Low Battery

low-batteryMy tablet gave me a soft beep-beep. A warning came on the screen. Low battery. Time to plug it into the charger. If only our spirits came with such a warning…perhaps they do.

I hate for my phone or my tablet’s battery to get low. What if it dies just when I need it most? So I have made a habit of plugging them in when I get home each night. Usually. I forgot last night, and got the warning signal today. Oops.

Like my tablet, there are signs that indicate when I am running low on faith.  Perhaps I just don’t feel a s forgiving of others today, or as tolerant of their behavior. Personalities rub me wrong, like a towel dried without softener.  Frustration bubbles into my throat and a sense of anxiety nibbles at my psyche. I find my teeth keep clenching.

Faith, like energy, needs to be replenished. It is used all the time, sometimes more days than others if we are honest,  and I think it can run out if it is not continually renewed. Of course we have an initial faith in God, which prompted us to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and that I am sure it never runs completely dry once we have the Holy Spirit alive in us.

Am I as diligent about plugging into God as I am plugging in my phone?

I know there are times, like my tablet or phone, I have felt as if I was running on empty.  Dragging through my emptyday, zombie-like, and not due to lack of sleep, I felt drained of energy.  At times like these, I can almost hear a small beep-beep sounding in my soul. “Come back to the charger. Return to my Word. Fill up on my promises and love. Renew your strength. Pray.”

God taps my shoulder in many ways. If you have been reading this blog a while, or have read my book, Experiencing the Present of His Presence, you know His message can come to me in something I’ve spotted in nature, in a household item, a verse in Scripture, words to a hymn…His ways to communicate with us are endless.  I have learned those taps are like the beeps on my tablet. Time to plug back in to the Source. I need God’s power to fill me up again and fuel my faith. Through prayer and study of Scripture, I need to reconnect to the Almighty.

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Psalm 68:35

Prudence dictates I should never let my faith run low, because I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I made need all of the spiritual energy I have inside to make it through that day. But God knows.  As He prompted Joseph in Egypt to store up grain, before the famine hits in the form of an unforeseen tragedy, illness or stressful event, I need to store up my spiritual energy and keep it full, day by day. That comes through reading His Word and prayer.

the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel…   Colossians 1:5

If you are run down, anxious, easily irritated, or short tempered as of late, perhaps the Holy Spirit is prompting you to re-connect to the Word of God. Maybe you need more prayer time to refuel your faith and energize your spiritual life.

After dedicating several hours of God-and-me time to read, reflect and pray in order to to fill you up,  you can stay full if you return to the charger each day. As little as a half hour a day can help to keep that indicator near full.

So go ahead. Plug in.




Mind the Gap

titles-mind-the-gap-largeWhen I was in London several years ago, there were signs reminding people to be aware of the gap between the platform and the subway car. “Mind the Gap” paraphernalia was everywhere, so I bought a magnet as a memento. I stuck it on my fridge.

Tonight, God spoke that message into my heart. Mind the gap.

There is a great chasm between earth and heaven, between the temporal and the eternal, between sin and grace. this moment and the unknown. It was bridged by Jesus’s death on the cross because we humans were unable to cross it on our own.  Our doubts, worries and sins keep us separated from the Holy.

The gap didn’t disappear.  It is still there. God in His wisdom and crack-576083_1280knowledge of all things eternal stands outside of our wisdom and knowledge of only this moment and  our memory-colored past. He sees it all, past present and future, beyond the shackles of time. He knows. That is why Jesus stated, “I am the Way.”

When life gets to me and the unknown begins to make my stomach clench, I need to mind the gap. I must remember that the One who loves me, more than conceivably possible, stands on the other side. He is holding out His nail-scarred hand, ready to grasp mine and help me across into tomorrow the way a Victorian gentleman would help a lady traverse a puddle. I must trust He will guide me safely and not let go.

