Category Archives: Church

Sunday’s Sermon


G od’s
R iches
A t
C hrist’s
E xpense

F orsaking
A ll
H im

Faith is no better than the object in which you place it.
Weak faith in God is better than strong faith in anything else.

Faith in faith is positive thinking.
Faith in Christ is salvation.

As the Scripture says,
Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
~Romans 10:11

For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that no
t of yourselves,
it is the
gift of God.
~Ephesians 2:8

A personal note:

Yes, I know it’s the essence of the message most of my readers have heard their whole lives.  It seems  old…almost cliche.  But it’s not.

It’s the truth we need to cling to every. single. day. of our lives.  We ALL need grace to make it.  And only trusting in Him…not good works, not careers, not family/friends, not denominational ties…not sacrificial acts done in His name…not perfect church attendance or staying above whatever vice taunts you…nothing will bring you salvation except trusting in Him.

Just thinking on the simplicity of it all.

I am the wretch the song refers to…

Amazing Grace!

Those Gentiles!


That would be me.
Yes. I am a Gentile.
But, I always wanted to be Jewish.  However, God didn’t see it that way.
And since He is the one who determines who will be…and where…and when…
I’ll leave that alone.

Why, you ask, would I want to be Jewish? 

Who in their right mind would want to be Jewish with all the persecution they have endured throughout the ages?


Yes, me.  You  see, I understand God chose to reveal Himself to a people He set apart for His purpose.  He chose to work through the Jewish nation.  And to have that rich heritage, to be a part of a chosen people…not through conversion, but through birth…wow.  It’s always been a longing of my heart.

I believe the difference between Christian and Jew is the point of Christ. Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Christians do. It is that simple. And so, if I were Jewish I would have a better understanding of my Christian faith, by virtue of having learned the Law and the Prophets. The Exodus…the Tabernacle…the Feasts…so many beautiful types (pictures) of Christ are found in Jewish history and heritage.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.  Jesus was Jewish.

At this time in History (His story), we are living under Grace, not Law. It is “the time of the Gentiles” as the New Testament describes the Church Age:  the time between Jesus’ life, death and resurrection all the way to “the Day of the Lord” — whenever that may be.

To understand life through the writers of the New Testament, it’s necessary to see that the Gentiles did not believe in One God.  They believed in a plethora of gods.  At that time in history only the Jewish people were monotheistic.

Paul describes the Gentiles this way:

So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. ~Ephesians 4:17-19

Wow. Let me make this clear, in case it didn’t quite sink in:

Their thinking is futile.
Their understanding is darkness.
They are alienated from the life of God.
They are ignorant.
They have hard hearts.
They are callous.
They have given themselves over to indecency.
They want more and more and more of every kind of impurity.

If that is not the definition of “lost” then I’m not sure what is!

He’s talking about my ancestors and yours (unless, of course, you’re privileged to be Jewish).

But, Paul is also talking about anyone who does not, still, know God.
On this side of the cross, we ALL have a chance to know Him. 
He made a way, through His Son, for those of us who were far off from the promises of God to come near. 

We can partake of the goodness of God. 
We can know Him intimately. 
We can walk out of darkness and into light.

And the other point: Christians can live like that description, if we’re not careful. 

Paul said, “So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do.” 

That may have been where we came from, but it’s not where we are anymore. 

Now, we have taken on the name of Christ. 
Now, we have obtained the life of God.
Now, we are to be walking in the light as He is in the light.

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
~Romans 13:12-13

Slow Cooking


Veritgo has had me down for days.  SOOOO frustrating!!!  Everytime I think it’s passed, I move too quickly, or slightly tilt my head, and the room starts to sway once again.  This isn’t the first time it’s ever happened, but it does seem to be more violent than in the past. 

I have tons of things I want to accomplish, but each time I try I have to go back to bed.  Even sleep isn’t helping.  I must move too much during the night, cause all I can remember is lots of rocking and nausea, then I awaken very weak.  So…yeah…at this point in time, I’m feeling like the whole of life…me…my life…is one great obstacle.

