Monday, October 5, 2015


Dimple cheeked Eli peered down over Asher to help tuck him in.  “Do you care if I pray for him tonight?” Eli asked with a grin.  “Of course not” was all my heart could sputter out.  Eli proudly knelt over his baby brother and uttered simple, yet powerful words, “Dear Jesus, keep Asher safe and help him rest well.  Let him know You love him.  Amen.” 

Some sort of shift occurs when you start to see your boys taking ownership of talking to the Most High God. 

There have been boy-prayers that I have prayed over those four young Christian-soldiers through the years. Various specific prayers come and go, depending on the need, but these prayers have become my mainstays, my anchors in our tumultuous world. 

{Lord, let my boys love You and Your Word more than anything.  Create a craving in them to know You and study Your Word.  Jesus, be their first love. Give them a hunger for You, and then satisfy it! Let them hear Your voice. 

Father, make Cade, Eli, Sam, and Asher oaks of righteousness.  In a world where truth is either gray or shunned, I pray wisdom would rule their lives.  I pray, Jehovah Tsedkenu (our righteousness!) that You would strengthen them and allow them to stand strong when culture threatens to sway their branches or knock them flat over.  In You, they will stand. I rest in the fact that You have planted them; allow them to display Your glory alone. Let them reject passivity and lead with courage. 

Sweet Jesus, entrusting these boys to the private and public school systems takes faith.  Lord, I pray Cade, Eli, and Sam will be blessed as they walk into their school doors and blessed as they walk out.  I pray they would be a blessing to all they encounter each day.  I pray they would love the downtrodden, respect authority, and stand for truth.  I pray your favor over each one of them.  Give them the ability to learn.  Develop each one of their gifts in the educational realm and start to give them exceeding joy in the areas where you want them to excel and make a difference. 

God, I go into convulsions when I think about the evil culture my boys are growing up in.  Sin seems to be crouching at every door, begging to be let in.  I pray You would put a hedge of protection around them.  If faced with temptation, I pray You would make the evil distasteful and that they would spew it out.  I pray that Satan would not be able to touch them. 

God, develop each of the boy’s gifts that you have so richly and freely given.  Gifts of joy, worship, discernment, wisdom, prophecy, and mercy have been splattered like hues of paint on our family canvas.  Take each one and anoint it for your splendor.  Keep each child humble as they proclaim that every good gift is from above. 

Creator-God, I lift up the four precious brides of my four precious sons.  Save each one of them at a young age.  I pray these girls would be protected from the enemy all their days.  Keep them from abuse and let them rest in their earthly and Heavenly Father’s loves.  Give them strong family ties, a strong love for Jesus, and a strong desire to be caretakers of their homes.  I lift up my future grandchildren and claim them all for the Kingdom of God, so the legacy of your sacrificial love story might continue.} 


Most of these prayers have been dumbed down to simple phrases that I repeat over and over throughout the day…oaks of righteousness, blessed going in and out and be a blessing, protect their future wives, develop their gifts, make sin distasteful, etc.  I believe Jesus, my intercessor, takes these simple phrases and turns them into beautiful prayers before our Father. 

I love what John Piper says: “Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for.”  As a mother, I am on the frontlines in this spiritual battle for my sons.  Just because the three oldest have accepted Jesus as their Savior and follow him as Lord doesn’t mean that Satan has given up on his agenda of kill-steal-destroy.  Alongside of Eric, I have authority over those boys.  Authority in Greek is “exousia” and means to have the legal right to use power.  It means to exercise one’s privilege over the jurisdiction given to him or her.  As mothers, we have this right…this privilege… to pray over our children.  If the righteous are bold as lions, then Satan will tremble when he hears the mighty roar of Yahweh coming out of our lips. Never give up on your children and never underestimate the power of the Holy God that resides within you!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Last of the Tetrad (what a mighty God)

I hope you got a chance to see at least one of the blood moons (lunar eclipses) over the past year.  The first one I saw last fall took my breath away, it seemed so ominous.  Last Sunday, I sat on my front walkway and watched Eli practice soccer barefoot in the pitch black as we strained to see the eclipse, shrouded by clouds.  This time, I just sat there and worshiped.  What an amazing Creator-God we serve!  His immensity is just too vast for me to wrap my tiny brain around.  What blows me away the most is that He wants to be involved in our lives and that He provided a way for us to know Him!  Ponder that for a bit: this great, BIG GOD who created the planets and moons and protons and neutrons and seahorses and racing horses wants to have a relationship with US! Praise the Father for His Son!  What a beautiful and holy God we have.  Such privilege, to be called His children. Declare His Glory!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


That’s it!  I’m taking an ad out in the classifieds.  I’ll keep it short and sweet to keep the cost down.  LOST!  MIND HAS BEEN SCATTERED TO THE FOUR CORNERS!  PLEASE HELP FIND THE PIECES!  REWARD AVAILABLE!

