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Always Here with Me

“I’ve been carrying you on my back from the day you were born And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you. So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me?” Isaiah 46:3b-5

“You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop. Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place.” Psalms 139:13-16

These verses remind me that God has always been there with me and for me. He was there from conception until birth and he will be there from birth until death and beyond. Even the times in my life when I didn’t see him; he was there.

Looking back on my life there are times I can see very clearly that he was there. Several times I should have died but didn’t because he was there; saving me and rescuing me. I’m sure there are even more times that I won’t know about until I get to heaven.

My aunt always told me I was a miracle baby. My mother had multiple miscarriages and a baby she gave birth to who died in the hospital. She was told she couldn’t have children. They adopted two girls and then were very surprised when mom was pregnant again. Dad and Mom never expected me to go full term, they thought she would have a miscarriage; but here I am!  God’s hand was on me in her womb. There have been many times since my birth that I could have died:

When I was 4 years old I had a form of staff infection that was really hard to diagnose.
In my 20’s I did cocaine and my heart would beat so fast and hard but yet I would continue to do it throughout the night.
In my 30’s I had a husband who threatened to kill me
When I was 52 I had an accident; the wind pushed me so hard it made me run and then slammed me into the rocky ground alongside a canyon. I could have easily run right off the edge and into the canyon or hit my head just right on the rocks and died.

Many times, I look back over my life and just see my mistakes and poor choices and I wish I would’ve done it all differently. There are things I regret. But, I know God uses it all, nothing goes to waste and I know all of the things I’ve been through made me who I am today; and I love who I am. I need to quit seeing my past through the filter of mistakes and regret and start seeing through the filter of sanctification and gratitude. I have some really great friends, family and special times that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My job with the city gave me retirement; retirement gave me my job at Open Door and time to be with my mom, get closer to her and help her when she needed someone, I’m so glad that someone was me. I am grateful!

I know I’m alive because God wants me alive; no other reason. And I will remain alive until He calls me home.

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I’m Powerless

This last week has been really crazy for me. I’ve been reminded over and over just how powerless I am. How powerless we all are.

Christian Writing MInistryLast Monday, I was at North Memorial in Maple Grove with Bill. He was getting a test done as an outpatient. While I was waiting for him my niece called and told me my Mom had been taken to the Hospital by ambulance. She didn’t have any other information – just that.

I called and verified that my mom had just arrived in the ER and they were checking her out – they’d call when they had more information. So, when Bill got done we went from North Memorial in Maple Grove to North Memorial in Robbinsdale. The bottom line is that mom has a blood clot in her heart. She’s home now but she has a long road ahead of her yet.

Through this God has been showing me and teaching me many things:
• To live one day at a time; sometimes one moment at a time.
• To be fully present to each moment.
• I am powerless and I have to continually turn things over to Him – that’s been my entire week this week.
• He’s showing me just how precious each moment is and not to take anything for granted.
• He’s shown me the love He has for His children and that no matter how old we are – we’re still His children.
• That He gives us the strength and grace we need for each day – our “daily bread”.
• He’s shown me the importance of family and friends and that they really make a difference in our lives.
• He’s shown me the reality of “we can make our plans, but He directs our steps”
• that ultimately He’s in control. And we – are powerless.

Here’s a “physical heart-snapshot”
One of the cool things He showed me is the complex and unique way He has created us. I was in the room when Mom got an ultrasound done of her heart. At one point the image on the screen was like a little cone head person (you can tell I’m a 70’s SNL fan) I think there was more than one but I could really only see one (because of the size of the screen) and this little cone head person; was praising God! It was kinda like jumping jacks yet not really. It would raise it’s hands in praise and then back down to touch the other cone head person.

I really think it was her heart pumping and the valves letting the blood flow by and then blocking it again. I’m not sure. But to me, in that moment it was cone head people praising God. I just thought – wow, even our hearts praise God with every beat!

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Allowed to Hunger

Allowed to Hunger

Deuteronomy 8:2-3.

The setting: Israel is at the Jordan River preparing to cross over into the Promised Land. The people of Israel had come full circle. They had been here before and had made a choice not to trust and believe God. They chose to believe man–the 10 spies that said they couldn’t make it in the new, promised land. Because of their choice, God made them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The adults would miss out on the Promised Land and the children would have to wait forty years to enter in.

During that 40 years God provided for them. Here in Deuteronomy, they are remembering their wilderness experience.

