Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover............No One Can Snatch Me Out of His Hand - John 5:28

Mum is still the word in Austin. I’ve never seen anything like it for homecoming attire! We had mums in high school but I thought they were extinct. Uh uh, not in Austin. One high school here raises $10,000 on their mum sales. The moms do it. Unbelievable. Britt is on his third homecoming in a row. Hyde Park’s was first with his new best friends and he got 2 mums---boy mums. Then Anderson was last week with faithful friends and now Lake Country this weekend with his forever friends.

We are in Fort Worth emptying our attics. My diligent oldest son plowed ahead of me and tossed about 20 garbage bags before I arrived. It was good. The verse I read this morning said: "Say good-bye to your possessions if you want to be my disciple." Ooooh.

So what lingers with you as you read the Bible this week? We've had quite a bout with strept and are still recovering. Thank you so much for your prayers! You move the hands of God. God acts in our behalf and He has certainly shown up in this place this week. Couldn't be more awed and grateful!

HOW CAN I UNWRAP THOSE WHO ARE BOUND?…..There are some words in John 11:43 that will remain with me for the rest of my life. It’s the beautiful story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. “Come out Lazarus!” So we know Lazarus could walk but his hands and feet and face were wrapped with laboriously heavy strips of linen. Some say they weighed over fifty pounds. And Jesus said to Lazarus’ mother and friends: “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:44. Lazarus rose from the dead but he needed someone to help him take off what still had him bound. Aren’t we like that? Jesus frees us up but yet we still need others. And I love thinking that Jesus wants us to go around taking the grave cloths off of our friends and family who are bound. Ever wonder how to do that??

Would He tell you how disappointed He was in you? Would He rebuke you and throw over your table? No, if you are alive to Him, then Luke 15:20 - The father was filled with compassion and He ran to His son and threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And the son’s reply is probably what you and I would say this day if we are sitting in our sin, in our old natures…we’d say “I have sinned in your Sight.” But our Father is saying: You are alive in Me. You are found. You are known. He knows our frame. He surrounds us with His compassion and love. What a Father! So what would He say to you if He walked in right now?

WHAT IF I CRY OUT CONSTANTLY? Will not our beautiful God give justice if we cry out to Him day and night?? Luke 18:7. That verse so speaks to me to be like that persistent widow bothering the judge, and not stop crying out to my God Who will fight for me. I really need Him so for no man can fill the hole in my heart.

WHAT ABOUT THE MIRACLES GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU? Think about those many many miracles God has performed in you and through you. Just this weekend, something happened that could only be explained in terms of God did it! You know what I mean. John 5:38 says to believe the miracles and you will find your beautiful God there.

WHAT IF I AM TERRIFIED OUT OF MY MIND OVER STUFF? I spent so many many years of my life being terrified of my brother. When you witness the violence that I did, if I think that I have to protect myself in life, then we really are in trouble. God spoke to me through John 5:28 that "no one can snatch me out of His Hand.” No one!

WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU? Mark 10:36. Jesus asked this question to the disciples. He is asking the same question to you and to me this very night. The sons of Zebedee replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." There have been too many times I have asked for the same thing. God, don't let me fail. Let me have success in your ministry, in this life. Let my book sell. Let people respond to me. Let me end my life with a successful ministry bringing many people to You. Sounds great. But is it for God's glory or our own measure. Jesus came not only to be ministered unto but to minister to others. Mark 10:45.

Have a great week filled with His Presence and His Power, Deut 4:27. May we recognize when we are living in our old nature. May your Counselor, the Holy Spirit, let you know. We don't have to dig. He'll pierce and melt and blast and comfort our hearts! Looking forward to what only HE can do in our lives this week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover.............5 Loaves and 2 Fish and a beautiful God shows up - Mark 6:41

At 1:45pm on Friday, I swallowed and it happened in one swallow, one second. It was like fireworks burst in my throat. I am not being dramatic this time. I experienced the most horrible pain in my throat ever as an adult. My teaching job ended at 2:00pm and I went straight to one of those Minute Clinics and got an antibiotic. I remember having strept throat as a kid but it was nothing like this. A couple of days later and the severe throat pain has subsided but now I have a pain in my back that is simply excruciating. Plus I am still hobbling around on my foot with plantars fasciitis. The verses we read this week mean a lot to me as I face some small pervasive trials.

Matthew 11:28 lingers with me from our reading the chronological readings this week. I am weary and burdened not only physically but with another trial I am facing in my heart. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I need to find that place of rest in this scared heart of mine today. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." I weep as I read these words. They are so for me and so full of hope.

Just as Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10:41 - you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. That's all I need to hear. That's where I need to go. My beautiful God is saying "Come closer." My God wants me to see things more clearly. Two and one-half years ago, I sat in church and my pastor shared a verse that we read this week—Mark 8:24. The blind man was touched by Jesus. What do you see? “I see people—they look to me like trees walking.” I prayed that day that I could see more clearly my Lord and my life for I knew I had been touched by God for the 30 years I followed Him but there were some areas in my life I just couldn't see clearly nor get victory in those areas of self hatred and ambivalence and a poor self image. Three days later, news would come that devastated me and we left the church and friends who loved us and whom we loved so very much. God was healing me and helping me to see more clearly. Sometimes suffering brings sight and release that I would have never found in safety.

