Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't Forget

1. to remember to pray today.

2. to remember to taste God's Word today.

3. to remember who loves you.

4. to remember who needs you.

5. to remember that no part of your life is not your ministry.

6. to remember to take care of yourself for the sake of those who would suffer your loss.

7. to remember to laugh really loud, preferably at yourself.

8. to remember to do your housework with joy, you have been provided a home.

9. to remember to say grace when you eat.

10. to remember upon whose finger the earth spins.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In The Middle

Yes I'm still out here! I've been working a lot, but I'm not complaining. In this economy, who would complain that they are too busy at work? Not me! I'm countin' it all joy.

Speaking of work, I'm launching the new year with a new approach. If staff comes to me with an issue, we have an immediate huddle with all involved parties to put it on the table. Some people are loving it, and other people have stopped coming to me because they don't want to hear what other people might say about them! Ha!

So since I'm very boring with nothing but boring work stories, here's my question of the day. Do you really want to know what other people think of you?

The Mr. and I are closet Desperate Housewives watchers. About a week ago we were talking about the couples on the show and decided that Tom and Lynette were on shaky marital ground because she is so controlling that she is driving him away.

A few days ago we're driving down the road and he says, "Which desperate house wife do you think you're most like?" Ya see where this is going?

I answered truthfully, "Lynette."

He agreed.

I immediately informed him that he is a hurtful little man and that particular statement is going on the blog. No, I wasn't really hurt because Lynette and I are somewhat alike. I know it.

So, do you really want to know what other people think of you? If someone thinks your hard to work with, talk to, deal you want to hear about it?

P.S. that's me/Lynette in the middle.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009

Psalm 63:4-6 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grocery List (so far)

1. Toilet paper.

2. Laundry soap.

3. Salad supplies.

4. Boneless chicken breast.

5. Bread.

6. Rice.

7. Vegetables.

8. Oranges & bananas.

9. Tuna.

10. Oatmeal

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something is missing Mr.President

In case you're just tuning in; the post originally appeared last night without any commentary, just the two pictures below. That was intentional to see how our reactions would unfold. I sort of expected some backlash as well as some input from Christians who shared my concern. The point of the two pictures is that in the top picture President Obama is shown taking his second oath of office on Wednesday having misspoken a few of the words at the official swearing in the day prior. In the bottom picture we see the president's hand on the Lincoln Bible being held by Mrs. Obama. The something missing is the Bible, absent in the top photograph.
My political perspective is two things, not a secret and irrelevant. This is my president and any differences I may have with him have nothing to do with the fact that he is my president today. I will pray for him, I will respect him. If you find me behaving with anything less than respect concerning Mr. Obama, please remind me that he is my president. I actually walked out of a room during the swearing in because the conversation had drifted away from the celebration of this democracy to the mocking of former President George W. Bush. This offended me greatly as the mocking of our leader is the mocking of the very blessing of the free vote that elected him. We must not so readily throw our collective dignity to the side.
And so, I have determined not to enter into such foolishness as this president takes his seat in the Oval Office. I did not vote for him, he is my president. I am not angry and I did not lose. The United States of America is a blessed nation and I will remain united.
So why post these two photographs? Why point this out? Because I am a citizen of America learning how to fulfill that role to the glory of God. No, I do not, within my heart, separate church and state. God is the leader of America not because of what we print on our money but because he is the ruler of the entire universe, his creation. He does not need the vote of the people to gain authority. Wednesday evening I went on the internet and read about the second swearing in and honestly, I am not sure I'd have seen the lack of the Bible except that it was mentioned specifically in every article I read. Basically, Mr. Obama said he had not brought his Bible with him but the oath was binding nonetheless. Ok. I never worried that the flubbed oath was unofficial much less the one lacking a Bible.
But something twisted in the pit of my stomach when I discovered this. Something made me uncomfortable, disappointed. My mind didn't explode with conspiracy theories nor did I insert President Obama into an addendum of the Left Behind series. The tangible unease in my gut came from how easily the President of the United States of America removed the Bible from his swearing in. And immediately on the heals of this thought, immediately; how easily I remove the Bible from my day. Is his hand on the Bible of any greater importance than mine somewhere between awakening and falling asleep? Have you heard 'the pew follows the pulpit'? Well, maybe the leader reflects the people. Yes, in America the leader reflects the people. I can be righteously indignant that the Holy Bible was irrelevant by Mr. Obama's own explanation. But how relevant is it when mine was no more in use on Wednesday than his?
He dares to swear by his own hand to execute the office of President of the United States. This is serious to me because any moment when God is diminished to a detail, a window dressing; is dangerous and reason to mourn.
Something is indeed missing. President Obama became to me a mirror on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Tired

