Monday, December 29, 2008

new beginning

my heart was breaking
with grief.

a habit
which i had considered innocent
fell under the light
of my Father's gaze.
i looked again.
was that hideous thing
the habit i had considered so innocent?
i understood His loving disapproval.
how could i have tolerated such?

waves of guilt--rightly earned--
washed over my soul.

contrition dominated my heart.

how can i be delivered?
how can i be free?

i turn to my Father,
and realize anew,
nothing i can do will make Him love me less;
nothing i can do will make Him love me more.
He will never,
never despise a broken and contrite heart.

waves of His love
wash over my soul,
cleansing me of guilt and sin.

i am free.

i am free!

and though i may stumble and fall,
i will get to my feet
with His help,
and start again
and again
and again

until i can run,
unburdened and free.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


these thoughts used to plague me.
but i never gave in to them.
i didn't want God's first question
when i entered His presence to be,

so i persevered
in frailty
one more minute,
one more day.

recently i began to think again about what God would think--
because a friend is struggling with those temptations now.

is it just a mental illness. . .
like a flu or a cold?

or is it murder--self-murder,
and an act of violence,
an act of faithlessness,
of absolute selfishness?

well, there was King Saul,
who because of his stubbornness and disobedience
was rejected by God,
and afflicted with an evil spirit from God.

he killed himself.

and there was Judas Iscariot,
who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ
for thirty pieces of dirty silver.

he also killed himself.

but then there are others who were tempted,
but responded with faith.

after Job lost everything,
his wife's bitter recommendation was
to curse God
and die.
his response?
"you speak as one of the foolish women speak.
what? shall we receive good at the hand of God,
and shall we not also receive the evil?"
but in his anguish,
he still did not sin.
he persevered,
knowing that God knew the way he was taking,
and when he was tried,
he would come forth as gold.

and God blessed him.

then there was one other person who was tempted
to kill Himself.
He was not mentally ill,
but rather was the most mentally healthy person
who ever walked the face of the earth.
He was the Creator,
and yet,
in the hour of temptation,
Satan had the audacity to urge Him
to cast Himself off of the pinnacle of the temple.
"if You are the Son of God. . .
God will not allow you to be hurt."

such a lie
from the father of lies.

and His response?
"it is written,
do not tempt the Lord your God."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


i want to walk on water
and love my enemy
and move mountains.

i want to shine like the brightness of the firmament
and like the stars forever.

i want God to feed the multitudes
with my little loaves and fishes.

i want Him to make me a fisher of men.

i want to pray without ceasing
and rejoice evermore
and always give thanks.

when i am afflicted in every way,
i don't want to be crushed--
i want to endure with dignity.
when i am perplexed,
i don't want to despair,
but to trust confidently in my God.
when i am persecuted,
i know i am not alone.
when i am beaten down,
i want to arise victorious.
i want to bear Christ's death in me
so that i can manifest His life.

o, Lord, please grant me the desire of my heart.

Friday, November 7, 2008


oh, Father, i come to You
to hear Your voice.

i sense Your presence,
and i anticipate eagerly--
knowing that You are going to open Your heart to me.

i open the letter You have written me.

please do not let me be like the roadway,
where the seed sown is snatched away by my enemy.
please protect my soul.

please do not let me be shallow,
rejoicing in Your truth,
but having no depth
for Your message to take root and thrive.
please soften my heart.

please do not let me be full of those thorns--
anxiety, greed, ambition--
that would choke out the truth
and cause me great pain.
please cleanse my mind.

let me be a safe and fertile place
for eternal truth to grow,
that it will bear the fruit of trust,
that there would be a harvest of willing obedience,
both today
and forever.

thank You.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


am i "Your person"?
do i belong to You?
am i called by Your name?

am i humbling myself?
do i think of myself more highly than i ought to think?
do i think i am better than others,
that i know more than others?
do i think i understand the situation better than You Yourself?
or that the way You are working is not best?
do i want my own way?
am i respectful of other people?
am i reverent toward You?

am i praying?
is my life a prayer to You?
do i lay out my thoughts with a unceasing awareness
that i am interacting with You--
You see my thoughts,
You know my motives and intentions?
am i hiding?
am i walking with You?
You are here.
You are always here.

am i seeking Your face?
am i looking for You with all my heart,
expecting to find You?

am i turning from my wicked ways?
when You show me my lack of love,
am i grieved?
do i turn away in disgust
and beg you to fill me with Your love?
when You show me my meanness,
do i abhor it
and yearn for kindness to be constantly on my lips?
do i earnestly desire a tender heart?
when you show me a deceit that i hold dear,
do i let it go
and love Your truth
though the rending away of the putrid lie causes me pain?
when you show me my disobedience,
do i acknowledge my fault
and begin acting obediently?

oh, Lord!
search me and know my heart!
try me, and know my thoughts!
see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in Your everlasting way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


oh, i yearn to spend time with my Beloved,
the One who loves me

spending time listening to His voice
is my delight,
and i love to think about the things He says
all through the day
and even in the night.
His words and wisdom return to me
in my conversations with other people.

i have a confession.
i have not always found joy
in the time that i spent
with the Lover of my soul.

i used to drag myself to spend time with Him,
rudely thinking about other subjects,
more interesting to me
(i now say to my shame)
than the words He spoke to my heart.

my heart was hard
and closed
by the distractions
of alluring ambitions and worries.

how the change happened i am not quite certain.
i saw the dearth of delight,
the preoccupation with things of no value.
i asked Him to help me change.

