Monday, June 30, 2014

Prickly Spines

While on my walk the other day I was captivated by how many flowering cacti plants I saw on the hillsides. The blossoms are so delicate, but be careful if you attempt to touch them! Their defense mechanisms will become a permanent memory when you unintentionally encounter them.

Not a plant I observed growing up in the Midwest, they thrive in extremely dry environments, such as deserts; they’re plentiful in areas that endure drought, hence, we have them here in Colorado in abundance, despite the daily doses of rain we’ve been getting lately. The blossoms of pink and orange and yellow consumed my picture taking the other day while braving the heat for a four mile walk.

What point paraded through my pondering that day? Those prickly spines (which, per Wikipedia are highly modified leaves which help prevent water loss) can inflict some major, long-lasting pain! I experienced it myself that afternoon.

My mind swiftly saw those spines as a prickly hedge of protection around the delicate prize parading itself on top; those beautiful blossoms. And like a game of connect-the-dots, my mind darted next to my children and all of you who are dear to my heart, around whom I pray a hedge of protection.

Though it makes me cringe to quote Satan, in the story of Job, he’s quick to point out the hedge of protection our Lord had secured around Job. (I’ll be very quick to admit that I pray God never feels it necessary to point me out to Satan as He did Job.) Satan responds to God by saying, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” Job 1:9-10 NIV

Perhaps we’re not quick to recognize God’s hedge of protection, because we focus on the “bad things that happen” in our lives. It reminds me of an old story, whose author escapes me, but I’ll share here (note: by sharing this story I do not imply that it’s biblically sound):

“Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.
When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always as they seem.”
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest
When the sun came up the next morning, the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die!”
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always as they seem.”

Divine protection is fiercer than the spines on the cactus, it’s more tangible than your face, and it’s unmovable and already knows what to protect us from and what to let through to nourish us. The divine protection of which I speak is the very Spirit of God Himself; we are the apple of His eye, the delicate blossoms that adorn His creation.

Perhaps ask God to show you a few things He’s protected you from while you fought your way through a battle. Maybe even find the boldness to ask Him for some revelation about the struggle you’re facing right now.

Father, thank You for such powerful protection from the enemy; and from myself. Amen.
(All three cactus photos are my own.)

Monday, June 23, 2014


(My photo)
Discovering anything new can be exciting and often, scary. Even if we discover something as exciting as inheriting a million dollars from a relative you didn’t know existed might carry an element of fear over the responsibilities of spending it wisely. Of course, discovering a tragedy is about to occur will instill fear, but to a questioning mind, the “why” behind it might be exciting, or to someone wanting change, the excitement might come in the aftermath of the tragedy.

I can think of discoveries where excitement could come without fear; little ones, and where fear could engulf without excitement; those that catch you off guard.

Most of my recent discoveries are about me. Some of these little discoveries tip the scale like a teeter-totter. While the discoveries provide fascinating explanations for a huge percentage of the ponderings in my mind, new ponderings take their place. I’m completely thrilled to find out there is an “off button” for all of this pondering! Bummed, though, that this is only a temporary solution. {{{sarcasm}}} “Apparently Ambien is an addictive substance the [old] doctor won’t give me indefinitely.” But, a swing in the positive direction reveals that while the [old] doctor gave pills, this new one has a bigger agenda filled with all sorts of telling revelations, knowledge and “fixes” – and he’s not only willing to share them with me, he’s eager!

So, yes, I’m excited. But, yes, there’s apprehension. But the uncertainties won’t   overwhelm me. I have the peace that passes all human understanding (Philippians 4:7), I know that God already saw this and is well ahead of me. God created me from nothing and knows everything there is to know about me; He knows how I can make the best of everything He created me to be. I love being me; I just don’t always understand being me! I love my quirkiness, my imagination, my openness, my ability to reach outside of myself, even to the embarrassment of many around me; which always makes me giggle. My trust in God gives me peace on the inside that, though it tries, even the outside can’t betray. The peace that comes from knowing and trusting God has brought me through everything I’ve faced so far, and will take me on to glory. Yes, I have His peace, and yes, I'm filled with His joy. Yes, I am blessed.

I plan to occasionally share my discoveries through blogging. Maybe as I explore who I am, you’ll see glimpses of yourself the mirror hasn’t revealed yet. Though I’ve been rather vague in this post, I’m a pretty transparent woman, I’ll expound. You may not accept everything I share; you may resist it or laugh at it; that’s okay, too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Would Please God?

(photo from
Whether you participated or not, most everyone witnessed the WWJD phenomenon of recent years. Perhaps you still toss the question around in your mind when faced with a challenge.

A friend of mine recently addressed that and took it one step further. WWPG? What would please God? Immediately her mind went the direction of scripture and she realized that without faith, it’s impossible to please God.

This made me ponder on all the things that we do that we consider to be “godly” or Christ-like, but that we do out of habit or out of ritual or simply because we were taught to do so. But, if it’s done without faith, does it actually please God? Scriptures indicate, no, because as Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)

Many children grow up trying desperately to please their parents, some to no avail; nothing seemed good enough, no matter how hard they tried. Other parents make a celebration out of everything their children do.

How do we please our heavenly Father?

Simply by living from a place called faith, already found within our hearts, but takes a choice to activate.

