Friday, September 4, 2015

  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see. 

One of my favorite Bible characters is David.  His shortcomings and failures are shocking, yet he is nicknamed, 'a man after God's own heart'.  Curious, isn't it?   David transparently spilled out his fears, doubts, complaints, and imperfections for all to read.  His fame and victories are recorded by other authors but David uses his words to bare the insecurities of a broken heart before His Father.  If David mentions successes, it's only to give His Father all the glory.  That's the heart that captivates the heart of God.  David let God into all the closets of his heart- no masks, pretenses or make-believe.

As I grow older in the Lord I sometimes think that I should have things more together than  I do.  Like David, it's shocking when I am faced with my own doubts, fears, sins and failures.  My natural inclination is to keep my imperfections fortified within the walls of a closed heart. It may feel better; however, it deprives me of real relationship with God and others.

Recently, I met a modern day David to remind me of the heart that God would desire me to have.  This young David freely shared the imperfections and failures of his life with our small group.  The door of his heart was wide open for all to see.  I was inspired by his vulnerability and courage.  Much greater than the failure he was telling us about, I saw an example of a heart in love with the Father; desiring to obey Him. He was 'a man after God's own heart'

In the Psalms, David sings more about his struggles than his successes. His boast is only in the Lord.  He trusts in God and God alone.  Struggles can bring us to that truth if we don't hide them in the closet.  They can remind us that there is nothing good in us apart from God.  Struggles can give us opportunity to be vulnerable with God and others. That's the heart God desires.  Lord, thank you for the Davids' in my life to remind me that the struggles are more important than the successes.  Create in me a heart that is after yours.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me." 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sometimes you don't have to go very far to be on vacation.  I had two out of town trips planned that had to be put on hold.  But today I was carried away from decisions and responsibilities for a few hours while kayaking on Lake Zorinsky.  Even though it's only a few miles from home, it was as energizing as a mountain climb or a walk on a beach..  My heart is filled with gratefulness that I was able to get in and out of the kayak with ease.

God added his special touch to the afternoon.  He is a God that delights to delight us.  As I came out of the marshes, there were two herons on the sandbar.  One stayed put so I could get a few pictures of the moment.  What a glorious vacation!  What a glorious creator!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I haven't gone camping for quite some time but love taking day trips to nearby lakes and surround myself with the camping atmosphere.  Tents are the 'home away from home' dwellings that allow us  to enjoy the joy of creation, friends and family.

Tents are important to a camping trip and do need our attention if there are rips, holes or leaks. However the camping trip is not about the tent. It would be silly to spend time obsessing about a tent and miss out on hikes, campfires, and other experiences.

2 Corinthians 5:4 compares our earthly bodies to tents and reminds us that while we are on this side of heaven there will be groanings and burdens.  It's not a promise that we like to meditate on but it's one that we all experience.

 In the season I am in, I have had to give more attention to the holes and rips in my tent than I would like.  It's hard to keep my tent from becoming my focus and identity. Doctors and nurses talk about my tent.  The people I love and who love me are concerned about my tent.  I wake up each morning to the reality that my tent has holes in it.  But it's just the tent.  It's what the real me is housed in for this flash in time.

 The end of the 2 Corinthians verse talks about the promise of our eternal home- a permanent home without holes and rips that has an all loving Father.  We can only imagine and then it will still come far short of what is being prepared for us.  Thank you Jesus!

So for this flash of time in my tent,  I choose to enjoy the Creator. my friends, family and take the opportunities He gives me here to live life for Him.  I won't neglect my tent, but it won't be my focus.  It's not the real me.

At the end of last school year I brought home two small flowers that were left over from a banquet.  I unloaded the car and threw the flowers on a table in the garage.  Several days later, the single blooms were wilted from neglect. My hope for their revival was small and I thought of throwing them in the trash.  However, that small bit of hope caused me to find a pot and soil to give them a chance at life. The two scrawny blooms were dwarfed by the container I put them in. I didn't have much faith that much would ever come from such small beginnings.  

'O Ye of Little Faith'.

 As I left the house the other day, I paused in awe at the change that had occurred. It's now over a month later and two wilted plants have turned into a plethora of blooms.  Abundance from what looked like little.  I love to see God's lessons in the natural.  Jesus taught us about the small mustard seed.  It's barely visible on a fingertip yet grows into a  15 foot tree.  Such hope and potential in what first appeared lifeless and insignificant.

God over and over takes the little and creates His miracles.  He wants us to see the potential in the little.  He takes great delight in showing us His greatness. When we feel like a wilted plant or that small mustard seed, God knows the plethora of  blooms that is possible if we Trust and take Him at His Word.  He is Hope, He is the Miracle Worker, He is Abundance, His Is God.  We just Trust, Dwell and Believe.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I like to know and figure things out.  This verse is a reminder that on this side of heaven we are never going to fully know. Someday I will recognize the blessing of that.   But now it's a hard place to be with my 'figure it out' brain.

 I'm in a situation that only God knows and only He has the answer. Aren't all situations really that way?  Oh the illusion of control and independence.

Even though I don't like the dark glass I'm looking through I'm flooded with hope when I read that 'I am known'.  The creator God of the whole universe knows me better than I know me.  He knows the number of my days, the hairs on my head, my dreams, my disappointments. my pain, my thoughts that never make it to words.  I Am Known.

I so look forward to the 'but thens' in this verse.  .... but then I will see Him face to face .... but then I shall know even as I am known.  What joy! What an indescribable expectation! But now, I'm left looking through the dark glass.

I've been reminded by wise counselors that the dark glass now is not a curse but an opportunity It's the opportunity that I have on this side of heaven to love God in a way that I'll never be able to love Him again.  Our love, adoration, worship, praise and thankfulness through the dark glass is something that even the angels can not give to God.

Lord, help me to rest in You as I look through the dark glass.  Thank you for the opportunity to love you in a greater way.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Last Sunday, Pastor prayed that we would recommit our hearts to God.   It seemed that I didn’t have much to give; just pieces of a broken heart.  Pieces of broken dreams, broken vision, disappointments, inadequacies, regrets.  I didn’t want to give the Creator of the miraculous such an unworthy, imperfect gift.  Doesn’t He deserve the best?  I felt like the Littlest Angel from one of my favorite Christmas stories. The Littlest Angel had nothing to give the newborn King but a few pieces in a box.

Then Pastor prayed that our heart would burn for God.  A scene broke out on the screen of my mind.  I saw fire melting and welding the pieces together making new out of broken.  David knew this well as he cried out ‘Lord, create in me a new heart’.  The man after God’s own heart only had broken pieces from a life of mistakes and inadequacies Yet, David’s heart yearned to be in the presence of God and God yearned for Him. Holy companionship.

Could it be that it’s the pieces that God really wants?  Pieces of brokenness that finally convince us that we can’t do this life without Him.  Could it be His Grace when the pieces come crashing down?  So yes, Lord, here’s my heart of broken pieces.  Burn heart, burn.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cancer Survivor Park, Omaha, N

I went to the Cancer Survivor Park to take photographs of the flowering trees and was surprised by the flood of emotions that came to the surface as I walked around the park- thoughts of my own journey and thoughts of others that are once again in the middle of the struggle. I've never liked living with uncertainty but that is the nature of a journey. It feels like taking a step in the dark. You just don't know where you are going to land.

 Psalm 119:105 says,  'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.' The Light of the World  is with us to illuminate the next step.  He knows the path we're on and we can trust Him with the journey.  Journey on with Jesus!