Wednesday, November 18, 2009


"O, give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever." Psalm 118:1

I posted earlier in the year that fall is my favorite season. The cool, brisk wind blows ushering in manifold colors and harvest time. Football games, apple picking, country fairs, school and caramel apples follow in quick pursuit of the change. Fall is also a time of culinary treats such as pork roast, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes. Warm foods fill our bellies as the temperatures cool.

Not far behind, and all too often here before we can believe, comes Thanksgiving. I enjoy every year pulling out my leaves, Indian corn, acorns, pumpkins, and dishes that decorate our home throughout the fall. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite celebration. I am reminded of our basic obligations to our God and Father. I think of how blessed I have been and am. There is a flood of remembrances as I seek to thank the One who is the "giver of every good and perfect gift". I am also keenly aware of the debt of love that was paid for me by Jesus Christ. Yet, He did not stop there, He sent the "Comforter" who abides with me,

Contemplation of our triune GOD fills my heart and mind with gratitude. He has been so kind to me. He has faithfully walked with me all the days of my life leading me and holding me in His hands. He has brought many godly influences into my life like Granny and Papaw, Matt, Bebe, Milton and Lain, Dr. P and Sissy, Sonny and Patsy, Iain and Louise, Bernie and family, and Kimberly. He has given me a husband who loves me warts, hurts, and all. He has blessed me with five covenant children and promises to hope for their salvation. He has allowed me to see fruits of the spirit in the lives of my children and growth in grace. He has carried me in dark valleys, dried my tears, and given me many joys. He has faithfully continued to sanctify me applying in needful succession sorrows, disappointments, distress, and content hours of calm as needed to keep me in "neither riches not poverty... lest I be full and deny (HIM) ... or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God". ( Prov. 30:8-9)

I could sing of the mercies of the Lord with thankfulness forever. I only scratch the vast surface. It is like looking at the ocean and seeing water for as far as the eye can take in and realizing that we only can comprehend the surface... what about the depth!

I encourage each of you to take account over the next few days. Consider the many blessings of being a follower of Jehovah. Think of the riches that are yours in Christ. Spend a little time in thanksgiving to our God. Hug your children and tell them that you are thankful for them. Tell your husbands you appreciate them. Communicate to family and friends your gratitude for them. After all, it is the season... so let us be thankful!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is it in you?

I have been thinking about this post for a while, as it has knocked about in the pin ball machine of my head. And before, I write anymore, I want to give this caveat; my writings are personal reflections. They come from my struggles and are not in anyway meant to be statements of others conduct. I hope they encourage us all to think and to love our Lord more.

Gatorade came up with the catchy advertising logo, "Is it in you?" As I have been mulling the current topic over and searching my own heart, those four words kept popping into my thoughts. As my children grow older, I have met with struggles that I never thought would be struggles. My son, questions almost everything and treads the boundaries. About 90% of his questions, I would think, he need not ask, if only he would think through biblically. He knows the answers. My daughters asked this year to wear a two piece?!?!?! What? They want to go "Trick or Treat". They want to wear slightly immodest/inappropriate clothing, and ears pierced. What about this song or movie? And what about the Sabbath? The list goes on and on...

I have wondered with incredulity at their struggles. They have all been taught since birth to know better. I have always pointed to the greater authority in my parenting and tried hard not to be arbitrary (living by the standard of doing things in faith.)God and his holy law, have been laid before them. They have been taught the scriptural principals from their youth. Many prayers have been offered on their behalf. They are God's children, I am only a steward. They know that we are to be "holy", set apart, for we belong not to ourselves, but to God.

But, as is usually the case, as I have thought through it all, praying and asking for wisdom, the pointer finger comes back to me. (Thus the title, "Is it in you?") I have had to ask myself, are these struggles in you?Have I bought into the lie of worldliness?Am I allowing myself to compromise because, everyone else does and it is the path of least resistance. Have I forgotten the standard of our God, so high, so unattainable, that it took the death of a perfect sacrifice? Have I forgotten that I was bought with Christ's blood? Have I forgotten to fear our "holy, holy, holy" God? Have I forgotten that I am called to walk in the fruit of the spirit with righteousness and love? Have I forgotten the love to our Redeemer that should motivate us to want more godliness and piety? Why settle? Is our God, is our Savior, is the Holy Spirit so easily set aside? Why do I not love him more and hate the world more? My heart lies open and condemned. Yes, worldliness is in me. I am lazy and I forget, Lord please help me, for even my repentance needs to be repented of.

