Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 14

In prayer, Jesus says this to His Father…

“I have told them your message. But the people of this world hate them, because they don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t.”  CEV


Let’s see it from The Message…

“I gave them your word; the godless world hated them because of it, because they didn’t join in the world’s ways, just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.”


any brighter perspective in the NKJV?

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”



So basically this flies in the face of every time we ever assumed that if we can just master the right technique to share the Gospel; both Jesus and we, ourselves, will be wildly popular and deeply cherished by all the folks we encounter on the journey. 

And it flips our modern day approach to evangelism that says we certainly don’t want to offend anyone when we share the Gospel, and if we are not liked by those we share our testimony with, we must be doing it the wrong way. 

Instead, it clearly puts us in the camp of being “hated” by some people just because we have aligned ourselves first and foremost as followers of Christ.

And I wonder how many would commit themselves to Christ based on this recruiting speech…

“Come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men…some of whom will hate you so much they will want to kill you because they hate Me.”

Well yes, sign me and my children up for that, please.

But when you have finally and genuinely and sincerely accepted Christ as the Way and the Truth and the Life…you understand that what others think does not matter. 

You get the fire in your spirit to share even if you aren’t loved.

You find the grace and mercy of the One who rescued you and in that place you can pray for those who hate  you…and love when you are not loved back. 

You weep when you see the hatred for Jesus and you press on.

Because a Saul might just be a Paul…and a Peter who denies Christ might just be the one who spends out his days proclaiming Him to his last breath. 

A woman bound by multiple demons can become one who is so free she can no longer care what others think as she pours out her love for Him in grateful tears. 

Because when you love Jesus…really love Him…what the world thinks of you no longer matters and the passion that drives you is that He…God…so loved the world…that He sent His only Son…that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have eternal life…and this is eternal life…that we would KNOW Him…so today would you set aside your concerns of what others think and would you ask God to give you His heart to pray for those who do not yet know His love for them? 

Will you choose to share the Gospel with a world that may hate you because it hates Him?

Be blessed today in your prayers and as you follow hard after the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ <3

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 7

When I hopped on the computer this morning I noticed a bar under the “launch pad” icon at the bottom of my screen.

Something was being downloaded…I clicked to the App’s icon and there was some update happening on some program I don’t even use…but I know enough to know that if even the programs that are off my radar are not refined, it can cause problems, bugs and such with the whole system. 

I don’t understand computers…but I have to use this to do what I do and function in this world and so I am thankful for the way my computer is designed to take care of these things as they come up. 

In a similar but more profound way, God is far beyond my comprehension and understanding. 

I will say I see Him working here or there…I mention from time to time how He whispers to my heart some guidance or word…I credit Him for keeping me on track and I know He stands in my place…but there is so much I don’t know. 

His adjustments and updates and revealing of Himself to me is a process that happens over time as I open His Word and pray and study and let Him do what only He can do in me. 

Jesus prays this way in verse 7 of John 17:

Now they (the disciples) have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. NKJV

I always like the NKJV because it makes clear who we are talking about by capitalizing any pronoun references to the Trinity.

Don’t zone out on me, here! I am not going all English teacher on you…I just am telling you why I share from that first. 

Because as I read some other translations and paraphrases…these add fullness to the passage so….

From Contemporary English Version, we read it this way:

They know that you gave me everything I have.

And of course I have to include The Message, because for this passage it strikes the deepest chord of understanding in me for this short, but powerful passage…

They know now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you. 

I love that. 

I want to know that what I believe is rock solid. 

And this passage tells me…as Christ manifests the character of God to me through my study and then my obedience to His WORD and to HIM…who IS the Word of God…I can know…

let me emphasize this…

I    CAN      KNOW


way out past the outer limits and the farthest edges of even the shadow a doubt might make….

that Jesus teaches me first hand…

not second hand…

not gleaned through the friend of a friend of a guy who heard about God…


What Jesus teaches about God is straight, hot off the press, fresh from God.

This is good news. 

This is the Gospel. 

Be blessed today to know that you can know…all about God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son…by the power of the Holy Spirit…one God…Three in One <3

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 4


Well today will be as originally promised…short and sweet <3

As we move along through John 17 and come to what our modern Bibles label as verse 4, we read Jesus’ words to His Father:

I have glorified You on earth, I have finished the work You have given me to do. NKJV

The Contemporary English Version words this passage:

I have brought glory to you on earth by doing everything you gave me to do. 

And finally, I love the way Eugene Peterson translates this passage:

I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.

Don’t we list makers get that???

The feeling of completion for all the items on our To Do list…but this is Jesus saying…

I completed all the items…


down to the very tiniest and last detail…

on Your eternal To Do List, Abba <3

When we were providing care for my three elderly family members in three different care facilities AND continuing to raise three very active and involved young teens and tweens…I would often pray a simple prayer. 

It varied in form but basically sounded like this…

Lord, I cannot be but in one place today. Where is the one place only I can be? Give me wisdom to know that one place and one thing that I am supposed to be. Help me surrender where I want to be and give me obedience to be where I am supposed to be. Give my loved ones grace to understand and be with those who can fulfill the role in their lives that was not meant for me today. 

Dear ones…take a good look at your list today.

Look at all the places where you think your presence is required…and lift that list to the only One who can be everywhere all at once.

