Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weird envy

I am so proud of my sisters at Teen Challenge who are hanging in there and doing the work that needs to be done in order to live sober in our pressure filled society. Yesterday I had a moment with them. A moment that was a weird envy. We started talking about where 'they' will be this year for the holidays. We addressed the obvious: not home (which can be good, bad, or both), not with family, not with familiar traditions etc. That can make us feel very homesick for either what we had, or what we wish we had, or what we think others have in our fantasy minds. But then we were all invited to a new thought...what IF...

we gave thanks for where God has us

we embraced His goodness to us in this difficult place and accepted the fact He has us here

we allowed Him to walk us through this time knowing He is with us for His purpose and glory...

and then it hit me...the weird envy, and I said to them, "this may be your purest Christmas yet. One where you truly worship the King Jesus. One without the distraction of what our culture has done to this most sacred gift."

We then engaged in God's Word where Gabriel shows up and speaks truth to Mary from Luke 1. Far beyond what she could comprehend (son of the Most High? Son of God?? the Holy Spirit will overshadow??? etc.!)...but not beyond what she could and would experience. She asks the obvious question: HOW? and she is given the only answer we can hold onto...'nothing is impossible with God.'

Have we become so arrogant to think we deserve an explanation for everything? That we have a right to comprehend all that God is doing and why? Am I willing to simply say, as Mary did, "I don't get it, but I'm yours, and I am willing to accept what You want (Luke 1:38 NLT)

Oh, to live in the mystery of the One who is beyond measure as the favored one, most blessed. Are you there?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It’s so frustrating to hit a train or a detour on a road when you are trying to get somewhere in a timely fashion. Last week I was late to Teen Challenge because of a train parked on the tracks. That train tried to frustrate me and steal all my joy. Wow. I gave that train a lot of power. My goal was to get to TC, and I did, but I sure let that silly train mess with my head. I almost decided I shouldn’t even go.

Do you ever let people block your way to Jesus and frustrate you so much that you never reach Him? How it must grieve Him when His children stop seeking Him because of the behavior of other “Christians.” Those intolerant, judgmental, hypocritical, back biting believers park right in front of us and block our view. Then we lump them all together where pretty soon the whole church is one big nasty train that is going nowhere fast and we want nothing to do with it. “Let’s just go home.”

Yep. I’ve been there. I’ve let sin sick sinners like me keep me from the beauty of Jesus far too often. My own behavior and the behavior of my brothers and sisters has robbed my joy and made me sour (even toxic) more times than I care to admit. But, I’m learning to wait, or go around and make sure I reach the goal of seeing Jesus…because He is not like me. I am seeing how God loves the stubborn trains, even the train wrecks, and how He heals us with His abundant goodness. The fruit of that seeking is so sweet. Jesus set His face like a flint; fixed on the Father. Can you imagine if he let the ‘religious people’ sidetrack Him?

“I wait quietly before God, for my salvation (daily!) comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”

Psalm 62

Friday, November 19, 2010

Favorite Things!

Favorite Things

We had a sleepover with our grandsons the other night. At breakfast I asked Milo, “Do you know what my very favorite thing in all the world is?” And he said “what gg?” “Having a sleepover with you!” He smiled big and said, “me too.” Delightful.

Do you ever wonder what if feels like for God to delight in you as you delight in Him? I’m getting a taste and it is sweet.

I can’t imagine my grandsons running through the door and me saying, “okay, line up…here is the list of to-dos while you are here. Get to work!” Yes, we have disciplines we keep (eating, sleeping, cleaning up etc.), but those are not the basic disciplines of our relationship. Mainly we practice the discipline of celebration, rest, communion (talking to one another) and a few corrections of behavior along the way (my least favorite part).

I wonder how God enjoys my relationship with Him. He tells me He welcomes me as his special guest and anoints my head with oil. He prepares a feast for me and pursues me with goodness and unfailing love (Psalm 23). Wow. I hope I’m a grandma like Him. And, I hope I learn to delight in Him just like I see our grandsons delighting in time with us. My cup overflows!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The power of story: HIS story

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why God chose to reveal His love through so many stories in the Bible, His Word. Why didn’t He just send us a list of dos and don’ts? Why didn’t He just tell us what He did for us on the cross and leave it at that? As I’ve been spending my Tuesday mornings with my sweet sisters at Teen Challenge I am absorbing how powerful His Word is through story. We are practicing ‘living in the text.’ Picturing what it might have been like and whom we relate to in the story and in what way. It has been such a powerful time. We aren’t looking for lessons or applications necessarily (although those come), we are entering into the relationships we observe and we are relating more intimately with Jesus each time.

