Friday, December 29, 2017


“Stupid mistake” is a redundant phrase if there ever was one. There is no such thing as a “smart mistake”. Lots of highly intelligent people have made lots of stupid mistakes. According to some, the stupidest kind of stupid mistake is when the person who is making the stupid mistake “should have known better.” People who “should have known better” become people (according to the Perfect Ones) who have “made their bed and now have to lay in it.” ("lie"in it?)  You made your bed. Now lay in it and SHUT UP.
Which is why Psalm 107 is one of my favorites. It starts out by advising “the redeemed of the Lord” to do something. What does it tell them to do? “Tell their story!” This is the OPPOSITE OF SHUTTING UP. They are to TELL THEIR STORY.What story? The story of how “HE redeemed them from the hand of The Foe.” (v2). People like:
  1. The Wandering Ones (v.4-7) They couldn’t find a place to settle, they are never a part of society. They never have a home. The outcasts. The losers. The unemployed. The drifters. They never had enough money. Or food. And their lives were “ebbing away.” To the world, these people didn’t only make mistakes - they WERE mistakes. WHEN THEY CRIED TO THE LORD IN THEIR DISTRESS - GOD HEARD THEM and DELIVERED THEM. And led them to a place to settle, to feel secure and cared for.
  2. The Rebellious Ones. (v. 10-16). These people are the epitome of the “should have known better people.” They knew God’s commands and rebelled and despised His plans. As a result, they were in darkness. They sat as prisoners in chains. Their labor in life was bitter and difficult. They were getting what they deserved. But when they cried to the Lord in their distress, He saved them from utter darkness and BROKE AWAY THEIR CHAINS. He gave them what they did not deserve- FREEDOM AND LIGHT.
  3. The Paying The Consequences of Sin Ones.(v. 17-22) These people had rebelled so completely that they become “fools” as in the “fool has said in his heart there is no God.” GOD? They never gave Him, His Law, His Will a thought. So completely did they disregard God that their choices caused their physical state to bring them to the “gates of death.” When they “cried to the Lord in their trouble” He sent His Word and HEALED THEM. He gave them what they did not deserve - HEALING AND LIFE.
  4. The Storm Survivors.(v. 23-32) These people didn’t make any mistakes, but as they went about their lives they hit a ferocious storm. The mistake they COULD HAVE MADE is to think that God had abandoned them in the storm. They cried out to the Lord and He “stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”
No matter the storm, no matter the consequences, no matter the dark days our mistakes bring us
the stupidest mistake we can ever make is to think that any stupid mistake disqualifies us from calling out to the Lord. 
He will hear and He will deliver.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story -
those He redeemed from the hand of the foe...” Psalm 107:1-2
(Feel free to share your story of how the Lord has redeemed you.)
foe...” Psalm 107:1-2
(Feel free to share your story of how the Lord has redeemed you.)

