Compartmentalize, 10JAN – #628



Compartmentalize, 10JAN

Compartmentalize your stress but let the Lord’s SPIRIT pour in… leave the tops open to your compartments…

We hold so many problems at the same time – I could list so many – and yet you know that we are forced to cope…  So, how can we?

We can compartmentalize…

These barriers (forced or natural) of compartmentalized situations allow us to focus on some things while holding back the stress of others in holding zones… We are in charge of our zones… build strong walls… perhaps even make clear walls to keep an eye on your issues, knowing they are contained enough to work on something else…

Compartmentalizing allows us to let us to move on day to day with our lives…  imagine a time when you get a phone call that your child is sick at school – well everything else gets shoved into a big compartment that you will ignore until you get to your child. Can we also do that on a small scale?

So many big and little stresses – and so many big and little joys – one person’s stress is another person’s ignoring situation. It is not that people are cold to some problems – it is just that they might be compartmentalizing them…

But how will we stay sane and connected at the same time? How will we prioritize which momentary compartment to think in? Here is an idea: LEAVE THE LIDS OFF of your compartments!!!  Yes, let the Lord’s spirit flow in thru each compartment – let Him guide you and give you peace in the present… Perhaps not make such rigid walls on these compartments but let them be expandable when necessary – the Lord may fill one section up more and make more room in your life for an event – whether good or bad – the Lord can make those decisions for you much easier – just let Him in…

Flow or flood? Breathe thru your stress – let yourself process it for a moment before exploding or ignoring – survival means that you don’t blow your container sides out… if there is a flood of life, then leaving the top open will let excess flow out – and if you let yourself go with the flow then perhaps your buoyancy and flexibility will float you to the top so you can catch your breathe…

Life is better when angst and joys are shared with friends – and also when not shared – have you ever started complaining and then realized you spent all that time in angst? Sometimes leaving the stress in that compartment and not looking back is a great way to move forward each day… think “let the dead bury the dead” Matthew 8:22 – and you move on to your future…

Process – don’t ignore Joy – don’t trash peace – God is not here to “drop the other shoe” – pursue peace – don’t be the downer and just say “this joy can’t last” – you know that at the end of this race, God has ONLY PEACE in store for us – so practice peace now.

Remember God’s house has many rooms – meaning we all have a space for us with Him in Heaven. Isn’t that the best way to look at these compartments of stress and joy and life? AS TEMPORARY! Don’t store up treasures on this earth means also don’t get stuck in the quagmires of balls and chains of this earth. Remember to step up, outside your containers – maybe even climb up on the top of them but don’t look down – and realize that the Lord lifts you out of this world and back to His – so every day put yourself into that mindset – heal on the go…

Live in this world but not of it – compartmentalize and leave the lids open for the spirit to flow. He will find you where you are… and He will help you thru…

Be at Peace where you are – and Peace will find you!


I worry, I pray, I pray more… an object in motion stays in motion… 04Jan – #627



I worry, I pray, I pray more… an object in motion stays in motion… 04Jan

I just got so very very anxious worrying about my daughter’s college applications. But I know she’s in good hands and I just started to pray and that calmed my anxiety down… I really do get anxious at times and yet I don’t because I just pray… an object in motion stays in motion. If I keep busy in prayer,  I will stay in prayer.

My anxiety actually freezes me, my prayer moves me into action… an object in motion stays in motion.

I’m human and I need to use my prayer opportunities… I need God – He never stops, I just drift like out in space if I don’t apply the power of prayer… I freeze in stress, and I stop being thankful for the trials… trials bring humbleness,  prayer and direction… an object in motion stays in motion.

Today I had great news that my Dad’s cancer hasn’t spread – that news is sufficient to make me praise over pine…

Cancer is awful,  but this thorn brings with it an action plan of radiation therapy… my Dad and Mom can be in planning,  in attack mode over cancer,  they can be mobile – an object in motion stays in motion.

