Category Archives: Promises

Never Give Up!


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for
and the conviction of things not seen.
~Hebrews 11:1

We are hoping for and convinced of things we can’t see…that is faith.

Jesus said to Thomas when he doubted, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.”

Our faith is in the promise of new life, eternal life, Jesus life.
Our faith is placed in His work, His words, His sacrifice.

We do not put our faith in one another.
That is not where we are to place our trust.

Our faith is in Christ, alone.

We will hurt one another, again and again and again…and again.   I like the way Max Lucado puts it:

If hurts were hairs, we’d all look like grizzlies. Even the smooth-skinned beauties of the magazine covers, the composed pastors in the pulpit, the sweet little old lady who lives next door. All of them. All of us. Furry, hairy beasts we’d become. If hurts were hairs, we’d be lost behind the thick of them.

That’s not an excuse to hurt people, but it is the reality of living in this sinful world among sinful people.

If we look to one another as the determining factor in Christ being real, we will miss the beauty of Him.

None of us.  No, not one, is without sin.
We all struggle in the flesh.
That is our battle, until this mortal puts on immortality.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t changing.
We grow.  We stumble.  We get up.  We learn.
We grow some more and we stumble again and we get up … and we learn … … …

It’s in the learning that we change from glory to glory, if we don’t give up.

Each test, each trial, each tribulation is a chance for growth.
We’re either getting softer, or harder.
He chose to give us hearts of flesh instead of stone.

It’s in the cooperating with Him that we grow.

We’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.  ~2Corinthians 4:16 (MSG)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.


O Holy Night



O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

A Christmas Prayer by Max Lucado:

Dear Jesus,

It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord.  These children, Lord.  Innocence violated.  Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.  But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty.  Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.


Your Children

“It Is My Duty To Speak”


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
~Psalm 122:6

“I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
~God’s covenant promise to Abraham

Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
And her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
~Isaiah 62:1

I post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They should keep praying all day and all night.
You who pray to the Lord, don’t be silent!
~Isaiah 62:6

We must not be silent.
And we can never forget.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Perfect Peace


It took me a year to admit what I had done to my family.

I admitted it to God, to my counselor, to a couple of close friends, but my family had no idea what had caused me to retreat further into myself.

The tension in the home, needless to say, was intense.  Finally, after thinking I might go crazy, I asked my husband if we could separate.  I needed time alone to think.  I needed to have a place where the constant stress of life wasn’t felt. After living in my self-imposed desert,  I needed an oasis to begin to rehydrate so my mind would clear.

I needed to think clearly…to hear from God…

And now, Phat knew why I felt the need to leave.  I confessed to committing adultery, but I wasn’t willing to end the friendship.  It took another five months of being alone to come to a place of submission to God’s will.  Many sleepless nights with demons screaming into my mind, I tried to see through the fog.
Today, I am so thankful for the truth of God’s word,

“He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him.”

I knew many evil things could happen.
I knew my mind was under attack from the enemy.
I knew my world was falling away faster than I ever imagined it could.

He is El Shaddai, our All-Sufficient God.
In the darkest moments I cried out to Him and He heard my plea.
He showed me His sufficiency, His sustaining grace that will never end.

I truly could’ve lost my mind in those dark days.  I know how close to the edge I came.  Yet, He would not leave me alone for His promises are true.  His Word will be accomplished and He declares He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  For His Name’s sake He will answer in the day of trouble.  He is my God and He came to my rescue.

Even though I lost my husband as a consequence of the sin I had committed, I did not lose my God…

He is an ever present help in time of need.
He will never leave me or forsake me.
He is the Comforter who comes and holds me together…forever.

It’s not my righteousness, but His, that endures.
It’s not my will, but His, that is accomplished.
It’s not my peace, but His, that will keep me…perfectly.

.He restores my strength
He leads me down the right paths
For the sake of His reputation.
~Psalm 23:3

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this, you will experience God’s peace,
which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:5-6

When They Took Off


Things are fluid in my world.
It seems change occurs daily.
I’ve been in survival mode for a few years now.

Survival Mode — It’s explained as the result of the “fight or flight” response. When we feel threatened our instincts go to one or the other. And if you’ve felt “threatened” for a while, survival mode kicks in. It’s a state of constant stress with your instincts on guard. It’s not a restful place. I liken it to the “deer in the headlights” state of being. Never sure when you’ll be run over.

Since 2002 I’ve responded to most anyone who asks how I’m doing with,
“I’m hanging in the there.”

It seemed the easiest response that would bear truth.

I wasn’t dying. I just wasn’t living to my fullest potential.

