Friday, December 30, 2011


Oh, but to stop the hand of time.

What would I do then? If I could climb the tallest clock tower and hold the hour hand still, I would.

It seems we're always running out of time. We are always in need of time. We long for more time.

Tomorrow night is a big one. All eyes will be on the hand of the clock, as it approaches midnight and welcomes a new year. (At least, that is in the USA.)
We all stop and pause as the seconds approach the 12 o clock hour, as if something monumental is taking place, and still the clock continues to tick away.
It holds no favorites. Time never stops for us and our inconveniences. It doesn't respect our sorrows or needs. It just does it's part, and we are to comply.

So much depends on time. People's expectations...their hopes, goals, and dreams. Births, deaths, wedding dates, travel plans, anniversaries, vacations, and other events.

So what if there were no time restraints? No due dates or deadlines.
No limits on time? What then?

Think about it for a second, if you will.
What would you do? How would you live?

I don't think I can honestly come up with a good response. I know that I'd love to be lazy and not worry about time demands. But I don't know that I'd want that every day.
I know I'd want to care for those who are in need... to be there for my mother...spend time with children in hospitals enduring pain, and the elderly who are sick with ailments. I'd want to travel with my favorite people. I'd love to watch my daughter swim and my son climb. I'd call long lost friends. I'd visit with my dad.

And yet, I know that those responses, although they are pure in heart, they are all that my human mind can fathom. My mind is so limited. Just like time is limited.

And still my mind cannot truly process the meaning of a timeless existence.
That is why heaven and eternal life are so mind boggling.

To live eternally... forever.... without and end to time?
Only God could come up with that. And only He can plan it so that it's just right. You see, when I think about eternity with God, I can only imagine it with my human mind. That is why God's plan is for us to be transformed along with time.
1 Corinthians 15:52
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

We will not be as we are now. We will not have the needs of human kind. And so no deadlines, no due dates, no demands.... means that we can truly enjoy eternal life doing that which brings complete fulfillment--- connecting with God.

John 3:15,that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Childhood friend
Never forget.

Blood sister even.
Never regret.

It's the person who believes you and takes you as you are.
She's too young to care about looks, beliefs, and attributes.
No prejudices there, what matters is you.

It's the smile, with the dimples, the one imprinted in your mind.
Fun times, silly times, and simple being close times.

It's the child that never grows up because your memories live on.
It's your wildest dream coming to life, when all fear is gone.

The bike rides down city streets. The walks in a lonely cemetery.
The pranks, the calls, the fights, the talks.

It's a young girl without a name because daddy's gone and mom pushes her away.
It's her shadow in the dark.
It's her cry without words.
It's her courage still suppressed.
By the demands of this world.

It's a girl now turned to woman.
Leaving traces on my heart.
Distance is but a gasp, although we are far apart.

The childhood smile fades away, though it appears from time to time.
There's more to life...
New dreams and hopes.
Our own little ones to raise.
Determining to be there unlike our parents were.

And we've done good.
We've done great.

Best wishes to you, my childhood friend.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

face of Christ?

Genesis 1:27 states that God made man in His image. Okay, sounds simple enough.
And yet it isn't. You see I'm struggling with seeing God's image in man.

Don't get me wrong, it's easy to see Him in beautiful newborn babies, and in those peaceful looking elderly people, and even in those dear to us and whom we love most. I can see God's image in the faces of my beautiful children, the smile of a friend, and I can even sense Him in the stillness of the night or early dawn.

But I'm finding it really hard to see Him in the faces of those who are less fortunate than me. It's hard to see Him in those that walk on the "broader path"; the rebels, or those who commit heinous acts. It's hard to see Him in the face of the lawbreaker, and the street walker, the prostitute, and the homeless.

Why can't I see Him? Maybe it's because I've always thought it to mean that God created "these men". The ones I'm familiar with. The ones that occupy the church building. The ones that I pray and share praises with.

It wasn't until recently that I began to fathom that maybe the verse was referring to all people. All men. Even the ones I don't acknowledge and the ones I don't consider worthy. Even those "men" carry the image of God.

It's mind boggling to me that "God will use the lowly to humble the lofty"--(paraphrased) but derived from 1 Corinthians 1:28,
"God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are
And yet that is what He does. I'm humbled at the fact that I have overlooked the face of Christ, who knows how many times.
And yet it is also good to know that the fact that I didn't notice, doesn't change God's word. Thankfully and graciously, it is not up to me, who would be considered or not. Thankfully and ultimately, it is up to God. He is the creator and we are all just a mere fraction of who He truly is.

And sadly but lastly, although I may not appear like it on the outside and exterior, I am just as unworthy and distorted as the other guy.... the one sitting on the sidewalk waiting for a smile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

long to see you smile

hey sister,
I haven't seen you in a while

I know times are hard and all, but I guess I'm feeling a bit guilty
Maybe it was something I said, or what I never did say

nevertheless, I miss ya
and I long to see you smile

hey sister,
today's the day which brings new mercies true
i heard it in the Sunday sermon, I read it thinking of you

Lamentations 3: 23 to be exact.
Lamentations.... isn't that where you're at?

Lamenting the past and the hardships of today
Lamenting that you can't make the good times stay

But how ironic! to find...
a glimmer of hope in a book like that

His mercies are new every morning.
I can live with that.

It means that although I sometimes long for it, yesterday has past
and with it, goes the burdens at last

And with it, goes the sorrow
that seems to have you trapped

It means that with tomorrow
you will have found a reason to clap

Yes, clap for joy... and even dance
Rejoice in knowing that today is a new chance

To live the life that no one else might
For in you there is strength... although you may have lost sight

It is in you... He lives in you
And His Spirit is true

He gives you whatever you need
He loves you

hey sister,
it's been a while
and I long to see you smile...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am way overdue for a pedicure.
Now I am certain.

My daughter took a look at my feet and said, "What is that?" I said, "My skin is dry." She said, "Are you broken?"

I guess she's got at point. My skin is broken. And I am broken.

Aren't we all? Our bodies are so limited. When are we ever in a perfect state? Is it when we are first born? So many are born with illnesses and diseases. Is it when we are fearless teenagers? Car accidents change their lives forever. I'm sure it's not when we are elderly; slowly losing our hearing, our vision, our mobility.

My mother announced the other day that she plans to be around for approximately another five years. Five years!!!!! She's only in her sixties! What is she thinking?!

And yet, I can understand exactly why she would say that. Her body is broken. So is mine. And it won't be until we face our maker face to face that we will be made new and perfect. Just imagine a new body that has no malfunctions.

