Sifted, So Strengthen, 28Dec – #517



Sifted, So Strengthen, 28Dec

Jesus said: 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22

I used to sift – separate the seeds from the rest of the plant material in graduate school, it’s a long process…. And now I am learning a good deal mentally sifting through the gospels, it’s the best life-long process I will ever have… Not necessarily violent sifting as how wheat was thrashed in Jesus’s time, but still it’s internal mental sifting just the same, finding my faith away from the fluff… Quiet time for Being Still to study, shake it up, sort it out.

Michael Card’s writings are just like being in the room with Jesus… helps me study and sift the meaning… He comments (in his “Gospel of Amazement” book page 242) that Luke chronicles so much about Jesus’s prayer life… Jesus prays all the time, converses with our Father so much, and also pre-tells folks what will happen… Jesus knows Simon Peter will be tested, ALL disciples will be tested, even now… Satan’s sifting is severe mind-wrenching… But Jesus knows Simon Peter will come back to be restored, that day on the beach after the resurrection “Do you love me Peter?”… Jesus prays for Simon Peter’s restoration IN ADVANCE…

“Yes Lord, I love You.”

Jesus prays for Simon Peter… Jesus also prays for us – for our past – for our present – for our future… “NOTHING happens without prayer”… Jesus restores…

Jesus knows Satan wants to sift us, thrash us about to see when and how our true faith comes out… Satan might tempt us, but Jesus prays for us… God is supreme.

Michael Card reminds of Paul’s words: “no temptation is more than God can handle” 1Cor10:13… This means God can restore us… We will be sifted, tempted, shaken because, we are human… God provides Jesus who intervenes… We are to do our best to adhere to God’s laws and His Will… We are to focus on Jesus so that we don’t sink… We are to grab for His hand…  No matter what’s ahead, Jesus will be there for us.

There’s a great Facebook meme: “I asked God, “Why are you was taking me thru troubled waters?”. He replied, “Because your enemies can’t swim.”




Let your Savior strengthen you.

So then: “strengthen your brothers”…


Come in from the Cold, 26Dec – #516


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Ah, this Christmas crab….

(Thanks to Joni Mitchell for the title of this blog)

Come in from the Cold, 26Dec

Christmas the hermit crab was cold, lost in the woods, those October evenings are cold… We took him home… One of the first things I learned about hermit crabs is that they don’t mind being held because they get warmth from your hand… So happy to get Christmas… Our purpose was to be a caregiver… “Come in from the cold”…

Christmas is all about coming in from the cold… Christmas is all about Jesus arriving for His purpose of giving us a way home… God says “Please come in from the cold”… God holds us in the warmth of His hand.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PEACE.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Jesus says “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:21 NIV

Christmas the crab came to Christmas Eve service, I brought him to show kids, big and little, and talk about next summer’s Vacation Bible School “Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus”… So many amazed at the story!… Yup, everyone was happy to see the crab… JOY at Christmas, and at least I knew he wasn’t cold… And the people’s reactions warmed my heart too…  I trust that this crab was a gift as a way for me to share the Good News (God knows I love props)…  shipwrecked then rescued – lost then found – AMAZING GRACE…

Outside, after the service, it was COLD, but I wanted a silly photo opp with the camel at the living nativity… I got that pic but I didn’t expect a REAL baby in the manger! Oh, that’s the best photo for sure… Oh baby Jesus…. This particular baby, little Michael, is fifth generation of our original church living nativity organizers… Sixty years, and now Michael was baby Jesus… Warm and sweet, he was exuding warm baby love from a cold manger… LIGHT beckoning warmth…. Christmas the hermit crab got a pic… Yes, Christmas is all about a warm baby… Jesus, the “Word made flesh” John 1:14

Christmas is all about staying warm by being humanly connected, vined, to the human Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!

