Sunday summary

Every Sunday when I get to go to church I leave with something from God’s word pressing on me.  Every time.  But I don’t always sit down and spend some time chewing on what struck me.  Being involved in a community group helps cause every Thursday our group talks about how the sermon impacted each of us.  I don’t want to wait till Thursday.

Today we heard from Psalm 32.  I’ve read this Psalm before but this time around I discovered treasure that’s been right there all along.

If I had to summarize the Psalm in a 140 character or less tweet it would be:

“Godly people sin, run to Christ, confess it and rejoice in his forgiveness. The time between sin and confession crushes. – Click to TWEET

Listening to my pastor Jason preach the truth out of Psalm 32 had me marveling at how we miss the gospel of Jesus Christ with our attempts at covering our own sin.  I shouldn’t say “we”.  I do that.  My human, broken heart and mind keep trying to avoid the reality of my sin.  And not just mine, I want to avoid the reality of other people’s sin too.  I don’t want to take up my cross and follow Jesus and suffer because of other people’s sins!  I mean, my natural self doesn’t want to.  But Jesus is in me. And he’s moving in me to will and to act like him.  God-like. Godly.  I’m one of his “godly” ones.  I had a hard time typing that.  But it’s true.  I’m one of his godly ones, not because I don’t sin, but because I do and I run to Jesus with it and call it what he calls it.  And when other people sin, I don’t hold it against them.  That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in justice or laws.  It just means I don’t make myself their personal judge.  I don’t compare my sin to their sin and condemn them according to my self-made version of righteousness. And when I do, I feel the conviction of being unforgiving and I run to Jesus and confess it.

And that space between sinning and running to Christ to confess it is crushing!  The longer I wait and the more I try to hide and cover what I know is sin, the more I feel the crushing weight of the guilt and shame Christ bore for me.  I can’t bear that.  And I can’t hide from it.  The only way to escape is through the covering of Christ.  He bore my guilt and shame in his body so that I could bear his righteousness and joy in mine!  What love!

This is what the Psalm says godly people do.  It doesn’t say they don’t drink and don’t smoke and don’t go with girls who do.  It doesn’t say they read their Bible a minimum of so many hours a day and wake up before dawn for “quiet time” with God.  Godly people run to Christ as the covering for their sin rather than trying to cover it themselves.

My pastor summed it up so well when he said, “We’re not meant to hide our sins from God.  We’re meant to hide ourselves in God.”

The wonder of what the God of the Bible has done for those who love Christ is what makes me run to him.

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
-Psalm 32:1-7

There’s no time for this! {Warning: I’m yelling in this post. At myself mostly.}

You know what keeps you locked in a cage of doing what you know is wrong when there’s a clear way out? A total ignorance, a total unawareness, a total blindness, a total denial of the times.

When a person knows their about to die you know what they don’t do? They don’t say, “You know what, I’m gonna die tomorrow so today I’m going to cheat on my husband, destroy my marriage, break trust with everyone I know, defame the name of Christ that I carry around in the title “Christian”, abandon my kids, rob a bank, and do every other vile and deplorable thing I can think of that for a fleeting period of time might give me some sense of pleasure, or freedom or vengeance because tomorrow I’m going to die and that’s the way I want to spend the rest of my life. That’s what I want people to remember me for when I go.  That’s what I want them to think of when they think of a Christian.

No one says that!

But many do it.

And the only reason we do it is because we’re in total denial. We refuse to believe there’s no time for such things. We refuse to believe the end of all things is at hand. We refuse to believe we’re going to die and leave a reputation behind and face the One who made us, the One we’ve been naming ourselves after so easily.

Christian. Really? Are you really? Am I really? Am I a Christ-ian? A “little Christ”?

I am. I say I am. I carry around His name. And One day I’ll meet him face to face.

The end of all things is at hand. I do not get to stay here this side of that day forever. I only get a time. A very short time.

So many of us in the Disneyland of America are in a tangled web- abandoning our vows to each other, indulging in sexual pleasures outside of marriage, consuming images for our pleasure, ignoring the needs of those around us- we toy with sin and wrestle with whether God will forgive us if we chose to keep toying, and we argue with each other about various doctrines… and we’re fools! There’s no time!