Friday, December 8, 2017


My husband and I were driving down a country road near our home in Pennsylvania. It was August, 1991. To say it was a hot day does not fully describe the suffocating, gates-of-Hell humidity or the feeling of being a cookie baking in a 900 degree oven when standing outside. It was HOT, HOT, HOT. As we drove, we came up behind a woman who was walking on our side of the road. The road was surrounded by fields of corn. Just hot, sticky, mosquito infested fields. And there she was, walking. I felt bad for her. I whispered a quick prayer for her and thanked God for an air-conditioned car... all at the same time. And then I forgot all about her. 
I should mention that my husband and I were about to open an inner-city church in less than a month.  He was going to be a pastor and I was going to be a pastor's wife. WOW.  God had opened doors for us to be affiliated with a huge, church in another state and they were serving as our overseers. We were thrilled about God giving us the opportunity to serve Him that way.
I don’t remember where we were going that day, but it was about an hour south of our home in Camp Hill. About three hours later we were driving home on the same road. We came up to a small grocery store/gas station and my husband made a last-minute decision to stop and get gas. As we pulled in to the gas station, the woman who was walking on the side of the road three hours earlier was walking in the other direction now and was exactly where we were stopping. 
Three hours earlier I’d prayed for her and three hours later she was right in front of my face. She was walking right by the gas station.
I walked up to her and offered to buy her something to drink. She immediately accepted my offer. I felt good watching her drink an ice-cold soft drink. I bought her a second one. She was not a well cared for woman. Her face was dirty and pimpled, she was missing multiple teeth, her hair was long and sweaty and stringy, and her clothes were worn. She smelled bad. MY plan for our interaction was to buy her whatever she wanted in that small grocery store, and then be on my way. God had a different plan.
“Is there anything else you want?”, I asked. “Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?” 
“Are you going anywhere near Camp Hill? I could use a ride home.” 
What? She wanted a ride? In our car? Now? Really? Really Lord? You want me to let her drive in our car? Lord, she might be a serial killer. I don’t want her in our car. She’s all sweaty and stinky. I’m afraid of her a little, Lord.
I said “Sure. Hop in.” 
As my husband drove, I turned to speak to her. I’d like to say it was because of interest and concern, but the truth is, I wanted to be sure to be able to disarm her if she took out a gun or a knife. She was explaining that she had walked to visit her boyfriend who was in prison. She was telling me stuff and I was half-listening and half-watching for her robbery and/or murder attempt. And then He spoke:
“Would you lay down and give up your life to serve and minister to her?” I thought, “Duh, Lord. We are laying down and giving up our lives to serve and minister to her and people like her. Of course. YES!” Proud of my humble answer, I continued to listen to her speak. And then He spoke again:
“Would you give up your actual life just for her? Your physical life? Just so that she could live forever?”  Ahhh.... well now, that was a more difficult question. I considered it. I considered dying at thirty-nine years of age for JUST this woman.... and my answer to God was that IF by my death... and through HER testimony.. MANY, MANY, MANY would come to Him...(and someone might write a book and do a movie about my sacrifice?) then my answer was “YES. I would physically die just for her... assuming of course my death would have a GREAT, GREAT, AMAZING IMPACT on kazillions of souls.”  Proud of my humble answer, I thought the questions were over. And then He spoke again:
“Would you give your son’s life? Would you allow your son’s life - his physical life - to be given just for this woman?” This question sucked the air out of my heart. Why would You ask such a thing?  Why would You require such a thing?  My son? My only son? My only child? The joy of my life? Philip? Philip? My most precious treasure on earth? No matter how many ways I tried to create a scenario where allowing Philip to die for this woman made sense or would be worth it - I could not find one. For a couple of million souls? No.  My son? I wished I had a different answer, but who can lie to God?  So.. I gave Him my  honest answer:
And then He spoke His last two words to me. 

“I did.”
He became a stranger to me. “THIS is what You mean when You say, ‘Love’..THIS is LOVE?” It was alien to me. I could not comprehend that Love. I did not have that kind of love. What I had been identifying as “love” wasn’t even close to what He feels for me. For us. What love is this? When we got home, I fell to my knees in broken repentance. “Father, I know nothing about love. Teach me. Fill me. Change me.“  
From that day until this moment, I remember that whatever I do... whenever I do it... has to be whatever it takes to who ever needs to take it.  I cannot have that kind of LOVE unless I allow Him to cultivate it in me.  In every situation, with every person I know... nice, not-nice, good, not-good, pure or evil.. He is teaching me love. 

I AM LEARNING LOVE. It takes another Power from Another Place. 

I am thankful I do not need to give my son because He has given His.

Monday, November 27, 2017


My son, Philip, was about five years old. Directly across the street from where we lived was a magnificent playground.  It was heaven-on-earth for a five-year-old boy.  There were swings, and slides, and a huge sand pit.  I could sit on the balcony and watch him play with his friends.   They drove trucks in the sand, they made mountains out of the sand and destroyed them with their trucks.  They spent time swinging on the swings.  It was a good season in the life of my son.. and me.  He spent every spare moment outside, in the fresh air, playing with other children. 

One day, as he played there, I called him inside.  We were leaving to go away for a few days.He needed to come inside, get cleaned up, and change his clothes.  He didn't want to. He wanted to stay and play.  He came inside but it was not with a good attitude.  He did not ASK to leave the playground - I decided it was time for him to leave.  As we drove away from home, he looked with longing at his friends, who did not have a mean Mommy and Daddy like he did.
The next day, we arrived at Disneyworld.  There is no way to describe the look on the face of my child as we walked down Main Street, as he saw the characters walking the streets and we walked through the castle.  To add joy to his euphoria, we would leave the Magic Kingdom during the heat of the afternoons, and go back to the swimming pool at our hotel, and jump in the water, and swim. After a short daily nap, we'd go back to the Magic Kingdom until midnight.  It was like heaven on earth. There was no other moments in his brief existence on earth that Philip had known such a perfect, joyful existence. 

