Monday, November 27, 2017

If I Wrote In 1750

I consider it an honor to die in the service of our Lord, Who gave it all for the wretch that is me. What glorious respite to be removed from this earthly life to abide with Him eternally. I will not fear those who might kill my body, rather let me run from the one seeking my everlasting soul. When I die, whether by earthly end, or evil hand, I pray that death would find me in the middle of doing unto Him. Amen.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


When I was a kid, we went to the Catholic church, and I remember walking in the door and dipping my hand in the "holy water". Funny how some memories come rushing back when you least expect them. It was a sprinkling. The water, not the memory. I think the sound of the rain on our roof today brought it to mind. 

We don't think much about water in America. It comes out of the tap abundantly, and without effort. Not so in other places in the world where the only water has to be sought out, and then carried a distance. That's why, in John 4, we find a woman at a well, and Jesus using that moment of daily life to introduce Himself. There she was with her bucket, working hard at mid day, maybe wondering how many trips it would take to care for her household, when along came Jesus offering a different kind of water. Living water. The kind that washes you from your head to your toes and takes all the filth and sin away. The kind that quenches that thirst to understand who you are, and Whose you are. It was water that rushed into all the empty spaces in her heart, and filled them. Do you think she was still thinking about her laundry, or the dishes to be washed, or even physical thirst after that?

I've found, as the years have gone by, that I am no longer satisfied with dipping my hands in holy water, I want a drowning. I daily ask for God to immerse me in Himself, so much so that I can feel water up my nose, and on my skin, and in my wet hair. I pray that for my kids, for my family, and my friends, and my enemies. Especially for the ones standing in the heat on the sandy shore, inches from the waves, parched and longing. Step in. Step. In. You will thirst no more. John 4

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Dog's Life

Lessons from the dog: Hammie crates himself when he does something bad. Last night, I saw him grab the closed crate door and pull it open. I figured he was planning ahead. He knew the dinner table was a temptation, and that he'd rather risk the punishment if he could only get to a couple crumbs on the floor. Sin is like that, isn't it? Sometimes it feels like it would all be worth it, that stepping over the line. The trouble is, it isn't. Solitary confinement for the sake of a morsel of food on the floor? The kibbles bowl was full. The water bowl was full. The "good stuff" was right there in front of him, but that tug was more than he could bear. What he didn't know was that I had a reward for him if he stayed out of the kitchen. I would have slipped him a couple of good scraps from the table (I know, don't tell the vet). There was a bigger reward in "not sinning" than in sinning. That's the truth for all of us. Are you feeling it today? Are you feeling that pull toward something you should not do or have? Run. That's right, run. In the opposite direction. It might feel like a good idea right this minute, but in reality the thing you're after just rolled across the dirty floor. It's covered in dust and dog hair. Ew.

1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Waiting Season

Sometimes in Winter, it's hard to see the promise of Spring. The gray landscape, the cold wind that makes you want to huddle under a blanket. I look at the garden. Pieces of dead vegetation are tumbled in the mud, and bits of Autumn's harvest cling to the fencing with no hope for tomorrow. It's bleak, and it brings me no joy. I want to walk backward six months to the days when I watched the earth for seedlings, and rejoiced to see the flowers budding out. I want to smell the soil baking under a warm sun. I want, I want, I want...and then I am reminded. I am reminded that although it looks like all is lost, there is a purpose for this season. The seeds that have fallen to the ground need to sit and wait. They need to experience the fury of Winter in order to burst forth in Spring. This is not idle time. Were it not for the frozen ground heaving up and becoming broken, the seeds could never be planted. They would still lie atop the garden beds when the snow melted away, and they would be eaten by the birds, or rot in the muddy mess. I wonder what the seed thinks as it tumbles down the abyss created by that heaving soil. It probably thinks it is finished. It has no legs to climb it's way back out, no voice to cry for help. Done, I'm done. The days tick by, the seed remains in the cavern. Then, one day, long after the seed has given up all hope, something amazing happens. It burst forth from it's assumed prison, and becomes something beautiful.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
      2A time to give birth and a time to die;
            A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
      3A time to kill and a time to heal;
            A time to tear down and a time to build up.
      4A time to weep and a time to laugh;
            A time to mourn and a time to dance...

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11He has made everything beautiful in its time.