Category Archives: Refined by the Word

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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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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Setting the ground work for 2021

Well Happy New Year! 

It’s Monday and we have a service call lined up for our fireplace, I have already made a call to the Village Hall with a water consumption question and some Santa figurines are begging to be hauled back down to their boxes. The washer and dryer have been humming since 6 A.M. and Russ is back in his at-home office. 

Anybody else ready for a little routine again?

We really did enjoy the holidays. Even though they were different with family and friends not able to gather like we used to, it was restful and joyful in many ways. A respite from the craziness of the world. We watched some sports and documentaries. Russ had a couple of movies he wanted to see and we read and napped and goodness…we ate. 

As we head into 2021, I am not feeling called to make any attempt at resolutions.

I instituted one last year where I would try a new habit each month and that was fun until the pandemic hit and just figuring out how to safely navigate that with my mental and physical health in tact was enough of a “new habit.”

So today, I am just going to let you know my plans for my daily quiet time as of right now and share some tidbits gleaned from both a documentary and a ten day devotion I signed up for.  There will be a list of resources at the bottom of the post.

For quiet time I am reading through The Message this year. It works out math wise much like last year. Using the Eugene Peterson The Message Study Bible, I will be able to read about 5 – 6 pages a day to make it through the whole text. This includes some of his mediations and contemplative studies so I decided to set my beloved My Utmost for His Highest aside this year. 

I have a daily devotional that was gifted by my friend who has been prayerfully selecting an annual devotion book for me for more years than I can even remember. They are lined up on my shelves and are a reminder of her faithfully holding my arms up in love and prayer every day of the year for a very long time. This year’s selection is Jesus Centered Daily by Rick Lawrence. 

In addition, I received a Threadbare Prayer book from another friend and the author is doing a 100 day prayer commitment. Which coincided nicely with my decision to use yet another gift, a journal with personalized Scripture verses on each page, to journal my prayers for our family this year. 

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of committing to a daily time of intake of God’s Word, study and prayer. We simply cannot subsist on a weekly visit to our local church, a sermon, a couple of inspirational Bible verses posted on Instagram and be fed and grow and really follow Jesus. I couldn’t have made it through 2020 intact and thriving if I had just snacked on the Bread of Life when convenient. 

My second little item so share is from our viewing of the Social Dilemma on Netflix. It confirmed some of my suspicions and it definitely explains how we are seeing more and more conflict, confusion and conspiracy theorizing.

Money talks and fuels all manner of sin. Which brings me to the ten day devotion. I am receiving ten days of meditations and questions from Well Watered Woman that center on using Instagram for Jesus. The articles have been convicting as the attractions and pitfalls of social media are universal. 

Both The Social Dilemma and these writings (the Social Dilemma is not a Christian effort, but as a Christ follower I can appreciate the ethics and moral issues at risk with our current lack of standards for the internet market place), remind us that we don’t have to play into the hands of those who would use a wonderful tool like the internet for greed and profit only. 

Some of the reminders at the end of the documentary are reinforced in the study I am doing. 

  • Monitor your time – budget how much time you spend on social media. 
  • Live in the real world, not scrolling through a fake one. 
  • Fact check what you share and post.
  • Disable notifications and don’t let a social media platform choose what you watch, follow interact with. 
  • Make the choice to set limits on when you will check your social media and discipline yourself to stick to it. 
  • Put the phone away during times at the table or when with people. 
  • Recognize where you are replacing finding your comfort, guidance, peace in God with a means that will never satisfy your deep needs. 


Lecture over. 

Have a blessed day! 


Threadbare Prayers:

Jesus Centered Daily

The Well Watered Woman website http://well watered woman

Personalized Scripture Journal

The Eugene Peterson Study Bible is sadly out of print and available from used book places for a rather hefty price…sorry

The Social Dilemma on Netflix

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