In His patient love,
He gave and gave and gave,
and i found the hardness of my heart soften
like the parched ground
in a long but gentle rain.
the seed of His wisdom and His graciousness
penetrated the surface,
put down roots,
and bore fruit.

Friday, October 31, 2008

for me?

thank you, Christina.

i would send it on, but almost all my blog friends already have it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


when Christina was three years old, we rented a modular home for a short time.

one day, i noticed a black spot about the size of a quarter on the carpet in our bedroom which also doubled as a study. upon inspecting the spot more closely, it appeared to be an ink spot. you know, the kind of ink spot that happens when a child mashes the point of a felt-tip marker onto a piece of construction paper.

so i went over the checklist of possible guilty parties. me? nope. i knew i hadn't done it. my husband? highly unlikely. Christina. bingo! (that's what happens when your an only child; you always get blamed.)

so i called her in and asked her if she had done it. she denied it, the little sinner. so i talked to her soberly about telling the truth. after a few minutes, she finally confessed.

that night i was telling my husband about how i had confronted Christina, and how she had finally confessed.

"what spot?" he asked me.

"the one by the desk," i explained.

he looked at the spot. "that was there when we moved in."

shame washed over me. Christina was asleep, but i confessed to her first thing in the morning, and she sweetly forgave me.

years later. . .she still remembers it.

when the Lord says that the older women are not to be "false accusers", He gives us plenty of time to start working on it when we are young.

the moral of the story? don't accuse your child (or anyone else for that matter) of wrong-doing without true evidence.

God be merciful to me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

idle thoughts

they are so frightening--
the thoughts that i am thinking
in the night as i drop off to sleep,
in the morning as the quiet dawn approaches,
in the quiet spaces of my days.
the imaginations,
the speculations,
the suspicions,
the arguments.

of no value.

insanity, if the truth be told.
the thoughts of my heart and mind
are carrying me outside the secure boundaries of truth
into the minefield of conjecture.

i am afraid.
i need to be rescued
from slavery
to my own fears
and animosities.

the love for all
that i idealize--
i do not find it in my heart
or my soul.

i am humbled.

i am undone!
break down the prison
of my own making!
oh, Lord, deliver me!

He comes.
my eyes are opened,
and i see His glorious beauty.
i see that He knows me as i really am,
and still He loves me,
He is tender toward me.

i am changed.
i can no longer love the schemes that i devise
in my fantasies--
fantasies that move me beyond the limits of sanity.

oh, tear them down!
tear them down!
let not one of them remain!

let my thoughts reflect His beauty!
let my heart be filled with the light of His splendor!
may He rule the kingdom of my heart,
and every thought be subjugated
to the purity of His gracious truth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

friend or foe?

intuition is such an uncanny thing.
who knows where it comes from?
why it exists?
why sometimes we can be so accurate
in perceiving what is under the surface
with so little evidence?

sometimes intuition is amazingly accurate.
but sometimes it can be devastatingly misleading.
it should be packaged with a warning label.

consider a related truth.
"do not be wise in your own eyes.
fear the Lord,
and turn away from evil."
the process of being liberated
from an unhealthy dependence on intuition
is somewhat painful,
but well worth the pain.
after all, admitting that my thoughts
are wandering
down the paths
of my own
is humbling though it is good and healing.
being wise in my own eyes is an evil which i can and must shun.
when i am wise in my own eyes,
i cannot have a proper respect for God.

somehow when i am on that path away from God,
depending on my intuition and keen perception,
in my imagination i begin to think that i am omniscient.
not that i would admit it in so many words;
however, i become confident that i know everything that is relevant
about a given situation.

when i start concentrating on respecting God,
i begin to see that there are huge areas of time and motive
that i do not begin to understand.
every person involved has a 24/7 life
of which i know only a tiny percentage.
in contrast to my limited perspective,
God knows every thought, word, action, and motive
of every person involved.
He loves each of us
and wants to use every situation to reveal Himself to us.

my heart changes.

i realize i can trust Him,
and that i need to focus
on being and doing what He wants me to be and do.

and there is such joy in obeying Him,
because i am free from a burden
He never intended for me to bear.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tunnel Vision

so, when i look at the computer screen,
i can only see a circle about 2 inches in diameter.

this is true.

i have retinitis pigmentosa,
which is the fancy name for tunnel vision.

the rest of my vision is patchy--
that is, i don't know where i can see
and where i can't.
there are blind spots,
and mostly-blind spots.

i smile.

i've had this condition all my life,
but i didn't know it
until three and a half years ago.

i thought everybody saw like i did.

i was so good at compensating,
no one knew.

but there were odd things.

people just thought i had great concentration.

that's how blind spots are.
you think everyone sees just like you do.

but they may see more,
or they may see less.

may our merciful Lord grant us understanding and increased wisdom.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


a gift from God,
a blessing,
a promise of a future.

God of mercy, grant us wisdom to guide their footsteps toward You.

True Love

The greatest command:
to Love the Lord my God
with all my heart,
with all my soul,
with all my mind,
with all my strength.

The next is to love my neighbor as I love myself.
The command that Jesus gave goes farther:
I should love my neighbor
as Jesus loves me.

This is more than any law can demand;
it fulfills the law.

Love is patient and kind.
It is not selfish or arrogant.
It is courteous and acts appropriately,
never rejoicing in what is evil
and always rejoicing in what is true.
It is greater than faith and hope.
It never fails.

I love
because He loved me first.

No man has greater love
than the man who will lay down his life for another.

This is more than merely dying for a friend;
it is living for others long before death arrives.

God is love.
His lovingkindness endures forever.

Oh, Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.