Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Best Offer

I want to apologize for the whining in my last post.

Since then I was told I DON"T have to have surgery (contrary to the first report),
son qualified for another student loan, and I am trying to take advantage of my "free time" to get cards written and other misc. things.
 I watched "Annie" (among the many other movies my sweet friends brought me to help pass the time) and, of course, she sang "Tomorrow," which made me laugh at myself, and yes, count my blessings!
Anyway, our sermon Sunday was on one of my favorite psalms--no, "favorite" is too light a word, like ice cream flavors. Psalm 46 has been a lifeline for me. In the "Matched" trilogy, the totalitarian govt. has determined that only 100 poems would to be preserved and viewed by the populous, the rest were (presumably) destroyed.
 Psalm 46 would definitely be among my 100.
"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear."
Later in the psalm the writer says
"Be still and know that I am God"
 God shows me (AGAIN!) that
is in control of the situation, and that HE is, indeed, very present.
I need to be still, acknowledge HIM
and remember that HE
"will be exalted among the nations."
With or without their consent.
That is the kind of power God invites me to take refuge in.
Wouldn't it be crazy NOT TO take advantage of such an offer?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Growing Weary

 I have to admit, I'm a a bit weary.

The "reality" of my life is this: Finances are at a breaking point, college wants more money than last year and is threatening our son's expulsion if  we don't come up with it soon, we badly need a new roof, a new car . . .  and  I just broke my leg. And won't be working.

This morning, however, the Lord nudged me back to HIS reality:

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all . . ."   Galatians 6:9

After reading it three times, I got it:

while doing good
Sometimes God is so subtle (or not) that I miss the real point.
As long as I am doing good I will not grow weary and lose heart!
I don't think it's even possible to do so!
As long as I am helping others, seeking their good, encouraging, edifying, praying for others, my problems are not at the forefront of my mind. Plus, while doing good to others everything falls into the proper perspective. Now, my problems are not nearly as bad as those around me, my prayers change from whining to praising and
rather than losing heart,
my heart is strengthened.
For such a loving, caring and wise God I am eternally thankful.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


"The Bible calls Satan 'the accuser of our brothers.'
It's the Devil's job to blame, complain, and criticize members of God's family. Anytime we do the same, we're being duped into doing Satan's work for him. Remember, other Christians, no matter how much you disagree wtih them, are not the real enemy. Any time we spend comparing or criticizing other believers is time that should have been spent building the unity of our fellowship."
                         ~Rick Warren from The Purpose Driven Life

Good point, huh?

Being "duped" into doing Satan's work is not something I want to fall prey to! But, I must confess, I have.

LORD, help me remember the great commandment,

to LOVE as you have loved me.
And to spend my time building the unity of our fellowship.
(That even sounds kind of fun, doesn't it?!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Law of Kindness

It has always been my goal to emulate the proverbial woman described in Proverbs 31. I had hoped I would get better and better at it, but as time goes by, I'm afraid I see myself farther away instead.
Maybe it's perspective, maybe it's the wisdom of age that says, you're don't know nearly as much as you THINK you know.

When I was young and idealistic I knew exactly how I did and didn't want to parent my own children.
Now, in retrospect, I see things I WISH I had done differently. I didn't have all the answers after all, and some of the answers I thought I had were wrong.

 Talking with other empty-nesters seems to confirm this truth:

 This is all part of the HUMAN CONDITION.
Anyway, I digress.
 I still turn to Proverbs 31 now and then, and on a recent occasion I noticed the word LAW in verse 26 and it intrigued me.
"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is
 A bit of study showed me that here, she has BOUND her tongue to a LAW. No outside power could force this binding, it was her doing.
 This was not a casual, Well, I'll try to be nice if I can thing!  To be bound by a law implies several things:
  • it is compulsory, not optional
  • under obligation
  • not an option to operate outside the terms
So, I am, of course, forced to ask myself :
Have I bound my tongue to the law of kindness?
Like most things, I don't think it's a one-time decision. It's a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment decision I must make.
Could it be part of our LORD'S admonition to take up our cross daily and follow HIM?
Thank you, my proverbial friend, for continuing to show me who Jesus wants me to be!


Friday, October 5, 2012


The more I think about it,
the more I realize there is
more artistic than
to love others.

~Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pursue Love

Paul tells us to pursue love (I Cor. 14:1)
W.E. Vines says that pursue, in this case, is to "follow after, as one would a calling".

I am to pursue Love as a career?


Why DO I pursue a career?

To receive compensation
To share my gifts and talents with others
To feel a sense of accomplishment
To stretch myself to continually grow

I see it!

Pursuing a career in Love IS the same!

To receive compensation (my reward in Heaven)
To share my gifts and talents with others
To feel a sense of accomplishment
To stretch myself to continually grow

Wow! I sat down today to write a quick blog post and then work on my online school for my new career, having no intention of tying the two together. I guess God had other plans.

As I pursue my new career in Home Staging I am going to simultaneously pursue a serious career in Love.
I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Increase and Abound in Love

Every now and then a verse jumps out at me and says


And I wonder why I never realized it before. But I believe that is the living and active part of the Word: God knows where I'm at in my walk with Him and He knows what I need at this moment and He always provides it. GOD IS GOOD.

