Friday, April 29, 2011


When we are making a quick trip to the store or for coffee, I do not always take my driver's license: proof of my identity. If we were to be in an accident, I would think, "This is a small town. Someone will know me." But, when we go out of town, I always take my ID with me. And, if someone is riding with me, I insist they have theirs.

In case of an emergency, what I carry, in my purse, would tell people a lot about me. They could quickly learn my name, address and age. They might question my weight which hasn't been up-pounded for a few weight gains and my hair color changes each time Clairol messes with their formula for dark blonde. Digging further, my home phone number is on my cell phone. My health and auto insurance cards are behind my license. I usually carry only one credit card, but my fabric purchase card is almost full so they will know I like to sew.

If they did a bit deeper, they will know I am old school and still carry enough cash to buy a cup of coffee without using a charge card. It will be quickly revealed that I chew gum and use Tylenol. And that my calendar has some really busy days and some where I can relax. From my key chain, they will learn I shop at CVS, Hallmark and Alco and that my library card number begins with a 2.

I usually carry my camera because I love to take pictures, but they won't find many pictures. There is one of Bill and me taken a few years ago at church and a few school pictures of the grandkids.

One thing I hope they find is a picture I have carried since grade school. Why do I want them to find this picture?

Because if I am ever rushed to the emergency room, I want them to be shouting, "She is a Christian. We found Jesus in her purse."


As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he was the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16-17

Jesus for blog

As you can see, the picture is a bit worn.

"But what about you?" Jesus asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." Mark 8:29

Card for blog

The Gideons gave these out, I think, when I was in the fourth grade.


What would your purse or wallet say about you?

LET US PRAY: Today, say your own prayer. Talk to Jesus. Tell him about yourself. Yes, he knows everything about you, but He does so enjoy listening to you. Then answer the question: Who do you say I am? Have a heart to heart about how you would answer that question. Then ask Him to protect you and be always with you as you continue learning about yourself and about becoming an even stronger Christian.

Friday, April 22, 2011


This past week I spoke for Chapel, at a local retirement community. I asked them to hear the scriptures. Not just read them, but to imagine the surroundings and how it would have sounded. Today I ask you to do the same thing and I am asking you to look up the scriptures. Yes, this is a bit longer than usual, but remember, you are reading the reason for the Christmas story.

Please read the scriptures for each section.

Luke 22:7 --- The Last Supper: When I think about the sounds of the day of the Last Supper, I picture Peter and John walking down a very busy street. Noisy with chatter. Merchants selling wares needed for Passover. What do you think they talked about while they prepared the room? Can you hear how quiet the room would have become when the preparations were over?

Can you hear Jesus and the disciples coming up the stairs? Do you hear the door open?

Can you hear the water being poured into the basin? Can you hear Peter telling Jesus not to wash his feet? Can you imagine the quiet as Jesus continues to go from disciple to disciple? Can you hear the cup being passed? Can you hear the bread being broken?

Jesus made many startling and troubling remarks that night. Can you hear the whispers, as the disciples tried to figure out what Jesus was talking about.

Can you hear the door shut as Judas leaves? Can you hear the quiet return as Jesus and the disciples left? What sounds do you hear in the Upper Room?

Luke 22:39-46 --- In the Garden: "Father" - What do you hear in his voice when he prays? Pain? Hope? Pleading? Obedience! What sound would an angel make? What sound would an angel make bringing the love of the Father to strengthen the Son? Do you hear his sweat fall to the ground? Do you hear someone snoring in the distance? Do you hear the footsteps getting louder and louder? Do you hear the confusion in the voice of the disciples? Do you hear the disappointment for a lost soul, as Jesus tells Judas to carry out his task?

Matthew 27:63-67 --- The Trial, the Courtyard and the Crucifixion: Sometimes we visualize what we have seen in movies and we hear what the director feels is important. What would you hear at the trial? What would you hear in the courtyard? Would you hear the disciples asking themselves what they could do? Can you hear the anguish in the voice of the women? Can you hear the crowd? Can you hear the crown being made? The whip cutting through the air? Can you hear - Oh, these are sounds we do not want to hear. I do not want to hear the cross being drug down the street. I do not want to hear the hammer hit the nail. I do not want to hear -- Oh, this is where I would rather just read the words and not hear or see.

Luke 23:46 --- The Cross: Words are bad enough, but the sounds. The vision of this is too hard. But it takes all of our senses to make this real. We must hear. We must feel. The sounds at the cross are the hardest to hear. Can you hear Jesus being called names? Being made fun of? Do you hear the weeping? Do you hear Jesus as he calls out to his father? Do you hear Jesus as he -- As he says, Father, forgive them --

Matthew 28:1-2, 5-6, 18 --- The Empty Tomb and the Ascension: Can you hear the sounds of footsteps as the women walked to the tomb? Do you suppose they talked? Or were they quiet? Can you hear them go (intake of breathe) as they saw the open tomb? What did the voice of the angel sound like? Gentle? Full of promise? I think it sounded like - hope! Can you hear the difference in their footsteps as they leave? Coming their steps would be sad. Heavy. Sorrowful. Now their steps were light! Joyful!