The little things that caused me strife today I mostly dismissed saying “I can’t complain” especially hearing the encouraging news – actually none of my problems are problems if I think about them compared to God’s long term plan – His plan is in motion – an object in motion stays in motion.

My joy today was also in hearing my mom’s relief – my joy today was feeling that God has my family in His capable hands – my joy is His gift to me – i didn’t make the joy, i only tapped into His… an object in joy stays in joy…

So why do I stress? My stress is my own and my stress I pray is actually purposefully used to move me, direct me, focus me – my stress can also be called a blessing – IF I make it so –  only IF I give it to God, and trade it for an action plan – a plan in motion stays a plan…

So even if the law of inertia says opposition forces cancel, the object that already was in motion stays in motion… so I could say that even if my joy and stress cancel each other out, God’s plan doesn’t, God’s motion is still moving…

So, I pray to align and accelerate with God’s plan….  What’s Your plan Lord?

God’s plan is in motion… it will stay in motion…

You are Lord of us all… You are God… our greatest motion is drawing closer to you.

If I could remember that You’ve got this covered Lord, I could rest…

If I could remember that You took care of all our burdens thru Jesus, and if I could remember that You give Mercy and Grace in Your acts of Love, and if I could remember that I will live with you forever, and if I could remember my forgetfulness, and if I could remember to BE STILL – then I could rest.

I cannot rest Lord until I seek You for rest, and yet that takes me being in motion… I will try Lord to move closer to you. A child in motion in order to gain rest.

Thanks Lord.


Windows of Life, 30Dec – #626



Happy close to 2018 – you as readers have been such a blessing to me – reflecting His love in your friendship…

Windows of Life, 30Dec

We are to OPEN whatever windows of opportunities God places in front of us. God places opportunities EVERY DAY.

God wants us to evaluate which windows are for us to open, and which are not… We still need to work them with our elbow grease…

We are also to realize that windows are made of glass – look before you leap – study and pray on which direction to take. Look thru the glass and see if the scene is illuminated by real, true light – or artificially lit… our paths are best if we are walking in His LIGHT…

What about staying where you are and not moving? Perhaps that is because you are already standing in the middle of a certain window of time – a moment of silence – a moment of rest… that window is called the window of opportunity – it’s a moment of PEACE… reflecting our future with Him…

When you see yourself in a window, notice the Light – look hard for the Light – His Light – notice that it is shining thru you! This is because you are responsible for reflecting His forever peace into this finite earthly time and place. Notice how your reflection in this window of time is reflection of His peace… and shine that window – shine it clear as clear can be so all may see His peace.

Keep shining His love thru your piece of His window of peace…


Devotion about Living Forever – Because We Do… 28DEC – #625



Devotion about Living Forever – Because We Do… 28DEC

Interesting duplications… while I’m thinking about my health, and also 2 friends funerals today, my Facebook reminded me of the anniversary of my aunt’s death… a devotion, that I posted then, reminds us that Jesus is calling for us to live forward with Him – FOREVER…

This devotion from a little 1950s book hits it on the head – we are living creatures and we keep living after death…  Additionally, my scripture reading this morning was about Jesus raising Jarius’ daughter…

Was all my reading about death? – but really it is all about life! Think longest term – FOREVER…

Jarius’ daughter reminds me of my awakening AND reminds me to not fall asleep in my faith now…. stay awake in faith forever… Thinking about living forever changes your perspective… we are to live for today, not worry about tomorrow, and be alive forever…  By worrying about today, we should not have time to worry about tomorrow – it’s up to us to make that our mantra!

My sorrow for today’s pain, my hope for forever… my goal to stay awake in my faith…

Just like the woman touching the fringe of Jesus robes, our faith today heals us for living forever.    IT’S OUR FAITH, Jesus always reminds us, which makes things happen…

My prayers are for everyone to believe that too…

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman (Matthew 9)

18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart,daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.