There’s no time to caress our pity party about our less than ideal marriage and feast ourselves on the cocaine of a forbidden relationship. There’s no time!! We carry the name of Christ. We will see him face to face one day. We won’t just live this life forever apart from a day of reckoning. We don’t have time to toy with sin. We have wasted enough of our lives on those lies and traps and temporary pleasures (that are really chains)!

We only have a short time here to pray and watch the God of all the earth do amazing things through us! Us!

You know, I hear the call from godly men and women to stand for the unborn and those enslaved in human trafficking.  I hear the call to be willing to stand out as “hateful” in a world that will hate you for loving them and unashamedly confessing that God designed marriage between a man and woman.  I hear a call for embracing all races and ethnic groups as equally bearing the image of God, and for pointing to the blood of Christ as the only hope for any man.  I hear the call to abandon comfort and ease to go to an unreached people group, bringing them the light and truth of Christ.  I hear their calls and I think we’re over here wasting our lives on sinful pleasures and desires, arguing amongst ourselves about what the Bible says and our seconds and minutes and hours and days and years tick by and we trample under our feet the blood of Christ, clinging to our sin, mocking God and declaring we can continue in sin because grace abounds.  All the while those who rightly call themselves Christians are spending their minutes and months and lives fighting to stand against the devil’s schemes, putting their own lives in the way of those marching to slaughter and giving up domestic life for a very uncomfortable life reaching people who’ve never heard of their Savior.  And it’s not just those “glamorous” calls that Christians are spending their lives on.  They’re bending their knees to raise up a child day in and day out with prayer and teaching and nurture in the Spirit of Christ  They’re denying themselves to love a world-weary man who doesn’t love them well.  They’re laying down their lives to tender-heartedly love a woman whose bitternesses are spreading.

So you’re not called to sell all your possessions and move to the Congo.  But, when those thoughts come, “He’s never going to change… I don’t deserve to be treated like this… I’m not loved like I long to be loved… No one cares what I want, what I desire… What about me?…” When those poisoned-laced darts of sweet lies penetrate my brain I need to declare: THERE’S NO TIME FOR THIS!!

I need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and destroy that lying worm with 1 Peter 4.

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. – 1 Peter 4:1-5,7-11

You and I need to let the pain of the battle to stand in Christ free us when our husbands don’t love us like they should, and our children require us to constantly give our time and energy and life, and our bosses fire us because of our expressed beliefs when asked, and our neighbor rejects us because of our refusal to celebrate same-sex unions, and our friends cut us off because we won’t pat them on the back and join in with encouraging them in the sin that is destroying their lives.  When those things happen, you and I need to let those pains, those sufferings come so we can be one battle closer to being done with sinning! We need to let those trials come and hurt us so we can stop spending the rest of our lives chasing our own desires but rather wake up every day on edge to do the will of God! Instead of running away from the pain and suffering that comes with following Christ, we need to let it free us from the chains of sin and to a life abandoned to his will.

And if we find ourselves in the pit of the sinful mess we’ve made of our lives, right now, there is time to turn around, and stop denying the truth, and let the blood of Christ be enough for us to stop wasting our lives on our own desires and spend our lives on HIS!  There’s no time for anything else!


A meditation on saving my life

“See it as a chance to die.”

It’s what I heard walking in the back door after kicking my shoes off with the scattered shoes from every other person in my family. I saw all those shoes, not even in simple pile, and thought of all the times I’ve bent over to pick up shoes and put them in their right place, or called the shoes’ rightful owner to come pick them up and put them in their right place, and I thought, “Why do I even try? I clean up after people all the time, trying to keep some semblance of order in this house but it’s a loosing battle. I mind as well just get rid of the laundry baskets, cause everyone just throws their dirty clothes on the floor. And I mind as well get rid of the shoe box on the patio cause people in this house don’t even seem to care if two shoes are in close proximity to one another!”

As I walked into the kitchen throwing my mental pity party, taking note of all the misplaced coats, hats, blankets, toys, gaming controls, mail, dishes, pens, pencils, papers, and clothing, I heard Elizabeth Elliot say, “See it as a chance to die!”

