April 25, 2015

Just Following…

The Lord watches over the sojourners…Ps.146:9


The packing was finished with the energetic help of a couple from our church.  Don’t know how we’d have gotten off without them!  It all got tucked in a 17ft. moving van with the precision of Tetris experts. The excess spilled over to fill the Previa nearly to the roof and we were off.  My job was to stay awake and to follow Jim.

I rarely drive on trips these days, not like old times when we traversed the continent in our VW van trading off the drivers’ seat so we could maximize the hours when the kids were likeliest to be asleep…

Those were long hauls.  I remember the torture of trying desperately to stay awake.  Now I gladly doze while Jim takes the helm.  But this trip was different.  He had the moving van to manage; I, the laden Previa. 

My job, though dreaded, was easy.  Stay awake and follow.

I had only to keep that bright block of a van in my sights and my foot on the gas pedal… When it got lost from sight I had only to believe that Jim was just ahead, and there he’d be wending his way along while I tucked back in behind.

It’s kind of like that on the journey of life, don’t you find?  We may not exactly know where we’re going or how we’re going to get there but we have only to stay awake and follow.  Our paths have been planned since before the foundation of the world. (Eph.2:10) The good works designed for us to walk in are like the highway miles…We keep our foot on the gas, our eyes open, and we follow alert to brake lights, bumps in the road and turns.  The One ahead knows the way, sets the pace, and plans the stops.  We follow.

I’m spending time with Psalm 25 these days, making its words the prayer of my heart.

Make me know your ways, O LORD teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

We can’t see what’s coming down the pike for us these days.  We are in a temporary quarters with a whole lot of life all boxed up and on hold, wondering, waiting, and keeping our eyes fixed on the One who watches over us.



All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness. Ps.25:10

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God…Ps.146:5

April 18, 2015

Clinging to Gratitude

One last post from this place...


One last Friday I sit in this chair to post my thoughts of the week.
I'll be giving up this particular vantage point of window and willow very soon. It feels like we are giving up a lot lately in the selling of this home.
But it is time. The kids are grown. And we have grown too, older. It's too much to keep up with. Still, it has been such a paradise to me...

I sat out on the back step yesterday to gobble my quick lunch of leftovers. But I stayed a bit longer. The sun was shining in that delectable way it does in the springtime... So I sat a while to count the robins, to savor the moment. I can pack away my other treasures in boxes. This I must leave. So I took a snapshot in words:

A frog 'RIB--B-I-T's in the distance

Twenty robins worm the lawn


          Scent of fresh mown grass

Dandelion song

Birds delirious with delight that spring has come,

transients come home to cheer my farewell.

A raven circles calling greeting from far above...

How is it that we were given this?

So much

So rich

Tears of loss mingle with welling gratitude

Thank-you Lord

for pastures green

and ways yet untraversed

where you will yet my Shepherd be.

I will fear no evil. You are with me.

Surely goodness and mercy

will yet be mine

         for You are good

                               and merciful

And I am



I have found gratitude to be a great solace, and a safety net too. When sadness at all that I must leave here threatens to edge out the hope of what's to come, gratitude saves the day. I can dwell on all that I am giving up or I can remember with gratitude all I have been given for these nearly twelve years. To be honest, I fluctuate lately between the two.

But it is in the being grateful that hope is born. I recall God's lovingkindness in so many particulars. And in this remembering I am reassured that though I may be leaving this custom-fit place, He goes before to fit another and will not cease to meet the needs of my heart. Wherever we may wander...He is my Rock, and in His purposes hope springs eternal!    It give me hope for all the good that is to come. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…..

One day this week I was packing to the music of GLAD.  The CD happened to be on ‘repeat’.  Over and over came this reminder that I have a High Priest whose name is Love who ever lives and pleads for me.  It was just what I needed.   May it bless you today as well!

Before the throne of God above—Glad

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863.


Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the LORD.  To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for youPhil.3:1

Rejoice in the LORD always, again I will say, Rejoice!  Phil.4:4

April 9, 2015

Who will roll away the stone?

[It has been a distracting week.  I have only a skeleton of thoughts to share inspired by Sunday’s message entitled:  “Who will roll away the stone?” It was taken from Mark’s gospel account of the resurrection in Mark 16.—LS]

Who will roll away the stones in our lives--those things we are powerless to either change or move?

It will be neither I nor you.  But we move forward carrying the spices, doing the ‘next thing’, the only thing we know to do, meaning to bless Jesus even in His death… The ladies that came to Jesus tomb in the early morning hours had intended merely to anoint His body for burial, to do this customary thing in honor of Him, for love of Him…

They were in for a surprise beyond their highest hopes.

God saw to the rolling back of the stone revealing more than they dared hope, but at first there was doubt and disbelief.

Even so sometimes we weep and wonder where He has gone and how we will make it without Him…

The He speaks our name and we see Him and know that all will be well (John 20:16ff)  He means for us to know resurrection power, to live because He lives.

He calls us His own and invites us into His family!

“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”Jn.20:17

All will be well.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

We have only need of endurance that after we done the will of God—after we have believed, we may receive what is promised. (Heb.10;35,36)

Who will roll away the stone?  God will do it.

Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

The words of an old hymn come to mind…and with it I close.

Jesus Lives and So Shall I

Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever!
He who deigned for me to die,
Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me from the dust:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and reigns supreme,
And, his kingdom still remaining,
I shall also be with him,
Ever living, ever reigning.
God has promised: be it must:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and by his grace,
Vict'ry o'er my passions giving,
I will cleanse my heart and ways,
Ever to his glory living.
Me he raises from the dust.
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, I know full well
Nought from him my heart can sever,
Life nor death nor powers of hell,
Joy nor grief, hence forth forever.
None of all his saints is lost;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and death is now
But my entrance into glory.
Courage, then, my soul, for thou
Hast a crown of life before thee;
Thou shalt find thy hopes were just;
Jesus is the Christian's Trust.