Monday, July 25, 2016


Feed The Birds: 

If God has a daily "To-Do List" feeding the birds of the earth is on it, according to Jesus.  He said:

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"  (Matthew 6:26)

If I were a bird, somehow every day, I would find food to eat.   How do I know that? The Bible says so. 

If I were a bird, I would not be earning what He gives me every day.  His compassion would make sure I am fed, not because I sowed and reaped the food I ate.

If I were a bird, I wouldn't spend every moment worried about whether or not God was going to be faithful and feed me tomorrow.

If I were a bird, I wouldn't hoard everything in fear of the future thinking my hoarding would feed me instead of God Himself.

If I were a bird, I would fly above the earth and see the bigger picture of it all.

If I were a bird, I might wonder why the humans worry so much about stuff they cannot control.  

If I were a bird, I might wonder why the humans think they are taking care of themselves and not being taken care of by God.

Alas... I am not a bird. 
(Did I really have to mention that? I don't think so.. because.. really... how many birds do you know who can type, have a computer and their own blogs?)

Don't miss the point Jesus was making.
Don't miss the lesson He was giving about the way to keep from worrying. 


 In this portion of Scripture, Jesus wasn't scolding them for their lack of faith in God's faithfulness, but reminding them of their HOLY IMPORTANCE to God.
He was saying, "IF GOD cares about the least important thing on earth to humans - the birds - then imagine how He cares about the MOST important thing on earth - PEOPLE.  Never forget your value to the Heavenly Father.  Remember who you are to God." 

So then.. when we worry... it's because we have forgotten our value.
When we worry... we forget HOW MUCH GOD LOVES US.

When we worry... we are devaluing ourselves and acting as if God does not care about taking care of us.
When we worry... it's because we forget WHO WE REALLY ARE.
When we worry... it's because we forget WHO GOD REALLY IS.
The key to rest... the foundation of a worry-free existence is to VALUE OURSELVES the way GOD does.

When I remind myself that:

I am God's precious child. 

He gave the life of His Only Son so that I would not be separated FROM HIM forever.

I am seated with Him in heavenly places.... higher than any bird can fly.

When I remember MY VALUE TO GOD.. then...I can relax.  God's got it.  

God will take care of what I need... because..

I am the most precious thing in the entire Universe to Him.  

And so are you.

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it 

is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and 

seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in 

the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, 

expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." 

Ephesians 2:4-7

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


I did not grow up in a wealthy family.  Still, my mom and her four sisters pooled their money and bought a house on a lake in the early 1950's. (The picture above is of that lake.)

It was in New Jersey, about a two hour drive from our home in Staten Island, N.Y. Every year, a few days after school was finished in June, our grandmother, Nonnon, and all five aunts and all nine of my cousins would pack our stuff, get in a few cars, and have a caravan drive to "The Lake."   
For the two hour trip... we would pack lunch, and stop on our way to eat it.  Because.. really... you can't go without eating something for a whole two hours... right?   To be honest, all year long we all waited to "go up the Lake."  (We didn't go TO the Lake. We went UP the Lake. Why did we go UP instead of TO?  I don't know why)

When we got to The Lake we just unpacked our stuff and lived. We didn't have anything more planned than being there and being together. Everyone had an assigned bed, and assigned bedroom.  And that was that. And we just lived every day.  All the aunts (referred to as "The Mothers" by all the cousins) Nonnon and cousins together.  We swam. We jumped off the wooden rafts that were floating in the water.  We got along (most of the time.)  We were family. And we were just happy to be together and "up the Lake." 

Somehow we all ate three meals a day.  I vaguely remember some of "The Mothers" going to town to buy groceries every now and then... but it was a side event for me.  I never worried about being taken care of.  I just lived without a care. Swimming in the lake, having fun with my cousins was all I cared about.  

Every weekend, "The Uncles" arrived.  And every Sunday night The Uncles went back to the city to work.  And then we just lived another week at The Lake.  No one made big plans. Sometimes, if The Mothers allowed, we walked to the local gas station to buy soda, or candy.  We walked to the bakery nearby to buy sweet rolls.  We jumped in the water. We played in the sand. We didn't do anything but just be at The Lake. And be together. It was the way life was meant to be.  No pressure. Nothing but simple joys.  

I realize now, as do my cousins, that we all lived an idyllic childhood.  

The reason this life of joy and love and happiness was made available to me and my cousins is the foundation of deep, deep love between my mother, her sisters and our grandmother, Nonnon.  This LOVE covered us all like a blanket of security.  It was LOVE that kept them together. It was LOVE that kept us together.  LOVE.  LOVE. LOVE. 