Whatever happens, He is already there.  My role is to hold out my hand for Him to grasp, and then wait for the moment when His strength guides me and keeps me from tripping over the gap in trust I’ve caused by worry.

Like Indiana Jones in the Quest for the Holy Grail movie, I must have the faith to take that first step across the traverse, trusting in God to keep me from falling. That means realizing my limitations and His power.

Mind the Gap.

He is God,

I am not.

He knows all,

I only know this breath I take.

He holds tomorrow,

even though I worry about what tomorrow holds.


A magnet on my fridge, used by God to whisper a message into my heart.  Mind the gap. Remember who I am and that I’m here to guide you.

Tonight, I will sleep a bit sounder.


Liquid Faith

candle-1428234_1280Have you ever noticed that a candle doesn’t burn long if the heat of the lighted wick does not begin to melt it?  The wick ignites the flame, but it will quickly snuff if the wax around the wick doesn’t start to liquefy. The closer the wax is to the flame’s heat, the quicker it melts.

As kids, my sister  and I used to love to swipe our pinkie fingers through the liquid wax and watch it almost instantly turn opaque again on our fingers. Wax, when taken from  the flame, solidifies again in an instant.

So, where am I going with this?  John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I have often heard about solidifying my faith, but I suggest we keep our faith liquid. We need to remain close to the fire of the Holy Spirit and the Light of Christ. We need to melt into a clearness that is pure and fluid.

Alone, we become opaque. We hide our true selves from others and mold to our surroundings.  But as the Light of Christ pours into our hearts and souls, we melt in His loving presence in order to become molded by Him. We are free to be transparent. After all He is God. He sees everything anyway and still loves us enough to give His life so we can be in communion with Him once again. Through His light, people can clearly see our witness.

Now, occasionally a bit of soot may drop into the hot liquid wax from the wick.  But, in it’s melted state, it is easy to see the soot particles and then scoop them out. Much easier than if there was no flame and the soot became embedded into the solid, cloudy wax. We could dig down deep into the wax and find the soot ourselves, but how much better to let the flame melt the wax so it is easier to see and remove.

Any sootiness we have can be eradicated as well as long as the flame of Christ burns in us.  He fuels our faith, right?  Our sins may be revealed in His fire, but He makes it easier to remove them. Truth be told, we will be less scarred and gouged in the process than if we try ourselves.

No matter what is happening right now in your life, melt into God’s love. Let His fire purify and liquefy you. You will most likely find purpose in your struggles, even if it only used to draw people near to the flame as they marvel at your ability to smile through it all. Or perhaps, a bit of soot will be revealed and removed so you can more clearly reflect His love.

Plant That Idea

I’m like a plant. Bet you are, too.

Our Bible Study Fellowship lesson on the Gospel of John made a great analogy: plants naturally gravitate to the light because they need it to thrive.

green-19817_1280I have to turn my house plants ever so often or they will grow crookedly. They will repeatedly bend towards the source of light coming into my apartment from the window. Pretty soon, if I don’t rotate them, one half of the plants will be bare. Those leaves on the dark side will shrivel and die.  The side aimed toward  the light will flourish and grow. However, it will be at a skewed angle, and some of the leaves may be crowded out. It won’t look very healthy because the whole plant hasn’t been exposed the same amount to light.

That made me realize I am like that plant. Plants are wise. They know they need light to grow. Shouldn’t we humans do the same?  Yet so often we don’t. We would prefer Christ’s light not expose certain areas of our hearts, minds and souls. “Let’s keep that one hidden, God, okay? Not ready to reveal that to myself yet.”  I have heard people state they are afraid to expose certain things they have buried ( in darkness) for fear of what might ooze up.

 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:4-5

burning candle isolated on black background

burning candle isolated on black background

But if we only let Christ shine into parts of our lives–you know, the good sides of us we want emphasized–we will not grow correctly. We will be skewed. Part of us will flourish, but another part will wither. We will be spiritually deformed. People will notice.

