For right now <3

Well, it looks like we are having a little bit of a snow storm here on the prairie. I can see it coming down outside and realize I am need to scoot to allow myself time to get to work safely. 

I have been quiet this week for a couple of reasons.For one thing, the schedule has been too full of appointments and interruptions to regular routine. But this happens fairly often in my life and I usually make it a point to go ahead and post something even just a hello. So the second reason I have been quiet is because I really don’t have anything to say. 

Which is so foreign to my nature it has been a bit unsettling. 

I feel some kind of unexplained pressure to say the right thing and I am not sure what faceless force is applying pressure to me, but I am pretty sure it isn’t God. 

Like most people, I am concerned for any group who will use the opportunity of the upcoming transfer of office in our nation’s capitol to cause more upheaval. 

I am being still but in my stillness I am crying out to God to help us heal. This may take time and it may not look like God is at work, but as I read in Genesis this morning I got a new insight into Joseph’s story. 

I want to be careful. I am not defending any actions that led to the debacle at the Capitol. I am not picturing either of the men who ran for president or any political party. So be clear here. I am talking to followers of Jesus Christ who are shaking their heads wondering what on earth the Church can do to help bring reconciliation to a divided nation and be the hands and feet of Christ AS WE share the Good News of His Kingdom to our friends, family and neighbors. So please remove any attachment to the governing bodies of the United States from interpretation of what I am about to say. 

Joseph was in prison, wrongfully accused by Potiphar’s wife. He had God’s favor in the prison and was given responsibilities by the head of the prison. When he interpreted the baker’s dream, and the baker was set free, he asked to be remembered but he was forgotten for two years. 

It occurred to me this morning that if the baker had remembered as soon as he got to the palace and asked for a pardon for Joseph, the outcome of the rest of this marvelous work of God to save Egypt and His own people during the upcoming famine would not have worked very well. As a free man would Joseph have hung around and been able to be called up to interpret Pharoah’s dream? Maybe. God can do anything.

But when we look at the story we see that Joseph was held for two more years in a safe place, where God’s favor continued to rest on him, as he obediently served in the prison. And when the time, the perfect time came, he was completely ready to stand before Pharaoh and assure him that it was God who interprets dreams. 

It makes me realize that in all seasons, my responsibility is obedience and service to those who have been placed over me and around me and beside me. 

I don’t know what lies ahead for any of us. 

God does. 

He is setting people in place to accomplish His purpose and I know He is good and He is kind and He is just. 

So I will serve right here. Right where I am. 


Laura <3

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In the midst of difficult times, speak first to God <3

One of the bloggers I subscribe to had this phrase at the top of her Friday email: 

2021, I am going to need you to do better. 

Hear, hear! 

You would think I would get used to the fact that the hustle and bustle of the holidays never really leads into a quiet month for rest and refreshing. 

At least in our history it has been a roller coaster of weather interruptions, health issues and some manner of upheaval that rips away the hope of just tucking the Christmas trim away and sitting on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a good book. 

We have managed to pack the first few weeks of 2021 with multiple doctor visits and a scheduled procedure for me to clean up a meniscus tear, plus therapy for an injured rotator cuff. Add to that in our home, some rooms to be painted and the usual commitments for helping with the little ones and I feel the pressure of a too-full calendar and too-little physical resources to meet the demands. 

We have added the unthinkable acts for protestors thinking it’s okay to storm into the Capitol building and the actions and inactions of leadership. The pandemic is spiraling out of control in so many areas of the country and yet the strain of closures is causing economic repercussions that pouring money that doesn’t exist into is not going to fix. Voices are speaking out and demanding other voices to speak out. 

Add to that the growing list of people in our daily lives who have asked for prayer for so many heart-wrenching health and relationship situations. As we sit to eat our dinner and start lifting people in prayer who have deep needs right now and then we move out into the country and world where all heck has broken loose, the food has grown cold while we move from one to the next. 

This morning I copied a recipe for cookies that Rachel made last week. 