And we knew that the foundation of THAT LOVE was JESUS. We all knew that loving Jesus, thanking Jesus, praising Jesus was the foundation of being alive.  Nonnon was a woman of prayer.  
We heard her praying in her room.  
She was never on vacation from prayer.  

IF there were moments when some of us did not get along (and of course there were) there was NEVER a moment when Nonnon would ACCEPT division in the family. 
We were never allowed to let division become permanent. Nonnon would not allow it.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my years of going UP the Lake is that: 
Unity begins in a family.  
Love is modeled in a family.   

OK... So what? Good for you, Marie, and your family. 

The world is crying for UNITY.  Jesus knew that UNITY begins in a FAMILY.  The Family of God.  

In our family - we did not SEPARATE when we did not agree.  It wasn't even considered. We accepted that telling the truth to one another was not always something that brought harmony... but it never divided us.  Not while Nonnon lived.  We worked it out. We talked it out.  Sometimes we continued to not agree, but we never continued to not love. I am perplexed by people whose hatred has blinded them so much that they feel justified in walking away forever from a family member.  

IN God's Family.. the same is true.   
I must admit, that in some ways, the family I grew up with left me naive about being in the Family of God. I have been perplexed when people who name the name of Jesus separate from one another over a disagreement or a disappointment or a difference of any kind.  I am not used to someone in a family simply walking away because they don't like what you did.. or what you did isn't what they wanted you to do.  Families never separate. No one ever cuts off ties with another family member. Only God can help anyone who separates God's Family.

Someday.. every child of God will be "Up The Lake"... together with every other believer.  Eternity is simply a new heaven, a new earth with new bodies that never decay.  And we will all be Up The Lake together forever.

I must have an odd way of looking at things when you look at them through the words in Scripture.. but.. isn't it ridiculous to think that we can hate another believer down here, but not UP there.  We are ONE family.  


I wonder if God wonders how we think we can be together forever but separated here?  

1 John 2:9-11:

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 

But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. 

They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."

Sunday, July 3, 2016


In recent years, we non-professional audience people have become familiar with a media term - "the spin" or "putting the spin" on something.

The dictionary defines the term as: "To twist a report or story to one's advantage; to interpret an event to make it seem favorable or beneficial to one self or one's cause."
In this election season, it's easy to see what I'm writing about.  Just take your remote control and flip back and forth between the different news channels.  On one channel a candidate is the savior of the nation and just one flip of the remote later that same candidate is satan in human form.

It's not just media people who "put a spin" on things.  We all do it all the time.  For example, when a friendship hits a wall, and possibly ends... the "spin" on what caused it's demise will be different depending on which side of the friendship you hear from.  No one I know ever says, "Well the friendship ended because I am intolerant and unforgiving."

People put a spin on things because they want the people listening to receive and embrace and accept what they are saying. 

Sometimes, lately, I've noticed lots of my brothers and sisters in Christ becoming concerned with whether or not what we are saying about Christ and the Gospel is acceptable to the masses.  They seem embarrassed by the narrowness of the idea that Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."  They seem to shy away from the fact that He point-blankly said, "The path to follow Me is NARROW and FEW will find it."

Now, I'm not talking about being narrow-minded. I applaud people who whole heartedly question the status-quo and with open hearts take the time to investigate thoughts we embrace as Holy Truth but are merely human tradition.

However, I see a subtle "spin" being put on Christianity.  It's a "let's move away from the whole Cross thing, the whole sin thing, the whole only begotten Son of God thing" and lets move to something more palatable.  Let's say that Jesus made the way so that even people who don't believe He is The Way are going to be o.k. in the end."  With all my heart, I wish this spin were true. Because so many people I love deeply are not on that Narrow Path.

It's a wonderful spin.  It just isn't Truth.

"For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths."

1 Timothy 4:3-4

Saturday, July 2, 2016


And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32 

For some reason that verse, and especially that word "tenderhearted" has been running through my mind all morning. 

I investigated the word and it means what it seems like it means.  Having a tender, soft, merciful heart toward other Christians. It should have seemed unnecessary for Paul to have to remind the people whose Leader pointedly commanded them to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.. that... uh... well.. He MEANT what He said about the whole LOVE ONE ANOTHER THING.  It should seem obvious that The Forgiven should be the first ones to tenderheartedly forgive.

He was also reminding them.. in case they had forgotten... that it wasn't because they were worthy of being forgiven.. or deserved God's mercy... or because they had been chosen and predestined from the foundation of the world to be God's child...

but it was 


that God chose (and chooses) to forgive us.  

Live. Give. Forgive. Love.
For Christ's sake.

If that's reason enough for God to forgive....who are we to think it is NOT reason enough?