My children struggle, because in all honesty, I struggle. I am inconsistent at best. And it is here that comfort is manifested. My failure, my inability to be upright, my completely hopeless condition all point me back to grace. I end up back on my knees. A sinner fleeing to my Savior. Oh, how I need Him! And what a blessing that He loves and does not despise up when we are debased and humbled before Him. When our world would disdain and mock, God draws near.

Let us draw near to him in repentence. Let us seek more fervantly His face. Let us live our lives as "ambassadors" for Christ who are set apart and who are different. May the world see Christ in us and may we be "salt and light". And let us never grow weary of pointing our children to Christ even as we apply in our parenting the holy laws of the King of kings. May we be transparent but not wavering, firm in love, and steadfast in Our beloved Redeemer who is ever so holy. May we not be content with having worldliness in us, or in our children! Will we not pray for our children and for each other!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I could hear the argument escalating. I listened quietly from the kitchen to the dispute in the room down the hall where my two middle girls were supposed to be cleaning the room.

"Gracie, that is mine, you cannot take it, DON'T THROW IT AWAY!"

I heard as Gracie exited the room with her prize in hand. It was time for intervention. "What is going on?" I asked.

Gracie was cleaning what she considered to be a dirty mason pint jar out of the room. It was about 1/8 full of clear liquid. It looked like something to be removed to me as well. But, I pressed Jessica for an answer. "Why do you want to keep this?" To which she began to cry, she said, "Because the Bible says that God keeps our tears."

Defeated completely and touched deeply, I returned the jar with the tears to the room and there it will stay.

Yes, God does keep our tears. There is not one stray that falls from our eyes that eludes Him. Even those that barely press into the corner of our eyes before we embarrassedly wipe them away He has collected them before us. We may cry rivers, or gentle trickles, but none goes unnoticed by the God of the universe. Psalm 56:8 " You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" My eight year old, clearly understands and trusts her God in this. She is taking Him at His word. And, to my sorrow, she has cried many tears. God has allowed her path to go through dark lands of loss. Yet, she still trusts Him, by His grace!

Why cannot we? Why is that when we go through trials we throw up our hands to God and say, "Why me, God?" Why are we discontent? Why do we question, doubt, or despair?

John 14:1 has a clear, simple directive "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me (Jesus)."

Let us believe in God. Let us cry with others, for others, and when our hearts are burdened with the cares of this life. We can pour out our hearts to Him who hears, sees, feels, and collects the tears. He is a God of compassion who has wept with and for His people. Our God comforts and holds us in His hands! Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

As fall fast approaches we are reminded that, "for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Ingrained into our lives is the structure of minutes, days, seasons, years. All flow with a never ceasing current and always as the Lord has designed. There is no turning or changing by human means, no, it is only the Lord who sovereignly oversees all. There is a corset which underlies all the pomp of life and holds all to a certain mold. Of course this is the Lord's doing. Order is a reflection of Him. There is no order without Him. There is no structure without Him. There are no absolutes without Him. He holds all together and as a conductor directs all in perfect time to make the symphony of our lives turn from a cacophony of noise to a harmonizing masterpiece.

The order that God oversees and commands, is one that includes change. Change is a constant character in the course of daily living. It is a hurdle set before us, as we jump we know that there are more ahead. Look at the change of seasons. As the leaves turn, release their precarious grasp and fall to the ground, we see fall coming. Change. The long days of summer grow short and the heat relinquishes its hold. Change. We know as fall settles in that it is not here for long. It is a friend with visits that are far to short. (I personally am left always wanting more fall. )

I have always struggled with change in life. As I love the seasons and the variation they bring. I am not so easily wooed by change's upheaval in the day to day. I have been vividly reminded of this over the past several weeks as we have gutted our kitchen and then remodeled. While we unpacked the kitchen and moved all the furniture to other rooms, the whole house suffered a violent assault. There was kitchen stuff everywhere! It has taken some time, but I am finally getting things back in order.

Which brings me to my blog. As the house was taken over, so was my life. Chaos has reigned over the last few weeks. My routines have gone out the window, my life taken hostage to the demands of change. After all the many changes the Lord has brought me through over the years, one would think that I could manage it better. But, no, I still struggle to keep my head above water. Now, however, school is back in session, the kitchen is almost finished, and I am able to re-assemble my home. Things are returning to some semblance of order. I can drink my tea, sit at my computer, and write on my blog. I have missed writing, but have continued to mull things over in my head and to prepare posts that are wandering thoughts caught and captured.

