Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Tangle or a Crown

   In recent days I've read a bit about Corrie ten Boom's life.  She escaped death in the concentration camps of World War 2, being imprisoned for months, seeing her dear sister die there and loosing the rest of her family.  She bravely soldiered on after her release at the end of the war and became a dearly loved "Tramp for the Lord" as she called herself.  

  As she ministered the Gospel to the nations, traveling to the far reaches of the world with the Good News of Jesus, she carried with her, and was rarely seen without, a beautiful scarf. She used this scarf to explain the wonders of how the Lord sees his children.  She would show the underside of the scarf which was full of tangles and threads which appeared to go nowhere useful.  She explained that this was so often the way we saw ourselves, unable to make sense of our lives, our circumstances and the world around us.

  Then Corrie would take the scarf and turn it over displaying the beautiful design on the other side.  She explained that this was the way the Lord saw us, the plans He had for us, the things that happened to us and the gorgeous pattern He was weaving in our lives.  The side of the scarf she revealed was a stunningly designed crown.  

  The Lord has a purpose for all that we are going through in the tough times.  He has a reason to bring us through the toughest tangles and the seemingly useless interruptions.  Every loss, disappointment, hurt, wound, and even this dreadful pandemic, He turns into something beautiful and for His good pleasure, and our benefit.  To Him be the glory through thick or thin, through the good times and the difficult, through times of prosperity and loss,  sickness and health, valleys and mountaintop experiences.  Although we see from the underside, earth, He sees from heaven, from the correct side.  Every tangle is really an opportunity to trust Him to make something beautiful.  And He will.

God bless each of you with greater confidence in Him, knowing His work in your life is always good.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you...

Plans for your wellbeing, not for disaster, 

To give you a future and a hope.    

Sunday, November 29, 2020


   Last week, a few days before Thanksgiving, I was captured by a tree outside the window.  It was moving in the wind in such a fashion that I know if I had the right ears I could have heard it clapping its branches before the Living God.  I don't recall ever seeing that kind of movement in the trees before.  

  I know the poetry in Scripture in not exactly meant to be literal.  But I sometimes think it is more literal than our sin-tasting ears can perceive.  We just don't have the pure listening ability we will someday have. Maybe as our faith if tested and refined we will yet have ears to hear.  I truly hope so.

Is. 55:12 You will indeed go out with joy

and be peacefully guided

the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Sword

   Ephesians 6:17 is a well known Scripture that talks about the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  We are invited to use this Sword in prayer.  The life experiences we have in victory over difficulties brings strength to our wielding the Sword in battle.  

Before David ruled as king over Israel, he fought many battles.  The first public battle he fought on behalf of Israel was with Goliath.  He took Goliath's sword after he killed him and for some reason we don't hear about it again until David runs from King Saul, fleeing for his life.  He reaches Nob and retrieves the sword where it has been stored with Ahimelech the priest.  

1Samuel 21:9 The priest replied,"The sword of Goliath, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod.  If you want to take it for yourself, then take it for there isn't another here."  "there is none like it!" David said.  "give it to me."

From then on David fights many battles with the foes of Israel and with some of his own personal demons.  

Winning the Sword of Goliath was a huge event in David's life.  In fighting the Lord's battles he had a daily reminder of the victory he had with that sword.  It became the Sword of the Lord. David's reminder of his victory over Goliath, accompanied  him into battle. 

We also carry reminders of our victories in Jesus.  They make the Sword of the Word of God in us powerful in pulling down the strongholds that face us and the other folks we pray for.  The Word of God along with our experiences in victory, infuse our prayers with power and confidence to pray with the authority that God wants us to have as we wield our swords for Him. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dog Therapy

  Several years ago, when I was terribly ill, I had times when I felt so worthless; like such a burden to my family, and estranged from the world.   My daughter, Lydia, sat with me and pulled out an old photo album.  She began showing me my worth through the pictures of a small portion of my life.  She helped me to gently reminisce about the things I had done in my life.  It brings tears to my eyes even now, to remember her tenderness and the gentle reminder that my life had been worthwhile living, and that because of the past, I still had many reasons to go on living.

Sometimes, in times of severe trauma, it is helpful to just sit with the traumatized person and ask them about their lives.  To sit and listen is a gift to the bone weary; to the one who feels she can't go on.  We train dogs to be healing companions to the ill.  They often just show up to sit with the sick person or lay at their feet.   Each of us are able to serve at least as well as a dog. 

Job 2:13  So they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights,                                  no one spoke even a word to him, for they saw that his grief was great.

Something to think about, and be willing to do when the situation dictates.             

Friday, November 6, 2020

Trust With Unwavering Faith

 My, the weather is nice today!  When the snow came to the tune of four to six inches, with colder weather at its heels, I felt quite sure we would not be snow-covered until spring.  And here we have an end to daylight-saving time and warm, dark nights.  It is wonderful to have the weather so cooperative for putting the rest of the garden beds down for the winter.  Now, to convince the rest of the leaves to fall from the trees, so they can be raked up or mulched.  

The cool weather inspired me to do some baking again.  I have not baked for so very long!  My energy had been low because of the tight way I had to hold my muscles to prevent shaking.  It surprised me how much energy that took, or at least how much energy has returned since the DBS surgery.  I am very pleased.  Jim says the fall is good for putting on "brown fat" to insulate us from the cold of winter.  The baked goods have certainly made that possible.  

Co-VID has bloomed, so the choices are personally more restrictive.  Being safe for ourselves and each other is important.  The pandemic is a mean one.  I am certain there is evil behind it.  God is not surprised however, so we do our part, then rest in the safe arms of a loving Father, trusting Him with unwavering faith.  

Ephesians 6:12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, 
but against principalities, against rulers of the darkness of this age,
 against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Say What?

   In a book called, It Happened in Church, Stories of Humor From the Pulpit to the Pews, Patti S. Webster has an article on page 230 worth repeating.  She says...

   After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching prospect said, "Let me see if I've got this right: You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their t-shirt  messages, and instill in them a love for learning.  You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases and raise their self-esteem and personal pride.  You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook and apply for a job.  You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior and make sure that they all pass the state exams.  You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card.  You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.  You want me to do all this and then you tell me... I CAN'T PRAY?"  

Now, twelve years after the book was published, we could add all kinds of responsibilities and ongoing problems, but the point is still the same.  How dare we ask our children's teachers to do the impossible and then deny them the power of prayer to help them to handle their problems.

   Philippians 4:6-7   Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Thumb Chopping

   Last night I was chopping the last of the vegetables  for supper, when I got my thumb in the way and sliced off a chunk of thumbnail and some flesh.  Bleeding with quite a gush, I got Jim's attention and he helped me bandage up.  Today I am wondering what I will find when I finally take the pressure bandage off.  It throbs less today than it did during the night.    My daughter did something similar last summer while working with a mandolin.   It was the middle finger on her right hand that got sliced, ouch.  It is my left thumb.  I am thankful for that.  

  It puzzles me that Father is in control my whole life, every single detail, and then something like this happens.  I am certain that Satan and his minions are still messing around with us, and sometimes he gets his way.  At the same time I know nothing happens but that Father is able, and willing, to make good come out of it.  So I give honor to Father and His vast ability to do the miraculous.  And I watch expectantly for the good I will certainly see. 

One of my (and my mother's) favorite verses in the bible is Romans 8:28.  

And we know that all things work together for those who love God,                                                             to those who are the called according to His purpose.

  What a great promise to keep front and center in this uncertain time.  It helps me keep my chin up.  I hope you adapt it as one of your favorite verses as well.  God bless.