Just a quick hello good bye good night. Everyone at work is sick, staff and patients. I'm the only supervisor left standing. Day six of seven tomorrow. Only hope for weekend is if someone gets well enough to relieve me. I've got the tired stupids, drove all the way to work and have no memory of anything after I pulled out of my subdivision.

Thank the Lord he keeps me awake while I'm actually at work!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Faded Footprints

Psalm 37: 2-319 ...the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18, 2009

Psalm 42: 7-8 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beckons Me

1. A quiet house in the early morning, coffee in hand.

2. Driving alone with my thoughts.

3. Laughter from people I love.

4. Our local library.

5. Sweatshirts and pajama pants.

6. AMC & TCM.

7. Opening blinds in the morning.

8. Lighting candles in the evening.

9. My soft brown/beige couch.

10. My bedroom at night, pistachio green walls and low lights; pre-heated blankets and a book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Says the Mr. tonight,

"Our DTE bill was through the roof this month! I think it's too many night lights, we're gonna have to cut down to one."

Yeah, that's it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


One of the most disturbing elements of our present culture is our ability to believe that what makes us happy will by universal default makes those around us happy. As though no one can enjoy their lives if we are not enjoying every moment of ours. We are that important. My first awareness of this was years and years ago, probably as a kid, when I heard of the the phenomena wherein a parent becomes a better parent when they are "happy" and so their child benefits. I know you've heard this philosophy connected to divorce. The kid bounces between two homes, adjusts to new boyfriends, girlfriends and step parents who may or may not be there for the long haul. The kid changes their entire concept of mom and dad family to include whomever enters into their lives post divorce...step sibs, aunts, uncles, grands. They learn not be to sad that mom or dad isn't at home any more and we call it progress. What these children learn is to lower their expectations. They never really learn to be happy because mom or dad is happier. And mom or dad don't become better parents because they got what they wanted. No, in fact, if getting your way is what makes you a better anything, you're a pretty crummy something to begin with.

But it isn't just in divorce this happens any longer. Young adults explore life in all manner of selfish ways telling themselves that when they find happiness, we will. If this means a different religion, an alternate life style, not holding down a steady job, living with someone outside of marriage, babies by different partners; if a person is enjoying themselves no one should judge them.

We take others along with us on our own selfish adventures as well. We spend too much money that ultimately comes out of the accounts that support our spouses and our kids. We even spend away the money that would pay for our retirements and allow our extravagance now to be someone else's worry later. Kids who went to Disney World as little ones won't go to college as young adults. We abuse our bodies by eating wrong, sedentary lifestyles, poor management of illnesses and not taking responsibility to know what we need to do for good health and then let our momentary enjoyment become the grief of loved ones who watch us fail and die slowly. But you should be happy as I eat myself into obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and just a general inability to keep up with life. You should be happy because I am happy while I am chewing this food in this moment. Be happy for me.

I have an idea that if we lived in not just concern but downright terror of the effects of our choices on other people, we'd be a very different people. Pleasing ourselves becomes a runaway train very quickly. Soon inconsequential moments of enjoying ourselves become decisions that change the course of other people's lives. It is like a teeter totter, I fly only if you fall.

And somehow we are convinced that you will fall with great pleasure just by watching me fly.

The problem is, no one wants to be the one to fall and we cannot all fly.