It has all made me so thankful for my God, who changes not! He is ever the same. He is immutable! What comfort lies in this! He does not change His mind. He does not alter His opinion. Once, his love is set upon us, it is never removed. In fact, it has been set since before the foundations of the world were laid. He is not wishy-washy. His Word which has been spoken can be trusted. Praise be to Him. In a life, were change is constant, we can see the contrast of our marvelous God. Does it not make your heart leap within you? Do not you want to praise Him? As Sunday approaches, think on Him:Trust Him. Love Him. Worship Him!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Always Outdone

There are characters in the Bible that I would like to emulate. I love Enoch. He is scarcely mentioned in Holy Writ, but the description given him is as a man who "walked with God". I would love to be described that way, wouldn't you?

Yet, there is another man that I have always wanted to imitate. It is the man who was "after God's own heart". My heart envies the description. I want to be after God's heart! I want to be like David. I read about David and am struck by him and the fact that I am always outdone! When David praised God, he was able to put to music and arrange words which would become some of the most beautiful poems the world has ever seen, a shepherd boy composing Psalms that would last for centuries. I am woefully outdone. David was not afraid to bear almost all and dance before the Lord with great rejoicing. I find myself shy, embarrassed, and outdone again. When David fell, he was not content to remain in the state of being separated from fellowship with his God, and repented with great weeping, sorrow, and earnestness. I all too often, forget to repent after asking to be forgiven, once again outdone! (Lord, please forgive my cold heart, for my repentence needs to be repented of!)

David was far from a perfect man, but I cannot "cast the first stone" at him. He suffered at the hand of his earthly king, his children, and had many trials. Yet, he loved God with a whole heart. He was sent from his country and his home, he slept in caves running for his life. He endured the scoffing of those who should have bowed down to Him, and yet he trusted the Lord in all.

But even more, he was after all, just a shadow. He was a dim reflection of the One who would come after Him. David's greater son, the one who would reign with an eternal dominion. The one who with a perfect heart, perfect love, perfect obedience, and perfect submission would be for us the perfect sacrifice.

I want to be like David, but O, so much more like his greater Son! I know that I am always outdone, but I will continue to love my Sovereign. I pray that he would make me like David and more and more like Christ!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jehovah Tsidkenu- Robert Murray McCheyne

This week I will post a poem by Robert Murray McCheyne that I came across in my private readings. I hope it is a blessing to all, as it has been for me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu- Jehovah our Righteousness

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load,
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure to soothe or engage,
Isaiah's wild measure and John's simple page;
Bet e'en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over his soul,
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu- t'was nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me by light from on high,
Then legal fear shook me; I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see,
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name,
My guilty fear banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the Fountain, life-giving and free:
Jehovah Tsidkenu as all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast;
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne'er can be lost!
In thee shall I conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield.

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death!
This "watchword" shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life's fever my God sets me free,
"Jehovah Tsidkenu!" my death-song shall be.

This Is the God who we come to worship! May we rest in Him and praise Him for His abundant grace!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What is your last resort?

When you have a headache, do you administer Tylenol before praying?

When your kids are hurt, are band aids applied before prayer?

When you are frustrated with the unfolding of unforeseen events in the day, do you vent to a friend before you come humbly to God?

I only ask, because I, once again, have found myself guilty! I am guilty of neglecting the great means of prayer. I use it as a last resort. I do not come to the Father, who gives us good gifts before all else. I am too quick to solve my own problems my way, instead of quieting my heart before the Sovereign GOD.

God places attaches such sweet promises to prayer. We know that by the effectual blood of Christ He hears our prayers. (Let that sink in... we have an ear in the throne room of heaven... an ear that can accomplish all He purposes to. Does not your heart leap within you with joy at the greatness of God to be our Father and to answer petitions placed before Him? It should!)
We are told that the "prayers of a righteous man accomplish much". We know that "all things are possible with God", and He promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." There are so many precious promises I do not have the time to elaborate on them all.

Let us not be backward, may we repent and pray! May we pray for God to be glorified, His name to be praised in us, in our families, in our nation, and in the world! May we pray for the brokenhearted and downcast. May we pray for the stranger to be brought home. May we pray for sanctification in our lives. May we pray for peace! May we pray for the wicked to be caught in their own snares. May we pray for our headaches to be removed, hurts to be healed, and may we pray for our children to love Christ above all. May we be creatures of prayer, not ones who neglect it and use it as a last resort!