Today we lingered in Mark 8:22-26 when Jesus takes a blind man by the hand out of the village and heals him in private. You need to rest there a while with Jesus to capture the beauty of this encounter. I dare you to.

As we interacted with this story, it came alive! All of us could see ourselves as the receivers of GREAT mercy as Jesus took our hand, led us out of the village and gave us sight. We ended our time together in tears as we listened to and sang an amazing song by Brian Johnson called “Love Came Down” (google him).

God uses story, because those stories are us and we are the recipients of amazing grace that we see over and over in the stories we read. God uses the power of story because our lives are His expression of our story with Him.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crossing the bridge: next steps

Hi I've been working on this blog and trying to get it up to speed with where I am at these days. It (the blog and me) is a work in progress that I would love to get your feedback on. Check out the links to the right under INTIMACY REALIZED. I am stepping out in faith, trusting that the Shepherd is leading.
I want to help people experience an abiding relationship with Christ so we can show the world His love, His mercy, His compassion and His salvation. I think I am ready to cross this bridge, to take these next steps. I'm kind of nervous, the shadows scare me, but the light draws me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

why the blog name change

I decided to rename my blog...mostly cuz I think I am the only one who reads it, and I like to think these are conversations I'd love to have with people as we lingered on my front porch swing. Now there's all kinds of social networking (including blogs!), but I can imagine how it was when life was slower...people sat together, worked together, walked together, ate together, played together and lingered together. Like Jesus did with His disciples. I resist all the change, but, it is what it is. So, if you ever have time...come, sit a while and let's talk about what really matters.

Why am I afraid?

This fall God opened up a very uncomfortable door for me. Every Tuesday morning I get to go to the Teen Challenge women's chapel and 'teach.' Sitting in the pews each week are some of the most beaten down sisters I've ever been around in America. It's the type of situation where I can't even prepare a lesson like I used to when I taught so crisply through outlines. No, this is the real deal. Messy lives, broken hearts, rejected daughters, bleeding hearts. It reminds me of when I went to the refugee camp in Congo and felt so inadequate asking, "what do I have to give them?" Well, the answer was and is NOTHING. But, Jesus offers living bread and living water. He offers the truth that leads to freedom, gift wrapped in grace through His own flesh. So, every Tuesday morning we are embracing Jesus in all His abundance. We are listening to Him say things like, "don't be afraid. just trust Me (Mark 5:36)". These sisters are facing giants in their lives and Jesus is the One and Only way to be free of the strongholds.

So, I drive away wondering to myself...what giants am I avoiding? Where does God want to give me victory but I simply look the other way? As I'm begging these precious souls to believe Jesus, that He wants to heal, He wants to bless, He wants to restore the years the locusts have eaten...I hear the quiet Voice ask me, are you trusting? Three giants of anxiety I often battle are future, family, finances...the three F's all wrapped up in one...FEAR. Lots of complicated issues around all 3 (or so I say). How freeing to know that Jesus invites me every moment to abide in Him, listen to Him, learn from Him and do what He says as He leads me. He is gentle and humble and His yoke is easy. Which now begs the question...if I am not living easy, whose yolk am I carrying?

Seek first HIS kingdom and HIS right way of living and all these things...the NLT nails it this way:

Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things?
Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs,
and He will give you all you need from day to day
if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today's trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:32-34

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where have I been?

The last year of my life with the Lord has been the most amazing EVER. I have not had any UNBELIEVABLE circumstances that showed me His majesty, in fact I've had some very difficult trials. No, it's been much more subtle and sweet than that. I've beheld Him in His sanctuary as David writes about. I am in the process of learning more and more about how He longs to be gracious and compassionate. He promises to lead and guide us, and He Shepherds us each step of our way. I am learning to simply pay attention. Where have I been? What took me SO long to see I was putting my life in  crazy boxes and waiting for the next new adventure box to show up!

Keeping in step with the Spirit all day long, eating His bread, drinking His water, being at rest in my heart is where I am living now...more often than not. All praise to God who by His grace transforms. We are always in process, always learning, always changing one way or the other. I long to change more and more into the image of our Sweet Jesus. Coming to Him everyday to rest, learn, eat and follow is the secret to Life in the Son. He invites us to COME. Are you?

