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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Because I Said So...

John 15:9-13
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

As a mom, I’ve been blessed with children who respected my authority and for the most part obeyed me. There were times when one or another pushed the envelope or said “but, why,” too many times. That’s when I’d get exasperated and say the quote that no child wants to hear, “Because I said so.” I know now that was probably not the best answer. Recently, I read a post where the mom’s response to the “but, why” was, “Because I love you so much.” Now that makes sense and covers the child with peace. So the next time my grandchild wonders why they need to buckle their seatbelt, stay off the road, put away their toys, I have an answer. “Because I love you so much.”

Jesus keeps his Father’s commands and he expects me to keep his. Because He loves me. Jesus wants me to be a light in darkness. He tells me not to worry. He wants me to love others. As I obey, the Holy Spirit nudges me and tells me what I need to do for the kingdom. His plan includes the fruit I produce. When I get stubborn or confused and say, “But, why?” I’m thankful that God is not the God of, “Because I said so.” Instead, He’s the God of “Because I love you so much.” Praise the Lord for His love.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Much Needed Rest

Exodus 33:14
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Spending two days with my active grandchildren reminds me why God intends for young adults to have children and older folks to be grandparents. I passed the milestone of fifty a few years ago and find that I require more rest than I ever have. Some days, I’d like to trade places with our dogs. They sleep more than anything else. Yet when I think I can’t go another day, God provides me with a time of rest. Sometimes in little spurts, through the help of family and friends and often through the encouraging words of the Bible.

In Exodus, God asked Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt and take them to the Promised Land. The Israelites were not the most pleasant bunch. They griped and complained and no doubt got on Moses’ nerves. I know when I’m around negative people, they wear me out. But God, as He always does, kept his promise. He went with him and gave Moses some much needed rest. On the days that drag me down, I know God provides renewal. He refuels my fire and passion to serve and helps me recharge. There is nothing like reading through the Bible when it comes to restoring energy and enthusiasm. Praise God for times of rest.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Beauty of the Butterfly

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Blue Morpho we saw at the zoo. One landed on me :)

Recently, I traveled with my daughter, Maggie, and her children to Indianapolis to visit the Children’s Museum and the zoo. At the zoo, we stopped by the White River Gardens for the butterfly exhibit. Maggie looked around the room at the winged beauties and told me that she knew a lot of people who said they saw God’s existence when they looked at a new born baby. 
But for her, she saw the magnificence of God in the butterfly.

As I watched the intricately winged creatures swoop about, I was reminded of the hope I have in Jesus. They reinforced my desire to go to heaven and stand in the beauty of God, who loves me more than I can imagine. Some religious teachers talk about how to be good, others tell their listeners how to give back to the earth and live in harmony. Granted, living a peaceful life and taking care of the resources that God gave me is important. But to live life without faith in Jesus is detrimental. He is the only way to heaven. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have no desire to spend eternity in hell. Instead, I look forward to eternal life with God. Praise God for the butterfly, a beautiful glimpse of heaven. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Camouflaged from the Enemy

Psalm 143:12-14
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

Where I live, I often notice people dressed in camouflage. Lots of folks hunt and fish and have embraced the fabric that helps them hide from their prey. Soldiers wear colorfully blended uniforms to conceal themselves from the enemy. My friend Lori said she saw camouflage siding for a house and I spotted the same patterns on a sofa and recliner. I imagine the Duck Dynasty craze has a lot to do with the siding and furniture.

According to, camouflage is the act, means, or result of obscuring things to deceive an enemy. In the Psalm, David needed to hide from the ones who chased him. He worried about people who might be after him for things he had done. But, he knew that the true enemy, Satan, was the one who pursued his heart. His only hope of rescue was the camouflage that God provided. He cried out for God to cover him. The good news is, God still calls us to take refuge and rest in his protection. I may not wear colorfully blended clothing that hides me in the forest, but I do wear the clothing of the Spirit that keeps me from the enemy. Praise God, who provides refuge for his people.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bloom Where You're Planted?

Psalm 92:12-15
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

The last few years I’ve experimented to find out what grows best in the small flower bed beside my house. The plot gets the morning sun and the afternoon shade. Last year I planted mostly full sun flowers. Some of them thrived and others got leggy and languished on the sidewalk. This year I chose shade plants. Again, some flourished but a few seem stunted. Along with the new growth, I moved the lavender to a new spot and now I have a full blooming herb.

In the seventies, I often read the phrase “Bloom where you’re planted.” It used to bother me because, as a follower of Christ, I didn’t understand what it meant. Did it mean I should stay in one spot and never move? As a seasoned adult (a nice way of saying I’m over fifty) I’ve learned that for me, as one who loves God and seeks his purpose, if I stay firmly planted in my Savior’s love, I’ll bloom. Some of the plants I placed in my garden struggled to grow. They needed water or pruning. As I bloom and grow, I struggle, but continue to flourish in his kingdom. I love that the Psalmist mentions that those who love God continue to “bear fruit in old age.” I’d hate to quit now J. Praise God for his spiritual nourishment.