Month: March 2020

I am the Lord and there is none beside me.

Isaiah 43 is one of the most wonderful chapters in all of scripture. (Of course I say that about a lot of chapters.)

But what draws me to this particular chapter is how many times God draws attention to his own lordship. God is not capable of arrogance as it would sound coming from human lips.

He’s doesn’t repeat this time after time for his own benefit but for ours. He is reminding us that he and he alone deserves to be called the one and only Lord.

He goes on to recount his creation of all living things on this earth, we humans in particular. Paul quotes Isaiah 9b, “Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” In Romans 9: 20-21, it states that we are his to shape and mold as he sees fit without question.

To give someone else control isn’t easy. Giving our government control over our actions isn’t easy. None of us like being told where we can or cannot go.

But maybe we can use this restriction on our lives as a way to remind us that this is how we are supposed to place ourselves in the Potter’s hands to do with as he wishes.

Think of this portion of scripture the next time you bristle about your restrictions and confinement. Let those feelings of irritation remind you, remind me, that we are usually wrangling with God over these same control issues.

Assuming we are in right relationships with God, his molding of us will only draw us closer to him and his purpose for our lives.

If we are not in right relationship with God, he will have to continue getting us back to that starting point as a lump of clay and start all over again, many times all over again.

Doesn’t it make sense to cooperate with him the first time?

Let’s allow God to really shape us during this shut-down. Let’s think through our reactions about giving up control and try and determine if we treat God this way sometimes. Is there a correlation? Can we learn from this how it feels to give God control?

I wonder why we are all looking for something to do. I’ve even got a post coming soon with some ideas for you. But I wonder, why are we trying to occupy every minute?

I’m guessing it’s because we’re scared and being busy helps. But I’m not sure that’s so good. So while I, too, am getting bored and want to fill every moment, I’m also trying to make sure I have plenty of contemplative time. I want to think about this crisis and how it can make me stronger in my faith walk.

What about you? Are you taking time during this quarantine to simply think?

God bless and stay safe.

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torn page of book that say Love is patient/words matter

Words matter. What are we to do after last Wednesday?

Words matter but what are we to do after last Wednesday?

Well, as far as the nation is concerned, I don’t know.

I only know about me.

I’ve shared a number of times that I read through Proverbs every month, not to impress you. I do it for me because I need to be constantly reminded about my words.

And never more than now.

Our words matter after last Wednesday

The Proverbs have more to say about our word choice than any other book in the Bible.

Especially verses from Proverbs 15 and 16.

Gracious words are pure in God’s sight.

15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up ange

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
    but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the hearts of fools are not upright.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
    and how good is a timely word!

26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
    but gracious words are pure in his sight.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
    but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

words on a garbage can, "think before you read"/words matter

Gracious words are a honeycomb.

1 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
    and his mouth does not betray justice.

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
    and gracious words promote instruction.[c]

23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
    and their lips promote instruction.[d]

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

27 A scoundrel plots evil,
    and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.

30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
    whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

torn page of book that say Love is patient

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

In conclusion:

There are no easy and simple answers. And anytime there aren’t, that’s when it comes down to us and our words and our actions.

We are all called to spread peace and to BE peace.

For me, that means that one particular fruit of the spirit, is evidenced in my life during this time of unrest and uncertainty.

“Forbearance” is how it reads in the NASB. I looked up the words for forbearance and they include, self-restraint, tolerance, and patience. Just think how last week might never have happened had we all practiced the forbearance and gentle speech that Proverbs clearly outline for us.

But I can only influence and change me.

You can only influence and change you.

May God bless you today as you seek to follow Christ and practice forbearance.

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Knowing God is like following a lemon scone recipe.

Knowing God is like following a lemon scone recipe. (So sorry I’m late in posting.)