Baby Jesus brought the warmth of heaven, but as a baby He started with nothing… Love was provided thru Mary and Joseph to take care of him. We also have and need nothing but LOVE, we live from our connection to this warmth from the LOVE of heaven…

But as time goes by we all need to come in from the cold, don’t we?…

We actually and actively need to physically pick up Jesus to feel His warmth and to grow… We need to actually pick up the human baby who is God living in our hearts and continue living thru spiritual growth… Then we need to urge others to pick up Christmas too – Christ’s LOVE is for sharing…

LOVE from Jesus is waiting, just pick Him up… Christmas is waiting… Christmas is the gift of God to us… Don’t hesitate, pick up Jesus as a baby and commit to raising HIM… Jesus will grow when nurtured in you…

 “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

“The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14

Christmas the hermit crab was SO good until I exceeded his patience – a camel photo opp? no, that was enough he said, he was cold and started to pinch me… Not much pain, but enough to urge me to go back inside, I didn’t have my coat on either… So I came in from the cold… It shouldn’t take cold or pain for us to want to enter the warmth of Jesus either, but many do have pain, life can be tough and we can reach, we will find Jesus is there waiting, He meets us where we are… And we realize JOY is to be found in Jesus.

Christmas is all about you – it’s a gift you have to accept – to take away the pain of being lost and cold, God provides Christ… Jesus’s work is to take away God’s pain of having lost children…

Home, God says come home…

Come in from the cold…


516 christmas camel.PNG

GAP, 23DEC – #515




You might think it’s funny I’m reading about Easter at Christmas, but the alignment of my bible reading with my time schedule seems classic God’s timing…

The Passover Lamb, Jesus… He was the lamb, sacrificed for us… In Luke 22:7, they prepare for the meal and as Jesus uses the bread and cup, explaining that He is being shared himself in body and blood by God, He explains that there’s a gap of timing before He shares again when the Kingdom of Heaven has been fulfilled…

“14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

Until “IT”, finds fulfillment… IT had a long preparation… IT needed everything to fall into place between Adam and Eve and that last supper feast, the times Jesus remained, left then returned to those disciples and even coming to us now in Spirit… Those gaps of time was filled with God’s timing and His plan… Passover orchestrated by God… These gap times now filled by God… God’s timing is just that, HIS…

What’s the “gap” of time, empty or full?

Full… Fulfillment from Full…

What’s in our own gap? Empty? Full? So do we wait for Christmas, Easter, life, death? What’s in between? How will we spend our “gap” before we see our Lord fulfilled for all? We, like Jesus, have serious work to do in the gap time… We should not forget to fill our lives with purpose for His Fulfilment… Let us let God fill the gap…

Fill the gap…

Help bring everyone home…


Christmas’ Shell Armor, 22DEC – #514


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Christmas’ Shell Armor, 22DEC

Christmas the hermit crab has quite the new tough shell…  Christmas is moving around, I enjoy the clunking noises, and he was checking out his old shell too, flipping it like a toy, the one that looks like a Christmas ornament and which earned him his name… It’s so tiny in comparison to the big crab he’s grown into now, only two months after we found him lost in the woods…

Christmas carries such a huge shell with him now – funny how he doesn’t know that he’s in like the most safe place of the aquarium, but he probably knows that I will pick him up and take him out and about… and he NEEDS that protection, because you never knows what’s out in the real world.

I think that’s a good reminder for US also to be putting a shell of Christmas around us, to buffer us, and allow us to go through our days and nights in the real world… and yes a good strong shell is certainly akin the “armor of God” Ephesians 6.

When we are getting ready to venture out, whether it is real or perceived danger in the unknown of life, or simply the complicated scary places that our mind drifts to, Christmas is provided, Christ is provided…. God’s mighty power is sufficient… God asks us, well He tells us, that if we believe in His power, then we may be able to stand our own ground – even if and because we ARE weak, He will provide the exoskeleton of armor and the inner SPIRIT of fortitude…. We are to remember it is OUR FATHER who calls us HIS CHILDREN…. We are sons and daughters of the King… God wants us to do EVERYTHING we can to stand… And then because of Him, we are called to STAND FIRM….

Christmas the crab was found lost in the woods… We were lost too, yet Christmas (Christ) found us! Christmas is always the “Word made flesh”… A baby is vulnerable like us, a crab is vulnerable without his shell… but we are ALL made strong by God!

EVERYTHING we do, we can do most safely and spiritually within the armor of God…. It’s Christmas folks – Venture out – Grab the best mightiest strongest (and even blinged out) shell you can get…

Stand with the armor of God because your feet are firmly placed on the “gospel of PEACE”. Be alert – not just for yourself – but for ALL God’s people…


Ephesians 6:10-18(NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

A Revisit of Mary and Mary Writing… 21Dec – #513



A Revisit of Mary and Mary Writing… 21Dec

I did not edit the content of my initial processing writings – for good reason – i knew that one day i would look back and see how God has brought me deeper into my faith – especially in my attributes of Mary Magdalene and of Mary in Lazarus’ story – i long to sit at Jesus’ feet these days and learn… it is time for many of us to stop being Martha – Michael Card sings: “Hustle and Business last year after year, but this little baby won’t always be here!”… Yes it is time to come to the cradle, come and find peace.

