Friday, February 24, 2012


So picture this: It is a Sabbath. Jesus is teaching in a synagogue. A crippled woman is there. Jesus sees her and calls her to him. She goes to Jesus and he heals her. She praises God.

Wow! Can you close your eyes and picture that? All eyes are on Jesus but He has his eyes on a crippled woman. And he calls her over. In front of everybody! How do you think she felt walking through the people? Did they clear a way for her? Were they mumbling about how bent over she was? Did they wonder what was going to happen? Then Jesus -

Then Jesus set her free from her infirmity and put his hand on her. Can you hear the tenderness in his voice? Can you imagine the feel of his touch? Can you picture the woman slowly straightening her back? Standing tall! Standing upright! Can you see the tears on her cheeks as she looks into the eyes of Jesus? Can you hear her praise God? Now this is an example of LIFE - DIFFERENT TODAY THAN YESTERDAY!

And then ---


Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

WHAT? What happened here? How can one verse end with ‘praised God’ and the next start with ‘indignant’?

Time to use your imagination again: Picture the synagogue ruler standing there with his hands on his hips, head cocked to the side and a ‘Just who do you think you are’ expression on his face. INDIGNANT? Jesus had just healed a crippled woman and this man was indignant!

Now, picture Jesus slowly turning to this man, fixing his eyes on him and giving a less than gentle reply.


The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

Give it to them Jesus! Do you think the people listening were shocked to hear Jesus call those important men hypocrites or do you think they gave Jesus an Amen?


When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Okay, you can smile now. A perfect ending!


First, can you picture the joy of the crippled woman upon being healed? Think of your everyday activities and how hard it would be to do them bent over. But how often do we stay bent over because we refuse to forgive, hold a grudge or hang onto a sin? What joy would come into your life if you didn’t have to carry those burdens? How much better would your life be if you allowed Jesus to set your free?

Second, do you think the Sabbath should be one way and only one way? Jesus pointed out that certain work is required to take care of animals but the need of a person is far greater.

Third, talk to Jesus about setting you free. Life is much better when you are standing straight. Just ask the crippled woman.

Friday, February 17, 2012


The title today sure is true. Just when you think life is good, wham something blindsides you and -- your life is different. Or your life just absolutely sucks and wham, out of nowhere comes just what you need.

Our lives do change. We find people to love. We have children. We work. We retire. Death claims those we love. Our health fails. Or our bodies heal. Each day is different.

But are you ready for a really big change in your life? Was the crippled woman ready?


On A Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.


I would say this woman’s life changed. Eighteen years, bent and crippled, unable to stand up and then because Jesus saw her, called her forward, put his hands on her and wham - she was different than yesterday.

And she straightened up and praised God. SHE PRAISED GOD!


How would you like your life to change? Can you make this change by yourself?

LET US PRAY: We all have areas of our lives that need to change. You will notice Jesus called the woman forward, but she had to go to Him. Use this as the beginning of your prayer as you go to Him. He can help you.

Jesus, there seems to be so much of my life that I have no control over. Today I pray for my life to change. I pray for faith, trust. For you to call me forward and say, “You are set free from ____________.”        Amen

Friday, February 10, 2012



Have you ever wondered what God looks like?


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.


The other day I heard the old joke about the boy in art class and the teacher ask what he was drawing. The boy said, “God.” The teacher said, “No one knows what God looks like.” The boy replied, “They will now.”

Yup, an old joke, but how would you draw God?

I want you to know that, if I actually had the talent to draw anything other than stick people, I could draw God, because I have seen God.

Yes, I did! I saw God -

I saw the eyes of God. They were reflected in the eyes of my husband as he said, “I love you.”

I saw the hands of God. They were wrinkled with age, but they were full of canned goods for the food pantry.

I saw the back of God’s head and his ears. I saw them as a mother bent down to listen as a child tells about her day.

I saw the tears of God. God’s tears were on the cheeks of children as they watched their parent slip peacefully into death.

I saw the love of God. God’s love radiated in the room as parents met their newborn son.

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

God, I try to put my features on you. I want you to have my eyes. My smile. My hair. The truth is I do not know what you look like. Someday I will, but for now I will be satisfied in seeing you in the people around me. I pray others see you in me. Amen

Friday, February 03, 2012


It is beginning to arrive! The dreaded TAX INFORMATION: W-2’s. 1099’s. Receipts for donations. Interest statements. With each piece of paper, I check my records.

Are there any missing? Do the numbers agree? The tension is rising! Will we owe more taxes? Could there be a refund? (Hey, I still believe in miracles!) Am I ready to call the accountant to schedule an appointment?

No, there seems to be something missing? Did I get a 1099 from God? Surely I did enough in 2011 to warrant a 1099. After all a 1099 is for any goods and services over $600 and I know I did more than $600 worth of work for God last year. Could there be a mistake? Better check on this.

Oh, I think I got this backwards. God doesn’t owe me a 1099. I owe God one.

Box 1: Rents - “God, what figure do I enter? After all, I am taking up space on the world you created. Would the IRS believe you do not charge rent?”

Box 2: Royalties - “God, I read your book. What royalties do I owe for reading the Bible?”

Box 3: Other Income - “God, this one is really hard to figure: ‘prizes/awards/winnings when not for services performed’. How do I report the value of a sunset? Or rain needed for the garden? Or the hugs from grandchildren? Or answered prayers? Or - You are a gracious God and have given me so many prizes. What value do I enter in Box 3?”

Box 14: Legal Fees - “God, I have skipped boxes 4 - 13. I am so confused. The IRS will never understand a 1099 to God. They will think I am nuts. They will audit us for sure! But God, I came to Box 14. My heart skipped a beat. ‘Fees paid to an attorney for legal services’ - Fees paid to defend me? God, I do not want to fill in this box.”


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1099 TO GOD

Box 14: Legal Fees - “God, it is hard to fill in this box. Fees paid to defend me: The life of your Son. Thank you.”