Florida, the perfect vacation spot once known for alligators, the Keys and snorkeling is now being featured in news spots as the state with “red tide”, an algae infested water that kills manatees, fish and even dolphins. You would not want to put your family in waters where fish are popping out slimy and dead. Purity is important for cleanliness.

South America is sending batches of cocaine to the states laced with cow de-wormer and people are overdosing in record numbers. That is different than the cocaine from other countries filled with fentanyl. In our country they are seeing rising numbers of people die from Heroine mixed with a powder. Powder that is actually pancake mix when tested. By the time the unsuspecting victim figures it out their veins are swelling with ingredients that belong in breakfast, not your blood stream. Purity is necessary for life.

A secondary risk to the drug trade is when young, vibrant singers overdose and their once crystal clear voices now drag with guilt and insecurity. Purity is imperative for living with purpose. Managers, actors, leaders once entrusted with young impressionable students go astray and give the me too movement fodder for tabloids and the industry known to be affecting the culture increases in its corruption. Purity is foundational for trust.

Purity, prudes, pilgrims….  We hear purity and think of rule followers, followers of tradition and maybe someone who needs to not be so “straight-laced.” We want our hotel beds to be pristine clean with white sheets and squared off corners but our entertainment to be “edgy” and thought provoking meaning content will come with nudity, violence or language. We want our children to be pure, isolated from the evils of the world but our options to be adult, free and absent of any moral judgement.

The Bible talks about being moderate in drinking, chaste in relationships and to let no corrupt communication come out of our mouths. Is this all to get a job, secure a career, win and influence friends? God is good and He is moral. We know from all the billboards, picketers and signs that He is love but the flipside of that same coin is that God is also Holy – pure without additives or adulteration.

In the midst of his very wicked generation Isaiah sees the Lord and tells us Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. (Isaiah 61:4) So, if we and our generation are corrupt, what hope is there? This super Holy God would have no interest in the likes of you and me. Unless, He saw this in advance and planned for it.

One of the reasons God is beautiful and good is because He is also Holy. When we pause on the weekends to consider that we encounter Him as He is. He is wholly unlike us – He is Holy. We could try all day every day for the rest of our days and never be “clean” enough to come before this amazing pure, Holy God. Unless… there was a way to be clean before Him. That way is Jesus, the Christ. Unlike the red tide in Florida, the tide of washing that Jesus does purifies. When we come before Him and ask Him to cleanse us, He does through the payment of the cross. Wave after wave makes us white as snow and for the dirty, the filthy, the accused, the corrupt; we are justified by His work on the cross.

Encounter that holiness today – not in rooms of white or thoughts of Heaven but by receiving the only thing that could ever make you pure or whole. When we step aside from the junk and stench of our sin and our culture and bathe in the payment for our sin we become pure. I want to live in the light of His love and purity but often I trade out being accepted or contemporary which is a lesser joy.

Ask God to show you His holiness and what that means for your life, your family, our nation. The pathway to Hollywood, popularity and good intentions is not working. The Lord is holy and those who follow Him can encounter that holiness if they remember the way. Please remember the way – please celebrate God’s holiness and share it with others.




Greetings to all attending the national Church of God conference this week. May you be refreshed and inspired!




One day when I was at work I sensed beauty everywhere I went. Not just a little but a lot. I thought  it was because of others praying or maybe because of sharing the Lord with people (beautiful feet) but after pondering this for a while I now believe when the Holy Spirit goes with a believer there is a sense of beauty that signifies God’s presence. Out of curiosity I decided to research this further.  I learned that Esther, Vashti, David, Bathsheba, Abigail, Absalom and others were described as beautiful. (Pastor Garrett preached on Sunday about Rachel’s beauty in contrast to Leah’s. Leah’s disabilities and rejection scarred her but her relationship to/from the Lord healed her rejection when she praised. Her focus changed when she stopped looking at herself and realized God was seeing her. Talk about a timely word! It was so fitting with this topic and no one knew what I was studying except for the Lord.) I discovered that the Bible says that beauty is fleeting, vain, outward and that things can be beautiful such as flocks, rods, temples, gates, garments, crowns and even a city – Zion.  The Bible warns against fleeting beauty and lusting after it.