This great privilege cost our God a great price. Let us treasure what Christ has purchased on our behalf. May we love our Saviour all the more! Let us come before Him to worship with thankfulness and love!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Have you thought about God today? I mean really thought about God? Not in any reference to what He has done for us, (there is so very much that He has done!) not in a prayer offered as a bullet toward heaven for help, not asking for our "list" of prayer needs, not even in our prayers for others, but have you thought about God? We need to completely remove the "I" from our thoughts and prayers and simply gaze heavenward to consider the Almighty! Let us consider Him apart from creation and salvation. Let us consider HIM!

Our God is! He is infinite, eternal, unchangeable. Have you thought about what that means?

Our God exists in One God but three persons equal in power and glory. He is a mystery to ponder!

Our God is good, true, holy, love, just, merciful, longsuffering, powerful, wise. There is much to consider.

Take some time today to think. Stop. Slow Down. Pull your apron over your head as Susannah Wesley would and contemplate our awesome God! (Eloihim, Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah) In Christ, we are beckoned to worship Him tomorrow. Think on Him. Let our God be exalted in our minds, hearts and lives. May we be as mirrors of His glory and bring Him praise! Let us exalt the Lord! May we be prepared to come before Him tomorrow!

Psalm 98:4-8
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; and the worldand those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together..."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Living and Dying

Have you ever thought about some of the many contradictions in life? For example: the medication we take to make our pain go away, causes liver failure. The surgery to cure us could very well kill us. To eat a healthy diet balanced with all the food groups, you have to eat too much food. We spend our time trying to save life all the while it slips through our finger as sand.

To be sure life is precious and it is a gift. We should be good stewards of it. We should do all within our power to protect and preserve it. But, we should also be ready and willing to lay it down for the call of the Cross.

I have been reading through Romans this week and have been chewing on the meat contained therein. I am reminded that we all fell in Adam's first transgression. As our covenant head, he chose sin and plunged mankind into an "estate of sin and misery", we would "surely die" as a result. Our state, from the fall in the garden was a hopeless one. All the while, planned from eternities past, God was working out redemption for His children. And in the "fullness of time", God sent His son, who by his active and passive obedience fulfilled the law and became sin for His people. To redeem us from the death we merited in Adam, another death was required. Death of the very Son of God, was the only satisfaction that could pay the penalty. And now, we as God's children are told that we "have become united with Him in the likeness of His death... that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." Romans 6:5-6

As we go about this life trying so hard to stay young and live longer, we should realize that as Christians we are dead to this life and "alive to God in Christ". We should be spending our time in thankful obedient service. The irony that while in Christ we are more alive than ever before, while to this world we are as dead men, is overwhelming. I need to be weaned from this world. I need to have my vision refocused. I need to have feet which are swift to run after the will of my heavenly Father and hands busy about His work. I desire to have a mind and heart seeking to live uprightly and putting off sin. I want to pour out my life as a thank offering for the One who has died that I might die to sin, and the One who has been raised that I might too be raised to "newness of life". I so love my dear Jesus, He is more to me than thousands upon thousands. He truly is the Messiah, the "altogether lovely One", the Prince of Peace, the friend of sinners, the spotless lamb of God.

As each week, I try to prepare myself for worship, this week has been one that has brought me low as I see my great need of grace and repentance. I am a weak sinner. I struggle with silly sins that should have been mortified years ago. I desire my own way over God's perfect will. I am still a proud, arrogant worm. I need to be reminded that all my sin has been crucified with my flesh in Christ and that I have been raised in Christ so that I will, "...not let sin reign in (my)mortal body...but present (myself) to God as those alive from the dead, and (my) members as instruments of righteousness to God." Romans 6:13

Oh that my life would be a song that praises the Lord. May I be an "instrument" that sings a song of redemption, honor, and glory!

Take my life and let it be
consecrated Lord to thee.
Take my moments and my days,
May they flow in ceaseless praise.

From Take My Life

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Crutches Here

There are areas of parenthood that I did not expect. One of these is loneliness in my children. It breaks my heart as I see them struggle to "fit in" and make friends. Sometimes it is easy, others it is not. I have children who make friends fast, and other children who cannot seem to find a "bosom friend" as Anne of Green Gables would put it.

