Sunday, September 9, 2012


This photo was taken in Oregon near the Columbia River.  It's a power plant with a whole lot of voltage.  I chose this picture because it represents a vast amount of power that must be tapped into in order to reap the benefits that it offers.  In other words, sometimes you just gotta flip the switch.  This offers us a picture of what Christ does in the life of a Christian.  Here's how it goes:

There are two spiritual impossibilities:  It is impossible to make it to Heaven on your own (you must accept the sacrifice of Christ's death as payment for your sins to be saved) and secondly, it is impossible to go out in your own strength and live the Christian life.  The end of Colossians 1:27 tells it like this, "...Christ in you, the hope of glory."  That's what makes the difference -- Christ living in and through you.  You might ask, "Well, what does that look like in real life?  What does it look like to live a day walking with God?"

Here's what Paul said about that in Colossians 2:6:  "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness."  So, Paul is saying we can live in Christ and He in us in the same way that we received Him.

How did we receive Christ as Savior?  "For by grace you have been saved, through faith..." Ephesians 2:8.  So, living in Christ daily is accomplished by grace through faith.  This is a powerful truth (remember the power available from a power plant?  This is even greater) that can make all the difference between you as a Christian spending a lifetime "going through the motions: of trying to live a good Christian life -- or -- of serving Christ fully and reaping the joy and peace of an empowered Christian life lived in His strength.

You have two choices:  leave the switch to the "off" position following the verse in John 15, "Without Me, you can do nothing," Jesus says, and go through life lacking power.  Or, you can flip the switch to the "on" position and reap the benefits of power by claiming the promise in Philippians 4:  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  There's no in between.  The switch is either on or off.  You either let Christ empower you or you don't.  It's your choice.

Once again, you might ask, "What does that look like in real life?"  It looks like what David said in Psalm 37:4:  "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  And also a statement made by well-known pastor, A.W. Tozer:  "As God is exalted to the right place in our lives, a thousand problems are solved all at once."

Here's what those two truths put together mean:  If we will delight ourselves in the Lord God -- then, He will be exalted to the right place in our lives and -- as scripture tells us, then, He will give you the desires of your heart, because they will have become the desires of His heart -- and then, a thousand problems are solved all at once.  It all fits together like a beautiful puzzle that produces peace and joy when it's completed.

This doesn't meant that our lives are suppose to be perfect or without sin and struggle.  Hey, we're still living on old planet earth where sin abounds, but remember, "where sin abounds, grace much more abounds" Romans 5:20.

Here's a simple way to start living in the power of Christ (who already lives in you if you are a Christian).  Just take it one day at a time -- each morning -- asking God to live through you, empowering you to live the Christian life He wants for you and to help you delight in Him.  Believe me, you'll have more joy and peace in your life -- and you'll also find the answer to what it looks like to live a day walking with God.

Monday, September 3, 2012


This photo was taken in the country of Belize when we were on a Caribbean cruise a couple years ago.  As you can see, the mailbox is in a sad state of disrepair.  I'm not even sure if this mailbox was still in use or not.  I have to say, the whole downtown area of Belize City that we walked around was in a sad state of disrepair.  This old mailbox still shows signs of British rule with the Queen Elizabeth crown just above the broken base.  In spite of the damage, I still saw remnants of dignity in it.

I chose this photo to use to represent the idea of communication.  God communicates with His children in a number of ways.  Although He doesn't use a mailbox, He did use letters sent by Paul as one way of getting His message to us.  The entire Holy Bible is basically a love letter written by God (through His choice servants) to His dear children.  How amazing to think that the Creator of the whole universe sent us such a detailed and expansive communication.  Together -- the Holy Spirit and the Bible are the most precious and vital links between man and God.

Even so, there are other ways that God speaks to us.  He speaks through preachers and teachers as they proclaim the Word of God in ways that help us understand.  God sometimes speaks directly to the heart of a believer as well, and such times are incredibly precious and amazing.

Then, there are the messages God offers us through the earth and all His creation.  In Psalm 19:1-4, it is written:  "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."  Look around -- and listen to hear God speaking to you through His great creation.

Now, as we think about communication, I'd like to ask you -- my readers -- to please communicate with me.  I'd love to meet you and hear what you have to say about God -- or anything else.  And any questions you might have that you'd like to ask.  Is anyone out there?  Send me a "comment," I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Poem: Broken...and Mended Again

We all grieve when we lose someone in death, but we need to have faith that God will heal and that life will be good again.  These were the thoughts I wanted to encourage my Mother with after Daddy's death when God gave me this poem.  And, sure enough, she healed and life had many good years and good times for her again.  The photo I've included is from New Bern, NC -- butterflies on a flower in the garden of the Governor's Palace.  The butterflies signify a changed and beautiful life.


Our beautiful life together was shattered.
Broken pieces lay around me like silent
reminders of what had been.
Slivers of love and security lay in
one corner, while bits of companionship
and mirth had fallen to the side.
So much of value was irretrievably lost.
I stared at the mess, daunted by
the dreadful destruction of my life.
Dare I pick up the pieces? Dare I try
to put them back together again?
Broken fragments glittered in the sunlight,
as if mocking my loss.
Could the glue of perseverance and hope
hold the fragile pieces together?
Was it possible for life to continue as it had before?

                   ...AND MENDED AGAIN

Hope glimmered at the edge of my mind.
Maybe, just maybe, some of the broken fragments
could be pieced together again.
They might form some semblance of a whole.
Not as they had been before. No.
But still, something good and useful.
I measured the damage, checked out the ruin,
and pulled out my glue gun.
A dash of faith here, a dollop of good-cheer there,
a bit of fortitude spread all around, and voila!
A new existence had been created.
Endurance triumphs over emptiness, and
a whole blossoms from broken pieces.
Cracks still remain, and sometimes the
glue pulls apart at the edges. Nonetheless,
victory has been won and, once again, life is good.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Who Am I?

Here are two poems with one theme - the feeling of loss when a spouse or someone dear to you leaves or passes away.  I wrote these two poems after my father died in 1995, when God helped me empathize with my mother and her great loss.  These poems were from her point-of-view and helped me understand some of what she felt.  I thought perhaps someone might need them today.

    Without Him
He and she, she and he.
Always together, never apart.
Year after year,
The tie that binds
Wound tighter and tighter.
When he laughed, she laughed;
When he was sad, she was sadder.
His habits were ingrained in
Her daily routine, and she
Lived for the light of his smile.
His smile was taken away, and
Her world suddenly darkened
How to survive in the half-light
Of each new day. A day without him.

   Who Am I?
She was a part of him;
Her identity entwined with his,
Melding together into one.
When their union was torn asunder
She asked, "Who am I now?"
Her movements were unsure;
Her thoughts full of questions.
The whole had been split into half.
How does half a person carry on?

PHOTO: I took the picture in Loveland, Colorado. The statue is entitled "Flora," by Joe Hess. She looks sad, as if she too might have lost someone she loves.