Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It Was I

"They did not realize it was I..."

This phrase (Hosea 11:3b) pulled me back for a closer look.
In the midst of reprimanding His people, God breaks into tender reminiscing, and Hosea describes the LORD's heart broken by the children He loved.

God had taught them to walk. Allowed their young fingers to curl around His pinky for support. Threw them up in the air and played hide and seek with them, all the while never leaving. God stood up to their bullies, provided bread when they thought they'd die, and healed them from diseases.

A father throws his giggling child up in the air. He knows his strength and grins at his child's willingness to trust. A mother gently leads her toddler, picking her up when she falls and kissing her bruises.

As the child grows, independence and self-sufficiency surge. She copies her neighbors' ways and ignores her parent's calls. 

Preoccupied with herself, Israel also forgot God's tenderness. She overlooked the ties of love that connected her to her Lord. God had stooped down to feed them and remove their yoke of slavery. But those were now faint memories. They were striking out on their own. 

"They did not realize it was I who healed them."


Oh God, please remind me that you didn't make me to live without Your love. I want to always realize Your loving interventions in my life.


Read Hosea 11.

Listen for God's voice calling you. What is He saying?

Are there life situations in which you've forgotten the Lord's loving presence?

Where has God been patient, healed you, fed and guided you?

Thankfully recount God's interventions. Don't give your heavenly Father an opportunity to say "They did not realize it was I..."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gentle Giant

Excitement buzzed through the hall as Rupert Boneham was being introduced. Known as a "gentle giant" and voted the million dollar winner on Survivor, he'd come to help raise funds for a mission to Tanzania. He looked the same: shaggy beard, tie dyed shirt, and cargo pants.

Winning (he tapped his temple) was more a matter of mental stamina than physical. He referenced a competitor and noted the difference between a survivor and a conniver, observing that kindness doesn't always win.

But he was a winner in my books. He had paid off family debts, then used part of his award to establish "Rupert's Kids" to help at risk teens in Indianapolis to believe in themselves and unlearn the layers of destructive thinking.

His gruff persona and kindness reminded me of Peter who had been hand-selected to follow Jesus.

Peter, I'm sure, recalled the time he had let fear of others' angry opinions derail his vow to never betray Jesus. His impetuous self preservation had been replaced by a firm but gentle spirit. Transformed by Christ's forgiveness, Peter was now encouraging others.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15b, NIV, italics mine).

Instead of retaliation or denial, they were to be prepared with a gentle answer. Blessing was to answer insult, a good conscience treasured, slander disregarded.

As Rupert did, Peter won his struggle to overcome his anger, fears and failures. More than a survivor, he was a winner because he had learned to "set apart Christ as Lord" (verse 15a).

That's what it takes. Christ as Lord. Whether I fail, break a toe, deal with slander, or endure whipping and prison, hardships can contour gentleness when they are given to the Lord Christ.

Peter followed another "Gentle Giant." Do you?


Read 1 Peter 3:8-22.

How have you experienced the gentleness of Christ's forgiveness?
How might God be directing you to bless another who has slandered or disappointed you?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Taste of Love - March 12, 2011 - Brochure

You may click on each page and it will reveal the whole page. Do let me know if you'd like me to send you a brochure. It would be my pleasure.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Taste of Love: Practicing God's Presence

A Taste of Love is the title of the upcoming Women's Spiritual Refresher on March 12th, 2011. I plan to reference the Great Commandment along with a touch of spiritual disciplines (worship, prayer, scripture meditation and service) to set the table for a taste of God's love.

We women are busy -- with good things -- but often we don't take the time just to enjoy God's presence.

My goal is to give women an opportunity to focus on God through the disciplines and so open doors to experience more of God's presence.

To love our precious Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength produces joy in God's presence. Oh how I pray -- and invite you to pray with me-- that we will experience Love's presence.

I am praying that the Holy Spirit who presents Christ's living PRESENCE to us, will sharpen my thoughts and heart. I desire that God use me to bless the dear women who will be coming.Would you join me in praying that?

A Taste of Love is open to women in the north Indiana area and will be held at the Mount Etna United Methodist Church at the corner of Highways 9 and 124. For more information, or to get a brochure, please leave a comment below, or email me at