As we drove away from the church, I tapped Left Brain on the arm and said, you must feel really blessed since you get the best of both worlds. You even get to be buried by me. We were laughing and he said, “yes, but let’s wait on that for awhile.” I’m glad we will one day see the beauty of Heaven and the King and not have to look forever on our dry old dusty bones or six feet of mud on top of us. Truly our futures are beautiful. Glory to glory not ashes to dust.

There is also the opposite – Satan was beautiful, but only for a season.   Men can lust after beauty and women can use it to seduce. The Old Testament warns against going after outward beauty. The New Testament describes the Pharisees and scribes that were beautiful on the outside but had dead bones within!

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we are told that God has made everything beautiful in His time – so beauty does have a timeline. Oil of Olay has said that for years. Unlike Oil of Olay however, Gods work seems to make things MORE beautiful as time goes by.  He is the author of beauty and making things beautiful. Not some things or some ones but God has made EVERYTHING beautiful in His time. That sounds pretty fool proof doesn’t it?  God creates beauty on the inside, He forms and fashions it and develops it along the way.

We recently watched “I Feel Pretty” and boy did that movie bring back memories.  Self-esteem in women is often attached to our external appearance. It was during college when I was selling beauty products that I had my “most beautiful moment”.  One day I was walking through the St. Paul mall area in my new Estee Lauder uniform, high heels, long blond hair flowing in the wind and heads were turning everywhere. I felt like a million bucks. When I got to the cosmetic counter where I worked I put away my purse and one of the other girls who worked there (who looked like a Brazilian Princess)  smiled and flippantly said, “nice nylons” and walked off.  Her compliment seemed a bit odd. I heard giggles in the next bay and then much to my horror, as I looked in the mirror saw a pair of full length navy blue pantyhose velcroed to the back of my outfit. I had laid my outfit out on the bed that morning and they must have stuck to the starch or something.  There they dangled, like a silly cape. Then I realized I had not only walked- but glided through several stores as if on a runway with navy nylons flying behind me. No wonder heads were turning! Oh well, before the deflated ego had come, there were a few moments of incredible joy. For a few brief moments I had felt totally confident, ready and well put together. My security was increasing as I read Joyce Meyer books and studied women’s studies about self- worth. I guess that day I got a little carried away! I have felt beautiful since that time but now it is generally when I’ve felt God’s presence or enjoyed time in His word. Time, family and gravity have a way of changing a woman’s measurement of being “all that”.  I have friends, freckled from the sun with dark brown aging spots that say they look on their arms, wrinkles and journey and feel beautiful after having weathered much of life. They now see their spots as “trophies of grace” while loving their family and feel incredibly beautiful-now more than ever. I wonder if there are seasons of internal beauty for women that never get talked about while younger generations wrestle with shape, plastic surgeries and Botox? When the most talked about woman changed from mother Theresa to Kim Kardashian did we lose something of real beauty?

In Isaiah 8:2 it says that the Branch would be beautiful in that day.  Not just slap on some jewels or foundation or beautiful garments. Not just do this or that but the Branch would be beautiful. Not just on days He got rest or beauty sleep. Not just on days that everything went well but the Branch would be beautiful.  As a being. It reminded me of the verses in Exodus 35:

35 “He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” When God moved among His people, He filled them and the result of that filling was that they created space that was beautiful – something that reflected and glorified the God that filled the space within them.

Beauty that comes from God resides in His Son and the Spirit poured out in His people. It doesn’t stop there, it grows, creates, spins and pours out skills, designs, engravings and coverings that are beautiful. IF God so clothes the fields, if He so beautifully designs His temple then would He also not lavishly design, in a beautiful way, His people– together?