Life is hard to understand at times. Are we seeking Him for what He can do for us or just because we love Him so much and want to be in a relationship with Him, no matter what He does for us or through us or in us. Matt 6:26, 27 - "Are you seeking Me because you saw signs or because you ate your fill of the loaves and you want more?" Sometimes I am working way too hard for the food that perishes. "Labor for the food that endures to eternal life."

And I'll end with a story that will remain with me for the rest of my life. It's the story of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Mark 6:41,42. There are areas of my life that unless my beautiful God shows up and changes the 5 loaves and 2 fish into a miracle, then I'll never change. My prayer for you today is this story--- that the God who can feed over 10,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish is the same God present for you this moment in whatever you face. May you be filled with His Power and His Presence to believe Him and enter a rest you know not.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover........Blessed is the One Not Offended by Me - Matt 11:6...always Go to Him not just studying diligently - John 5:39

We just walked by the light of the moon. Incredible clouds. Round full moon. My husband by my side. A prayer that we walk and live "all in." And I thought about Jesus walking by the light of the moon only. And to think he placed us at this moment in history and in this privileged country. I wonder why sometimes for we have so much in comparison to so many. Jesus is asking us "What do we want?" and I am asking Him tonight "What does HE want of me?"

I tried to move our Monday Morning bible study Cover to Cover reading through the Bible chronologically to another new blog. Blogger set up a violation block on it. They lifted it or so it seems but I cannot get it to we are moving back here on Monday mornings. I think Karen will be glad! Here's my Monday morning post...

If you dropped by for Monday Morning Cover to Cover, here is what lingers with me after reading the chronological readings for this week. To watch Jesus walking through his life in four gospels at the same time...ooohhh! It seems like his public ministry all happened so fast. How could the disciples grasp in their hearts what they had just witnessed this week:
the funeral of a widow's only son being reversed,
and Jairus' dead daughter rising up from the dead and
a very sick woman touching His Hem and being healed.
And at that same moment,they were burying a headless John the Baptistwhile his mother Elizabeth grieved for the loss of her son.

Matthew 7:13 so lingers with me through life. We read it this week: "Enter through the narrow gate…small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Only a few find it. Only a few find life. What does it take to be that few? I don’t want to miss God in my life. I’m looking for that narrow road where it’s not about saying and doing the right things but it’s all about being with HIM, no matter what. No matter if he heals my sickness or not; raises my dead or not; rescues me from my prison or not. What HE has called us to is impossible—it's just not possible to love our enemies, to take the log out of my own eye. But HE can and can make me want to. Where’s that narrow road that leads to life? I think a lot of Christians think they are on that narrow road---and they are really living for this world and for themselves. How tragic if we spend our lives and miss it. But, all I can do is deal with fray of my own heart on my narrow road---and it's not a road paved with success and numbers and performance. No, it's a single surreal road of suffering, silence, and surrender in the Presence of Holy, Almighty God.

"Out of the abundance of whatever is in our heart, our mouth speaks." Luke 6:45. Pay close attention what comes out of your mouth. Let your sin surprise you and take the log out of your own eye. Luke 6:42. I’m speaking to myself.

Jesus said to the Roman soldier in John 4:48, do you want signs and miracles so you can believe? Or do we just take Him at His Word? “Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” Matthew 11:6. And whatever our beautiful God chooses to do or not do. John was in prison and sent word to Jesus—”Are you the One?” Wonder if John held hope that Jesus would free him from the prison bars because, after all was said and done, John was there for the cause of Jesus and His mission. I can’t help but think that John had to entertain thoughts that Jesus would free him. Jesus answered John: “What you hear (about ME) and see—the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” It’s all true John, says Jesus. I am the ONE. And blessed is the One who is not offended by me and what I am about to do for you. Jesus didn’t free John from the prison. He didn’t rescue John. John was beheaded, his head on a platter at the request of a vicious seductive woman.

And what did Jesus say of John? Matthew 11:11 “Among those born of women, there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” I make decisions so pitifully by observation of what I see. Jesus loves me if life happens this way. If not, I am not loved. Did Jesus love John? Oh my! I don’t want to maneuver through life trying to make it work and find happiness. I want to lose my life for the sake of Christ, no matter what! So what does that mean for me this morning? Am I offended by what Christ is doing or not doing for me on that narrow path. How am I interpreting my life circumstances?In the parable of the sower in Matt 13:15, I think that I sometimes read the Bible thinking that if I do this, then God will do this. But the context of this story is John in prison asking Jesus if He was the one and the will of God was to leave John in prison—-YET John could be free even in prison, couldn’t he? Our circumstances working out do not make us free. It’s what is in our heart. “For this people’s heart has become calloused;they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes." I need to humble myself today and deal with my heart. So how do I do that? God just brought to my mind something to do, something to believe. I will. Otherwise, I might not see with my eyes cause all my eyes see is that things aren't coming together well. Otherwise, I might not hear with my ears cause what my ears here is that I am not doing the right things. Otherwise I might not understand with my heart so I’ll go find the will of my beautiful LORD for this day. I probably am not making sense but I’m struggling through this chapter on a narrow road, and trying to lay it before Him Who is Unseen on this narrow road.