Let's share bread! What has God been giving you lately? How is it with your soul? Are you more deeply in love with Jesus today than ever? If not, why not? Let's talk about it. He has SO much He wants to give you. I am praying for you today my friend.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I am Resting in the Son

I just learned a sweet chorus that goes like this...
I am resting in the Son
Resting in the work He's done
From His seed new life is born
By His power transformed.
Come Lord Jesus take me home,
I am yours and yours alone,
in your Presence, hold me safe,
now and forever I pray.

How is it with your soul? Are you resting in the Son, or are you striving? We are called to serve, but not strive. I've been learning to listen carefully to my thoughts, words and observe patterns that show strife, not peace. I am inviting the Lord to heal those broken places in me that cause me to strive and give me the power to surrender those places to Him and learn to rest in His Shepherding, His unfailing love, and His abundant goodness. I challenge you to pay close attention for the next 24 hours. Where does your mind get trapped? Will you let Jesus in there to unbind you and bring you to His rest? It takes intentionality on your part to go to the garden of your soul and wait on Him (see 30 Day Challenge), but the fruit of that resting soil is amazing! It is such freedom. He does the work! Are you resting in that truth? I'd love to hear how your journey is going as we walk together.

30 Day Challenge

The thirty day challenge is simply this: responding to Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28
"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."

Come to Him with no agenda other than to learn from Him and rest. Come with whatever time you have.
This is your time to rest, not work.
Listed below are five simple ways to help you sit still.
Release: casting all your cares on Him (Psalm 62)
Rest: rest in the knowledge of His Sovereignty and love
Remain: meditate on a small portion of His Word, listening to His voice (John 15)
Resolve: make a decision to do what He says (James 1:22)
Review: before going to bed, take a few moments to think about your day;
recognizing His grace that carried you through. (Psalm 139)
If you would like to listen to the messages I taught leading up to this challenge, you can go to the
Hume website and click on podcasts; Spring Women's Retreat (

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Remember when you thought you had IT all figured out?
Remember when you realized you may have IT wrong?
Remember when you just had IT?
Remember when you finally said I can't take IT?
Remember when you realized IT is YOU?
Remember when you tried to hide IT?
Remember when you let IT die?
Remember the life that was born?
Remember FREEDOM?

You don't remember? Just wait...
He loves you too much to let you live in IT.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Hi Friends,
Just checking in to see how you are doing in your 'rest' in the Lord. I am sensing the Lord urging me to deeper TRUST as I wait on Him. The Psalms encourage us over and over to seek His face always; seek His strength; and to trust Him at every moment. I want the blueprint! He wants faith without sight. Here is a simple acronym for TRUST that is helping me stay focused these days:

T: TODAY. Just focus on today. His goodness and mercy follows us all day!
R: REPENT and REST. Repent of needing to know and rest in Him alone.
U: UNPLUG. Unplug from the world's system. Stop conforming to its patterns.
S: SEEK. Seek His kingdom first...before everyone and everything else in everyway
T: TRUST. Him with all my heart and stop leaning on me (or anyone else!) Begin again!

As summer winds down and fall schedules kick in, you will be tempted to overcommit. Be still, wait, ask, and TRUST. I am praying for you sister!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Serving Out of Abundance even when it hurts...

I often find myself drawn back to John 15 where Jesus describes a life of ministry (we are ALL in ministry). He clearly lays out the need to ABIDE in Him so that He can bear His character out in us to offer sweet, redeeming fruit to a fallen world. What struck me recently is verse 2:

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,
while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will bear

So, sometimes, where I think I'm doing great, thriving, bearing fruit...He chooses to prune there! And to remove what looks good to make it even more for His glory. My trouble is (and I think it's yours too), we want to resist those pruning shears. It hurts. We want to hold on to those pretty branches! But, our gardner is in control, and He asks us to submit to the shears so we can bear more fruit.  He doesn't let us get too comfortable, does He? He keeps us in a place of surrender, dependence and trust. I encourage you today to not fear His shear love. He wants to bring you complete joy (v. 10). Do you trust the gardner my fellow branch? He loves you so very much. Consider the lilies...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 30

I heard a sermon tonight taught by my friend, Jean Baptiste. Jean survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994, but many he loved did not. Jean knows what it is to face death and to suffer in ways I cannot begin to imagine. Tonight, he spoke with passion from deep within from Isaiah 6 about the holiness of God and how we are to worship Him for He is worthy. He reminded us that the Lord is on the throne in His Holy Temple. Being still before the King in the midst of this crazy, dark world fortifies our souls for what He has planned for us to do here for His glory. 