So today I edit and seriously condense this message now (revisited Christmas processing)…

Revisit of Mary and Mary, 22DEC2014, 21DEC2017

It’s Christmas – who wants to be Mary?  Every woman and every girl – all of us are jumping with our hands up to be Mary in the play – in the living nativity scenes – we all love Mary – I love Mary…

I love Mary’s blue garments – the dead snake at her feet – the roses and flowers we place at her feet… I got to be Mary once in our living nativity – oh the awesomeness of that… a lifetime of aspirations came true. Catholics are not supposed to worship Mary anyway but to “venerate” her…  but let’s face it – Mary is the “end all and the be all” for little Catholic girls – we all want to be Mary.

The Hail Mary – Hail Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners – I can still recite it at great speed – recite it word for word without hesitation and recite in a crisis – like when hearing of my father’s stroke – prayers at lightning speed.

May is Mary’s month –  oh the first crocuses then the daffodils then the lilacs – I so looked forward to those early first spring flowers – the first ones picked and wrapped in a wet paper towel and aluminum foil to carefully carry by hand into my elementary catholic school where every classroom had a statue of Mary…  Oh to place those flowers by her feet.  I still think of the abundance gifts of spring rebirth when I smell that scent of lilacs.  

Although we (or I) aspire to be Mary –  mother Mary – I have to wonder if I am not already or supposed to aspire to be the second Mary – Mary Magdalene.  I am certainly NOT like that third Mary of the bible, Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha – we (I mean I) are too Martha-ish –  I am worrying about this detail and that – I don’t think I can sit and listen to the Lord like Mary – I am certainly not taking the time to sit and read the bible enough. Yes I am  truly Martha… Jesus rightfully scolds me – I mean scolds Martha in Luke 10:  ““you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one – Mary has chosen what is needed...”

Back to the other Mary – Mary Magdalene – some accounts of her said she was a possessed woman – some said she had multiple personalities… Mary M was “cured” “discipled” “brought into the fold” – an apostle in her own right – one of the chosen few who witnessed Jesus’ journeys, teachings, miracles, and trials first hand.  Mary Magdalene first to know Jesus rose from the tomb – first to go on with her duties as a woman to take care of the dead body – she didn’t hesitate to go into the tomb – she was the first to be blessed to witness and believe with her own eyes – she went from “worst to first” – she came from the furthest reaches of sinfulness – from the furthest spiritual distance (by choice or circumstance) from the righteous ways of God – she journeyed far and made it into the fold – made it to the first to hear of the Resurrected Christ and then yes – she told the others too – she was bold and was able to speak of Jesus.

In this time of Christmas – we await the birth of Christ – we are called to give birth to a child placed in our hearts – to raise and nurture the Jesus within us – and we do admire Mary – mother Mary – to be impregnated by that holiest of spirits, giving up her body to birth a God – not to mention to be entrusted to raise baby Jesus and we dream we have her strength and devotion to be the “handmaid of the Lord”  -Luke 1:38.

But let’s also remember that we should aspire to be the other Mary too – Mary Magdalene – let’s not hesitate to embrace our Mary Magdalene – to be willing to be healed by God for all our sins and imperfections, to witness to the miracles of the Lord, to perform our dutiful callings even in the times of greatest crisis, yes, to be willing to be bold and enter the tomb – and most of all – to tell others of the risen Christ.

An Unsuccessful Angel, 18DEC – #512



An Unsuccessful Angel, 18DEC

WOW, I never knew the small tidbit in Luke 22:43 that while the disciples slept in the Mount of Olives, Jesus was attended to by an Angel. The Angel came to strengthen HIM…

This is the only place it is told, in the Gospel of Luke, and not in the other Gospels. I learned this from the Biblical Imagination book series by Michael Card the singer who means so much to me…

Yes, reading the bits and pieces of the Bible in small digestible chunks is where I get the most nutrition of faith and time for comprehension…