Romans 12:9-11Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Leading Your Kids To The Throne

Our bathroom redo is almost done, I'd say about 95%. What's left is the little details that you can't complete until you find "it", just the right wall hanging here, just the right something or other there. I was cleaning it this morning after getting myself ready for the day when I remembered a little mom trick of mine. Bathroom reading material. Over the years I realized I don't have those kinds of kids that read inspirational spiritual books just because they are placed in front of them. I've put Chicken Soup For The Teenager's Soul in Christmas stockings and daily devotionals into Easter baskets to no avail. Same for their dad, so I guess it's genetic. But men they are, and as such there is one place that they are a captive audience. The loo. It might be a coarse topic of conversation but it is a universal phenomenon that people like to read in the bathroom. I've been reduced to the backs of hair spray bottles myself. My mom trick is that I intentionally place reading material in there that I think would be good for them. Using this method I have exposed my menfolk God Chasers and God's Favorite House by Tommy Tenney. A few of the Left Behind books have shown up in there (until I myself couldn't stay interested, how could they?) Christian men's magazines, worship magazines. Probably some Chicken Soup over the years too. Not wanting to seem overly obvious I have also thrown catalogs and Dave Berry in there. Sound silly? Well let me tell you something, one of my kids asked me the other day where our copy of Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages was. "Not sure, why?" He was telling a friend about it and they wanted to read it. I asked him if he had ever read it? "Duh, yeah. It was in our bathroom for a month. I read the entire thing. I am the one that recommended it to her."


So this is your free tip of the day, stock your bathroom with inspirational reading material. Your kid may refuse to speak to you about God, refuse to turn off the video games, refuse to hang up the cell phone or to even refuse to go to church. He or she will never refuse to use the bathroom.

How to use your bathroom for Jesus...

1. Choose easy to read and interesting books or they'll head for the shampoo bottles.

2. Mix in some fun stuff.

3. DO NOT have inappropriate reading material available. I mean Redbook, Cosmo...

4. Don't mention what you're up to. Let your kids see you reading those books around the house so when they wind up laying around they won't think you're setting them up. Don't even tell them what a good book it is, don't ask them if they've looked at it.

5. Read the book yourself first so if the opportunity arises, you can discuss it.

Joshua 3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11, 2009

Job 11:18-19 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


1. Green.
2. Coffee.
3. Winter.
4. C. S. Lewis.
5. Pony tails.
6. 4 wheel drive trucks.
7. Pasta.
8. My home.
9. Old movies.
10. Morning.
Picture: C.S. Lewis (Jack) and myself last summer in the back yard having a barbecue.

Friday, January 09, 2009

An Invitation.

Here we are at the end of the week after discussing Christianity and salvation and there seems to be no more appropriate ending to this time than to ask you, would you like to become a Christian? Saying yes doesn't requiring understanding everything, owning a Bible or making up your mind that you can be "good" from now on. It just means you have decided that there is a God and you want a relationship with him; and that you are accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the truth. The learning and growing and messing up and learning some more will start from here.

You don't have to have a church in mind or know exactly what you believe other than you believe that Jesus loves you and he died to save you. Do you believe that you need to be restored to a relationship with God? Join us...

Dear God, I recognize that just on my own, I cannot do enough good to be good enough. I want to have a relationship with you so that I can discover what my purpose is in life and learn to live with joy and peace. I know that I need Jesus Christ to enter into my life so that I can have a teacher as well as a savior. I accept his sacrifice for my sins and I believe that by accepting Christ, my sins are gone and you will be with me throughout my life and one day, you will welcome me into heaven. I thank you for your love and for making a way for me to have a relationship with you. I ask you to guide me and show me every day how to live for you and I will do my best to do it. As of this moment, I am a Christian...A Believer...A Christ Follower. Thank you Lord, In Jesus Name; Amen.

I hope you have taken a moment to invite Christ to be Lord over your life. I urge you to find friends and a church to be with you in your journey and to support and love you. If you don't know where to start, start here. There is a whole blog family ready to welcome you and help you find the next step. Welcome home.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What I Believe

I believe in the Holy Bible as the complete and perfect Word of God.

I believe that Adam and Eve were the first creation from which we are descended but not because they were the only humans on the earth at the time but because Noah was descended from Adam and Noah's family were the only survivors after the great flood.

I believe that Adam was created as a fallible human being whose relationship with God was perfect because he had never chosen to be unfaithful. When Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and made a choice to break that relationship, the perfect state between God and mankind was broken forever.