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Matthew 9 in Michael Card’s “Biblical Imagination” Series, 27Dec – #624



Matthew 9 in Michael Card’s “Biblical Imagination” Series, 27Dec

I’m not writing so much these days as I am in deep learning (decompression time from Christmas too)


My Michael Card’s book “Gospel of Matthew” sits too quietly…. actually it screams out at me and I put off reading it – I should take time, I learn so much from it, I could not more highly recommend these 4 books on the gospels!!!!

Here is a tiny book report on the big topic of Mercy.

These are 3 excerpts from the 1st half of Matthew 9, who writes so condensed that there are years of thinking material in such few paragraphs.

I’ll share a few snippets of deep learning:

Matthew was renamed Matthew, he was Levi the tax collector. It was at his house where Jesus ate with many sinners, which upset the Pharisees.  They asked, and Jesus said: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus wants us to know all our healing comes thru God’s mercy, not our doing.

Mercy, “lovingkindness”, is HESED in Hebrew.  God gives hesed. He wants to give hesed.

Our healing can only come when we realize that we need healing – not be blind to our sin like the Pharisees.  Jesus as a doctor comes to minister to the sick – not necessarily illness, but sick with sin.

Matthew shares about Jesus healing a paralyzed man because Jesus saw the impressive faith of his friends – Michael Card reminds us that we are to carry the burdens of our friends to Jesus. First Jesus heals the man from his sins – by forgiveness…. the physical healing follows suit… The forgiveness of sins is paramount to un-paralyzing us to get to heaven.

Jesus always wins praise for God not Himself – the people also gave all praise to God, they saw Jesus with God’s authority.  Everything we do, we need to praise God for.

This is just the first half of one chapter – Matthew’s gospel is the gospel of identity…. It’s a whole new way of thinking for these disciples and crowd – Jesus speaks of not putting new wine in old sacks – not a new patch on old clothes – but instead a whole new way of thinking….  plus feasting NOT fasting when the bridegroom (Jesus) is actually present, and a reminder that He won’t always be present in the flesh,  this is echoed in Michael Card’s song “Come to the Cradle”….  It is a call of living in a whole new way – thru Jesus – our new identity is in and thru Jesus. That’s the way…

The mightiest message in condensed form. Our identity as saved is THRU Jesus, praising God, realizing our sickness of sin, and desiring healing hesed mercy.

Jesus is the way… to God’s mercy…


Matthew 9

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

The Calling of Matthew

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus Questioned About Fasting

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

A Porch Prayer, 19DEC – #623



Practice peace, pause and process. Pray simply, pray on the porch.

You won’t understand this writing about my day at all, but God knows all the details…

A Porch Prayer, 19DEC

There’s nothing like pursuing peace from prayer…

Moving forward along my day yesterday was a noisy and bustling string of things that were not under my control.  My prayers were.

Prayers were the only thing in control.

Let’s start with Xmas, start with school prep, start with teenagers, start with life – keep moving…

Continue forward – commute for prayer – parking lot prayer – phone call prayer – uncertainty prayer

Stop or go?…, work or no?, drive home or keep going? Keep going… Pray..

Work? Do exactly only what ONLY you can do? Do exactly what you ONLY can do?. Do. Just decide. Just work.


Pray, pause in peace… party…

Phone. Prayer. Porch party prayer is removing yourself from the party and being present on the phone for the sake of peace… porch party is prayers while still at the party… porch prayer is where God says, you are at the party,  but not of the party – you work for Me.

Yes Lord, I work for You.

Prayers. I pray. I pause. I am in the world, not of the world.  Pray for all in all places.

Party, people, practical pause for peace within a party. Be present in, be present at, be in His presence… be His presence for prayers.

Watch, watch in prayer, hope, unknown, watch God’s timing play out. Watch.


Smile, sing, watch, watch, watch…





















His people my people









Pray your day


Move always in His timing.