I always joked with Eric that every kid along the way got 25% of my brain.  We always contemplated having that 4th because we knew I would be running on pure fumes for the rest of my days.  We were kind of kidding, but the truth is that running a large family, a business, and a home church/small group is excruciatingly exhausting, a slow murder of beautiful brain cells.

The laundry piles high and the pound cake needs to be made and the floors must be vacuumed and I can’t tell you the last time I mopped…maybe months ago…and the kid needs to get to soccer and the other kid outgrew his soccer cleats (again) and the oldest needs to make a special trip to Hendrix library and who knows what the toddler is doing (someone find the toddler!) and prayers need to be prayed because nations and marriages and families are crumbling and photos need to be edited and can I just get a deep drag of that thing called oxygen?  

Perhaps one of my greatest fears as I get older is that I will lose my mind.  Whether to short memory loss or Alzheimer’s, I worry that I’ll be the shell that I once was, locked into some white-walled disinfected asylum, forgotten by the world.

This fear crept closer as I welcomed a new couple into our home, thinking I had never laid eyes on them before.  The next week, I saw the man in the place that I had actually not just met before, but talked with before, and I was floored at my inability to have remembered his face or name. 

What is wrong with me?

My favorite Veggie Tales line is,

Give me umption in my gumption,

 help me function-function-function
Give me umption in my gumption, I pray (hallelujah!)
Give me umption in my gumption,

 help me function-function-function
Help me function 'til the break of day!

 Who knew I would succumb to praying Veggie Tale songs?

His strength, my weakness.  His strength, my weakness.  His strength, my weakness.  Maybe God’s glory is shining through after all.

All prayers welcome to keep this mind going-going-going for the cause of family and Savior.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Uncovering (One small glimpse at Revelation)

I’ve camped out in Revelation a lot here lately.  I’ve been reminded of things, shown new things, and relearned things I had forgotten.  More than anything, this study has furthered my insatiable desire for Jesus to be King here on earth for all to worship.  I say insatiable because it seems so far off…but one day, that desire will be met!

I’m just going to write down a few things that have stuck out…no fancy writing on my part…just the Word which stands for itself.

First of all, “Revelation” means “to take the cover off.”  In Greek, it is “apokalupsis” which is the uncovering.  God gave John these words so that believers wouldn’t be left in the dark about the days ahead in the end times.  God wanted to uncover the glory of Christ, which is primarily what this book is about.

There are different views regarding how to read the book of Revelation, but I stand by the Futuristic view, which says that the words predict a time period that hasn’t occurred yet, especially regarding chapters 4-22.

One of the words that is imperative to understanding this book is the Greek word “en tachei.”  In chapter 1, it says that these things must happen soon or shortly come to pass.  This means that they will happen with speed, swiftness, and quickness once they begin.  We sometimes wonder where God is in all of the worldly sin and mess.  One day, He will intervene quite suddenly as He interjects Himself into the affairs of man.  Don’t think for a second that He is overlooking abortion and other atrocities.  One day, He will show up and we will be quickly reminded that He is not only merciful, but just Judge.

The letters to the seven churches are so interesting!  It is suggested that each is a representative of a certain age in church history.  The amazing thing is that the “church” that looks most like us today is the last one mentioned, Laodicea.  This means that we are probably almost finished with the church age, the age of grace.  It probably won’t be much longer until God raptures His church and turns His attention solely to Israel.

The Laodicea church is definitely worth taking a look at!  One commentary says that it portrays the apostate church of the last days.  Laodicea was a very affluent and wealthy society.  They had a bank and a medical school.  The word Laodicea means “rule of the people” and their mentality was that they had all they needed.  They thought they were content and comfortable, but God described them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  He tells them they are lukewarm and that He is going to vomit them out of His mouth.  This would have been a very good metaphor because this city received their water via an aqueduct that came from miles away.  No doubt, by the time the Laodiceans got their water, it was lukewarm.