Michael Card’s words mean a lot to me this evening and in life… Michael suggests that it seems Jesus has even more anguish AFTER the prayer time while this angel attended – because Jesus discovers His closest friends, the disciples, have betrayed Him by falling asleep… Michael suggests that the angel has been unsuccessful in giving Jesus a lasting relief, so I will extend my extra insight that rings true to me in this event – that even an angel might fail when God’s plans are God’s plans… that makes sense to me now – how can I relate? Are my plans ever being changed and interrupted by God’s plans? Yup… Even if I have the best intention, my plans might crumble? Will my plans sometimes fail? Yup… Yeah, I speculate the thought that even an angel could not make everything better…. Sigh…

See, we know that God’s mission for Jesus, however painful, was to include Jesus’s experience of every broken feeling, every sorrow, every betrayal, every lost hope in the world – and this is because God needs us to know that in truth there is NOTHING that we will ever go thru that Jesus didn’t already suffer…. NOTHING…

Our pain has precedence… We can feel the depth of pain but will we remember that God will pull us out of it?… We will be made whole, eternally, but may stay broken now… Jesus didn’t feel the wholeness on earth, He felt the brokenness, and He stayed with God’s plan anyway… broken… His body for our lives… He suffered to let us know that HE understands.  We are not alone, even if we feel alone, we aren’t… Jesus gets it…

The angel did what the angel could do and yet…. Christ was comforted, but that doesn’t mean all was fixed -“it’s all better?” – nope…. We do what we can, but life doesn’t always fit our plans…

Human worldly ways are faint when facing the will of God…

But perhaps the most important lesson here is that we will persevere, because Jesus could… And we will persevere because God wants us to… We will never be alone… And God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only son…

That’s LOVE…

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”   Luke 22:43

Look Up, 17DEC – #511



Look Up, 17DEC

It’s Christmas time, three years since I wrote Christmas Flood 17DEC, which started a flood of my faith… now I am continually called to stay awake and to LOOK UP… (Fittingly it’s 2am, I fell asleep on the couch at 8pm, awake at 1am, LOL… God likes to remind me that He calls me when He calls me)… I’m to be awake for HIM. We are ALL to be awake in our FAITH.

The Christmas message simply is that God loves us and Jesus saves… He came to bring us home. He saves us by connecting us to Him… We can feel Him flowing through us, Living Water from the Vine – simple, divine and true… Spiritual growth requires our commitment to keep drinking in His LOVE… Forever…

As much as I’m excited/exhausted with Christmas fluff, I remember ALWAYS that Christmas excess can flood and wash you away! WHOOSH!…

But each Christmas, we are called to actually focus more simply, more divinely, more actively and humbly bow down (before we are knocked down)… and called to worship the most AMAZING gift – baby Jesus… We are called to hone-in on a vastness of God without being distracted by the Christmas human adornments to God… Jesus alone is worthy of our focus… We are called to be ready to give it ALL away for the sake of our King…

It’s Christmas, but actually I’m reading the last chapters of Luke (from Michael Card’s Biblical Imagination series books), and here in Luke’s “gospel of amazement”, Jesus talks ever so seriously to the disciples about end times – this teaching opportunity opened when they were distracted by human adornments to God at the temple – and Jesus refocuses,  brings with them right back to focus on the future… It’s a reality check – HIS reality…  Just before His earthly time is over, Jesus teaches them awareness of end times, theirs and ours… Again, like at Christmas, we are called to cast away the excess and the distractions – to focus… It’s a revelation to those with ears open that we are to “be at the ready”… At end times we certainly may feel like we are to be felled with earthquakes and terror, but instead we are called to stand up and LOOK UP!

We are told to be forever watchful – certainly we would not want to miss the sight of Jesus coming in on a cloud…

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21

YES we are called NOT to hide but to look forward, this is why we are called to appreciate how Jesus makes us fit for redemption… We are to STAND UP and LOOK UP!


