Category Archives: Religion

People of the Day


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.  Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
~Romans 13:11-14

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of dayWe are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  
~1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
~2 Peter 3:8-15a

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will
~the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:42-44)

Open the Eyes of My Heart 

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!!!


I keep reading about finding myself — knowing who I am and what I want in life. Many of us are in search for answers to life’s hardest questions. We don’t understand what to think in a world of philosophies ready to be grasped. It’s really quite easy…we just need to keep looking among the myriad philosophies of man to find the one that best suits our desires because…really…it’s all about what we desire….right?

I’m feeling nauseous thinking about all the not-so-subtle illusions of creating our own gods.

So many are doing it.
Why can’t I?

Sure. Yes. Go right ahead.
Create your own sacred space.
Commune with the moon…
Be your own voice of wisdom.
Find your own unique path to god because that’s what he told us to do.

Can you see it?
That’s what he told us to do.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God really say, …?”

“You won’t die!” the serpent hissed.
For God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes will be opened,
You will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Eat that sweet morsel of forbidden fruit.
Go ahead.
It won’t kill you!

And so we partake. We reach out and look at the beauty of the philosophy we so desperately want to believe is Truth.
But, it’s not. It’s a lie. The oldest of lies.

We are not our own god.
We are not goddesses in need of enlightenment.
We do not need to develop our own sacred space to find peace in this world.

The Sacred is in us.
His Holy Spirit resides in us.

The mystery in a nutshell is just this:

Christ is in you,
therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.
It’s that simple.
That is the substance of our Message.

So why do we look further?
Why do we try to create beyond The Creator?
Are we still listening to the crafty god?

“My god wouldn’t…
My god says to me…
My god wants me…

That’s not my god, the god I serve wouldn’t say  fill in the blank…”

Go ahead,
Choose the god you desire,
but know this:

The God of the Universe is not bound by us.
We do not get to create Him in our image.
He created us, not the other way around.

Get to know Him.
He revealed Himself from Genesis to Revelation.
He has sent His Word for us to see The Truth.

So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.

At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue will confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is our Sacred Space.

In Him all the fullness of God dwelled in bodily form.

Through His Spirit we have become partakers of the Divine Nature.

In no other god will you find Life.

When I’m Weak


Gitz was a consistent help to me during some very difficult days in my life (Sept ’08 – Nov ’09).  Her comments spoke truth, but most especially, her posts taught me how to praise through suffering.  She reached out and spoke beautiful, uplifting, encouraging words to me.  I am so thankful she will be able to see The Love of Her Life soon…

A link to Sara’s post, At Peace, is at the end of this post.

When I’m Weak
Original post published January 9, 2009:

It’s an overcast morning.  I must get to the doctor today.  I was out all day yesterday helping a wonderful friend.  But as is usual for me, too much activity one day causes much fatigue the next.  I would like to stay in the comfort of my home, but…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
~Philippians 4:13

True?  True.

Somedays it feels impossible to move.  Somedays I’m not sure how I’ll get through.  Somedays I need my pillow and blanket to feel the warmth, to bring comfort to my stiff, aching body.

Today is someday.

I’m asking for His strength.  When I am weak, He has promised to be strong.

“My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. 
~2 Corinthians 12:9

Heavenly Father, help me get up.  I need Your help to move.  You have been my source of strength for many years.  I know You are the One who gives me breath.  You sustain me.  I need more of Your sustenance today.  I will boast in my weakness for I know it is Your power that gives me strength.  Thank you, Father.

An encouragement for me this day: At Peace by Gitzen Girl

Forgive Us


It is our fault.

Christians should be the most loving, caring, forgiving, gracious, merciful, and compassionate people on the earth. 

If we truly believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the Messiah (Christ) who came to forgive the sins of the world and save us as His own…

…then we are to live as He preached. 

Jesus preached Love. 

It’s our fault if, when people think of Christians, they do not think of Love. 

I watched a show on Shalom TV last night:  Repentance.  It struck me hard.  It is a film documenting a movement of repentance in Germany which acknowledges 2,000 years of anti-Semitic Church history that culminated in the Holocaust.  It features Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

After reading Night by Elie Wiesel years ago, I embarked on a study of his writings.  Seeing his name in the description peaked my interest.  Although I’m only 49 years old and have never been an anti-Semite, I felt compelled to ask God for forgiveness for my ancestors  since I do have some German blood running through my veins.

