Friday, August 27, 2010



Our church took a field trip to The Shrine of Christ's Passion, at St. John, Indiana.

What a moving experience.

As I looked at the Stations of the Cross, I noticed three very import things, the Roman Soldiers, the hands of Jesus and our hope.

I was going to tell you about this in one blog, but have decided to make it a three part experience. This is part one on the statues of the soldiers and the weight of the cross.








These depictions were not always easy to look at.


You could see the scars. You could see the tears.


You could see Jesus getting weaker, as the cross got heavier.


Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.


Where are you? Which side of the cross are you on? Are you behind Jesus? Do you have the hammer in your hand? (The answer to this question is yes. That is the answer for all of us.) Do you think the soldiers were doing their job or were they enjoying what they did? Can you see the cross becoming very heavy?

LET US PRAY: (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

My dear Jesus, It is so easy to look at the bronze cross on the altar. It is so easy to look at the empty cross. It is so hard to look at the cross and realize what you did for me. For me! My dear Jesus, I want to wipe away your tears. I want to tend to your wounds. I want to thank you. Amen

Thursday, August 19, 2010



I am the administrator for our church's Facebook page. That means I post updates on what is going on at church. I remind people about meetings. About times. And I encourage all to attend church on Sunday mornings.

As secretary for our Church Council meetings, I write up the minutes and then email them to the members of the committee.

Personally, I also use Facebook and post to other people's status updates or send a personal note by "message." When people are not home, I leave messages on their answering machine or voice mail. And I would not know what to do without email. I use email to contact our accountant with tax questions. Email my sisters and my cousins. Email friends. Email to send and receive information on my CASA case. Email for business and for pleasure. I would miss email!

Yes, I use the phone. Email. Facebook. One thing I do not do is send text messages.

All of these are great. All are great ways to keep up to date on business situations. To keep in touch with family and friends. To give and receive encouragement. To request prayers. To offer prayers. To send a laugh or even a virtual hug.

BUT all, of these modes of communication, are useless if the person you are trying to make contact with does not check their email. Does not check their Facebook page. Does not listen to the messages on their recorder. Does not check voice mail. Does not check their text messages.

God uses many ways to communicate with us. Nature. Other people. The Holy Spirit. The Bible. The word of Christ.

Do you check for messages from God?


But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."


Where do you find messages from God? When you are outside? When you are in church? When you study the Bible? When you are just quiet, listening and ready to receive the message God wants you to hear? Are you ready to accept the good news?

As I wrote these questions, I thought about the show Touched by an Angel. How would you feel if a person said, "I am an angel and I have a message from God."?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

My dear Lord, I am listening. I am always checking to see if you have left me a message beside a tree. Or beside a brook. I am listening. I listen to others who can help me learn. Others who can direct me. Pray for and with me. Others who can be my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am listening. I am listening to the Holy Spirit. I am listening to the Spirit's voice and allowing that voice to help me make wise choices. I am listening. I am listening to the words of the Bible. I am listening and learning. Thank you for loving me so much that you want to communicate with me. You want me to hear your love song in the gentle breeze. In the loving hearts of others. In the Spirit you have placed in the very core of my being. In the inspired words written for eternity. I am listening. Amen

PS. By the way. God, you are so much better than email, Facebook, voice mail, recorders or texting. You are never off-line. You are never in a glitch area with no reception. You are never floating around in space instead of landing in my inbox. You are not accidently deleted before I hear the message. And you are not small print on a phone that will be outdated by the time I finish this prayer.

I am listening, but I am filled with wonder and amazement when I realize that you are listening to me. Amen and Amen

Friday, August 13, 2010



Beware! Be on your guard! Warning! Today is Friday the 13th! OH NO!

I Googled Friday the 13th and was amazed at what I found. says Friday the 13th is "a day fraught with peril."

One source said 17-21 million people in the USA are affected by a fear of this day. $800-900 million is lost in business revenue because people stay home. They miss work, will not fly and some will not get out of bed. There is a 23 letter word for this phobia.

Do you know all the things you are not supposed to do on Friday? You are not supposed to:

Give birth (child will be doomed to misfortune, 1846), get married (doomed to a cat-and-dog life, 1879), get up for the first time if recovering from an illness (no reason given, 1923), listen to news (adds another wrinkle on your face and adds a year to your age, 1883), move (you won't stay long, 1982) or start a new job (never stay long in that job, 1923).

And do not even consider giving a dinner party for 13 people or having 13 people in a room.

These sound so silly. No woman is going to say, "Stay in there baby. It is Friday." Bill and I were married on a Friday and our marriage is not a cat-and-dog life. Would you wait until Saturday to get up if you were feeling strong enough on Friday? I bet FOX news has as many listeners on Friday as they do on Wednesday. The verdict is still out on Friday news giving you wrinkles and adding a year to your age. And do you really think moving or starting a new job on Friday has anything to do with how long you live in that house or keep a job?

Yes, these sound silly. They sound silly to me, but I am sure they do not sound silly to the person with a fear of Friday. Or the person that fears the number 13. Or the person that fears Friday the 13th.

We each have fears in our lives. Some are irrational fears. Irrational fears which can cause havoc in our day to day existence. The person who will not go into a small room does not consider claustrophobia an irrational fear. The person who can spend hours in a closet just does not understand claustrophobia. One person can study a spider and another is too afraid to even step on it. Yes, we each have fears in our lives.


What do we do about these fears?

Do we let them control our lives?

Where do we get help?

How can we overcome our irrational fears?

(Disclaimer: I am not making light of anyone's fears. I do not like small rooms or large crowds, but can cope with both. There is also a difference between irrational fears and real fears. I do not like to walk on ice, because I know if I fall I can break something. Real fears include loss of employment, health issues, family relationships and things from our past that cause fear today.)


I sought the Lord, and he answered me, he delivered me from all my fears.

LET US PRAY  (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Lord I seek deliverance from my fears. I no longer want the fear of ________________ to control my life. I want to acknowledge and overcome my fear.

Lord I seek deliverance from the real fears in my life. I know my life will always be full of problems and trials, but I turn to you so these real fears do not consume my spirit.


Friday, August 06, 2010


This has been a very hectic week because we took off for three days to see a friend in Canada.


Traffic at the Michigan/Canada border crossing.


No traffic on this road.


A partridge looking for a pear tree.

As I was looking at these pictures, I thought of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken."

I will be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Frost asserted, "You have to be careful of that one, it's a tricky poem - very tricky."

He commented, "It does not moralize about choice, it simply says that choice is inevitable, but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it."

We had a choice to go to Canada and it took us 50 minutes to get across the border. The people traveling into the USA were backed up clear to the Canadian crossing. They waited much longer. We lived with the result of this choice but it impacted another choice. When we came home, we got up REALLY early and made it across in about ten minutes.

The second picture is always my choice of roads. I love back roads. Roads where you cannot see anyone in front or behind you. Roads where you can stop and take a picture of -- A picture of a partridge wondering what that crazy lady is doing.

My Christian journey is similar to our recent adventure. Sometimes I get stuck. I don't understand. I am at a standstill. And it takes me moving ahead a little at a time until the ole brain kicks in and God checks my passport and says, "Okay, move on down the road."

Sometimes I am on my Christian journey with others. And sometimes I am on the road less traveled. The road less traveled gives me quiet. And peace. And time.

And just like finding a partridge out in the middle of the road, I find God's gifts.


"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation.' " Luke 3:4-6


Which roads do you take?


This week, talk to God about the roads you have been on. Have a good long, heart to heart with Him. You will both enjoy your time together.