Acknowledge your humanity and release to Him the crazy desire to be all the things for all your people. 

Let Him guide you into your one place…and ask Him to give you the strength and diligence to complete down to the last detail all that He has assigned for you today. 

May you find rest in obedience to your assignments and grace to cheer on those who get to do the thing you wanted to do more than obey….

blessings my friends as you bring Him glory through the long hours and tasks of your day <3

When the truth hurts…

Whenever I update my phone with a new IOS, I find some kind of unexpected addition and this time Apple apparently decided to monitor my screen time and send me a little report every Sunday evening. 

Courtesy of some invasive surveillance system that I shudder to even ponder, a typed message appears across my screen informing me that I spent so many hours on the average day using my phone. 

The first time this popped up I was horrified not only because somewhere, someone or someone’s are keeping track of my screen time…but good grief, the amount was shocking when I realized that wasn’t my week total but my average per day. 

I was also mildly alarmed at the dual response in my head that arose. Part of me wanted to really restrict using my phone so I could get a better report and part of me wondered if I could beat my record the following week. 

Yes, I can relate to the old cartoon figures where the character had a tiny angel on one shoulder and a tiny devil on the other offering conflicting encouragement to the victim…but that is for another day…

Back to my phone. 

I actually even entertained the passing thought that maybe I should use my computer for more of my email checking and social media following/posting so that the time wasn’t logged into this odious app that was clocking my screen time. 

I was a bit shame-filled for the amount of time I was spending on my phone when I often complain I don’t have enough time to get important things done. And I was angry with Apple for telling me…

the truth. 

Why couldn’t they just mind their own business and leave me in the dark about it?

And then slowly God did that whisper thing He does with me. 

Because isn’t this so applicable (I tried to do an “apple” pun there but couldn’t bring myself to follow through…but am stooping to let you know it entered my mind) to our approach to God’s Word. 

I read in Galatians this morning how Paul wrote that the Scriptures declare that the whole world is a prisoner of sin and I think if I were to send that out as a message on every single phone today, the reaction would most likely be similar to mine when I found out I had spent a ridiculous amount of time, on average, every day on my phone. 

We don’t like to hear the truth. 

Because it calls for a response from us. 

We don’t like truth because it exposes our most vulnerable places. Truth does not allow for excuses or cover ups. 

The message on my phone was not judging me. 

It was informing me of a habit that has gotten out of control and is eating away at valuable time that I complain I don’t have enough of. 

The Scriptures point out God’s heart and His wisdom and His teachings and they highlight the places in me and my ways that do not line up with His. 

If I say I follow Christ, I need to look at my actions, attitudes, beliefs…and measure how they are lining up with His Word. 

His Word is truth. 

Whether I like it or not. 

When I am faced with Truth, I will also always face the temptation to both justify myself and consider ways of working around the truth so that I can continue to do what I want to do, the way I want to do it. 

But the Truth is….I am only justified by the One who took my place, paid my debt and it is only by surrender to Him through obedience to His teachings that I can live a life worthy of His gift to me. 

The season of Advent is such an important time for us to consider the condition of our hearts as we end another year. Will we use this time to look into the Scriptures and face truth? The choice is ours each day. 

I am working on doing some digging in to Scripture to prepare some writings to countdown to Christmas. 

Of course there will be a mix of things as I write daily but I look forward to sharing the Journey through Advent with you in a fresh way this year <3

Held <3

I just wrapped up the Psalm 34 study  this morning. 

No coincidence God would teach me the lesson in real time before I listened to the last video. You can check it out here:

Psalm 34:22 reads: 

The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. NASB

The video that accompanied this passage was a reminder that while we are saved into eternal life upon receiving Christ, we are also saved over and over through the rest of our days as God works on our souls. 

Our soul…the headquarters of our mind, will and emotions.

He is in the long term business of redeeming us from our natural tendencies until He comes back for us once and for all time. 

This is good news for one like me. 

Because; as all the rest of humanity does, I struggle with a soul that is in the process of redemption. 

It is called sanctification and it is, at times, a bloody skirmish as the flesh that still clings to entrenched places in my heart wars against the regenerated spirit that longs to mirror Christ. 

I get my feelings hurt. 

I feel rejected. 

I feel misunderstood or taken advantage or out of favor with those who matter to me. 

And I respond in a way that does not line up with the truth that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me. 

In these moments, the turmoil within me opens wide the door to all the lowest parts of my nature.

The resulting fallout can leave me assured I am the biggest failure and disappointment to God and humanity….yet again. For one who can dwell in self-condemnation as a comfortable cave…this is not good. 

But I look at the verse today and reflect on recent soul battles, and I see God’s redemptive truth calling out to me. 

I am a servant of the Lord…even when I fall short.

My heart and my life are committed to serving Him. 

He redeems my soul from the challenges I face at times to surrender my will, emotions, feelings and mindsets.

I take refuge in Him by lifting hot tears and cries for help, holding out the opposing forces fighting inside my heart and thoughts up to Him and pleading for His help.

Sitting still and letting Him love me just as I am, I face the voices of condemnation that would sentence me to accept the verdict of impossibility that I will ever change…

and in the shadow of His wings…

this daughter of the King…

is held and loved and is a little more transformed into the image of Him who died for me <3