So, the jumped-out verse is:

"And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all . . . so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."  I Thessalonians 3:12-13

W.E. Vines also paraphrases the passage like this:

"The Lord enables you more and more to spend your lives in the interests of others in order that He may so establish you in Christian character now, that you may be vindicated from every charge that might possibly be brought against you at the Judgment seat of Christ."

Maybe "love covers a multitude of sins" comes into play here.

So, I guess the ah-ha moment for me here was this:

The exercise of LOVE is the means God uses to develop Christ-likeness in His children
SO THAT we are covered at the Judgment.
It's like an insurance policy!
Somehow, that perspective makes it easier to love in ALL circumstances.

I want my heart to be established blameless in holiness.
So Lord, please make me increase and abound in love.
Because with you, all things are possible.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Where the music begins

After hearing some difficult teachings from the Lord, many of His followers turned away "and walked with Him no more." Jesus has just asked the twelve if they will also turn away from Him.

Peter's answer always brings tears to my eyes (though I'm not sure why):

"Lord, to whom shall be go? You have the words of eternal life."
                                                                                                 (John 6:68)    

 And it has has occurred to me:

 this is where the music begins to play in Peter's life.

Peter is convinced that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And once that fact has been clearly understood, there is no where else to go.

(Funny, I've unintentionally got Mozart playing on Pandora as I type now.)

 Peter had a long, hard road ahead of him. He would deny the Lord and then repent, suffer extreme cruelty, imprisonment and death.

But none of that mattered
 once the music began to play.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our Greatest Fear

I Cor. 16:13-14:"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
                           Let all that you do be done with love."

Ignoring the numerical division of the verses I see a strong connection I had never seen before:

Be brave
 Be strong

Isn't the fear of LOVING and being rejected one of our greatest obstacles in LOVING as the LORD loves?
 I must be brave and strong and act on faith that God knows what he's doing, despite my fears, to truly LOVE, agape style.

Knowing that GOD truly understands the difficulties of life on Earth, and that He is rooting for me
 is ENOUGH. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I think we must be related

C.S. Lewis:
"I am a safety-first creature. Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as
 "Careful! This might lead you to suffering."

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond  to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilites. I doubt whether there is anything in me that pleases Him less. And who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground- because the security (or so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend--if it comes to that, would you choose a dog--in this spirit?"

(I think we must be related!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

No plastic on my flowers

This is very random, but the thought keeps coming back to me:

Remember that sea of  flowers, suffocating in plastic, piled at the gates of Buckingham palace in honor of Princess Diana, following her death?
The memory still makes me shudder- it was a creepy sight to me!
 Piles and piles and piles . . .
 of  plastic.

Something has been lost- forgotten.

The joy of flowers is their fragrance, their delicacy, their frailty, their brevity. A very fitting tribute for a beloved priness. But we wrap them in plastic. Why? To protect, prolong, defend them. Never the less, they are still delicate, frail and brief, we can just no longer enjoy them. And they still die.

Of course, I am of the Abraham Lincoln persuasion, that feet also need to breathe!

 No plastic on my flowers.
Thank you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Hiding Place


I've heard it said:
when you pray to God, expect big things to happen!

The thing is, they NEVER happen the way I think they might, so they come at me . . .  unexpectedly!
I've been praying this year about LOVE. About learning to LOVE on a much higher plane.

 On God's plane.

And then he sends me this book.   THE HIDING PLACE,   by Corrie ten Boom.
I didn't go looking for a book on love, though I have read many. I didn't even know this was a book about love.
It was the book of the month for my online bookclub. It just came to me, there on my computer screen.
As some may have noticed, I even quoted from it, here on my blog. The tab "Thanks for the Fleas" is from the book, but I requoted it from another author who I was reading at the time.
I've heard about the book for as long as I can remember, and always meant to get around to reading it. But God dropped it in my lap and said,

And NOW is when I most needed and could most appreciate the true story of
 Corrie and Betsie ten Boom.

Agape love practiced on the highest level.

I recommend this book to you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the law of kindness

It says of the worthy woman in Proverbs 31 that "on her tongue is the law of kindness."

Since love expresses itself, among other ways, through kindness, I can assume she was a loving woman.
Most of the description of the worthy woman refers to her industry and resourcefulness, her skills and benevolence. I heard a young mother comment once that her mother-in-law must be a worthy woman because she was very hard-working, resourceful, a good cook, a good seamstress-- she even canned!

But my heart cried out, "NO! She is not a worthy woman!"
 And it was for one simple reason.
 She was unkind.

 That one little statement amongst 21 verses says volumes about the woman.

But why the law of kindness?

It seems that she has bound her tongue to a law:  That nothing unkind comes off of it.
 And if a law, I assume, by her character, that she strives to keep it. She is a law abider, even in the realm of self-imposed restrictions.

In 2012 I will bind my tongue to the law of kindness as well. It will be difficult because it is often unruly-i.e.without law. But I will try, and since "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
 I know I can succeed!