Friday, January 25, 2008



All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. Luke 4:28-30

Then all the people of the region of the Geraseners asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6:66


Have you ever watched the movie Sherk? I love the scene where the donkey is jumping up and down, yelling, "Pick me. Pick me." Boy do I know that feeling!

I can remember in grade school, not being picked for the basketball game. I can remember in middle school, not being picked to sing with a group for a talent show. I can remember in high school, not being picked for any number of things. And it hurt.

I can also remember, just a few years back, not being picked to receive a rock. I was to attend a workshop and, because of other commitments, could not get there for the first night. You know, the night when everyone gets acquainted and shares their story. I missed that. When I did arrive, I had to tell something about my name and then was given a rock and told to keep it until the last day. On that last day, we were to give our rock to someone who had inspired us. I gave my rock to the other lady from our church and I meant it. I did admire her. I admired her energy and excitement. Her deep commitment to children. BUT -- Yup, you guessed it. No one gave me a rock. I stood there and watched as most of the people crowded around one or two, who had shared their stories on that first night. The night I missed. I felt left out and I felt hurt.

I tell this for a number of reasons. One is to confirm that we never outgrow the feeling of wanting to say, "Pick me. Pick me." And we can be hurt when we are not picked, even when we are in our 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's. Or older. We want to be picked. We want people to like us enough to want us on their team. In their group. As their friend.

Another reason is to give you two assurances about Jesus. When this happens to you, Jesus does know how you feel. Go back and read the scriptures. The people in his own hometown did not pick Jesus. They wanted to throw him over the cliff. Another time, people told him to leave and then some of his disciples left him. Wow, Jesus does know how we feel when we are on the outside. When we are not picked. When we are not included.

I have great news for you -- Jesus picks you. He picks each of us. He wants us on His team. He wants us in His group. He is handing you His rock.

Now the choice is yours -- Do you say yes?


Have you ever been the one picking a team or a group? Did you feel funny about watching as each person was picked and others left standing there? Have you ever been the one left standing? The very last one? Are there better ways to handle dividing a group than "picking" sides?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Pick me. Pick me, Jesus. I want to be on your team. Pick me. Let me play on your team. I will play whatever position you put me in because I know you will equip me. You will give me what I need to be on your team. Pick me. Pick me, Jesus. Pick me to be a disciple. Pick me, Jesus, because I pick you. I pick to be in your group. I will be a trusty disciple and will not turn and walk away. Pick me. Pick me. Thank you for inviting me to join you.………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 18, 2008



When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"


Did you ever wonder --
▪why the waitress always asks, "How is your meal?" just when you take a bite?
▪why children can ask the one question you don't want to answer?
▪why laughing out loud is so much fun?
▪why the intermission of a play is always shorter than the line at the ladies room?

Or --

▪how a dog can ride in the back of a truck without falling out?
▪how ants can carry such a big crumb?
▪how come the phone always rings during your favorite show?
▪how come fudge (not good for you) tastes so much better than spinach (good for you)?

I guess the people who met Jesus wondered too. They wondered who he was. They were not sure if he was Elijah or Jeremiah. Or maybe he was John the Baptist. Or one of the prophets.

I wonder what I would have thought. Would I have recognized Jesus as the Son of God? Would I have believed the healings? Would I have understood Jesus as he told stories to teach lessons?

I wonder how I would have answered that question.


Can you picture yourself there with the disciples? How would you have answered? Would you have waited for one of the others to speak up or would you have been like Simon Peter? (Read verses 16-19 to find out how Simon Peter answered.) Do you wonder who Jesus is? Or do you know?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Christ, the Son of the living God, Your disciple Peter knew you. He was so sure and you used his strong faith. I pray for a strong faith like Peter. I do not want to wonder who you are. I want to know. I want to be able to come before you and, when you ask me "Who do you say I am?", I want to be able to say, "You are the Son of the living God. You are my Savior." ………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 11, 2008



My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.