But we aren't just made up of bodies. We have a spirit as well. And unfortunately, our spirits get broken too. More importantly, a broken spirit is much worse than a broken body. If our spirit is broken, we lose hope.

Yet, once again, eternity will make our spirits new!

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day. And I know that around the table there will be many who are feeling broken. What's there to be thankful for? Jobs lost, relationships broken, illnesses, fears, etc.
And yet, brokenness, to me means that I am in need. It means that I am limited and that I need a savior. Without my brokenness, I'd be a self-sufficient very proud person. I'd be very lonely too. And I would not realize my need for a savior. I would not recognize my creator. I would be lost without my Lord.

And so I'm thankful for my brokenness because it keeps me in awe of my maker. It reminds me that I am nothing without Him. And it helps me to live depending on Him.

Hope for eternity. A faithful Heavenly Father. Answered prayers. Perseverance in trials. Strength for tomorrow. Infectious joy. Calming Peace. A humble heart. A Savior who was broken, for me. This is why I'm thankful.

Isaiah 53
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 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 its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

In Christ, we have a savior that was truly broken on our behalf---dying on the cross so that we could spend eternity free of pain, free of suffering, free of brokenness.

That's something to be thankful for!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Everyone Needs a Home

As we walked through the woods of the Pottstown area, looking to see if we'd find the homeless, I couldn't help but think.... everyone needs a home.

In Philadelphia, we found them throughout the subway station. It was at least six years ago on a very cold February Sunday. We had decided to take homemade soup to those living on the streets. We looked and looked for a while, before we finally found that they were inside the train station, trying to stay warm, obviously.

It's such a controversial issue... homelessness. And we wonder why are they out there? What happened? Drug abuse? Criminal activity? Insanity? Loss of jobs? Loss of homes? Loss of hope?

Why would anyone want to live in nothing more than a tent surrounded by trees? No food, no bathroom, no real bed. We found that some tents are pretty run down and dirty, while others do their best at keeping theirs clean and approachable.

And as much as they try to make the best of it, they are still living in unfit conditions. Furthermore, I believe that those who inhabit those encampments, realize that they're not truly home. It's like they are in a temporary state of transition... some transitions longer than others.

I know that everyone needs a home. A place where they belong. Where we are loved and accepted, that is. We all long for it.

And so being homeless means you are without that . It means that you don't belong and that you are unloved and unaccepted. It also means that you have not arrived... home.

And as foreign as this entire topic may seem to us all, we are not that unfamiliar with at all. In fact, as Christians we are much like the homeless. You see, we too are out of place here on this thing called earth. We too, are living in unfit conditions, although many of us do not even realize it. We make the most of it, this place called earth. And some live much more comfortably than others. Yet, we are not home. Not yet.

And this place is but a stepping stone to our true home. Eternal home in heaven. With our heavenly Father and family. With loved ones... forever. No sin. No worries. No pain or suffering. No illness. No sorrow. Just joy in God for always.

Heaven is our true home. And everyone needs that home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Strength and Honor

So I was feeling mighty low, when I received mail from my mother. I don't know about you, but I know for me, receiving mail has become a special event. And obviously, I don't mean "junk mail". We get that everyday, and it's always so full of ... junk.

And so I was lying on the sofa, when my husband handed me the card. I opened it up and first found an old picture of mom and me and some friends. Tears welled up in my eyes right away. I must have been about 3 years old, when the picture was taken. And there I was standing by mom, leaning on her with one arm--both of us looking like we're posing for some 70's model shoot. "Sooo cute!"

I don't know what possessed my mom to send the photo, but it came at just the right moment to remind me of not just her love, but of God's love for me. You see I was feeling lousy, both physically and emotionally. And with such a small gesture, God embraced me; and a feeling of joy came over me.

Okay, so it doesn't end there. I looked inside the card for what was written, and all that I found were these words. "She is dressed with strength and honor" (Proverbs 31:25a)

That's all she wrote. And the tears rolled down my cheeks. How did she know? How did she know that I'd need to hear that? She didn't....but God did.

You see lately, I've been feeling the pressures of motherhood and womanhood coming down on me real hard. And most of the time, I'm left feeling inadequate and defeated. I'm left with the thoughts... "What makes a good mom?" "How do I respond to their demands in a Godly manner?" "Am I being too pushy?" "Where will our relationship be ten years from now?" "Will my daughter confide in me at her time of need?" "Will my son return home, once he's gone off to college?" "Am I not doing enough to keep my middle child content?" "Am I pushing them away instead of drawing them in?" "And yet, is it about me? or about leading them to God?" "Am I leading them to God?"

and.... Where do I throw in the towel?" "Please be easier on me, please!!!" "I'm only human.".....

She is dressed with strength and honor.... How can I be dressed this way? You see, this represents a the woman I long to be. Yet, if you read the entire chapter in Proverbs, you find that this woman is not free of trouble. She is not unfamiliar to the common demands of womanhood and motherhood. In fact, she is faced with the same types of demands I face. And yet, she thrives on God's approval, and so she is considered the "wife of noble character". If I read this chapter trying to see how I measure up, I lose interest real quick. But if I focus on her source of strength and honor, then I regain my own.

You see, just like I freely admit that I'm no superwoman, this woman of Proverbs 31 does not claim to be one either. Unseemingly, she too, was only human. And just like me, she too, found herself able because of God. You see, if you read on, you find this verse, 30"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

Okay, so I admit that this chapter of Proverbs has never been one of my favorites because of how mighty and perfect this woman sounds.... making me out to be incapable. And yet, the way I've come to peace with it is by focusing on six specific words found in verse 30... a woman who fears the Lord.

That's it! That's where I fit in! That's how I can compare to this so called mighty woman--- I fear the Lord, as well.
And so I'm not alone.... in fact, I am just one of the millions of mothers and wives who lack the confidence, who feel the guilt, who suffer the losses,and so on.
But I am also one of many who fear the LORD, and because of it, I too, am dressed with strength and honor.

Strength and honor....... wear it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Life Gives you Lemons...

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  It's such a common saying in our culture.  And yet, what if you don't like lemonade?

It's supposed to be an encouraging phrase to redirect your sullen or downcast thoughts to a more positive outlook on life.  It goes along the lines of "look at the bright side" and "the cup is half full". 
But what about those who are stuck in depressive mode?  What do you say to those who are breathing their last breaths?  A very good friend of mine was on her dying bed, when she pulled me up close to her face and asked me, "What do you think Lucy?  Am I gonna make it?"  ...I was speechless.  I mustered the words that only God could have given me to try and provide peace for her anxious heart at that moment..  
And still I know for certain, that using that most popular phrase, "when life gives you lemons..." would not have be reassuring for my friend.

