Archives for September 2012

A Time to Hide

When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.” John 12:36b

Ever have times when you feel like hiding?  I bet we all do—and we’re in good company. The apostle John tells us that Jesus hid, too.

The instance in the scripture above took place in Jerusalem during the week before Jesus’ crucifixion. While speaking to a crowd, he predicted his death and encouraged the people to “‘trust in the light . . . so that you may become sons of light,’” and then he left and hid from them.

We aren’t told why Jesus hid from the people at this time. Maybe he needed a break from the crowd surrounding him daily, or possibly he was trying to prevent an uproar that could lead to his death before the time was right. He might have wanted the people to have time to consider what he’d just said. Whatever the reason, Jesus saw the importance or felt the need to hide.

An oft-quoted passage from the Bible tells us that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”(Ecclesiastes 3:1) If Jesus saw that there was indeed a time to hide, should we not secret ourselves away at times as well?

So when should we hide away—either from everyone, those outside our closest circle, or maybe just from our work environment?

One time might be when we’re in serious need of rest or refreshment. Another could be when we need some time to focus on a certain project, person, or aspect of our lives.

There may even come a time when we need a period of healing or a season when we need to hide for protection. And we always benefit when we take time to hide away with the Lord, through daily time in prayer and the Word and also in extended times alone with him.

I wonder if it’s a time to hide for any of us right now. Can we sense the importance of such a time? Do we feel the need? Let’s remember that there is indeed a time for everything. Yes, even a time to hide.

“. . . hide me in the shadow of your wings” Psalm 17:8b

*When was the last time you hid? Why did you do it? What resulted? Do you need to hide now?

*Flickr photo by Duncan~

Sometimes I’m a Mess

Cranky days. Stressed out days. Confused or anxious days. Days that I end up thinking, saying, or doing wrong things. Please tell me that some of you also have days when you finally look up at the heavens and say, “Lord, I’m a mess. Please help me.”

I don’t know about you, but I can be a mess mood-wise every now and then. Hormones play havoc with my moods at times, but other times I may not be handling stress very well or I might have fallen prey to the tactics of our spiritual adversary, the devil. He loves to keep me tied up in fear, anxiety, or confusion. Yep, sometimes I’m a mess.

Some days I’m a mess physically. It might be due to lack of sleep or a flare-up of the inflammatory arthritis that began paying me visits when I was just in my thirties. And every now and then I get sick, and—though I hate to admit it—I’ve even been known to injure myself. Yep, sometimes I’m a mess.

Occasionally, the mess-monster invades my writing life. At times I can’t seem to move forward or get past the hurdle of the blank page. Getting started on a new piece—whether  an article, a chapter, or a blog post—is one of the hardest parts of writing for me.

Other times, my brain feels foggy or clogged. The words don’t flow, and I struggle for each sentence. I grow more frustrated by the minute because I’m falling further behind in paring down the stack of projects I’m trying to complete. Yep, sometimes I’m a writing mess.

And then there’s my spiritual life. I can also be a mess in that area. I’ve already mentioned how the enemy tries to color my moods or emotions, but he also does his best to keep me falling into the traps I’m most vulnerable to—pride, a critical spirit, or the tendency to try to perform to stay in God’s good graces when Jesus has already done that for me. Yep, sometimes I’m a mess.

Can any of you identify? The good news is that God doesn’t turn us away when we’re having messy days.He wants us to cry out to him and admit when we’re a mess. In fact, he probably wonders why we don’t do it earlier.

Next time the mess-monster comes calling, how about we apply the brakes earlier than usual? Why not cry out for help earlier? Our God is ready and waiting to come to our aid. We’ll all—our families included—be the better for it.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

*What other tips could you recommend for dealing with the mess-monster?

*Flickr photo by greg westfall

Refreshing Rain

Our region—and much of our country—has been dealing with drought for months. Recently we’ve received some refreshing rain and we’re so very thankful for the much-needed relief. Won’t you praise God with me for the refreshment he gives our earth—and for the refreshment he gives our souls? How we thank you, how we praise you, Lord!

Blessed Sound of Falling Rain

Blessed sound of falling rain

The music we’ve strained to hear
For so long,
The sound of life
To our drought-stricken land,
The melody of God’s provision.
A greedy earth clutches at the drops
Almost drinking before they land,
Needy and desperate for any relief
It takes hours before she relaxes.
Finally she glories in the drink
Soaking, laughing, swelling with life,
Praising God with every drip, drip, drip
Turning green with gratitude.
Our thirsty souls wait as well
For the sounds of life that restore us,
The sounds of a Savior
Coming to pour
The music we’ve strained to hear.
Yes, blessed sound of falling rain.

“for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:9

*How does God refresh you?

*Flickr photo by John-Morgan

Five Years of Blogging


I couldn’t let September 17th go by without bringing a mini-milestone to light. After all, five years of blogging deserves a mention, right? It might even call for some chocolate! :)

A few of you have probably been with me from the beginning and several more for three or four of those years now. Some of you are relatively new, possibly stopping by for only the last year or so. Whatever your time frame with me, I’m so happy you make me a part of your life.

That’s probably the best part of blogging—the opportunity to touch the lives of others, being able to bless and encourage and being blessed and encouraged in return. Your support and friendship mean so much to me.

To celebrate my five-year mark, let’s have some fun. For each of you who leave a comment on this post, I will leave a comment back (though I may group a few remarks in one comment) telling you five words or phrases that come to mind when I think of you. Five for five. Fun, huh?

If I don’t know you very well, feel free to go ahead and play. It will just challenge my creative abilities, right? And that will be fun, too :)

So go ahead. Leave a comment and find out my five for five for you. I’m so thankful for you all!

“[I] love you so much that [I am] delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but [my life] as well, because you have become so dear to [me].” 1 Thessalonians 2:8

*Do you remember when you first started visiting my blog? Do you remember how you found it or came to know about it?

*Flickr photo by TheDeliciousLife

The Promise of a Haven

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30

Storms are inevitable part of our lives. Why? Simple—we’re not in heaven yet.

Jesus, in fact, warned us of storms. He told his disciples, “‘In this world you will have trouble.’”(John 16:33) But in that same verse he also told them that in him we may have peace and that he has already overcome the world. In other words, he promised that he is bigger than the storms that come barreling into our lives.

The words of Jesus have certainly proved true in my life. Time and again, my God has stilled the storms that have assaulted me. He’s hushed the waves that threatened me.

Even when I felt as if I might drown (for example, when caregiving responsibilities for Don’s mom seemed too much to bear at times), he strengthened me until the storm’s fury subsided. He held me up until sunshine was my portion once again.

And just as the Psalmist stated, after the winds and waves lost their steam, my God led me to the havens I needed at the time. He has continued to bless me with periods of rest or surround me with peace when needed. He’s wrapped me in comfort and also shown me the path to forgiveness. He’s graciously given what I’ve needed.

But even though my God has faithfully carried me through the storms of life and ministered to me in their aftermath, I still haven’t reached the point where I welcome them. I’m not sure any of us do.

But we can reach the point where we don’t fear storms so much,where we know our God is bigger. We can reach a point where we trust him in the midst of a storm. A point where we’re at rest—at rest in his promise of a haven.

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

*When did the Lord last lead you to a haven?

*My photo (Coulter Bay area of Grand Teton National Park)