Thursday, March 31, 2011


A sweet smelling savor….

Springtime is filled with some of our favorite aromas; freshly cut grass – especially the first of the season, floral and leafy scents on the breezes. Maybe it’s not so much the individual fragrances, but the fact that we’re so much more aware of them. Spring signals newness and rebirth. If we’re not too busy we’re more aware of ourselves and our uprising desires for a new season after a long, perhaps dreary, winter. Smells can awaken us from slumber, whether to morning breath or cinnamon rolls.

Our nose does so much more than make it easier for us to breath. We’re told to stop and smell the roses or wake up and smell the coffee. Odors and fragrances can agitate, they can invigorate, they can soothe, they can arouse. They can even cause time travel; taking us back to buried memories, as can all of our senses.

There are memories tucked away within us that may never be exposed, but our God-given senses trigger and ignite memories by design. Exploring and understanding what God has already brought us through can prepare us for the new seasons of our lives. Winter, a time of dying or sleeping, always precedes springtime.

Hidden treasures -costly sacrifices, are not always pleasant, but yielded to God, He will use them for His glory.

Just as He saves our tears: Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (NLT)…

He keeps our prayers: Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (KJV)

Monday, March 28, 2011


Old songs come to mind when I think about touching God. From ‘…reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by…’ to ‘…surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, I can feel His mighty power and His grace…’ But the one that captures the heart of my imagination is a Ray Boltz song that intrigued me the moment I heard the words. ‘With her hands she was touching Him, the Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and with her hands she was holding on to His…’

The name of the song is Touching Him. It was a common request when I regularly sang for a multitude of churches, perhaps the audience could hear my sincere passion. I want to touch Him. I want to feel the touch of His fingers on mine, the warmth of His embrace, even just to touch the hem of His garment. I want my relationship with Him to be tangible. The song is about a woman Jesus had graciously forgiven. At His dinner host’s outrage, Jesus said; she, who is forgiven much, loves much, as she washed His feet with ointment mixed with her own tears and dried them with her hair. (Luke 7:36-50)

But how do you ‘feel’ God today? How do you ‘reach out and touch the Lord’? He’s no longer here in our midst to reach out and touch. Or is He? Look around. Who do you see? Doesn’t His Spirit reside there? Touch them, now. Feel your fingers tremble at the point of contact…..

The final chorus: ‘With your hands, are you touching Him, and with your heart, are you loving Him, and with your hands are you holding on to His? Then the source of life is right there in your hands.’

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Taste and see that the Lord is good -Psalm 34:8(NIV)

Michael Ramsden of RZIM teaches brilliantly. After speaking, he invites questions, staying until he answers them all. Oddly, instead of picking his brain this weekend, I listened as others questioned him.

He points out: People are not always what they claim to be. When we claim to be something, how do we back it up? If you claim to be a doctor or a lawyer, you have diplomas and certificates to your credit. But how can one prove they’re a Christian?

Mr. Ramsden points us to the proof the Bible requires. When we truly live a life submitted to Christ, we bear good fruit. What is good fruit? ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ -Galatians 5:22&23 (NIV) When this is the fruit we bear, we will leave ‘a good taste in someone’s mouth’ when they encounter us.

The man half joked when he invited: Bite me.

The book of Galatians also tells us what bad fruit looks like: ‘The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.’ (5:19-21 NIV)

In the book of Revelation God Himself tells us what He will do when we call ourselves Christians, but fail to produce good fruit. ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.’ (3:15-16 NIV)

I pray that my life invites you to taste of God’s goodness through the fruit of the Spirit made manifest in my thoughts, words and deeds.

May we taste good!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


If God created us simply to ‘use’ us He surely wouldn’t keep so many ‘useless’ people around.

God created us to love us and for us to return His love and share His love with each other.

Go into nursing homes or hospitals where people are not expected to live much longer. Look at the faces of the limp, near lifeless bodies attached to machines, lying in beds with no hope of ever getting up again. Look at the frail bodies of those without family to come visit them, as they wither away, curled up on their bed, facing a wall alone in a dark room. Look into the eyes of those institutionalized for life, either because of insanity or such severe mental handicap they can’t take care of themselves. Look even into the hearts of the convicted criminals on death row.

The lives of these people look ‘useless’ to many of us looking in from the outside. But these are not useless lives. God loves every soul trapped in those bodies. He still has purpose for them. There is no life He won’t fill, no soul He doesn’t love, no one whose love He will turn away.

Maybe our purpose is to seek out their purpose.

Maybe in showing them God’s love, they can show us God’s love in ways we can’t even yet imagine. Just maybe – He has treasures there, for us!

Don’t stop there; look into the tears of the woman in a battered women’s shelter, into the eyes of a lonely child abandoned to an orphanage. Look into the soul of the homeless person on the street corner, into the world of the couple in line at the welfare office, into the stories that the old man at the diner is just dying to tell someone…..

Look. Looking is one of the biggest parts of seeking. Seek God. Seek His purposes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I was recently enlightened and relieved of a heavy burden. I’ve tried my hand at two novels now, only to stop short of completing them because I felt that before winding up ‘the point of the story’ I needed to show ‘step-by-step’ how-to guidelines, woven into the story that would help the reader achieve what my main character(s) found through their stories. What a silly, self-imposed notion. Talk about lack of trust in your readers! God ever so lovingly revealed to me that everyone’s steps to maturity and freedom in Him will be different. Our questions – and the answers to our questions, will vary. My purpose is simply to confirm and assure that there are answers, and that He has them. Whew!

I imagine that most of us carry around a misconception of some sort. I challenge you to listen for the Voice of relief – it’s the voice of release as well.

