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When you noticed the picture at the top of this page, what came to mind? I would like to suggest that if you did not consider God’s promises, it shows how successfully the world has hijacked God’s symbols to promote its own agendas.

Each time I see a rainbow, I am reminded God keeps every promise He has ever made, and He provides a way of rescue for all who seek Him. While my husband was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, our family lived in Hawaii. Several times every week I would spot a rainbow covering the heavens. Whenever I encountered a rainbow, I was reminded that God promised never to leave or forsake me.  It was such a comfort during this difficult time, a visible reminder of what I knew in my head but did not feel in my circumstances.

Sadly, I believe this picture of God’s faithfulness is one example of a symbol that has been hijacked, taken over by those who intend evil, and is being piloted to the wrong destination.

How about meditation? Do red flags of caution enter your mind because of the preponderance of Eastern religions gaining acceptance in mainstream culture?  King David was widely recognized for the practice of meditation which resulted in some of the psalms we read today (see Psalm 119). Before Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land, Joshua was instructed to continually meditate on God’s law.

Gemstones, too, have become highly recognized as symbols of new age philosophies. However, in God’s word, twelve unique and precious stones, each representing a tribe of Israel, adorn the high priest’s breastplate. Even better, the foundation of the walls of the New Jerusalem are comprised of twelve precious stones, and the twelve gates are each made from a single pearl.

Who is this nefarious hijacker? None other than the prince of this world. What is his objective? To cause division among mankind and eternal separation from God. We are warned (1 John 4) that many false spirits have gone out into the world, who speak from the world, and the world listens to them.

Your mission: Test the spirits.  By the Holy Spirit, we are able to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error. In these last days, deception is rampant, so we must discern these subtle influences hijacking God’s symbols.  By speaking truth and loving one another, we resist the hijacker and keep moving toward God’s destination. Even as I write, the meanings of truth and love are poised at the precipice of a hostile takeover. Beloved, stand firm in the grace of God and in the full armor of God!

Divine Appointments

clockWhile Mike was in the military, we would wait for him to “come down on orders.” These orders would tell us when and where to report for our next assignment. Although, in the military, we had little control over our destinies, I was assured in Acts 17:26, “The Lord of heaven and earth determined the times set for men and the exact places they should live.”

As His ambassadors, God sends us many places. Each and every day, we have divine appointments. Consider Joseph who was unjustly thrown into prison where God orchestrated an appointment with the cup bearer for Pharaoh. Only after about 2 years did the results of this encounter surface. Joseph was summoned to interpret  Pharaoh’s dream. As a result, by God’s sovereign purpose, Joseph was promoted to the second highest position in Egypt.

What kind of divine appointments does God have for you?  These assignments may not be where you expect. They may seem as mundane as offering kind words and a smile for a cashier or sharing coffee with someone who needs a listening ear.  Sometimes, these opportunities are disguised as appointments with a cardiologist or oncologist. Other times we may be dispatched as God’s representative as we meet with a school counselor or speak with a police officer.  In our human understanding, what appears to be bad news or an impossible circumstance become a tool in the hand of our master builder. Joseph explained to his brothers, “What you intended to harm me, God intended for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Not all of God’s assignments are difficult or undesirable. He may send us to celebrate a wedding, direct us to a pottery class, or lead us to participate in line dancing.

 Show up. Love the world like Jesus. Trust Him to work. It doesn’t have to make sense to us!

Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous? Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go! Joshua 1:9



The Enemy of Joy


Rejoice in the Lord Always. Phil 4:4

 What would you identify as the enemy of joy? Trials? Suffering? Would you consider expectations? Whether expressed or unspoken, we have expectations of what work, church, marriage, parenting, and friendship involve. For example, we may expect churches to be friendly, work to be fulfilling, friends to be loyal, and children to heed our wise advice. If we become angry or disappointed when the hoped-for outcomes do not result, perhaps our emotions reveal we had expected something else.

 Are expectations wrong? No, but if we hold too closely to any expectation other than what God promises in Scripture, we are bound to be disappointed. In the Bible, the word expect was most commonly used when stating that the Lord will return at a time we do NOT expect. Yes, we can certainly expect/anticipate His return, yet not know when.

 Paul tells us that he learned to be content in every situation whether in plenty or in hunger, when facing abundance or need. Even in prison, Paul rejoiced because he realized the gospel was advancing.  Interestingly, Paul also used the word “expectation,” but his expectation sounds nothing like mine. He wrote in Philippians 1:20, “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life of death.”

 Paul challenges my shallow expectations for things to turn out  my way. Whether or not we like the outcome, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can expect to have courage so that Christ will be honored in our bodies, knowing the Lord is advancing His gospel in the midst of suffering. Best of all, we can eagerly expect Jesus to return and take us to our forever home!


Where did I go?


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

After I had children, I began putting my life on hold because their needs superseded my own. And they always need something!  If I am to deny myself to follow Christ, does that mean I can only do what I want after everyone else’s needs are met? If I do something for only myself, am I selfish?

How did I get lost? Did I lose myself for Jesus’ sake or just lose myself in busyness, burying my dreams and desires in the rubble of everyday life.

For years I have struggled to figure out exactly what dying to self means. I decided to look up all the places it was found in scripture. I found none! I found I was to deny myself and die to sinful desires, but not die to self. Please tell me where/if you find it.

Here are some of the verses I encountered:

 *If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his live will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. Matthew 16:24

*Our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Romans 6:6

*Count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans6:11

*I died to the Law that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20

*Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

*If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

What have I learned?

My old “self” was crucified with Christ, and I am a new creation.   My new “self” is actually Christ living in and through me as I am being conformed into His image.  Denying truly selfish interests in order to pursue interests which serve God’s purposes becomes a consequence of true saving faith as I put Jesus as my priority. Sometimes (more so as I grow in my Christian walk), Christ’s interests and mine will be the same, so serving everyone else’s interest at the expense of serving Christ’s interests would not be wise or beneficial.

Perhaps I should have stated from the beginning, this blog contains more questions than answers. I was trying to wait until I figured it out, however, I still experience a tension of when to consider my own interests and when to serve the interests of others. Lately, I experience more peace (and less guilt) when on occasion, I choose things I want instead of what I perceive others want or need. For example, it is 6:00 p.m. and I am trying to finish this blog instead of cooking dinner. I stopped thinking of  naps as selfish because a short rest empowers me to have grace for the rest of the day. I no longer feel obligated to say “yes” if my schedule is open because I want to preserve time alone with Jesus to nurture my spirit.

So where did I go? I will let Colossians 3 summarize this since God’s word says it better than I ever could…. I have died (my old self) and my life is hidden with Christ in God. I have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created me.

By Faith

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we see now did not come from anything that can be seen. Hebrews 11:3

Did you see it? We are in the 11th chapter of Hebrews in the “Hall of Fame” of faith! If you believe creation did not evolve but was spoken into being by a word from God, you too are in this amazing chapter of heroes who lived by faith, not sight.

This summer we visited the Ark Encounter. Its designer attempted to re-create what the ark could have looked like.  It was huge and amazing; however, many intelligent people discount the flood as a global calamity believing it was merely a regional event, a myth, or symbolic.


Those who dismiss these truths of divine creation and the flood recorded in Genesis may also question the historical accuracy of the resurrection or scoff at second coming of Jesus. After all, it has been thousands of years and He hasn’t returned (yet!).

We don’t need to explain every detail to be able to testify that what God says and how He reveals himself in scripture is true.  If we want to be heroes of faith, we affirm to our Lord, “I trust you and believe your promises even when I don’t understand.”

Without faith it is impossible to please God for we must believe God exists and rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6