But the Lord is in His Holy Temple;
the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely, 
examining every person on earth...
the Righteous Lord loves justice.
The virtuous will see His face. (Psalm 11)

I pray that our times in the garden help us to see the Lord in all His glory. That we will not doubt His power and love. That we will rest secure in our knowledge of Him and that we will love justice as He does. May we shine for Him more and more as we cling to the One thing that matters.

Thank you for joining me for these 30 days! A few have asked if I am going to keep blogging. I will as the Lord leads. Look at this picture and hear the words of our brother David as He describes our sweet Savior...listen to how personal His walk was with His Lord...may we experience the same.

I love you Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me, 
and my place of safety. (Psalm 18)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 29

I'm a bit late getting this post on today. I had my 3 grandsons spend the night with me last night (3,2,1) and went to a baby shower this morning. So, I have young lives on my mind. Things have changed a lot in the baby accessory world since I had mine, but the hearts that love those babies still long for the same thing (no matter how old they are!). We want safety, protection, happiness, health, faith, purpose etc. for those we love. Those are great things to pray for, and we should keep making our requests known to our Abba. But, isn't it comforting to know, that no matter how it looks to us right now, God has ordained each day, has allowed each trial, and has created each heart for Himself...we can rest in that truth even when our own hearts are breaking. Life is full of thrills and throws all at the same time. It is never stagnant. What can become solid is the state of our souls at rest in Christ. Our solitude, our silence, our community and our service all come from a heart united with its Creator. I think this is what Peter was speaking to when God spoke through him saying:

By His diving power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
We have received all of this by coming to know Him,
the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.
And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises.
These are the promises that enable you to share His diving nature
and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. (1 Peter 1:3-4)

What more do we need? Be still.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 28

Wow, the 30 days are almost over! Not sure how many are still hanging in here with me, so if you are...welcome again. Jesus loves your presence in His. He delights in you! Isn't that amazing. He wants to honor you, build you up, encourage you, strengthen you and give you His full joy. What a Savior. Every day we live out the cross with Him. The gospel of grace isn't a one time decision, but it is a daily living in the power of that sacrifice. Thank You Jesus for the grace that sustains us everyday! We are hidden with Christ in God. What mind can conceive??? Oh, the depths of His grace. As you sit silently in His presence, let the reality of His grace soak deeply into your soul. There is nothing you can't do in Christ, no pain you can't endure, no disappointment you can't absorb and no injury you can't receive healing for, no sin too big for his forgiveness and restoration. His grace is all sufficient. Don't suffer alone, invite Him in. Let Him carry your sin and sorrow everyday, and let Him pour out His Spirit of power through you. To pray without ceasing means living in this present Reality. What an adventure!

Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire, do not treat prophecies with contempt. 
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. 
May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through 
(not our work! His grace).
May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The One who calls you is faithful and HE WILL DO IT.
(1 Thess. 5:16-24)
Have you questioned what God's will is for your life? There it is. He'll direct your path, you trust in THIS God. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 27

Lord Jesus, You prepare a table for me
in the presence of all that is against me! You give me everything I need.
Your goodness and Your amazing love follow me
Always! Everyday! Every moment!!!
And, as if that's not enough...
I will live with You now and FOREVER!

Friends, if that is not HOPE and if that does not breathe rest into your soul...what is and what does??? Only ONE thing is needed and He will never be taken from us. Praise You Abba!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 26

I'm going through a lot of transition in my personal and vocational life...this can lead to anxiety to say the least. My mind wants to fret about the future and worry about all the "what ifs" ahead. Life is changing all the time, isn't it? As I'm becoming more honest with who I am, how I strive outside of the Spirit and how drawn I am to my own selfish ambitions, I see my desperate need of the Good Shepherd's rod and staff to comfort and discipline me for His name's sake. I want to chart my own course and make sure all the safety nets are in place; but that is not walking by faith. I am grateful for David's example and words of comfort and truth as I pray with him...
You are my Shepherd, I have everything I need.
You make me lie down in green pastures,
You lead me beside quiet waters...YOU restore my soul.
You guide me in your paths of righteousness for Your name's sake.
Even tho I live in this sin sick broken world, I won't fear,
for You are with me.
Your rod and your staff comfort me.

