Wednesday, January 20, 2010


How did I ever pass college statistics?  Its intricate details of mathematical equations amazed and perplexed me.  Its formulas and problems seemed so infinite, so mysterious, so distanced.   

I am not a math person, and with much intimidation, I took the class twelve years ago, only to satisfy degree requirements.  Today, I am still in awe of its challenges and gladly admit that only by God's grace did I overcome them and pass the course.

Only by His grace did I deal with the samplings, variables, and probabilities.  God is good and merciful!

I respect disciplines that deal with numbers.  I understand them little, but appreciate those who do and use their knowledge to help others.

I have very limited knowledge of algebraic equations, statistical probabilites, etc.  But one thing I truly comprehend:  Such equations and probabilites, their designs, and their designers do not compare to the wisdom, depth, ways, and mystery of God.  He designed our world and its capabilites to yield to mathematical equations.  God's ways pass all human understanding.  His thoughts, His creation, transcend, perplex, and overwhelm the greatest statisticians.

God is infinite.  God is the Master Designer of all good things.  God is wisdom.  God is holy.  God is truth.  And, God is personal.

Our Father God, with His personal application, has His Own way of showing us His ways.  He has given us His holy word and the Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us in every area of our lives. I often remind myself of the Psalmist's revelation that even our steps are planned by our heavenly Father.  So, why should we ever glance from the Lord's especial prepared path or question His limitless, interpersonal wisdom?  In our humanness, we all seem to have a weakness for stumbling through life's fog and wanting to find our own way. 

"If I can just make this change in my life, things will be easier."  "If I can somehow make this idea work, my relationships will be smoother."  If I could just have God's blessings in this area of my life, I know I would be happy."

If. . . .If I had a hundred dollars for every time I tried on my own to improve my life and find a better way to do things, I would be a very rich woman by now; i.e., my own pride and ignorance have escorted me into the valley of pain many times, the sum of which has equaled a very accurate dose of humility and an unpleasant adjustment of my attitude.

God is so faithful!  If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know I marvel at His faithfulness, and I hope not to sound like a broken record, but the patience and longsuffering of God simply amazes me, and I have a hard time withholding praise for the personal meaning of that truth!

God is faitfhul. He is the One Who speaks in your life, even when you have made that wrong turn, even when your wrong turn has sent you in circles or routed you into a ditch.

God is faithful.  Through His loving Spirit, He speaks very intimately to us when we carelessly find ourselves on a dead end drive.  He is the One Who interrupts our own well-meant, but delirious plans. 

God is faithful.  He is the fire sent from heaven that suddenly licks its flame into your dearest dreams and destroys the "I" in them all.  He is the still, small voice that wrecks your direction and changes your life.  He is the Author of your faith, Who at will turns your pages to write His own lines, so your story will end the way He wrote it ages ago.

Yes, precious one, God is faithful.

Were it not for the patience and longsuffering of God I would be in the middle of the Mojave by now without water, food, or shelter.

He knows my frame. My heavenly Father knows my good intentions, though very unworthy, have always been pursued with a dusty, fragile, imperfect fleshly temple that reasoned and dreamed its way into a dizzy drama.

As a young wife and mother of twenty-four years old, I reasoned my way into nursing school.  "We need financial stability."  "The ministry is so hard."  "A nursing career will bring peace to our home."  "I can help others and help my family at the same time."

I mused myself into a mess.  I talked myself into near tragedy.  I ignored the precious, still small voice that told me something was wrong with the whole idea and to let it go. 

I enrolled in school.  Little I did prospered.  God refused to bless my plan.  My little ones suffered.  My husband suffered.  I suffered.  Yet, I persevered, being the stubborn girl I can be. 

Finally, I awoke one morning violently ill.  I vomited almost incessantly and was rushed to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with severe dehydration and dangerously low blood pressure. 

It took one month of recovery, which required my withdrawal from school.  I knew the Lord had had His way, and though repentent, I had a small fragment of hope of returning to my dream.  The fleshly, selfish nature of Andrea still did not want to let go. 

One afternoon, I sat on my sofa, questioning if I should go back.  I started planning to call the school and reenter.  My fleshly reasoning was hemming me back into the corner of disobedience.

Suddenly, in the midst of my daydreams, I heard my little sons crying out from our hallway.  I ran as quickly as I could to find they had found my blood pressure cuff, and in playing with it, had it wrapped around Chris's arm.  It was cutting off his circulation and was so tightly fixed and tangled I couldn't get it off.  I cried out to the Lord for help, and with God's intervention, His wisdom, I was able to free Chris from the product of my own rebellious nature.

