Tuesday, December 7, 2010


lying is so hurtful. . .
being lied to or lied about. . .
or caught in a lie and needing to repent.

our hearts are so deceitful and desperately wicked
that we often don't even see our own lies.

the strangest thing is
that God sees all our filthy little deceptions,
and he loves us anyway--
but he doesn't leave us in them.

he himself--the way, truth, and life--became sin (including lies)for us
so that we might become the righteousness of God (including truth)through him.

that is a humbling and glorious truth.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

he is

he's my LORD.

the Lord's' commands
are wisdom
and understanding.

he is near,
and hears
when we call.

his appearance,
unknown to man.

he is
a consuming fire
and jealous.

he is
to those
who are looking
for him.

he listens
to the repentant.

he is
and unfailing.

he communicates.

he delivers.

he is

he loves
and chooses

he is

he is
the only God
over heaven
and earth.

he is
and just.

he is
a God
of power
and salvation.

he is
and great.

he speaks
with us.

he is
the only living God.

he desires
our well-being.

he is one.

he is
so lovable
that we can love him
with all our hearts
and all our souls
and all our strength.

he is
worthy of reverence;
he is honorable.

he is
looking out
for our good
and our survival.

"i am his,
he is mine."

Friday, November 12, 2010


one was pure,
for marriage.

the other was

we realized:
the only purity
that matters
is the purity
Christ purchased for us
with his blood
and works into us

all of our own
is as filthy rags.

"come now,"
he invites,
"let us reason together:
though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be
as white
as snow.
though they be red as crimson,
they shall be
as wool."

wash me,
and i will be

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010


"our pastor talked about
he said,
sitting on the floor
on the other side
of the coffee table.
we sat together
on the sofa,
and listened.

"he said that
when you're
tempted to worry,
just remember
that God has everything
and that when things all work out
you will regret
that you didn't
and enjoy it."

Thursday, September 9, 2010


he is mine,
and i need nothing more.

the boredom that is a hunger for something more,
he satisfies with green pastures.

the weariness with things and activities
that is a thirst for another life,
he satisfies by still waters.

when my soul is wounded,
he restores.

even if i walk
in dark places,
in dangerous places,
i will not be afraid
because he is with me.
he is prepared to protect and defend me.

i am soothed by his healing balm,
and his abundant care.

his provision for me is not merely adequate,
but abundant,
even in the presence of those who hate me
and want to harm me.

by his grace,
i leave goodness and mercy
for those who follow me,
and i move on to follow him.

i will live with him

Friday, July 23, 2010

understanding or being understanding?

"True understanding is part of wisdom. It's realizing truth and having a good grasp on it.

"Being understanding has more to do with being able to see things from another person's perspective.

"Of course, once you have been understanding, true understanding might kick in and help you realize that their perceptions aren't necessarily truth."

Christina Worden Power

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

excellent woman

part 1

i am awed.

her character qualities
are so accessible
to anyone.

she fears God,
is kind and wise,
is generous
and diligent.

anyone can have these qualities.

part 2

i want to fear God
above all.

i would like to be wise
and kind
in my speech.

i would like to do my husband good
all the time,
and to deserve his trust.
i would like to encourage him
to be a confident leader.

i would like to be
a diligent homemaker.

i would like to be compassionate
to the needy.

i would like to be strong,
and confident of the future.

part 3


a man should encourage
the women
in his life
to fear God,
to be wise and kind,
to be compassionate to the poor,
to develop her abilities
and diligently.

a man
who discourages a woman
from being godly
and virtuous
in her thoughts,
and actions
will give account
to God
for his choices.

likewise a woman
who discourages
other women.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


my first parents walked in the garden of eden.

my ancestors include seth, enoch, methuselah.

i know my lineage comes through noah and his sons,
so my ancestors were on the ark.

what if my ancestors left egypt
delivered by the ten plagues of God,
walking on the dry bed of the red sea?

what if my ancestors conquered the promised land?
what if they paid homage to david and solomon?
what if they were carried into captivity?
what if they were delivered by esther's appeal?
what if they returned to the promised land
with nehemiah, ezra, zerubbabel, and jeshua?
what if they resisted tyranny with the maccabees?

what if they were among the diaspora
and returned to the land only for the feasts?

what if they walked in the land
when Jesus was teaching?

what if they heard and accepted?
what if they heard and rejected?

what if they were scattered
by the destruction of jerusalem?

what if they were pagans in the frontiers of rome?
or pagans in the western hemisphere?
or pagans in africa?

what if my grandparents were pastors?
my parents in full-time ministry?
my brother an ordained minister?
my husband a pastor?

what if i grew up in a christian home,
going to church,
attending a christian school,
going to a evangelical college?

this is not my spiritual heritage.


God is my inheritance.
Christ is my portion.
the Spirit is the earnest of my inheritance.

i am loved by Almighty God,
and in love he calls me his child.
Jesus considers me his brother.

everything else is,
like paul said,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

humble repentance

if a person tries to cover up
his wrong-doing
by lying ("i didn't do it!"),
by excusing it ("it wasn't that bad"),
or by justifying it
("it was the right thing to do in my circumstances!),
his pride will move God to oppose him.

and people will learn
that he cannot be trusted

admitting one's wrong-doing
and then abandoning it
gains God's compassion first.

then most of the time
it will cause people to be compassionate also,
especially if they have been transformed
by responding
to God's conviction.