During our days as Disneyworld, if one his his neighborhood friends had called him and said, "Philip, we miss you being here at the playground.  Please leave where ever you are and come back here now. We miss you!"  I imagine he'd say something close to, "Are you serious? You cannot believe how utterly amazing my life is, and the unbelievable things I am seeing and doing. That playground doesn't even come close. My mom and dad are the BEST!"

God taught me something all those decades ago about where I am and where I'm going.

We are living in a little playground now.  It's called earth.  Although we know it isn't perfect, we want to stay here.  We want to live here.  We do not want what we do not see.  

God has bigger and better things waiting. It is insulting to even compare it to something as insignificant as Disneyworld.  It's beyond our present comprehension as we live in this present playground. 

But we have to leave this playground to get there.  
No one gets to stay here forever.  We don't decide.  God does.

This present playground is not all there is.  
God is good.  And He loves His children.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,and no mind has imagined what God has prepared  for those who love him.”  

1 Corinthians 2:9

Saturday, November 25, 2017


My fourteen-year-old grandson was on his way to Youth Convention. His parents were taking him, some of his friends, and his sisters and some of their friends there for two days.  It was a big church-sponsored youth event happening at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.   Everyone was pumped up and happy.  They stopped at our house to deliver "Sam" (my granddog) who was going to stay at our house while they were gone. My grandson carried Sam in to the house while everyone waited in the cars in our driveway.  This boy, handsome and respectful as always, stood in front of our refrigerator and asked if he could take a bottle of water.  AS IF he had to ask.  We always have bottles and bottles of cold water there.  

"Absolutely.. and take one for all of your friends."  

"Really, Mema?  There's a lot of us."


And so he filled his arms full of bottles of water and went out to the cars waiting in the driveway and handed them out....each friend had a bottle of water... and so did my two granddaughters, my son and my daughter-in-law. (Plus some licorice bites, chocolate, and jelly beans.  Yes.. I am one of THOSE grandmothers who always has CANDY in the pantry.) 
He had a smile on his face as he did so.  I'm sure he didn't think about it for more than a few fleeting seconds, but his face seemed to say that he felt like a nice guy handing out water to his friends.

The whole scene took less than two minutes, and yet, a few days later it still makes me smile. Something about it filled me with love for my grandson as I saw him carrying those bottles out.  Why?

He is familiar with our home. He knew there was water and where it was.   A stranger would not know this, but my grandson did.

He is familiar with my heart.  He asked, but we both knew my answer would be a resounding "YES."   

Most of all, I was able to give him what he asked for. 
Nice story. So what? they pulled out of our driveway, laughing and singing and on their way to Youth Convention, I thought about how my grandson's request... and being able to give him something he asked for... GAVE ME GREAT GREAT GREAT JOY. 


He is my family.  And HE ACTED LIKE HE WAS.

GOD WANTS ME TO ACT LIKE I KNOW WHO HE IS. To know what is available in His home. To know what He has and is willing to provide for me.  
But this requires me to know that I AM NOW HIS VERY CHILD.

This God I pray to is the SAME GOD who walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve..... who called to Abraham, who spoke to Moses from a burning bush, who split The Red Sea, spoke to a young boy named Samuel and who raised Jesus from the dead. 

How can it even be possible that I can walk boldly in to HIS THRONE ROOM?   How can my human brain cells process the thought that He is not just this AWE INSPIRING DEITY.. but my Father?  
Why on earth have I been given the right to call Him "Abba" - "Daddy.' 
How can I even believe that HE CARES about a sixty-something wife and mother and grandmother trying to live out her life on planet Earth?
Who am I to be able to have a conversation with the same God who told Moses to tell Pharoah to "Let my people go!" ??? 
I.   AM.   HIS.   CHILD.

How can this be?

This holy honor.  This royal identity.  This eternal life.
I am his CHILD?

All who put their faith in the righteousness available through the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus can say the same thing:
Say it out loud.  Say it as your heart is breaking, or life is confusing.  Say it when your faith is getting weak. Say it when you are afraid. Say it when you've been rejected. Say it when the world seems crazy.   Say it, say it until you believe it.