I don’t really believe it works that way, that I can seek forgiveness for my ancestors.  I do believe we will all stand individually and give an account for the deeds done in the flesh.  However, I feel a deep grief over the 2000 years of Church history.  I feel we have smeared Christ’s name by hateful acts of prejudice toward His people.  And then, I think of all the other people we seem to snub, push aside, act as though we are better than…!!!

What’s wrong with us? 
Do we really believe the words of Christ?
How is it we can be so hateful toward our fellow man and call ourselves Christians?

Christ came to save the lost,
To bind up the wounds of the broken,
To release the chains of the prisoner.

I could get on my soapbox and wax loooong about what we’ve done as Christians, but my point:

We need to apologize.

We need to apologize for the ugly distortion we have taught as Christ followers.

We need to apologize for the evil we’ve done in Christ’s name.

We need to love as He taught us to love the world.

ALL people.

We would not be here, we would not have any of our Christian teachings, if God did not choose the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are the People of the Book.  They have kept the sacred text indisputably incorrupt (proven through the Dead Sea Scrolls) for thousands of years.  Our Savior came through this people…and look what we have done in His name…

Please.  Please, accept this heartfelt statement of repentance from one lone girl deep in the heart of Texas.

This act of contrition is not for the Jewish people only, but for all people who have seen and heard an ugly word or action done in the name of Christ.

Please, forgive us.
If you do not see us as a loving people, we are to blame.

It is our fault.
Our Savior didn’t teach us to act this way.

Does God Answer Prayer?


I love to read.  Always have. 
I remember being in trouble for continually reading as a kid.   

Chores needed completion,
Homework needed answers,
Brother needed watching…

But, I would rather read.

I’ve read LOTS of books over the years, but one series continues to spark my memory.  It might be the idyllic cottage setting.  It could be the paunchy pastor.  It’s probably the home-town happenings.  I’m really not able to pin-point the why of it, but Jan Karon has enthralled me with her books.  Have you read them? 

 The Mitford Series

She has an easy way of telling a story and causing the reader, me, to see the simple life as heaven on earth.  Father Tim is a gentle, loving pastor of an episcopal congregation in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina.  He moves among his congregation and his community desiring to show love, getting frustrated with the people, yet continually giving grace to all. 

If you haven’t read the series, do it!  You’ll be delighted, I’m sure.

One prayer Father Tim always prays, when not knowing how to pray: 
Thy will be done.

The first time I read of his struggle to pray in a puzzling situation, my heart warmed with confirmation. You see, it was the prayer I had been praying for years. 

I understand my desires are not always in tune with God’s. I learned years ago to pray Jesus’ words, “Thy will be done.” I know if I am praying for His will, He will do it. I’ll always get an answer.

As Father Tim puts it, “It is the prayer that never fails…”

Thy will be done.

You remember…on the night He was betrayed He went into the garden to pray…

On the night
He was betrayed
He prayed,
Thy will be done.

It was God’s will…He was betrayed.
It was God’s will…He should suffer much.
It was God’s will…He would carry His cross.

It was God’s will that He be crucified…for us.

It’s also the prayer He taught His disciples to pray:

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, (how?) On earth as it is in heaven…

How is God’s will done in heaven?

He is God Most High.
When God speaks, angels move.
His hosts accomplish His will.

Whether or not we understand, we must learn to trust His will.
The host of heaven are at His command, and they move at His word.
We must learn to trust Him.

Even when it includes suffering…

I want to know Christ
and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.
I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death,
so that one way or another I will experience
the resurrection from the dead!

~Philippians 3:10-11



Whatever you do to make this life work, without God, is idolatry.

We are idolatrous people. We desire to create our own way in life. We work hard to come up with a way that will make life feel better. BUT if it is not God, if we are trying to fill ourselves up without Him, then we have created an idol.

Seem harsh?
Well, it may just be you don’t want to admit it.
Just sayin’…from my own experience… 😕

Idols can take many forms: career, family, marriage, ministry, sports, yard-work, busyness, religion, possessions, travel, money, prestige, power, education…and the list goes on and on…

I have recently discovered idols in my past. First, I tried to be good enough. Positive performance became an idol to me. I desired to feel good about me and wanted God’s “approval.” So, I falsely thought if I did the right things, I would.

