Sunday, July 26, 2009


God you want to lay the foundation of praise in the depth of my spirit. I am so unfamiliar with that area of my life that I am afraid of what is there. I want you to come deeper and lay that foundation. I want to praise you from my soul. I can fill your glory trying to emerge and it rolls and shakes my internal structure like an earthquake. Will I be able to survive the climax?

There is still something preventing this power from emerging. I’m afraid of the change that will take place. I will be out of control – again.

All to Jesus I surrender.

All to him I freely give.

I will ever love and trust him,

In his presence daily live.

I surrender all

I surrender all

All thee my blessed Savior

I surrender all

God you have freed me from so much; depression, despair, loneliness, selfishness, dependency, and self sufficiency. What stands in the way now?


Pastor Tim said “Love opens yourself up to be loved or be hurt.” This I know from experience, but how do I know it? What has happened in my life to prevent me from trusting and opening up? Perhaps it’s not a past experience that presses down on my spirit but rather a perception.

I am afraid to be out of control. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want others to see me fail. I am a people pleaser God. As much as I despise admitting to it, my fear of what others are going to think really does prevent me from giving you full reign in my life.

I feel as though there is a terrible war being fought in my inner being. One force is pushing up and one is pushing down. It has emotional and physical side effects yet is beyond my comprehension or understanding. For years I have felt as if I was suffocating and while the oppression in my live is much less than before, I still find myself taking deep breaths wishing to purge my spirit of the bile that lurks in the dark corners of my heart.

As the Psalmist David cried so do I cry:

Have mercy on me, O God,

According to your steadfast love;

According to your abundant mercy

Blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity

And cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,

And my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

And done what is evil in your sight,

So that you may be justified in your words

And blameless in your judgment.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

And you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

Let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins,

And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God

And renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence,

And take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

And uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

And sinners will return to you.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation,

And my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips

And my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

You will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51: 1-17 (ESV)

God, thank you for telling me about my secret heart the one that is crying out to be heard by you and only you. I accept your deliverance from the guilt of my past and present that prevents your spirit from praising you. Let my tongue sing aloud praises of your righteousness, open my lips and fill my mouth with your praise. You want to hear it, I want to give it, shatter the pride that mocks your reign in my life. I want this because it is your spirit pleading with me to let him express himself. It doesn’t matter to me if I speak some language I can’t understand or not, I just want that intimate communion and closeness with you, God. I seek to please you God, lover of my soul.

Opening up this communication between the Holy Spirit, my spirit and you O God, will deepen my relationship with you and enhance my relationships with my family and friends. I seek to be pure and blameless among my Christian sisters and brothers as we await the return of Christ to take his bride home.

Praise be to God!

I am pleased to say that since this post was orginally written 11 months ago, God has answered my prayer and I have enjoyed a sweet, sweet, intimate connection with God through the Holy Spirit that has carried my relationship with God to new depths. Today, however, God brought me back to this scripture during my quiet time and I was reminded that, like all relationships, the depth of intimacy is a like a spiral. As I spiral through my family and friend relationships and spiritual relationship with God, there is always more depth to them. The deeper involved I become with my family, friends and God, the less control I have and the more I understand those whom I connect with.