“His indictment against the church is that they are half-hearted in their relation to him.  They do not have the fervor and warmth and zeal of a true lover of Christ; nor are they outright unbelievers who flatly reject the Jesus and make no pretense of faith.  They are halfway in between.” Piper

A half-hearted, comfortable church would definitely describe the church as a whole today. God instructs them to repent and anoint their eyes with eyesalve (again fitting, because they were famous for this product!)  The beautiful thing about this church is that God still loves them.  He says that His love is found in the rebuke and the discipline.

An interesting thing happens after Revelation chapter 3:  the church is never mentioned again.  Many scholars will tell you that this is proof (one of many) for a pre-tribulation rapture.  At the start of Chapter 4, John is told to “Come up hither,” in which he is transported to the heavenly realm.  I’ve studied and studied various rapture theories and the pre-tribulation one seems to make the most sense as well as the only one that brings me peace. 

A lot of commentaries say “The Day of the Lord” starts in Chapter 6.  It is the day that God’s specific seven year period of judgment on the earth starts.  Most say it starts the same day as the rapture.  The believers are taken away into safety and then His judgment is released.  (Just like it was in the days of Noah…)

One of the most important things to understand in the book of Revelation is the forming of the unholy trinity.  With the true Trinity, we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Since Satan cannot create anything, he has to twist or copy what God has done.  He mocks the pure trinity by forming his own.  Satan’s alliance will include himself (anti-God/anti-Father,) Antichrist also called Son of Perdition (anti-Jesus,) and False Prophet (anti-Spirit.)  Satan will be the dragon that gives power to the Antichrist as he rules in the political realm.  The False Prophet (described as a lamb with two horns) will mock the Holy Spirit whose chief goal is to get people to worship Jesus.  The False Prophet’s goal is to get everyone to worship the Antichrist.

Great and incredible discernment will be needed in order to not follow this unholy alliance.  They will come across as peaceful, charismatic, and wise.  Their agenda might even promote love.  Flee if the names of Yahweh (One True God) and Yeshua (Jesus) aren’t on their lips.

I think we are entering a time period where the study of Revelation is extremely wise. God says we are blessed if we read it!  We never know how much time we have left and we refuse to set dates.  Still, there are so many things lining up in today’s headlines that could point to some end times prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled (like the God Magog war found in Ezekiel 38-39.)  As believers, first, we need to search our hearts and repent of any sins we are harboring.  Second, we need to stay saturated in the Word of God so we aren’t deceived by lies or even half-lies in these strange days.  And third, we must pray for our unbelieving friends and family members like never before.

Invite Him in, He longs to take the cover off and reveal His glory to you personally.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Wicked Slither

Despite my country raisin', I don't do snakes.  The fear seems to be getting worse as I get older.  This didn't serve me well when I found one in my garage last week.  In my city house garage, mind you.  The wicked slither was undeniable.  I choked/cussed/called out to God in a single gasp and then stared it down.  It sensed my presence and wouldn't budge as long as I held my ground. 

Eric was inside, but I was afraid if I moved, it would flee.  The prospect of having a snake loose in the garage seemed more terrifying than killing it myself, so kill it I would.  The problem was that there wasn't much handy to kill it with and I had mere flip flops on.  I'm telling you, I stood there a solid ten minutes, it terrified of me and I terrified of it.  I started begging God for courage to just get it done.

The closest weapon I had was Cade's bike.  The snake was in the proximity of his back tire so if I could slam the tire up and down on it, it just might work.  (This was a baby snake.)  With all my righteous anger boiling to the surface, I grabbed the bike and slammed it on the snake's head.  Up and down, I pounded the snake anywhere I could pound him.  (That darn bike was heavier than I had anticipated!) 

I gasped and checked to see about the victory.  His head looked smashed but his tail was still moving so I kept pounding him with rubber and force.  Finally, he was dead. And I was mentally and physically wiped out.

Stupid snake.

When I watch the news or spend a lot of time in prayer, I can see the Wicked Slither that is undeniable.  The Enemy is everywhere, it seems.  Marriages.  Abortions.  Government.  ISIS disguised as refugees.  Race crimes.  Murder this and murder that.  A world turning its back on Israel. 

It's going to take a lot more than rubber and mere force to tackle this one.  Then, I remember that this snake has already been defeated by the blood of Jesus.  Still, I cry out for Jesus to come and take away all of this filth. I realize I'm crying out for Jesus to come down and be King because that's about the only hope we have of all things being set right.

Jesus sits on the heavenly throne, but one day, He will sit amongst us where all will bow down and worship Him.

Come into our mess, Jehovah Tsidkenu (God our righteousness.)  You alone can make everything right once again. We are longing for a sinless world.