Sweet Shepherd, I draw near to You this me to be in tune with Your still small Voice all day long as I trust You to lead me. I praise You from the depths of my heart! Thank You Abba.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 24

One of my favorite passages to dwell in is from John 17 as Jesus is praying for His followers the night of His betrayal. To think He knew what was about to happen and He denies Himself and prays for us. We truly were on His mind and in His heart from beginning to end. Meditating on this prayer gives my soul rest. Knowing that God in the flesh prays His will for me...praise You Father...let this seed take root and bear Your image as You prayed...

"I'm not asking You to take them out of the world,
but to keep them safe from the evil one.
They are not part of this world any more than I am.
Make them pure and holy by teaching them Your words of truth.
As you sent Me into the world, I am sending them into the world.
And I give myself entirely to You so they also might be
entirely yours." (John 17:15-19)

Listen to the ONE-ness of us with Jesus. He gave all of Himself to make us all His. No wonder He said we can't be in the middle. He didn't half-way die. Oh Lord, we need your grace to help us live in the reality of our new identity everyday. Thank You for Your patience. May we go into the world today clothed in You.
John 17:22 "I have given them the glory You gave me, so that they may be one, as we are---"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 23

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us,
and His love is brought
to full expression in us.
And God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live in Him and He in us.
(1 John 4:11-13)

One obvious symptom of a weary soul is inability to love others as God loves us...freely, generously, without judgment or envy...patiently, kindly, gently etc. When I neglect my time in the garden with my Shepherd, this stream of love dries up in me, and I know it. I can't love others as Jesus loves me unless and until I am completely surrendered to Him and satisfied in Him alone. Lord Jesus, may my love for others prove the life of your Spirit in me. I need You.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 22

I am home sick today on a day when I need to be at work for an important event I am planning. But, I can't even talk, so I can't go. My body needs rest, nourishment and to be alone; my voice needs to remain silent. Obviously, there are spiritual metaphors that work the same way, so I can't help but go there. How many times have I tried to keep pouring out, keep serving, keep going when my soul was sick and in need of rest? Did I infect others more than I helped them? 

How can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
How can you say God refuses to hear your case?
Have you never heard or understood?
Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth?
He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out;
He offers strength to the weak.
Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. 
They will fly high on wings like eagles. 
They will run and not grow weary. 
They will walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40:27-31

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 21

They say it takes three weeks to make a new habit. We have hit the three week mark! How are you doing?Of course, this isn't about what we do on the outside, but what God's grace is doing on the inside. Going through the motions out of duty is simply hypocrisy and God hates it. Honestly giving our hearts to God, no matter what it looks like on the outside, is what counts. Listen to Jesus' clear mandate on this from Luke 11;

"Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you 
are full of greed and wickedness. You fools!
Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything
is clean for you."
Only the washing of the Word can cleanse us from the inside so we honor God with all that we are. Our giving our 'alms' means we give up our greed and wicked, selfish hearts, out of love for our generous, holy Father. What's on the inside of your cup? 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 20

How sweet Your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.
Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet,
and a light for my path.
I've promised it once, and I'll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations. Psalm 119:103-106

It's amazing to me how 'off' I can feel; confused, frustrated, unsure, worried...really in a level of darkness, and then how quickly God's Word can lift me out of that pit as I humbly bow down and submit to His tender Voice. I waste so much time trying to 'figure things out' when what I really need is to have my path lit so I can walk in the right (righteous) way. Life is so much more about our state of mind (soul) and our responses to what we cannot control than it is about us making life work. I truly come to a place of rest when I surrender those thoughts through silence in God's presence. Allowing His Word to guide me. How sweet is that!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 19

"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body.
When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.
But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness.
Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 
If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant,
as though a floodlight were filling you with light." Luke 11:34-36

I don't want to comment on this teaching of Jesus as we come and learn from Him. I want you to sit still with it and listen for what He says to you. Meditate on it, don't rush. Chew it, digest it, and then post a short comment about what it is saying to you. Don't be afraid, I can't wait to hear!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 18

Do you ever stop and ask yourself a question like..."what would my life look like if________?" At dinner, Steve and I were talking with our engaged son and fiance about marriage. They told us that in the marriage book they are reading, the author says to never criticize your mate. Quite often I am lead by my Shepherd to Ephesians 4:29-30:

"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who listen. And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. 
Remember, He has identified you as His own."

