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?