As I have thought about it over the last few weeks, I have had to confront my own struggles with loneliness as I seek to apply God's Word and to comfort my children. We adults are not that different than our children. We are only better at the charade. We mask our hurts, hide our emotions, and close them off from view.

What about you? Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt hopelessly lonely? Have you ever found yourself with fellow believers who completely do not understand you, or simply leave you out? Have you ever been let down by a friend who should have been there for you? Have you ever laid in bed at night, lonely for the comfort of a spouse who is physically or emotionally absent? If you can answer yes, than to one degree or another, you can say that you have tasted loneliness.

In the year after Matt's death, I wrestled with being lonely. My bed was empty, my home quieted from the loss of his voice, and my heart was broken. I closed off my sadness from many and put on a mask. In truth, I have not reached the point where I have removed the mask completely even now. As I think about my loneliness now, I must confess that it is due mostly to my own failure to "open up".

I would be remiss if I did not mention that self indulgent sorrow and pity is a sin. We should not wallow in it, but should seek to "put it off" and to "put on" (Eph. 4:22)thankfulness and contentment. It is hard to draw the line as to where one wanders from being lonely to being self consumed, but each of us who struggles, must ask the question and be willing to "take every thought captive unto obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ".

Yet, I digress. I write to encourage with the encouragement that I have been given and to "comfort" with the comfort that I have received. As we think of our loneliness, when our friends do not understand us, when we are ostracized for a conviction, and when earthly relationship fail to comfort we should think of our Savior. We have a great high priest, (as Hebrews 3:15 says, "...for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has in every respect been tempted as we are yet without sin.")who has walked the footsteps that we trod. Can you think of anyone who ever lived who was more misunderstood, mocked, and sorrowful knowing all the time that His end was to die the terrible death of the cross and pay the penalty for the sins of His chosen people. He was a lamb led to the slaughter willingly(Is. 53:7). Isaiah 53 continues to tell us that Jesus had, "no beauty that we should desire him" and that He was, "despised". Stop and think of the emotional pain and loneliness that our Savior as a man withstood. In Is. 53:4 it says, "Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows...he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities....the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all." How did Jesus not falter or quail? By the same power that He has purchased for us on His cross. You see the power that raised Christ from the dead is given to us by the Holy Spirit so that we can walk the lonely paths, put off sin, and find comfort for our souls. Dear reader, Come to Jesus. Find rest from your weariness in Him. Pray to Him asking Him to help you know the riches of His mercy and to be able to say with David, "Whom have I heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25

Jesus has purchased for us so much on the cross. Not only our salvation, but also a relationship with Him that rises above all earthly relations. His love for us in His sacrifice has secured assurance, peace, contentment, joy, and grace. We have to seek after it, we must be diligent, but he does reward. Let us not be lonely, let us be filled with the love of Christ and find our all in Him. Pray, and ask the Lord to be near. Attend the means of grace. Continue to, "seek the Lord while He may be found..."(Is. 55:6). We need not lean on any earthly crutch, let us cling to Jesus.

Nothin in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.
Naked come to Thee for dress, helpless look to Thee for grace,
Foul I to the fountain fly, wash me Savior or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shut close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.

Rock of Ages

Friday, June 26, 2009

I find it uncanny that often the world can articulate truths about our depravity and sin, without even knowing it, much better than we who call ourselves Christians. It is so in a song by Billy Joel called "The Stranger". Here are the first lines, "Well we all have a face that we hide away forever and we take them out and show ourselves when everyone is gone..." This is a truth that we seldom hear discussed yet we all experience it. Personally, I like to put on faces during the rare moments that I am home alone that I am a great dancer. I can pretend that I can dance although the reality of that still eludes me. You get the picture. Unfortunately, these faces that we try on are often of a sinister vein as we play with the infernos of sin. I can remember another song from my early Christian days by Steve Camp that said, "Could I be called a Christian, if everybody knew, my secret thoughts and feelings and everything I do?" Let those words sink in... Could I? Could you? What are we thinking about and doing when we are alone? There are days that I must confess that this hard heart would rather choose its own way, "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" but by His grace I can ask the Lord to, "take and seal (my heart) and seal it, seal it for thy courts above".
It is for this very reason and our many other struggles, that the Bible uses the term as shepherd in reference to God. There are many references, too many to list here, but here are a few: Psalm 23, EZ 34:12, John 10:11, 14. Ezekial 34:12 says, "For thus says the Lord God, Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out....I will seek the lost, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak..."
If we are honest, we realize that there is a battle raging in our souls. A battle that takes daily effort to just hold ground without losing all we have gained. Sin is ever present and ready, often we are not. And I do not just mean the big sins, I mean the thoughts of anger toward our spouses or children, the words that we would never say, but will think, the lack of contentment in what the Lord has given, the self pity and the envy of others just to name a few. Our hearts are a war torn region that has been devestated by the effect of sin within us. Yet, that is why we have a Savior! That is why Jesus came... to save sinners! He knew we were sick and He brings healing. He knew we were defiled and He brings righteousness. He knew our understandings were darkened, and He brings His Word to enlighten us. That is why we have a shepherd. Halelujah! What a Savior!
Today if you are tempted to play with sin, to try on a face that is of a stranger, I ask that you remember what your sin cost and turn from it. Let each of us not linger in the false ideas of being unseen, and realize that all is open before the God of all ,who sees all. Let us come to Him, our shepherd and lean upon Him. He is able!

