Saturday, November 14, 2015

sketchy chocolates

I sit at my desk (I work from home) and scarf down half a box (a small box, really) of chocolate-covered macadamias. It was bought for a family member or friend while my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary in Hawaii back in late August. But we live very busy lives. So at this point, my husband and I can't remember who they were for. I'm sure if we had told that friend or family member they'd be receiving aforementioned gift, they must've forgotten by now. Besides, and the real reason we decided not to send the gift, we opened a box the other day in a fit of craving something sweet, and saw that the chocolates looked like they had gone bad (a taste test confirmed they had not), but since they looked sketchy we decided to keep the rest (of the five boxes) for ourselves.

So I'm sitting at my desk, finishing work, finishing the chocolates. Our one-eyed rescued pit bull, Shelby, is not shy when it comes to asking for our food. She will cry, whine, whistle, moan, get in our face, give us puppy dog eyes, and/or patiently wait it out until she knows there is absolutely no hope (or food) left.

She eyes me (pun intended) enjoying these sketchy/not so sketchy chocolates and because I don't give her any, probably thinks, if she could think this way, 'What a mean, greedy pig of a human I have. Can't she see that I want some?'

This caused me to reflect...

What requests has God not given me? Matthew 7 tells me to ask, seek, and knock. And so I've asked, seeked, and knocked for many things. I have not always received what I have asked for. Does that mean God doesn't love me? Does it mean that I don't love Shelby because I withhold sketchy chocolates from her?

When I don't get what I want or think I need, maybe it's because God was protecting me from something that would hurt me. So I thank God for all of the "No"s in my life.

 Matthew 7:9-11
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

purple devils and the blood of Jesus

Tonight I watched a movie at the theater with my kids.
What I thought would be an hour and a half of just fun,
mindless entertainment turned into an interesting reminder
of a great reality for every human being.

In this movie, these fun-loving, innocent little creatures are
kidnapped and taken to this paradise-like place where they
are later injected with a serum that changes them into
these little purple monsters. Their purpose: to be used by an
evil villain who wants to take over the world and wreak as
much havoc as possible doing it.  Sound familiar?

Early in the movie, we see a mad scientist character fail
big time at creating a jelly that would help his friend make
some money and turn it into a business.  Everyone who
tries the jelly is absolutely disgusted by it.

Back to the purple devils.  The only way these creatures can be
'saved' is if they're injected with another kind of serum, an antidote.
This antidote, of course, turns them back into what they originally
were, serving their real master, who's a pretty decent guy.

Now the Bible lesson. And this happens quite frequently for me.
Most of the time I'm not looking for "spiritual applications", but
God uses my love of film to teach me or remind me of some cool
things sometimes. I can always use a little reminding.

We were originally created perfect, meant to stay perfect.
In perfect harmony and relationship with God.

We were created to bring God pleasure.  To know Him, and to
love Him, and to serve Him.  Not robotic like, but of our own
free will, and fulfilling a great and glorious and eternal purpose.

Enter sin.  And with it, our capacity for great evil.  Obviously,
we look back at history, and look around us today, and look
even within our own hearts, and no one would argue with that.

But also enter: the blood of Jesus Christ.  The antidote to sin.
Jesus shed His perfect, innocent blood on a wooden cross
two thousand years ago.  It has the power to change a sinner
damed to hell and at enmity with God into a saint, holy and
perfect in God's sight.

All we have to do is take it in.  Accept the blood of Jesus.
By faith.  Believing that it does, in fact, wash away our sin
and believe that it does, in fact, make us right with God.
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is injecting the antidote into
our soul.  We come back to life, so to speak, and become
who we were meant to be.  A child of God, playing a vital
and unique role in His great story.

Back to the mad scientist and his disgusting jelly.

If we give it to Him, God can take our failures, small or great,
and turn them into something good. Something very good.
Something that could save others.  Countless lives have been
saved, and souls entered heaven, because people with broken
and painful and dark pasts testified to the truth of Jesus, that
He's real and that He saves. God takes what no one else would
want any part of and turns it around for good.

Only God could do that.  Only God can give us beauty
in exchange for our ashes.

Now go watch the movie.  It's Gru-vy.