Art, dance, music, drama, silk and satin, flowers and fragrance are mere representations of a loving, creating God making all things beautiful. His beauty lasts, inward, extending and multiplying. It draws attention and glory to the Holy One, not the recipients of momentary splashes of color.

Psalm 96 says, ‘O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him, all the earth.”

That beauty comes from following solely, completely and blamelessly the King of Kings. It comes from seeking Him as our source, denying all others. If true beauty is connecting with God with a pure heart why do we seek beauty in a jar of cream? If beauty of holiness arises from single devotion to Yahweh, why do we look for it in the gym or perhaps in a bar? Maybe because we can’t direct it, we can only posture ourselves before the Master Artist and allow Him to paint over the canvas we have set before Him?

Beauty that lasts, beauty that increases over time, beauty that glorifies the Creator comes from one place only – Jesus. The kind of beauty that flows out like the ocean tide, washing away our vileness, happens only as the Lord washes over our souls. That’s beauty you can drink in, freely given. Golden girls – can’t touch that. Runway models can’t wear that. Photo-shopped playmates – can’t buy that. It doesn’t come from a serum or vendor but an ugly, twisted, blood stained cross where the ugliness of the entire world sat on the shoulders of the pierced one. Yes, beauty rests on Him, in Him and through Him.

That’s where all that was wrong became all that was right.

That reposition, restructure and redemption gained the title once and for all – beautiful One, the blessed and blessing One of the Lord and we became His beautiful Bride, with beautiful songs and beautiful feet.

Husband (Joe) adds in that there were biblical men that got a makeover – the disciples with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. They weren’t radiant from anything they had done but looking on the One God delighted in – “listen to Him”. That encounter left them all glowing.

Self-esteem is kind of a popular buzz word. Jesus is an eternal Savior, confidence (temple) builder and beautifier. Focus on HIM. Learn from HIM. Drink in HIM… the One who makes all things beautiful… in His time. As we worship Him in the beauty of HIS holiness, we will reflect Him and day after day walk and talk and look like Him.


I hope you have a semi o.k. day tomorrow. What? No, I hope you have a really, really average day. That doesn’t sound much better does it? What if someone told you to have a GREAT day or on your birthday told you to have a GREAT year? Wouldn’t that feel better, more exceptional or affirming? What is the difference between an average, good or great day? I think it is the presence of God in our lives. The Psalmist thought so too:

“For THOU art great and doest wonderous things; thou art God alone.” Psalm 86:10

“Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5


So if God makes the difference why do so many ignore Him? If His touch, blessing or favor increases our joy and lives why do we put Him last on our list? What if He was First?

Reflecting on Billy Graham’s life, David’s life and Daniels life – they all sought God multiple times per day. Their lives were flourishing and refreshing others. We can’t get their results without their disciplines. Or was it their desire? Or possibly nothing to do with anything they did other than surrender to a great BIG God? We can’t pour out unless we have first let God pour in. Was it that they were great men or that they yielded to a great God? We heard a sermon this weekend (David Christian) that talked about how not to be (Gen.11) and how to be great for God (Genesis 12). It pointed us to allowing God to be great in our lives rather than building great monuments to ourselves. It was powerful.

After studying greatness  recently the sermon ministered to my heart because it talked about how to download that greatness and the purpose of doing so. (Greatest commandment, Great commission) I think of Joseph who said, “God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Gen.47:5). His life was a mere vessel, tool in God’s hands and His yielding to God allowed the entire nation to be blessed and become great. The great God was displayed in his life rather than a great name for merely him or his family. The cost was great but the benefit for his family and nation was HUGE. God plays big or goes home. He does not do things just so we can get chill bumps on our arms but so people, families and nations can be DELIVERED.

What or who are you contending for today? Do you see yourself, your family, your church 100 years down the road? Are you asking for God to be great in your and their lives or merely praying for a parking spot at Walmart? Are you saturating the nation in prayers with your tears or perhaps just hoping you can get a great tan before the next church meeting? I wonder if we really believed God was great, would that affect how we live, how we pray? If we really and truly believed that God was, is and will be great…. How does that play out in our daily lives? Would it calm our fears, impassion our praise?

