Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, December 31, 2010


For several years, I was moderately scornful of texting, and frankly, it irritated me until I tried it. I am texting now, having I upgraded to a keyboarded call phone when a new friend confided that it helps in keeping up with her thirty-something kids who don’t return calls, but do return texts. So, too, my forty-something friends, and even my over-fifty comrades return my texts promptly with cheery responses. My contemporaries and older are not so chatty.

Maybe their thumbs are keeping them from texting? Mine sure do.

My thoughts come fast – but the minuscule letters and symbols foil my aging thumbs! And sometimes I inadvertently hit “send,” delivering incomplete messages replete with embarrassing typos. Nonetheless, when I hit “send,” my phone shows me a blue mail box that means it is sweeping my thoughts and gaffes to another’s phone. Then, that special text message chime I set, sounds – woo-hoo! Reminds me of the same thrill “You’ve got mail!” evoked before spam overran my e-mailbox.

What if God texted?

In a sense God is “texting” with all His creation – whether in the heavens, on earth, or in His relationships with people. (Psalm 8:3-5, 19 and 119) And I thank God He keeps on texting. (John 20:31, 3:16-17) I am so grateful His messages are never erased and never need correction. (1 Samuel 15:29)

If God actually texted, His messages would be as profound and personal (Jeremiah 33:1-3) And I would never be out of His network! “Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? . . .” (Psalm 139:7-12, The Message)

His messages might be quite brief – alarmingly brief, and Oh so pithy! I’d hate to receive the one Belshazzar got: Mene, Teqel, Peres
“ . . . God has numbered the days of your rule and they don't add up. . . . You have been weighed on the scales and you don't weigh much. . . . " (Daniel 5:26-31, The Message )

How fast can I reply, Luke 18:13, with no typos? “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

At the close of 2010, when I reflect on how I lived these past 365 days, alas, that message to Belshazzar, it isn’t so far off the mark for me. I did not rule well all God entrusted to me; I was a poor steward of all the riches He’s put at my disposal, especially time; I did not tend relationships as carefully as I might. And I neglected to choose the better as Mary did; I have gotten so involved with my worries and troubles that, like Martha did, I missed time with You. (Luke 10:41)

It’s all the more precious then His word to me, and thee, dear readers, is simply condemnation – but comfort. (And conviction)

"Come. Sit down. Let's argue this out."
This is God's Message:
"If your sins are blood-red,
they'll be snow-white.
If they're red like crimson,
they'll be like wool.
If you'll willingly obey,
you'll feast like kings.
But if you're willful and stubborn,
you'll die like dogs."
That's right. God says so.
(Isaiah 1:18 The Message)

God, help me to hear and read your messages today with as much anticipation I hear and read texts from my loved ones –

Happy New Year – His final word is Jesus: God with us, Immanuel, for He shall save His people from their sins! (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking Away from A Water-Stained Floor

We finally met on the fly, in the DFW airport; I was picking up some family, and she had flown in to speak about disability issues at Dallas Theological Seminary. She didn’t know me, but she had been introduced to me through her music, and then her art. So, I have known of her for over thirty years. Her voice is clear, her paintings and drawing as pristine and moving as her sketches and paintings. Her writing is as powerful as her music and art. And most mornings I hear her speak when I read the daily e-mail her ministry sends.

This morning, the devotional, written in 1993, was about spiritual blessings – her point was we are more blessed than angels:
“. . . What are our spiritual blessings? Peace that is profound. A soul that is settled. Assurance of joy. Grace to let go and give. Life eternal, rich and free. A home in heaven. A best friend in God. Truly, we have more than the angels.”
It’s easy to say Amen when life is sweet; it’s another matter to say that when illness, grief, disappointment and other pains assault us. Yet, my “friend” speaks as a quadriplegic, and now a breast-cancer survivor. (2010) She has the right to tell me – and you, dear reader, to “Snap out of it!”