"Your Father knows what you need before you even ask for it" - Jesus, Matthew 6:32
My grandson didn't beg for water.  He knew it was there. He knew he could have it. 
Asking was a mere formality. 

Children never beg. They simply ask.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 
1 John 3:1

"I lift my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven." 
Psalm 123:1

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I was forced to drive down a road today that I have been avoiding for more than two years.  It's the road to my parent's house.  More accurately, it's the road that leads to the house that USED TO BE my parent's house.
It's the road I have driven down thousands of times.  The happy road. The Mommy road. The Daddy road. 

Now it is not the Mommy road, not the Daddy road.  It's just a road that used to have happy on the other end.  It brought me to the people who loved me most, loved me longest, loved me deep.  

Without realizing it, I drove on it again today.  I saw a house that is painted maroon that my mother always commented about.  "I love that house" she would say every single time we passed it.  I passed it today and there was silence.  Does anyone care that my mother loved that house?  I do.

I apologize to God for missing my parents.  I explain to Him that I know they are in His presence. I know that are fully alive.  I acknowledge, for the umpteenth time,that I realize they lived long, blessed, happy lives.  I understand that my life was blessed because of their lives.  I realize people all around me are enduring deeper pain than the loss of two parents in their nineties.  BUT....


I miss what used to be. I still do.  "Lord, I still cannot drive down this road.  It's two and a half years and I cannot do it."

"So. Don't."

What?  I don't have to?
OH.  He understands?
OH.  He doesn't care that it's two and half years?
OH.  OH. OHHHhhhhhh.

Sometimes, some "roads" don't lead to happy anymore.  When we drive on those roads, it reminds us that what used to be there isn't there anymore. 

We don't like to be reminded. 

We miss what used to be waiting at the end of that road - a happy marriage that became unhappy and angry and ended; a house filled with children needing to be raised who are gone and grown and don't need us anymore; a life focused on doing God's will that got off balance and lost it's way; a friend who betrayed us; a child who is lost.

We cannot travel those roads anymore.  It still hurts too much.

The God filled with compassion and mercy says, "So, don't."

Let Him heal you in His time.
Until then, it's o.k. to avoid the road that continues to break your heart.  It's o.k. to focus on the goodness of God and not the weakness of humans.
It's o.k. to be broken.
He came to heal the broken hearted

He will heal us.
Because that's why He came.
He doesn't reject us because we are broken.
He isn't disappointed because we are bruised.
It's o.k. to avoid some roads... for now.
He will lead us in the path that we should go. 
And He is always waiting at the end of every road. 
To welcome us in to His presence.
Where there is JOY beyond measure.

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." 
Matthew 12:20

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Years ago, exactly one month before my birthday, I had to borrow my husband's car. I was having lunch with one of my editors in downtown Nashville.  I don't remember WHY I was using his car, and he was using mine that day.   Because I am significantly shorter than my husband, when I got in the driver's seat I had to pull it forward all the way so that I could reach the peddles.

When we arrived at the restaurant, I glanced in the car as I locked it and saw a white box.  About the size of a box you might put your wife's birthday gift in.  It must have been hidden under the driver's seat and when I pulled it forward, it was uncovered.

The right thing to do would have been to ignore the box. The wrong thing to do would have been to unlock the car, grab the box, open it, and see a necklace inside that I had been looking at every time we went to the mall. The really evil thing to do would be to take the necklace out, and wear it. 

I did the wrong and evil thing. I am ashamed.  
My friend looked at me in disbelief. 
What can I say?

On the way home, I called my husband to tell him I was on my way home. I started to talk about my birthday and how excited I was that it was just a month away.  He said, "You found the necklace, didn't you? I thought about it being there after you left.  I forgot to take it out."

I confessed to finding it and to wearing it. 

When I got home that day, he went out to the car and retrieved it from where I had tried to re-hide it.  
He handed it to me and said,  
"Happy Birthday"... but it wasn't the same.  I have no idea what plans he had in his heart for that gift to be given to me.  I have no idea what he wanted to say when he gave it to me.   I will never know. Never know what might have been if I had just waited for Phil's plan to unfold.  Every time I wear that necklace I remember how I messed up the love behind it by being impatient.  I still got the necklace, but not the way Phil wanted me to have it.