Let us NOT miss the chance to bow down at Christmas for our baby King, to know Him better. Jesus alone holds the HOPE of the world… He is a “LIGHT for REVELATION” as Simon praises in Luke 2 – can you imagine the old man Simon lifting baby Jesus to the sky as he stands up and looks up at Jesus Himself knowing that foretold glory of Jesus – Savior of all who answer the call… Goosebumps… Goosebumps…

Our certain actions to focus our worship will hone us in on the truth… Jesus saves us by gifting us a Christmas focus that we will bring to an Easter redemption focus… and we are to pray for our forever wakefulness… We don’t know when Jesus will come back, nor He, we are called in the meantime to be disciples, to just be ready…

Jesus is a cherished gift forever for our forever…

Christmas is a reminder to keep looking for Christ…



Merry Christmas

Thanks be to God…

Plasmodesmata, 13Dec – #510



Plasmodesmata, 13Dec

Good morning!  Here’s your nerdy word of the day –  The comfort of God flows from person to person like plasmodesmata conducts messages from plant cell to plant cell – if we stay connected, then LOVE will flow… Vined on the microscopic scale…

I think of this VBS scripture often, and it pertains to me so much – “[God gives us comfort so that we can share comfort]”… And I read my “life verse” yesterday, Luke 1:38 “I am the handmade (slave) of the Lord”…. Yeah I work for HIM…

And yeah, it’s fitting for everyone’s situation too, God has given us HIS source of comfort and the ability of comforting others…. Therefore because we look to the Lord, He will use us for His work…  it’s not always easy, but it’s HIS work…

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5

Math as a Spiritual Gift, 06Dec – #509



Math as a Spiritual Gift, 06Dec

It’s Saint Nicholas Day – December 6th… A gift would be left in your shoes in old Europe, or in my case on a fancy favorite campground plate! Yeah, my Czech-heritage mom said St Nicholas would take our Christmas wish lists (set out the night before on a special plate) and leave us this huge plate of goodies, yum candy!!! Later as we became teens the plates were filled a bit more practically – like toothpaste and deodorant and socks or stockings, but still some candy…. A tradition on Dec 6th, and St. Nick didn’t disappoint… In college, St. Nick even managed to mail goodies to this dorm room bound homesick girl… Yeah, blessed… blessed gifts!

Today I am thinking of another gift – the gift of math for our use and for our study – but is math really a spiritual gift? Or is math a tool that man developed? Or is math an unveiling of a certain section of our minds for use of divine understanding? Is it a gift for connecting with the great Mathematician in the sky who has counted the uncountable, and has dreamed of spiral Golden Rule ratios to decorate His kingdom with spirals of snail shell to match whorls of flower petals and pinecones? I think so… Yeah I am pretty sure God loves math…

Fascinating nature gives way to FABULOUS Fibonacci numbers which abound in beautiful ways… just look at a sunflower, or a daisy spiral… Why Lord? Why use the most elegant of math to decorate the most transient of wildflowers? Why tantalize math people? Tell me Lord, is looking deeper and deeper into a Mandelbrot set like looking deep into the crevices of Your brain? Or to understand the divine nature that formulated the crevices in our brains?

Lord, if we let YOU do the math, then we find that YOU are timeless…

Lord, if we let YOU do the math, then we find that YOU are infinite…

Your Word endures forever, Your Son, the Word, is also on Your timeline… We become Your sliding beads of the Master Abacus… Jesus keeps us vined as we slide away or spin, our bead will stay connected because You are counting us… You are counting on us… Math, it is all about the MATH…

It’s all God’s LOVE…

Happy St Nicholas Day, may your plate be filled with God’s plans, today and ALWAYS…


“What Her Heart Remembered” song, 01Dec – #508



“What Her Heart Remembered” song, 01Dec

You know, as powerful and meaningful “Come to the Cradle” is to me as my awakening song, my FAVORITE song in Michael Card’s “the Promise”, which we will present Christmas eve Sunday morning, is the blissful “What her heart remembered”.

This song’s lyric “He would weep A dark so deep, For all her love, She couldn’t comprehend”, tells of the great sorrow Jesus had and has for the lost souls.

In Michael Card’s biblical imagination of his lyrics, we can imagine that Jesus must have had and still has deep cries – knowing, even as a baby, about the brokenness of the world, a continuous conscious stream of every day between Easter and the second coming – imagine HIS sorrow of all the lost sheep…  and this world could not understand – Mary could not – nor we could ever understand the depth of those cries of Jesus..

In between those dark times of not understanding His cries, we can also imagine that Mary could “live in the moment” and feel the bliss of being with baby Jesus… Her baby AND her King…

BLISS is my new favorite word for this Christmas…  we can “live in the moment” – sometimes in sorrow and struggle but always touched with a feeling of bliss knowing we will go home to our Lord…  a feeling of bliss while still being so ever watchful for Jesus’s return…

And I love singing this song of bliss and learning… “marvelous memories” that I too ponder and hide in my heart…

Thanks Jesus, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and blissful rebirth to us…



And here’s Michael Card original on YouTube – so beautiful a portrayal

Here are the lyrics, I have written about this song before, but just like Christmas comes every year, it’s good to relive marvelous memories….