It’s time I turned some parts of myself to God’s gracious light full on, and allow Him to lovingly expose some leaves in me that need to grow.  After all, as a new creation in Christ, it is my instinct to turn to the Son, just as a plant’s is to turn its leaves to the sun.

How about you? Has my house plant example helped “plant” the same idea in your heart?

Straighten Up

It  had been a rough week.  My son had been in the hospital after a  hit and run for ten days, undergone two surgeries, and the returned three days after he was finally released because he popped stitches. Next, my bad knee decided not to support me and I fell, jamming a toe and severely spraining my writing hand. I felt angry, useless, and my bruised body now matched my heart.

But through it all, there were God-moments sprinkled in, like a soft misting rain on a hot summer day.  I kept humming the new song by Toby Mac- move, keep walking. Lift your head.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX1G71WK-FA

Then, to celebrate the fact we both were well enough to finally go to church, afterwards we went to our favorite local Chinese restaurant. This was the message in my fortune cookie:


A smile is a curve that can get a lot of things straight.

Straighten up. Smile, keep going, shoulders back. These orders, long ago said by parents, teachers and coaches, whispered in my mind. It is all about attitude.

I could have wrung my hands, moaned, “Why me, Lord?”, and shuffled through these events with my head down and shoulders slumped. But, God’s little hugs in the form of serendipity after serendipity (too numerous to mention here), friends’ comments and prayers, and even songs on the radio at just the right moment lifted me.  Even through tears and moments of anxiousness, I could find something to smile about.

We all can.

If we can wrap our faith around the concept that God loves us and will walk with us through all the times in our lives, good or bad, then we can retain a joyful spirit even if we are not feeling particularly happy at the time.  Mentally and physically exhausted, at the end of my rope time and time again I found a “NOT”. You are not alone. You  are not meant to handle this all by yourself. You are not cursed, but blessed. 

I feel blessed that God gave me the faith to reach out to Him, and to friends.  I don’t have to be strong alone. I don’t have to pull up my big girl panties by myself. I have a Lord who wants to bear my yoke and help me carry the load.  Because He provides the strength,I can do it. (Philippians 4:13)  I can straighten up and smile.

No matter what curves life throws, we can keep on the straight and narrow.  Just move, keep walking. Lift your head…to Jesus.  And smile.




Jesus commanded us to Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20a)

Two things are required in order to “go” and spread the gospel.

Grace and Obedience.

The first is God’s gift, and the second is our response to that gift. Grace is the giving of something we could never earn. Through God’s grace, by the death of Jesus for our sins, we are made “worthy” to be his disciples. We obediently step out, believing God will bless our efforts in His perfect plan and timing.

The focus then shifts from our abilities to His capability.

So, go, my friend. It’s all right.  Whether it is next door or halfway around the world, the Holy Spirit goes with you.  Jesus promised that.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20b)


Noel Coward once sang, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. ” Any Texan can relate to that, especially July-September.  Shade is a rare and precious commodity. So, when I looked out the window after church and saw these grackles huddled under my car, I laughed. Then I paused and thought…hmmm? Am I that smart?

IMAG0514Four years ago when I felt called to start this blog, I told the Lord that He’d have to show me obvious evidences of Him in my day so I could relay it to others. He has been faithful to do that, and this day was no different. Those birds taught me a deep truth.

If I was a grackle, more than likely I’d be worried that small water puddle might dry up and I couldn’t get a drink. What if no juicy bugs crawled by for hours on end.  Shouldn’t I be out there pecking around for them? What if the car moved? Well, I might doze off and get caught under it’s wheel.

But you see, I think the birds live in the moment, and then the next, confident God will take care of them. Instinctively they seek shelter.

In Matthew 6:26-27, Jesus states:  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[?

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan for the future. That is being a good steward of our finances. However, there are times we all need to know when to just seek the shelter of the shade, that is God’s protection and love, and trust. Agreed?

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