Monday, January 28, 2013


Void. Each of us walks around with a void in our lives. We’re in constant search for something to fill that vacuum. Some of us look to people, some to substance – and wind up abusing either out of the frustration that results from the void burning a hole through our hearts like a magnified ray of sun burning it’s way through a thin piece of paper.
It may sound cliché to say that this hole in our being is a god-shaped void. What we fill it with becomes our god; what we put before everything else, until it fails to satisfy us. Then we go off in search of another god.
More specifically, this emptiness is a God-shaped void that only He can fill completely and perfect and forever. Everything and everyone else will fail us.
Children love unconditionally! If only I had a child, that would fill my void!
A spouse, a mate, a life partner – surely that will erase my loneliness!
Success, which will absolutely keep me so busy I won’t have time to notice this emptiness!
Money! If I have money to spend on whatever I want, that will satisfy me!
The hunger within us grows.
The children, the partner, the success and the money leave me lacking still.
Alcohol! The preferred method of many to numb the sting of heartache, sorrow, lack of direction or the overwhelming pressure we’ve created to fill that void on our own. Or drugs, recreational or prescribed, it doesn’t matter, they will lull us to a place where nothing matters, not even our emptiness.
No, even the chemicals that dim our inhibitions can’t drown out the deafening sounds of the silence in our soul. No addiction found by man can drive away the darkness that strives to swallow us up, daily.
Why, oh why must we turn every direction we see, searching out fulfillment, running after it – until we’re exhausted? We need only to look up, our redemption draws near…
Why, oh why do we search in vain, hurting ourselves and others in the process? God is there, as close as the mention of His Name.
When we turn to God and admit our brokenness, bowing before Him in need of mercy and grace, does that fix everything that’s wrong in our lives?
No. We’re still left with struggles, circumstances that we’d rather not face. We still search the path to heavenly eternity.
But now, we have the light to see the path before us. The light of God, shining from within us, which can only be extinguished if we choose to turn against it.
Now, we have peace in our soul, our only hunger is for more of Him. Now we are assured of eternal rest and joy for the journey.
Now, and only now, the God-shaped void is filled and we have peace.
Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”  (KJV)
Psalm 105:4 “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” (KJV)
Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”
Acts 17:27 “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Scary Thing

Way back in the dark ages when my husband was in the Air Force, we were stationed in a small town in Illinois at a base that's now closed. (For you history buffs, that was Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois.)
We lived in an apartment complex in town until base housing became available. Another couple that occupied an apartment across the street from ours was in the spotlight because on a regular basis, this large American man would yell at; berate; cuss loudly at and degrade his tiny Asian young wife.  
One morning as I walked my kids the few blocks to school, I heard God tell me to stop at her house and tell her that He loved her. I determined to do that on the way home. But I didn't follow through. I made excuses and piddled the day away. Before I knew it the clocked chimed time to go walk the kids home from school.
As my toddler and I passed her apartment, I felt God nudging me. But I walked all the way down to the corner kind of "arguing" with God about it, making excuses why I couldn't take the time to stop. "She won't understand English." And, "It's too late now, I'm halfway to the school, if I turn back now I'll be late getting the kids." God wasn't hearing any of that. "If you'd have stopped as I asked you to, you wouldn't be running late."
Convicted and knowing how much I love knowing that God loves me, how could I not turn back and tell her? As I approached her door, butterflies were having a wrestling tournament in my stomach. Why? I have no idea! I knocked on her door. No answer. Gentle nudge; I knocked again. No answer. Smile. Sigh. "Oh, God, you just wanted to know that I would do this, or rather, wanted me to know that I could do this!"
Before I could turn to walk away with relief, she opened her door a little, shyly peeking through the crack. She looked up at me (yes, I'm taller than she was, if you can imagine that) with pleading eyes, whispering Asian words I couldn’t understand. I sweetly told her that God asked me to drop by and tell her that Jesus loves her. Her face melted as she began to cry. She came out onto the step and hugged me, tears turning to sobs as she wailed, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
As I walked to the school to get the kids (no, as it turned out, I wasn’t late), I marveled at how simple that was. I felt a glowing joy about doing it, but wondered why I was so easily intimidated in the first place.
I never saw the woman again. I have no clue what happened to her. But I can’t tell  you how happy I am that I obeyed the voice of my Father.
“…To obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
God prefers our obedience to a million sacrifices. Ponder this!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blindness - A Heart Condition

