Just another story…

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280When people say the Bible is boring, I have to question if we’re reading the same book.  Okay, so I get a bit bogged down in Leviticus when they’re talking about how to deal with infectious skin diseases, but truthfully, some of the accounts sound like a script straight out of Hollywood.

For example, the well-known story about the widow and her son barely scraping by during (one of) the terrible famines, a consequence brought about by the prophet Elijah at Yahweh’s behest, another attempt to get His people’s attention. God sends His man to this particular household, to a widow and her son, to ask for, guess what—food!  The response he gets is expected.

“But she said, ‘I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.’”

Elijah convinces her that, if she provides him with food and water, God would continue to miraculously multiply her supply to sustain her through the crisis.

What did she have to lose?

“So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.” 

In Act Two, as if the famine wasn’t enough stress, this kind lady’s only son gets sick and dies.  She confronts the prophet, who has become a boarder during this time.  This widow is now overwhelmed with grief.  Her boy is dead, which back then had more implications than just the loss of a loved one.  Her future just got a whole lot more impoverished, both emotionally, and financially.

“Then she said to Elijah, ‘O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?’”

I love Elijah’s reply.  There’s no “oops”.  He doesn’t wring his hands.  In fact, there isn’t even a note of surprise or worry. 

“But Elijah replied, ‘Give me your son.’”

Once again, what did the mother have to lose?  Elijah takes the lifeless body up to his own room and prays. 

“The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!  Then the woman told Elijah, ‘Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.’”

Which I find to be an interesting reaction from this mother.  Wasn’t the first miracle of the ever-flowing oil and grain enough to convince her of God’s presence working through His prophet? 

Different miracles

The first miracle was a life-sustaining one.  It had to do with maintenance. And it wasn’t like they had a five-course meal everyday, either.  Just enough oil and grain to keep them going, to sustain the life they had until the famine had passed.   

The second miracle was a life-giving one.  That which was dead has been resurrected.  Where life had been extinguished, life had been reborn.    

This gives me pause…

What do I have to lose?

God knows the level of my faith and intimacy with Him.  He also knows how fickle human beings like me (like you?) can be, allowing complacency to set in as what we once wondered at becomes normalcy and therefore taken for granted.  And He knows what is needed to take our faith and intimacy with Him to the next level, to jump start us out of that spiritual malaise. 

In other words, He not only knows how to maintain my dreams, even my faith, but also how to resurrect them and give them new life.

Of course, the first step is to hand it over to Him.

1 Kings 17:12; Hebrews 7:25 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Popped strings, and other favorites tunes.

guitarAs a past worship leader, I appreciate, at least in a small degree, the importance and effort that goes into putting song sets together for the congregation.  In the case of contemporary music, there’s rhythm and flow to be considered, as well as your team’s availability for that week, and hopefully prayerful discernment. 

Of course, then I would break a guitar string in them middle of it all, and God shows His sense of humor…Not only does the string almost hit you in the face, but it throws the rest of the instrument out of tune, and naturally it can’t happen during practice, oh no, but during the set, in front of the congregation.

So then there’s life, well planned, even prayerfully so, and then…

…BOOOIIIINNNGGG!  (And usually not in private, right?)

Kinda sounds like this worship leader from a long time ago.  His name was Heman, an ancestor of Ezra, so he’s got an impressive Hebrew pedigree. The note at the beginning of his song reads as follows:

“A song to be sung to the tune ‘The Suffering of Affliction.’”

(…because that would certainly be a go-to for a Sunday morning.)

“O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out to you by day.
    I come to you at night.”

Starts out okay, but kinda plays on that “out of tune instrument” from then on.

“For my life is full of troubles,
    and death draws near.
I am as good as dead,
    like a strong man with no strength left.
They have left me among the dead,
    and I lie like a corpse in a grave.
I am forgotten,
    cut off from your care.
You have thrown me into the lowest pit,
    into the darkest depths.”

ETC, etc, etc…. Then he says this.

“Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love?
    Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds?
    Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness?”

Now, c’mon, how can he talk about God forgetting him (and worse) in one breath, and in the other speak of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness, His wonderful deeds and His righteousness??

Something tells me this is more about Heman reminding himself of God’s goodness, than reminding God to take care of him. Obviously, somewhere in his past, Heman has an intimate history with the Deity of his ancestors, as well as a working knowledge of God’s unchanging character leading up to this personal crisis.  He’s hurting, but not hopeless.  He’s frustrated, but in still fanning the flames of faith.

