Monday, March 26, 2018

This Man



To you, who is Jesus?

To the typical, unbelieving man on the street, Jesus may be a good man, a teacher, an avatar of the divine, or even a myth invented by man to control the masses. I can’t remember where I heard this last comment, but it saddens me. I feel the anger and cynicism behind it and I sense the person’s hatred of anyone they believe is telling them what they can or cannot do.

The problem with the unbeliever’s conclusions about Jesus is their conscience; that innate awareness of right and wrong. They can’t explain it or get rid of it. They’re convicted by a law they refuse to acknowledge and it angers them. Yet, the only reason we know right from wrong is because God wrote it. The Almighty, Triune God set the Standard and no matter what we do there’s no getting around it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

No King? No King.



“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”[1]

God’s heart is breaking and His Spirit is grieved over the tragedy and chaos this nation has experienced just in 2018. Some say from January 1st to February 14th there has been eighteen school shootings. Snopes website, quoting The Washington Post says, “No, only five”[2]. But even one is too many. My heart also breaks, not merely for the Parkland, Florida school shooting victims and their families, but for every school shooting victim since the first, Columbine.

Last week this insanity came closer to home. A Jackson Middle School student shot himself in the school restroom and he has now succumbed to his wounds. At first the shooting was thought to be accidental, but later being labeled a suicide.

Sadly, it seems the panic arising from the Jackson Middle School shooting may have spurred a social media threat to at least one of our local schools causing several schools to go on lock-down. My twelve-year-old granddaughter told me the day after this shooting, she was afraid to go to school. The Jackson boy wasn’t even in high school yet – he was a seventh grader just like my granddaughter. These shooters are getting younger and younger.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Had Your Faith Tested Lately?


Consider all the scripture we so confidently stand on when we are healthy, job secure, and happy, does it hold true when we are sick, in need of financial aid, lonely and sad? If we are genuine believers, we know the answer is YES. Nevertheless, in the midst of trials, sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith and believe.

I’m going through such a test right now. I have been diagnosed with Vertigo, a deep inner ear inflammation that causes dizziness and nausea. The ER Doc says it has to run its course. But when will that be? I’ve prayed for healing, yet I’m still waiting. I’m a busy, energetic, working woman reduced to lying flat in my bed and sleeping most of the time. I can’t serve the Lord this way and He knows it. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know when I will be better. I’m tempted to fear. But I know, deep down in my soul, God is good, no matter what. He has not given me a spirit of fear. No, He’s given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. God loves me and I believe He will bring me through this trial once I’ve learned all He has intended.

So let’s travel this road together. As I encourage myself with what I know to be true of our God, maybe, in the process, you will be encouraged too.

1. I know God is faithful.

God’s Word says no temptation or trial I have faced or am facing is uncommon. These are the same trials that usually come to humans, since we live in a sin-cursed world. And because God is faithful, we will not be tested beyond what we are able to bear. In the midst of the trial, He will give us the strength to withstand it and provide a way of escape. Even though, at this time, we cannot see one.[1]

2. I know God is willing.

To the leper, Jesus reached out His hand, touched him and said I am willing.[2] To the woman with the flow of blood for twelve long years, when she touched the hem of His garment, He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

As I was reading the passage just now, I was struck with this thought:  You probably cannot touch the hem of a garment without being either prostrate, on your knees, or at the very least, close to their feet. What can I learn from this? Maybe in my busyness I’ve sort of left Jesus out. Was I only doing token Bible reading and prayers? The problem is, I know better. I know I am nothing and I can do nothing without Him. So maybe, this is a time to reset and refocus. To remember any work I do in my own power comes to naught. Yes, I truly needed this reminder. Still, He called her, daughter.  I, too, am His daughter. So, I will believe and receive His Holy Word.

3. I know God is Sovereign.

In times like these I identify with Job. He said, “But He [God] is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me...”[3] Almighty God uses everything He allows in my life to mold me into the person He created me to be. And He works all things for my good, whether they seem right to me or not, because I am His child and I love Him.[4]

4. I know God is merciful.

When in great distress, faced with punishment for his sin, King David chose to fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.[5] Jeremiah, too, understood this. He cried, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”[6]

5. I know there is NOTHING that can separate me or you from God’s love.

Through all our human lives we are going to face adversity, trials, and tribulation. Yes, Jesus has overcome the world and we should rejoice. But Scripture also says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”[7] We have a role as well. We will suffer at times, but we are to persevere, to believe God in all things and trust His heart even when we are scared. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[8]

I’m encouraged and my faith is strengthened. Is yours?





[1] I Corinthians 10:13; I Peter 5:6-11
[2] Luke 5:13
[3] Job 23:13-14
[4] Romans 8:28
[5] I Chronicles 21:13
[6] Lamentations 3:22-23
[7] Romans 8:37
[8] Romans 8:38-39

Monday, December 18, 2017

Naughty OR Nice?


Have you been naughty or extra nice this year? Will you receive a lump of coal in your stocking or everything you wished for? “You better watch out…Santa Claus is coming to town.” Remember, “He’s making a list; and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…He sees you when you’re sleeping…knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”[1]

Aww, Christmas fun!  Interestingly, a few days ago I stumbled upon a website where you can actually ask Santa if you are on the “NAUGHTY oNICE” list. Yes indeedy, folks!  Step right up, because at: http://www.claus.com/naughtyornice/nn_hmpg2.php you will find Santa’s Nice-o-Meter. By typing in your name and then clicking the “ASK SANTA” button, you can see where you stand on Santa’s Naughty or Nice scale.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Thanksgiving Contemplation


So THANKFUL for my beautiful Mom (center) and Aunts.
Driving home from work Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, my eyes caught the McDonald’s restaurant signboard. They were advertising a “Big Breakfast Thanksgiving morning.” A question quickly came to mind. “Who would go to McDonald’s for this big breakfast Thanksgiving morning?” I answered myself almost immediately, with an envious reflection, “Probably anyone who doesn’t have a ton of cleaning, cooking and baking to do.”