I believe that death is not what we think it to be. It is not the cessation of breathing and heart beat, it is separation from God. Adam and Eve's decision to break faith with God brought them instantaneous death...they were separated from him. I believe that the Old Testament is God's love story, teaching his children the seriousness of death through the law and its symbolic representation of how far away from God sin makes us. What the law really was was impossible. It taught us that it is impossible for us to restore life into our own dead spirits.

I believe that the death brought by sin (ie the separation from God) is not reversible by human hands. Sin does not require death; it is death. In order to save us from eternal death, God gives us a picture we can comprehend. He trades the death we have brought upon ourselves for another death. The death does not go away, it is transferred.

In the Old Testament, the priest could transfer the sins of the people onto the sacrificial animals and so the death remained but was placed from the people onto the animal as the people watched. This way they were reminded of the consequence of breaking faith with God.

The laws of the Old Testament were a picture we can understand of how impossible it is for us to achieve holiness. Again, it cannot be realized by human hands.

In the humbling lessons from the Old Testament, mankind was prepared to understand that never again could we trust our own instincts to maintain holiness and that the price would not be easily paid.

I believe that in the New Testament Christ died to bring all of the Old Testaments lessons about sacrifice and death to its final perfect conclusion. Instead of continual death, the death of the perfect sacrificial lamb offering himself becomes the only transfer of death that will be acceptable to God for all human beings after that time. Jesus is allowed to die the death our sin causes.

I believe that giving up the laws of the Old Testament only makes sense when it is because we finally realize the law is so hard to keep because we just can't do it. This is why God provides the Holy Spirit, to wrap around our unholy spirits and enable us to do what we cannot begin to understand on our to have the relationship with God that Adam had before he broke faith.

I believe that every person must recognize and take responsibility for their own sin and inability to make themselves right and they must accept the blood of Jesus Christ with sober gratitude that it was his death that prevents each of us from dying if we choose to receive the gift he offers.

I believe that we must invite the Holy Spirit to be the voice that speaks louder than our unholy spirits. Not because we are so very bad. But because we realize how very holy God is and we want so much to please him, we put aside our pride and allow ourselves to be shaped back into that man, like Adam, who could comprehend a God of creation who loves us.

I believe that Jesus is my death and therefore my life and I accept him.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is my interpreter and my guide and I will listen to him.

I believe that those who have not accepted Christ are already dead despite the air they breathe.

I believe God sees me through Jesus and now he receives me as perfected through his perfect son.

I believe God loves me and has all of my life in his hands.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

When It's Hard To Feel God

Now that I am sitting down to talk about "when it's been hard", I'm wondering what I meant exactly. When it has been hard to serve God? When it has been hard to worship God? When it has been hard to obey God? In my life the biggest challenge has been when it's been hard to feel God.

I was watching the History Channel last weekend and they were running a marathon about the 7 deadly sins. You know, gluttony, pride, snoopy, groucho and sneezy. Anyway, one of the seven sins (and no, theses are not in the Bible) is sloth. They described the original definition of this sin as apathy and sadness. Not laziness, as I would've said. Apathy and sadness. If so, I have been guilty of sloth. And it has made it hard for me to feel God.

There are all kinds of struggles that seem to push people away from the presence of the Lord and their ability to live fully for him, and to live fully the life that he intends. Often it's easy to see the sin and to immediately see why a person can't have that "thing" and God's will both. Maybe it's drug abuse, pornography, alcohol...whatever, whatever, whatever. The thing or things that can take control even when we know somewhere in the back of our minds, we have to make God smaller to allow our weakness the amount of soul space it demands. But we can't seem to stop. And it makes God so small we can hardly feel him sometimes. So small we can't feel him at all.

It has been hard to feel God in the deep sadness that has so often been my emotional state. The History Channel people tell me that this is a deadly sin because in and of itself, it is the opposite of faith. Uh, I think they might be wrong this time, the History Channel people. I think you can have this thing, this tumor of the soul and still have faith. If you've never been depressed, maybe there is something else you could put in that sentence, "I have a hard time feeling God because _______________ is taking up too much space."