Joni then explained how, though profoundly afflicted, she is content with every spiritual blessing God has given her in Christ. She quoted from The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, written in the 17th century by Jeremiah Burroughs:

"Luther says: 'The sea of God's mercies should swallow up all our particular afflictions.'If you pour a pail full of water on the floor, it makes a great show, but if you throw it into the sea, there is no sign of it. Afflictions considered in themselves are great. But let them be considered in the sea of God's mercies and then they are not so much. They are nothing in comparison."

Maybe you hurt for good and sufficient reasons this morning, dear reader – I know I’ve got “good” reasons to be less than upbeat. But just for today, I will consider Joni Eareckson Tada’s wisdom and look away from water staining my floor, and consider the ocean of grace that sustains me in ways too numerous to count. I pray you can, too.

Love in Christ,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mary’s “Work” – Believing the Inconceivable

What did Mary understand after Gabriel spoke?

She understood that God would bring forth a living human being from a virgin womb – as He had said to Isaiah seven centuries earlier – and as the angel Gabriel declared to her.

What did Mary do? She believed what God said. ( Luke 1:38) Elizabeth, speaking for God declared Mary was blessed because of what she did – she believed God. ( Luke 1:40-45) Mary examined the fulfilled promises of God. (Luke 1:46-55) And she believed what seemed impossible but what was promised – she, a virgin, would bring forth a son.

Incredible! Inconceivable!

Yet, my religious convictions – which I call my faith – rest squarely on this promise, that God would bring forth a child whose conception was unique. (Isaiah 7:14; John 1:13) I repeated this conviction for decades before I confessed it:
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, . . .” (The Nicene Creed)

His conception was as unique as His mission, a mission defined by His name, Jesus – because he will save his people from their sins; Immanuel – God with us. (Matt 1:20-23) And, before a unique moment in time, I recited what I did not understand:
“. . . and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end . . . ” (The Nicene Creed)

Once a year – but every day – I remember that God, who so loved the world, gave His Son,
“. . . Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!” (Phillipians 2:5-8)

The longer I walk with Christ, the less I understand – and the more precious the examples of women like Mary become to me:
Believe God,
Remember His faithfulness when what He says sounds inconceivable; when what He asks looks impossible.

Mary exemplified what I can do when nothing makes sense – she believed in the One whom God sent. (John 6:29) And, still a virgin, nine months later she and her betrothed, Joseph, beheld her Son; a baby, named by Joseph, Jesus. ( Matthew 1:20-2:1)

“. . . And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

“And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” (The Nicene Creed)

May God fill our hearts with the Hope that does not disappoint. Merry Christmas!

The painting is "The Annunciation" by Henry Ossawa Tanner  , an artist worth knowing!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Refreshment at a Food Court

Chase Bank in Ft. Worth wanted to take down a Christmas tree, lest it offend some – the Grinch is alive and well. But so, too, is the Spirit who has been stirring souls this year to form a praise choir that amazes, encourages, and dumbfounds their impromptu audience – first at a department store in Philly and then a food court in Canada: Handel’s famous chorus, sweeps over them. The opening chords literally silence folks who then crane their necks to pinpoint the music’s origin. Some rise and sing, others smile as they take photos – others sit quietly – even reverently.

What a blessing these sightings have been – and what a portender of how it might be when the Lord returns. We will be going about our daily business – eating and drinking, and suddenly He will appear – every eye will see.

Technology greatly enlarges our vision. Over 11 million hits on Youtube saw and heard the Lord praised:
Hallelujah! (Praise God!) sung 49 times Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Twice His rule is described, and then explained:
The kingdom of this world is become
the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and of His Christ;
and He shall reign for ever and ever – a fact repeated three times.
And then five times, the choir says of Whom they sing:
King of Kings, . . .
and Lord of Lords, for ever and ever.

God help me not just to tear up and sing along with a powerful piece of Christmas "music."