Hearing the sounds of the courtyard and the cross were so hard, but hearing the sounds of the empty tomb is like hearing the most beautiful -- The most beautiful sound. Sweet to the ears. Comfort for the soul. A melody that can only be played on an angel's harp.


Can you imagine being there when Jesus spoke for the last time? Read the Gospels and imagine.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. How would that have sounded?

Jesus ascended! Listen!

Can you hear the joyful sound in heaven?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Dear Heavenly Father, As I read and study Your word, let those words touch my whole being. Let me use my ears to hear the activity and emotions that surround Your word. And, in that hearing, let my understanding be greatly increased.


Friday, April 15, 2011



Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff they comfort me.


The other day I was reading a book and the character pointed out that they were walking through the valley of the shadow of death. That darn ole 2 X 4 hit me and I realized it said through. It didn't say: I stay in the valley. It said: THROUGH. Why had I never thought of this before? I have read this Psalm many times and just never focused on this one word.

I have a friend who is walking a valley right now. And it is a valley of death. But it is not a physical death. It is the death of a marriage and the death of a dream. I called her and told her, "YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO STAY!"

This next week we begin to celebrate Easter. The problem is that before we can celebrate Easter, we must go through the valley of shadow of death. We must go through the valley of the Cross. But go through. Go through, just like Jesus did.

Jesus did not stay in the valley. Jesus did not stay in the tomb. Jesus went through death. Jesus went through the tomb. Jesus went through the valley to go to the Father.


Are you in a valley right now?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Dear Father, Thank you that I am only meant to go through valleys and not meant to stay in them. Because you are with me, I do not have to be afraid or alone. Your rod of authority and staff of support reassure me that I will safely travel through all of the valleys in my life. Amen

Friday, April 08, 2011


I gave our Sunday School class an assignment. Giving an assignment made me feel like a "real" teacher. The assignment was to write a personal statement of faith that expresses what you believe to be the twelve most important things about Jesus Christ. Or list what you believe to be the ten most important statements Jesus made.

I searched the scriptures and having a Bible with the words of Jesus in red really helped. I quit trying to get a list of 10. I cut my list down to 12 but refuse to delete any more!

Here are my 12 and why I chose them.

A question I need to be able to answer:

But what about you? Who do you say I am?   Luke 9:20

A question of my faith:

Do you believe that I am able to do this?   Matthew 9:28

Who I am to worship and serve:

It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'   Luke 4:8

When I am tired:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.   Matthew 11:28-30

When I feel like I cannot do life:

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.   Matthew 26:39

How I am to love:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.   Matthew 22:37-40

Who I am to help:

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.   Matthew 25:40

A warning:

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.   Luke 12:4-5

Be alert:

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.   Mark 13:32-33

What I am to do and Jesus' assurance:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.   Matthew 28:18-20

Where I will go:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.   John 14:1-4

How I get there:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   John 14:6


What are favorite scriptures?


Today, think about your favorite scriptures and use them as your prayer.

Sunday, April 03, 2011



Now who would come up with a day called April Fool's Day? And why?

Who and why? No one really knows but in 1582, in France, people were a bit confused. Or so it seems to me. They celebrated the New Year from March 25 to April 1. Then Charles IX introduced a new calendar that began with January. Not having the internet or text messaging, it took the news a bit of time to travel and some people did not take the news in stride. They did not want to change. They wanted to keep the old calendar.

What were the people called who refused to change? These backward folk were labeled "fools" and they were teased for continuing to celebrate the beginning of the year on April 1. A new tradition was born.

April Fool's Day is just one of those nonsensical days. A day where kids try to trick their parents with the same jokes that their parents used. (Hey, your shoe is untied.) Times on clocks are changed to confuse people. Sugar is put in place of salt and money is glued to the sidewalk. And kids around the world - kids of all ages - smile when they yell, "Got ya. April Fools!"


(Jesus speaking) "But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matthew 7:26-27

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Ephesians 5:17


This day came into being because, as people heard of the new calendar, they did not want to change. People have heard about God at different times. Some heard early in their lives and some did not hear until they were up in years. Some believed immediately. Some did not. Some have not. Some will not believe because they do not want to change.


When did you first hear about God? Did you believe right away? Did you have trouble because you did not want to change? (The changing part is an ongoing process. God keeps pointing out big and little areas of my life that need changed. Also, just when I think I have learned one lesson, God hits me between the eyes with a 2 X 4 and teaches me something else. I told someone that I wished he would use something softer.)

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Do you laugh at us on April Fool's Day? Teasing each other. Pulling pranks. Lord, do you think your children are a bit silly? Or do you enjoy seeing us having fun? Do you enjoy watching young children trying to put one over on their parents?

I know better, but so often I do deserve to be called a fool. Forgive me, Lord, when I try to put one over on you. Forgive me when I resist changing my life.

I do not want to be fools and live a foolish life. I want my faith built on solid rock - on Your solid rock. And I want to understand your will. Amen