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 NKJV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; remarkable words. The living Word of God put on the same flesh we wear and walked among man – and man didn’t recognize him. The preceding verses tell us: He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 
So should we wrestle with whether or not people see Jesus in us? As it was so beautifully pointed out to us in church this morning, we are the flesh Jesus wears now. He is the Word that comes alive in us when we submit to Him. But apparently, no matter how Christ-like we become, there will still be people who refuse to acknowledge Him in their midst.
When asked to prove God’s existence, which has always baffled me, I have to admit that I don’t have the proof they need. Proof is only proof when it’s the proof we’re looking for. Jesus dealt with the same unbelief in the days when He walked the earth. Show us a sign, the crowds demanded of Him. There He was, God Himself, in the flesh, walking their streets, living among them; the signs and wonders He presented to them would have brought Sodom and Gomorrah to their knees in repentance, but the hardness of the hearts that beheld His skin-clothed face demanded even more evidence.
In scripture, Jesus asks His disciples who they believe Him to be. The only right answer was revealed through God the Father, not through man.
He [Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV
Renew your mind through God’s Word (Romans 12:2) – and leave the rest to Him.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Striving for that perfect body? With new year resolutions abounding, many of us have jumped on the weight-loss bandwagon. Most of us won’t stick to it, but many of us will learn a new lifestyle that proves powerful in our physical bodies. I hope to be one of them.
But even those of us not working toward the perfect body, most of us would like a great body. And those of us not willing to put in the hours at the gym, at least want a healthy body. Our health is to be treasured, but so often we fail to take care of ourselves when we’re young, living to regret it as we get older, feeling trapped in the bad habits we’ve accumulated.
There is help out there if we seek it. But all the help in the world won’t help if we don’t implement it.
Often times we neglect the spiritual aspects of our life far worse than even our bodies. But just as often, we think it shows more on the outside, because people can see the shape we’ve allowed our bodies to get into.
Do we seriously think they can’t see the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into spiritually just as easily?
I think that’s called denial; and that’s a river we’ve all floundered around in at one point or another in our lives. Whether it was over how we were raising our children or the relationships we were avoiding or the success we were running from or the inches being added daily to our waist – to the emptiness that fills our souls because our spirit is hungry.
Why do we deny our spirit the nourishment it needs? I suspect for the same reasons we don’t take adequate care of our bodies or our relationships.
Denying there’s a problem goes a long way. The scary part is that so much of the time, we don’t recognize the denial; we don’t believe (at least on a conscious level) that we’re doing anything wrong.
This year, launch: Self-discovery! Look inside and discovery what’s hurting, what’s lacking and find the strength to overcome. It’s all in there, because God made us to flourish and rebuild the broken places; He made us to reflect His glory, and we don’t do that as well when we’re in denial.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34 (KJV)
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” – 1 John 3:20 (KJV)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

In Christ

Are you in Christ?


Is Christ in you?


Many of us call ourselves Christians without realizing that this means that Jesus Christ actually lives inside of us, and through us, and that we are instructed to live in Him.


Our flesh is merely the clothing we wear in this world, the tent we reside in. We are spirit beings, made in the image of our heavenly Father, created to reflect His glory, while being one with Him. Until we recognize this, we give more importance to our flesh, often denying our spiritual needs. Our soul dictates what we do and the decisions we make. Our soul is made up of our mind, our will and our emotions. Just as God is three parts, with innumerable facets, so are we. Most of us recognize God as God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is Spirit (the Holy Spirit), made flesh (Jesus) with a mind (the Father) that knows everything.


To yield ourselves to God, we submit our spirit to His, we give ourselves to His authority, but also to everything else that He is. We essentially hide ourselves in His identity by allowing Him to reside within us.


Can you imagine “pulling Him out of you” when you want to do something you know He wouldn’t approve of? Sort of setting Him aside so He won’t see… that conjures up a funny picture.


Once we’ve invited Him in, we “take Him” everywhere we go, to do everything we do. Not that He isn’t always there seeing everything that goes on in the first place, but now you’ve invited Him to go along.


When I look for contentment and fulfillment outside of Jesus, that’s when I sin. When I feel that my life is lacking in some area, and even if I don’t recognize what it is that I’m lacking – I need to be looking for it in Christ, or I’m creating my own god to worship and love; a false god.


Where have you been looking for fulfillment?


I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5 NIV


I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one  John 17:22  NIV