It so grabs me that Jesus explained the parables privately to his disciples. Wonder what He is explaining to us privately in our own lives—are we listening? Am I lifting my hand to touch the hem of His garment? I'm invited this day to touch the hem on this narrow road. I am not alone. Mark 5:36 has lingered with me over decades. It’s one of those verses I think about constantly on the narrow road. He has brought me through much. Mark 5:36 says: "Only believe." Translated: Keep on Believing. It’s progressive tense. Not just for one time. Jairus knew his daughter was dead. He had to walk with Jesus to his home—it was a journey that would take longer than a day. Wonder what Jesus told him as they walked. We think of things happening instantly in time but this miracle happened a couple of days after she died. Some of you know the desperation you face when your children die. I was pregnant with a child and had to check myself into a hospital for them to take my baby’s life or we would both die. You could have heard my heaving crying as I sat alone in the ER waiting room while people stared at me. When I got to my hospital bed, I smoothed out the sheets and prayed to my beautiful God that He sit in that bed with me and help me face my unwanted sorrow, my incredible loss, cause the pain was unbearable for me. My God was there but He didn't take away my sorrows---He helped me enter them. This father in this story trusted blindly wildly humbly in abandonment. As we face our circumstances, may we find the courage to live out God’s will on the narrow path He has us on, not our own will.

And I will end with John 5:39 ---so powerful. I think there are many who believe that if you study the Word of God, you will have life. The verse says: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” We have to go to God Himself, the Living Word! Matthew 10:38 - Anyone who loves his father or mother or son or daughter more than Me as he walks on his narrow road is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” I wonder if too many people today are trying to find their life on a narrow road. The only way we will find life of that narrow road is to lose our lives for His Sake. So what does that look like in your life today?

Sunday, October 5, 2008


* Still hobbling around. Think I may have plantar fasciitis. It's called flip flop fasciitis. I've had to retire the sandals. I so miss walking/jogging. Some days I can barely hobble.

* Went to hear Chris's band at Gateway. Oh my goodness. I was the only one there taking notes from a band while tears streamed down. They sang this Switchfoot song that so stirred my heart! "Meant to Live for So Much More." I have so been thinking about that lately that there is so much more.

* If you dropped by for Monday Morning Cover to Cover, I have moved it to:
Come on over and visit us there. There are 20 of us who are reading the New Testament chronologically together. You are always welcome to join us at any time. I won't be posting cover to cover here anymore but you can find us
DAILY at and every

* A new friend took me to lunch. The Oasis. If you ever visit here, that's where I am taking you. It's the sunset capital of Texas. The waitstaff applaud at sunset. Wonder if they know Who they are applauding. It's spectacular sunsets like in a Mediterranean setting over Lake Travis.

* Our renter in Fort Worth bailed on us---wasn't what he wanted. So there we stood last Saturday with Macy, our dog, home alone in an empty house. Bob made a quick run to pick her up and brought her here to Austin. Our pastor's family babysat her for this week---is that unbelievable that they did that or what??? We cannot have animals where we live. She is back home with Barrett today who flies in from France

* Speaking of son is home from his long stay in France and this mom is so happy he's here in Texas. He's actually been at a race in China so we're so glad to have him back. Hop on a train and come visit us!!! Hint hint hint....

* Our finances kind of dipped this past week with all our start up stuff and I still had no job. So, here comes in the mail a huge check from a past employer and another huge check from an unexpected friend. I was so humbled by our good sovereign God. I read yesterday in Matthew 6 that life is not about blessings and money but it's all about putting first things first.

* I have a job!!! Oh, I am so very grateful! It has been six weeks of waiting. Finally was approved on Friday to work for the Austin ISD as a substitute teacher. I start tomorrow. Thought I could work like right away when I got here so that has set us back. No surprise to God---He provided in another way and taught me much along that way.

* The move here has probably been a little harder on me than my boys. Bob goes to his church every day surrounded by staff and people. Britt is at a great school that he loves and has made many "besties." I've been at home for the past six weeks and it's harder to meet people. I do already have precious friends but a lot is so unfamiliar to me. But God has been so very real to me in all of this. So grateful for His Presence. As I glance back on what I left behind and the loss is real, I can't help but see the beautiful peace that God has brought to me and is bringing to me. A rendezvous with rest that I've not known. A little bit of a shift is happening over here! Only God can do that!

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home
"Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." Matthew 18:5 We have posted pictures of the orphans receiving their gifts from you. Scroll down to the post entitled "Today Was the Big Day." Many orphans didn't own anything of their own, but now do, because of you.

My Family

My Family
Britt, Blair, Bev, Bob, Brooke, Barrett


I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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