Here's the thing, there's this idea out there that if you really love the Lord, really serve him, really believe in him; you can always feel him near you. You can hear his voice. You are comforted in heartache and strengthened in pain. That's true except for the always part. At least for me, I cannot always feel and hear him. Sometimes I feel so weak and worn out and sick in the heart that I wonder what the heck is wrong with me? Everybody else is feeling Jesus all over the place and I'm begging for a sign and it's just a dark cold silence all around me.

Sometimes, it's so hard to feel God. I've laid in bed just begging for some kind of click on the inside to prove that he's still there. During the worst times, it goes so deep I start doubting it was ever there to begin with. I feel so far away from feeling God I can't even remember what it ever felt like in the first place. I'm a freak. I'm just not meant to be one of the ones. The ones who never get so down they can't feel God, never drift so far away.

I don't have some groovy trick to break through the wall between me and Christ. But I can tell you what is really happening when it's hard to feel him. It's just another day in the battle. My weakness taking its jabs at me. I've tried to fast and pray and study my way through those moments and all of that is so important I cannot begin to describe it. But there is one thing that pulls me back and puts me right. It happens when I'm too knocked down to fast and pray and study, when I don't have the time to keep waiting. I just tell him, "God, I can't feel you. I am not sure I even believe. I'm lost inside of this. Come find me." And he does.

God isn't mean. He doesn't dare you to find him, doesn't hide behind trees while you stumble through the forest. He doesn't demand some spiritual feat that you can't begin to accomplish. When it's hard to feel God because he is so big, so extraordinary, so holy, so magnificent, so powerful and so far far away; he comes to me in small, ordinary, imperfect, average, gentle and immediate ways.

I think my soul gets so small and cold it cannot take in all that he is so it feels like he isn't there at all. So God becomes for me, something I can feel. He becomes my husband's hand in mine when he thinks I'm sleeping. He becomes Donny who crawls in my lap for a nap. He becomes my kids laughing in the other room and a book that distracts my darkened mind and a song I haven't heard since I was a little girl. He becomes Tina calling out "Sar!" across a room and friends who hug me and suddenly I am freed from within myself to remember what love feels like.

When it is hard to feel God, he becomes small enough to fit into my hand so I can hang on for just a little while longer. He becomes something bigger than the something that is taking up so much soul space so that the darkness is pushed aside and suddenly...there he is.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Hi my name is Sara and I am a terrible witnesser. At least in the sense that I always understood it, I'm a terrible witnesser. My understanding of telling people about Jesus as a child demanded the in your face approach. Raised in a pentecostal church, we are not a people afraid to talk about hell. And your future there.

Annette Allen used to come to Sunday School every week and raise her hand to request prayer for at least 20 people, all of whom she had "led to the Lord" throughout the week. Friends, teachers, waitresses. Everywhere she went the glory fell and people repented. I started to panic that I had never led someone in the sinner's prayer. The sinner's prayer is very important. Sinner. This is how I found myself in the West Junior High School cafeteria once again venturing out to add a notch to my salvation belt. Over sloppy joes the Holy Spirit came upon me and prompted me to lead the table to Christ.

"Hey, if you aren't born again you are going to hell. "

Silence. Stares.

"Seriously, would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? You can be forgiven of all of your sins right now. Before fourth hour. Limited time offer."

"I'm Catholic" says long-haired girl across the table.

I was ready for this. We Pentecostals know the problem with Catholics!

"A priest cannot forgive you of your sins. Only Jesus can. All of those confessions are a waste of time. You're going to hell. "

Still no takers. So I launched into the pentecostal house specialty. "You know, the Rapture is going to happen and you'll be left behind and tortured for seven years and not have any food and you'll want to die but you won't be able to and if you don't take the MARK OF THE BEAST you'll be put into prison and tortured even worse but if you do take the MARK OF THE BEAST you'll be doomed to hell forever and be ineligible for salvation. And it's gonna happen any second now. And all the Christians will disappear. I will disappear. And there will be a trumpet first but you won't hear it. Because you're a sinner and all. "

"Cool." says the burn-out.

"You won't think it's cool when the graves burst open and all the dead people who were Christians shoot up into the sky."

"What is the mark of the beast?" says a kid.

"It's 666 and it will be tattooed on your hand or your forehead."
"I'll just fake it" says the kid.