So what is one to do when the lemonade theme is not enough to get us through the day?  What is one to do when everything falls apart?  When there is pain and suffering?  When there is loneliness and death?  You see, life is hard!  No one gets a free and smooth ride.  No one gets to bypass the demands, the turmoil, the stresses, the sorrows.  No one.

And so I say, "when life gives you lemons, look up"!  Turn to God for strength.  That is the only for sure thing I know that will in turn bring true assurance and encouragement.

Psalm 121

 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

It doesn't promise that you will be free of trouble.  In fact, it accentuates that we will need help.   But real and assuring help comes from  the maker of heaven and earth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When is Your Birthday?

I was just reading the story of the prodigal son, found in the Bible.  It is one of those very popular Bible  stories that I've heard it many many times.  However, today I've pointed something out that I didn't really see there before.

Okay, so to wrap it up in a nutshell, here's the way the story goes.  A man had two sons.  The younger one claimed his inheritance before it was time because he wanted to venture out into the world and make due with what was rightfully his.  And so the father did not deny him the request, and the son went out and splurged on everything and anyone foul.  As a result, he foolishly wasted all of his money on "dead-end" things, and ended up with not even a bite to eat.  He hit rock bottom, when he finally mustered up the courage to go back home.  (Ever been there?)

And so off he went on a venture back home, taking with him his only baggage: guilt and shame, repentance and a humble heart.  He had, indeed, learned his lesson the hard way.  And it must have been a very long and difficult walk, not knowing what the response from his family would be.  He couldn't stop to call or text or facebook dad to give him a heads up that he was on his way.  Instead, he made the long walk home.  Actually, he didn't make it all the way home, when his father spotted him and ran to him.

His father not only ran to him, but he greeted and embraced him with immense joy.  So much so, that he called for a party.  He ordered his servants to prepare the best meat in the house and to invite friends and neighbors, so as to throw the biggest bash in honor of his "prodigal son".  It was as if they were to celebrate a birthday.  In essence, the prodigal son had been reborn and renewed.  It was a birthday celebration! --Luke 15:22-24, "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on hi finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it.  Let's have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."

The story goes on to say that the older brother was very jealous and bitter about the way the father treated his brother.  However, what I find most revealing and moving is the part when the father took back his son. You see, I am in awe of how loving and open this father was toward his "spoiled" son.  And as a parent myself, I know of many other ways that I may have handled the same situation.  In fact, I think this father had many other options.
He could have gone inside the house and closed the doors, when he spotted the son drawing closer.
He could have asked the son to quietly leave.
He could have drilled the son with questions about his whereabouts. (that would have been my natural choice)
He could have yelled.  He could have shouted.  He could have turned his back.
Lastly, he could have politely asked his son to go get cleaned up before taking him in.  I would have.  Wouldn't you?
Isn't that what we do?  We want people to act right, before we can consider them acceptable. We want them to clean up their acts and look right, before we can welcome them in.
What's even worse, is that Christians do this, and churches do this as well.

And he could have... but he didn't.
And what's more, God didn't.

When I was a little girl, I remember having great respect for my father.  Well, actually it was mostly fear.  I revered him at times, but mostly I was just afraid of his response to my wrongful behavior.  And there was plenty of wrongful behavior, even at at young age.  I specifically remember that my father did not allow me to play outside.  He wanted me to be indoor, while I hated the indoors.  And so, I'd play outside as long as I could, before noticing him on his way home from work down the road from our home.  Even my friends knew to alert me, if they saw my dad coming down the street.  Most of the time, I'd be inside, before he'd catch me breaking the rule.  Yet, there were those regrettable times, when he'd catch me before I could run inside.  And it was on those days, that I'd get my spanking.
And so I learned to either walk a very straight line to impress my father, or to be prepared for the worse if I broke his rules.  I received the worse many times.

You see, that is why I am in awe of the father's love for the prodigal son.  Hence, it  is obviously, an illustration of God's love for us.  The truth is that, as much as our earthly fathers may love us, none could compare to our Heavenly Father's affections for us.
I wished my dad had accepted me that way.  I wished he'd receive me with open arms, even when I was at fault.  I wished...

Fortunately, God did.

And after reading the story today, I could actually visualize God celebrating my return to Him.  Celebrating my repentant heart, just like the father in the story did.  He celebrated my return, and He celebrates every time another lost child comes back home to Him.  He throws a birthday party on our behalf!  And He doesn't ask us to take care of the "check list" beforehand.  He simply awaits us.  He longs for us.  He runs to us.  He finds us.  He embraces us and takes us in.  And then, as if that wasn't enough, He celebrates!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Jailer

Can you imagine going to work one day, feeling mighty dutiful. You make sure the desk is in order. You handle the accounts. You make the calls. You make the arrests. You nurse the wounds. You mop the floors. You grill the chicken. You.....what do you do? What is your job title? Okay, so whatever that is.... you do it, feeling completely oblivious to anything else that is not work-related. You have a job to do, and you're focused on that. Yet, deep inside you know there is a void that you haven't been able to fill. So you submerge yourself in work, as to completely deny the great need inside of you. And the reality is that not only are you in need, but so is your family. And as much as you'd like to save yourself and your family, you know that you are unable. And so you go to work one day, as you do every day. Only difference being that on this day, your life will be changed forever. Yet, you are unaware. (Don't you just love days like these?) That is how I visualize the story of the jailer found in the book of Acts 16:22-34.

The jailer made sure to do his job well.  He knew that it was his duty to jail Paul and Silas for performing miracles and preaching "Jesus", and he was to make sure that they could not move.  Yet, when he woke up to the amazement that Paul and Silas were loose, he was so highly disappointed and in despair that he was willing to take his own life.  He figured he would lose his life anyway, when his superiors found out.  

It is obvious that this jailer did not know the power of God.  It is obvious that he didn't realize that Paul and Silas were filled with the spirit of God.  And it wasn't until Paul shouted to him, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" that he began to see God's power at work.  He fell before Paul and Silas, and inquired, "what must I do to be saved?"  And they lead him to salvation in Christ that very night.  

I find it so amazing that God would work this way to save a lost  soul.  The jailer was lost and without hope, and God was aware.  So much so, that He used the suffering of two of His most devoted followers, Paul and Silas, to bring this lost soul to salvation.   And not only was he  saved, but his family, as well.  It says that, "then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.  The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family."

