It’s a Messy World, 21OCT – #494



I have a backlog of writings in my head from being “off the grid”, this is the first stemming from retreating to an AMAZING event, the Walk to Emmaus, I would encourage you to think about joining a walk sometime, I was BLESSED to know of yet another great faith family that wrapped their love around me! And yet another array of pairing of fellow disciples called to work out in the messy world.

This writing topic had to wait in my head, but God found the right opportunity to get it back out, quiet 6am camping…


It’s a Messy World, 21OCT

Bear!!! I’ve not that felt that level of fear in quite a while…

Bear!!! My friends and I saw him at the same time that he saw us, he was just wandering like a deer would, apparently accustomed to our voices, probably smelled the smores, actually going for the bread the neighbor left out for him (oh!)… We were close enough to see his face… And he saw ours…. My fear couldn’t have been more real. My whole brain focused on “how do I get to that porch?” – he watched us – I envisioned him charging at us – but no, he went the opposite way – he ran scared too … I got to the porch of the cabin – Thank the Lord! But, then I didn’t want to leave the porch – even though I really wanted to get back to the campfire – but oh the fear…. it was a big bear! A real bear!

None of us at my friend’s cabin for girls’ weekend had been that close to this bear before, but I’m told he’s a regular traveler to the yard… Yeah crazy… The balance of co-existence, always a trade off for being in bear territory but a rare opportunity to stand around a campfire with the girls, it was a blessed escape off the grid, making new memories and decompressing life…

It’s a messy world… There are many tradeoffs for living in the world that we endure while we move thru life, but this particular event was also a reminder of the balance of living in the natural world, a world which could get dangerous… Bears are native and repopulating this and many regions. They were part of the natural balance of the woods before we, as industrial Americans, starting taking over every postage stamp-sized parcel for “safer” living, and we as Americans have both over-gleaned the natural resources and “sanitized” the heck out of life…

It’s actually amazing that bears can return to our wooded areas, just like there also are gators in Florida backyards, we barely remember that our ancestors lived in respectful fear of the natural world – with many more of these beautiful creatures…. They also maintained knowledge of what plants to NOT eat, they had to think about survival too, we don’t really experience that level of survivorship…Essentially the world, the natural world, was a messy world…

A week ago, i had another treat of a camp scene… a blessed time away, as a pilgrim at the Walk to Emmaus retreat. A series of faith education talks over multiple days of being with God, focusing on His love, His plan for everyone, His plan for us. Three days I was blessed to be able to be phone free, time management free, and embraced by a new layer of supporting fellow travelers. We are called to be disciples – we are travelers on this journey of faith and sharing – where do we start? – what do we bring? – who will we meet? The retreat was blessed time but really a regrouping to re-enter the world as disciples… Yes pilgrims on continued voyages thru the world… a world that we are “in” but not “of”… (John 16:17)

It’s a messy world.

The first series of the presentations stuck with me all weekend, and probably forever , reminding us that “it’s a messy world” but we are called to be disciples in this messy world.  Jesus came during a messiest of messy time – we should remember that ours is not necessarily messier, it is just different messy – killings, devastating poverty, human trafficking, serious afflictions from substance abuse to fatal diseases taking their toll…. Whew…. Jealousy, greed, hate and probably the most insidious of ancient and modern-day plagues: APATHY… Whew… Isn’t that also one of the hardest affronts to overcome? Yes, APATHY… It’s a messy world. Many choose to ignore as much as possible rather than work for better life for all…

We are pilgrims – we are disciples – we are called to serve – to spread the Good News… How will we enter this world everyday – what are we going to do about our own attitudes, our history, our baggage, our self-serving drives? How will we accept our commissions?

Jesus said: 19 “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, 20 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

And Jesus knew that even He was not taken seriously in His hometown, they all had to hit the road:

Jesus said: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

Did the disciples have fear? Do we?

How will we keep continuing to step out into this messy world of ours? – how we will remember to not let it paralyze us? – how will we put all our life concerns into a global perspective?

Surely we will pray and try to obey. One step at a time…

We cannot and should not sugar coat the world just to live above the fray. We are continually called to remember to pick up the phone…  Jesus is calling, He says “Follow me”. We are to step out in faith and bring a friend. What’s your plan?

Bear! I was frozen in fright, but I had a plan, I was focused on getting to the porch and instinctually (although foolishly) thought about out-running that bear, but I knew to go slow. The others simply waved their hands – oh and they tried to grab their phones LOL – and he ran off – whew – safe for now – they returned to the campfire quickly…. I wanted too as well, but it took me a bit longer to be brave – to get off the porch – but I did – and I became ever vigilant for the bears return… I learned new fear and courage, I faced a fear that didn’t disappear by sugar coating it. And then as a team we all watched each other’s backs… As we should – for bears while camping as well as for the pitfalls of life…

Jesus needs us to walk with Him, He’s forever here with us as He gave us the Holy Spirit to be another guide “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. John 14:16

But we have to get off the porch…  It’s imperative that we grab for Him, pick up our tools (which are our God-given gifts of talents) and then use our skills and take our crosses to bear, and keep moving… We acknowledge the weight bearing we must take on for our mission, the directions known and unknown… And those bears of the world’s problems we are called to face… And we step out in faith…

Perspective – it’s crucial to remember the scale of our problems (and maybe they are or aren’t as horrible as we think when we put them into perspective)… We think of the scale of our more unfortunate neighbor’s problems, the world’s problems, and God’s problem… God’s problem is that not everyone knows Him or knows of HIS love… We are called to work on His solution, suspend our agendas and work on His… called as disciples to step out into the messy world with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit…

The fear understandable, the commission great, the world messy…

God does not call the equipped but He does equip the called…

Go with God. God bless you fellow disciples.


