Just For You

Whatever you do, do your work from the soul, as for the Lord, rather than for men. – Colossians 3:23 (NASB)

If we were to play the “find something in your purse that tells us who you are” icebreaker, I would most certainly whip out my 4 color pen emblazoned with Thomas Jefferson’s words, “ I cannot live without books.” I’ve had a lifelong love affair with both novels and nonfiction, and I’m never more than an arms-length from the written word other than when I’m swimming in the ocean. And even then, there’s a paperback waiting for me in my beach bag.

I also confess to an inordinate desire for writing implements, and I’m constantly engaged in a quest for the perfect pen. As a child I longed for stamp pads and colored pencils, I begged my grandfather for his delicious new legal pads, and when my mom took us to the store I would always choose a treat from the stationery aisle rather than the toy department.

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Let the Circle be Unbroken: The Goodness of the Lord

Psalms 27:13-14:  I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

My mom was 86 years old when she finally decided she’d like to join the rest of her family in believer’s baptism. The timing was perfect: a reunion to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday meant her pastor grandson would be flying in for a visit. I was delighted to learn she’d asked my son Jon to baptize her and he’d agreed.

Jon wanted to be certain she understood the meaning of the step she was about to take, so before the baptism he took her through the relevant Scriptures, carefully and patiently explaining each one. Sitting down on the couch next to her grandson, Mom looked happy as could be and tried her best to follow along with her magnifying glass and large-print Bible. I was flooded with joy as I witnessed this conversation—what a marvelous culmination of years of prayer as both a daughter and a mother!

Mom leaned forward, listening intently and nodding, but when Jon began to read from Acts Chapter 8 about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, she got a puzzled look on her face. She stopped him right there and asked for clarification.

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Psalm for the Broken-Hearted

Today in 1 Samuel 16, as I continued my study in the life of David, I read how God used the young shepherd’s love and talent for music to minister peace. When King Saul suffered from severe bouts of depression and fear, his servants suggested music therapy:

“Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music and you will soon be well again.”

Whenever David played his harp for his king, Saul found relief. What a powerful gift God has given us in music!

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Living Crosswise: The Life of King David

As I begin to teach a series on the life of David for the women’s Bible study at my church, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm! All of the big themes the Lord has brought to my attention over the past few years are threaded throughout:

  • navigating the zigzag path of life’s relentless transition
  • honesty with God: a lifestyle of worship
  • transparency and vulnerability in relationships: mentoring
  • learning to be still
  • learning to be brave
  • bringing glory to God through the creative arts.

Although Joseph may run a close second, no one in Scripture had more ups and downs, twists and turns, highs and lows than David. And because he was a poet and songwriter, we get an intimate view into the heart of the man whose life exemplifies the truth that while change is constant, God is constant too.

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Target Practice

Spring was in glorious full bloom, and I thanked God for a few hours of solitude during a recent women’s retreat. As I hiked through the green hills and blossoming fields of the conference grounds, relishing the scent of pine and eucalyptus, I came through a clearing and found the archery range open for instruction. I welcomed this opportunity to try a new sport, and in so doing discovered that the Lord had a spiritual lesson targeted just for me that day.

Our genial, red-bearded instructor looked like a modern-day version of the ruddy, good-looking King David and immediately put me at ease. He gave me terminology and tips, followed by a masterful demonstration of his own prowess as a bowman. I watched him fit the notch of his arrow to the bowstring and take up his stance with precision. When he drew back and let it fly, he never missed the center of the target. Clearly he had plenty to teach me.

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