Wednesday, January 21, 2015


The older I get, the less likely I am to try new things.
I might try something new for exercising and see if I can do it.
I will try new recipes and am always up for trying new foods.
It is the challenging things, the ones that might cause me to fear, that I seem to want to avoid. I don't want to fail. That just seems like it makes me "older".
Maybe I just like what is comfortable, what is known. To have that feeling of security, normalcy, to know what is going to happen .
Life isn't always like that, is it?

So this year, I decided to try something new. Something different. Something I felt was maybe needed.
For the past 20-25 years, I have read through the Bible each year. If you know me, you know I don't start with Genesis and read all the way through to Revelation. I just read and let God's Spirit move me.
This year, I had this sense, that something new was needed. That I should do something different.
I decided to just concentrate on Jesus and His words.
I decided that I would just read the Gospels; and really soak in the words of Jesus.
If I read just one chapter a day, it will take me four months to read through all the Gospels, and by doing that I can read them three times each and really soak in the words, listen to what Jesus has said and really contemplate how it applies to my life. I can see things new and maybe differently.

I am exasperated at times to read articles, books, blogs that tell me this is how I am to believe on certain issues (ie homosexuality, gay rights, abortion, how to treat the poor).
What if I just asked Jesus?
What if you just asked Jesus?
Isn't His opinion, His commands, His Words, the ones that really count?
And how are we to know what He is saying if we don't read His Words?
I have looked over and over and have yet to find anything that Jesus says concerning homosexuality. I know there are verses in Scripture that talk about this issue, but I don't find any words from Jesus.
This isn't saying He doesn't have an opinion, it is just an observation that He Himself does not address the issue.
There will be MANY issues that arise in our lives, that the Bible does not directly say "do this" or "do that", but that doesn't mean, we can't ask Jesus to help us know His truth. I believe with all my heart, with all my mind, that Jesus wants us to know and live His truth. Sometimes, it is up to us to ask Him to reveal His truth to us.
Please don't take others words, others interpretations. 
In time, He will reveal Himself to you.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" John 8:32

Today, three weeks into the new year, I finished reading the Gospel of John. I must say, not that I am surprised, but each and everyday, I pondered anew the words of Jesus. Something, some word, some circumstance, some story, caught my heart and I meditated on what this meant to my life. It has truly been a breath of fresh air. Reading and really trying to hear His words. Soaking in His truth.

As I finished today, I read the words in John 21:19 and then again in verse 22

"Follow Me."
"You must follow Me".

That is what it is ALL about.
Following Jesus.
Being obedient to His commands.
Asking Him when we are unsure.
Following Jesus doesn't mean that life will be easy. In actuality, it gets really really hard at times.
Following Jesus doesn't guarantee a pain free, trial free, heartache free life. It just means that following Jesus is the BEST way. The way that will lead to life everlasting.
Jesus wants our devotion.
He wants our obedience.
He is the ONE who is GOD.
He is Good. He desire His best for us.