I guess the better statement is that knowing God is like following any recipe. They both require following

But first, here is the lemon scone recipe.

lemon scones

Pat out the disc to only 1/2″ thick. This is important. The first batch I did was too thick and I had to bake them longer. Longer baking can sometimes mean a drier baked good. So keep them no thicker than 1/2″.

lemon scones
lemon scones
lemon scones

Can you see how crumbly they are? That’s how they’re supposed to look. 

lemon scones

If you over mix scones, they won’t be tender. Kind of like biscuits and muffins. Get them just past the crumbly stage.

lemon scones
lemon scone recipe

Why I didn’t include the remaining instructions, I think you can figure it out. Just cut them out and bake for about 15-20 minutes. When they’re springy to the touch and lightly browned, they are done. Let them cool on a cooling rack. I added a thin lemon glaze of confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice while the scones were still warm. 

First, the connection between recipes and knowing God.

Don’t you wish life was just as easy as following a recipe?

Add a little of this and a little of that and you are all set. But you know what it really is?

It starts with the desire to know God. I don’t mean knowing about God, but knowing God. Hopefully, this year I’ll be providing you with all kinds of “helps” to do just that.

But why should you listen to me?

Secondly, who am I that you should listen to me about knowing God?

Here’s what I do when determining what blogs (Christian blogs) to follow.

  • Check them out.
  • Read carefully what they say.
  • Watch for consistency between what they say and what their lives reflect, assuming they give me some insight into their lives.
  • Ascertain their sincerity by deciding if they are really writing to help or just for the money-making part.

However, don’t get me wrong. It is perfectly OK to make money on a blog. For example, I won’t be giving away my book for free. But you can tell what the motive is if you pay attention.

Therefore, I listen to their hearts. It either comes through as a heart yearning for God or it doesn’t.

That’s how you can decide if what I write is something you value or not. I expect that.

So this is who I am

I’m not a super Christian but I’ve been a follower of Christ for many years. I am a certified hospital chaplain, an author (book to be published very soon) a Bible teacher, a Psychology major, a blogger, an avid reader, a Bible student (just enrolled in Bible classes) at a Bible college, and an all-around seeker of truth.

I’ve also lived a life that has had its shares of ups and downs. I know what it’s like to feel depressed and anxious and I’ve learned and created a lot of coping skills to deal with both. Accordingly then, the book that is coming out is focused on Christians and mental health issues.

The truth is, however, on any one given day, I probably screw up just as much as anyone. Some days, even more. There are days my Bible study is pathetic and my prayer time too short because I’ve got too many irons in the fire.

I’m fairly disorganized and at the same time nit-picky about how my house is decorated. I love DIY, reading, painting, crafting, all of it.

In other words, I’m human.

In conclusion,

Anyway, I hope you’ll stay with me this year. I have an exciting year coming up. After years of blogging, I feel I have finally found my “focus”.

So if you bake these scones, think about the recipe. The scones will not turn out if you don’t follow it, right?

Well, our Christian life is the same. We have to follow the recipe. And the first and main ingredient in every recipe for the Christian life is a desire to know God.

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God bless and I hope you have a great day and stay safe.

ps. Sorry for being so out of touch this week but I’m working on great posts and ideas for you!

picture of ice formations on fallen trees/belief in God

Beautiful icescapes on the beach. Now you can see it,too.

Yesterday we saw a beautiful icescapes on the beach. Now you can see it, too. We couldn’t believe the ice sculptures.

It had been a long two days. We stayed inside and didn’t see anyone. Christmas was fine though. My husband and I are great friends and never tire of each other. For us, the pandemic has not been a problem. Sure, like all of you, we miss family and friends greatly but figure if this the worse we ever go through, we will have been fortunate. Of course, we realize this has been incredibly difficult for many and we never forget that.

I love this one.

These photos have not been edited as far as with any kind of a paint program, just my i-phone. An old one I might add.

Just like we all have “shades” under the surface, so did these sculptures. It isn’t until you adjust the colors that you can see them. We, too, have much hidden under the surface. But God sees through our icy exteriors and see’s the warm underneath.

This one looks like a centipede.

Just look at this ice. How can anyone not believe in God. Right? I mean God’s majesty was on full display.

It’s easy to forget God is in charge when all we read about is anything but. Maybe we need a newspaper whose headlines read, “Read All About It: God’s Majesty on full display.” Inside would be countless true stories from of people who just witnessed God’s full creative power.

Worship His Majesty was a wonderful song from a about ten years ago. You can find it here.

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