The Invitation

Jesus’ new command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  John 15:12 (NIV)

A beautiful vintage  invitation arrives inviting you and a friend to dine with Jesus.

You and your friend are ushered to the end of the table.  You are the farthest away from Jesus.

You look around the table at the other guests:

  • Many look and smell really bad
  • A few you’re not sure if they are men or women
  • Anti-socials who look scared, are crying, mumble to themselves or look like they are plotting to kill someone
  • Convicted criminals
  • And “non-Christians”

You take another look at your invitation. It’s a party for the least, lost, last and left out.

Your friend asks, ““Why did Jesus invite these people?” Matthew 9:11

What is your answer? Who did you invite to come with you? Why were you invited?

Lord, thank you for inviting me to the table. Amen.

Grab Your Cross

Matthew 16:24

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Wooden-Cross-weatheredJesus, I WANT to be your disciple.  Help me find myself to deny.   I want to lay down my shame and pick up my cross.

The journey to the cross is difficult.  I have fallen and stumbled so many times.

Give me the strength to carry my cross.  Help me lift my head to keep my eyes on you.  I want to follow you.  I want to be your disciple.

Thank you Lord for being there to pick me up.  Thank you for wiping my tears.  Thank you for your warm embrace.  Thank you for brushing the dirt off.  Thank you for inspiring me to take another step. Let it rain Lord.  We’ve been through worse.  I love you!  I will go where you go.  Your people will be my people (Ruth 1:16). Amen.

Shedding Shame

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Mud Delight – Add delight to any word and it sounds like dessert. Did Peter know all his weaknesses would forever be remembered in your Word?

If we all make mistakes, if we all sin – why is it so embarrassing? Why do I still feel ashamed of mistakes I made over 20 years ago? Why do I carry the shame of someone else’s sin?

I am weak – I want your strength.

The world is so judgmental, hypocritical and hostile. Shed my shame.  I gladly give it up, leaving it on our journey to the cross. Keep me focused on your love, grace & fellowship of believers.

Lord, thank you for your saving grace. Peel the shame from its grasp around my neck.  Help me to speak out in truth. Give me your peace. Help me to endure. Inspire me to love and be joyful for my weakness. Thankful for your strength. Amen.

Anna the Prophet

The bible has many female prophets who speak for God in the old and new testament. Anna, the prophetess joins us in Luke 2 when Mary and Joseph take their new forty day old circumcised newborn named Jesus (the name given by the angel before he was conceived) to the temple in Jerusalem for purification and to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law.  They bring a holy offering, a pair of doves or two young pigeons as prescribed in God’s Law.  The offering of birds instead of a lamb notes their poverty. Doves

Although Jesus is God, his parents still follow the rules and make their offering.  God doesn’t give himself a free pass as many in authority do.

Anna the prophetess was a very old woman, married only seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers.

Anna seems content to be a widow and subject to the generosity of the Temple community. This is interesting since scriptures usually encourage us to pity widows, orphans and spinster dependents. Anna’s implied joy is an inspiration making me wonder about the rest of her story.  Was she a victim of violence?  Abused as a child?  Is her life in the temple much easier and blessed than her childhood and years of marriage?

Luke describes her as a prophet.  Anna was given the honor of speaking for God which gave her respect and authority despite her gender. She had a close personal relationship with GOD.

Anna showed up at the temple, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.  Anna was a voice of hope, pointing to the gift of Christmas – Jesus!

Thank you Lord for coming to us, following the rules and calling women like Anna to be your voice in the darkness.  Bring us your peace. Amen

My Hero!

TrinityCreator of the Universe! Savior of the World! Comforter!  Healer! Friend to the lost, least and left out! Father to all! Able to give sight to the blind, make the lame walk and bring the dead back to life!

My Hero – the Trinity – Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit! Why settle for one hero when you can have a whole team?

The Trinity is persistent!  A hero not bound by time or place.  My Trinity never gives up.

My Hero is a constant companion; always with me since the day I was baptized!

