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I forgot to post about my new book. (Aka marketing is not my thing.)

6 Dec

In early September, my second Christian book was published….drum roll, please…Wrestling Grace in a Tit-for-Tat World

When I first encountered the concept of grace as a new Christian, it seemed way, way too easy to my natural mind. 

Although I don’t know that I would have said it out loud or in so many words, I thought that people should pay some sort of penance for their sins–especially sins against me. 

On the other hand, I really did like the idea of grace extended toward me when I blew it. What a hypocrite!

This book is not so much about my journey, but about the results (so far) of my exploration of God’s Unlimited Infinity Pool of Grace.

Jump into the pool with me and enjoy the riches He has for you.


1 Peter 5:12 Visual Verses

15 Aug

Where do we put our money and time?

11 Dec

Ho, every one that thirsteth,

come ye to the waters,

and he that hath no money;

come ye,

 buy, and


 yea, come,

buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?

and your labour for that which satisfieth not?

 hearken diligently unto me,

and eat ye that which is good,

and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Isaiah 55:1-2

It’s not often that you come across two verses containing…wait for it…8 imperatives, or commands. And who are these commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor which speak of spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

The price is not gold and silver, but self-surrender—a seemingly high price to some of us, but one that we all can afford. Water (John 4:10), wine (Matthew 26:29), and milk (1 Peter 2:2) all represent spiritual blessings of salvation in Christ. Who are those commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor and what we are looking at here are spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

Verse 2 starts with two rhetorical questions:  Why do we spend our resources on that which does not feed us? Why do we spend our resources on that which does not satisfy us? Good questions. And yet we see it all around us–people spending time and money on that which only gives temporary pleasure. Bread represents the true life of the soul and spirit with Christ.

There are two imperatives in verse 2: Hearken diligently, shama’ shama’, and eat, ‘akal. In Hebrew when two imperatives are joined, the second expresses the consequences of the first. In other words, IF we hearken diligently to God’s calling to turn to Christ, we will eat that which is good and be satisfied by God’s word. As a result, our soul will delight itself in spiritual fatness—the kind of fatness to which we can all aspire!

Eternity in our Hearts

25 Mar

For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. Philippians 1:21 Amp

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door.  We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure.  We cannot mingle with the splendours we see.  But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so.  Some day, God willing, we shall get in. – C.S. Lewis

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Como, James T. C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences. New York: Collier, 1979. Print.

My New Favorite Word – Compassionated

14 Mar

Passion Flower Growing in Costa Rica

O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You. Be the arm [of Your servants—their strength and defense] every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Isaiah 33:2 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

One of the meanings of the word gracious, chanan, in this verse is compassionated. Not only is that a great word and a new one to me, but it’s written as a command.  Isaiah is commanding God to be compassionated toward us. We all know the meaning of the word opinionated–full of opinions.  Isaiah is asking, no commanding, God to be full of compassion toward us.

compassion (n.) mid-14c., from Old French compassion “sympathy, pity” (12c.), from Late Latin compassionem (nominative compassio) “sympathy,” noun of state from past participle stem of compati “to feel pity,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + pati “to suffer” (see passion).

passion (n.) late 12c., “sufferings of Christ on the Cross,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering” (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from past participle stem of Latin pati “to suffer, endure,” possibly from PIE root *pe(i) “to hurt” (see fiend).

Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by early 13c.; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos. Replaced Old English þolung (used in glosses to render Latin passio), literally “suffering,” from þolian (v.) “to endure.” Sense of “sexual love” first attested 1580s; that of “strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection” is from 1630s. The passion-flower so called from 1630s.

The name passionflower — flos passionis — arose from the supposed resemblance of the corona to the crown of thorns, and of the other parts of the flower to the nails, or wounds, while the five sepals and five petals were taken to symbolize the ten apostles — Peter … and Judas … being left out of the reckoning. [“Encyclopaedia Britannica,” 1885]

Latin compassio is an ecclesiastical loan-translation of Greek sympatheia (see sympathy). An Old English loan-translation of compassion was efenðrowung.

I pray (not command) that the Lord be compassionated with us today. And that we be compassionated with one another due to the price Jesus paid on the cross for us.


one thousand gifts–on worry

24 Oct

FireweedOf course I worry.  I worry less and less as life goes on and I see what an incredibly faithful God I serve, but lately worries about finances have popped up.  Worries about church finances.  Worries about our future finances.  What’s odd is that I don’t normally deal with these types of worries.  Family matters are familiar worrying territory for me.  Relationship issues.  These are areas where I battle. But lately I’ve been struggling with these future money issues.

And then I read this passage from the book one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp:

Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness. The way I curl my toes up, tight retreat. How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel the brow with the lines of distrust. How I don’t fold my hands in prayer . . . weld them into tight fists of control. Always control–pseudopower from the pit.  How I refuse to relinquish worry, babe a mother won’t forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I’m the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and churn and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, is it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am?  Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow.

Two points really struck me. 1) That control is a pseudopower from the pit of hell. 2) That worry is the facade of taking action. Both of these things put the focus on me and what I can do instead of where it should be–resting in Jesus–who is ever faithful and ever loving.

Water Retention

2 Jul

Hands_right_600x400_webJesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4: 13,14

I forgot to pack my diuretic on this trip to the states and my feet/cankles are swollen up so they don’t want to bend and my eyes are about puffed closed from the water retention. As usual, I started to think about what kind of object lesson could be drawn from this–and I realized that we need to let the living water that we receive from God flow through us to others or we’ll be spiritually waterlogged.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38

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