Psalm 34:8

“…taste and see…”

The first sip of coffee at the right moment and in correct proportion of our favorite additives is a pleasant part of the day.  A good cup of coffee aims at a certain part of us that is hard to describe.  But, when the mixture fails to hit the spot, something is “off” – something is missing, and we look at our cup as if it has abandoned its purpose.

There are times when consuming God’s word is similar to a “perfect cup.”  His Word can wash over a longing heart and let it drink of His goodness. Then there are times when our efforts to take in His Word seem to fail and fall flat upon our expecting ears. It is easy to think He has abandoned us at those moments.

Unlike coffee, God is always the same.  He is always true in Word and deed.  There is no mixture that has to be just right in order for Him to be God. Usually the problem is what we brought with us as we came to drink from His Word.  Our time in the Word can be offset by what is brewing in our mind.  (Just couldn’t help that pun.) However, this struggle during our devotional time should not leave us feeling defeated.

The Psalm says to “taste and see that the Lord is good and to “take refuge in Him.”   There is nothing that can clear our taste buds better than praise. Take the scripture we were planning to “get something out of” and use it to pour truths out to Him. 


You said to “taste and see that the Lord is good…”

I have tasted of your goodness and You ARE good.

Thank You for allowing me to taste.

Thank You for allowing me to see.

I can hide under You.

I can sit between Your wings.

You cover me and soothe me.

One sip of your goodness washes over me for

You are unchanging.

You are Good.

Put your pen down and don’t worry about the note pad being empty. Allow praise to wash over your lips as it ushers God into your heart.  I promise you; praise will hit the spot because God dwells in the midst of it. 

Before long

you will go back for another cup.

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“Yet, would hear him gladly…”

Truth hurts.

It slices. It tugs. It stings. It rakes against our flesh.


sometimes this pain finds a welcomed spot in our hearts.

We long for its correction – its healing cut.

We embrace it, even clench our hands to it as a friend; but at the same time, we butt our heads against it, pushing eye to eye as if to dare it to do what truth does so well.


The great exposer.

The great measure taker.

The great standard holder that asks us to bend to its light for our good.


Herod found himself in such a place.

He would not kill John.

John’s voice would disturb him…condemn his actions.

John’s words cut deeply exposing the inner rot of self-will…of uncurbed desire.


something in Herod was glad.

Glad of the diagnosis; glad of the pain.

Glad of the challenge to his life.


he pushed back as we are prone to do.

He succumbed to earthly matters rejecting the heavenly.

John’s head arrived on a platter.

The party continued.

The music sounded.

Herod sat alone under empty shouts of falsehood.

Worldly hands covered his ears to keep out what he needed to hear.


The rot inside grew…

for nothing was left to lance his heart.


Mark 6:20

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Pain is real.  It pulls us inward.  It lifts us up in order to dash us against uncompromising stone.  It tears.  It separates. It pushes past to punch out a gaping wound.  It plunges deep and twists its serrated edge…..Pain is real.

Hope is real.  It heals the tear. It undergirds weakened steps.  It brings together. It picks up and gathers each piece to its heart….. Hope is real.

Faith is real.  It is seeing what is and knowing more than what is seen. It is the bridge between pain and hope.  The path from what is to what will be…. Faith is real.

God is real.  The Object of faith.  The Master Builder.  The Elegant Creator.  The One who works the pain into hope and commands it to give birth to what is purely glorious…. God is real.


This worldly groaning is the precursor to joy. It’s distorted sound will be fined tuned into song and ALL THINGS, yes, all things will become new.  His hands work it all together for those who are His.  Then, He lets us dance in the warmth of His goodness and rest in the wisdom of His plan.

Because……Love is real.


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with US

shallow focus photography of religious figurines

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

The manger without all its Christmas trappings is a lonely display. What was a rich place for the animal was the poverty of a young couple.  Its simplicity is astounding. Its ability to completely satisfy basic human need is lacking. Why such a beginning?