What a night!  What a full day/night of work.   This man's life was changed unexpectedly.  Or so it seems, but God knew.  God knew that this man needed a savior, and He came to him... even if it was at a jail cell.    

Be encouraged, my friends.  God is still aware of lost souls.  And He can still work within the most absurd circumstances.  He is at work in hospitals rooms, psych wards, jail cells, train stations, supermarkets, restaurants, beauty salons, schools, trucks, and so on.

If you are a lost soul, acknowledge His power today.
If you are like Paul and Silas, claiming to be devoted to Him, be prepared to sing His praises, claim His power, and share the good news of salvation with others at any time.

Every day is an opportunity for salvation for the lost.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Singing Praises

I just want to praise you!---- Psalm 144:9 says, "I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp." I was reminded today about the power of praise. Truly, Satan isn't happy when we are bringing praises to God. So much so, that he'll work his subtle ways to distract us enough that we begin to feel like there is nothing to praise God for. I've been there too many times. "You've fooled me way too many times, and you almost had me today... but not now... no more." I will praise God for He is worthy of all praise. I will praise Him because His love is everlasting. Because his mercies endure forever. Because He alone is my rock and fortress. My tower of safety. My faithful friend. My rescuer and redeemer. When I was young, he lead me to Him. When I was lost, he found me. When I was hurting, he held me. When I was in despair, he gave me hope. When in bondage, he was my deliverer. When I was in shame and guilt, he showed mercy and grace. And as I'm in need, He is always there for me. I love it when I get to the point of deep heartfelt prayers that consist of lots of tears and very few words. Words like: Jesus, help me, and I need you Lord. And I can't say much else because I'm so overwhelmed. Yet, He sees my my tears and heavy heart, and somehow understands me. And the reason I know is because after I'm done pouring my heart out to Him, I begin to feel this immense feeling of peace. I love those moments. As I mentioned, today I was reminded of the power found in praises to God. And how they are fierce weapons in spiritual warfare! Yes, spiritual warfare. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that if you are a child and follower of God, you are living in the midst of a spiritual warfare. You see Satan wants your life. And although, he knows that you belong to Jesus, he wants to keep you from enjoying the wonderful life that God has granted you. Better yet, he longs to make you despise your life and everything in it. He wants to see you dissatisfied. He loves it when you are confused about what God's will is for you. He is happy when you are down and out. And he loves it when he is able to discourage you with just a few simple "white lies". And all along, while you think that you are just having a really bad day, he is doing a little dance of discouragement. You see if he can get you to beleive the little lies...f you can just hold on to those discouraging thoughts long enough, you will begin to waiver in your faith in God. So much so, that you may get to the point, when you begin to wonder why you believed in the first place. Oh but to the contrary, when there are praises on your lips, and words of praise in your mouth, Satan begins to feel defeat. When you acknowledge God for all that He truly is, and you tell Him how grateful you are, Satan gets to squirming and flees from you. He rather entertain someone else, who will give him the time of day. I am in the middle of a warfare... even as I write these words down. Satan has been wanting my family's time. He's been trying to get my family to believe that we are not satisfied. That there is something missing. That we are lacking. That we do not love each other or truly love God. He's been attacking my marriage (for a while now), and now he's targetting my children. Satan is a liar!! And so in the midst of these attacks, today I praise God! I praise God because He is above all things and above all gods. He is the life, the truth, and the way. There is no other! So gear up. Use your weapons. Praise Him!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fearless Women

This is dedicated to all the women I know, who have had to withstand turmoil and suffering, and yet did not give up; finding strength in the Lord our God.

My mother said her first heartfelt prayer, while facing her own death. She nearly drowned as a teenager, as she tried to save her sister from drowning. And in that most turbulent moment, she cried out knowing that only God could save her. And He did. Her sister's fate was different. She passed away with the turbulent waters, leaving my mother with immense loss.

I call my mother a survivor. A feisty woman full of gumption and great spirit. And although she has given in to fears at times, she is fearless.

There's a woman I know. Her graceful smile hides the burdens that she must carry. Her gentle ways never tells about her pain. She pulls herself together instead of pulling covers over her head. She is fearless.

I've fond memories of a woman who'd write her cares away to paper. Not allowing pain to leave its trace on her heart. With each new night, she welcomed new strength... With each new day, new mercies she embraced. She was fearless.

My sister is one of my heroes. Her smile lights up a room. She's giving and meek,and to some she may seem weak. Yet on her knees, she finds the courage to face the cares of the day. She is fearless.

One of my dearest friends passed away several years ago, after a long battle with Lupus. This October 17th, we would have celebrated her birthday. I can't help but think about the great example of strength and courage that she left for me and others. She had the gift of hospitality. And although she lacked physical strength, her words were always uplifting. She drew people in with her soft tone and laughter. Oh, how I miss her! Nancy was fearless.

I know of single mothers, who play the role of mom and dad. I know of widows who pick up where husbands left off. I know of young mothers who spend their days and nights by the hospital beds of sickly children. I know of women who are battling illnesses, not giving up the fight. I know of moms who await their "prodigal" children's return. I know of wives who do not walk away from their marriage, although they have every right to do so. I know a lot of fearless women.

And then there's me.
I get up in the morning because I am able to. I share my life with others because God says I should. I love when it is hard to. I believe, when I can't see. I trust although it's difficult. I move forward, although I feel stuck. I smile, even when I'm hurting. I laugh because it feels so good. I cry because there is hurt. And I pray because only in God do I find strength.

A while back I read a study on what it meant to be a woman of strength versus a strong woman. And the conclusion was that anyone can be strong, but real strength is only found in God. And when you fully rely on God for strength, you become fearless.

Have you ever head the story of Elizabeth Elliot? She won over the men who killed her husband. She witnessed to the violent tribe, and they gave their lives over to Christ.

Have you read the story of Rahab? Although she was a prostitute in Bible times, she protected the men of God who needed a place to hide, and she was saved.

Lastly, have you not heard the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus? She was a young virgin who carried baby Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Him, the savior of mankind.

She was, indeed, fearless.

Nehemiah 8:10b, "for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Psalm 28:7a, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me."
Isaiah 40:29, "He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."
1Peter 3: 13-15, "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
2Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm not Your Superhero

Truly we live in a such a broken world. And people cope in different ways. Some people choose to live in denial. Sort of like "out of sight out of mind". Well, the reality is that the theory only seems to work on babies, and even babies grow out of it real quick. Yet, denial leads people to some sort of oblivious way of living. They stay away from anything that seems or feels real. They begin relationships, only to break them. And they only engage in things that do not require commitment. Like one night stands.