(reflections on proverbs 28.13)


if a person is humble enough
to understand
how much he needs God
to guide and teach him,
he will understand
the difference between
someone who is always full of his own opinion
and someone who is full of God's word.

a person who respects and honors God
will not fall
for a deceptive facade
or for flattery.


from ron's reflections:
Listen closely. We as believers need to be strengthening our walk with God NOW. We don’t need to wait until tough times hit. Walk with God now… read the Scriptures now… fellowship with believers now… pray faithfully now. Then when the hard days come you will be much more ready. It will still be hard, but you will be better prepared.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

does your pastor love you?

an excellent article at ron's reflections gives you the criteria to evaluate whether your pastor loves you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


"like one who bind a stone in a sling,
so is he who gives honor to a fool."

in war
or hunting,
ammunition needs to be readily available
to be of any use.

why would a soldier
go to war
with useless ammo
and a useless weapon?

why would a hunter
go out hunting,
locking up his ammo
in his truck?

why would anyone
honor a fool?

(response to proverbs 26.8)


q. whose glory do you desire the most?

whenever difficulties have arisen
in the past several years,
God has instructed me
that it is for his glory.

at first i rebelled--
i struggled to submit to that,
because i did want to be honored
ant to have people speak well of me.

but now i don't seem to mind
what people say
so much.

if it is false,
i grieve for them--
for the danger
that they put themselves in
by breaking God's law
and deeply offending him.

i feel safe,
sheltered by the Almighty Father,
and i care little for honor or glory
for myself.

i deeply yearn to see him honored and glorified.

i find this change
that God has worked in me
very interesting,
and i am grateful
for his patience with me.

hide and seek

God's glory conceals a matter,
kings glory in searching out a matter.

God knows everything.
he delights in concealing
diamonds in coal,
gold in rock,
wisdom in common experience.

kings--any true leaders among men--
delight in discovering God's hidden treasures.

(reflections on proverbs 25.2)

renewing my mind

i do not want to be simple-minded.
i do not want to delight in scoffing and ridicule.
i do not want to despise the truth.

i want to turn at wisdom's reproof.
i want the spirit of wisdom to be poured out on me.
i want words of wisdom to be revealed to me.

i do not want to refuse the call of wisdom,
nor do i want to ignore wisdom's invitation.

i do not want to neglect any wise counsel;
i want to value wise reproof.

i do not want wisdom to laugh at my calamity,
to mock my fears, distresses, and anguish.
i do not want wisdom to ignore me when i call;
i want her to hear me.

i want to accept wise counsel,
even if it includes disapproval.

i do not want to have my own way,
but rather i want wisdom's way.
i do not want to be killed by my waywardness
or destroyed by my complacency.
i want to be attentive to wisdom
so that i can live securely
and be free from the dread of evil.

(a response to proverbs 1.22-33)

Friday, February 12, 2010


in contemplation,
i worry.

and then i think,
how much of this situation
can i even begin to understand?
maybe one-tenth?
i think not.
maybe one-hundredth?
again, i suppose i know not even that much.
no, not even that.

i realize that God has all the details,
every person's thoughts and motives;
the past, present, and future;
the universal repercussions;
and infinite concerns i cannot imagine
totally under his wise and loving oversight.

he will not burden me
beyond my ability to endure
in his strength,
with his help.

he will work all things together for my good,
knowing that i love him.

i feel small,
but safe in the confidence
of his love
for me,
his little child.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

for good

(reflections on romans 8.31)

since God is working everything
for the good of making us like Christ,
no one can really be "against" us.

they are only the tools
for breaking away
the un-Christlikeness in us.

in the sense that joseph said to his brothers,
"you meant it for evil,
but God meant it for good"--
in that sense,
some can have fully malicious intentions toward us,
but God has fully loving and merciful intentions
in allowing them to act in malice toward us.

as he works their malice for our good,
his purpose is accomplished;
we are made more like Christ.

is there any greater, more glorious good than that?

"if God is for us, who is against us?"


my intention when i first linked to john knight's article about loving your pastor was to pay tribute to the dear brothers and sisters who encourage mark and i so greatly in our times of trial. most of the time they do not even know what our trials are--sometimes they don't even know we are having trials!--but the expression of God's love through them is a part of God's grace that strengthens us to persevere.

"God has given [church leaders who persevere] people who love them and serve them and pray for them."

thank you, dear Father, for providing us co-laborers in Christ who love, serve, and pray for us. thank you for the unity we have in you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


here are some thoughts from john knight's blog, the works of God about loving one's pastor.

"There were two consistent things I observed in and heard from these [church] leaders who are experiencing joy in God in the midst of serious trials:

1. They are God-centered, Bible-saturated, and aware of their need to fight for joy and against their sin;
2. God has given them people who love them and serve them and pray for them.

"I want to be part of that second group for my pastors! I’m not entirely sure what that means for me as I write this. I know it includes prayer – and I love praying for the many men God has used in my life at Bethlehem.

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17

"I have been ‘ruled well’ by my pastors and want to give them double honor. What can we do for these men who carry so much as they faithfully serve their churches?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010


an excerpt from josh harris's blog:
* Don't love the church because of what it does for you. Because sooner or later it won't do enough.

* Don't love the church because of a leader. Because human leaders are fallible and will let you down.

* Don't love the church because of a program or a building or activities because all those things get old.

* Don't love the church because of a certain group of friends because friendships change and people move.

Love the church because of who shed his blood to obtain the church.
Love the church because of who the church belongs to.
Love the church because of who the church worships.
Love the church because you love Jesus Christ and his glory.
Love the church because Jesus is worthy and faithful and true.
Love the church because Jesus loves the church.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


here an insightful article on encouraging your pastor. people like this are a blessing, and i appreciate them more than words can say. may the Lord repay their kindness many times over.