Psalm 106 talks about God's chosen people.  It talks about the amazing things He did for them.  And it speaks about how they "soon forgot what he had done and DID NOT WAIT FOR HIS PLAN TO UNFOLD." (v. 13). 

I want mostly good things in life.  I want good everything.  And when something isn't perfect, I get impatient waiting for the gift of God's mercy and grace and kindness to me.  When something is bad, or difficult,or crushing me... I want to help God.  I take matters in to my own hands. 
Forgetting that God has a plan. God has The Plan.
And sometimes I have to WAIT for it.

Psalms 106 and 107 talk about people who find themselves in messes.
People who took things in to their own hands.
People who did not WAIT to see God's plan unfold.
In fear or frustration they did what they thought should be done.

Even so, there is hope for those of us who do not wait.  Those of us who mess up The Plan.  It happens if we humble ourselves and CRY OUT TO HIM. "GOD, HELP!! HELP!!" 

He hears. He helps.  He rescues.  He loves. We may ignore His promises to us.  But He never does.

"He took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented."
Psalm 106:44-45

Monday, August 7, 2017


A long time ago a friend of mine was talking to me about my dream of being a writer. 
He said something that hit me between the eyes. He said, “You know, the world is filled with two kinds of writers: Writers who talk about writing, and writers who write!” He was inferring that I was the first kind of writer. A writer who talked about writing without actually writing anything. He was right. That’s who I was. I’m sure he didn’t realize at the time time that his words so annoyed me, that his words so identified and exposed me and my lazy dreaming, that I became a writer who wrote. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. And when an editor asked to see something I had written (Thanks, Wanda) I had something to show. And because of that I became a writer who was published. (Thanks again, Ivey.) And then I became a writer who wrote a book. And now I am a writer who has a major publisher releasing that book in the Spring of 2018. Hooray. It’s funny how God opens doors when we do what we are called to do. True, I have not won the Nobel Prize for writing and have not been on any Best Sellers list. (yet). But I am a writer. Thank God for friends who spur us on to good works. Thank God for my friend who challenged me.

I have learned something else about writing. It is more than simply getting an inspired idea. It is more than having five hundred catchy (at least I think they are) titles for possible books and articles and songs. Writing involves FINISHING the creation you STARTED.

FINISHING is the real work of writing. I have scores of songs (pardon the pun) that are not finished, and therefore no one has ever heard them. In order for you to hear a song I’ve written, I have to FINISH the song. In order for you to read a book I’ve written, I have to FINISH the book. In order to see a painting a painter has painted means the painting was FINISHED. A twist on my friend’s sentence to me might be “There are two kinds of writers: Writers who begin and don’t finish, and writers who write and won’t stop until they are FINISHED.” Beginning is easy. Finishing is hard.

The Bible refers to Jesus as an Author. Well, not just AN author, but THE Author. The Author of our Faith. We have a NEW life because of Jesus. We are NEW CREATIONS. What we have become has not existed until Jesus put life in to us, breathed His Spirit in to dead, dry bones. In this life with Jesus, beginning is easy. To us it can seem like FINISHING is hard. We don’t know if we have the strength, or the faith, or the will to endure. FINISHING is the whole point. Getting HOME. OVERCOMING. It’s exhausting at times. We toy with the idea of simply giving up. It’s because we think we have to finish the story in our own power, by our own strength, in our own wisdom. But wait! Wait! Hold on!!Hebrews 12:2 tells that Jesus is not only the AUTHOR of our faith, but the FINISHER. He finishes every new creation He begins.
THE FINISHER is at the right hand of The Father. He is interceding. He has shared every victory with you.  He has already OVERCOME the world. Relax. You can cast ALL your cares on Him, because HE CARES FOR YOU. Relax. Jesus never starts something He doesn’t finish. He finished His work on the Cross. He said, “It is FINISHED.” And you? And me? We may give up on ourselves, but REMEMBER THIS: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

The FINISH line is in sight whenever I keep my eyes focused on the Finisher.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


The word "platitude" finds its root in the French word "plat" which means ""flat." (What is this?  A blog? Or an English class?)

A platitude is a phrase that is used so often that it doesn't hold any meaning - to the person saying it or the person hearing it. 
We have been afflicted with Platitude Paralysis.  It's a disease of the spirit, soul and body. 

