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


Thursday, June 15, 2017


I didn't have those nifty covers you see in the photo to your left on the day my toddler son decided he didn't care about anything but sticking his fingers and anything he could find in to them. 

I should have thought about it before that day, but I didn't. And just like that, my son, Philip, could not be deterred from the electrical outlets.  I was trying to get us both dressed and out the door to go buy those covers, but every time I turned around, he was toddling over to the electricity.

I said "NO!" and he looked at me with his great big baby brown eyes, and just went right back to the new center of his universe.  So I slapped his little chubby hand and said, "NO!" and put him in his high chair.  HE WAS NOT HAPPY WITH MOMMY!  The tears and crying were immediate. The look on his face was heartbreaking.  Mom had turned in to a meanie.  I can STILL SEE the humongous tears that flowed down his face. I love my son. Beyond love.  I felt bad that he thought I was just being mean and keeping him from doing something he was enjoying.

And so I blurted out, "Philip, I wish you were old enough to understand what electricity is.. and what it does to people. I wish you could understand... I want to explain but you cannot understand yet..."

AND JUST LIKE THAT A LIGHT went on in my heart.
I was in my twenties.  I loved God, but didn't understand some of the things He was allowing and not allowing in my life. I'd had a sort of "attitude" with Him lately.  Doubting His goodness. Thinking He had it in for me.  
And as I spoke to my son, I saw myself.
Demanding to understand things that were beyond my understanding.
And not really knowing, or trusting, God.
He wanted to explain.. but.... I was too immature to understand.

My son didn't understand what electricity was, didn't even know he was a human being and that humans can be electrocuted. 
He just wanted what he wanted when he wanted it.
Just like his mommy.

Now he's a grown man. Married with children.
I can tell you with great certainty that he no longer wishes to play with - or stick things in to - electrical outlets.  He has grown in maturity. NOW he understands...though he certainly does not remember.. the day Mom saved his life by keeping him from being electrocuted. 

Just because we go through confusing times..
times that seem to make no sense...doesn't mean God is mean. It means that God's love for us can be beyond our comprehension.  It means that God can see our future and we cannot.  

Sometimes... there are just some things that a baby will never be able to comprehend.   It is maturity that caused my son to stop caring about electrical outlets.  It was love that caused me to keep him from them.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." 
Psalm 27:14

Monday, June 12, 2017


If someone had put a sign like that in my kitchen the other day, I might have noticed the water on the floor.  If I HAD noticed the water on the floor, then I would not have slipped on it.  I fell and I fell in a big way. My feet flew out from under me and seemed to go about twenty feet in to the air ("seemed").  I fell straight down on my back and my head - and felt my right leg twist and turn in a way that it was not created to twist and turn. My husband was standing right there, in front of the kitchen sink, and he saw it all happen.  
I hit my head really hard. CLONK! We suspect I was knocked out for a few seconds - though neither of us is sure about that. My right toe was hurting.. and the groin muscle in my right leg was not happy.  

My husband, Phil, was at my side immediately. "Hon, Hon, are you o.k.?"  At that moment, judging from what had just happened, we both envisioned a trip to the emergency room, at the very least a sprained or broken ankle... or a slight concussion.  Or SOMETHING bad and hurtful.  

As it turns out I was perfectly fine.  My head didn't hurt, my toe was o.k., and there was nothing sprained or broken.  A few minutes later, it was like it never happened. My husband was a witness to the severity of the fall, and we both commented later that evening that it seemed like a miracle that I wasn't in a cast, or a hospital room.  

As I was reflecting on it all.... I thought about Phil, worried at my side, asking me if I was o.k.  He just wanted me to be o.k.  He helped me up. He hovered around me. He got me an ice thingy from our freezer to put on the spot where my toe was twisted.  He was in the fall with me.  It's like it happened to him. 

He didn't get annoyed at me.  He didn't mention that the water was on the floor next to the dishwasher door, and that I had probably spilled it there when I was putting a dish I'd just rinsed off in to the dishwasher.He didn't mention that I should be more careful. He didn't mention that he was disappointed in me, or that he shouldn't have had to stop what he was doing to take care of me.

All he cared about was rescuing me from my big fall and making sure I was o.k. and not hurt.

If you'd have asked me, just ten seconds before I fell, if I thought I was going to slip and fall - I'd have said a resounding "NO WAY."

And that's the thing about falls and falling - we don't expect to FALL.

Those of us who are The Formerly Fallen have let ourselves be convinced that we will never slip up and fall again.

So that when we DO FALL... when we give in to lust, or bitterness, or envy, or hatred, or lying... we are spiritually SHOCKED.

The main component of a fall is that it is not expected. 
We never EXPECT to fall.

We don't expect to have trials...big trials that shake our very faith.  Trials that tempt us to wonder if God really IS good.

We don't expect to be tempted... and furthermore to give in to temptation. Who? Us? Me? You? Sin? 

We don't expect there to be some slippery spot on our path that takes us from where we are walking, lifts us up in to the air, and slams us hard on the ground.  
We don't expect to fall.
And that's the problem.
Because we do. Fall.

My big falls have been devastating to me.  I expected them to destroy me.  I expected them to put me under for good.
But they haven't.
I am always surprised as I reflect on my life and my own weaknesses, that somehow Jesus has held on to me, and not allowed my falls to cripple me.  
It's a miracle of His love and mercy and grace. I can never stop thanking Him.

If you have fallen... 
Jesus is right there in the fall with you.
He isn't there to tell you WHY you fell. Not now.
He just wants to help you get up and get going again.

Don't hide if you have fallen.
You are not too low to rise again.

Look up.  You will see Jesus there, extending His hand and asking,  "Are you o.k.?"
Take His hand today.
Let HIM lift you from the floor.

"Out of the depths I cry to you,Lord. Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,Lord, who could stand?But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you."

Psalm 30:1-4

I wrote this song years ago. Click on the link if you want to hear it.