{Practical advise for when the enemy is attacking your home.  #1.  Stare him down.  Stand strong and don't move or waver.  Let him know you are aware of his attacks and that he is not welcome. #2.  Beat him down over and over again.  Not with rubber but with the Word of God that comes out of your mouth. As a believer, you have authority over the evil one because of the name of Jesus and the blood.  It's time to start using it. #3.  Consider buying this book.}

If I can ever pray for you, then I would be honored.  These are hard times.  It's plain old hard to be us and sometimes we just need to know we aren't alone in the battle.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Bride

The Bride

My lifelong friend, Amy, was getting married!  We went way back, even before school was stamped on all our days.  Some of my most favorite childhood memories have her in them—the day we rescued the fish—the day we road our horses for miles and miles—the night we put on our girl’s size fourteen sultry one pieces and modeled for her mom—the day we transformed a giant piece of plastic into a swimmer’s paradise.  Amy was always pushing me out of my comfort zone and creating rivets of laughter along the way.

She’s been my friend for the longest amount of days. It’s good to have someone that knows your girl heart that is gently cradled by your woman heart.

Here Amy was, the hour quickly approaching when she would make her groom complete and beyond happy.  I was in the wedding, but also in charge of ensuring the fact that she was dressed on time.  The wedding was to start at 6:30 and the minutes were flying by faster than I could have ever imagined.  I told her I thought we should go ahead and get her dress on but she just laughed, telling me we had tons of time.  I kept prodding her, but she kept resisting.  Finally, I glanced at the clock and it said 6:28. We weren’t going to make it!  She wasn’t dressed!  She was going to miss her own wedding! What on earth would her groom say?

I awoke with a start, shooting straight up in bed.

Funny, Amy isn’t even dating anyone right now, but that dream was real. What if the dream held some sort of spiritual meaning for me, her, or the church as a whole?

I called her, knowing she would want to hear about it.  She assured me that she and Jesus were on great terms and that she was ecstatic about seeing her Savior face to face.  I told her I thought the dream was a picture of the current church, especially in America. 

Do we live our days as if we are about to meet our Groom?  Or, do we think we have all of the time in the world left, therefore, placing Him on the back burner, thinking we can dive into a deep relationship at some other point, perhaps even dabbling in a little sin here and there?

Either Jesus is our first love or He isn’t.

Did you know that the rapture is imminent?

Imminent:  impending, close (at hand), near, (fast) approaching, coming, forthcoming, on the way,  in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, just around the corner, coming down the pike, expected, anticipated, brewing, looming

If that’s the case, then there isn’t a single prophetic event that has to occur before the rapture can take place. 

One minute here. The next with Jesus.

Can I get an amen?

I want to live my days ready, wedding dress on and all!


All of creation,
All of the earth,
Make straight a highway,
A path for the Lord,
Jesus is coming soon.

Call back the sinner,
Wake up the saint,
Let every nation,
Shout of Your fame,
Jesus is coming soon.

Like a bride,
Waiting for her groom,
We'll be a church,
Ready for You,
Every heart longing for our King,
We sing...
Even so come,
Lord Jesus come.

There will be justice,
All will be new,
Your name forever,
Faithful and true,
Jesus is coming soon.

So we wait,
We wait for You,
God we wait,
You're coming soon.

(lyrics by Chris Tomlin)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Madigan {A short story}


The thick haze of the forest matched her murky thoughts.  Madigan tried to pry her eyes open but she felt as if she had been drugged.  One eye, then two, she slowly looked at her surroundings.  The large pines and oaks enveloped her in a shroud, the only light being the glimpse of sun that was thankfully rising instead of disappearing. 

Madigan quickly tried to sit, but the rush of nausea knocked her back down.  Going slower, she was able to maneuver herself onto her elbow.  Giving her body a fast glance, she discovered her feet that had been shackled together in chains.  The metal links were fastened to a towering oak nearby.

The drug induced disorientation was wearing off but was quickly replaced with the throbbing of feet too tightly bound.  She would lose circulation soon, she was sure of it.

Panicked, Madigan tried to recollect the events of the evening before. 

She had followed Kierstan out here last night, giving way to his hungry hands and lustful breath.  She was searching, always searching for the one who would make her whole again.  After running from her abusive uncle, she had run from one idol to another, all promising to put her back together again.  Each only stripped her further.

Madigan reached up and held onto a curly brunette lock.  Her head was thick with them.  When she was dismayed, she twirled each one tighter and tighter.  Funny, her hair used to be straight as a board.

It was her own fault she was entrapped.  Sure, the sins of her uncle put her on this path, but she knew deep down that she held equal blame.