When we question the manger we must ask what throne on earth could have held this King?  His largeness would shadow the best Kingly seat human hands could prepare. Its gold would melt before His glory.  Its foundation would be set ablaze and crumble upon His approach.  His being would dull the sparkled jewel and consume the riches of earth that had been proudly arranged for His arrival.  Regardless of this impossibility, He really did not need a throne or a white horse to make His entrance.  Nor did He desire one. His eternal throne sits upon the incorruptible foundation of heaven and awaited His return.  It can carry the weight of His person.  It can enthrone His glory.  It is what He left behind…to come down to us.

So, why a stable?  Why not a humble home on a hill or the house of a friend?  Why would the dark and earthly things wrap His birth in such soil?

The answer is with the Father.

He laid out the first nativity scene before the world.  Each piece of the story crafted from His wisdom.  Each piece telling the story of His long reach to capture the human heart.

The manger – a throne for the babe’s humanity.

The stable –  an earthly place that first heard His human voice.

Within the scene a message…a Word…MY Son…born FOR YOU.

The starting place of the Lowly Servant…Royalty coming along side humanity.

The Seeker, seeking.


God with US…

among US…

for US.

No other entrance would have so gloriously displayed His love for us.  Mercy laid upon our hay.  Grace cuddled in our darkness.  Glory sheltered in a wooden stall headed toward a wooden cross.

Man’s deepest need, meeting the greatest Gift…God’s heartbeat in human flesh….Jesus.

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I do like to Smoke

I like to smoke sometimes.  In fact, I like to sit in a dim room with a few well-placed lights and watch the smoke waffle between light and darkness as it rises.  It does set the mood.  However, sometimes I don’t feel like smoking and I prefer to sit in the light.  I like that too.  Especially as the light comes through the windows and covers the people in the pews.

Yes, I said “pews.”

Now you know and are relieved that I don’t sit around with a cigarette in the dark and that I am talking about the varied types of worship services in our Baptist churches.  Take your pick of lighting, dress, tempo, volume – smoke or no smoke –  and you can find pretty much something for every experience seeker.

During the First Great Awakening there was a divide in the church between New Lights and Old Lights.  I guess we could say the same for today except it would be between Lights On or Lights Off…Southern Gospel or Contemporary…Unblended or Blended.  Our worship preferences seem to be what drives our choices in finding a church.  It makes me remember a man at a conference in the 90’s that said that he “just couldn’t worship unless the singing was in Latin.”  I was secretly applauding inside that he was NOT my music minister and that I was not at his “stuffy old church” yet, I guess Latin lyrics moved him whereas at the time I preferred Michael W. Smith and Maranatha.  That divide between worship styles has been around forever even as pub tunes were given spiritual words in the 1700’s.  In my own life I remember the great musical divide when I introduced my mom to a Sandi Patti cassette and she said that it sounded like “screaming.”  I am sure I gave her the famous teen eyeroll and thought that she was an outdated Christian that just needed to get a grip on the new sounds of Christianity.  Now I am outdated and even unsure where I fall in all this change.

I have lived long enough to see the worship pendulum swing often.  For my 8th birthday my parents took me to see a group of young people who traveled to Paris, Tennessee to sing from a “new” type of musical called “Good News.”  It was exciting to see teenagers and college kids run down the aisles and sing about Jesus.  It livened  up my 8 year old bones. Now the concerts are different and rarely contain a full choir dressed in matching outfits.  In fact we are in the skinny jean, baseball cap and eight singers at the most era.

How did music and stage setting become so important in our church culture?  How did it become something tied to membership where we come and go according to the style of worship?  How is it that we come expecting the minsters and those on stage to woo us to praise…or may I say convince us to worship?  Why have I heard for the past 30 years things like, “Well, I just wasn’t ‘moved’ by the service today”?

I doubt if many of these issues were raised last Sunday in Panama City, Fl as small groups of worshippers gathered around destruction.  I can say that whatever song was on their lips was unadulterated by music preference or lighting styles. In their worship experience I am sure they were moved because their hearts were moved beforehand.

It is easier to truly praise Him when the piece of bread before you hasn’t been taken from a large buffet.   We are picky today as Christians because we have the luxury of a full meal deal mentality.  We are full from our own generated fullness of a church on every corner. It is the “have it your way” McDonald Christianity where you can hold the lettuce and double the tomatoes and leave trying to figure out if you were satisfied or unsatisfied with your dining experience.  If not, go somewhere else.  Worship is us centered, or so we believe.