I think part of God’s greatness is to affect those who worship Him. He redirects our gaze to higher things and quenches our lust for having our name in lights. If God puts eternity in our hearts and excellence in our work, can He make our families, churches and nations great again? It reminds me of the prophet Habakkuk in 3:2 where he tells God that he has heard of His fame and he stands in awe but then the prophet cries out DO IT AGAIN IN OUR DAY. God is still great so it is logical and possible for Him to repeat those great works. Does God stand and wait for our petition?

Our kids returned from camp Friday. They stated they had a good time but it wasn’t until I saw their sprawled out bodies on the front room floor that I realized they were physically spent from that great time. When the older kissed the younger on the head the next day, he yelled out, “dude, you smell like lake water.” He had not just heard about the experience but completely saturated himself in it. Camp was not just around them but on them, in them and they talked about it for days after. God’s greatness should be like that in our lives. Did you hear how life giving He is? Do you know how constant He is? Did you realize He was infinite? Did you soak yourself so much in Him that others around could smell it for days?

God’s greatness isn’t a theme posted in some art gallery – He has the heavens for that. His greatness isn’t for Broadway – He has given us the Old Testament so we could remember His acts. God’s greatness isn’t just a note suspended in time – it’s larger than Handels’ Messiah. When we embody, embrace and acknowledge His greatness, yielding to his plans, obeying His direction, we bring that greatness near, not for our glory, but His.

God, we stand in awe of You, remembering Your works of old, longing to see them in our day. Renew them we pray. You are great and you do great things. Move in us so the world will see Your greatness in all Your glory.

RenaeRoche 2018




Some days are just better than others. For those who like variety, it is refreshing when new trends come out . For others even seeing the leaves start to turn yellow in the fall evokes panic and fear. I love causing change but detest experiencing it. Like this past week when I brushed my teeth with antibiotic cream. I’m guessing the boys took my toothpaste to kids camp and in the dark morning as I was getting ready for work, I reached for what was left in the drawer. Change is sometimes good for us whether we appreciate it or not. I read part of a poem this morning by Kathleen J.Raine that said this:

Says the fields to the grass, 
Seed-time and harvest, 
Chaff and grain. 
You must change, 
Said the worm to the bud, 
Though not to a rose, 
Petals fade that wings may rise 
Borne on the wind. …

We cannot stop the seasons or nature from changing yet it distresses us when it enters our world. Parking spaces are filled, appointments are booked up, events get cancelled and the world becomes a little bit more unraveled than we would like it to be. Things ought to happen in concise order, pattern and form, right?  Consider the apostle Pauls hectic schedule for a moment as he writes in 2 Corinthians 6:

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Just when we think our days are perhaps the hardest, the most complex, the least understood, the more intricate or difficult… we are proven wrong by the recording of the apostles life. Change. We like it if it is for the better but curse it if it is for the worse. James 1:16 -17 tells us, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God does not change like shifting shadows. What does that mean? The sun makes shadows that move throughout the day and then disappear. It is how sundials tell us what time it is. God is not like that, He does not change that fast or fade away. He is constant through ups and downs. He is stable and that is important to know and remember when your world is falling apart. God is stable and does not have mood swings or PMS – thank God! One song says, “Each day He’s just the same, I’m gonna praise Him, look what the Lord has done.” Because God is constant and consistent we know that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can trust Him because He is constant.

Every day we feed our fish and new little hamster. We don’t get up and intentionally decide to throw caution to the wind and let them go hungry! Left brain is so constant when feeding our fish that they come to the side of the tank whenever he comes near them. It’s really quite cute as they come near the tank, knowing full well that he will feed them. Jesus tells us in Matthew that we are not to worry because God will feed and clothe us – every day, not just on days with sunshine or rainbows.