"O thou who the shepherd of Israel art, give ear to our pray'r and thy favor impart.... No more shall we wander, delighting in shame, revive us O Lord, we will call on thy name. O Lord God of hosts, us restore to thy grace, and then we shall live in the light of thy face." ARP Psalter 80:1-3

Thursday, June 18, 2009


What is about about traveling to a loved place? As I travel back to Mississippi, I always get nostalgic. Memories flood my mind as gentle waves rushing to the shore. The landscape is first to hold my thoughts as I consider how beautiful are the trees or the crops as they grow in the fields or the swampy, moss-covered sloughs. I love the features of God's creation and could spend hours contemplating how creation groans for His return and how it always praises the Creator sinlessly doing as He wills. The waves do not stop. One by one they roll into my thoughts. We ate there, the kids played there, a friend lives over "yonder" and on they cross the beaches of my mind. Sadness often threatens to enclose me within its arms as I go back. The embrace is not resented, only deeply painful.

But it is not only the places that draw me into a reverie. The many dear ones that I love rise up before me, the thoughts crest and then roll into memory. There are many dear friends that have been close to me over the years and many shared good times. so much laughter, a few tears, and much for which I am deeply thankful. The church and its extended family that I have witnessed the birth and baptism of children, taught these children, wept with the families at loss, and loved them as my own. People, that is what life is about right? Loving people, growing in grace together, and pleasing the Lord in our relationships?

Even yet, another set of waves is nearing the shore as I think about family. Some may know, others may not, that family is a very bittersweet thing for me. I have some family that has stood by me most unexpectedly...they know who they are and that I am ever so grateful for their rooting me in love. Then, I have family that has adopted me into their fold. What a great blessing of which I have written about before. This is the family that I visit in MS. My heart cannot stay melancholy for long when I think of going "home" to them. It is the house that has been a place of much comfort and blessing. It is the house that received me upon my return from Haiti... a broken widow with children. It is the house that has recorded the growth of my children for years. The home that still has furniture and stored belongings of mine. It is a place of much comfort, love, fellowship, and delicious food. I consider it "home".

I wish that I could say that as I travel the sojourn here on earth that my thoughts were as attentive to the greater reality that this "world is not my home" and that I am going "to a place prepared" for me. HOME is still far away and although familiar, it is yet strangely unfamiliar. What makes it precious is not the landscape, (which I am sure is breathtakingly beautiful), it is not the many memories, it is not the actual house (of which I am told is a mansion). No, none of these are what make my HOME desirable. It is because there dwells the lover of my soul, my beloved, my redeemer, the truest friend to ever have, the perfect King of all, the lamb of God, the altogether lovely One. I say with the psalmist that I want to be with Him, where He is, dwelling in His presence. Then I will be HOME.

Until then I will ramble through the barren wastelands, rocky crags, and valleys of shadow. I know that my Savior is faithful and He will bring it to pass. I will be with Jesus! Oh Lord, come quickly my heart cries. To look upon Him in all His splendor and to be able to sit at His feet, to see the one who lived and died for me, to be near my bridegroom. Yes, it is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than anywhere else because there we are near to Him.

Would you not think on Jesus these days before Sunday? Let the reality press down upon you that you are on a sojourn. Our path goes either one way or the other. There are only two options. We are daily striving toward heaven or proving ourselves to be in need of repentance. Little choices are not so little in light of eternity and little sins have an eternal price. Let us take heed to ourselves this day and as long as the Lord gives us breath. May we bring Him glory and honor!