Friday, July 27, 2012

Temporary Goodbyes

We are leaving our beloved Alaska again tonight. We have spent two weeks enjoying some of the people we love. My soul has been refreshed by the beauty here. God really showed off in the Greatland! We say "goodbye" only for a time. We hope to return again and again. Until then...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This is borrowed from my most wise and gracious friend, Carolyn.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK GOD.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grieving the destructiveness of sinful choices

Today, many in Colorado and around the world are grieving the loss of earthly lives, ended by the brutal choice of one. My heart is heavy. I long for this and every kind of violence to end - violence in every form. That of guns and war, of spouse to spouse and parent to child, of abusers to their victims and of me to people around me when I am selfish, not loving.

God help us to live the way HE designed us to live - giving grace, loving tenaciously, refusing our natural sinful ways, embracing His commands and living them out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Our visit to Alaska is prompting some thoughts about what "home" is. I live and enjoy friendships in Virginia where we currently live and call our "home". I lived many years and have friendships in Alaska and it feels very much like "home" to me. I grew up in several places, but count Colorado as "home". So, where is my home? Perhaps they all are home to me.

As Jesus followers, we know that our souls are eternal and that God has a place for us to call "home" in heaven. He said before He left that he is preparing a place for me/us to live with Him forever. That will one day be my true home. In the meantime, I have homes here on earth. I've heard older people who love and follow God say, "Heaven is my home." Someone even wrote a song along those lines.

A friend of mine has had a year of great losses. She told me she has come to deeply enjoy God and longs more and more for the day when she no longer has to deal with the pain of this life and can enjoy God face to face. Her life and words challenge me to learn more about heaven so my longing for it increases.

God gave us this world to enjoy, to cultivate and tend it, to fill it and subdue it. He intends us to LIVE in it as our home. He also is preparing a place for us to live eternally with Him. We have spiritual homes in both places. Here's to LIVING where God has us today!

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Stones" of Remembrance

When God's chosen people (the Jews) experienced God intervening on earth for them, God commanded that they set up a memorial to refer to when their memory got rusty and to use as a teaching tool with their children. I think we need to do the same. When God does something for us, we need to write it down or make some other memorial of the ways God acts on our behalf. Like Israel, we are forgetful. When times get tough, we need to have a way to remember what God has done for us in the past so we can believe Him to be good in our present challenges. I keep a little notebook for that purpose. The other benefit of keeping the notebook is that I actually LOOK for what God is doing in my life and for others. It's amazing what I find when I look with intent!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Life lessons from Bejeweled Blitz

Bejeweled Blitz is a simple game in which matching 3-5 "jewels" in a row results in points. Sometimes specific jewels are given special qualities that would net many extra points if used in matching. When that happens, I find myself so often distracted by wanting those jewels to match up with their partners that I fail to see the other obvious matches on the board. What's spiritual about that, you ask?

Often I have an idea for God that I think is spectacular. I ask for it and look for it and wait. During the wait, I think I may miss God's obvious work and will because my eyes are only looking for what I want to have happen. From now on, I intend to start looking more broadly for what He's doing!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Submission is NOT a Dirty Word

Over the years, I've heard lots of sermons and read books about submission. Most Christian authors in my early years concentrated on the submission of wives to their husbands and let that spill over into an idea that all women were to submit to all men. No mention was made of submission to other authorities or that men were included in the commands to submit.

In the Bible, God sandwiches the submission of wives to their own husbands between exhortations for all of us to submit to each other. In Ephesians 5:15-6:9 and I Peter 2:11-3:17 we are told to submit to EVERY human institution - government, bosses, parents, husbands and wives (yes - men get to submit to their wives "in the same way" as they submit to the other entities mentioned). When we submit to human authorities, we demonstrate our confidence in God's end game and His ultimate authority.

Submission is aligning oneself under a line of authority so God has room to work. When we choose to submit to authorities and one another, we stay in a healthy place for God to bring about good things for us. If we don't and are persistently disagreeable and rebellious to the authorities and people God put in place, we step out of line and are vulnerable to whatever our circumstance brings our way.

Our motives in submission, according to the previous passages, are "to imitate God as beloved children"; "in the fear of Christ"; "out of reverence for Christ"; "for the sake of conscience".

The rewards are amazing!

We make the most of our time on earth
It may be well with us
That we may live long on the earth
We are doing the will of God from the heart
Whatever good thing we do we will receive back from the Lord
People will glorify God because of our behavior
By doing right we silence the ignorance of foolish men
We find favor with God
We follow Christ's example of suffering with grace
Some spouses will be won by our behavior
We do what is right
Our prayers are heard
We are harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit
We inherit a blessing
We see good in our days on earth
Those who revile us will be put to shame eventually

I think these outcomes make submission attractive!  When we submit to one another, we live in unity and we bring our best to the table, drawing the best out of others.

NOTE ABOUT ABUSIVE SITUATIONS: If you are in an abusive home situation, there is Biblical support for NOT submitting to that behavior.  God hates a man (or woman) who covers their spouse with violence and He strongly rebukes and punishes those who harm children. Choosing to remove yourself (and children, if involved) from that dangerous place is necessary and wise. Do not compound a sin problem in your home by letting it continue. Be a strong help to your spouse and join God in creating consequences for unacceptable behavior that MAY get their attention. Many communities have shelters for abused women (and I'm certain men can get advice there as well). At the very least, get information from them about such situations and make an informed choice.