God didn’t design us to run in circles with our eyes closed and our fingers in our ears, crying because we’re lost. He didn’t create us to be mindless robots that comply with instructions issued centuries before we were born. He made us to bear His image in this world and the next. After sin entered the world, mankind discovered a void in our hearts that can only be filled by His life giving force – His Spirit, His love. Seek where we may – we can only find fulfillment and purpose after submitting to His love and direction. He doesn’t lord over us to show how important He is or because His ego is larger than life. He is Lord because He is God and Creator of all. Through our submission and awe, His love can be spilled out into our world that’s dying of emptiness. And more than anything else – He wants us to be loved.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diana's Angels

On occasion you may feel a gentle tugging on your heart
As angels gently play with your heart strings
The little angels practice for the day they’ll get their harp
Soon after that they hope they’ll get their wings
The fluttering you feel when little troubles come your way
Might simply be the angels in a rush
You see, they bind together to protect you everyday
To calm your heart they usher in a hush
They whisper on your shoulder things you should and shouldn’t do
They gently catch your tears each time you cry
They tell you how you’re special,
that you’re loved by You-Know-Who
They lift you up in prayer each time you sigh
They wake you in the morning and they sing to you at night
They love to hear the music of your voice
They run to tell your Father
when you’re walking in His Light
They know that He has given you that choice
They watch to see your movements, how you choose the things you do
They ponder in amazement when you pray
They know how much you mean to God, He gave His Son for you
Their mission is to bless you every day!
~Helen Williams! c 2002

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Harvest of a Seed Planted

I’m compelled to quote a very dear friend of mine for today’s blog post. Nancy encourages me and loves me through her inspirational letters. There’s no doubt in my mind that God has brought her to me now, in this season of my life, where her support and friendship do me indefinable good. At the recent loss of my brother-in-law she wrote, in part:

I read a small devotional book (okay I 'try' to read it each morning before heading out into the world) and the words always give me comfort for the day's journey.

These words are one of today's readings. I just had to write one of today's Bible verses for you... "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." John 14:1-4

In March, 1996, the night my dad passed away from a heart attack, my dear husband said these words to me in the kitchen of our home. In my shock, Loren's sharing of his 'favorite' verse from his childhood Bible studies gave me comfort. This many years later, I am grateful for the comfort given to me. I have since wondered if Loren could have ever imagined, as a little boy memorizing verses for Sunday School, (I often use his old Bible and see his underlined words) that his future wife would cling to those WORDS and TRUTHS in a time of great discouragement and sadness.

There could have been no more perfect message to uplift me that day. Thank you, Nancy. I love you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Salt Ridden Covenant

Salt and covenant are two words I’d never put together before. Surprising how enlightening a commentary can be.

Leviticus 2:13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. (NIV)

In an age where salt can be thought of as ‘bad’ or detrimental to our health, I marvel over the significance of salt in the Old Testament offerings. Something inside of me giggles over this, with a joy from deep down inside of me.

From Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary –


used to season food (Job 6:6), and mixed with the fodder of cattle (Isa. 30:24, "clean;" in marg. of R.V. "salted"). All meat-offerings were seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13). To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host's interests (Ezra 4:14, "We have maintenance from the king's palace;" A.V. marg., "We are salted with the salt of the palace;" R.V., "We eat the salt of the palace").
A "covenant of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5) was a covenant of perpetual obligation. New-born children were rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4). Disciples are likened unto salt, with reference to its cleansing and preserving uses (Matt. 5:13).

From that excerpt, take this away from my blog post today and ponder on it a while.

To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host's interests…

I’ll be curious to hear from you – what does God speak to your heart about it?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Way?

Beginning again but we’ll try
something new
We should have started this way before.
In our hearts we know more than our minds can imagine
That’s why we attempt this once more.

In our hearts is a voice that says,
“Listen to Me.”
But our mind says, “I know what I’ll do!”
We start out again to arrange
things our way
In the end it’ll look misconstrued.

Everyone who will turn and will give
us the time
Can easily see what we’ve done
Perhaps not out loud,
but they’ll laugh when they see
For we’re right where we’d thought
we’d begun.

“Try again,” we’ll feel prompted and sigh
and sit down
And we’ll try it a new way today.
Once again in our hearts that ol’ tugging
we’ll feel
As God prompts us to do things His Way.

But our head tells us differently,
“Try it like this!”
And our heart tries so hard to chime in.
But it knows deep inside that this way
will not work
And we’re doomed to repeat it again.

So the struggle is getting our mind to obey
What we know in our hearts we should do.
For our mind says to do things the way
of our past
And our heart says,
“Let’s try out the new!”

In the past we were sinners so
lost in our way
But then Jesus came into our heart.
But we’re trapped in the ways that our minds used to think
Forgetting we get a new start.

So first we must stop and just listen to God
And determine what He has to say,
If we take time to pray about all that we do
We will hear when He tells us His Way.

The instructions He gives us may not
sound quite right
But that’s where our faith must come in.
If instead we turn back and search out
our own way
That’s not only dumb, it is sin!

So to add to the problems of doing our task
Planning out the right path we should take,
We drag in a bag that we can’t even see,
The conscience convictions we make.

Now the planning gets harder and harder
each time
And the grip of our sin just gets tighter,
If our minds would just stop and try
listening to God
We would find that the burden gets lighter.

But our mind is accustomed to being
in charge
And our hearts have to fight tooth and nail.
For our heart knows a joy it is dying to share
But our minds dig up fears that we’ll fail.

So we struggle with words like,
“Renewing our mind,”
And it tears us apart at the soul.
But the secret is simple,
our hearts know it well
~Give up and give Jesus control!
~Helen Williams! c 2002