Please don't get caught up in what others say, don't believe what one man or woman says, ask Jesus Himself.
"Follow Me".
That is probably the one true thing we can do.
We can make the decision each and everyday to Follow JESUS. Sometimes, it may be a moment by moment decision, but the BEST thing we can do is : 
to Follow Jesus. 
For our whole lives.
Until we meet Him face to face and get to be with Him forever and ever.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Most of us remember as children our parents telling us to be aware of strangers. If someone we didn't know approached us, we were to run away. Run to a safe place, whether it be home or to someone you knew would protect you. We tell our own children to be aware of strangers. I often wonder, if there is any place in our world today where parents feel that their kiddos are completely safe.
When our daughter Kristi was in second grade, she was friends with a girl in our neighborhood who was a couple of years older than her. Kristi and Sarah kept asking me to let Kristi walk home from school with her. Maybe I was playing it safe, but I was a bit hesitant. Those two girls kept hounding me. The school was only a few blocks from our home. So after talking with Sarah's mom, we decided it would be ok to try. We set up how it would work. The girls would meet on the playground right after school and walk home together.
The day came and Kristi was so excited. We went over the plan once again (too protective you think?) before I took her to school. But Sarah forgot. Kristi waited and waited for Sarah, who never showed up. After awhile, Kristi decided to walk home by herself. She obviously knew the way. As she began walking, she felt so grown up. All of a sudden she realized that a car with a man in it, was following her very closely. If she stopped, the car stopped. I guess it was all my "beware of strangers" comments that shouted out to her. She knew something was not right and she, being the smart little seven year old that she was, decided to go back to the school pretending she forgot something. Kristi was still  on the grass of the park that surrounded the school so it could look like she really forgot something. She went straight to the school office and they called me. Immediately I drove to the school to pick her up. It turned out that the man following her had been doing this for a few days and the school had reported this to the police.
I was completely relieved that my girl was safe. That she was smart and that she had listened to me. I never got angry, I was grateful beyond words that my girl was  protected. I have no recollection of what I said to Sarah or her mom, but we decided Kristi was not ready to walk home from school yet.
In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd and that we are His sheep. Sheep, when not grazing in the fields with the shepherd are placed together in a pen. 
These are the words Jesus spoke in John 10:1-5
"What if someone does not enter the sheep pen through the gate but climbs in another way? That person is a thief and a robber. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him. The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own sheep, he goes on ahead of them. His sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run away from him."
When we believe in Jesus, when we want Him to be the ONE who guides our life, we become His sheep and He becomes Our Shepherd. If you know anything about sheep, they are not very smart and often can get themselves into trouble by wandering off from their shepherd. The Shepherd is the one who keeps them from harm, who protects them and guides them. After a time, the sheep learn that their shepherd is the one who truly cares for them.
Often times I know I am nothing but a dumb sheep. I get myself into trouble and then wonder, "how did this happen?". Umm, maybe its because I try and do things, figure out things, without asking my Shepherd what to do.
Jesus said that the sheep know His Voice and follow Him. The shepherd calls them by name and they follow Him. Do I know that?  Do you? How do we as believers and followers of Jesus Christ know His voice? I believe it is mostly through His Word, the words written all through the Bible. If we don't know His Words, how will we ever know if we are being deceived or not. If we aren't asking Jesus to reveal Himself and His truth to us, and are listening to others opinions, how do we know what is really truth?
If you believe in God and that He is Good, then it most likely follows, that you would believe there is also evil and that is bad. In the Bible, the devil is God's enemy. He will do whatever he can to try and catch us off guard, to get us to believe something is true when it isn't. The devil wants more than anything for us not to follow God, not to listen to Him, not to read His Word, not to obey what He asks of us. Throughout the Bible, the devil is referred to as the father of lies, the deceiver, the thief. He is the enemy of God and he is our enemy too.
In John 10: 10, Jesus tells us:
10 A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.
A thief, THE thief is the devil. He wants to destroy us. He wants to believe what we want. He wants to take us away from Jesus and will do anything he can to make this happen. He is the STRANGER that we need to run from; always. The devil is the one who wants to harm us, to steal us, to kill and destroy the full life that Jesus wants to give us.
I have come to know with certainty that God's enemy is out to deceive and destroy God's children. Loving and choosing to work with my college age friends, I have seen over the past few years, how satan (one of the devil's names) is deceiving us. We have come to the Bible as if we have come to a smorgasbord. We pick and choose what we want to believe. You know when you go to a buffet, there are so many delightful foods to entice you, and then there are the few that might possibly even repulse you and you choose to stay away from them. That is what we are doing today in choosing what we want to believe as God's truth and what we want for our own lives.
Just a few examples of this. 
The issue of having sex before marriage. According to his books, Unchristian and You Lost Me,  Dave Kinnaman says that later adolescents today ( adolescents are now being described as people from ages 12-26), those that profess to believe and follow Jesus, believe that it is ok to have sex before marriage-especially if you are in love with the person. If we are to believe that the Bible is God's Word and it is truth, how do we reconcile what the book of Hebrews 13:4 says:
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."
I surmise by this that sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approve. But don't take my word for it, ask God, read the Bible , look up verses and study tools. It is too easy today to rationalize our own thoughts and feelings when we want to do something. But would we do something that God says not to, if we knew He was right with us? Because He is. Ask yourself, would I keep doing what I'm doing if I could physically see Jesus right here with me? Just because we cannot "see" Him, He promises us that He is always with us.
I know this is a smorgasbord topic. I want to have sex with my boyfriend, with my girlfriend. I want what I want, who cares what the Bible says. I get it; really I do. I had sex before I knew Jesus when I was in college. I had sex when I did know Jesus  when I wasn't married. Guess what? Now I wish I hadn't. Because after 38 years of marriage, I know that sex is pleasurable and fun, but it really means what God intended for it, in marriage-when you feel safe and loved and cared for.
Another smorgasbord topic that we want to pick and choose from is the whole issue of homosexuality. This is a buzz issue today in the Church of Christ. What I want more than anything is for you to go to God's Word, to God Himself, to ask how you should respond, get your viewpoint from God, not others. There is so much anger and hatred that has been spewing out of what Christians say, that I am embarrassed. I wrote two blogs in 2014 and one in 2013 about this that you can read if you want:,,
But again, Please don't get your opinion from me, ask God for His Truth and I pray then, "that you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32)
There are many other buzz topics, smorgasbord choices, believing what we want to believe and choosing to not believe others. What I am trying to get across here is that the thief is right here coming to steal and destroy us from the reality of Jesus. The devil is the STRANGER, the one we need to RUN AWAY FROM, the one who wants to do whatever it takes for us not to believe GOD.
RUN AWAY FROM THIS STRANGER. RUN TO GOD, RUN TO JESUS. He will be the ONE who protects you, who wants the very BEST for you, who cares for you and loves you unconditionally. He is the GOOD SHEPHERD who longs to hold you and comfort you and give you His peace. LISTEN to HIS VOICE. KNOW HIS VOICE and above all FOLLOW HIM.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Today was day 2 of my new routine.
Listening. Soaking in. Meditating. Pondering. Believing.