We have forgotten that God is at the heart of worship and instead we suit up in our personal armor of Southern Gospel helmets or Contemporary shields…each one thinking less of the other and no one thinking of God.  We have entrenched ourselves in fortifications that surround our own self-made kingdoms. We have dressed ourselves for the battle, but have shown up at the wrong holy war…you know, the one that is NOT about music but about charging the  gates of hell.  One we are willing to fight the easy issue while the other of eternal importance is ignored.

After times of worship pleasure… after times of enjoying a song and a good sermon…after we have been moved by some unknown force to shed a tear or raise a hand…the true test is what happens after we wrap the day up with the Sunday roast beef or a restaurant favorite.  The true test of Sunday worship happens when the waitress gets the order wrong or when the argument returns in the car ride home.  The true test of the skinny jeans or the dark blue suit and tie is not in the song filled lips; but in the overflowing heart that has been changed not by the tune, but by the God of the song.

I may belch out harmonies and applaud high notes. I may do all these things and still leave craving something more.  What good is ANY song, if my heart is far from the lyrics?  We are “bringing in the sheaves” and yet witnessed to someone that week.  We “praise You in the storm” yet scream at someone that simply cut us off in traffic.  We sing of “the mercies of the Lord forever” yet withhold mercy from a child that messed up the carpet at church.  We “B-I-B-L-E..yes ,that’s the book for me..” yet ignore it all week long, preferring to pull up the one minute “Devo of the Day” instead.  We have sold ourselves to the pleasure of doing church without Him in easy, less sacrificial ways.

The yearning of a heart for God above the song is evident through the centuries. No wonder we hear songs from the 1800’s saying “tune my heart to sing thy praise” or the more recent lyrics that state “I’m going back to the heart of worship, ‘cause it’s all about You…all about You…Jesus.”   Evidently, we all at some time feel like our tunes fall flat and the atmosphere is dulled by our attempts at praise.

I will admit, my worship has fallen short.

Not because of a minster.

Not because of song tempo.

Not because of a preacher’s delivery style.

Not because of lighting…or smoke.

My worship has fallen short because I have ceased to truly seek Him and praise Him and listen to Him and spend time with Him BEFORE Sunday arrives.  We are missing out on Sundays, because we left Him behind on Monday.

So, we fill the void with all kinds of things and no longer need the smoke that filled the temple because of God’s presence.

Instead, we have learned to make our own.

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hotdogs, ball games and God


Last week I sat in the heat with an occasional breeze blowing toward my welcoming back.  The heat, which bordered upon unbearable, embraced all those seated in the metal stands watching a baseball game.  It was there that I bit into a near perfect hotdog and watched my great-nephew play baseball.  As I ate, my mind shifted from the heat to the taste of what I held in my hand and was only interrupted by the action of the game and a cold Coke.  It was one of those moments that a person can let go of the complicated and enjoy the simple – a small miracle in the middle of dust, heat and the daily news.

Today I remembered my family and that five-dollar meal at the baseball field as I was mowing my yard.  Thinking of that hotdog meeting my taste buds and being under the influence of a Phillip Yancey book I had read that morning titled, Rumors of Another World, I began to see all the God sized finger prints that can be found in a ball field snack and a game of baseball.

Taste buds have always amazed me.  My mouth can take in texture and taste and make a decision as to whether to swallow or spit into a napkin.  The tiny buds help me decide to reject or accept what I have placed into my mouth.  However, when I think about the ability to taste I can’t help but ask, “Who are we that God would allow us to taste?”  The same thing happens in another area when I think about the fall foliage of Tennessee. I grew up in a place that surrounded us with color during the fall, yet now I live in a place that has its own graces of color with white sand and blue water.  I miss the fall colors while enjoying the others.  Facebook images in October make me homesick and sometimes I park beside a small fall colored tree in Piggly Wigley’s parking lot to help the yearnings for home subside.  I then ask, “Who is God that He would give me the ability to savor color?”  I can give no other answer except the one that Yancey quotes from St. Augustine, “The world is a smiling place,” because God is the “giver of gifts.”  God was not forced to design taste buds or color.  We could have been designed like earthworms who are comfortable with moist soil and who do their jobs daily noticing only various degrees of darkness and light.  God places earthworms in spots that need their castings and tunnel making ability to help the soil produce plants that in turn lavish us with colorful flowers and grasses.  They can feel us walk, yet they notice not the colors of the flowers they helped to grow.  God’s loving connection through out the earth floods us with what we need, desire and enjoy.  In awe I accept His gifts of taste and color and wonder at His desire for the world to offer me some of its pleasures.