I wasn’t able to make it to church today (duh), so I’ve been listening to TV preachers.  For all the negative opinions out there concerning TV evangelists, I’ve found some great ones!  One guy, from Phat’s hometown, made a statement I like:  God doesn’t use microwaves.  He uses crockpots…slow cookers.

Okay.  I know it’s not profound or even close to poetic.  A bit homespun, wouldn’t you say?  Yeah, but I like it.  And here’s why:

We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  ~Romans 5:4

He is doing a work in me…a slow work.  I’m not sure how the illness is helping, but He promises troubles develop patience.  And I’m learning patience is a huge virtue — one I’ve lacked most of my life.  😳   Then there’s this one:

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.  ~James 1:2-4

Strong character.  Ready for anything.  Hmmm…I could use some of that!  And I’m to be joyous at this opportune time.  Man!  If that’s what I’m suppose to be feeling, I’ve got a long way to go.  Must be why He keeps allowing the difficulties… ya think? 

He’s forging me.  Slow cooking…

No quick microwave work with God.  No overnight successes. 

That’s really quite helpful, actually.  Some seem to say if we aren’t having success in all areas, something must be up in our relationship with God.  I’m learning they’re right.  Something is up.  He’s fine-tuning, purging, forging me into tempered steel… 

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.  ~Philippians 1:6

The work…the cooking…the forging…it won’t be done quickly and it won’t be finished before I die. 

It’s an ongoing process.

I’m in God’s crockpot.


Coffee With Delores


As a young mother of two rambunctious little boys (read hyperactive), I had an old friend. My best friend was an elderly lady I met at church. She took me in as hers. She came to my house every week to drink coffee and listen to my life. Through my many tales of woe and fewer stories of joy, she loved me unconditionally and remained my closest friend for fifteen years.

I love her so much.

Once I was lamenting about the many difficulties of a church struggle. It wasn’t the first time she’d heard the story. She knew all the actors and every scene as I retold how it played out on the stage of my life. She was intimately acquainted with the play, being one of the actors in it. But she recognized it was time for me to let go and move on. I had not felt I could at that point.  Not understanding how to let the play close, I was holding on to many hurts.

She began to tell a story about her difficult, eccentric sister-in-law. I knew the character well. She had shared many antics from this woman’s life. However, this time, the story was for me. After reminding me of her crazy ways, Delores told of the time her brother had found his wife outside. She had moved a tall ladder under a tree and was diligently plucking leaves from the undergrowth. With the plucked leaves in hand, she would try to make them stick in a different place. Of course, they continued to fall to the ground, but that did not deter her one bit. She faithfully kept up her futile work. After watching for awhile, her husband finally asked what she was doing. She responded vehemently, “I’m rearranging the leaves!”

It took me a minute to get her point. But once I did, I must have turned ten shades of red. Another nugget of wisdom had just been handed to me. What would I do with it? I’ve held on tightly to her words and have learned to let things be…give grace…move on.  You can’t rearrange the leaves.   A much needed lesson for me.

How did this old lady become my best friend? Why did she seek me out? Why was I graced with her love?

I had prayed for a friend.  (God answers our heart cries.)  We were new to the city and I was overwhelmed with my little boys. She knew I couldn’t get out much, but she lived close enough to walk to my house. I didn’t expect an old lady to be the friend God would send. But He did. And she loved my boys. She walked with me through my pregnancy with my little girl. And eventually introduced her granddaughter to become my daughter’s close friend. She heard about the ups and downs of my life. And at times she would give nuggets of wisdom I needed to hear.

And I walked with her. Helping her find good doctors for her struggles with diabetes, breast cancer and the eventual diagnosis of Parkinson’s. We were good for one another. But, in time, her health issues became too great to stay at home.

I miss her so much.

She’s in a nursing home today. She isn’t coherent all of the time, but she does remember.

She says, “Some things are too special to forget.”

And again, her simple words of wisdom speak clearly to my heart.

