Sunday, July 31, 2011


dear Father,
please grant me a heart to know,
eyes to see,
ears to hear
the joy of your nearness.

Monday, July 25, 2011


i made a good play
in a game
on the computer.

"thank you, God!"

sincere gratitude.

but immediately i thought,
"how does God feel
when i thank him
for something

i felt embarrassed before him.

then i remembered
how he created
this perfect, tiny world
called earth
in the middle of a vast universe.

and on that tiny globe,
he formed ultra-miniature,

then i smiled.

he would not mind being thanked
even for the smallest,
seemingly insignificant

learning and discerning

worship yesterday was very good. the songs chosen were a blessing as we focused on God's love for us and Christ's sacrifice of himself in our behalf: the love of God, blessed be the name, how deep the Father's love for us, nothing but the blood, and Jesus paid it all.

pastor don julian preached from hebrews 5 -10 on Jesus being our priest, advocate and mediator. being reminded that we need a priest, an advocate, was excellent. also, being reminded that God has also made us priests, and that we should be going confidently to the throne of grace to intercede in behalf of others was good.

last night at a home fellowship, pastor mark worden led in a study of psalm 1, reminding us of the path of God's blessing. the testimony of the different ones who were there about how God's word sustains us and makes us fruitful was good also.

being part of a body of believers--flawed though we may be--is a great source of God's grace.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

learning and discerning

i've been mulling over pastor don jullian's sermon from last sunday, "the sword of judgment and the throne of grace," all week.

my own take from the sermon was from a passing observation that on the ark of the covenant, covering the law and the budding rod of aaron and the bowl of manna that commemorated God's provision, was the mercy seat. the visual i received of God's mercy covering law and life and provision, and God's presence above all moved me to gratitude. i am so thankful for his mercy, and glad it covers all. i'm thankful for his law and the establishment of authority and provision, and for the shelter they find under his merciful presence.

monday my daughter reminded me of pastor don's application, expressing her desire to be a person demonstrating God's grace in our community, and she was able to practice what was preached in a difficult situation. as she rejoiced that she had an opportunity to do what she had heard, i was reminded of that emphasis as well, and the rest of the week i have had that on my mind as well.

oh, the the word of God examines even our smallest thoughts and our motives, but we can turn from it's bright, exposing light to our compassionate Savior, finding mercy and grace to help us be people of shining grace in our neediest times.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

fret, part 2

so i hear about the gossip,
or the lie,
or see the grief of stolen loss--
but the wrong is not against me.
it is against another.

then i fret
and worry
about how my friend
or family member

my thoughts an endless

empty conjectures.
love-stifling fears.
unsatisfiable anger.

"do not fret because of evildoers."
the words of my loving Father intervene,
and because of the noise
in my soul,
and the self-justification
--"this angst is not for me,
it's because i care"--
he repeats.

then he repeats again,
until he has my attention,
and i try to obey.

grieve over wrong,
over loss,
over hurt.

don't fret about the wrong-doer,
the hurtful one.
o, my soul, trust in the almighty love
of your Creator and Father
in the behalf
of those you love!

he will work all for good.
when they are tested,
they will come through
like purified gold.

Friday, July 15, 2011


so i hear the gossip,
or the lie,
or know the grief of stolen loss.

then i fret
and stew:

"how COULD he?"
"why WOULD she?"
"how could i have prevented. . ."
"how can i protect. . ."

my thoughts an endless

empty conjectures.
loveless fears.

"do not fret because of evildoers."
the words of my loving Father intervene,
and because of the noise
in my soul,
he repeats.

then he repeats again,
until he has my attention,
and i try to obey.

grieve over wrong,
over loss,
over hurt.

don't fret about the wrong-doer,
the hurtful one.
o, my soul, trust in the almighty love
of your Creator and Father.

he will work all for good
to those who love him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

overcoming evil with good

i read the article
on fear.
la de da.

and then a phrase reaches out
and hits me
the eyes.

“It’s really your ugly pride that makes you afraid. “Just bow in humility to rise up in courage.”

our place of winning
the war
against the darkness within,
a place of humility.

not groveling,
but a simple acknowledgement:
He is the potter,
i am the clay.

He is my power,
my strength,
my stability.

i can do
what He
has called me to. Link

Monday, July 11, 2011

learning and discerning

Pastor Don had spoken a week ago from Hebrews about being diligent to enter God's rest, and reminded us again of the importance of that. I really needed the encouragement.

Worship leader Ben Power reminded us that God is everything that we need and that we are dearly loved by him.

Peter Eldredge spoke about the conversion of Paul, and emphasized that all our ambition and personal power gets us nowhere in true holiness: Jesus is all we need.

Without coordinating the messages, the worship team had prepared to lead us in closing with "Above All".

During time with friends afterward, we (mostly I) received great encouragement to trust God to take care of people who are dear to us who are going through hard times.

I am deeply grateful for the Christian brothers and sisters God has placed in our lives through the years, and how they help us where we are here and now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


"because iniquity shall abound,"
Jesus explained,
"the love of many will grow cold."

the statement repeats itself in my thoughts,
circling around
again and again
until i pay attention
and ponder it.

because iniquity abounds,
the love of many grows cold.

and within my soul an alarm goes off--
a flashing red light in the darkness,
an air-raid siren increasing the urgency.

i am warned.
the natural tendency of the many,
probably of all,
is to grow cold and loveless
as waves of betrayal and violence wash over us.

and i see,
first dimly,
then more and more clearly,
how the wrongs
against me,
against those i love,
against my acquaintances,
against people i only hear about through the news media--
oh, all of these betrayals and violations,
and numbing
and callousing,
fill my soul until
i just

"oh, God, have mercy!
ignite my love to white hot fervor!
give me tenderness of heart,
a passion for mercy and justice.
give me stability of heart
to embrace the pain
of loving
even when iniquity abounds."

and the loveflame
on the smoldering wick flickers,
bursts into light,
and shines.