Practice Peace



Amendment Amen


Christmas Shoes, 17DEC – #622



Christmas Shoes, 17Dec

My feet were hurting and I thought of a friend’s recent commentary about Christmas – that too much of what we do at Christmas is not what God envisioned…  the hustle and bustle – all that was going against the real meaning of Christmas…

My feet are still really hurting – my own fault for not wearing the right shoes for Christmas shopping – for Christmas singing at church – for living thru the day…  I should have thought about the shoes that would have sustained me, but I chose fashion over function.

Guess what this is a writing about?

Christmas – Jesus – our faith! Not really a writing about my feet… I will come right to the point before I add my flowery writing…  If we put Jesus front and center as the sustaining force in our lives, then our faith will fall into place – our excess of Christmas will fade away – and we won’t ache from bad choices… we will rejoice in a sustaining life…

We need to think about living the life that will sustain us – we need to choose Christ over Christmas.

There’s truth in the praise song: “Come to the Cradle”: “The hustle and business lasts year after year, but this little baby won’t always be here”… “Come to the cradle – come and find peace.”

Being out of step with the real meaning of Christmas leaves more than our feet hurting. Yes, being out with my daughter shopping was fabulous – and we even bought her shoes – but neglecting my physical health, while wearing poor shoes, fueled my stress of the hustle and business. Yes, it was wonderfully sweet our time together – shopping, laughs and togetherness – all to keep the spirit flowing – it made my mom heart smile but my feet were so tired…

I wore my good shoes today and I reworked my head about Christmas AGAIN – Again because this readjustment happens every year – actually every day we need to rework our heads about Christ – about picking up the cross – about sustaining the right paths for our feet and our lives… Neglecting our faith will ache worse than our feet…

Jesus came as a baby with nothing, wanting nothing but us… no tinsel, no shopping, no fuss…. later in life Jesus told a want-to-be disciple to not take the time to bury his father (or go thru worldly rituals) but to just “follow me”. A book passage from Michael Card states that in Judaism family was placed in front of faith – and in Christ’s new way of thinking we have to put faith in front of everything including family. Hmmm, that is what God did too, didn’t He – He put faith in front of family – He sacrificed His son to bring the whole world home to him – His peace is dependent upon us listening to Him, He is wanting us home…  and to get home we need to want His love – know His love – share His love – we need Jesus to wrap it all up and with mercy and grace bring us home…

My pained feet reminded me also of a song by my same friend with the Christmas advice – he recently sang me a few verses beautifully: “Christmas shoes” – about a little boy wanting to give his mom a special gift to meet Jesus, as she was near death – how tearfully sweet…  How the child wants to give her a gift for being a dedicated loving mom, and so that she will be beautiful when she sees Jesus as she passes away that night…

In this Christmas season and always, Jesus does see us, and He asks that we see Him, asks that we seek Him out. He’s ready for us. But as a baby needs a home, He needs us to come to Him, He needs us to make room in our hearts. And He needs us to rely on Him to bear the fruit of God’s plan for our lives.

Remember Jesus in all the holiday hustle by remembering the gift He gave us – our eternal life with Him and with Our Father…  Remember (and remember again) that all we need is already inside of us – Jesus reminds us that it is our faith in God that heals us.

How can we reduce our carbon footprint of Christmas excess and instead leave a footprint on the narrow but sure path of our faithful walk back home to God eternal? How can we walk the walk of being Christian – talk the talk and walk the walk – how can we simply be Christians at Christmas? We can simply just be ourselves and seek Him for everything. We can simply take ourselves and our agenda’s out of the mix and follow Him.

We need “Christmas shoes” – sustaining our walk with Christ…

Our Christmas shoes will be a mindset that all we need in life is in Christ – to pray simply, to bring our hopes in Him… to stay in step with Christ…

We celebrate Christmas for the gift of sustaining life in Christ…

We need to remember to choose Christ over Christmas.