Then there are people who want to pretty up the messy world we live in. The mentality is "you only live once" and "life is a gift"! They thrive on instant gratification. They feel like they must achieve and enjoy because life will soon be over. And you might wonder where is the wrong in that? There is some truth to it, isn't there? Well, the problem is in thinking that all that there is to enjoy is now... forgetting that there is an afterlife and eternal life with God. And truly this life is but a shadow of our "real life". Think about that... There is nothing here and of this world that will bring everlasting joy or fulfillment.

And while we have some of us "enjoying every moment", the realities of this fallen life persists. The reality is that there are babies who never see their birthday because there isn't someone who will live for them. The reality is that there are elderly people committing suicide because no one ever stops by to visit. Reality is that there are mothers abandoning their children because of drug addictions and sexual addictions. The reality is that there are men who cheat and lie all for the sake of a reputation. There are murderers and rapists, and child molesters in our very own circle of friends and family.

I hope yo don't think I'm speaking out of turn here. I'm speaking from my very own life experience. My grandfather was a child molester and so was my uncle.

And as of lately, I've been getting to know an orphan, and his situation weighs heavy on my heart. And I wish I could undo the pain and suffering that was caused to him. I wish I could undo the pain being caused on other children just like him all over the world.

And sometimes I feel like I am just a woman standing at the center of the world trying to hold the world together. Like I'm trying to bandage up all of the world's hurts and miseries. I'm trying to heal the sickened and mend the broken. Isn't' that what God called me to do? ....I'm trying

And then I read Isaiah 40:31, "Those who hope in the lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
And I realize that I am not God.
Only God is God.
The scripture doesn't read, "those who hope in Lucy..."

I am not this world's Superhero. Only God can fix it. Only God can mend and heal it. Only God can rescue and save.

You see the more I am aware of the needs of this world, and the more I try to do my part, I realize that I am limited. I am but a vessel that God will use. God will use....

And we must stop trying to "pretty it up". The world is what it is because the world needs a savior.

And all that I can do is tell others about that savior, with as few words as possible. My life's story should tell others about who God is and what He is able to do. I can tell others about how I was destined to be a single mother walking the streets of Philly selling drugs and my body... but God rewrote my destiny. God came for me! He saved me...

I am not, in any way saying that we, Christians, are not called to do "kingdom works". In the contrary, we should all be involved in things that will bring the lost to Christ. However, we must keep in my mind that the world does not rotate at the palm of our hands, but that it is God who saves it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


How do I begin to write, when I'm at a loss for words?

Sometimes in life, things happen... unexpected encounters, ironic circumstances, breath-taking exchanges, that literally leave you speechless. And I'm not referring to the very trendy kind of "OMG" moments and expressions.
I'm talking about those very rare humbling experiences that lead you to wonder, "How did I ever think I knew all I needed to know prior to this?"
And it has nothing to do with age, or determination and accomplishments, or anything else that would reflect my own glory. Yet, it has everything to do with how God lines things up at the very perfect moment and time. He leaves us speechless...

I know some of you by now are wondering where I'm going with this, but I will do my best to be clear from this point on. (Now keep in mind, my best sometimes falters.)

You see, I'm talking about moments like when you first see your newborn baby.
And moments like when you're standing at your friend's burial site, (your legs trying their best to hold you up) full of grief; and suddenly you feel a breeze, as if caressing your face, and a dove flies by, and a yellow flower stands out in the crowd. And somehow, though the tears roll down, you experience peace.

And then there was the moment when I received a letter from a dear friend telling me that she was diagnosed with a terminal disease, and doctors could not make any promises for her well-being. And how I traveled miles to meet up with her, only to find that the beautiful young and vibrant woman I once knew, was stricken so that she could barely move. But what a moment it was to see her smile, regardless...

And when I hear the story from an orphan who has lived his entire life without a home, without a family of his own. And yet, he tells me about how he wants to help others, and how he has found hope in God...I am left speechless.

And I wonder... "who am I, Lord?" Who am I that you should highlight my insignificant life with such meaningful moments?! That I may bring you glory? That I may praise your name? That I may claim your power? or that I may be left in surrendered humility... Speechless.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lord, is it okay if I mess up Today?

Some days, as much as I try, I still manage to make a mess of things.
Many mornings I spend time in prayer, asking God to help me live a Godly life, only to find at the end of the day, I've come so short of the goal.
Discouragement puts me to sleep.

There are days,however, when I know exactly what to do. I know exactly how to act and what to say... and then I must choose. Not always making the right choice.

It is on those days, that I am most grateful for the scripture reference that says, "His mercies are new every morning".
For if it wasn't for God's mercies... I'd still be trying but failing.

And then there's that other saying, or is it scripture?... "the heart is willing but the flesh is weak". Sounds like scripture...

Okay, so the point is that many of us have very good intentions and want to follow God's will for our lives, but we fail to do see it through. And we all have our reasons. Or are they excuses? I don't know, but regardless, we fall short.

So this was the topic of discussion last night for my husband and me. And if you are married, you know that topics of discussion usually mean that "we see things differently". It was an awesome discussion, nevertheless.

I was on the side of "God's grace covers all of our mistakes, and so it's okay if we mess up". My loving husband was on the other side with, "We must stop being lukewarm for Christ, and we need to give God our all--- not sitting back with the "God's grace has Me" card--- and limiting our faith from growth because we won't step out or speak out for the Lord."

I told you it was awesome!

And then there's God's word. God's word... which cuts like a knife. It is as powerful as it is soothing. God's word meets our needs, and it meets us right where we are.
It's like Jesus-- Jesus met people where they were. At times, He was just walking by. Other times, he sat with them. And there were times, when He went out to find them.

Okay so going back to how I should live today. Here is my conclusion... I was reading the book of Hosea in the Bible. If you've never read it, you should. It is confusing a bit, but the message of God's love could not be more clear. You see Hosea was a prophet that God called to marry a prostitute. And it describes her (Gomer) as a very lowly person. She was someone that none of us would wish to relate with. And yet, she was Hosea's mission. And not only did He have to marry her, but when she left him and continued with her promiscuous ways, Hosea had to sought her out. He actually paid to have her back. She was being "auctioned" off, and Hosea bought her back.

Hosea represented God, and so you know who we are, right? We are, or were, Gomer the prostitute. You see we are, in our human nature, very lowly people. And we are capable of all inhumane sins. Yet, God sent His son to come and rescue us and give us eternal life in heaven. Yet, He paid a very big price for us. He died for us. And when we mess up, because we will, He buys us back. He brings us back to Him.