God Bless the Child


“When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before Him, and He will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I was naked and you gave Me clothing, I was sick and you took care of Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘I tell You the truth, just as You did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, You did it for Me.’

Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not receive Me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give You whatever You needed?’ Then He will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me.’ And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

~Jesus’ words from the Gospel according to Matthew 25:31-46

Gospel for Asia

Compassion International

World Vision

A Taste of Heaven


Flying home from Darla’s gave me time alone with the Lord after three days of meeting old friends.  (Old friends, but new “in the flesh.”)

It was an amazing time of seeing people I’ve had a heart connection with for quite a while, but haven’t had a chance to meet face to face.  It reminded me of the verse about seeing in a mirror darkly (indirectly), but someday we’ll see clearly and be known as we are known.  The meaning of that came alive for me as I spent time with Darla and Debs.

These two lovely ladies are bringing glory to God in all aspects of their lives.  They’re great witnesses of God’s redeeming love and the grace He extends to His children.  Getting to know them face to face, after knowing them indirectly, has made them more a part of me, more real, somehow. 

Which takes me back to that scripture reference:

Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Knowing these ladies through their blog posts, and our times IMing, has made me aware of their minds and hearts…of the way they think and the things they love.  But seeing them face to face, holding them in my arms, looking into their eyes, experiencing the love they have for me, praying with them and having them pray for me…

Well…it was better than good.  Better than great!

Actually, I think it was a taste of heaven.  A glimpse of what it will be like to see Jesus face to face. 

I know He loves me.  I’ve read His word.  I know He prays for me and desires only what is good for my life.  I know He is real.  We communicate all day long…but…

He hasn’t literally held me in His arms.  Yes, I’ve felt His love in my spirit.  But one day I will see, touch, and experience His love face to face.

“What a day that will be, when my Jesus I will see!”

And He gave me a taste of this heavenly experience this past week. 

If you don’t already know the body of Christ is real and the love of the brethren is abounding . . . well, I am sorry about that. 

I’ve felt it. 

I’ve lived it.

The flight across America back to my home state, soaring through the clouds, seeing His majesty in the heavens, remembering our time together face to face . . . made my heart sing:

When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.
When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!!”

My King!


Oh, Birgit!!!

Thank you!

I heard this years ago and wondered who in the world it was. I wasn’t well and was lying on the couch listening to the radio. This was the “message” for the day on the local station. WOW. I just wept. Uncontrollable weeping in praise of My King!!!

Thank you for posting it.

And now I’m going to be shameless and post it again on my blog. As many as can be lifted up by this sermon need to be.

Now, for those who may have never heard Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s sermon, “That’s My King,” I hope you have a worshipful time praising Him as I have once again.

And, I do pray He’s Your King too!



It’s really quite a difficult thing to do, to admit failure.  We’d rather make excuses, or blame someone else, for the things we’ve done.

“But you don’t know how hard it’s been!  I’m going through hell here.”

“Well, if they’d just get their act together I wouldn’t have so many worries!” 

Yet, when it comes right down to it, we are not to look at others, but ourselves.  And really, there’s quite enough for one person to think about than to worry about those all around.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. ~Lamentations 3:40

To examine our ways…to scrutinize our paths…to look deep inside ourselves…

To test our ways…check out what we’ve been doing…ask the question, “What’s up with that?”…

To realize our own shortcomings…our sins…without blame or excuse…

And return to the Lord.

It’s the first step out of denial. 

It’s the first step toward restoration. 

It’s the first step to a right relationship with the God of the Universe.

Are you ready to take that step? 

I’ve decided it may be time to ask God for help:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test my thoughts.
Point out anything You find in me that makes You sad,
And lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23-24 (TLB)

I Believe


Words scrawled on a cellar wall where Jews had hidden in Cologne, Germany during World War II:

I believe in the sun
Even when it isn’t shining. 

I believe in love
Even when I am alone. 

I believe in God
Even when He is silent.

To believe…even when the world, as you know it, is falling apart.

I know God is real. He may be silent at this point in time, but I will trust His silence.

He is never asleep.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.

The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

~Psalm 121

I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth