For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hope of Spring

Genesis 1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

One of the things I consider a blessing about living in Ohio are the four seasons. Every year like clock work spring, summer, autumn and winter come by and visit for a while. Spring mud, summer heat, autumn leaves and winter snow and ice stay just long enough that they leave us ready and hoping for the next season to arrive.

From the beginning, God promised us seasons. He set up creation to work in perfect time. As we experience the seasons in nature, we also travel through the seasons of life. We all experience seasons of hope, despair, love, and sadness. Sometimes, especially during the dark of winter, many suffer a season of depression. God gives us hope in all of these. He promises to be with us, he will not leave us standing alone in the wilderness.

Praise God for hope and spring!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


In Ohio about 8" of snow and some ice dumped on us over 2 days. I am one of the fortunate people who got to stay home both days because my place of employment closed due to the weather.

I am a snow lover and I enjoy most of the winter. I look forward to January because it is usually a quiet month. I love snowdays, I like to think of them as bonus days. Days when I have no schedule or goals. For the past 2 days, I read, wrote, looked up publishers, sewed, played with the dog and spent time with my husband. I enjoyed it so much.

I remember when my girls were young we (and usually several kids from the neighborhood) rode sleds, made snow angels, and of course had a snowball fight. Then we hurried inside for hot chocolate. In our haste, we peeled off our outerwear and left piles of wet clothes all over the utility room. I miss those days.

I think this year, I'll just enjoy the sparkle of the snow in the sunlight and the peaceful elegance of the moonlit winter night. I'll pray for those who have to travel on the icy roads and appreciate the people who work round the clock to keep the roads cleared.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whiter Than Snow

The world is covered in white. About five inches of snow fell last night and more is on the way. The University I work for is closed today. So, for a change, I have time to write. Our backyard glitters with a pure white snow blanket. Our flowering crab tree's red berries stand out against the white glow.

When I see the pure white snow, I can't help but be reminded of Christ and how he makes us whiter than snow. His berry red blood spilled to cover our black sin and make us pure white.

Psalm 51:7 "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." David cries to God to cleanse his soul, just as we cry to Christ.

Praise God for his mercy and grace.

Snow also reminds me of wonderful times with my children, sledding, snowman building, playing duck, duck, goose. Now my daughter plays with her little girl in the snow. What a joy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lazarus, come out!

John 11 43-46
43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." 45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

This week in my New Testament class the teacher asked us to write a paper about Jesus and the problem with miracles. One of the miracles I looked at was where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The one Jesus wept over. Through much of this study, I’ve come closer to seeing Jesus human facets. Jesus life was one filled with struggle, heartache, joy and pain. Jesus never failed to seek God for guidance, comfort and strength. In his years of ministry, Jesus walked with authority and humility. He pursued the hearts of all people. Even though many Jews and government leaders despised him, he continued on in his purpose. Jesus was not just some lovey dovey, I’m ok, you’re ok spiritual leader, he took a stand for his Father, he spoke the truth. Though his miracles continuously offended the Pharisees and his work on the Sabbath fired up the Sanhedrin, Jesus continued to gain followers and win souls.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Backbone and Purpose

I've been taking a class in New Testament Literature. So far we've studied the four gospels, spending a large chunk of time in Matthew and Luke. Something that keeps jumping out at me as I read and study is Jesus personality.

I think sometimes I've pictured him as a loving, almost wimpy, person, who wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone a Pharisee. When in reality and in scripture he is strong, with backbone and purpose. He stands for what he believes and speaks the truth without regret. When he ran the money changers out of the temple he didn't say, "um...excuse me but could you guys please leave" while he hung his head from embarrassment. Instead, Matthew 21:12-13 says, "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers." He spoke with authority.

I find a lack of reality and scriptural backing in the spiritual movements that encourage love no matter what, in a way that excuses and overlooks sin. Jesus didn't overlook sin, he met it face to face. Oh yes, Jesus is loving, but not in a flowery "everything is acceptable" way. Jesus' love stems from his desire to see all of us accept him and follow him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Best Man

John 3:28-29

28You yourselves can testify that I (John the Baptist) said, 'I am not the Christ[j] but am sent ahead of him.' 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

Maggie and I went to see the movie Bride Wars yesterday. The movie focused on two women who had been best friends since childhood and were supposed to be each others maid of honor. I do'nt want to ruin the story line, so I'll just say, the role of maid of honor for both parties falls apart.

Today I was reading in John and came across the story of John the Baptist and how he was sent before Jesus to proclaim that the Messiah was coming to the people. John humbled himself over and over to reach people for Christ. In chapter 3:28-29 John compares himself to the best man. The best man/maid of honor sets himself/herself aside to honor the groom/bride. They serve them and work ahead of them to make the path smooth and make sure the work gets done. I'm not sure we get that today. Even at a wedding, does the maid of honor really set herself aside to help the bride or the best man to help groom?

Are we paving the way for Christ's return?

Friday, January 9, 2009


I could watch the giant sea turtle at the Newport Aquarium for hours. He sails around the huge tunnel tank as if he were as small as a goldfish. I am amazed at the creatures God has created. When he formed the earth and imagined each creature, I cannot even comprehend the vastness of his creativity. From the tiniest insect to the big blue whale, God saw life and purpose for every living thing. Including you and me.

Proverbs 19:21 says: "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." We all have plans for our lives, things to do, lists to complete. But, true purpose comes from God; his purpose for us is to accept his Bible as truth and Christ as our Saviour.

His Word

Psalm 119: 89-90
89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

This quarter I signed up for a class (at U.C. Clermont where I work). I'm taking New Testament Literature. The teacher sort of talked me into it because she knows I enjoy literature and writing. I took it because I want to refresh my memory on the history and culture of the Bible.

So far I've learned that I've forgotten most of what I knew about how the Bible came to print. When I read my Bible and study and pray, I seldom consider how the people of Jesus time lived or what they had to do to record what we now know as Holy scripture. I thank God for those he trusted to write down his truths and I praise God for his eternal word.

We are blessed to have access to a Bible anytime we want. I wonder if I would want to read it more if I were not allowed. Just something to think about...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tater & Me

Today my husband and I went to see the movie, Marley and Me. I read the book a few years back and was anxious to see the movie. The story took the viewer through the life of a wonderful, cantankerous dog and his family. As I watched this crazy vivacious movie dog, my thoughts drifted home to our dog, Tater.

When I walk in the door from work, Tater greets me with his “I’m so happy you are home” dance, wagging and jumping until I stop and pet him and let him know I’m happy to be home too. Every time Tater needs to go “outside”, Tim asks him if he wants to walk. Barking, jumping and a wildly wagging tale result. Instead of letting this gyrating dog frustrate us, we see that the joy in Tater bubbles up and bounces out.

I find myself wishing I were more like Tater. I want to jump and dance and appreciate the simple joy of life in Christ. Psalm 68:3 says “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” From his words I know that God planted his joy in my soul! Is there a better reason to rejoice every day?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

God Bears our Burdens

Psalm 68 : 19-20
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah
20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.

Have you ever overloaded your arms with bags of groceries or other items, struggled to get them into the house, then (bless their hearts) someone meets you at the door and takes half of your burden and carries it in for you? What a relief! As humans, we tend to carry our emotional and spiritual burdens by ourselves. Too much and the weight wears us down. Psalm 68 tells us that God carries our burdens every day, not just half of them, but all of them. He meets us at the door and lifts our hearts and gives us the Holy Spirit to help us. Through prayer, God knows what we need. Take your burdens to him.