I had worked late, I was tired, and a bit cranky. But then, my thoughts were on to something else. I think I reviewed all the ingredients I purchased earlier, making sure before I drove all the way home, I hadn’t forgotten anything.

To me, Thanksgiving has always been about thanking God for His blessings in my life the past year. However, this morning, I remembered McDonald’s sign and I got to thinking about the people who just might have attended the “Big Breakfast” feast. Were they people who were much more prepared for this “holiday” than I was? Could this have been their Thanksgiving tradition, to have breakfast out before beginning the day’s activities? Or, were they people without family and the “McDonald’s Gang” was their family? Maybe this was the only Thanksgiving celebration they would have that day.  Maybe it’s all they could afford.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Gray Days




Summer transitioning to fall gives me much more difficulty than any other seasonal change. I mean, winter to spring is a roller-coaster ride. I’m up when the air has warmed, but down when the skies darken and snow flurries return. Still, I know magnificent spring is only days away. Spring to summer is exciting and much easier. The warm weather just gets warmer. I bask the beauty of God’s handiwork enjoying intense sunlight and longer days. Fall to winter also doesn’t seem to affect me as much. I’ve already become accustomed to less daylight and cooler temps and, of course, holiday anticipation keeps me in high spirits.

Nevertheless, when the shorter, gray days of fall appear, I feel gloomy and down. I become very introspective, thinking things need to change in my life, but not sure what or how they should change. Sometimes, I seem to disengage, just going through the motions of living.

Maybe some of you are like me. And if so, what will it take for us to maintain lifted spirits and repel gray day effects? Should we jump on the world’s band wagon and start planning Hallowe’en parties; or should we do something to please and honor our Lord?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Living Stones


Pennsboro, West Virginia
When I was young and still, as I am old, I am amazed by God’s creation, not only flora and fauna i.e. trees, flowers, and animals, but the sky above and the earth beneath.  And I’ve always loved different and unique stones. Some stones I’d find on my hikes were the white or “lucky” stones and others furrowed with colors of tan, brown, and orange, peppered with golden sparkles.

Out the back door, through the pastures greeting curious cows as I walked, finally arriving in the small wooded area perfectly framed by our upstairs window. This was my special place. It was shaded, cool, and quiet. Yet, in spots, the sun broke through beaming its rays like lasers. There, some stones I found were green and almost appeared to be alive. But no, it was only moss. And rinsing them with pond water sometimes yielded treasures.
Northeast Ohio sky

It tickles me now when my grandchildren find stones and say, “Look, Grammy, isn’t is pretty?” For a moment, I’m their age, back in my special place, and again, in awe.

Have you ever noticed how many times God uses the word stone or stones in Scripture? Probably not, since it isn’t one of those words we readily associate with spiritual things. But recently, I’ve been intrigued by Scripture’s stones, ordinary or precious, used to represent people, tribes, and nations. Some are representative like pillar stones[1], memorial stones[2], covenant stones[3], gem stones[4], temple stones[5], and the one that has captured my heart, living stones[6].

Living stones? I thought stones were inanimate objects and even when they appear living, it’s only because they are covered in a living substance such as moss. True.  So, what does God mean by living stones?

Near Portland, Oregon
Let’s first think about the characteristics of a stone:  firm, strong, solid, and sometimes immovable. Stones can handle material piled upon them and not break. Yet a stone is not alive and cannot be moved unless someone moves it. So, how does this relate to us as living beings?

Speaking through Peter God tells us we, as newborn babies, are to desire the pure milk of Living Word of God – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the foundation that has already been laid,[7] the Rock of our salvation,[8] the stone cut out of the mountain without hands,[9] the Chief Cornerstone[10] given to build the Temple of His Body.  He is the original Living Stone.[11] And if we have received Him as Savior and Lord, His Holy Spirit indwells us,[12] making us alive spiritually and physically. We are joint heirs with Christ – adopted sons of God – and we too, in Him, are living stones,[13] steadfast and immovable.[14]  Each of us with our uniqueness, are laid upon the foundation of Jesus and used by God to build the heavenly Jerusalem, the bride who has made herself ready adorned for her husband[15]. This city whose Builder and Maker is God.[16]  Once we were in darkness – a dead stone, but now alive in Christ.[17]
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge

Still, if you have never been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, yet consider yourself a Christian, you are like the stones I found in the woods – appearing alive – but dead just the same.  Let Jesus wash you with the water of His Word.[18]  Come to Him as to a Living Stone[19] and then you, along with us, will be a living stone adding to this cohesive TEMPLE.  Together we will wait to meet the Lord in the air[20] and not listen to date-setters, who disregard the Word of God.[21]








[1] Genesis 28:18-22
[2] Exodus 28:12; Joshua 4:5-7
[3] Genesis 31:44-48
[4] Exodus 28:17-21
[5] Mark 13:1-2
[6] I Peter 2:5
[7] I Corinthians 3:11
[8] 2 Samuel 22:47,  Psalm 89:26,  Psalm 95:1
[9] Daniel 2:45
[10] Psalm 118:22, I Peter 2:6-7
[11] I Peter 2:4
[12] Galatians 2:20
[13] I Peter 2:5
[14] I Corinthians 15:58
[15] Revelation 19:7-8, Revelation 21:2-3
[16] Hebrews 11:8-10
[17] Ephesians 5:8, Romans 6:11, Ephesians 2:5
[18] Ephesians 5:26
[19] I Peter 2:4
[20] 1 Thessalonians 4:17
[21] Matthew 24:36