Thursday, February 25, 2016

I just returned home from a four day retreat. Rest and reading and discussion and prayer time. Four glorious days.

But time away has left me disoriented tonight. Now don't get me wrong. The time away was fabulous! But nonetheless, I was wanting pajamas and me pillow by 5:00pm for some reason. And now I'm thinking that tomorrow must be Saturday with no responsibilities -- but I'm absolutely wrong! Friday School is tomorrow with chorus and dance class to teach and NYSSMA registrations to be filled out.

So what was I thinking? Who can say why we get turned around so. Isn't our mind a perplexity, our emotions so undependable?

Then again, even this is predictable. As is the cure. My honey is home, my Buddy is home, I am home. And a good night's sleep will turn this whole mixed up disorientation thing around.

So - here's to a good night's sleep!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Darkness falls early.
Morning light comes late.

Roadways are blocked.
Electricity may even fail for a time.

Wintertime boundaries.

Imposed limitations, enforced break of routine, a required rest.
My soul seems to delight in all of these.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pleasant Places

Recently around my home the topic of gratitude vs. grumbling has been discussed. Contentment rather than complaint.

You know. Attitude issues. And we have found this little reminder:
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance.          Psalm 16.6 
We tend to look at what we don't have. Or what others do have. This is a sure recipe for disappointment.

Have you ever given your child a present that you knew was just right for him, that would better him and bring him longer lasting joy than the cheap imitation thing he was clamoring for at the local dollar store? But when he opened it, his face could not bely the feeling of disappointment. He attempted to temper his response, but he leaked.

Ruined - for him that birthday was ruined. Forget all the friends and family gathered, the cake made, the other gifts. Forget that gift even. None of it mattered anymore. He didn't get what he wanted and envisioned, and so the whole birthday didn't even count.

Here's a simple question for you: Are you cherishing the good inheritance He has given you today, or does someone else's look better?

Have you forgotten the friends and family, the cake made, and all the gifts? Have you forgotten even that gift? Maybe it's the gift of learning patience, practicing cheerfulness, mastering thankfulness in all things. Perhaps it's the gift of study in rejoicing with others -- truly rejoicing.

I think sometimes we read things like "rejoice with those who rejoice" and figure it's a nice thought but one we know that no one can really do all the time.

But since the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places and I do have a good inheritance, I am now free to rejoice always for others.

After all, He is mine and I am His.
Could anything be more pleasant than that?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Heart

Simple and single.
No, I'm not sharing my IQ and marital status.

I'm reflecting on God's desire concerning the condition of my heart.
Simple and single. Not complex or mixed.

Simple. Innocent. Straightforward. Not clouded. Uncomplicated.

Single. Undivided. Focused. Exclusive. Indivisible.

What does God want? What is He longing for, looking for from me? How do I know how to follow Him and please Him? How does this work, this walking by the Spirit?

Maintain an uncomplicated, indivisible heart before Him.

Understanding is good, knowledge is good.
But a simple, single heart can be led by the Spirit, breathed upon to movement.

When we have this kind of heart, He can lead us - even if the path is a new one, even if we haven't yet studied that issue, even if we are brand new in the things of the Lord (maybe even more readily when we are brand new, and what does that tell us.)

He can talk to us! He will whisper His desire and our heart will hear; in fact our heart will leap with joy to do His will! It is as easy as pie when our heart is not divided, when it is not pulled by errant passions and appetites. It has remained His alone. Solely. And the heart hears Him speak.

He will speak through situations, in the midst of conversation, when we are in prayer, and through the Word.

But we can be afraid of these things.

Sometimes we are afraid when reading the Word to just straight up believe it.
We are afraid to follow the Spirit's lead, afraid we don't know enough, afraid we aren't studied enough, afraid we don't have the right pedigree, afraid we can't read well enough, can't memorize, can't hear right, can't understand those courses in Bible theology.
Afraid. Can't. Can't. Afraid.

Stop! Stop right there; we've lost something. Something precious. Something essential. Let's start over.

Uncomplicated. Indivisible.

Fear complicates, clouds the issue. We no longer have complete confidence and we vacillate. "Does it really mean that? Is He really telling me to do this? Can I really walk on that water to go to Him?"
Fear divides. We want to walk in faith but fear divides our heart so it is no longer filled with faith.

Let me shout out something to you. "Yes! We can do all things! We can do valiantly!! And we can walk on water!!!"

A simple heart. A single heart.

Ask Him today. And tomorrow. And everyday. Ask Him for a simple, single heart.
It is absolutely His desire to give that to you.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14th, 2016

Red satin twirly skirts, magenta lace,
                              pink cotton dotted with black hearts.
Patent leathers and fancy tights.

Maroon bow ties, smart jackets with best slacks.
Hair slicked, faces scrubbed clean.

Sunday morning Valentine's Day at church.

Friday, February 05, 2016


Don't miss it.
Life is happening today, right now, this moment.

Today threads are being woven in the tapestry.
Right now a paint brush is stroking color on the canvas.
This very moment (yes, the one you are in while reading this post) the pen is set to the page.

Do not minimize the moment,
the day,
the season.
This is it.

Whether it is a fruitful season abounding with produce
or scarce and lean -
if it is a time of work or leisure
luxury or austerity
focused or "in-between" - make it count -
because it is being written
the brush is applied
the needle is passing through.

Does this demand stressful effort?
Should we live life on the edge of constant striving,
perennial exhaustion?

No, never.

Peace, rest, quiet.
Trusting Him.
This is our portion in every season, moment by moment.
He is the Weaver, the Artist, the Writer.
We yield our moments and our days to Him, the Master.

But they all - every single one -
represent a thread in that tapestry
a brush stroke in life's painting
a letter or word in that story.

So don't be dismayed;
don't be deceived into thinking this moment doesn't count. It does.

It is part of the whole.
It affects the story line
creates the design
and is woven into eternity.

Maybe this is a day of seeming inconsequence -
this unemployment
this 2,578th diaper change
this boring lecture in the classroom
this unfinished house project.
But this day,
this event is not an "on-hold until real life happens" moment.
This IS real life.
As real as it gets.

Find Him in it,
right there in that day with no "real" work
that incomplete and never-ending mess surrounding you
that tedious lecture for the 7th week in a row.

Don't grow weary. He is there. His purpose is real, every moment.

And the thread is being woven.
Even now.