Can you imagine living in this identity? How would the power of this truth change the way I think? The way I speak? And the way I feel about those around me? What if criticism was not an option--- period? This is the deep work that takes place as we quiet ourselves in the Presence of God and allow His Spirit to transform our souls. God would not give us this instruction if He didn't intend to equip us to obey Him. Isn't that amazing? How would our marriages, our friendships, our workplaces, our churches, our families look different IF we lived out this verse in obedience to Christ? Are you brave enough, in silence, to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the ways is which you are grieving Him? Will you sit still and listen for the answer? Then, will you resolve to obey Him? Jesus said in so doing we will experience full joy, the very opposite of sorrow! dear Lord Jesus, help me to remember I am yours and You want me to experience Your joy and to not bring sorrow upon You. Help me Lord to live in a way that makes your spirit glad and my soul joyful.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


"Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need Your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve You and trust You.
You are my God." Psalm 86

This grove reminds me of how the Lord bends down to hear us and help us. He is devoted to blessing us...all He asks is that we devote ourselves to Him and serve Him only. He is always in reach, and always hears. I need to be reminded every day or my own thoughts dominate with wrong thinking and unhealthy habits. I'm praying for you today, sweet sister, that You would call out to the One, the only One, who truly knows how to answer your cry for help. Trust Him and serve Him with me. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 16

I don't know about you, but I know I 'feel' a lot more spiritual, joyful and loving at 7 in the morning than I do at 9 at night. Especially at the end of a long, hectic day. I am getting to the point where I can almost feel a craving in my soul for my daily bread, my manna from heaven, that is spent throughout the day. Just as my physical body and mind are tired at the end of the day, and need rest, so it is with my soul. I need to daily go back to my quiet moments in my garden with Jesus and allow Him to give me my daily bread, and fortify my spirit for the tests that lie ahead each day. I am realizing more and more how weak I really am, how unable I am to love others as Jesus loves. I want to be loved, fed, pampered and lazy! Dear Jesus, save me from Me!

This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel says:
"Only in returning to me 
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15)

Enough said. Amen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


We are half-way through our challenge! How is it with your soul? Are you relating to Paul when He talks about how invaluable knowing Christ is? And, to be known by Him? It can be hard to take honest looks at ourselves and see the sin that lurks there...pride, envy, anxiety, greed etc., but the more we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal our true selves, the more our soil is 'weeded' out so the Good Seed can take root and bear much fruit. We are in this together. We are many branches held together by one Vine. When one of us is growing, we all prosper, when one of us is hurting, we all hurt. Pray for each other! Pray for me...I want to sincerely say with Paul:

"I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless
because of what Christ has done.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all garbage, 
so that I could gain Christ
and become one with Him." Phil. 3

Now there is a GREAT personal mission statement. Oh Lord, make it true!

Day 14

My heart is confident in You, O God; 
no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
Wake up, lyre and harp!
I will thank You, Lord, among all the people.
For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth
Psalm 108

My husband took this beautiful photo this week. God's glory does shine over all the earth! It's hard to see sometimes when we get caught in the daily-ness of life and troubles. That's why sitting still before the beauty of the Lord is SO crucial. It brings confidence to our fearful hearts and peace to our troubled minds. It gives us the space to sing His praises and reflect on His unfailing love.
Even if you just have a few moments, stop, and let the truth of His Word rain down on your soul. Focus your heart and mind on the truth of Who it is that loves you so much. He also loves those you love even more than you do! May you rest in His presence today. Nothing is too much for His faithfulness to reach. Praise God, sing your praises today!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 13

Because of Your unfailing love, 
I can enter Your house (presence).
I will worship at Your temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path for me to follow.

I'm so longing for what David believed and felt about His Shepherd. The personal, deep trust and awe He had for His Lord. He was a man after God's own heart, not because He lived perfectly, but honestly. In repentance, humility and compassion. This is what made him godly. Listen to His resolve and rest:

Let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread Your protection over them,
that all who love Your name may be filled with joy.
For You bless the godly, O Lord;
You surround them with your shield of love. (Psalm 5)

As you sit in silence today breathe this picture deep into your soul. Take joy in the fact of His unfailing love. Trust Him to lead You. Meditate on the beautiful reality of God's own love being your shield.  Lord, may we all rest in Your powerful name today, knowing that you bless us as we humble ourselves before You. We praise You that Your love surrounds us and shields us. May this love cast out all our fears today as we choose to trust You. Holy Spirit, give us the self control to follow You closely today.