"You won't be able to, it'll probably actually be a micro chip and the BEAST will know."

"What is the beast?"

"A world leader, maybe Ronald Reagen because his names have six letters in each of them. That's a clue."

"So if you won't be able to die, you can like jump off a giant skyscraper and live?"


"So if you have cancer when the rapture comes you'll be cured."
"And if you live in Africa and never even heard of Jesus you'll have to get the Mark of the Beast? That's bogus."


The conversation lasted until the bell rang and once again, no salvation credits for me.

I'm happy to report my style has changed and today I rarely invoke the MARK OF THE BEAST as a means of turning people toward Jesus. Today I live for him fully instead of wearing him like a badge of honor to prove my superiority. I give him credit for my life. I pray for those in need. I try to live like Jesus did, in love and compassion with the pursuit of holiness always as my standard. I often fail, and I don't hide it when I do. I show my fear and faith at the same time. Jesus said if he was lifted up he would draw all men to him. I believe that people have a Jesus shaped hole and if I show him, they will be drawn to me. His love will compel them if I make myself available to share it. That's my witness.

I'll love you with the love of Jesus.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kissed By Christ

I had never seen this picture before I did a Google search for an image to add to this post. I searched for the name of my childhood church, Mamre Assembly of God, hoping for a picture without success. Then I found this one and instantly knew, this is it. This is really the image that best describes my moment of accepting Jesus.

When I was about four years old my parents were informed that I had a hole between the chambers of my heart and would require surgery. My mom & dad were understandably frightened and like so many of us, this fear turned them toward church. Christian relatives of my mother's encouraged them to take me to a service where I could be prayed for. I don't know how much they were driven by faith and how much by desperation but they following this advice. My doctors re-examined me following this healing service we attended and found there was no heart murmur, the first hint of my defect. That was because there was no defect, the hole in my heart was closed and I did not require surgery. This was the turning point for my mom and dad. With tangible evidence of a loving, powerful and healing God before them; they gave their lives to the Lord and as a family we began to attend Mamre Assembly of God.

That was the catalyst for my acceptance of Christ as my personal savior but I have to admit, that is as much of a story as I have to share. I was so young that I really don't remember a time when I was not "saved." I remember being raised on the story of my miraculous healing and perhaps with this remarkable testimony I had no option within myself except to know that I was literally saved by Jesus. I never experienced the common teenage doubt nor do I recall not knowing the Lord. That's why this picture so spoke to me. This is really the story of my salvation. I think of Jesus as always having been there. I used to be embarrassed when there would be moments to share one's salvation experience. People had actual dates and times, they could tell you where they were and what was happening. They could often name the person who prayed with them and led them to the Lord. I don't have that. I have no before and after. This no longer bothers me because now I realize what great privilege I've experienced. To have always known him, to have no memory of a time when I did not know for certain he was right there beside me. That must be a painful thing, to live without the assurance of Jesus. I have been spared that.

As I grew up I would come to realize at various times that I needed to recommit myself to the Lord. I might reach a new understanding, another stage of maturity and in this new grasp of what salvation really meant I would feel compelled to recognize the great sacrifice made for me and I would have my own private moment of accepting what I now understood to be the payment for my sins. I have also had times in my life when I was in soul drift and would need to drop my anchor again at the cross to remind myself that salvation was free but could be lost.

As a little girl I knew only that Jesus was my Lord and I needed to serve him to spend eternity in heaven with him. Over the years since my four year old heart was knit back together, God has healed my heart time and time again; now in spiritual places. I have been taught now of the potential of my own sinful nature to bring a living and then an eternal death to me. I understand now that the blood of Christ provided the life that I could not gain on my own. I have only begun to grasp what manner of love this is.

So that is my salvation story, not very exciting, is it? Not rescued from drugs or prostitution. No, just a four year old little girl who walked into a church one evening with her parents. Just a simple life kissed by Christ.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


The start of the new year leaves many people re-examining their lives including their relationship with God. I'm not so sure salvation bears the importance it used to even for those who call themselves Christians. By salvation I mean that moment when you became truly God's. When you admitted your own sins and need for redemption. The acknowledgement of the God of the Bible. I see a lot of people today who define their relationship with God as a journey. That's not wrong thinking, but I worry that the destination is like the horizon...they never get there. Without salvation the fullness of God's purpose cannot be revealed in the individual. So I invite you this week to join me for a week's worth of discussions on the topic of salvation. Feel free to join in with your own posts for one day or all five. I've got a sort of daily topic I'm going to use to start my own thoughts. Maybe this week you'll be an inspiration to someone who is seeking or struggling. I suspect we will all learn from one another and end the week better off than we started. I hope you take this week to dedicate your blog in some way to the idea of reconciliation with God.

