Friday, September 30, 2011


Everything I’m reading in my current studies relates to and resonates within me and shakes something up inside of me. In another book that I just finished, the author asks God to unsettle her. That's what I feel is happening to me, I'm being unsettled. I feel like God has just pulled the covers off me and proclaimed, 'Come on, get up. Get out of your sleepy [Christian] bed and follow me, stop laying there saying you're a Christian with your eyes closed and your body at rest.'

Some days it seems that in becoming a Christian, all I did was climb into bed with Jesus and find comfort there - but now there's work to be done and He's [more than gently] nudging me. And those aren't slippers next to the bed for me to slip on; they're leather sandals waiting for me to break them in...

Before I can do anything with God or allow Him to do something through me, it’s essential that I have ‘climbed into bed with Him…’ He requires an intimate relationship with His people. Before we can serve Him, we need to know Him. A few years ago I read a great definition for the word intimacy. I may have already mentioned it at some point – because I really love it: Intimacy = in-to-me-see. When I share intimately with someone, I’m allowing them to see into me. A truly intimate relationship requires them to allow me to see into them as well. That’s what God wants with us! He wants to share His heart and mind and purposes with us, intimately. Since He sees into us with or without our permission – vulnerability is completely void in this relationship. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I love how the psalmist declares God’s knowledge of him in Psalm 139:1-18 (NIV):

1 You have searched me, LORD,

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you, LORD, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

How can we not join the psalmist in crying out?.....

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? -Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tripping On Number One?

Which of the Ten Commandments do we break most frequently? Do you lie every day? Perhaps steal on a regular basis? Commit adultery, even if it’s ‘only in your mind’?

In Exodus 20 we read the commands God gave Moses. God wrote them Himself on stone tablets (Exodus 31:18). God begins with what might look like the obvious, but the first commandment is one we commonly break, without even thinking about it.

‘And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ –Exodus 20:1-3 and yes, I’m quoting the King James Version because it just sounds holier.

While reading Lysa Terkeurst’s Made to Crave this week, I’ve marked numerous quotes and even shared some on Facebook. I never realized how many verses in the Bible are, or can be, related to eating, quite fascinating, really. Think about it – the very first temptation Satan ever used on humans was food!

But at one point in the book she brings up the story of the rich young ruler that approaches Jesus saying he’s kept God commands since birth (quite a righteous man, isn’t he?) But he asks what more he needs to do to obtain eternal life. Many of you know the story, Jesus tells him to sell all he has and then to come follow Him. Many of us have been taught that this means God doesn’t want us to have money. Like Lysa, I don’t believe that for a minute. It was simply that his money came before his love for God, or he’d have been able to give it up and follow Jesus.

The ‘other gods’ we put before God are more than statues. Take a minute and ask God what you’re putting first, it may surprise you. I know it did me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It Depends...

Two city girls driving down a country road saw a shirtless farm boy carrying two large buckets of water. His muscles brought on the giggles as they pulled over, calling out, “How heavy are those buckets?” Without looking up, he hollered back, “Depends on how far you have to carry ‘em.” Insulted, one girl approached him asking, “How far do you have to carry them?” Glancing her way he said, “Depends where I’m taking ‘em.” Intent on his attention she boldly asked, “Do you think I’m pretty?” He smiled, “Depends on how tired I am.” He put the buckets down and walked toward her with quick, long strides. She laughed coyly, and backed up toward her car till he was chasing her. Wide-eyed, she climbed in behind the safety of her door, and asked, “Are you crazy?” Tossing his head back with friendly laughter he replied, “Depends on how long it’s been since I’ve seen a pretty girl!” 


Am I a good person? …depends on who you’re comparing yourself to.

Is there a purgatory? …depends on which religion you’re asking.

Once I’m saved by grace, can I do anything I want? …depends on who’s doctrine you’re going by.

Will I go to heaven when I die? …depends on where your faith lies.   

That farm boy knows it and so do we, our questions wear more Depends than folks with bladder control issues. If you’re anything like me, one question leads to another. Answers that include the word ‘depends’ leave me frustrated. Aren’t there absolutes in this world? Again, we can say, “Depends on _____” and fill in the blank with any number of answers. I’d say; depends on whether or not you’re willing to accept the absolutes. Sometimes black is simply black and white is simply white. And sometimes we have to face things we’d rather not look at, believing it’s easier to hide in a ‘depends…’

Some of us believe we’re ‘not so bad’ – ‘basically good’ people. Good and bad are both relevant words, and words we interchange as time goes on. (Younger generations use the word ‘bad’ when referring to something they think is very good.)

Ponder this:                                                                

There are (at least) four verses in the Bible that make the point: “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3; Psalm 53:3; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:12)

And First John, verses 7-10 tell us that: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Perception is everything. It’s responsible for life and death decisions and for unwinnable arguments and most likely for every war waged.

Years ago I spoke for a Christian women’s organization, my topic? Perception. You can tell me at every turn and show me in every manner you can think up – that you love me. But if I perceive the motive behind your words and actions is something other than love, I won’t believe you love me.

If I perceive something to be a myth or a lie it will be quite difficult, even next to impossible to convince me otherwise, even if you present me with evidence that backs an opposing view point.

I don’t say this to suggest that I’m close minded and shallow, but simply to point out that most of the people I know – and I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that most people in general, think in like manner. The reasons we believe the things we believe vary as much as the infinite array of ideas we entertain.

But what do we do when we recognize that someone close to us has skewed perceptions? Do they necessarily see things incorrectly, or is that merely our perception?

What makes one viewpoint correct and opposing viewpoints incorrect?

As a Spirit-filled Christian, I fall back to where I perceive the lines of truth are drawn – in God’s Word.

Yet listening to the viewpoint of a teenager the other day, I had to agree when he pointed out that one can use scripture to argue most any point. Scripture can be twisted and taken out of context – and who’s to decide the correct context of God’s Word?

When I write a poem, perhaps I am actually the only one to know its true intent, because it came from my heart.

When God gave us His Word – it came from His heart. He alone can know the true intent behind every word He’s given us. Only His Spirit can impart His intent to us. When we invite His Spirit to live within us we have access to His heart and the very mind of Christ…. Have you tapped in lately?

Don’t believe you can perceive truth without Him. And though you pray or believe He exists doesn’t mean He resides within you – He has to be invited in and allowed to rule and reign on the throne of our heart. Though He created you and breathed life into you, the one thing God doesn’t possess until you choose to give it to Him, is you.