Leave the taste of hotdogs behind and move on to the game.  In this particular baseball game, a blonde headed pitcher named Charlie hurled a small solid ball at a speed that made me glad there was a fence in front of my face.  A single pitch is a miracle in and of itself.  Bone, muscle, and tendon meet the fingers in such a way that only a sports expert can explain. Pure muscle memory and the flight of the ball meet the rules of the game as an umpire decides with his eyes whether or not it is a strike or ball.  Each pitch was made up of biological laws that played out in front of me.  The miracle of cells that form muscles and muscles that form shoulders and bones that support aggressive movement and neurons that fire are all deep lessons in and of themselves.  If we travel past the pages of thick science books and look for the wisdom behind the world of the cell and all that cells can build, we can find the whisper of a Master Creator that knew what it would take to throw a ball across the plate on a hot day in June.

God’s finger prints do not stop there on the mound.  The Law of Physics that states that matter cannot occupy the same place at the same time is what every batter knows to be true.  Without this law the ball would never fly in the opposite direction of the pitch.  The bat meets the ball and forces are unleashed that can send it into all kinds of flight patterns that a rocket scientist can understand.  The ball’s flight enters a trajectory of patterns repeated in the universe and these ancient patterns are hastily and unknowingly interpreted by another player standing in the outfield who desires to catch the ball. As the outfielder positions his body to intercept the flying ball, the spinning earth is following its own orbit at speeds that the outfielder’s body is designed to ignore as the pushes and pulls of the universe occur without his notice.  In the stands the spectators watch the event not even considering that if one could increase the spin of the earth or slow it down it would affect the spin of the baseball on earth and the outfielder would miss the ball as it would land somewhere outside of the field. The Master of mathematics once again displays how He holds matter together and allows it to consistently dance before us in the dust. It is all a grand connection that would score high in Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance if we could just sit back and watch it all at once in the theater of the universe.

Think now about the world of sound where invisible waves carry the crack of a well hit ball into the waiting miniature bones of the ear.  Any baseball player knows the sound.  It is the certain sound that makes spectators rise to their feet before the batter has even turned to run towards first.  The sound is sweet and is a musical prelude to the home run or at least a double.  The sound of the game rides the invisible air that fills the ear and the lungs at the same time.   The rise and fall of the chest is carried by the runner as air fills his expanded lungs and dumps its benefits into the blood stream so that energy can produce the movement toward home.  This breath is the wind that propels his body.  Only a Master engineer can take gases and fluid and use a heart to translate it into life which in turn produces a new score on the scoreboard.

As people watch the run toward home many of the spectators do not notice what I notice.  I see a young, emerging man cross the plate with all his being in tow.  The tens of thousands of points of DNA he holds in each cell matches some of mine.  His place in my life makes him different from all the other boys I see on the field.  My knowledge of his humor, the tilt of his head and his winsome attitude endears him to me. I know his past and where he fits into the realm of what I call family. If I think about him I see flashes of him and his brother dressed in their Halloween finery as pumpkins, Elvis, and a race car driver.  I see small boys playing in the sand, athletes posing with medals, and family portraits.


On the day of the game his smile, joy, anger, or pain from the game pulls me into various emotions as I try to guess how he is responding to the highs and lows of the game as a young teenage boy.  Sometimes I think that if I could crack the code of the emotions of a freshman school boy or a Senior in high school then I could surely understand the laws of the universe.  Emotions are more elusive than the air we breathe.  Emotions can throw us into the dust or send us to the roof tops.  They can control us or teach us.  They allow us to feel our way through the game as if riding a roller coaster.  They can help us feel pleasure or defeat.  They soar and then soon settle into the past like pictures in a scrap-book. Without this gift of emotion who would want to play the game or even watch?  It is the fun of the contest that God has placed within us that beckons us to go for the win day after day even after defeat.  Without emotion the smell of sweaty feet on the ride home or the sight of the scoreboard would be meaningless.  Emotions, as unkind or as kind as they are, once again lifts our chins toward a God who would give us such an ability to chase our passions and to feel deeply.