I held and clung to my children and thanked God for His deliverance.  Later, I called the school.  I spoke with the secretary in the nursing department and told her I had some books and equipment I wanted to sell.  And I never once looked back.

Friends, we do not understand the reason behind God's voice.  But we really do not need to understand.  We only need obedience and trust in His will.  His will is always His best.

Not His better.  His best.  What a perfect "selah moment!"  Stop, and calmly think about it. Rest in that truth.  Absorb the reality of your possibilities with God's best.

Your Designer, your Architect, your Provider holds your best in His hands.

Dear, precious one, if you are struggling today with your own dreams, if you know in your heart you are hearing God's voice, as the Apostle Paul did, when the Lord asked Paul why he insisted on going against the grain (Acts 26:14, The Message), then take a few quiet moments to drink in the Lord's unconditional love for you and contemplate how through that divine love He gives you all good things.

If through struggle and conflict you are weary from keeping a genuine divine dream alive, take heart of that same love, knowing the One who birthed in you His desire will most surely bring it to fulfillment.  You have had realization in your spirit.  And, God, Who planted the vision, will pour the oil and wine in His season.

Perhaps you have broken dreams.  You heard God's voice in the past.  His vision for your life has now become a road invisible, filled with fog.  The enemy somehow foiled the Lord's plans for you through sin or discourgement or other devices.  Satan uses those broken dreams to bring you to further discouragement and make you feel like a failure, but I assure you, dear friend, that the Lord is your healer and restorer.  Jehovah, the sovereign Lord, can "put breath into you and make you live again!" (Ezekiel 37:5, NLT).  Call His name!  Forget your past!  Forgive yourself!  Have new hope!   

Receive God's best for you today.  He loves you so.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


"All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired." 

 Martin Luther

It was up to my knees!  My four year old feet, donned in little girl boots, struggled to keep up with my dad as we made our way to the basement of our Atlanta, Georgia, home, looking for a shovel.  The grounds of our little Cape-Cod cottage on a hill were covered in snow, and with each step, I felt a candylike crunch beneath my feet.  I had to pull my petite self along through the frozen slush.  It must have been one of those Southern snows that is first a lovely, fluffy white but then becomes a nightmarish, slilppery, four-inch-thick cake, iced with sheer ice.

The cold and the wet white did not delight me then.  I had not yet learned the blessing it could be.  I wanted to be in the warmth of my cozy, lavender bedroom, surrounded by my dolls and tea sets and other toys.  Why in the world I was helping Daddy look for a shovel I do not know.  All I know is that tiny snippet of shovel-searching is my first snow memory.

Many snow memories have followed, and all of them have been joyful events, including the newest one, which occured today here in northern Alabama.  If I gazed out the window once today, I did so about thirty times, and by now, I know my friends who live in a proverbial blanket of white each winter must be laughing or shaking their heads in disbelief.

But a snow day in the Deep South is a gift of true luxury.  Children, of all ages, pray for it and wait for it each winter with great expectations, and when the sparkling specks of white begin to drift from the heavens and cling to the earth, we are overcome with joy and thankfulness for a few days of snowbound life if we're twice blessed.

You see, the rarity of our white blessing does not justify the purchase by our cities and counties for enough  trucks and plows and whatever it takes to clear the roads and keep them safe.  Henceforth, when snow accumulates, roads, schools, and most businesses close, and you hope you have been to the grocery store, for, short of an emergency, you may be homebound until temperatures climb above freezing.  A day that begins in normality suddenly turns into a new beginning of a blissful mini-vacation, as you are tucked within your home, nestled wtih family, food, and fun.

And, if you happen to have an empty nest, you have a lot of time of think.  Today was opportunity.

I am a constant analyser and assessor of self.  I observe my own motives.  Listen to my own voice.  Search my own soul.  Hear my own heart.

It is not easy.  It hurts.  It is exhausting.  It is costly.

For part of my morning devotional today, the Lord led me to Psalm 51.  It is David's offering of repentance after his sin of adultry with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.

What impresses me most with the Psalm, are David's brokenness and honesty.  His words are woven with grief and watered with remorse.  His desire for God's grace and mercy rings with desperate appeal.  "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (7, NKJV).

I imagine David's painful prayer.  I see him walk and raise his voice to heaven.  I see him lie in dust and declare his demise.  I see him, in despair, rue the day of his birth.  I see him sink in sorrow, his face drowned by hot tears.   

I hear David cry and beg for God's mercy, and I hear the King weep and wail for his sin. 

David's guilt and pain gripped his life and tortured his soul.   

