL

Doesn't that sound yummy?  I read this quote in Victoria magazine. Below it was a full page photo of a  Coconut Meringue Pie. The page before it had a Three-layer Vanilla Bean Cake and the following page had Hazelnut Macaroons and Baked Alaska.  Now I know you have magazines of your own with equally yummy words and photos, but I share these to say this:


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Have you ever seen or participated in exercises where two people are to do something to produce trust between one another? The simplest one is to fall backwards into the other person's arms, trusting that they will not let you fall. It's HARD!
In our lesson on TRUST this evening, Olin pointed to Abraham's TRUST exercise--
Offering as a sacrifice his SON, believing that God would work it out.  
  A bit harder, yes?
Olin made the point that faith thrives when we  surrender to God.
Abraham's did.
I've been thinking a lot about surrender over the past few months since I read this quote from The Purpose Driven Life:    You know you're surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don't always have to be in charge.

Psalm 37:7 says Surrender yourself to the Lord and wait patiently. (Ever notice how God's word can say so much in so few words?)

Every time I read the above quotes they take my breath away. Do these people know me?! Oh yah, the second author does know me. He knows surrender is very hard for me. He knows that I like to be in charge.
But He is working on me. He is teaching me to surrender- to let go. And, to my great surprise, it feels really good!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

to the praise of His glory . . .

In this morning's sermon, the point was made that we have joy in knowing our purpose in life, which is
 To live the will of God and to glorify Him.
Eph. 1:12 was sited:
 that we who first TRUSTED in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in and His purpose in this is that we should praise Him and give Him glory. What's NOT to trust in such a GOD?! What's not to praise?!

I agree. It is a JOY and a COMFORT to know my purpose, which was already decided by my loving Father long before I was born.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ready or not . . .

Last night, as I finished setting up this blog, contemplating what to write in my first post, I received word that the father of my grown son's friend had just died, leaving a wife, a son in college and two daughters still in high school. The topic of my post was decided.
While I struggle to trust God more each day, and HOPE that when the next catastrophy hits I'll be "fully entrusted," this new widow is thrust into a huge, dark, unknown-- ready or not.
Lord, please strengthen her and her children, comfort them, protect and provide for them. And help the thought remain in the forefront of my mind this year and beyond:
                                  TRUST is not a luxury. It is a necessity.