“And you shall [earnestly] remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these 40 years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna….” Deuteronomy 8:2-3a

God does this in my life. He allows me to hunger so He can feed me. He allows me to ______ so He can __________me. I can fill in these blanks with so many things. God has allowed me to feel pain so He can heal me. He allowed me to feel lonely so He could keep me company. He allowed me to cry so He could give me comfort. There are so many things I have gone through that in hindsight I can see how God used each and every one of them. He uses them for different reasons, sometimes so I will find Him and ask Him into my life and other times to call me into a new place in my life, or to call me back to Him.

What God doesn’t do, is to use these sins and choices of mine to punish me. He never gives me what I deserve in regards to my sin, if He did, I would be dead. He is a merciful God and He gives me grace, love and forgiveness.

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103.10

The other part of the verse…”to humble and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8

I believe it is in our trials that our true character shows. Some people I have known go right back to their former lives when hard times come. If they were addicted to something in the past, that’s right where they go. Other people I have known really press into God, small groups and community when they encounter trials. This is one way for God to know our true heart. It’s also how God develops us into maturity.

“He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10b

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

He disciplines us for our good that we may share His holiness. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I want. I want His holiness. I want perseverance to finish its work in me so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I want to bring God glory in all I do, say, think and feel.

So, my friends when you encounter difficulties remember; God allows you to hunger so He can feed you. He wants nothing more than for us to share His holiness. We are created in His image and we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and Jesus walks beside us every step of the way. Trust Him and believe Him, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He will not leave us or forsake us. He will not fail us. Where ever He brings us, He can keep us. He will feed us.


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Weeding Out Sins in My Personal Life

Weeding Out Sins in My Personal Life

It’s that time of year again; the dandelions are growing at warp speed. I just got in from removing the first patch of them. Here’s how the process goes: I select my victim, kneel next to it with my weapon, the “dandelion plucker” gather the leaves in one hand and poke the tool into the ground next to the center of the weed. The tool loosens the soil so I can easily pull the entire plant out, root and all.

Some are large, have many leaves, flowers, and a long, deep, thick root. They are really hard to remove, I loosen the dirt all around them and sometimes, I can’t find the end to the root. I just break it off as deep as I can. I know they’re not gone, that root will allow them to re-grow. Some have a few leaves and a long thin root; they are removed without much difficulty. The easiest are the ones that have just started; they don’t have much of a root. I just stick the plucker next to them and with a little pry motion, the entire plant is removed. God showed me how this process is just like my spiritual life.

The lawn is my spiritual life, and the dandelions are my sins. Some sins have a long, thick root; they’ve been around for a while and aren’t easily removed. They’re ones God has been trying to show me. But, I’ve ignored, stuffed and decided that I would deal with them “later“. The longer I put off having to die to things in my life, the longer and thicker their root gets. When I do deal with them, it doesn’t happen easily, it comes with much pain and resistance; and they may not be completely gone. Sometimes I think I got the entire root out, it turns out that I didn’t; pretty soon, here it is again, stronger than ever. God knows the right time to work on my problems and He provides the grace and strength for me to withstand the consequences. I need to learn to walk through the issues with God as He brings them to my attention.

The medium weeds are not as painful or as difficult to remove. The easiest are the tiny ones; I just pluck them right out of my life before they take root. I am assured that they are not going to “grow back” to be dealt with again. It’s funny how the weeds spread, I have a few and if I don’t deal with them, I have dozens, and if I don’t deal with them, they will take over my lawn.

Why don’t I monitor my spiritual life like I do my lawn? Regularly I grab my weed tool and walk around my yard looking for a sign of those nasty weeds to poke their head up. I should be as diligent with my spiritual life. The Bible tells us to “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith (against his onset…)” I Peter 5:8-9. Life is easier when I am obedient to God and resist things in my life at their onset, when they are still small, before they find a way to attach themselves to me.


Always Here with Me

“I’ve been carrying you on my back from the day you were born And I’ll keep on carrying...
article post

I’m Powerless

This last week has been really crazy for me. I’ve been reminded over and over just how...
article post

Allowed to Hunger

Deuteronomy 8:2-3. The setting: Israel is at the Jordan River preparing to cross over...
article post

Weeding Out Sins in My Personal Life

It’s that time of year again; the dandelions are growing at warp speed. I just got in...
article post