Through his own guilt, through the painful suffering of personal remorse, David discovers the true values of God.  As the psalmist experiences the reality of his own sin, as David faces his own failure and looks at that sin and failure through the eyes of His Redeemer, David has an incredible moment of truth.  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart - these, O God, You will not despise" (17, NKJV).     

What an awesome moment of revelation!  What an awesome moment of relief!  God does not desire burnt offering for the sake of the offering.  God desires brokenness.  Humility.  Our own realization of our own spiritual helplessness.  God desires remorse.  Real repentence.  Deep sorrow that makes you want to change your life and never be the same again.

David found that humility and repentance for his crisis of sin.  We can find it, too, for any and every moment in our lives, even though what troubles us may seem so small.

How can we find brokenness, humility?  How can we experience great depth of sorrow for our sins, faults,  failures, and needs?  How can we grow into the reality of our weaknesses?  How can we have Holy Spirit transformation in our lives?  How can we change?

As David did - only through God's creation.  What emotion the psalmist must have felt as he wrote, "Create in me a clean (pure, holy, free from corruption) heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" (10, NKJV). 

Listen, friends!  The Hebrew word David uses for create is the same one used in Genesis 1:1!  The psalmist confessed his inability!  The psalmist proclaimed God's ability!

David's answer, our answer, is the creative voice of God spoken into our lives.  The same voice that said, "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3), is more than able to speak His power into our lives and give us whatever we need, including a new heart.   

A new heart!  It's what I'm seeking this year.  I want a heart like Jesus' heart.  Honestly, it intimidates me to pray for it.  I know it will not come cheaply.  In fact, I am very sure it has great cost.  I hope I am ready to pay the price for a new heart!  To sacrifice for God's miraculous moving with power! 

Will you please join me in this journey?  If not, will you please pray for me?  Ask the Lord to give me the tenacity and faith to allow Him to speak His creative word and do His creative work, so I will be a vessel that pleases God. 

The Lord is so good!  He has prepared our steps!  Each part of our day was planned and written in His book before our very conception (Psalm 139:16). 

Today was the day that snow would have new symbolism for me.  When I awoke this morning, I had no idea God would bring such a prolific metaphor into my life!  The clean, white dust from heaven tells of a merciful God who purifies and renews and speaks creative miracles into my life and your life.  Falling snow is new hope.  New hope is new creation.  New creation is new life.  New life means a new heart.  Praise His name, Elohim, the God Who creates! 

Friday, January 01, 2010


NEW!!!  Fresh!  Different from the former or old!  Not previously experienced or encountered is our 2010!  It is novel!  It is now!  It is tomorrow and its 364 days!  And it is opportunity for new discoveries in our life with Christ! 

The Greek word for new is Kainos, which means unprecedented, uncommon, and novel.  Kainos is used forty-four times in the New Testament, and the Word of God speaks, boldly proclaims, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation; the old has gone, the NEW has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV). 

Our new has come!  And you, dear friend, today, in this fresh beginning, in this new year, are novel.  No one else is like you.  You are God's choice servant, and you are a new creation in Christ Jesus, an unprecedented work of His grace! 

And, what God has for you is kainos!  His new! God is always at work in your life.  He is a 24/7 God!  And His handiwork in your life in 2010 will be a new thing not even considered by you before God brings it to pass in your life.  Yes, that is your 2010!  That is your new year!  A gift of the unworn, unused, unprecedented, uncommon!  Behold, it is here, and what God opens, no person has power to close.  Praise His name! 

Rejoice!  Be glad!  Proclaim God as your God of your new year!

Expect!  Receive, day by day, God's kainos for you! 

Name!  Pray the word of God into those areas of your life that need His new!

Exalt!  Lift up Jesus, bring Him glory, in everything you say and do in 2010!

Wait!  Be still and know that He is God this very moment and in every moment of your new year!

Escape!  Avoid any snare the enemy has for you by finding safety in your Strong Tower and His truth!

Determine!  Trust in the arms of your Shepherd, Who loves you and guides your steps!  He cannot fail you!

Blessings to all of you!  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!  I admit I was not very sad to say, "Goodbye" to 2009!  I am  looking forward to God's moving and His giving of His best for 2010!

Dear Father God, how great your are!  You are the One, the only, true God, and I praise you for our Rock, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and His name that is above every other name!  Oh, Lord, help us all to seek Your glory for this new year!  When we get ahead of You, please bring us back to your side with your Shepherd's staff and rod.  And, dear Father, help us to trust Your work in our lives and to believe and see Your glory.  We give you and will give you praise and honor forever!  Amen!

I love you all, dearest friends!!!