Every so often, our church allows me to deliver the message. It is usually when our minister is on vacation, so I try to keep a "message in the drawer" ready. I have just finished one and, although I am not going to put it all in my blog, I wanted to share the main idea with you. Here goes:

Lately I heave heard a lot of talk about, "It isn't all you." or "Don't make this about yourself." and as I sit in the pew or I read the book, I want to shout, "Yes, it is. It is all about me."

When Jesus said, "…as I have loved you." He meant it personally.

I think we need to go back to God 101. I think we need to start with the number one basic God principle -- God loves me. When I finally realized that God loves me, that God sees me as His beautiful child, I began to see with new eyes. And I read the scriptures differently.

Do you read the scripture and ever put your name in there? Do you read the scripture and use I or me? Or do you just use the words you, them, her or him? Make the scriptures personal.

When you read, put in your name, I or me --

Romans 10:10 -- For it is with my heart that I believe and am justified, and it is with my mouth that I confess and am saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 -- He called me to this through His gospel, that I might share in the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:7 -- Cast all my anxiety on him because he cares for me.

Take your left hand and lift it up, hand open, palm up. Now take your right hand and put it on your heart. Now, pat your heart and say -- God loves me. God loves me.

What now? The more I understand and accept the love of God, the more I want to share it. The more I want to do His work. The more I want to make sure that every person feels that love. Accepts that love. And then shares that love.

(If this has made you want to read the whole message, leave the information in the comments and I will email it to you. Bless you and have a great week.)


Do you understand that, yes, God loves others, but He loves you? If not, work on it. Learn to accept God's love for yourself. Take it personal. Learn to say, "God's love -- It IS all about me."

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Oh, thank you God for loving me. For creating me. For loving the person, I have become. For seeing me, cleansed and whole. For allowing your love to flow through me to others so they can also celebrate your love. ………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 04, 2008



I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.


Welcome to a New Year -- 2008. It is always exciting when a new year starts. A chance to change those bad ole habits into good ones. A time to look forward and a time to look back.

The other day I came across the question, "Think of a time when you sensed the power of God." As I looked back, I thought; I think I feel the power of God when my Holy Spirit - not my mind or emotions - needs Him.

I remember a time when I was young girl living in Brazil, Indiana. I do not remember the exact age, but I would say 10 to 12, when I was sitting in the pew waiting for other people to go to the altar. I sat there and sang Just as I Am, with the rest of the congregation. Then I felt like I was the only one in the church. I remember the feeling of wanting to go up and being afraid, what others would think. Then I went forward. I had no choice. My spirit needed to stand up for my faith.

I remember a Christmas Eve communion, in Hartford, Michigan. Communion was set up and people came anytime during the evening. When I arrived, there was no one else in the church. I can close my eyes and remember how quiet the church was. How peaceful that communion was. How comforted I felt when I left. My spirit needed to experience communion uninterrupted and unhurried.

I remember being afraid after surgery. (See the blog for July 20, 2007 for the whole story.) I remember sitting on the couch, at North Manchester, Indiana, and letting all my fear come out. Then a light came and took away my fear. My spirit needed to trust God.

My spirit needed to grow in Tucson, Arizona. A homeless man was hungry and we provided food for his body. He put a face to a problem and I will never see those in need without seeing this man.

I have felt close to God as I worked through Purpose Driven Life and other Bible studies.

In looking back, it became very clear that God does not care what age you are or where you live. God is always there. You cannot be too young or too old. God is always there. You do not have to be at home or at church. God is always there. You just have to open your eyes and see Him.

I hope that you sense the power of God every day of 2008.


When have you felt the power of God?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Powerful Lord, You are powerful and I do sense you around me daily. There are some days when you are there in the background. And some days when you are beside me, holding my hand. And there are some days that you are in front of me, clearing the way. This is a new year and during this new year, I want to sense your presence even stronger. Help me to ………………………………… Amen