This morning I read John 2.
This is the famous passage of the first miracle Jesus performed. You know the one where He turned water into wine! What I would have done to be at that wedding!!!
The story is crazy and many people don't believe it. 
I believe the story. Why wouldn't I ? If Jesus is God, and I believe that with all my heart, and He left heaven to come to earth for the sole purpose of restoring us to having a relationship with the Father, why wouldn't I believe that He could change water into wine ? And was it the best Pinot ever or was it a phenomenal Cab ? Oh to taste it would have been wonderful!! (but I am getting off course here).

It wasn't the miracle of changing the water into wine that caught my thoughts this morning. It was at the beginning of the story, when the wine ran out and Mary, Jesus' mother asked Him to do something. 
His response to her was:
      " Dear Woman,why do you involve me?"  

Because Mary knows WHO YOU ARE. She knows that YOU are GOD.
That is why I, we, come to you.
Because I know that YOU ARE GOD.
YOU are the ONE with wisdom, with answers that I need.
The ONE who provides me with strength and courage when I have none.
The ONE who promises to supply my every need I have.
The ONE who can uphold and support me, when no one else can. Even the ones I normally look to.
YOU are the ONE who longs to reveal Himself to me, to us.

Why involve You?
Life does not make sense apart from You.
Life often seems to not make sense with You, BUT YOU have promised to never leave me alone-or you.
That YOU are ALWAYS with me.
That YOU are the Good Shepherd, who longs to nurture us, to carry us, to bandage us and mend us, to heal us.

So Lord Jesus, like your dear sweet mother, I need to involve you in ALL the affairs of my life. There is nothing in my life that You want to ignore, that you don't care about.
That is why I want to involve YOU.

THANK YOU that You let me.
That You listen.
That You care.
That You want to be involved.
I am so very grateful for that.

In the story, after Jesus realizes that this, this is His time to start His miracles, Mary tells the servants:

    "Do whatever He tells you."

What would all our lives look like if we just did "whatever He tells you (us)" ?
If we just obeyed?
If we just listened?
If we just followed His leading?
All the time, everyday, day in and day out. Week in and week out. Month in and month out. Year in and year out.
You get the picture.
What would it be like if we just obeyed the moment He told us something ?

Possibly a bit less chaotic. A bit less confusing.
Possibly a bit more clear.
A life with more HOPE.
A life dependent on the ONE who loves us with complete abandonment, the ONE who promises to be with us always, to never leave us or forsake us.

Ahh, if we just did " whatever He tells you."

Thursday, January 1, 2015



 I, for one, am ready for a new beginning; an opportunity to make some changes that I need to, a time to be intentional about pursuing God more.
 I want to be purposeful in maintaining and strengthening relationships with those I love. 
 I desire to be present.
 I choose to extend grace and forgiveness.
 I am going to choose to love when I don't feel like it; give my time when I'd rather not, give my resources when I want something. (that is probably so insignificant.) 
I hope to be more of the person that God envisions me to be.

This year I am going to switch things up a bit in my previous routines.
For twenty plus years, I have read the Bible each year. I never start with Genesis and end with Revelation. I don't have any plan, I just start and then I believe, the LORD leads me.

But this year, I have felt the need to do something different. So for at least the first 4 months, I am going to read only the gospels. I want, I need to just hear Jesus' Words. They are life giving to me.

What HE says is more important than what anyone could ever say to me. I need His input- on everything!

I love blogs. I love books. I get challenged by what others say. But I need more of Jesus.
To be more who Jesus wants me to be; I need to be with Him more. I need to soak in His words; meditate on them, ponder them, believe them. I need to practice putting them into my life.

I am really looking forward to this new endeavor.
I know I will be challenged. I will be convicted. 
I probably will feel like a failure at times.
But I anticipate knowing and loving my Savior and LORD more than I do today.
And how glorious and amazing will that be?

Yesterday I read Sarah Bessey's post on Facebook, asking her many readers, what had been their word for 2014 as the year began, and what would be their word as the year came to a close. 
I spent some time reading what others had written and then thought about my own life. 
I had chosen the word GRACE to be my word for 2014. I did learn more about grace and I think I extended more grace, but am not sure that is the word that actually described my year. I ended up choosing a couple of words that reflected my year.

TRUSTING was the word that came to mind the most. Trusting the LORD when I was so UNCERTAIN of so many things. When life took different paths than we could have ever imagined. Trusting that GOD remained in control when life spinned off the axis that was trajected.
SEARCHING was the other word. 
Searching for what was next. Searching for God's direction. Thankful that He showed me.

I am not going to think of a word for 2015. 
I think I will reflect at the end of this year to choose the word.
Last year I wanted more GRACE. Needed more grace. Wanted to give more GRACE. It was about what I wanted.
This year, I am going to let GOD choose the Word that HE wants for me. Or maybe a few words. Or a few verses.

What I do know is that God longs to reveal Himself to me; to you. 
I heard a wonderful pastor speak these words last fall:
" There is NEVER a time when God is not wanting to reveal Himself to us".

That is what I want to hear this year. His revelations to me. 
I pray that you too, will hear Him more.