We may not recognize the symptoms of Platitude Paralysis because it has so infected us that we are accustomed to being sick.  This hideous infection has created a society of people who don't believe anything anyone says anymore.  And who can blames us? 

Advertising platitudes:  "the best car deals in the Midstate" - "the best steak restaurant in Tennessee" - "the friendliest church you will ever visit" have been the seeds that have infested our hearts, our minds and our souls with Platitude Paralysis.  Because we discovered we DID NOT get the best car deal, it WAS NOT the best steak restaurant, and that church was the UNFRIENDLIEST place you've ever been to.

This morning I read a verse that burned in to my eyeballs and heart. Platitude Paralysis existed in the days of Moses.   The Israelites were living in horrendous slavery and under the rule of a cruel Pharaoh. God tells Moses, "HEY! Guess what? I'm going to deliver My people. I'm going to answer their prayers. I'm going to make them free and not slaves, and give them the land I promised to your ancestor, Abraham!" And here's the verse that got to me:

"Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they DID NOT LISTEN TO HIM because of their DISCOURAGEMENT and HARSH LABOR." (Exodus 6:9)

Who can blame them? Which of them had the power to flee from Egypt? Who would be insane enough to think slaves could overcome the vast armies of Pharaoh? Life had never been a land of milk and honey.. for decades...  All of sudden, Moses, we are going to be free? Yeah. Right.

When life becomes so harsh, so filled with burden and labor, we give up hoping that God is going to do anything, much less DELIVER US. 

But here's REALITY about the words the Israelites did not listen to.
It was not a platitude.
It was a promise.
A promise that came true.
Right before their weary eyes.

God keeps His promises. 
The good news about that story is that the outcome was not based on the faith of the people, but on the promise of God. 

After a while, the people got up and moved because Pharaoh told them to go.  God comes to us in our discouraged, depleted hearts and creates a scenario where we move... because we have to.  He delivers us from slavery even while we have learned to live with it. It's not your faith, it's God's promise to you that will set you free.

Today, your slavery may seem like it is never going to end.
Your life may be at it's lowest point. You are paralyzed because you think the promises of God are just platitudes.. so you never walk like someone who believes them.

You may think this blog is just more printed platitudes...

Let me remind you that Moses was telling the truth.
I am also.  
You cannot deliver yourself.
God heard the cries of His people.
He hears your cries too.
The Holy Spirit will give you the faith to believe, the power to walk out that faith, and the hope to keep going until you see the promises of God become reality.

Ask for the Holy Spirit to invade your heart and mind.
He will. You will walk away from your slavery. Only because the Holy Spirit is working in you. HE delivers us.
You will not be the same.
A platitude?
A promise.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


I'm sorry you didn't love me more.  
I know how desperately I loved you. Few people have experienced being loved that way. Being loved that fully. To be loved just for being. That's the way I loved you.  You know that. You felt it. You found your home in my love...for a while.  

I'm sorry you didn't love me more than you loved other people and other things because then you would have been that rare human walking through life having found what humans search for. I am what you were and are looking for.  My love. For you.  It is intense. It is light in the darkness.  It causes you to be fully alive.  It is what you are seeking.  

I'm sorry you didn't love me more because I am the one who really knows you. Who really saw you.  Who truly understood your heart, your broken places and your strengths. I saw the reason for your weakness and they never made me love you less. I wanted you to be the you that our Father created you to be when He created you.

I'm sorry that you didn't love me more because then your commitment to me would have caused you to make changes in your life.  You would have found a place for me in your life, pushing other people and other things away so that I could be in your life. In your heart.  

I'm sorry that you didn't love me more because then you would have understood the heart of love.  It never changes. It never stops.  It remains.  Time has not diminished that love you so freely dismissed.  Because I know you, I know you wonder if the weeks, the months, the years, the decades since you foolishly believed you could live without my love have caused me to forget you...have caused me to love you less...They have not.  I love you the way I loved you the first moment you knew that I loved you.

I'm sorry you didn't love me more because the kind of love I offered is not demanding, doesn't want it's own way...  And if you wanted to leave.. if you wanted to stay committed to other people.. other things....I could never have forced you to stay. Despite all I could have done.. I could never had demanded that you love me the way I love you.  

I'm sorry that you didn't love me more because I have to watch in desperation as you continue to search for what you already had. In me. In my heart.  .