Day 12

At Hume Lake, I confessed to the whole room that I am ‘naturally’ not friendly. The Word explained clearly to me today why that is true! Listen to Proberbs 18
Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
they lash out at common sense.
Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
Ouch. There is that sharp sword! Naturally, I am a selfish, opinionated fool! It continues…
The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips. (v.7)
But then, as usual, there is HOPE…
The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to Him and are safe. (v.10)

I remain in front of the mirror (James 1:22) long enough to see myself in truth; agreeing with God (confessing) that I need Him; resolving to run to Him when I am tempted to be selfish with my words or time, and then rest in the promise that as long as I keep running to Him, I am safe from my own self destruction. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is true! Only God’s transforming power can rescue me from only caring about myself. Praise God He is able! My hope is that as I review my day this evening, I will see God’s grace at work in me. How about you? 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 11

I’m learning that as I consistently pour out my heart to the Lord (without telling Him how to fix it), my anxiety lessens. I am realizing that He truly does know what I need before I even ask. So, as I exchange my fears for His rest by being still, peace is becoming more consistently experienced in my soul (which means my mind, heart, emotions etc.) even though ‘stressful’ circumstances have not changed. This morning, as I was resting in the Presence of the Lord, I was drawn to Psalm 37. Listen carefully to the hope and security of these words:

“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely
in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
And He will give you your heart’s esires.
commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust in Him, and He will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause l will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for Him to act.”

I would encourage you to read it a few times, aloud even. What is your responsibility, and what is His? Remain here. This is transforming IF you apply it in obedience. God is FOR you! Rest in His goodness to you. Wait for Him to give you the desires of your heart. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It is the time of year when we contemplate the cross and all that God did to pursue us with His love. As you sit quietly today, listen to the heart of God as He speaks forth His plan of redemption through His Son, Jesus. This is the ONE we have been invited to come to. Amazing...
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, 
my chosen One in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets.
A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.
In faithfulness He will bring forth justice;
He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth.
In His law the islands will put their hope. 
This is what God teh Lord says---
He who created the heavens and stretched them out, 
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, 
who gives life to its people, 
"I, the Lord have called your in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand. I will keep open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare;
before they spring into being I announce them to you." (Isaiah 42:1-9)

Praise God the mystery has been revealed to us! Thank You Jesus for Your obedience unto death. Help us Lord, to crucify our sinful desires to Your cross and to follow You in the light of Your life. You are the gentle, humble King and we bow before You as Lord. Thank You Jesus.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 9

"If you then, though you are evil, 
know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will your Father in heaven give
the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13)

These are words that Jesus shared with His disciples as He was teaching them how to pray in connection with our daily bread that we need. I woke up this morning feeling convicted about careless words I spoke last night. As I poured out my heart to my Shepherd, I was again grateful for the salvation that comes daily to us through repentance and rest. (Isaiah 30:15). He's so gentle, but firm. As you sit quietly in your garden today, ask, seek, knock--- boldy (Lk. 11:1-13), knowing that our Abba desires to fill us with His Spirit. Our daily bread. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 8

Last night, as I took a few moments to review my day with the Lord, my heart was full of praise. The dynamics of yesterday would've typically been a day that would make me cranky, critical and impatient with others, but it turned out to be a wonderful day, full of joy. I saw the fingerprints of God's grace all over it! I didn't 'try harder' at all. The only thing I can attribute it to is the "one thing" that matters. Thank You Jesus for rewarding me as I simply close the door and spend time with you in secret. (Matthew 6:6)

"Daughter, daughter, you are worried and upset about many things,
but only ONE THING is needed. Choose what is better,
and it will not be taken away from you."(Lk. 10:41-42)

Lord, I pray for all my sisters who are walking with me on this 
30 day challenge. 
May we choose You over everything else and may we experience your joy
that results from our obedience to Your voice.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 7

How is it with your soul today?
I woke up this morning feeling anxious, restless and irritable; what I have come to realize is a symptom that my soul is dry, dusty, thirsty. Here in the central valley we have dust storms that make us all irritable as the dust becomes so thick we can't even see across the street, and tumbleweeds roll into our yards (gardens). We're scared to even breathe fearing disease in the wind. We wait anxiously for the rain to come to settle the dust and stop the crazy wind. I now realize when that is happening inside of me, and I know I must go to my garden alone, close the door, and wait for the rain of His Spirit to settle the dust so I can see reality in the light of His Word. 