Lyrics – Christmas Shoes (Eddie Carswell / Leonard Ahlstrom)

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing ’round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes
His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight
He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, “son, there’s not enough here”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said mama made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes
So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out 
And I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama’s gonna look so great
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight

I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight

I want ‘er to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight

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Sentimental in my JOY, 16DEC – #621



Sentimental in my JOY, 16DEC

Sounds silly to non-sentimental folks, but I feel God allows and forgives my sentimental self… (within reason…).

And then I see when my own sentimental self fades away – and the deep true embers of God’s love persist…

I know that to plow forward in service to the Lord, I am to be looking forward. Yet in my humanness, with my leaky soul, I get humanly sentimental – I enjoy the little things that I perceive God’s Holy Spirit is showing me – those things swirling around to let me know that my humanness is remembered and not discarded as fluff. Sometimes I may see a bird and be reminded that God takes care of the little birds – which means that surely He takes care of us. I smile in knowing His love is intentional to get me thru this world into His eternal one. I cry in knowing that too – I cry feeling His love.

I know that I work for God – I ache for God’s people – I work in, for and on the network of His love…. Luke 1:38 “I am the handmaiden of the Lord”. My boldness and my obedience are BOTH required to serve…

JOY, my perception of God is a God of JOY. When I heard I was classified with the sanguine description to my personality (one of Hippocrates four humors: sanguine choleric, phlegmatic and melancholic), I smiled in JOY because someone understood me… When I heard I was classified a “campaigner” personality type (of the 16personalities website)  I chuckled… how can I not tell folks that even while enduring hardship, JOY is in the Lord… and oh, how much JOY I feel when I remember that God knows me so much…

God always understood me.

God understands you, how could He not!?!

I’m a thinker and precious little mental things connect with me… my time with Our Lord is all the time, but sometimes my brain, heart, eyes go “off the clock”… sometimes I am too noisy to listen, too busy to be still… I get impatient, I fall into not being thankful… Sometimes I get confused – is what I see and hear from Him? or from the glut of human distractions in the world? I worry about the evils spilled into my path – but the scripture reference that helps me discern things of the world and things of Him is to look for fruit – His fruit – spiritual fruit that can be shared by the actions of God’s presence…. what resets my path back to Him is to follow His light with humble walking…

When I’m blue, He finds a way to guide my feet… when I am lost He shepherds me.. when I fuss, He puts me back to work… He’s always looking for me to smile, internally. If I help anyone in this world it is because He shows me mercy…and helps me… It is my JOY to see Him working His Spirit. It is my job to not get in the way of His Way.

Today, I will be blessed to sing my awakening song in church… it’s a big deal for me – it’s also not a big deal too. It’s both an opportunity and a remembrance – but I am the one who allows myself to be sentimental – just as I allow myself to shrug it off… others shrug off things that mean so much to me and others dwell on things I’ve dismissed… we are different people and I will remember that it is OK. “Come to the Cradle ” is a sentimental blessing that I also know is not for me… I’m singing for the Lord. Simultaneously I get to hopefully convey the feeling as i get to personally feel the healing of the line: “come to the cradle, come and find peace ” – “come to the cradle, He waits for you there”… Jesus wants peace for you and all…. In singing the line of the song: “in the innocent upward trusting look of a child” I’m cajoling others to see that face of Jesus. Jesus as a baby trusting us, trusting His Father… I’m also trusting the Lord to understand me, His child… We still have to find peace each day in Him. We are still called to trust. We need to find peace and remind others that we believe in peace. We are called to lead by example… His spirit is to be moved THRU us not just to us.

Jesus as a baby brings JOY and purpose – He was as strong as He was weak… that’s us too – we are weak in ourselves – we are strong in Him…

We are Our Father’s JOY – that’s not sentimental – that’s God’s love.

Feel the JOY… know His healing… trust in Him.

Blessed to be His child. My sentimental joy is nothing compared to my spiritual joy.