Monday, January 11, 2010


It's amazing how being a parent has lead me into many new revelations about our Heavenly Father.

This morning, my son decided the best way to settle an argument with his little sister was to put her in a choke-hold. Obviously, he's got a lot to learn when it comes to conflict resolution. Of course, he was immediately sent to his room while his sister "milked" the situation for all the sympathy she could get. (Yeah, she may be little, but she's no dummy!)

After a few minutes had passed, I called my son downstairs to have the "now, tell me what you did wrong" talk. His still had an angry countenance, and he was unwilling to admit his wrongdoing. He balked when I told him he needed to talk to God and tell Him he was sorry for what he had done, as well as apologize to his sister. As I left him sitting on the family room floor, I felt a deep sadness and a bit of righteous indignation because for a moment, I saw in my child the bitterness of pride and arrogance. Then I couldn't help but wonder, "Is this just a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father sees in me when I refuse to confess my sin?" He is righteous, pure and holy, and my arrogance and pride must be even more offensive to Him.

It's no wonder that Solomon, in Proverbs 6, lists "haughty eyes"as one of seven things God hates. Not only does pride lead us into sin, it also prevents us from reconciling ourselves to God and others. When we're arrogant and proud, we're like pigs who are drawn to the mud and wallow in the slop, refusing to get clean.

Well, after wrestling with his pride for a few minutes, I could hear my son crying and talking to God about what he had done when he hurt his sister. I didn't ask him what he said when he prayed, but I could see his attitude had changed. He decided to crawl out of the mud pit and settle it with God. I know it was painful for him, but it's all a part of the process we need to go through to experience God's forgiveness and grace and understand that we need a Savior. He's still young and trying to understand it all, but he's on his way.

16 he may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,

17 to turn man from wrongdoing
and keep him from pride,

18 to preserve his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword.

Job 33:16-18

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Think Before You Speak

"Think before you speak."

That's something I've said to my almost 7-year-old son many times lately, but I'm thinking these words may have been a good piece of advice for a super-polite bank teller I encountered this morning: My friend and I have a small handmade jewelry business, and I was at the bank's drive-in making a deposit from last week's craft show sales. The deposit slip said Eliza Jane Jewelry, the name of our business. After processing my deposit, she sent the receipt back to me and said, ever-so-politely, "Thank you, Ms. Jewelry."

In case you're wondering, I didn't have the heart to alert her to her mistake, so I just said, "Thank you, " and laughed hysterically as I pulled out of the parking lot.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Common Sense: Use It, or Lose It

A few weeks back I listened to an interview with noted British evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, who persistently claimed the supremacy of science and the empirical search for answers over religious faith in a Creator. The interviewer kept insisting that although the existence of God could not be proven, believing in a Creator just made more sense than believing there is no God. Dawkins, admitting he couldn't explain how the universe came to exist or that he could prove there is no God, continued to put his faith (oh, yes, it's faith) in his belief (because there's absolutely no proof) that one day (somewhere, somehow) science would be able to explain the spontaneous, "God-less" beginnings of the universe.

Frankly, to use a popular phrase, it seemed Mr. Dawkins couldn't see the forest through the trees. Now, I'm not trying to put him down or to pretend that I'm all-wise and all-knowing. Don't get me wrong. Obviously, Mr. Dawkins is a very intelligent guy, but with all his knowledge, experience, faith and belief, he seems to be missing a little common sense. I'm totally convinced that common sense, which would lead a person to acknowledge the existence of a Creator, is something with which we are all born. But like all skills, if we don't use it, we lose it, and it seems Mr. Dawkins has spent so many years denying the common sense truth of a Creator, that he can't see his faith in science isn't really an empirical search for the truth, but is in fact a belief which ignores reason.

Contrast the Dawkins interview with a discussion I had with my 6-year-old son a couple of weeks ago during our science lesson. We were discussing the formation of fossils and how fossils give us clues to the Earth's beginning. We talked about how we believe God created all things and flooded the Earth in the days of Noah and that causes us to view fossil evidence differently than a person who believes all matter formed spontaneously and lifeforms evolved. I asked my son what he thought about the idea that God didn't create the Earth, but that it just "happened". He said something like this: "That's ridiculous! Look at that beautiful painting up there," pointing to a painting by my husband's grandmother, which hangs above our mantle. "That painting didn't just happen. Grampy's mom painted it. It can't happen all by itself!"