Madigan carefully tried again to sit up, this time with success.  Her throbbing feet matched the rhythm of her terrified heart.  Looking for a possibility of escape, her eyes landed on a pair of bolt chain cutters, partially hidden in the thick grass.  She would soon be free!

Reaching with her whole frame, chains further imbedding themselves, she laid hold of the chain cutters.  Tears leaked from her eyes, both from the pain and the possibility of being free. She could hardly sit up fast enough as she clamped the metal and squeezed with all her might.

Her biceps curled and her head swam red as she gasped for air.  One more try!  This time would be it!  She clamped down again, the taste of freedom almost on her tongue.  The chain wouldn’t budge.  She just wasn’t strong enough.

Moans escaped from her throat as she threw the cutters aside and cursed herself for all of her sins. 

Madigan curled into a ball as she hugged the brown moss.  One single primal scream left her vocal chords, never to return.

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but she awoke with a start, staring at a burly man standing over her.  The chain cutters were in his thick hands.  He was pure muscle and she wasn’t sure if she should be relieved or hysterical.  The man clamped down onto the metal holding her imprisonment and shoved the cutters together.

The chain didn’t budge.

Madigan stared in horror as the man quietly told her that he neither had the power. She watched in disbelief as he silently left her, ambling back into the dense patch of trees.

Her sin was too much.  Despair shook her frame until hope exited every single pore.  She resigned herself to death and whispered that it might come quickly.

Ardry knew she was here.  He knew about each skin covered soul throughout his estate.  He simply needed Madigan to come to the end of herself before he could intervene.  Love must be revealed at the proper time, or it wouldn’t look like love at all.

Ardry reached down and caressed Madigan’s cheek until she stirred.  She looked into the ruler’s eyes, an ocean of benevolence, and knew she must be dreaming.  No one of such importance would ever stoop so low to one so sin encrusted.

In one swift motion, Ardry picked up the chain cutters and plunged them deep into his heart.  Before his strength left, he clamped the blood soaked cutters onto the chains and snipped every single last one.  Ardry fell to the ground amidst a sea of unshackled metal swirling in a pool of red.

Ardry choked out a few words before he breathed his last, “You are loved, Madigan.  Go, and live in this love.”


{There is power in the blood of Jesus.  There is power for eternal salvation and every stronghold of bondage that threatens to remain.  Invite Him in.  He longs to break every chain...every single last link.}

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dry Bones (Always, always hope.)

It's hard not to feel the heaviness of these days.  I try to get a deep breath and wonder how much longer the Lord will tarry before He calls us up in the rapture.  I think He was good in telling us that when we start to see end times prophecies happening to look up because our redemption is soon!  God knew we would need the focus of keeping our eyes on the One who is sovereign over evil and also tender to our souls.  He knows.  Whatever you are facing, He knows and is working on your behalf.

I was thinking yesterday about how God told Ezekiel (in chapter 37) to speak to the dead, dried out bones.  God didn't take the prophet to the dead scene so that Ezekiel could watch God speak...God took him there so the Ezekiel would speak life over the scene.  God tells him to prophesy over the bones:  that they would HEAR the WORD of the LORD. 

Ezekiel obeys and God does the resurrection work that He is so famous for.  Ezekiel speaks and God raises up the bones and covers them with flesh and sinew.  But, the bones are still without breath.  Ezekiel speaks again and God breathes life into the bones. 

This passage had its ultimate fulfillment in 1948 when the nation of Israel was restored.  In a single day, God took a scattered and seemingly dead people group and gave them back their land and national identity.  (Verse 14 says:  I will place you in your own land. Verse 25 says they will dwell in that land FOREVER.)

While this passage has had its primary fulfillment, God is still in the resurrection business.  The same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us!!!  God is still looking for people who will speak life into dead situations.  The WORD of the LORD can take anything that is dead and dried out and beyond rotten and raise it to NEW LIFE.

Authors Hays and Duvall say, "The point of this chapter is that these people are really, really dead, yet God brought them back to life.  Thus there is always hope.  IF God can bring these bones back to life, he can restore fallen Israel, and he can bring anyone else back to life that he chooses.  There is always hope when God is involved."

I love that.  Always, always hope.

What situation can you speak life into today?

Your words are beyond powerful when it's THE WORD you are uttering.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Look at Betrayal

I swore I wouldn't venture into this topic.  Then God showed me something that I think He wants shared.  Like you, I am sick of hearing about Ashley Madison and the exposure of rampant sin across our nation.  Only three zip codes in the whole United States did not have someone signed up on this website.  That proves that this is not just a personal issue with the likes of a few famous people, but a whole-scale national issue.  We have strayed. Far.