But, now I know only God can make me “good” and yet, I won’t be complete until eternity. Trying to make myself look good to you — well, that’s me building an idol — it’s not resting in what He says is true: No one is good but God.

Another idol: Being a teacher and “godly” mother. I have looked to my children, and those I’ve taught, as an example of my worth. If they did well, then I felt satisfied. I felt full. I took pride in their accomplishments as though they were my own. But, you see, I was taking credit where credit was not due. Somehow, in my twisted thinking, I felt if they were good, then I was good. And God wants me to be good, right? Hmmmm ….

The third idol I have recently identified is my marriage. If I talked about my marriage being the best marriage EVER, and only told happy stories about our time together, then you and I might believe how perfect I could be. And, God wants us to have happy marriages, right?

Recently, I’ve learned that many times we marry the person/idol we want to worship. Maybe we marry the person we hope will fill us. Maybe we see something in the other we would love to have in our lives…? If we put all our trust in our marriages, in our working hard to make them “the best”, or taking from the other to fill ourselves, then our devotion is not on God and His living through us.

So … what have I concluded?  Our careers, our children, our relationships can all become idolatrous if they come before God. And yet, it looks so good from the outside. People may comment on how “perfect” your life appears. BUT.  If I’m trying to get my worth — my value — through those things, then I’m worshiping something other than the God who created me.

My worth is not in my accomplishments.
My worth is in being His creation.

All of me…
For ALL of Him.

(Some thoughts after studying Dan Allender and Jeff VanVonderen…still peeling back those layers…)

Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, and you have been filled in Him…
~verses from Colossians 2

The Hemorrhaging Heart


Performance-based religion.

It stems from a desire to be accepted, not rejected.
It comes from a need to be thought of as efficient, not deficient.
It consumes and penetrates the soul and becomes an idol of worship.

I’m just beginning to come to the place of calling it as it is.  Idolatry.  Looking to something other than God for acceptance.  Hoping to present a work of my hands for approval.  Wanting others to see my life and declare it good. 

That last statement gets me.  We are told to let our good works be seen as an example of living worthy of the gospel.  But, I believe the motivation for the approval is where I went wrong.  Letting others see “good works” so that they give glory to God is perfectly acceptable.  But, to gain the accolades for self…to build up self…to feel good about self…to hope others see my self as worthy…these are motives which wreak idolatry.

Only God is worthy.
Only God is good.

Yes, we like others to think well of us.  Of course we do.  We all desire acceptance.  Anyone ever read The Search for Significance?  Yet, some of us have an insatiable desire to be seen as perfect, worthy, good, acceptable, because deep within we feel deficient.  We feel flawed in our innermost being.  It comes from shame.  Illegitimate shame.

Legitimate shame for sins committed leads to repentance.  And God’s grace pours over the sinner as forgiveness is given.  To feel forgiven for sins committed is an amazing wonder.  To know God has cancelled the debt and accepts us through His Son is the most freeing feeling I’ve ever experienced.

Illegitimate shame comes from having one’s dignity diminished.  One’s worth as a human being is denied.  It comes from many sources.  The words and actions of a trusted caregiver leave indelible ink on the soul of a child.  A person who abuses that trust leaves the child feeling used.  Determining another’s “worth” and declaring it as truth for all to hear:  You are _____!   Bullying.  Tearing down another’s esteem.  The list goes on… 

These things deeply wound. 

And the wounded heart hemorrhages within the soul…

“Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you.
Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find rest for your souls.”

To have a humble and gentle Teacher who will give rest for your soul…
…Consider Jesus.

Morning Mists


I have one thing in common with Laura Bush:  my husband brings me coffee every morning.  It’s a great gift and a HUGE help in starting the day. But somedays, even the cup of coffee doesn’t make a dent in the heaviness I feel. And many mornings I’ll ask Phat, “Is it overcast?”

“Yes, it is. Are you hurting?”

“Yeah. It might take a while for me to get moving. I hope it clears up soon.”

Some days the clouds hang low and heavy. On those days I stay curled up in bed, drawing, reading, blogging, listening to the TV or songs on youtube…waiting for the sky to clear and my body to release from the dreariness it feels. It’s harder in Winter when the days stay cold and overcast more often.