“Out in the stable yard
She sees a glow
Could it be angel light?
How would she know?
Shepherds stand wondering
Afraid to come in
But the baby that’s born tonight
Will free them all
To never fear again

“As He lies in a cattle trough
She kneels by His side
Sweet baby breathing
Soft infant sighs
Soft sounds of swallowing
As soft fingers part
Marvelous memories
She pondered then and hid them in her heart

“Like a good
Mother would
Sh learned His cries
If He’d awake
With a bellyache
From hunger or fright
But now and then
Sometimes when
The dark would descend
He would weep
A dark so deep
For all her love
She couldn’t comprehend

“Her warm loving carpenter
His strong gentle hands
His dark and bewildered eyes
Can they understand?
That this Baby she’s given him
Is theirs for a time
In truth came to give Himself
The Treasure and the
Ransom of mankind”

ETC., 24NOV – #507





I’m so BLESSED that you are all in my life!!!!

This thanksgiving, I’m so thankful for the “ETC”…

This is a photo of a gift tag my Mom wrote on a present for me today… She wrote: “This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for FAMILY, FRIENDS, AIR, FOOD, etc.


How I love my parents and their simple and divine understanding that the ETC is so well worth PRAISE… We have ETC in addition to the most important staples in life, it’s a tremendous gift to be able to wake up every morning and take in the “ETC”…

How BLESSED we are for EVERYTHING… How BLESSED to know that “ETC is from God”… God wants us to feel the LOVE, and then we get ETC too!

“17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17″

God provides…

I am thankful for life itself, then all that ETC too…








Not a coincidence!!!!

Christmas the crab has emerged!! I missed him! He is trying out a new shell, while staying close to his old one… Me too…. Me too…

Christmas the crab has a new skin! He emerged from the sand after molting, and has a Christmas morning-like array of new shells to choose from…. They are certified pre-owned sea snail shells, scooped up, cleaned and I got them on EBAY… Lots of them… knowing one might be JUST right… A new shell for a new skin…

I have a new skin too in many ways but mainly, I am a new creation in Christ (2ndCorinthians)…. I molted off a layer of disbelief in God’s plan, I molted off a veiled existence of the truth, I regrew a new skin of Spirit from within and everything else is relative to that…

I have a new shell too, one of many – of a tabernacle of faith space – I newly have a pre-owned SUBARU – my third Forester – RED – Christmas Red? Actually I prayed for Holy Spirit Pentecostal RED…. my first Subaru was green (271,000 miles), second was blue (239,000 miles), and now I accepted this gift from the Lord of a newish (37,700 miles) portable faith tabernacle to grow safely within… I was granted the gift of FAITH SPACE.

We have all been gifted of FAITH SPACE of community… As local as we have or as big as the world community – all our friends plus all those whom we don’t even know yet…

FAITH SPACE is where we are safe to grow, a shell of protection physical and emotional – the protection and space within these faith communities allows us to grow. And we can grow fruits of the spirit… Fruits given by God.

The ultimate FAITH SPACE is us realizing we are already nestled in the crevices of His hands…. All we need He has provided…

Jesus came at Christmas, came as a baby, the most vulnerable form of human life. He was God’s gift – Jesus is cherished by so many – God’s gift of LOVE – HIS gift of Christ at Christmas is His gift of GRACE…. We needed Christ in this world because God hurts with the loss of His Children – we are broken people, most in this world do not know Him – God wants us whole and he wants his whole world whole… people are caught in the trap of Earthly sin pulling them down,  so Jesus came  first as a baby then Jesus grew his skin thicker, because He knew the brokenness of His people…. This broke Jesus’s heart… Ultimately, His body was broken for us… And we were given the GRACE to go home…

Jesus molted from His earthly body in resurrection, we will too… We will cast off the sin that keeps us down… We will cast off even death… We will go home… We have salvation… We have a Savior…

Our salvation is the ultimate gift that God gives to Himself – He wants all of His Children home – He sent Jesus in a new skin to find us…. The ultimate Christmas gift list that Jesus verbalized was “LET all those with ears hear”…

I’m praising gifted open ears for each of us… I am so glad to hear those that accepted the real gift of the Lord – His Grace thru Christ….  my heart is warmed with seeing the spirit moving thru others…

That is the Christmas gift, opening one’s own shell of FAITH SPACE to see how it joins with that of others… Take a peek, and enjoy the view…

Merry Christmas!