While studying the book of Jeremiah (what a book for the times!) God reminded me of the figurative imagery He used over and over in this book.  He calls Israel His wife, and throughout the book, tells them that their repeated idolatry looks like betrayal in marriage.  In "The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook" by Daniel Hays and Scott Duvall, it says, "idolatry against God, Jeremiah proclaims vividly, is a betrayal of the relationship between God and His people (i.e., the covenant), much like the betrayal of a marriage that occurs in acts of adultery."

Later, Jeremiah takes the image one step further and says that the wife has not just betrayed, but become the harlot, because she doesn't even blush at sin anymore. The above mentioned book says, "the people are chasing after other gods just like a married harlot chases after lovers in a total abandonment of her marriage (and causing pain and embarrassment to the husband.)"

I think when God exposed the Ashley Madison list, He is in essence saying that the list reflects not just the nation, but the church specifically...those that are in covenant with Him.  Have we strayed from His heartbeat?  Do we seek false and cheap imitations of the pure Love He offers?

The above book says, "What do we idolize and worship instead of God?  Wealth?  Success?  Fame?  Do we live for ourselves during the week, ignoring the call to stand for social justice, and then assume that attendance in church on Sunday will make it all okay?  Have we let our rituals (how we do church) replace our relationship with God?  Perhaps we need to listen carefully to the indictments of Jeremiah."

The word I can't get out of my head is repentance.  We as God's people must repent.

The beautiful thing about the book of Jeremiah is that it doesn't leave us in an anguished state.  Yes, the Prophet calls out the sin.  Yes, he proclaims God's desire for repentance.  Yes, there is judgment.  But, the book ends in forgiveness and restoration.  Our just God is always our merciful God.  He is never one without the other.  He is always and completely both at the same time.

There is restoration available.  But, first, repentance.

"So just as Jeremiah slaps us in the face with the seriousness of sin, so he also offers us the solution, pointing us to Jesus, who forgives us of all our sin."

A question for our souls today:  Have we betrayed our first love?

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Writing on the Wall

I wonder if Belshazzar, the final King of Babylon knew just how serious his actions were.  He was throwing a huge feast and thought it would be amusing to dig out the vessels of gold and silver that had been tucked away into the king’s treasuries, thanks to Nebuchadnezzar.  Nebuchadnezzar had taken these holy pieces out of God’s holy temple and stashed them away in his own treasury, during the great besiege of Jerusalem.

King Belshazzar took something consecrated (set apart for the Lord) and desecrated it.  They poured wine into the vessels and praised false gods between every sip.

God intervened immediately.

The hand was made visible.  But, only the hand could be seen, mind you!  All of a sudden, the light illuminated the hand that scribbled something unknown onto the palace plaster.  The King stood shaking in his fancy garb as pee probably puddled into a pool at his feet.

Astrologers and soothsayers and all the so-called wise men could not interpret such a thing.  The Queen stepped in and said “never fear, Daniel is here.” 

The man with the God-given name of “God is my Judge” stepped onto the scene and told Belshazzar he had not humbled his heart.  “You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.” (Daniel 5:23b)

The King’s horror escalated as Daniel gave the God-declaration:  Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.  Numbered. Numbered. Weighed.  Divided. (Some say “numbered” is said twice to suggest that things would happen quickly.)

Read in Aramaic, they form a sequence of weights that decreases from a mina to a shekel to a half shekel. God has numbered your kingdom, Belshazzar, and is finished with it.  You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.  Your empire-kingdom of Babylon is now divided and will be given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night, Belshazzar was killed.

The Kingdom was divided.

Did Belshazzar not know his enemy was at his very doorstep?  Instead, he was feasting and drinking and abusing God’s sacred things. He was foolish and oblivious to the reality all around.

I heard Jonathan Cahn recently say that our nation has taken the sacred and holy vessel of marriage and desecrated it by its redefinition.

I think it’s obvious that the United States of America has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Does that mean we are numbered and He is finished with us?  Will our great Kingdom be divided and given over to our enemies? 

Lord, let us not take lightly the days that we are in…


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Repentance {Soften this Heart of Stone}

Sometimes, I think we as Believers think we have it all figured out.  We accept grace and then get all smug and forget that we need this grace day in and day out.  It is then that we stop offering grace to others.  Our hearts are to continually be in repentance-mode.  God calls us to sin no longer and if I'm not in a constant state of turning away from something ugly in my life, then I am probably in sin.

