Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gifts for and from the Poor

There are times when I feel like I cannot be as generous as I'd like to be, especially this time of the year when we get gift catalogs - NO, not the kind you're think of, but from charitable organizations like World Vision, Partners International, and Food for the Hungry. Did you know you can buy rabbits, chickens, goats, cows, wells for clean drinking water, and even small dwellings for people who do not have these things? I've always let my grandchildren pick out something inexpensive from these catalogs to send overseas. Only last year did Stephen ask if anyone was going to eat the bunnies he picked out. I assured him that his bunnies were for breeding so the people would have lots of rabbits later if they needed meat. Whew!

Well, that aside, this year due to medical bills we decided we didn't have enough money to buy Christmas presents for the family, so I put together a book of stories to give to our family groups. Guess what my daughter pointed out to me when we visited a Starbucks last week. The slogan for this year on the Starbucks hot cup holders says,"Stories are Gifts! SHARE
Insightfully yours,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I was thinking about how lavishly God prepares His banquets. There are several banquets mentioned in the Scriptures but this particular one is in Isaiah 25. It says "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine - the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth."

The people will respond like this: "Surely this is our God, we trusted in him, and he saved us. .. let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."

When I think about this, I try to imagine how I could lavish my love on God. I think lavishness may be an attitude.

This year as I decorate my home, I will use the same decorations I always use, but my attitude will be one of lavishness. I will think about welcoming the birth of my Savior as I get out my "treasures" and place them around the rooms. I will sing the wonderful words of the Christmas carols for Him. Then I will serve my family a Christmas breakfast banquet.
Insightfully yours,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spiritual Journey

In what ways has God graciously done everything you need to know Him, and help others know Him?
That was the question in my Bible study this morning.

What a fun question to answer. I began to trace my spiritual journey and this is the bare bones skeleton I came up with.

He gave me life,
put me in a family that attended church,
gave me His Holy Spirit when I asked Him into my life at age 9
gave me a Christian group in college,
a Christian boyfriend who challenged my faith
gave me a husband who wanted to go to church,
gave us a young married couples group at church,
gave us an opportunity to lead an adult Sunday school class,
introduced me to Bible Study Fellowship,
put us in an evangelical church
gave me a deep love for His Word,
gave me children to further mold and refine me
tested me with depression when I didn't follow Him,
restored me
continues to encourage me in my writing for Him
continues to teach me to trust Him daily with guidance from His Holy Spirit

Each of these could be a whole chapter and if you want to know more, just ask me. Better yet, write your own spiritual journey. See how faithful God is!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Each morning when we release our cat from her nighttime captivity in the house, she wants to prowl her yard, check out the exotic smells left on the bushes, the illusive humming birds at the feeder, and the whole plethera of insects flying just above the lawn. But soon she comes to find me. She knows I always talk to her, pet her soft fur, and fill her dish with food. She knows I'm her master.

The Bible says each animal knows his master but we, who were created by God, do not know our Master. Interesting, even fascinating - we who have higher intelligence do not recognize who holds our lives in His hands.

Animals, of course, live by instinct. And I guess up until a certain age we humans do too. But when we realize we have been given free will by our Creator, we so often choose to leave Him out of the picture. Romans, chapter one, says that the first step of error on our part is not recognizing Him as God - authority, majesty, omnipotent - Master.
Insightfully yours,

Monday, August 23, 2010

His Grace is Enough

Have you ever listed the hardships of the Apostle Paul? There is a long list, far longer and more severe than any I might complain about. Let's see, there is

hard work (later he says labored and toiled)
frequently been in prison (I've never been)
flogged (I don't know what this is but I think my mother threatened it)
exposed to death again and again (not me)
5 times received 40 lashes minus one
3 times beaten with rods
once stoned (with thrown stones, that is)
3 times shipwrecked (I'd find another mode of transportation)
a day and a night in the open sea (on a raft or plank?)
constantly on the move (I hate that)
danger from rivers
danger from bandits
danger from his own countrymen
danger from Gentiles (prejudice in his time)
danger in the city
danger in the country
danger at sea
danger from false brethren
hunger and thirst, going without food
cold and naked
stress-concern for his work among the churches

My conclusion: I am a pansy. My small complaints, though seemingly all consuming to me, are as nothing compared to what I read here. I sing with the rest of the congregation, "His grace is enough, His grace is enough, His grace is enough for me." Do I believe it?
Insightfully yours,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Potting Soil

Today I was reading Matthew 13. Jesus told the Parable of the Sower. Did I know people whose lives represented the four kinds of soil? I thought of my son-in-law. The seeds of the Gospel probably have been planted in the past but never took root because he didn't understand. He's like Nicodemus, the literalist. When Nicodemus heard, "You must be bon again," he asked, "Can a man enter his mother's womb a second time to be born?"
The seeds that fell on rocky soil are perhaps like my granddaughter's life. She received the seeds of the good news of Jesus with joy, but there was not enough soil or encouragement for them to take root so they died out.
The seeds planted among thorns represent like my daughter's life. She, too, received the gospel with joy and relief, but the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches choked them out.
Only the Holy Spirit can prepare the soil so that when the seeds of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are planted, they will take root and bear fruit - a hundred fold. I can pray for Christian influences and friends to come into the lives of my family, but what they really need is for the Holy Spirit to prepare the soil of their hearts.
Merciful God, You always do what is right, and so I trust You with my family.