Molting within God’s Protective Shell, 19Nov – #505



Molting within God’s Protective Shell, 19Nov

Christmas the hermit crab started investigating his new digs, his new aquarium home complete with sand and plant material, new shells, water and food.

But then on that exact same day – he disappeared. He was searching and searching, apparently for a long time, digging and digging… Apparently he was searching for a safe place and a chance to shed his skin and start fresh again. Christmas the crab needed to molt!!!! Ah finally…. he must have been relieved… (I was and am nervous, but have done everything I can  and I put it in God’s hands)… So Christmas the crab must have thought sweet sand… Finally…he got the opportunity to find a safe deep nestled pit in this colorful de colores blue sand.

Hermit crabs carry their shells around for protection, they may try out new shells which they adopt, but they are never without a shell. They need them for protection and they fit perfectly inside. They are hermits living in a borrowed abode…. Especially they need protection during molting times when they have to shed their skin and they are completely vulnerable and open for injury, they bury themselves for privacy, safe time for creation of a new skin.

Isn’t that us as well?!!! Yes, we are gifted a shell of safe haven in life, living on this borrowed abode of earth… we decide when we are hermits and when we venture out but always we are gifted to being nestled in God’s hands and under His guiding eye as we change, we grow, we shed that old skin, and we become “new creations in Christ”.

Life brings challenges but always new adventures and God gives us that shot of courage to move forward… God reminds us to guard our hearts because everything we do comes from them (Proverbs 4:23)…. But we are NOT to live timidly. (2 Timothy 1:7) but live in the spirit of power, love and self-control … God gives us freedom and space to grow, and He Himself will bless and keep us. He is our protective Father.

God loves us. God loves you and wants you to find His PEACE. God wants you to take that big deep breath and remove your worry and anxiety and allow yourself to grow.

God needs you to grow, because He knows how you fit best in His plan…

New skin, new life, new mobility, new prospects. New blessings.

And until we shed our earthly skin and go home eternally with our Father, we will move through life “as Christ ambassadors”….

Home awaits, but in the meantime remember that safety net of community, our friends are God’s provisions… Keep growing in His LOVE, and rest in His PEACE…



2 Corinthians 5 (NIV)

Awaiting the New Body

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us,so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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God’s Got the Box, 19Nov – #504


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God’s Got the Box, 19Nov

Life is a puzzle, surely you feel that.

At a recent retreat, my new friends and I worked on two intricate and fun jigsaw puzzles during break time. I love puzzles, I did so many as a kid and pausing to work on a puzzle is a rare gift these days. Your mind gets a chance to change up its processing for a while, there’s a soothing challenge ahead of you, oh feasting your eyes on all those colors, looking and looking, drag your hands thru the box, and oh the satisfaction of getting the pieces to fit…. meanwhile you get to chat with friends or work alone and ALWAYS you get to ponder life.

Life is a puzzle and we are all pieces. We are all pieces of God’s amazing puzzle.

When we are sorting through life’s issues and finding our way, often we are wondering where we fit.  But we can feel the comfort of those other people puzzle pieces that we are nestled with, we can feel the fingers stirring up the pieces, we can look past our own edges to see where we might fit… Sometimes it takes a while, maybe our whole lives, to find the right fit. Maybe things snap together easy which is also puzzling.

Thru life we need to remember that we are ALL in God’s puzzle.  God is holding that box lid. He’s got the whole puzzle in His hands.

God is not JUST holding the box looking at the big picture, but HE created that big picture of this puzzle…. Even though that box is full of seemingly random pieces, all shapes and sizes scattered about, He sees the Divine plan.

His LOVE is looking for us – to bring us back home. He even sent Jesus to us, Jesus’s job is to collect all those pieces scattered about, even those that fell off the table…

Jesus looks – Jesus saves.

Next time you are puzzling life, remember that you do fit for His purpose… and His purpose is to want you to know that you are loved. His desire is that you then share that love. Share His Love thru you.

Remember God is holding that puzzle box lid. God knows the plan.

We don’t always know the plan but we need to find peace anyway…. remember that God desires that PEACE.

God knows.

You fit.