And so, as Christians when we go about our day, trying to meet our goals, this we should have in mind:
God gave it all for me---for all of me--present, past, and future. And He loves me anyway. That is not to be taken lightly.
Now, out of gratitude and love for Him, I will give my all in return. I will step out of my comfort zone-- although the zone may be very large-- but I will do it for Christ. Not because He needs it, but because He deserves it.

What exactly shall I do out of my comfort zone? (one may ask) I will love the unlovable. I will serve the ones in need. I will tell others about His love. I will obey His word, when I don't want to. I will ask for forgiveness, when I offend. I will drive away from the place that leads me into temptation. I will not befriend the person that lures me. I will change the radio station... and so on and so on... Can you add to the list of things that we can do to live for Christ? (if so, add it on the comments box below)

And though I may fall short, like I have many times, I will continue to strive to be just like Him, who loved me first.

Hosea 11:9-11
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the LORD;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the LORD.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's in Your Heart?

The heart can hold a lot things. In fact, the heart is like a treasure box. And what you cherish most, resides in it. Some things can take up a lot of room in our hearts, even though they are small. For example, some people's hearts are full of envy. And some people's hearts are full of greed. Some people are full of fear. And then again, some are full of pride. Some carry in it, lust, and others store hate.

Oh how heavy must a heart be, when it's holding such things!
And woe to the person who bears things such as these.
So much to hold in such little space.

The Bible goes on to say that the heart is what determines how a man/woman shall live. And that, which shows through our words and actions, also tells of what is in our hearts. In essence, the heart, and whatever resides in it, demonstrate what we are all about.

So the question is, what's in my heart? And how shall I know? Who would know? If we survey our friends, what would their descriptions of us be? Better yet, let's ask our enemies or strangers. What would they say?

You see, our lifestyle should be one that reflects who we are to all people. And even strangers should sense what's inside our hearts.
Inevitably, it is what is most important to us that will fill our hearts the most. What matters most, will reside most.

And that's when the conviction takes place. You see, if I call myself a Christian, my heart should be full of God's love. And His love should be what determines how I live. For it is His love that saves us and leads us.
It determines how I treat others, friends and strangers.
It determines how I will spend my time. And whom I will spend it with.
It determines my decisions and my plans and every detail of my life.

And so if that is the case, others will know whom God is because of what is in my heart.

And now I ask you, what's in your heart?

Matthew 6:19-21
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have You Looked at Yourself in the Mirror Today?

Have you looked in the mirror today?
What did you see?... besides your reflection, that is.

I know when I looked at my reflection this morning, I was not at all impressed. In fact, I often do not like what I see. I think about all of the things I'd like to change. And yet, as I walk away from the mirror, I slowly begin to forget what it was that caught my attention in the first place and what it is that needs change.

Last month I tried the "weight watcher" diet. I'd go on the scale every morning and watch my weight and record it. Every time I did, I'd tell myself what it was I needed to do to bring down my weight some. After a week or so of doing this, I realized that just watching my weight on the scale and thinking "happy thoughts" was not bringing down the pounds.

And so it is with the word of God. James 1 says the following: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

If all I do is listen to the word but I do not make an effort to apply it in my life, then I'm deceiving myself. This is hard for me to admit, since I've claimed Christianity my entire life. I remember when, at the age of seven, I boldly informed my Catholic classmate and neighbor that she should come to my church because all Catholics would be going to hell!

And I remember when at the age of twelve, I was baptized in a beautiful river with some of my church friends. Early on, I knew that I wanted to follow Jesus. And early on, I knew that God had a plan for my life.

And yet, even with that awesome knowledge and that radical desire for Christ, I walked away from it so many times. I've known the truth, and I've chosen lies. I've known the right thing to do, and I've done wrong. I've known how to show love, and I've looked away.

I've looked away from the opportunities... to love, to care, to forgive, to share. I've done this way too many times.

And even now in my adulthood, I have to consider what exactly does my life reflect? When I look at myself in the mirror, do I see the goodness of Christ in my smile? Do I see His grace in my words? Do I see His forgiveness in my heart? Do I see His wisdom in my mind? Do I see his plan being worked out in me?
You see, it goes deeper than nice words and a pretty smile. It goes way deeper than "saying all the right things". It goes as deep as where my heart is.

And in order for me to rightfully say that my heart is in the right place and that I am a reflection of Christ, I must do more than read the word or listen to it. I must do what it says.

Lord, as I look at my reflection today,
with its flaws and mistakes
Lord, let me not forget
As I walk away

For it is You who leads the way
It is You whom I must obey
Let your word penetrate
And Lord, let me not forget
As I walk away

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Help My Unbelief

Psalm 77:19, "Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen." (referring to how God lead the Israelites through the Red Sea)

Ever felt certain that God was there... although you did not see Him?
I've felt that way many times. In fact, I feel that way right now.
We don't always see God working. We don't always know what it is that He is doing, but we can certainly be sure that He is doing something special just for us.

You know He is working things out in your favor, somehow. You can see the evidence of His doing. And you can almost trace back all of the clues... right back to Him.... but you don't actually see Him. You don't really see His face or hands or feet, but you know He is there for you.

And yet, it is so easy to not believe what we cannot see. It is easy to lack faith in a God that seems far. We may falter in our faith... we may stumble along the way due to lack of faith. We may even turn our backs to Him because we no longer believe.
Yet regardless of what we believe, God still remains.

You see, we don't define God. Instead, knowing Him brings true definition to whom we are. God doesn't need our faith. We need Him. And we need faith in Him. The more we learn to trust Him, although we don't always see Him, the stronger our faith will become.

There is a scripture reference in the gospels that talks about having faith enough to move a mountain. I don't think I've ever had that much faith. And I don't think that it is something that we can just learn to have instantly. However, I do believe if we can trust Him with the little things. If we can have enough faith to move a mo hill, eventually we will believe in moving that mountain.

Faith grows. It develops. So if you are feeling like you don't trust Him enough, or just don't have faith enough, know that: 1st of all, that doesn't change God's character and His willingness to be there for us; and 2nd of all, although you may not actually see Him, God is there.

I don't know what you might be going through today, but I know that He does.
I'm not sure how strong you are feeling in your faith, but I know that He cares for you.
I am unaware of any losses or troubles that you may be facing today, but I believe He is attentive.

If you are suffering from unbelief, pray to Him. And ask for just a bit of faith. Enough to help you... just for today. And do the same tomorrow, and the next day. Before you know it, you will have gained great faith!