Jesus walks with me; held me and wiped my tears when I was abused, my brother committed suicide and every other painful moment of my life.

My Hero tried many times to rescue me but I’m difficult to save. My Hero never gave up on me; leading many people into my life to save me from the cycles of abuse.

The Holy Spirit gave me courage and inspired others…my former therapist, a pastor, my doctor, the police…to rescue my son and me; and keep us safe.

Finally, I leaned upon the Holy Spirit, said good-bye to my abusive relationships and committed to keeping my children safe and learning to live in truth.  In one single moment I went from hoping for a short life to praying for a long life.  Thanks to my Hero, my children and I were finally able to enjoy the unique gift of safety.

The Trinity gave me a new path, enabled me to forgive and love my abusers from a safe distance, to accept a new family, my church family; and gives me the courage and honor of sharing my story in the hope of inspiring someone else.

Do you need a Hero?

The Trinity’s only weakness-rejection.  Hates sin, but love sinners. Embrace a triangle; you may discover a diamond of a Hero! Amen!

The Beginning

In the beginning God (The Father) created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the (Holy) Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said (Jesus), “Let there be light,” and there was light…” Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV)

Freshly Dressed

Luke 12:26-28 (NIV)

…Why do you worry…?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

Have you ever had a selfish moment, day or season? Well this is a shallow post for my selfish season.

Last night I was touched by God in a really fun way at the Women’s Christmas party.

My daughter is sick again. I’ve been tired, scared and a bit freshtrated!

I can see the concern in my husband’s eyes and hands. I’m dumbfounded our teenage daughter is so accepting of her illness, even when she cries out in pain, she rarely complains.

I know it’s not about me but I feel helpless. I have no “mom” tricks to ease the pain or make it better. We’re in the holding pen as we wait for test results and next steps.

Last night we went to the Christmas party and every gift I opened was immediately stolen by someone else. I became the official gift opener. Until I opened my last package which held my gift.

I’d picked it up before and heard that quiet voice saying it was mine but I chose other more colorful packages which all revealed great gifts quickly snatched. Finally I opened my gift, the scarf featured in the photo.

My eyes smiled and my lip curled up the moment I saw it. I knew it was mine! It matched the shoes I bought the day before.

It was soft like the tender touch of a fellow sisters’ hand during challenging times. Around my shoulders, it feels like being wrapped in angel wings.

It softly whispers, I’ve heard you daughter. I love you and I’m here!

The daily post of the day asks if I had to make a choice, would I stop blogging or stop reading posts? Writing or reading? Talking or listening?

I’m ashamed to admit, I’d stop blogging. I’d stop putting myself out there for public consumption.

I’d return to my closet, wait for better times, wrapped in my new soft scarf that matches my shoes.

There are so many great blogs on WordPress!  Would I really be missed? Is my story so unique? Different?… I’m not sure.

I may not be bold, but my new scarf is and so is my God! Amen!

I better grabbed my Kindle before heading for the closet! ❤

Oops! Teachable Blogging Moment!

OOOPS!  I repent!  I messed up!  I was in a fog!  My computer was acting funny…I was updating a post I published quickly yesterday and clicked the “REBLOG” button!  Oops! Not what I wanted – So I deleted (TRASHED)!  Return to blogging ignorance. Until…

Hubby (most faithful follower) called- “got new post message, clicked on it-got an error message”- Oooops! PANIC!  Dug REBLOG out of trash-REPOST- my followers?

Tried to publish an apology quickly but…let’s just say it wasn’t pretty!  Warp speed back to middle school, making bad choices, overcompensating, naked and worrying about losing good friends (faithful followers) Ugh!

Wonder the color of fools? Flushed or should be flushed…

Today’s message-Repentence!  I’m sorry!  Your time is valuable!  You are valuable to me! Please forgive me-I drove off this morning without the Holy Spirit but he (she) promises to arrive any moment by express…

The kitten?  Just makes me feel better! She’s a beautiful splash of color.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.