Monday: My own moment of salvation.
Tuesday: Witnessing.
Wednesday: When it's been hard.
Thursday: What I believe.
Friday: An invitation.

January 4, 2008

1 Chronicles 16:11-13Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sending My Regrets

I find myself no longer living with a list of accomplishments to be obtained before me but with the simple attempt to live without regret. Regrets are much easier to manage than goals. Actually, regrets often accomplish goals by default.

When the offering plate passes or money is being collected for a cause, my goal of money in the bank closes my fist. However, to avoid regret I pry open my fingers. And I never regret the money I've given away.

On Christmas Eve I asked the Mr. if I should make Mexican Wedding Cake (our traditional Eve dessert) since we had baked so much. Then I went ahead and made it, didn't want to regret breaking with tradition or having daboyz ask where it was. I regret it when my jeans won't snap so I avoid pigging out (theoretically). The accomplishment of weight control happens in the process.

I don't want to regret shooting off my mouth, withholding forgiveness or letting an entire summer pass without eating fresh tomatoes. I don't want to regret not taking pictures once it's too late, I'd rather have boxes of a million photographs no one ever looks at. I don't want to regret hanging up the phone with the Mr. or Daboyz and not saying, "I love you." I don't want to regret not picking up the house when someone unexpectedly knocks on the door.

More than worrying about the not-dones on the life list, I hate the feeling of regret. Regret means I cannot change it, I can only try to mend it. And maybe I can't even do that.

With age comes wisdom (I made that up) so if there is an upside to middle age it is that I've made enough blunders to know I don't like the feeling of messing up.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit whispers, "do or don't'll live to regret it."

I am learning to listen.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Year of Hope

Hebrews 10:18-25 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

1. Draw near to God with faith.

2. Receive grace and reject sin.

3. Identify myself publicly as Christ's.

4. Be as consistent in sharing God's love as he consistently loves me.

5. Don't enter into discouragement and criticism, when I am strong Iwill share my strength and help you to find love and service to others within yourself. Please do the same for me.

6. I will join with other Believers to be loved and to love, to learn and to teach, to laugh and to cry. I will notice your gifts and let you mentor me.

7. I know that the time for this planet, this nation and this life I know is only growing shorter. I do see the final days approaching. I will not pretend. If the Lord returns during my life time, I will live worthy of being his final generation of Believers.

So much has changed in the last year of my life, and in retrospect it has been such a good year that my blessings have indeed been beyond all I could ask or think. I awoke this morning thinking of my old hope chest, still stored at the old old house. I remembered myself sitting on my bedroom floor before I was married holding hot pads with geese on them, a glass ornament from Hudson's, salt & pepper shakers...such a little bit to build a home with. I sat in front of that open cedar chest amazed at all of my beautiful things imagining what my home would be. I believed everything I needed was inside of the Lane hope chest.

I needed so much more. So many different things. Some of them I would do without for years, forgetting how nice it is to have luxuries like three sets of sheets or extra tubes of tooth paste or a deep frying pan. The things that were really missing of course, cannot be stored in a cedar chest. I had to seek after them for myself.

It is my honor to awaken today knowing that in uncertainty, I truly do have all I need. My provision is promised and my future is secure. I thank you for spending your days with me and for the honor of being invited into your lives. I have every expectation that 2009 will hold surprises and blessings and worries yet to be imagined for all of us. My prayer for you is that you will find a time in every day of this new year to sit in front of Jesus allowing him to place everything you need into your life. There is no need for hope chests for us, our hope is stored in a manger, in a cross, at the throne.

Much love to you, my family in Christ. When 2010 dawns, I will be celebrating with you, here or in eternity. Either way, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus love and righteousness...