Hers were delicious so of course I needed the details and I actually made them. But the ingredients confound me because it calls for a “heaping teaspoon” of baking soda. I want to know how much is in the heaping. Exactly how much. I want a definitive measure for what to add to a teaspoon to make it heaping. 

I want my cookies to be exactly like her cookies; and they weren’t, by the way. 

I want answers to questions that are clear cut and I want to know what I can do to help bring peace to the chaos. 

I am asked where faith fits into all of this mess. Where does my Christianity meet up with the mess of the world and this nation and people who are saying they are Christians but living so counter to the teachings of Christ? 

I want to be able to give exact answers. 

But I can’t. 

My answers in conversations may be countered and challenged. I won’t have exact responses. There are thoughts I have that are not fully informed or formulated and there are beliefs I have that are based on what I know up to this point and then there are convictions I have that I will hold to and not budge on. 

So in conversation and dialogue and intake and output of words, I want to be careful about how I use my own words. I can see a lot that is wrong and needs to be fixed, but I also see that I do not have the solution for fixing it. 

This morning I was reading something a friend wrote about Psalms of Lament and how they have five parts. I read some other commentaries and articles on a Lament and I see this is a place where I can start a conversation with God before I converse with others. 

N.T. Wright lists the elements of a Lament as Praise, Proof of relationship, Pathway of intimacy with God, Prayer for God to act and Participation in the pain of others. 

I believe this is the recipe for what the world needs the followers of Christ to be doing right now. The exact recipe. 

As the Church of Jesus Christ – maybe not meeting in a local church setting, maybe not led by a pastor who called a formal prayer meeting…no. Maybe just each one of us who have been saved by the Blood of Jesus and are seeing the pain and confusion and injustices around us…not with our agenda…but with our hearts set on meeting with God. What if we each one made it a daily habit to sit before Him and bring before Him the pain of others that we are seeing played out. What if we called out to Him to act and to bring truth and justice and wisdom into all the settings that are upsetting us WITHOUT nodding our heads smugly and thinking He must certainly be agreeing with the side we think is right and upright? 

What if we just straight up acknowledged that we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on Him and that we are committed to intercede for all of our leaders in this nation? What if we, as Christians, humbled ourselves under His authority and sought His face on behalf of this country and those who are having to make difficult decisions as elected officials in every area of government? Since we do know that is what we, as believers, are told to do. 

These are the questions and thoughts I am asking myself today. 

I don’t know how much more baking soda turns a teaspoon into a heaping teaspoon. I don’t know how to move forward out of the mess of this country. I don’t know how to end a pandemic and fix an economy. But God does. That is my belief and conviction. 

The article by N. T. Wright is much better than I have worded any of this so head on over to it for yourself here

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Friday you were never more welcomed <3

Thanks for the feed back yesterday. One of my long time supporters and someone who thankfully took me up on the offer to have community beyond just me writing and you all reading, left a comment on yesterday’s post. She said what happened in DC wasn’t crazy, it was evil.

I couldn’t agree more.

I think all of the destructive violence and the prideful boasting on all sides of this past year are evil. I think we have had a lot of unchecked evil going on for a long time, longer than four years. And I don’t think any person or party is going to eradicate evil.

No matter what system is in place, eventually people are going to bring in their own greed, agenda, ideas and mess it up.

If you think that sounds fatalistic and hopeless, you don’t know me and you don’t know my Jesus.

We are a mess.

We need a Savior.

He or she won’t be leading a country, a corporation or any world system.

He or she won’t be inventing a vaccine or stabilizing the economy or developing a universal health care system.

Oh, all those people could bring really positive and helpful things into place for those who are making their way through daily life on planet earth.

But all of those are temporal.

They will not bring lasting change.

If history has taught us anything it should be that we are flawed and prone to sin that brings devastation to so many people. We can start out with the best of intentions, but eventually we run amok.

We need a Savior who took on sin and defeated death, and lives to change and transform humans into what we should have been if we hadn’t taken it all into our own hands.

So I live with hope. Not hope in the next four years. Not hope in a two step vaccine.

Hope for today and tomorrow and time without end. Hope in a God who loves us and became one of us to save us from ourselves.

Amen <3

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