-This morning, the kids and I dropped off several bags of clothing at the fire company. Thirty-one families lost their homes in a massive fire last week, and there is this collection taking place in their honor. The kids and I prayed for them in the car, as we drove away. We prayed that the things being donated would be a blessing to the families.

Still I know that those families might not see God's hand in all of this. In fact, they may only see despair right now. However, I believe that God is not inattentive to them and He is using many different ways to bless them.

Lastly, I pray that God would help them to believe even when there seems to be no evidence of good or God. I pray that their faith may grow just a little bit today. And I pray that the little girl who ends us wearing the pretty little shoes and warm snow boots we donated, may believe in her heart that God has provided for her. Those shoes are just a little clue... a little piece of evidence that God is faithful. We only need to believe!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dear Mary

Dear Mary,

I missed your called today. I pray you're well today.
It's been a long time since we've talked.
Distance has kept us apart.
And so much has happened so far.

Dear Mary, I hear you've been through a lot. I hear you're down and out. I hear you've lost your way.
Life can be tricky that way.

Dear Mary, it seems you got caught up with glamour and fame. I heard you've gone and changed your name.

You've been searching with no findings. Looking in the wrong places.
Putting on different faces.
And still at night, your child whispers your name.
He calls for you to change. He longs to see you smile again.
He recalls the Bible stories and the songs of praise. The ones you taught him way back when.
And still today they lie within.

Dear Mary, they say you walk alone today. They say you're no one's friend, and you're the only one to blame.

I remember when in our younger days, it was Jesus you proclaimed.
I remember when you called on Him and with faith you professed.
You said you'd give your life to Him. You said you'd love Him til the end.

Something went wrong... and you were strayed away. From the one who loves you most.
Dear Mary, I hope you call again.
I've got so much to say.
You see although you've gone your own way, His love for you remains the same.

And the words that He once spoke to you, are still true today. In fact, if you just listen for a moment at the words you once believed, you will know that you are loved regardless of where you've been.

His words of love for you remain...

Dear Mary, I heard you stopped by today. I hope I'm not too late.

Isaiah 59

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


His name is Martins. That's all I really know. He is an orphan in Latvia, and my husband wants to adopt him.
So why do I feel so burdened?
I'm not the one who's waiting for the "hero" to come.
I'm not the one who's lonelier with each new day.
I'm not the one abandoned and forgotten.
No, but he is.

He is... just like so many others, awaiting their hero.
So many others are unwanted, simply because.
Luck was not on their side... I guess. (if you believe in luck, that is)
The world is such a crooked place. So many get lost in the process.

As my daughter waited for the friendly cashier man to scan the ball she was purchasing, he struggled to scan the price tag, saying, "It's crooked, just like me". To that I responded, "we all are".

I know this is a stretch, but I picture the globe we live in in the same way.... just like that pretty ball my daughter was set on getting. Our beautiful earthly sphere wears this price tag that reads "crooked", and only God is passionate enough to remove that tag and save us from our crooked ways.
And although the sphere seems nice and smooth and beautiful on the exterior, there is so much corruption residing within.
Children are abandoned and left waiting for some one's return until it's too late.
And the pain blankets them at night. The shame shadows them at day.
When the sun sets, so does their hope....

Who will come for them? Who is passionate enough, as our Lord has been for us?
Who will go to them? Who will die for them?

My husband wants to. He is Martin's hero.

1John 3:16-18
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The phone's my mother's voice on the line.
Chats, laughter... and silence.
My daughter laughs at her own punch line.
The dog pees on the floor again.... (ugh)
My son pours out his fears to me.
I can hear the other one playing on the drum set.

No one's on the street today.
It's 100 degrees today.
My husband shares a story that really makes me laugh.
An old friend lets me know she's thinking of me.
My sister pays me a visit.
A cool glass of iced-tea will freshen us up.

Memories of those gone before me bring a smile to my face.
I'm planning for what's to come.
The flowers need water. The grass has dried up.
The bird is in the birdbath.

The kids and I work on a puzzle.
Taking pictures of each step.
We watch TV.
We bake and make sure to lick the bowl.

Still I await the doctor's call with my test results.

Jump in the pool.
Try the hula hoop.
I watch my daughter do summersaults.

I'm alive.

Ecclesiastes 3
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Five Letter Words

“Long words bother me.” - Pooh

I don't like long words either. I like short words. So I decided to list my favorite short words. And it just so happens that they are all four to six letter words.
1. Grace
2. Mercy
3. Jesus
4. Love
5. Peace
6. Andy
7. Caleb
8. Ciara
9. Kris
10. Praise

I don't like words like catastrophe and temptations and tribulations and suffering and betrayal and deception and abductions and .... (although I know from experience, there can be real and good purpose in those)

Oh, but what about words like: celebrations and salvation and sanctification and willingness and submission and loyalty and faithfulness and possibilities and miracles and victorious and wholeness and happiness and surrender and deliverance and serenity...

And then there are those little words that we can't live without: pure, joy, holy, God...

Words... Oh what's in a word, anyway?
Words are just words...
Not so.

In fact, words will help determine how you will live your life, what will most matter to you, and what will not.
Like today, I was DETERMINED. Determined to make the most of opportunities and bring glory to God. Tonight I'm HUMBLED. Humbled by the way God works in and through us according to His will. I am also HOPEFUL. Hopeful for a bright tomorrow because of God's promises.

Now let me go back to my favorite words. His MERCY found me in my lowest state, and because of His mercy, I rose above. His GRACE gave me what I could never earn on my own- eternity in heaven. I seek to live in His PEACE everyday. I am humbled by His LOVE. And I PRAISE Him for my family who leads me closer to Him.

There you have it, my favorite words.
Oh... did I fail to mention? JESUS...

Jesus is my very favorite word. Jesus is the most beautiful and most powerful word. Jesus is the reason I have grace and mercy and peace and love and a family who loves me. Jesus is the reason I'm alive today. Jesus is the reason for my tomorrow. Jesus is everything to me.
Jesus- my most favorite word.

What's yours?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not on Bread Alone

So I have to admit that it just isn't the same at home with having both my husband and older son gone for two weeks. The house feels empty, although there are still three of us here. It's awkward, and I just really miss my husband.
It's interesting how we grow so accustomed to having certain people in our lives, that when they aren't around we somehow do not feel complete.