Sometimes, we need to ask God to come down and soften our hearts that have become stone.

Repentance is to turn away from something that doesn't glorify God.

I love this checklist that Anne Graham Lotz put out last year.  It is a good way to ask God to search me and know if there is anything offensive in me.  If I read the list without praying first, I am prone to skip over areas where I might be harboring sin. But, if I pray for the Holy Spirit to shine a light on things, He is faithful to gently show me areas I need to turn from.

I believe national repentance must start with personal repentance.  Murray says, "Every deep revival among God's people must have its roots in a deep sense and confession of sin."

There is grace right here...the place where God wants to soften our heard hearts. {Every time I go through this list, He shows me something fresh.  Humbling, I tell you!}

Lord, shine a light on the things that don't bring You glory and give me grace and strength to turn from these things.  Make evil taste hopes that I spit it out and never want to consume it again!

Here are Lotz's thoughts...

1.  Ingratitude:  Neglecting to thank God for answered prayers and all of His blessings.  Am I thankful for my spouse, children, work, home...etc.??

2.  Neglect of Bible reading:  Reading without focus or not making it my first priority.  Would I rather read a fiction book or turn on the TV?

3.  Unbelief:  Doubting who God is and what He says.

4.  Prayerlessness:  Constant chatter instead of fervent prayer.

5.  Unconcern for the lost:  Leaving it to the "professionals" to get the people saved.

6.  Hypocrisy:  Pretending to be more than I am.

7.  Pride:  Impressed with my own reputation and accomplishments and offended or resentful when someone else receives more attention.

8.  Envy:  Jealousy of those more gifted, fruitful and recognizable than I am.

9.  Critical Spirit:  Finding fault with someone because he or she doesn't measure up to my standards.

10.  Slander:  Telling the truth about someone with the intention of causing others to think less of him or her.

11.  Lying:  Making a statement, exaggerating, or inferring something that is contrary to the unvarnished truth.

12.  Cheating:  Not doing to others what I expect or demand them to do for me.

13.  Robbing God:  Exercising my gifts or spending my money, time, or energy on things that have a selfish goal--without asking God first.

14.  Fear:  For being so afraid of what others think and say that I remain silent, hiding the light of God's gospel under the basket of intimidation.

{I repent.  Come and make this hard heart pliable.  Mold me into your image, Lord. My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit.}

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


{Happiest of birthdays to my favorite Mom!
We got to take a little girl trip.  We soaked up sun and wriggled toes
 in sand and ate pounds of gumbo and shrimp.
 Thankful for this little lady who raised me to love Jesus.}

Sunday, August 23, 2015

School Daze. A Haze of Memory from 9th, 7th, and 4th Grades.

Good heavens, I never knew a beehive could stand so tall.  Those girls ratted and ratted and teased and teased in the wee hours of the morning, preparing me for my initiation day, the first day of 9th grade, the first day of high school in a brand new city—brand new state.  I had miracle of miracles made the dance high-kick team and after practicing in the grueling heat all summer, this was the day they introduced the dance team freshmen to the rest of the much older high school world.

After the older girls matched my hair to the 70’s, they put me in a skin tight brown polyester dress with embroidered flowers that barely covered my bosom but still managed to hit my ankles.  As the sleeves fluttered in the wind, I gulped back tears, wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into. 

I had so much makeup on that I didn’t even recognize myself when they pranced me in front of the mirror, me apparently supposed to be proud of their cheap artistry. The black eyeliner rimmed me to the point that I almost signed “Cleopatra” on all my papers that first day.

I was appalled.  Mortified.  Horrified. 

And that was just the first day.

Ninth grade all around was a difficult one.  It held a mass amount of rejection, new kid on the block and all. Apparently I was so uncool that kids would swim away from me at pool parties, the tears on my face disguised as chlorine infused droplets of pool water.  Ninth grade also held my first kiss which made me want to gag and be my Daddy’s little girl forever. I still have nightmares that I am back in that town and back in that school.

I want my ninth grade son to know this:  People can be cruel for no stinking reason.  Let it roll off your back and don’t hold onto grudges and bitterness.  Forgive quickly and pray for those that persecute you or you know, swim away from you.  Continue to cling to your faith and celebrate family time.  And for crying out loud, don’t dare start kissing girls yet.  J

Cowboy boots kicked up the sawdust as my hot pink Wranglers waltzed into the show ring.  Sweetie, my black heifer was by my side, and together, we dominated the fairs and every show in between.  They would slap her grand champion time and time again, me smiling from ear to ear.  The trophies started invading every corner of my yellow bedroom.   It made Sweetie’s sassy attitude a little more tolerable to bear.