I am still on a quest to become more like Christ.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Forgiving someone whom you feel has mistreated you or been unfair toward you is one of the most difficult pills to choke down. Actually, it’s not about forgiving them at all, it about giving up control of the situation. By forgiving them it feels like you are conceding. It is a bitter taste.
Earlier this week, I took my car to a local auto repair place because the rear window in my van wasn’t working. It worked just fine when I took my car in last week for some other repairs and when I got home; I discovered that it would not close. Naturally, I assumed that something just got disconnected while they were fixing the other electrical problem. They told me to bring it back the next day. I did. They looked for nearly an hour and found nothing that would have caused the problem. So, at their suggestion I took it back a few days later and left it with them. After two hours, they were not able to find the problem, but at my request, hot wired the motor to the window and closed it. This kind gesture cost me over $200 in labor…for a problem that I still believe they caused. The window was fine when I took it in the first time and hasn’t worked since.
I don’t believe they should have charged me for that work. They didn’t even fix the problem! Now I have a window that doesn’t work and I’m out $207.00. I expressed my displeasure in their service and told them I shouldn’t have to pay bill. As I hung up the phone after receiving the bad news, I was both angry and sad because what I really wanted was an auto repair place that I could trust to give me fair service. I placed my trust in them and got burned.
As is usual in situations like this, when I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of, I got furious with them. After speaking to them on the phone, the more I thought about it, the more I fumed. The angrier I got the more upset I became. Immediately the Holy Spirit brought to my mind Psalm 37. Several times it talks about not getting all worked up over being treated unfairly because those who do wrong to you will soon fade but God’s people will be blessed by God.
At first, I didn’t want to even listen to what God’s word said. I wanted to get even with them for causing me so much loss. It wasn’t until I literally stepped out of the house to go get my vehicle, did I start to embrace the commandment to forgive them for the wrong they did to me. I knew all along that the enemy was feeding my emotions and tempting me with doing the wrong thing (that felt SO right!)
When the time came to “face the giant” I was nice. No nasty comments about how I felt that they treated me unfairly. I didn’t even remind them that I would not be back for service, even though I probably won’t. I wanted to give them a piece of my mind and tell them what an injustice they committed against me. I wanted to throw a little temper tantrum, but, by the grace of God, I chose not to do those things.
Funny, as I drove away, I began to feel better. No more anger towards them, not even when retelling my situation to others. I had forgiven them. It still didn’t taste good, but I swallowed my pride and let go of control of the situation and the emotions. Immediately I felt better.
After picking up my car, I picked up my daughter from a friends home nearby. My friend was having a crumby day too and when I heard about her problems, I realized that Satan had been busy all day long trying to discourage both of us. I was so glad when I learned that through the power of God, we were overcoming the enemy in the battle that day.
As I look back on the whole day, I can see several times that could have gone bad had I made different choices. I wouldn’t call it a (feel) good day, but it was a victorious day because God was honored, His attributes smothered the world’s attributes.
As my friend and mentor, Alice, always says to me, “Remember the Big S!”
It’s all about giving up control…even when you think you already have.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


If you have a teenager, then you may be familiar with the "teen tantrum" experience. Your teenager asks for your permission to either buy something or go somewhere (usually with friends) and as a loving parent, much wiser than your offspring, you deny the request. Then as if they didn't hear you the first time, they ask again, and again, and again, and again. Ignoring them isn't working, so you retaliate with the loss of privileges. This usually stops the immediate broken record, but it is quickly replace by the "parent hates teen" and "You just don't respect me!" or "Why do you always treat me like a baby?" accusations designed to make you feel like a worm. When this doesn't work (because you know better) then they either storm away and slam the door behind them or they surrender and give you the silent treatment. Either way, you, the parent finally gets some peace and quiet, until they think of another angle to try on you.

When my son, of 13 years, cycles through this tantrum repertoire, I actually experience disgust...not towards my son (OK maybe a little!) but I have recently learned that my feelings toward his behavior reminds me of MY behavior toward MY Heavenly Father. I complain about uncomfortable situations I find myself in. I ask for what seems to be a reasonable request only to be denied. Then I find myself questioning God's judgment. I get upset at God when really bad things happen to my friends who are living their lives according to God's plan.

This past week, I had a heated conversation with God about something He wants me to do that I don't want to do. However, I know in my heart, that this is the right thing TO DO. I don't want to respect and honor someone who has wronged me and let me down. Yet God is commanding me to do just that. Psalm 37 several times, reminds us that those who prosper in evil will not succeed in the long run. In fact, God's people are protected and will prosper in the end...whenever that is. Maybe on earth or up in heaven. God would want us to be patient and wait on him.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Do you have a BFF? Translation: Best Friend Forever. If you've ever had one in your lifetime, then you know how "into" each other you were. You knew everything there was to know about that person. This week when I read through Psalm 37, again, it reminded me of another scripture I had read and heard used recently. John 15.

Psalm 37:39-40 reminds me that my salvation comes from the Lord, he is my stronghold in times of trouble and will deliver and save me. Just like the best friend who stuck by you during tough times in school or even now in adulthood. John 15:13 talks about a best friend. A friend who loves you so much he is willing to die for you. Are you willing to die for your friends?

Jesus told his disciples in John 15:14, and this applies to us today, he no longer calls them (or us) servants, but friends, because he wants us to know everything there is to know about Him. Jesus wants to be your BFF! How cool is that! The greatest person who ever lived who was part God and part man, wants to be your Best Friend Forever!

Will you accept his offer and take time to know him inside and out? Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." John 15:4 says that keeping God's commands means our joy will be full and we are a friend of Christ. I don't know about you, but I could really use a cool friend of God to be my BFF.

I started this friendship about 33 years ago. My relationship with Jesus keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. He has ALWAYS been there for me and has NEVER left me stranded during a tough situation. In fact, it was always during my toughest times in life (big life decisions, death of my mother, adoption of my first child and birth of my second child) that Jesus was right by myside helping me to make it through the crisis or struggle. He was also there to share in my joys.

The best part about having Jesus as your BFF, is that he is capable of having more than one BFF. Do you need and/or want a BFF. Jesus is available!