Chronic illness, without a specific diagnosis,
was further complicated by a car accident.
My questionable health steadily went further south.

I’m a doer.
I love to create.
I love to work.
I love to clean.
I love being busy.

But my body won’t cooperate.

And as much as I’m a doer, my family is moreso.  We are made up of hyperactive, impulsively stimulated people. In other words, they’re more “doer” than me.  And since I couldn’t keep up, they went on without me.

The first time I noticed the change was after the accident.  We needed a weekend retreat so we drove to a national park close to home to climb the mountains and enjoy the scenery.  I was still bound up from my wounds and didn’t dare risk the climb.  So, I sat at the bottom of the mountain and watched with binoculars as my family ascended.  I had my sketchpad, made myself as comfortable as possible, and waited their return.

It was a nice day.  I enjoyed drawing.  But now, looking back, I see that’s when they took off.  All four of them.  Without me.

I thought that was a good thing, that they kept going…until I woke up one day and realized, I was alone.

I will never leave or forsake you. 

No Dust Allowed


I hate dust. 
I hate dusting. 
It is an interminable evil.

It seems as soon as I’ve got one corner of the house cleaned, another is crying out to be dusted…again!

It never quits.
It’s a constant in our lives.
I’m convinced it is a curse!

Do you think I exaggerate?

I do not. 
Dust is proof of the curse we’re under as we walk upon this earth.

If you’ve never actually thought it through, think with me now. The composition of a dustbunny is made up of dead skin cells, animal/human hair, lint, light rubbish and debris. It is the sloughing off of our lives. Decay in action.

Death surrounds us

Death surrounds us.

It’s disgusting!
It’s despicable!


It’s gross.

Yesterday was cleaning day around here and my son’s job was to vacuum the workroom (our word for the office).  The workroom is often ignored on cleaning day, so the job was huge.  About five minutes into it, I could hear his sneezing.  As the sneezing increased, so did his cursing.  Soon after, he came into the studio where I was tediously beading his sister’s homecoming dress and declared,

“I’m not doing this job.”

I laughed. 

I wasn’t meaning to be heartless, but the declaration was humorous to me.  It made me think of Adam daring to speak back to God after being told he would work hard, toil with the earth, and eventually return to dust because of the curse of his sin (Gen. 3:17-19).

 In general, the themes of the curse oracles are important in the NT teaching that Jesus became the cursed one hanging on the tree. In his suffering and death, all the motifs are drawn together: the tree, the sweat, the thorns, and the dust of death:  

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us
~Galatians 3:13

My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?
My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax, melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count every bone in my body. My enemies stare at me and gloat.
They divide my clothes among themselves and throw dice for my garments.
~Psalm 22

But God — 
Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God —
He took the curse of death away.

But He was wounded and crushed for our sins.
He was beaten that we might have peace.
He was whipped, and we were healed! 

All of us have strayed away like sheep.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all.
~Isaiah 53:5-6

Jesus experienced it all.  He lived among us. 
A man of sorrows who understands our sorrows. 
A man who toiled with the thorns and the dust of death.
He took it all upon Himself. 

The curse was laid upon Him at the cross 
So that WE could have victory over death.
And, through the resurrection,
He conquered the sting of death. 

Yes, for now — until The Day dawns for us and we are forever with Christ — we will deal with dust.  But our souls?  Our souls have been made new.  And in our resurrected life, we will NEVER have to dust again!

So, Blessed One, next time you’re dusting the furniture, setting all the knick knacks back into place — for the umpteenth time! — sneezing, wheezing, and maybe even cursing — remember: 

When this happens––

when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed
into heavenly bodies that will never die

––then at last the Scriptures will come true:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

How we thank God,
who gives us victory over sin and death
through Jesus Christ our Lord!
 ~1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Out In The Fields


The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees.
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Each Spring I feel the rebirth in my soul as the flowers, trees, and grasses come to life. This year I have needed time alone with God among the fields, but the ability isn’t with me anymore. I don’t last on a nature walk, so I’ve brought nature closer to home. In the past my yard has been my oasis, but this year I’m in a third-floor apartment with a cozy balcony among the treetops. I have crammed my pots full of flowers and most enjoy the evenings when the shade has covered my chair and I can sit and talk with God. Meeting with Him among His creation…I think I would have loved knowing Mrs. Browning. Someday, in heaven, I’ll meet her and we’ll figure out the relational connection. Great great great great great great aunt or grandmother…??? Until then, I truly do enjoy connecting through her poetry…and her faith.

You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
And the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up.
This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD’s name;
It will be an everlasting sign of His power and love.

Isaiah 55:12-13