On the day of the game I did not sit in the stands next to my precious niece and think about all of this.  It was a day of spending time with people I love and enjoying two games of baseball while holding a hotdog in my hand…a day of simple pleasure for the most part.  It is when I stop and think deeply about the simple that I find God hidden in every crack and exposed upon every surface of life. The simple things of earth open the door to the grand and holy.  Nature is His magnifying glass if we dare to peer through the lens to watch it magnify Him.  How sad it is that the world looks intently and can only see its own reflection.

I once thought that God was only about heaven…a Savior only for the hereafter.  I did not see Him in the day-to-day world that was often mundane.  Once I truly met Him I grew to understand that He is larger than eternity and that eternity surrounds the ordinariness of today.  He is the past, my seconds and The Forever.  Since He binds the world to Him, my taste buds meeting a hotdog can open up thoughts that I can chew on as I mow the yard. Each thought of what it takes to play the game of baseball can lift my heart high and expose me to a small piece of His infinite grandeur.  No wonder Paul in Ephesians 1 prays that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”  It is the “eyes” of the heart that can unfold before us the truth of another world that absorbs this one.  God uses the weak things of earth to bear a testimony before our eyes…even hotdogs and ballgames.

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faith in the mystery


I will never understand You. No valley I walk will ever allow me to roam the lowest parts where I can glimpse the foundation of Your plans. No mountain I could ascend will allow me to step to its highest point so that I could view Your highest thoughts. Your depths and heights are sealed off from my human sight, but it is this human blindness that teaches me to understand that the answers to all my questions must find their rest in the deepest and highest parts of You.

Thank You for holding them safely there until That Day,
From Your Waiting Child


Photo by Rhonda Nale, Alabama

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mistakes in ink

I sat down to write out an idea on a fresh piece of paper and the first word I wrote was a mistake.  I was thinking of one word and wrote a different one, and there it sat in ink.

My first reaction was to tear out the page and start over as if it had never happened.  Then the guilt set in.  In my mind was the tree that was chopped down for my writing pleasure and the remaining blue lines that would forever be blank in a landfill.  They would never know the joy of bearing the burden of someone’s thought.  So, in guilt I kept the page and crossed out the word.  That did not help.  It bothered me that the page was no longer fresh and organized, but I had decided to go ahead and use it anyway even though the word was now glaring at me and laughing in an evil tone.

My approach to life can be the same.  A mistake comes and I wish I could have a “tear it out and throw it away” moment, but what is done is done. The mistake glares and laughs at me in the worst moments.  It can keep me from freedom.  It can keep me from moving on.

When it comes to life, God is the master at dealing with mistakes of sin or foolishness. He fashioned a Tree of sacrifice that erases our state of Sin and removes it until the East can collide with the West…which is geographically impossible. Our condition of Sin becomes a blank page under Christ’s blood. Of course, there are times that we remember the mistake and the guilt creeps in once again, but God sees a fresh page through a marvelous concept that He calls GRACE. The marks that crossed out our sin were drawn across Jesus’s back.  The crumpling of our pages of failure were torn from us as He was “crushed’ for our wrong doings.

As mistakes happen, see them for what they are from a Biblical standpoint.  Confess what needs to be confessed.  Learn what needs to be learned.  Then move on. He can “work it together for our good.”  We will grow.  We will become.  We will live.

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a note about tomato plants

Someone gave me three tomato plants and I planted them in garden soil provided by Miracle Grow.  All three are four feet tall, but each has its own story.  One plant produced ONE large tomato right from the “get go.”  (That is Tennessean for “from the start.”)  One is finally producing several small tomatoes. One is ONLY producing leaves.