I really love E. Elliot.  She’s one of my spiritual “older women”.  She’s a no-nonsense, Five Solae exalting woman.  You can’t listen to her and not be clear about the gospel of Christ or His amazing love or our sinfulness.  One of Elliot’s inspirations was Amy Charmichael.  It was Amy who originally said, “Missionary life is simply as a chance to die!” inspiring Elliot to apply that truth to her everyday life.

Christians are called to a most peculiar calling: to die daily.  We don’t die in the 6 foot under sense daily, but we die to our own “rights” and plans and powers.

Usually when I hear those words from Christ in Luke, “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.“, I think of big sacrifices.

Missionaries like Amy Carmichael and Elizabeth Elliot surely did take up their crosses and follow Jesus in their work as missionaries, but loosing one’s life for Christ sake is not lived out only by missionaries and pastors and those in “full-time ministry”.

Every shoe picked up with a heart of forgiveness, every gentle call to a child to come clean up after themselves, every patient ignoring of a pile of laundry to look into the eyes of world-weary man who’s inviting you to just come sit with him for awhile… all this is a daily dying.  And every irritation I run into in a day is another chance for me to die.  Again.

But there’s more.  Notice the goal of what Christ said , “… but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”  

I don’t really want to die.  Neither in the six foot under sense, nor in the daily stuff sense.  I want to live!  And if you look at the goal of what Christ is saying here, dying isn’t the ultimate goal either!  Living is!

The difference between what I believe and what the health and wealth, get-your-best-life-now folks believe is time.  I believe what Christ said: if we loose our lives now for his sake, we will actually be saving it.  In this life we don’t strive to get our best life and the best stuff and the fountain of youth.  In this life we lay all that down to love others in Christ’s name… with his character.  But in the resurrection we will have no death, no disease, no lack, no pain… pleasures forevermore in the presence of our Savior!

So yes, I choose to see those shoes and the daily messes as a chance to die, but beyond that dying I see my best life coming.

Oh Lord, give me eyes to look past the messes and irritations and daily dyings to the beyond-words life I’ve tasted of in the Spirit now, but will one day fully experience!

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 

– Colossians 3:2-4


A mouthful of a day

Today started off, off, and has continued that way.

The husband stayed home sick.  The kids were informed last night right before bed that the announcement by dad that there would be no school today was really just an April Fool’s trick.  This produced tears in one childand I decided we probably overdid the April Fool’s stuff this year even though we all do like a good practical joke.  This morning I decided to take the boys out for a breakfast sandwich as a peace offering for yesterday’s shenanigans.   A bacon-Gouda sandwich can make lots of things better.

When I got home, the husband was still passed out sick and so I set about daily tasks.  Stepping for a cup from the cupboard I plummeted through the floor in the place where there was (yesterday) a vent cover.  After a brief assessment- nothings broken, laceration butterfly-fixable- I realized I may have just pushed my leg through not only the vent but also the ceiling to the bedroom below my kitchen floor. What had begun last night, before the husband’s sickness hit him, as a simple install of floor vents with one minor glitch in needing to adjust the size of the vent in the kitchen, was now going to be an enormous home-repair project.

I’m very thankful for my man’s handyman-ness.  He can do many home repair and construction projects very well.  He can also be the least happy person to be around during such repairs.  I knew I had the dreaded task of informing my stuffy-head, sore-throat, headache, just-crawling-out-of-bed husband that there was a hole through the floor… through the HVAC system, because I had stepped into the vent space.  Not my favorite thing to do.

He was gracious, “Not your fault…” followed by sighs and pacing outside, followed by hours of banging, pulling, a couple fist poundings on the floor, some choice words and lots of time online doing wife-damaged-the-HVAC research.  I offered to help, but, yeah, “No thanks…”

So, trying to salvage what was left of my hope for making it a good day, I did a workout outside, some laundry, made lunch and checked in one more time to make sure there was nothing I could do.  Still nothing.

As I was sitting down to eat lunch I noticed my momma goat, Darla, outside flopping all over the ground with her tongue sticking out.  (I’m not making this up).  I just about choked on my fish taco and ran outside yelling at my husband to call the vet.  He, being the calm detective that he is, sauntered to the patio and said, “She’s probably got something stuck in her mouth she’ll be fine.”  I, on the other hand, was in CODE BLUE mode as I approached my 2 week postpartum doe with her grey (should be pink) tongue hanging out of her mouth.  I picked her up with strength I didn’t think I had and the force of my grab must have acted like a Heimlich Maneuver because she coughed a couple times, shook her head, licked her chops and nibbled at her grain like nothing ever happened.

I’m worn out by now as I sit in the Starbucks parking lot processing the day’s events waiting to pick up my kiddos from school.  We’ll make a trip to Barnes and Noble so the kids can browse at books while I try to return to what I began doing this morning:  chewing my cud.  I should clarify: meditating on God’s word.

My world is being parable-ized by my goats.  This morning, before all the stuff hit the fan, or the floor vent as it were, I was outside in the cool air feeding my goats, talking to the little kids and watching as my buck was processing the morning’s feed.  You can tell they are chewing their cud (regurgitating what’s in their rumen) because their cheeks suddenly puff out a bit and their jaw starts grinding away at their mouthful.

The word for meditating in the Bible has a similar meaning.  It means to chew on God’s word, to mull it over.  Think about it. Toss it around.  Think about it some more.  Pray about it. Recite it. Gather application from it. Glean more of the vista God is from it. Learn more of Christ.

It hit me this morning that I haven’t been doing that much lately. I’m sort of in a rehab place spiritually. I’m doing exercises necessary to regain some strength so I can do some real heavy lifting but I’ve been going light on the repetition.  I need to take a verse or two and chew on it awhile.

Here’s one I heard today that caught my attention:

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! -Psalm 126:5

I’ve read it before, but as I brought it for more digestion today I tasted something new.

Sowing in tears is inevitable.  We Christians are on a road of sanctification.  We are being formed into the image of Christ.  Did I think the process of being formed into the image of Christ was going to be chocolate and roses?  Did I think I was greater than the Master who suffered to purchase the grace that is making me more like Him?

Grumpy husbands, broken HVAC systems, a goat-choking scare… just a minor sanding in the daily grind of shaping me to be Christlike.

I’m gonna keep chewing on this one.


God is not Dr. Crabby Pants

(Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son Ryland)

It started at 1:30 AM, Thursday.  I can’t do math in my sleep-deprived brain at this point, but in however many hours it’s been since 1:30 AM Thursday, I’ve had a couple hours of sleep.  My husband has had less.  Not good.

My husband was called out to investigate a messy crime at 1:30 Thursday, that began the blur that has occurred since.  My dear friend took my boys last night when I had to go to work and there was no husband home to pass the baton of parenting to.  She took them trick or treating, fed them dinner, made them comfortable beds and got them to school this morning on top of her own three.  There’s a friend!  Very thankful.

I ended a 12-hours-on-my-feet shift with a doctor yelling at me over the phone for calling him to get an order.  This is an aspect of nursing I’ve never embraced until this morning when it hit me, “Everything you endure by faith in the good sovereignty of God is only being used for your good.”  It actually made me smile and shake off the desire to tell Dr. Crabby Pants unkind things.  Being a nurse highlights the importance of authority and the difficulty of submitting to it, and as a Christian it illumines an opportunity to suffer for doing good and thereby grow in Christ-likeness.

I still scratch my head though.  You’re mad at me for calling you for an order only you can give regarding an issue that is for the patient’s safety and good?!  One runs into this not infrequently as a nurse.

What if the Great Physician was so unapproachable and easily irritated?  What a terrible thought!  I’m so glad my God, who possesses all authority, invites me to call on him and his authority day or night, time after time after time.  He is not bothered by my need for His “orders”.  He wants me to “wake him up” in the middle of the night.  Not that God sleeps or grows tired, but I love it that in the Psalms, and in the parables Jesus told, God seems to be saying, “I understand, that you may feel like I’m sleeping.  That’s ok.  WAKE ME UP!  APPROACH ME!  INTERRUPT ME!  BE RELENTLESS!”

Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! – Psalm 44:23

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” – Luke 18:1-8

I’m glad my God is happy.  He’s not frustrated and irritated.  He’s totally confident and kind and has all power and yet does not “lord it over” us, but bends down to lift us up. He actually listens with desire for us to know we are heard and known by Him and He is not bothered by us.

Thank you Father!


A real, concrete promise: A meditation on Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents 

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. – Psalm 121

Who’s doing all the work here?  I lift up my eyes, but my help comes not from good staff, good breeding, good parents, good work.  My help comes from the LORD.  He’s doing all the work.

He’s keeping me from going astray.  He’s not taking a nap or growing tired.  He is the One who sanctified me through his Son and he’s the One who keeps me that way.  He’s the place I can go to escape from the burning heat of the rightful anger he has toward my sin and the searching light of his righteousness that shines on the hidden, dark things in me.  He’s the one keeping me from being ruined by evil; not overcome by it, but overcoming it with good.  He’s the one keeping my life forever.

And all this he promises me.  But how can I know?  Isn’t this Israel’s?  Yes!  And he proves, even now, thousands of years later, that Israel has a keeper.  Though she has rejected him, he will not fail to keep his promise to her.  And when I look at her history, and I watch her even now, that barely a spot on the world map that causes so many around her to roar and rattle, I realize, that the LORD who promised to be the keeper of unfaithful Israel, keeps me too.  For, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)



It’s a hard and heavy thing. But I wouldn’t want the Rock of my life to be anything else. I wouldn’t want my Rock to be soft when hurricanes or cancer or an abandoning spouse or a present unbelieving one or disrespectful kids or scorpion infested apartments or anything else that shatters a person’s foundation comes.

Nevertheless, its still a hard and heavy thing to confess:

Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. – Hosea 6:1

You can only find comfort in this hard and heavy truth when you’ve been slain by the painful things.

This truth searches me.  It shakes whatever can be shaken.  It proves if He’s enough, or if there’s something else I’m leaning on.

Is He enough if I work full-time or part-time or not at all?  Is He enough if I home school or take the kids to a private school or a public school?  Is He enough if I live close to family or far away in a desert?  Is He enough if I live in a comfortable home or one that’s mostly a safety hazard?  Is He enough if my house is clean or cluttered?  Is He enough if I’m physically strong or struggle with health problems? Is He enough if my husband loves me and loves Christ and teaches the kids the scriptures or if he doesn’t?  Is He enough if my children trust Christ and follow Him or if they don’t?  Is He enough if the kids obey me or if they argue and oppose and challenge? Is He enough if I have a close confidant… or if it feels like I can’t turn to anyone?

The rock-solid truth of the Sovereignty and pure-love discipline of my Father God is standing up to my idols, knocking them down and blowing away the things that bind me.

“Though You Slay Me” (featuring John Piper) from Desiring God on Vimeo.


Shadows and Mysteries

I was at a county courthouse today. Not a place I usually spend any time. In fact, except for filing for a legal separation almost exactly two years ago today, I’m never there. Today I was there to file a motion to vacate the order of legal separation.

In that quiet, rigid building I felt like a cloud about to pour out its rain.  I didn’t cry until I got to the car.  In the building I felt like a little girl following the instructions of a tall police man or principal at school.  I did what I was supposed to do to make it right, legally.  While I was waiting in line, I overheard a silver-headed woman say with a smile to the silver-headed man sitting next her, “Now’s your chance to back out.”  I figured they must be there to get a marriage license.  A few minutes later, when they were called to the window, I heard the woman say, “Yes, we’re here to get a marriage license.” The man next to her looked eager and content.

I believe marriage is a mystery and a shadow that speaks of more than two people in love.  In fact, I believe all human relationships are not about the people involved… they are about God.  They reveal something about the One who created them.  The marriage relationship is about God in a very special way in that it reveals the mysterious relationship God the Son has with His Called-Out-Ones.

What we do at the courthouse is a way of honoring marriage.  Its not something we can just… do.  There’s an appeal to authority involved.  In some places that’s the county courthouse, in some places its the patriarch of the family, or a tribe leader.  If there’s an end to be made to the marriage, there’s a difficult process involved.  I’m glad there is a heavy fee and a lot of legal paperwork involved in separation and divorce. I don’t say that to pour salt in the wounds of divorce or separation.  I have those wounds.  I’m just saying, the fact that its legally a hassle and costly is just a little bit of evidence that marriages aren’t meant to be torn apart.  Because that’s just what happens… you get torn apart.

I wish I could take back the past 3 years.  I’m so eternally thankful I can have full confidence that Christ has already bought it back for me.  For He works ALL things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, that He might conform us to the image of His Son.  (Romans 8:28-29 my paraphrase)

Marriage is His.  I want to magnify Him with it!  I may not get to keep it, but on my part I want to build it up for His glory.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. -Matthew 19:6

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.- Ephesians 5:32-33

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. -Proverbs 14:1


Oh happy day!

Came back from my morning walk and had this song pop in my head.  Nothing like a little Aretha singing the good news to wake you up right!

I took the boys to West Fork Trail today, north of Sedona.  It was a beautiful day!  Fall leaves.  Lots of color.  Cool breeze.  Good day!

After all that hiking in the dirt, I came home with the most disgusting, dirty feet.  (I was wearing sandals.)  I gave ’em a good scrub and besides being swollen (the curse of varicose veins and poor peripheral circulation in my family), their good as new now. 

I had to stop at the laver today on the way home and get my spiritual feet washed.  Walking thru my days, beautiful as some have been, has left me dirty. 

Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean… When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” – John 13:10,12

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9



A whiff of heaven

Explaining sanctification to a 7 year old is really… clarifying. I think all we who claim to be Christians should at some point try describing the process of “being sanctified” to a child.

It was a really precious moment. And quite frankly I wasn’t expecting it. Actually I was tired, cold and day-dreaming about when I’d get to be in a quiet house with sleeping kids sipping a cup of vanilla roiboos tea latte, when a sweet(and very smart I might add) seven year old friend of mine came up to me at the bleachers and declared, “Uhm. Mrs. Sheila. I don’t think I’m a Christian anymore.”

Ding Dong. Publishers Clearinghouse just knocked on your door and you’re in your PJ’s Sheila!

I turned and looked the serious and concerned little guy in the eye and asked why he didn’t think he was a Christian anymore. He explained that even though he believed in Jesus as his Savior he was still doing things he knew were wrong. He sited an example from school today and said, “I still joke about things in a bad way and I know its wrong.”

My heart was instantly rejoicing!

First, here I was in a most un-suspecting moment, given a priceless opportunity to invest in eternity. Always be ready.

Secondly, the tenderness of this precious boy’s heart! So ready to confess. So willing to see the error of his natural ways. Oh that we would all be so childlike! We can’t enter the kingdom any other way!

Third, NOTHING else satisfies like doing what your Creator and Savior has given you the grace to do! When you do what you were made to do you can understand why Jesus said, “I have food you know nothing about,” leaving his followers scratching their heads wondering where He found chow while they were gone.

I had been feasting myself on crackers with cream cheese, watching my son play baseball on a beautiful spring evening, but when this golden moment was before me and I took it, I tasted the pleasures of heaven. I think I inhaled a whiff of the joy of the Kingdom while I labored in the Master’s field for a few minutes.

“You know honey, the very fact that you are troubled by the joke you made at school today is evidence of the work of God’s Spirit in you! Being a Christian is kind of like planting a seed in your garden. When you plant a seed what do you see?”


“Yeah. You see dirt for awhile. And then pretty soon you start to see a little green pop out from the dirt. But even before you saw the green sprout, under the ground that seed was doing its work. Eventually, the seed will grow and grow…”

“I KNOW! I KNOW! I KNOW what your saying now Mrs. Sheila! When Jesus came to live inside of me I couldn’t really see it. But pretty soon He’ll get bigger and bigger!!!”

Aroma of heaven. Joy unspeakable.

“Yes sweetheart. You just keep telling Jesus thank you for dying for all your sins. You keep telling Him your sorry when you know you did wrong. You keep following Jesus, trusting Him and He’ll just get bigger and bigger in you!”

Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. – Exodus 23:30

And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. -2 Corinthians 3:18

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11