But, thankfully, I live in Texas — aka God’s country — and the sun shines bright most days.  On Spring days when the sun comes out and the air is fair to middlin’, I’m a happy camper. The oppressive spirit of the cloudy overhang is gone and I’m able to move more easily throughout the day. 

I ran across this verse in the book of Isaiah (44:22):

“I have swept away your sins like the morning mists.
I have scattered your offenses like the clouds.
Oh, return to Me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”

Isn’t that beautiful? What a perfect wordpicture God gives of the freedom we can feel through His grace…His mercy…His compassion…His forgiveness.

He doesn’t desire for any of us to carry the guilt of our sins.  To live in the anxiety and dreariness of what we’ve done is not His plan for us. Others may not want us to ever forget, but not God.  He wants us to live free.  Freedom from guilt…

He has scattered our offenses like the clouds.
Our sins are gone like the morning mists.


I’m basking in the sunshine of His grace today.

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

Even though the sky is a bit on the heavy side today, God spoke a clear word of affirmation to me. He has cleared away the thick clouds of my transgressions! I can enjoy His Sonshine!

I have put your evil doings out of My mind like a thick cloud,
And your sins like a mist:
Come back to Me; for I have taken up your cause.

Spring has sprung in my heart.

Peeling Back the Layers


I continue to learn the truth of grace as the layers of legalism peel away.  Grace is so deep, so lavishly given, I don’t believe the depths will ever be plunged.  And even as we experience “utopia” in heaven, I have a feeling all the praise will be in response to His scandalous gift…over and over and over…throughout eternity.

If you haven’t understood the freedom of living in Christ, you may be walking in self-righteous piety and expecting all rules to be “kept” as you carefully examine those around you.  And I say that from a place of experience.  It really can’t be helped.  If you are dutifully behaving before devotedly loving, you will be looking at everyone else to be sure they get it right too.  You may have a list of rules you believe are the “proof” of salvation and quickly recite them in your “gospel” presentation.  But it’s not truly the good news you’re sharing.  It’s another millstone being wrapped around your captive’s neck.

I’m learning more about grace.  He keeps taking me to deeper and deeper levels.  And please understand, that’s not a pious thing.  It comes from a place of being in desperate need of forgiveness.  As the dark, hidden corners of my heart become more and more exposed to His Light, I see how gracious He has been to forgive me from the foundation of the earth.

From the time I burned out from religious duty to today — this new understanding of grace — it’s been sixteen years.  Sixteen years of many lessons learned.  Much obedience, much teaching, much loss, much hurt, much misunderstanding, much sacrifice, much pain, and now, most recently, much rebellion. 

Remember, I was a “goody-goody”.  I never rebelled.  Now my parents may think I did, but they were much “goodier” than me.  I must say, there is a reason teenagers rebel.  Working through what they’ve been taught, or not taught, causes trial and error and growth and hopefully, eventually, maturity.  I did mature in many ways, by the grace of God.  And I thank God for my parents and their strict rules, for I was saved much heartache.  But I didn’t go through the “usual teenage angst”.  And now, I’m learning, it’s not so pretty this side of  forty.  Okay, forty-five.  (Shoot.  Forty-seven.  For a couple more months.  👿 ) 

My CR sisters have begun calling me a rebellious little sh**.  And I have been.  Many of them have begun to learn what it means to live with Christian discipline. I am learning what it means to be loved, for even a sinner such as I.   The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other…and I’m getting a new glimpse of grace.

Do you love Jesus?  We talk so much about how He loves us, but I have found if one hasn’t fallen in love with Him, then it may not be understood what all you’ve been forgiven.  I learned of the love of Jesus from a very early age.  I sang about His love for years and years before I understood what it meant.  I honestly wondered about the verse, “We love because He first loved us.”  Really?! Did He REALLY love ME?? That didn’t make sense to me, for I knew of rules and duty before I understood His love and grace.  Love was conditioned upon my keeping the rules.

But now…I’m beginning to see His mercy, His grace, His love…it’s deeper than all my sins:

“Therefore I tell you,
her sins, which were many, are forgiven,
thus she loved much;
but the one who is forgiven little loves little.”

Only sinners are in need of a Savior.