Not only must we uncover that seed of faith God has already given us, we need to use it to first believe that God is! Without God, we wouldn’t exist; neither could that seed of faith be present in our hearts. But scripture goes on to inform us that God also wants us to believe that He is One Who rewards those who diligently seek after Him. Keep in mind that diligently doesn’t mean that we occasionally send a thought or glance in His general direction. It means we keep seeking until we find Him, for He is here – ever present!

This scripture doesn’t say that God is a rewarder of those who “do for Him….” Or of those who “sacrifice for His Name sake….” Or even those who are martyred for the cause of Christ – but of those who diligently seek Him!

Are there rewards for living righteously? Yes. But, only when that righteousness is found in the faith of Jesus Christ; faith in God. For, without faith, it is impossible to please Him.
(photo from
What WOULD please God?

What would please God - in your life? What do you do out of ritual, versus from a place of obedience, in faith?

I imagine many of us have some adjustments to make…..which is great, as long as we make those adjustments. God is very patient with us, but who wants to be the child that tries His patience?

How do I make this adjustment? Ask Him. He knows your heart better than you do. Maybe subtle changes are all that’s necessary. Or maybe you need to start over today; He’ll give a clean slate just for the asking!

What would please God? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Call to Repent

(photo from
There are those among us, in the body of Christ, who, while wearing a cross around their necks, condone willful, deliberate sin. To define sin, we need to look to God, not the understanding in our own carnal minds or the ranting of society.

This is one reason the Church looks like she does, to God and to society in general. She is not the spotless Bride Jesus will return for; there are many blemishes, not only in the fabric of our bridal gown, but in the heart of the Bride. She’s not wearing the royal Robe of Righteousness in Christ; she’s adorned in a dress of her own making.

Another reason the Church looks so ugly is because we, ourselves, walk around in unrepented sin, in part, because sin is seldom blasted from our pulpits, and perhaps we don’t recognize it in ourselves. We can be quick to point it out in others, though, so I rather think it’s because our own conscience is seared and hardened, to the point where we refuse to acknowledge conviction from our loving and merciful God, Who is willing and ready to forgive us and save us and draw us to Himself.

Here is a call to repentance. Let him who has ears, listen, and with your mouth confess Jesus Christ is Lord, and with all your heart turn away from evil, asking forgiveness for your sin; submit to and follow after our Savior, Jesus, the Son of God. Submit to His Word and teach it to your children, before it’s too late. It will take humility and sincerity on our part, and a deliberate choosing. The time is now, the day is today. I join you in repenting.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one” - Romans 3:10

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made onto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13

Now jump into His Word: …faith comes by heart, and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Where She Intersects With Me

(Photo from: and Echo Energies)
Do you ever talk about yourself as if you were someone else? Or is it just me? I see little scribbles throughout my notebooks referring to myself as, “she” and “her”. Perhaps I’m not ready to own everything I say about myself.

‘It began to dawn on her just how powerful she really is……’

Her words, ah yes, it comes back to her words… and of course, the intentions and conviction behind them. Does she really mean what she says? Or better yet, do I really mean what I say? If so, those words are powerful!

I make up my own phrases; my very own terminology, when I talk to myself about myself. Occasionally, I apply these phrases to others.

One such phrase is “sensory perception overload”. I don’t think it’s a real thing, but perhaps I should Google it. Okay, I just Googled it, maybe I’m not making it up. Hmmm….or maybe someone else just stole my idea (again). From the bit I read, we’re not actually talking about the same thing, at least, not exactly.

For me, this sensory perception overload is simply a matter of the way my senses sometime perceive things and can cause me to temporarily short-circuit, or overload; rather a hand-in-hand idea with “too much of a good thing”. When I’m reading a book, for example, and it gets too exciting or too intense for me, I can get flustered and need to slow down or reread the paragraph a time or two. When listening to someone talk on a topic I find exceptionally fascinating, I can’t always put them on pause or replay what they’re saying, because sometimes it’s in real-time, in real life, as opposed to watching and listening on YouTube or some other internet site. When the information they’re feeding me tantalizes the senses I’m using to understand it, I can get a bit overwhelmed. Since I can’t stop them from adding more information so quickly, I sometimes block them out. That’s a lose-lose situation for me, because I then lose the points they were making in the first place.

Am I being too transparent? Or do you encounter this as well?

Going back to what I quoted from a notebook earlier, ‘It began to dawn on her just how powerful she really is……’ I can perceive the power; it’s just beyond my reach. It’s a little too exciting to grab onto – yet. But, I will. It’s not far beyond my reach, I can see it. I’m just in the process of wrapping my head around it. Perhaps that’s what keeps it at arm’s length….my need to understand it before I depend on it.

Must we always understand everything we use? No. I don’t understand how electricity works. I simply flip the light switch and the darkness is instantly banished from the room. I don’t understand how my body heals itself when I obtain an injury, but in a matter of days, I can behold a cut become a scar and most often, disappear entirely. I don’t understand how I can spend so much and still have a positive balance in my checkbook, but praise God – I haven’t been overdrawn in decades.

Where does understanding intersect with faith? Is it even necessary to draw that line?

Are even the faithless faithful? Are those who question the very concept of faith, actually walking in faith daily but refusing to see it?

Personally, I’m quite convinced I don’t need to understand God completely before I can, by faith, believe Him. And sometimes, He totally blows my perception circuits!

“Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)