And as I reflect on it, I realize that some of it has to do with simply being dependent on someone. Looking forward to talking before going to bed. Wanting to hear the stories of the day. Wanting a reason to laugh out loud. Feeling safe because I'm not alone. Sharing my concerns and fears. Arguing my most valid points. Witnessing the accomplishments as well as the downfalls. Sharing someone else's life. It's like this feeling and verification that I'm alive. I have a purpose, and I feel whole.

And now for two weeks I'm stripped of it, and a part of me is lost. Yet, a bigger and deeper part of me knows that I must find that solitude and purpose in God alone. Moreover, God wants me to be at peace and content with or without those whom I most treasure. It's okay to depend on my husband for certain things and to cherish him, but I need to realize that ultimately, it all comes from God. The fact that my husband's friendship motivates me and his company assures me has to do with how God provides for me. You see God will use people to meet our needs. Therefore, regardless of how much I appreciate my husband for all that he brings to my life, I must acknowledge that God is the one ultimately fulfilling my every need and that He is faithful, always.

So he reminded me of it this morning, as I read to my younger ones at the breakfast table.
We took turns reading Deuteronomy 8, and once again feeling humbled by God's word, I realized that God wants us to depend on Him and that He is forever faithful.

And also as I read, I thought about how Moses seemed so confident in what he was sharing with God's people at the time. He seemed very sure of what he was saying. And why wouldn't he be? God had proven himself faithful time and time again, and Moses had witnessed it all. So at the time, it was a very different Moses compared to when God first called him to go and free His people. At first, he felt very inadepquate for the job, and he was. And so his trust and confidence was placed moreover on himself rather than on God. But when we read in Deuteronomy 8, we find a different Moses. This was one whose faith had been tested and who had learned from experience that God would provide faithfully.

That is how I want to respond tonight. Although I feel alone, I know that God is with me. Although I miss my husband, I know that God has never forsaken me. Although I need the company, I can find my needs are always met through His word.

Thank you Lord!

Deuteronomy 8---2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Without God

I gave someone a ride the other day. She boldly walked up to my car, while I stood at the red light, and asked if I could take her home. It was scorching hot that day, and after driving her home, I honestly couldn't blame her for wanting a ride. I told her I would have asked for a ride too, if I had to walk as far out as she had to.
Although a short ride, my minded was flooded with an array of thoughts. I quickly got the sense I that she was not a Christian, and that she just desperately wanted to get home. She wasn't much for small talk, although I tried. She seemed too preoccupied within herself to notice that God was there in that car providing for her needs. And He had used me as an instrument of His love for her. Yet, she seemed oblivious. And although my mind raced in wonder about what I could possibly say that would make those short moments matter, it was short lived. And as she turned her back and made her way out of the car, I felt really sad...

I was saddened by the thought and knowledge that just like that young woman, there are so many people who don't know the Lord. There are so many people who make a daily choice to not know Him. And there are so many people who don't even know why they should want to know Him. Would they recognize Him, if He was standing face to face with them? (I hope that by now, you know that when I say "know the Lord" I mean much more than to know that there is a God.) I'm referring to having a relationship with God, the creator of heaven and earth.

And yet with their backs turned against the creator, (I still picture the woman's back as she got off my car) they go about their everyday life---mind you, the life He has provided. And for whatever reason they are clueless...

That makes me sad. I wondered about that woman, as I drove off, feeling fortunate that I have an air-conditioned car to drive home. Nevertheless, I wondered if she was feeling hopeless. And if so, how would she make it through the day... without hope and without God.

Furthermore, I thought about all of the people who face life's challenges all on their own because they fail to acknowledge that there is a God who's got this world in His hands. Once again, how sad!

To think that tonight there is a little boy somewhere, who's dad has beat him very badly, and he's got nowhere to turn to.... without God.
And somewhere there's a woman suffering because her son has been murdered, and she doesn't see how she will survive without him... without God.
And somewhere in this big world there is a man who's been betrayed by his own wife, and he's not sure how to cope... without God.
And without God, there are so many people living life. Some enjoy the temporary thrills that come with this gift of life. Still they are left wanting more each time. Others simply don't know how to enjoy life.
And regardless, in this world there are so many people who don't know who God is. They are here... without God.

How sad!

Psalm 14:1, The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To Know you is To Love You

The other day I prayed a prayer... I was on my knees, something I haven't done in a great while. And something in my heart lead me to be humbled before God.
As I pondered on His great love for me and then to wonder about my love for Him,
I was convicted that I don't love God as I should.
Do you?
Does anyone?

I guess when I question how much I love Him, I can't help but think about all that He has done for me... and that's where the challenge for me begins...

"Dear God, do I love you simply because of all you've given me?
Is it the grace, you've shown?
Your mercy, true?
Do I love you simply because of all these beautiful gifts that surround me?
My children, family, and friends?
My welfare, my health?
I'm sorry Lord, I can't help but think of these when I think of how much I love you."

In my selfish state I wonder, shouldn't I love Him just because? Indeed, that is how He loves me!
And furthermore, I realize that I should love Him because of who He is. His character is worth not only my affections, but my honor and glory. You see the more I get to know who God is, and how He is... well, the more I grow fond of Him.

Getting to know who God is...
Those are the key words. You see, how much can you love a God that you don't really know much about? And if you're not getting to know Him, how can you really appreciate Him? And how can you show Him your love, if you don't spend time with Him?

I don't know about you, but I've had my share of loss in friendships. It makes me feel very sad to think about the friendships I've lost and how at one point I thought they were so special... and yet the reality is that unless you nurture a friendship, it will eventually become stagnate.

It's similar in our relationships with God. I don't ever mean to say that we can lose our relationship with God, once it has been established. But what I'm trying to say is that in order for my relationship with God to grow... in order for me to learn more of who He is... in order for me to truly love and honor Him just because, I have got to get to know Him more...

I grew up in "church". I've been a professed Christian for a really long time, and so it's easy for us "old timers" to get comfortable and think that we know all we need to know about God. But have you ever had that moment when you open the Bible to a verse that you have known for a really long time, and as you read it one more time, you gain a deeper understanding or application?

When I ponder upon His character... to know that He is Holy above all else... it's like there's this transparent wall that sets me in the place of humility and complete reverence for my God--- it reminds me that I cannot compare, nothing can compare to God.
And when I think about His protection, His mercies, His loving kindness, His guidance, His plans for me... that is when I feel Him coming closer to me, as if lifting that transparent barrier and personally touching me... and my life in so many ways. Indeed I am loved!

And I am grateful. But do I love thee, Lord?
I want to, Lord!

1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children ofGod! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But whoever loves God is known by God.

Romans 8:39
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.