While 7th grade was a blast in the school room, what I seem to remember most are the cow shows.  It was my second year of showing, but I was finally starting to understand things like the difference between a heifer and a Hereford.  Winning, of course, was the icing on the cake.

Days of driving to the barn, washing, grooming, feeding, showing, and so forth kept me out of a lot of trouble during my teen years. God knew I wasn't going to be an athlete, so He gave me something else that would put my Dad and me on the same page. God used those days to groom in me a healthy respect for my Dad and an appreciation of his authority in my life.

 I want my seventh grade son to know this:  Your Dad is the most influential person for you right now.  He is going to teach you how to be a man.  He is going to teach you to work hard, celebrate victories, and live in reality.  Whether driving to soccer matches or church, enjoy his presence and all the wisdom he has to offer you.


Right past the large red farm gate that separated yard from pasture was the pond.  The pond held little significance to me because there were no fish in it.  It provided water for the cattle and looked pretty enough—in a murky pond kind of way--and that was about it.  One day that all changed.  Dad decided we didn’t need the pond anymore and so he got out a giant beast of a yellow machine, backhoe, I guess, and started digging large trenches so the pond would drain.

Enter my panic attack.  The so called non-existent fish were flopping and my heart was pounding to the cadence of save-the-fish.  Mason jars in tow and buckets galore, I plopped my cut off jean short self into the muck and mire.  Let’s be real here.  It was mud, pure and simple:  glorious mud that sucked my legs right under, threatening to hold me hostage forever.  Nevertheless, it might have been the most fun thing I’ve ever done, grabbing fish and tadpoles and all things swimmy, saving them in clear containers. 

We dumped what we could into the creek.  The next day, I loaded up the tadpoles, with the punctured Mason lids screwed on, and begged every other fourth grader to take one home. (Can’t you just hear the string of curse words at the 3 o’clock pick up line when kids climbed into the back seats with their new little tailed friends?)

Mrs. Whitlach, a fifth grade teacher close by, took the remainder of my orphaned tadpoles and dumped them into her large aquarium.  It might have been the nicest thing a teacher has ever done for me.

I want my fourth grade son to know this:  There is something noble about offering life to everyone and everything around you.  Even fish and tadpoles deserve a chance.  Never turn away from the tender heart God has instilled into you.  Even if the situation seems absurd, give until you can’t give anything else.  You just never know what kinds of life you will leave behind in the quake of generosity.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Beach Letters {Rend Every Last Heart}

{Written on August 9}

This sound right here.
Listen in, incline thy ear.
God rules here.
God delights in this place.
His majesty roars upon the shoreline.
Each pounding, a beat of His heart.
The blue of the waves fades into the blue of the ocean which fades into the blue of the sky.
Such grace, all this blue.

Today, I hear the roar of a God coming to rescue His bride from evil and wrath.
Yahweh's power commands the ocean to come to a certain point, and then no longer.
When the Restrainer is gone, who will keep the never ending waters from leaving their mark?

Sometimes grace allows the swirl of blue to go beyond for the purpose of redemption.  What if judgment always has a deeper intention of grabbing our hearts and begging us to return?

Make our hearts perfect with you, our Maker.
Forgive us for being like Solomon, whose heart was turned away from Yahweh and unto cheaper imitations of love. 
We are no better than him, our kings have set up sites for the abominations of children.
Children fashioned in your image.
Every last beautiful one.

This sin never goes without a peering of God's eye.
God rends the Kingdom from Solomon.
He enlarged their eyes, allowing them to see the True King as He tore the powerful nation in two.

Perhaps, in judgment (after all we have mocked your heart for marriage and cut up your precious babies and betrayed Israel) perhaps You will descend upon our nation and rend her in two, in hopes of rending her heart.

Whether by a physical split of the land or a split of some other kind, I am uncertain.

Who am I kidding?  We have been split for as long as I can remember.  North vs. South.  Republican vs. Democrat.  Slave vs. Free.  Christian vs. Atheist.  Grace vs. Legalism.  Humility vs. Self.  Pro-life vs. Murder.  Black vs. White.  Guns vs. None.  Terrorism vs. In-house false flags.  Cheap entertainment vs. Holiness.

Perhaps it will be a physical split, after all.  None of the other divisions have returned us to you.

Rend every last heart until it is You alone we worship.