"Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

surrender (2)

more on surrender...

When I surrender to God, I stand before Him with open hands -- letting go of the tight-fisted grip I have on my desires and my will.  It's choosing God's way over mine.  It's waking up each day and saying "yes" to God -- even before I hear what He's asking of me.  It's offering my life to Him...such as it is; and knowing He loves me...right where I am. 

Surrender does not mean that we are automatons; robots blindly doing as commanded, without intelligence or discernment.  God has given us a will; we are allowed to make choices.  Surrender is asking God to "mold me and make me after His will" and really meaning it!  It's knowing full well that there's often pain in the molding process, but trusting Him to be the Potter, anyway.  Surrender is asking Him to show us the desires of His heart and following so closely after Him that His deepest desires become ours, as well.  God has shaped each one of us with our own unique personalities.  He wants us to use what He's given us to serve Him!

Just this morning I read this quote by C.S. Lewis.  "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us.  He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be.  It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."

That's surrender!  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The other morning a note on my mirror caught my eye.  I had taped this to my mirror years ago...in fact, it's been there so long that it's become part of the decor of my room!  It's a quote from funny lady, Patsy Clairmont (a Women of Faith speaker).

Good Morning!  This is God.  I will be handling all your problems today.  I will not need your help.  So, have a good day!

I've read that note often throughout the years -- sometimes with a sense of desperation, and at other times with a sense of calmness and surrender.  When I first heard it, Stephanie and Katie were young teenagers and Kyle was probably around 7 or 8.  Enough said!!  I would often wake up exhausted from a night of too little sleep (those nights when Kyle would be awake for 2 or 3 hours during the night) and face a morning battle of some sort with one child or another (if you're a mom, you know the routine!). What a wonderful thing to be able to unload my problems and cares on God.  He is perfectly capable and willing to deal with my problems.  My responsibility is simply to hand them over to God, trusting and believing He is able to work all things out for my good.  

Surrender doesn't always come easily.  We too often think we know best how to handle our problems.  But God is bigger than our problems.  He sees the end from the beginning, and He knows the best way to get to the other side.  God wants us to surrender 100% of ourselves to Him.  And that includes any problem we're facing today -- ANY problem.  Allow God to take it off your hands and see just what He's capable of!   

and...have a good day!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New pictures of the grandkids!

Haley Jo -- our little princess!

Kaden John -- King of cute (so says his shirt!)

Konner and Kaden -- Konner is such a good big brother!

Stephanie, Steve and the kids at the Mexican restaurant

Haley and Grandma Bev

Precious time spent with our grandkids!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The other night Steve, Kyle, and I watched the dvd, "2012".  The movie is based on the predictions of the ancient Mayans that the world is going to end in the year 2012.  I don't think it'll ruin the movie for anyone to tell you that, yes, the world did end as we know it!  Yikes!

That got me thinking about how the world will end.  What can we expect in the end times?  The Bible actually has quite a lot to say on this subject.  We know that there will be wars and threats of war; there will be famines and earthquakes.  False prophets will claim to be the Messiah.  "Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold" (Matt. 24:12)  We're also told that the world will be as it was in the days of Noah (people lived their lives...eating and drinking and working until the flood destroyed the world) and in the days of Lot (the people went about their daily business until fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all) (see Luke 17:26-29).  There will be greater anguish in those days than in any other time in history.  We're also warned that believers will be hated, betrayed, arrested, persecuted, and killed.

This is just a condensed version of what the Bible tells us to expect.  Even though we don't know exactly how it will all play out, we do know that it will be a time of world-wide catastrophes, as well as a time of intense persecution for believers.  In fact, we're told that "the time will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones." (see Matt. 24:22).  So how are we, as believers, supposed to deal with all of this?  It would be pretty easy to allow fear to creep in and take over.

When Jesus' disciples asked him about the end times, He gave them the grim accounts of what to expect.  But He also had some very encouraging words to say.  First of all, He told them not to panic (He knows us so well, doesn't He?!).  He reminded His followers that those who endure to the end will be saved.  He encouraged them to keep watch, be ready, and be faithful.  He promised them that the Good News would be preached throughout the world.  In fact, Jesus told His followers that the very persecution they would endure would turn into ideal opportunities to witness.  "This will be your opportunity to tell them about me."  (Mark 13:9b)

So, are we on the brink of Christ's return?  Only the Father knows.  But we can stand firm and be confident that the promises Jesus gave to his disciples also extend to us, His 21st century followers.  Even though we're told that terror will oppress the earth and sea -- since Satan will be "filled with fury, because he knows his time is short" (see Rev. 12:12) -- we're also told that God will pour out His Spirit on all people, men and women alike.  We will have many opportunities to share the hope that we have in Christ!

And then one glorious day, "...the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.  First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.  Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Then we will be with the Lord forever!"  (I Thess. 4:16-17)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It's a strange topic, I know.  But lately God has been leading me and Steve to read some interesting books about the church.  Not only that, but the books we've read dovetail so perfectly with the Bible study we just completed.  It's made me look at "church" in a much broader light.

I've always been taught that we are the church -- the "church" is not a building, it's people (you know the song..."I am the church; You are the church; We are the church togeth...er"!).  But yet, we still talk about "belonging" to this or that church; or "going to" church; etc, etc.  We still view church as an institution -- a building -- an organization....something we "go" to.   And a place where we expect others to go.

But what if the "church" should be the ones who go?  Yesterday I had a conversation with a man who told me his mom was pretty concerned about his brother (a 40-something adult) who "never goes to church".  My first thought -- and I told him this -- is that WE are the church.  Maybe it's time for the church to go to him...to show him the love and compassion of Jesus.  We worry so much when people don't go to church, but maybe our focus is wrong.  Maybe we should be more concerned that we, the church, aren't doing a very good job of revealing Christ to the world.

Scripture is very clear that we (followers of Christ) are the church.  I Cor. 6:19 says, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?"  I Cor. 3:16 gives a more corporate focus, "Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?"

We are the "light of the world -- a city on a hilltop" (see Matt. 5:14).  Our purpose is to reveal Christ to a dark world.  "We're it!  We are the lampstands in this generation."  (Beth Moore). 

"When we discover the power of His love, we can't hold it to ourselves.  Not only will it transform us, it will also seep out quite naturally with believers and unbelievers alike.  We'll find ourselves reflecting God's life and character to others around us..." (Wayne Jacobsen)

We would do well to be more passionate about displaying Christ to those around us.  We are given the opportunity daily to demonstrate God's life and love to those He puts in our lives.  If you've been ignited with His Spirit, allow His light shine in and through you!  That's the life and breath of the church!