Wildflowers – Treasures, 10OCT – #493



Wildflowers – Treasures, 10OCT

Ahhh…. Tis the season to look at all the beautiful wildflowers… Tom Petty sings of us belonging in the wildflowers, but even better is the notion that we are to look at those wildflowers as examples – for scripture tells us NOT to worry in our lives…  “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you”…

As disciples, we are NOT to store treasures here on earth where they decay but instead in heaven… “Where your heart is, there your treasure also will be…”

It’s about sharing your stuff and living IN the moment – giving up that control too… instead you get much better heavenly stuff, you get eternal LOVE! And Jesus says everything else will fall into place…

It’s about not being afraid, because no one, no one, can take better care of you than God!

Don’t worry…



Tom Petty “Wildflowers”

RIP Tom October 2017


Luke 12: 22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Keep Walking, 06OCT – #492



It’s been a long while since I’ve written a blog, but I think post-surgery (follow up shoulder scar tissue removal) I’m gifted to have this resting phase for my body which allows my brain to also take the time to “just be”.  To “be still” for me also means I have to keep walking. And that is to keep walking with Jesus.

At first I thought I would write this morning about physical pain about how pain is instructive for my shoulder physical therapy, but no – besides I probably already wrote about that… And today a friend posted on Facebook: “Don’t let distractions keep you from looking for God”….  So I know the best thing to write about today, and all days, is walking with Jesus – because He’s walking with us.

Keep Walking, 06OCT

Jesus is with us thru our pain, and thru our joys…. He’s walking with us everyday, when we don’t even know it. He’s here to light fires for God in our hearts. God’s FIRE WORKS (see writing at ). Jesus is here to bring PEACE. We are called to be disciples of His life giving life.

I’m blessed. I will soon be able to go on a retreat, which is called a “Walk to Emmaus”. This wonderful opportunity, that my new pastor made available to me, and it reminds me that it is all about the walk… It’s NOT a new walk, but a NEW OUTLOOK while walking…  Right now we try to walk with Jesus, try to keep walking even when we are mired in life, therefore we should look for Him now – in the present. When we see how he helps us in our walk then we should share about Him… Our destination on earth while walking with Jesus is anywhere we are called to share the Good News, our destination in eternity will be our eternal life back home with God our Father. Jesus will light our way.

While we are on here on earth, our walk is intended to be slow but sure… walking on the path that is “narrow but sure”… Are we listening, looking, experiencing Him? Are we quiet? Can we hear the Lord?… Jesus came to earth, He listened to His Father and did what He was told to do – He came to be with us, walking with each of us until we can see Him for real – hear Him for real. He gave us the Holy Spirit, as “another” to help us walk… “If you love me, keep my commandments. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another comforter, to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14

The key phrase that called out to me in the retreat booklet is that we are all distracted by life’s trouble, whether it’s our angst about us or even about the church, it distracts us from being in the present with Jesus. I have no expectations going into this retreat except I’m ready to be there, be used by God, be present, meet and be with my fellow travelers… I love people… I love God and HIS people are HIS children… (And yeah I’m excited for the rustling trees, the sound of the water creek, and that great retreat oatmeal too)…. See this walk for me is a gift to allow me to be in the present… Isn’t that a gift everyday?… Jesus is just as present in our stress as our joys…  and guess what? Jesus was known to have retreated himself as well… How could He not?  He wanted and needed to listen to HIS father… We too need to listen. We need to remove the fray and focus on the day.

I delight in seeing how each of us can we see Jesus EVERYDAY, walk with Him, then use this knowledge of Him to make a difference… “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.   And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Micah 6:8

We need retreat – to focus on the present. Knowing that knowledge of Him for everyone is the goal, God’s Word wants to be spread… Jesus is God’s Word made flesh… God’s LOVE is for all – if only everyone knew… Peace resulting from LOVE. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” How can we all put aside all the distractions that block our vision from seeing Jesus? Maybe we don’t but we try, maybe we just try to see Jesus thru life’s issues and walk anyway… and we walk with Jesus’s spirit each day… Jesus is never farther than an internal hand grab away… Grab the Lord and be pulled out of sinking in the water. Appreciate the rescue of the Savior. “but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you”.

God provides a Savior in the risen Christ… Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 6:6-7 When we believe we then are called to be disciples… Do we walk for ourselves or walk alone? We walk together – we work with all the skills we are given – to spread the GOOD NEWS. We believe … Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29…and therefore we now walk with the Spirit of Christ.

Psalm 46 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble… He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ “



Here is the Walk to Emmaus scripture:

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cle′opas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, 29 but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. 37 But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.