I find it most informative, and incredibly encouraging, that God has included Heman’s depressing little song of woe in the eternal Word of the Ages, alongside “the Lord is my Shepherd”, and “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, and “those who live in the shelter of the Most High”, and “I will lift my eyes to the hills”.  It allows me to be real with my Father Who art in Heaven, even though His name be hallowed. 

He’s got big enough shoulders to cry on.

But then, there is plenty of reason to dry the tears also.  Because, as Heman’s song shows by its very poetic construction, God’s “unfailing love, faithfulness, wonderful deeds, and righteousness” are in there, smack-dab in the middle of my mucky life situations (“grave, destruction, darkness and forgetfulness”)!

Like Heman’s predecessor and fellow hymn-writer (King David) penned, “yea, though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me…” (Emphasis mine.)

And that’s something to smile about.


Psalm 88:1,3-6,11-12 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Not the person I thought…

quillHere’s something new.  My bloggish buddy, The Excitement Plan, posted this poem with her own interpretation, which I thought was so very great that I asked if I could share her thoughts on my “Not My Poetry” place.  

Not the Person I Thought~~

Continue reading “Not the person I thought…”


Hey, where’d YOU come from?!

garden lastHot, humid, it’s southern Missouri and the first official day of summer, so what else is new?  I’m already a sweaty mess working in the yard, and the compost needs turning, so out comes the pitchfork (à la American Gothic) and the back muscles are put on notice. 

It’s during this little exercise in semi-organic gardening that I observe a real surprise—two tomato plants growing, quite well I might add, to the side of my large, homemade compost bin, hidden between the garage and the fence line. 


Huh?!?  And they’re as large or larger than some of the ones I have growing now in my suped-up garden with my organic, sore-muscled compost mixed with expensive dirt that grows things “miraculously”, and is watered with our very, very expensive third-stage (whatever that is) city water!  Continue reading “Hey, where’d YOU come from?!”


Happy Easter, indeed!



In other words…


“When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors. Then God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And light appeared.”

Or how about:

“O Lord God! You have made the heavens and earth by your great power; nothing is too hard for you!”  (Jeremiah 32:17)

So what do you think He could accomplish with your chaos…?

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


No need for a boil order?

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Cultural differences aside, Old Testament prophets were, um…a little weird.  I say that respectfully, but I can only imagine they may not have been at the top of an invitation list to any aspiring social event.  Things like walking around naked, burying underwear in the dirt (and retrieving it some time later!), marrying a prostitute, and a list of the bizarre continues—it certainly caught the people’s attention.

It would’ve caught my eye, to say the least.

Not respected, rarely believed, probably ridiculed, and usually hunted down, the job description was not for the faint of heart.  Clearly, one was not chosen by Continue reading “No need for a boil order?”


Not My Poetry (but I still claim it!)

quillI’m thinking that by this time, this guy Asaph was old; he’d seen a lot.  As he pours out his heart to God, you can hear his pain and frustration and confusion.  I love his raw yet respectful honesty before God.  I also love how these verses so exquisitely illustrate what Satan tries to do in our lives today, and I mean the lives of Christians, dedicated believers in Jesus.  After all, our hearts are now the Continue reading “Not My Poetry (but I still claim it!)”


Words From Beyond


Here is one for those of us who think that God still communicates in specifics to His own. And, man, do I need specifics!  Just how do I apply this Bible verse?  What am I supposed to say to this person in pain?  I’m worried, confused, or just plain bored.

Please, somebody tell me I’m not alone here.

This beautifully refreshing offering by Sibella at Arts and Rhymes encourages me in that conversation.  She is also a very talented visual artist.  Be sure and check out her site!

Words flow
A whispering
Mountain stream
Fly high
On the wing
Of a crying eagle

They tremble
On the rippling
Water surface
Break darkness
With power
Of the light within

And somehow
You know
They were
Meant for you
At least
You hope

And if not
You’re still glad
They were
At the right place
At the right time
In your sight
And that makes you
And you even
A little
As you look up 
And say
Thank You




Here’s one I fell in love with, tucked away in a small used book I picked up somewhere.  The author sounds like a pretty cool guy, not only because of the hopeful tenor of the poem, but that he was the assistant of one of my heroines, the one and only Florence Nightingale!  (You can’t be all bad if you worked for Flo.)  Here’s my INFO.



by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)


Say not the struggle naught availeth,

    The labour and the wounds are vain

The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

    And as things have been they remain.


If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

    It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,

Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,

    And, but for you, possess the field.


For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

    Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.


And not by eastern windows only,

    When daylight comes, comes in the light;

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!

    But westward, look, the land is bright!


A Little Treasury of British Poetry, Ed. by Oscar Williams. ©1951 Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York