"..For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased." Revelation 4:11

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." Romans 3:23

"The thief's (Satan's) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." John 10:10

"But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8

"But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin...if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 John 1:7, 9

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." Genesis 50:20

"To all who mourn in Israel,  he will give a crown of beauty for ashes..." Isaiah 61:3

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28

Monday, June 17, 2013


   Crumble.  Not a word you hear everyday, so coming across the word three times on the same day caught my attention, caused me to stop and wonder, "What's crumbling in my life?"  It sort of has a negative connotation. "Crumble".  Falling apart.  Deteriorating.  Failure.  That's what first came to mind.

   But then I realized it isn't necessarily an entirely negative word.  What's crumbling?  My old way of thinking, of relating to God.  My long-held doubts and deep-seated wounds -- these are slowly but steadily crumbling.

   And why? I think mainly because on January 1st of this year I made a decision to read through the Bible, a daily journey that's taking me deeper into the mind and heart of God, though this side of heaven it's a mere scratch on the surface of His infinite glory, grace and love.  It's in this Book, this supernatural, living, breathing, powerful Book, that I read of, and meet with, a God who creates, and calls, and covenants with, people.

   People not unlike me.  Imperfect.  Doubters.  Liars.  Lusters.  Scaredy cats.  Sinners.

   But God does it anyway.  He makes the first move, and the next move, and He promises to make the last move.  Always, it's His move.  And I can't help but respond to this Jesus.  It's His love that's captured my heart and shaken my 35-year old foundation to its very core.

  I've started to not believe that God is distant and un-interested in me.  I've started to not believe that His good, pleasing and perfect plan for my life somehow fell through the cracks.  And I've started to not believe that God isn't going to come through and finish the good work He's begun in me.

   The walls I built in my unbelief and pain, they are a-crumblin'.  I don't know when or how it's all going to come together, His plan.  But that's where faith like that of father Abraham kicks in.  Though his body was as good as dead, from him were born as many as the stars in the sky, innumerable as the sand.

   So I'm letting this cookie crumble.  I'm in good hands.

I came as I was and You accepted me

   My lack of understanding who You truly are will distance me and lead me to sin and rebellion.  I can approach boldly.  Because of the thorns, the nails, the Blood.  The veil has been torn, from top to bottom.  I think of the woman who anointed You and kissed Your feet...the woman who bled for over a decade...the Roman centurion with a dying servant...bold, blind Bartimaeus.  You did not cast me away--even when I thought I could approach You in my own righteousness.  Your Spirit led me to Truth.  Though I was wrong, you answered my knocking.  You saved me.  So I come.  I approach.  I worship You in Spirit and Truth.

Woman who kissed Jesus' feet: Luke 7:36-50
Bleeding woman: Luke 8:43-48
Roman centurion: Luke 7:1-10
Blind Bartimaeus: Mark 10:46-52

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth..." (John 16:13)

"...those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them." (John 6:37)

"For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'" (Matthew 11:28)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Show Me Your Glory / Prince of Egypt

I edited this together one day after hearing 
"Show Me Your Glory" by Third Day on the radio.  
I cut it with scenes from the movie, The Prince of Egypt.
I hope it's an encouragement and blessing to you
as you're reminded of God's great power to save.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

lesson from a ghost town

Sometimes all I can see is the brokenness...

and then I'm invited to look at things
from a different perspective...

And when I choose to look
at the bigger picture...
I find purpose in the design.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

thoughts: the universe and His love

It's a striking truth to behold: His great sacrifice was not for my intentional, obvious sins alone, but for the secret trespasses as well. The hidden ones of which I go about unaware, until the curtain is pulled back, just a little, and I catch sight of the ugliness He bled for. I cringe and shudder and my soul races for cover...until I am reminded the debt has been paid.

I wonder if He created all that I can see, and cannot see, for as far as the scientific eye can see, this mega universe that our finite minds struggle to comprehend, merely to show how great His unconditional love is, the depth of His mercy and grace. Because we would one day hear, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him,” and because mankind would one day realize the unreachable end and vast extent of its universe, He created it so.

If it were humanly possible to travel to the ends of our universe, if we could go hither and thither, I suppose it would be possible to know the limits of His love. But it’s not possible, thus it’s quite impossible that I shall ever exhaust His love for me.