"Oh God, your are my God.
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you; 
my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land 
where there is not water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary and 
gazed upon your power and glory (in silence).
Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself: how I praise You...
You satisfy me more than the richest of foods." (Psalm 63)

As I sat in silence, my soul cried out to God "I thirst for You. Satisfy me this morning with your unfailing love." In solitude and silence, as my mind would start to wander, I would say again, "I thirst for You. You satisfy me." And then, I wait. The dust settles, my soul drinks deeply. Now I can see the weeds that need to be removed. All praise to God, as I got up to face my day, the dust was settled. I can breathe. It will stir up again, and again I will wait for the rain. 
"I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from Him."(Psalm 62)
Thank You Jesus, for inviting us to come.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 6

For God who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," 
has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God
that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
But this precious treasure---this light and power that now shine within us---
is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies.
So everyone can see that
our glorious power is from God and is not our own. (2 Cor. 4:6-7)

Just like an athlete goes into training to develop His God given talent, we go into the garden to train our hearts and minds to be in step with the Spirit. As you sit at the feet of Jesus today, dwell on the power that is now in your weak body. Be still. Be quiet. Be silent for at least 5 minutes. Let the seed take root in your soul. This precious treasure. The brightness of the glory of God will penetrate every dark shadow of your life and bring glory to Himself as He shines through you with power. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 5

"Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, 
my King and my God, for to You I pray. 
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." 
(Psalm 5)

As you come to Jesus today, be silent for a few moments as you wait, expecting the Lord to tend to the soil of your soul. Pour out your heart and then be still; wait expectantly. Don't judge this time. Don't evaluate it. Rest in it. Be quiet. Breathe deeply as you rest in the knowledge of His sovereignty and love.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 4

Jesus said, "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends." Rev. 3:20
On the way home from Hume, my daughter asked me; how do we set our minds on what is lovely, praiseworthy etc. while processing ugly, difficult and hurtful things we face everyday?  What a great question! The simple answer is this: we process the darkness in the light (Psalm 139:11-12). So, as you think through or deal with ugly, hurtful things, you do so through the lens of TRUTH. 
For example, a loved one (or you) has an overwhelming disease that needs to be dealt with and thought through. You deal with it with the foundation in place (and this is where you FIX your mind) that God is good, strong, sovereign and His love will never fail no matter what we face. That is the beautiful, lovely, admirable thought you dwell on (Phil. 4:8) even as you deal with the pain. Our natural bent is to dwell on the pain and quickly appeal to God for peace. He provides it as we dwell on Him, but we need to choose to set our minds on truth. 
"Lord Jesus, help us to walk in the light as You are in the light so we can be one with You, give us the power we need today to put Your Word into practice."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 3

When we open God's Word to do our Bible study, we often are looking for information; when we come to the garden to rest in the presence of the Lord, we are longing for transformation. His Spirit is renewing us to be more like Him.  So as you 'remain in His Word' today, read slowly, carefully and reflectively. Read it a few times and listen for a phrase or thought that stands out to you. What is the Word saying to you today? How will you respond? Listen carefully.
Psalm 27:8 "My heart says of you, "Seek His face! Your face, Lord, I will seek."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 2

Remember, where the Spirit is, there is freedom. These 30 days don't all have to be in a row! That's why they say Day 1, not specific dates. You can't fall behind...Jesus will always meet you where you are. Of course, everyday is great, but that is not the rule...the invitation is to come.
From Hebrews 4:16 I pray,  "dear Abba, as we approach your throne today, we would do so with confidence realizing it is not a place we can't enter, but it is a humble King who sits there waiting for us. Thank you for making a way through Your very blood. So we come to you to receive mercy and all the grace we need to help us live in You today. Lord Jesus give us rest as we sit with You now."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 1

Welcome friend. I hope you will find this blog encouraging as you take the time to go into your secret room, close the door and spend time with your Abba. He promises to reward you! You are responding to the invitation of Jesus Himself. He has invited you to come.
I am praying for you today as Paul prays in Philippians 1:9-10,
"Lord, I pray that our love for each other will overflow more and more, and that we will keep on growing in our knowledge and understanding. Lord, I pray that we would understand what really matters..."


Thursday, March 18, 2010

30 Day Challenge

Colossians 2:6
Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

If you were with me at Hume Lake, this verse should sound very familiar. Beginning Monday, March 22, I will add a short post of encouragement for you for 30 days. Jesus is inviting you to COME TO HIM...will you?

Feel free to post your comments and thoughts. Let's spur one another on!