And there's the common sense - out of the mouth of a child.

That's my boy.

"I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom."

Matthew 18:3-4 -The Message Paraphrase

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beauty That Will Turn Your World Upside-Down

I've been pretty slack lately when it comes to writing down my thoughts. My apologies to anyone out there who may actually read my blog from time to time. Writing helps me to process my thoughts, and that's mainly why I keep this blog. I'm aware that God is constantly teaching me new things about the person he wants me to be, but I know if I don't record these truths somewhere, I'm likely to forget the new insights and stagnate in my journey as I follow after Jesus. In the past two months, there have been quite a few moments where I thought, "I need to write this down (on my blog)," but busyness kept me away, and now many of those nuggets of wisdom are buried in the recesses of my cluttered brain. Perhaps they will make their way to the surface once again...

Well, to end my blogging hiatus, here's a snippet from a book I recently finished after about 9 months of reading it. I know. Pathetic. (Seriously, the life of a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom leaves very little time for extra reading - except for late at night, when I fall asleep after reading a page and a half. Hence the 9 month completion rate!) Here are a few quotes from Tim Keller's The Reason For God. These excerpts come from a chapter he titled, "The Dance of God". When I read it, two truths stood out to me: 1. God is beautiful. The Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Spirit - although mind-boggling - is absolute sheer beauty. 2. If we truly embrace this beauty, it will turn our lives and our world upside-down.

Read Keller's description for yourself:

The life of the Trinity is characterized not by self-centeredness but by mutually self-giving love. When we delight and serve someone else, we enter into a dynamic orbit around him or her, we center on the interests and desires of the other. That creates a dance, particularly if there are three persons, each of whom move around the other two... Each person of the Trinity, loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love.

If God is unipersonal, then until God created other beings there was no love, since love is something one person has for another. This means that a unipersonal God was power, sovereignty, and greatness from all eternity, but not love. Love then is not of the essence of God, nor is it at the heart of the universe. Power is primary.

However, if God is triune, then loving relationships in community are the "great fountain... at the center of reality." When people say, "God is love, " I think they mean that love is extremely important, or that God really wants us to love. But in the Christian conception, God really has love as his essence. If he was just one person, he couldn't have been loving for all eternity. If he was the impersonal all-soul of Eastern thought, he couldn't have been loving, for love is something persons do.

Sheer beauty. Now, here's another excerpt. This is what happens when we decide to embrace that beauty.

Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another. That is what the universe, God, history, and life is all about. If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality. When Jesus said you must lose yourself in service to find yourself (Mark 8:35), he was recounting what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing throughout eternity. You will then never get a sense of self by standing still, as it were, and making everything revolve around your needs and interests. Unless you are willing to experience the loss of options and the individual limitation that comes from being in committed relationships, you will remain out of touch with your own nature and the nature of things.

When "first" becomes "last", and "last" becomes "first, it seems upside-down, but as Keller aptly describes it, it really means we're seeing things right-side-up for the first time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jerry's Thinking About Religion

Jerry is a guy who loves Jesus and loves his wife and kids, but he's not so in love with "religion". Check out his thought-provoking post here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Three Days

Three days.

For three days the Pharisees thought they had eliminated Jesus.
For three days Jesus' followers despaired.
For three days Mary mourned for her firstborn.
For three days the disciples hid in fear.
For three days Jesus, the Son of God who had healed the sick and calmed the sea, was dead.
For three days hope was lost.

Then Sunday came.

39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day."

Acts 10:39-41 (New Living Translation)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beautiful Hands

Sometimes the beauty of music and drama can speak more powerfully than the most eloquent of sermons. This video is such - a powerful mime illustration performed with a blacklight and accompanied by the Casting Crowns song "Who Am I". Words simply cannot do it justice. I've watched it many times over and over.

Take a look for yourself below.

(FYI: A group of middle school students performed this same illustration in my own church this morning. It was so powerful and moving. After searching, I found this video made by another church's youth group.)