As I stood there watering them with city water that I pay for as it leaves the hose, I began to think, “Why should I water the two plants that are NOT producing fruit?”  I have cared for them, spent money on their survival and in 18 big bites into a sandwich all my efforts raced across my taste buds.  Now these two beautiful plants stand proudly with no promising flowers or evidence of any future fruit and I pay to water them.  I hate to just let them die because they failed to perform.  It would be a slow wither.  Maybe I will lop them off at the roots and bury them under the branches I have laying beside the road so I won’t have to watch their demise.

John 15:8 says that when we bear fruit it testifies to two things – it brings the Father glory and it shows that we are His followers.  The fruit becomes the evidence that we walk with Him…are attached to Him.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Where does that Truth leave me as I stand there watering my fruitless plants?  It makes me wonder how many times God has showered blessing upon me and I have remained fruitless.  It makes me examine my life for the fruit of the Spirit.  It makes me look to see if people have found Him or been drawn to Him because of my witness.  It makes me ask myself if I have brought HIM glory in any way.

God gives us lessons everywhere.  He sent us a great Teacher.  Thank you, Lord, for plants that made me think about my life with You.


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shift…shift…shift again

a nut's notes


The conference room was quiet as one woman prayed, “God, we need a Divine shift.” At that moment I squinted my eyes – half closed in prayer and half open in note-taking mode as I wrote “Divine Shift” down on paper. I saw the scribbled note today.

I don’t know if someone said the phrase during one of our classes, or if she read it somewhere, or if it was a truth that God planted in her mind as she prayed, but we do need a Divine Shift…a Divine shift that takes us from one place to another place, that turns our gaze from one thing to another thing, that changes our direction, vision, or motivation and edges us closer to God.

What are some of the Divine shifts I have experienced lately?

One taught me that prayer is not just important…. it is essential…..shift

Another taught me that ministry…

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Things that are hard for me to wait on:

-Paint to dry before I touch it

-My ONE tomato to turn red before the bugs get it

-My dog to go to the bathroom when I am running late for work – circle/smell, dance, dance, circle/smell, circle/smell, dance, dance – find a PLACE ALREADY!!!

-Putting shoes on after a pedicure – another problem with paint drying.

-pizza to cool down before the first bite

I also don’t like waiting on…

water to boil and cookies to bake – I would say bread to rise, but that is above my cooking ability so people would know that was a lie

-A hot flash to end before melting my make-up off on Sunday mornings before church

-Commercials before History Channel videos – a five minute commercial before a three-minute video – usually they are about Viagra which does not affect me what-so-ever and why are they before videos about George Washington crossing the Delaware?  Seems like a boat commercial would be more appropriate.  Besides, who came up with the picture of two people sitting in separate bath tubs by a lake?

And many times I do not like to wait on…


I often think God does not understand my desire to have an answer RIGHT NOW.  It is as if I know my limits on time and wish that He would “work with me” a little on what I need or want in the time frame I have found reasonable.

It seems that He is not very interested in my calendaring or planning.  It does not mean He is against those things…oh no.  It just means that He likes to mess with my calendar and puts His own touch to my plans.

I will go ahead and admit the spiritually obvious…He knows what He is doing and is never late on an answer even if He missed the date on my calendar.   However, the spiritually obvious is hard to flesh out in reality.  The back of our minds KNOW this about Him if we have chosen a life of walking with Him, but the front of our minds question His scheduling.  It is the tug of war between what we understand spiritually and what we desire carnally. At the end of the tug we may have raw hands, skinned knees and bruised rumps, but we will see better than before and know more than before.

We will see His goodness in His “missed appointments” —-and know His provision.

We will see His long sightedness in His “closed doors” —–and know His steadfast love.

We will see His mercy in His “running late” —– and know His patience.

We will see His plan in His “tomorrows” —– and know His grace.

We will see His wisdom in His “not now’s” and “now’s” —-and know His trustworthiness.

We will see His glory in His “today” —-and know His power.


Waiting builds trust.  Trust builds patience.  Patience builds a peace that endures.

Just “wait” on Him…and you will see.