I'm not telling you these things to make you feel bad.  

The real issue is not the way I feel about you.
But the way you feel about me. 

I'm sorry you didn't love me more.
Are you?

"I have loved you with an everlasting love"

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Last week, my husband and I were blessed beyond blessed to have our grandchildren stay at our house for three days while their parents were out of town. They are all teenagers now. My grandson left early to go to the farm next door to to help harvest green beans with the farmer there.  He’s a hard-working, good-looking kid.  My only grandson. 
My two granddaughters, 15 and 13 years old, and I decided to go shopping. My fifteen-year-old granddaughter was sitting in the passenger seat in the front.  A baby in a pick-up truck pulled up next to us.  At least that’s how he looked to me.  He must have been about eighteen years old, kept driving close to us, and staring at my granddaughter like she was a cheeseburger and he hadn’t eaten in months. I have very beautiful granddaughters.  I don’t blame the guy for wanting to gaze at their beauty.  After a few minutes, he threw any idea of being subtle out the window.  He slowed down when we slowed down, and sped up when we sped up.  It was funny.  He wasn’t being weird or inappropriate.  He was a guy in a pick up truck looking at the beautiful girls in the Honda CRV. 
             I said out loud to my granddaughters, “I hate when guys do this to me.  They keep trying to look at me, and flirt with me. I’m a married woman. And here, my two granddaughters are in the car with me while he’s doing it. I’m so embarrassed.”  
            My granddaughters, who get my kind of snide humor, laughed out loud and loudly.  It's obvious an eighteen-year-old in a pickup truck was not trying to look at "Mema."  I’m not saying I look like Quasimodo, or that my husband screams in terror when he sees me in the morning… but…. I WAS NOT THE PERSON THE GUY WAS ATTRACTED TO AND STARING AT.  It wasn’t MY beauty, or MY car, or the way I was driving it, or the music playing from it that caused him to stare. It was the beauty of another person in the car with me that was drawing him to my car.  It was her sheer beauty. IF I was serious about thinking that the guy was checking ME out, I would have looked like a fool. I would have been a fool. I would not have been walking in truth.  I would not be giving credit to the beauty that is my granddaughter.
            It got me thinking about the fact that Jesus is driving in the “car” with me as I go through life.  It is Jesus who has the beauty that will draw broken people to see Him. They may be looking at me, but it is Jesus they want to see, NEED to see.  As I have been traveling non-stop the last eighteen months, talking about my mom and her life, it is Jesus in my mother that is the reason her life is being magnified.  She was magnificent for sure, but her only request from me as we were reading my book about her together was, “Point to Jesus. Don’t point to me.” It isn’t my mother that people are drawn to – it’s her love affair with Jesus that they are drawn to and changed by.   It isn’t my words about her, or my songs, or my talent, or my wisdom that people will want to gaze at. I look like a fool if I think it is.  It is Christ in me.  
            I have lots of friends and know many people who are spending their lives using their talents.  These talents we have are free gifts from God through the Holy Spirit.  We didn’t earn them. We didn’t ask for them. We were GIVEN them to share with The Body of Christ.  His power through these talents help us proclaim the GOSPEL of…. Jesus Christ.  We cannot be so focused on being sure that everyone knows what we have accomplished for God’s Kingdom. It makes us utterly ineffective in bringing Living Water to anyone’s thirsty soul. An ounce of the flesh will kill a ton of The Spirit.  How foolish and ineffective we are when we try to put the spotlight on what WE do, and what WE say, and what WE are or what WE know.  God uses us for sure.  God uses our lives to reach the world.  God uses us so that the world will focus on the Center of The Universe - JESUS. 

To want people to focus on OUR accomplishments, our achievements, our church, our pastor... OUR ANYTHING is to continue to sentence them to living without Life.  To Dying without Hope. 

There is no song and no singer of that song who can bring LIFE to their hearts instead of DEATH.  Oh, they may enjoy the music and have a fun and happy night.  But we are called to RESCUE THE PERISHING.  Aren't we?   There is no Bible teacher, no speaker, no pastor, no worker who has the power to put eternal LIFE in to a DEAD HEART.  We must always remember to step aside so that they can see the Beauty that is Jesus Christ.

            The baby in the pick up truck wasn’t looking at me.

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
Galatians 6:14