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perspective on the now

In the life of a Christian the Now is attached to Forever. This bond is stronger than a link on a chain. God’s very glory and His holy wisdom forges this bond of time in the fires of His great love. This immediate reality of today is just a fraction of the ultimate. The Now only magnifies the Eternal. HIS GREATNESS is here Now and yet it continuously forms a mighty crescendo that builds and builds until one day – One Glorious Day – ONE GOD given day – ALL those who know Him through His Son will suddenly find themselves living in the FIRST DAY of forever. With God’s Forever in our sight, let us live boldly in the Now.


Photo by Rhonda Nale

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in a nutshell

Searched for past blogs. I found this one written in 2012. Still appropriate for today.

a nut's notes

Got up this morning.
Watched the morning news.
Read my favorite blogs.
Listened to songs.
Checked my email.

In a nutshell this is what I read and heard….

Celebrating 16 years of life,
university bomb scares, city budgets in crisis,
failure to launch missile,
inconceivableness of God,
political verbal clean-up, journaling, abuse survival,
fire drill notice, relay for life tonight, raising money at NPR,
new student, shopping carts and life,
life jackets for the spiritually needy, crisis web site listings,
pets and hairless rats, foster pets, donkeys in need,
hunger, football coach in trouble, racism, shootings, hate
the love of God, living life after Easter, debt,
pictures from vacation, train trip with sons,
science and God, adults who cut, majestic mountains, art,
and loneliness.

In a nutshell……what I need now………………”Be still and know that I AM GOD.”

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another way…

When I read about David in the darkness of the cave cutting off Saul’s garment instead of taking the opportunity to kill him I learn that….

I can let many things pass by my emotional human urges…

I can be offended, and ask God to keep me from adding an Act II to the drama.

I can let others dance in anger and respond with a waltz.

I can offer life giving words instead of harsh words.

I can move on when other refuse to.

I can let go.

I can let God write the end to the story while I walk into a new chapter with a fresh title.

I can look forward and not back.

I can find a different way, another way, a godly way through everything….if I choose to.

My prayer: God…be in charge of my “chooser.”


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True Measure

I will always fail in my spiritual growth if I use others as my measuring rod.  The only way to truly measure myself is to stand next to His holiness in silence.  Only then can I understand who and where I am. Only then can my spirit become teachable.

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thought, day 1

My heart has found its home, but my body and mind long to be where God is.  This “tent” of mine wearies of its struggle against worldly concepts.

Yet, peace floods my soul like sunshine on a rain soaked field.  The weariness turns to hope.  The struggle turns to endurance.  The warmth bows my heart once more.

If the heart has found a home with God on this side of eternity, then mind and body will

follow when he calls.  Until then, I must press on


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Where are you?


“Where are you?”

The question must have chilled Adam’s back.

This sudden fear was something new. In fact, everything seemed new to him at the moment…the nakedness, the shame, the guilt, and now hiding from the very One that often walked with him in the cool of the evening.

There was no advantage to this hiding. Adam could hear the knowing in the Voice even though it questioned. HE knew…knew where he was, what he had done, how he stood there beside her and then ate when she offered it to him. Reluctantly, he and the woman stood.

Before Him in their nakedness their emotions doubled…crumbling their gut, draining their knees and flooding their faces with fire.

But wait! Surely there were good reasons for their decision. They straightened their backs with new determination…new ideas…new prideful thoughts that would diffuse this awkward encounter. Yes, their words would convince Him of their innocence!

Blame poured from their lips…”the serpent”…”the woman”…”You know, the woman YOU gave me…………” ……………….……..?…..?

Their words fell short under His presence. There was really no place to hide. Fig leaves, tall bushes, rocks or caves could not prevent His knowing. Words could not provide a thought that He could not see through. All was known.

“What is this you have done?” He asked.

Another question. This time, no answer. This time, no hiding. Fallen man before Holy God….speechless. The question struck their hearts and resounded in the darkened garden; it’s meaning echoed toward the swell of grace that would later come.

But, for now…. The man…. The woman. They could only stand and listen to what their rebellion had birthed…pain, trouble, and toilsome work.

Weeds, decay, corruption………………………………


The words hurt, but then He drew them close. They watched as He took an animal and slew it. In seconds its muscles stilled, its breath shuddered, and its eyes became silent. Blood spilled. Garments made. Man covered by sacrifice. Innocence covering guilt. Shadows of what would come.

Then, He drove them from Eden.

Suddenly banished. Suddenly removed. No longer welcomed on Eden’s ground.

They ran until fatigue slowed their pace. The loneliness of man separated from the Creator ached in their souls. This pain ran deep and screamed a thousand emotions at once. This is death beyond death…fear at its highest…and rampant longing for what once was….

They stood there in silence, trying to slow their breath. Wind in leaves. Water over rock.   Listening for………………………………..hope?

They suddenly turned their faces toward the way they had come. Did their hearts hear something? Hear……SomeOne?

Was that His foot upon the path?

Was it His whispers in the breeze?

Faint yet familiar?

Was He………………..coming?

Was His faithful love pursuingrunning after them?

If He was coming, maybe the garden was the preface to a larger work and not the end story that Adam had imagined.

Looking down at his covering of animal skin he briefly glimpsed the Promise to come….a story being revealed…a Grace story scripted with the red dew of Sacrifice; weaving a covering for mankind and hiding them in His pursuing love.

And then Adam knew; their fall from Grace was not an ending…it was the beginning.

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morning travel


She sat on her back porch with her dog at her feet. The bay looked beautiful this morning and the persistent breeze drifted through her thin sweater. It was a perfect morning to do what she always did at this time.

She started slowly, whispering words that were only worthy of the one who was by her side. Private, personal thoughts continued for a while as they agreed about some things. Then she entered the hospital room of a dear friend, walked the liberal classroom of her Grandson and stood behind the desk of her pastor as he studied. 

From there she gazed through prison bars of the persecuted, kneeled with the missionary mom that was missing her college-aged daughter, and searched for a place to rent to house a new born church. She headed to the cockpit of a plane taking off, stood by one waiting on a lab report, and shed a tear for one in pain. Soon she followed an unknown lost man, winded around to a military compound, spent a few minutes in the Oval Office, and then came back to the neighbor across the road.

She did all of this and never left her porch. You see….Prayer takes you everywhere.

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travel it well

The man slumped forward because life was upon his back. Just one week of trouble weighed him down and took him into a steep valley. He had traveled valleys before, but not with such a load as this.

 “How am I going to walk this path?” he asked. “ I have to travel it right for my family is behind me, watching to see how I carry this load and I want to bear it well for them.” So, he sought God’s path, God’s light…. God’s will for the valley.

 After a while he looked again and on the sides of the path were his friends…people who knew of his troubles and were watching to see how he progressed. Again he looked up and asked, “How am I going to travel this path? I have to travel it right for my friends are watching to see how I carry this load and I want to bear it well for them.” He sought God once more, “Help me carry this load well for my family and my friends are watching.”

After the newness of the valley wore off and the daily burden became so daily, the man looked around. He saw family. He saw friends. And with the added weariness of time, he fell to his knees.

There he realized…”God is watching.”

So he sought God and asked, “How am I going to travel this path? I have to travel it right, for YOU are watching to see how I carry this load and I want to bear it well for YOU.”

So he walked on with the same load, in the same valley, but with new sight. God was in the valley watching and if he walked it well for Him, then he would bear it well for his family and friends.





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his idea


Plukje from Pixabay

Prayer was His idea. It was His creation. From the moment He walked the garden with Adam, conversation between man and God began. The Fall hampered the conversation…changed it in some deep way, but His mercy sought to buy it back…to redeem it so that man could once again approach a holy God with words.

It was not and is not His desire to make the heavens into brass. It is not His desire to hide. He wants to reason together… to talk. And when we pray, we show that we want it too…we want to seek Him, to hear Him, to be near Him…to talk to Him. In such moments prayer is an amazing act of grace…Creator God bending His ear toward His child on earth.

Prayer is the boldness of Grace unleashed by the blood of Christ. It is the posture of humble, unconditional surrender. It is the bending of ourselves under His Mighty Hand. It is the gaining of sight of what is yet still invisible. It is the passion to pursue Him in the way He pursues us.

Prayer was His idea. Prayer was His creation. It is essential to His child. It is the way He holds our hand.

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