God being constant is why we trust Him. He does not blow hot one day and cold the next. He does not cater to one group and then go wishy washy on another. He is constant, stable, secure. That is comforting when you find yourself wondering how you can go on another day or when you wonder if God remembers how to really watch over you. There’s a saying “God has written His plans for you in blood, not in pencil.”

As I watched the sun set last night I was grateful for God’s ability to produce and endure repetition and routine. While He is creative, He keeps things on an even keel. He is steady and in a changing world that steadiness brings comfort, security and peace. When we walk with this “steady one” we become steady, comforted and at peace. Unraveling is an option but it is not necessary or recommended.

Remember those pictures of dogs who started looking like their owners that were all over social media? They crack me up. They have a constant friend when things get “rough”. Groan. Maybe the more we walk with God the more we will look like the owner of the universe, stable, thorough, constant, bringing calm and stability where our feet tread this earth?

God, continue to show us who you are and help us to be like you- today, tomorrow and every day after that. Thank you for the attribute of being constant. As we walk with you, work that in and through our lives. Amen.

Renae Roche2018

*Millard Ericksons list of God’s Greatness was used for the lists in this website.








Back in the day I was struggling to find God’s will for my life. I had previous experience in waiting tables so thought I would go back to that for a while. It was a bit nerve wracking to say the least. Several of the waitresses (now called servers) that I worked with would grumble over tips, tables and even customers. Well, one day I got a little promotion and my manager showed me the stainless steel pie divider. I had moved up to desserts and I got to slice the pie – eight even pieces. He trusted me so I was allowed to use this little device to make even slices so each customer got an equitable slice rather than a big piece for farmer Freddy and a meager piece for Matilda. I loved the customers but grew weary of all the feuds over tips, tables and who got the biggest slice of pie. Beyond that front showcase was a freezer in back that contained hundreds of frozen pies that no one knew about until they got the special pie promotion. I laugh now but back then it was a big deal. Customers would never rush thru supper if they knew there was an unlimited supply of dessert out back just waiting to be ordered. If you have convinced yourself that there is only enough pie for someone else and none for you, then you live with great limitation.

Remember the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness? They could eat as much as they wanted but one day was to be set apart to remember the One who provided their vittles. God did more than stretch their budget; He was stretching their faith as well. My little boys get into squabbles sometimes over food portion size. When they were really small they would get something and then the second in line would ask, “Mama, can I have one too?” to which I would reply “no”. Downward would go the chin and quickly a scowl would emerge. I would then softly say, “you don’t get one, you get two, or four or eight”. Now that they are older they love that and we talk about limits and training our minds to think beyond what our fears tell us is real. Why do we imagine God’s heart or hand is so very small?

So those Israelites, they complained and I believe that God grew weary of their grumbling and gave them so much they barfed it up. Maybe it was more like saturating them? Maybe He was trying to show them the abundance He had to bless them with, but they were still stingy, miserly and small minded in spite of watching the Egyptians and their horses trying to dog paddle through the Red Sea?  Whoosh! Gee Whiz – thousands of gnats, frogs and you really can’t see that God’s supply is bigger and better than Pharaoh’s? It seems that we limit God and give much room for our belief in the enemy’s resource supply. We fear all the things that might happen rather than trusting in the limitless power, protection ad presence of the One who has promised to be with us. We fear other people, curses, foreign ideas or people, maybe weather or spooky rhymes people say. The more we give credit to other gods, the more we detract from the One who made the universe. What we fear, we worship. What we pay attention to we eventually obey. You have heard many talk about end times and the evil released but I’ve read the end of the book and spiritually (and mathematically) God has more angels, more power, and more resources. Why do people then fear the end, instead of anticipate the revealing? If Heaven is endless and Hell is contained wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the Greater instead of the lesser?

When phone companies went to unlimited data on their phones people switched loyalties and phone companies! Unlimited was unheard of! It did not take great orator skills and smooth sales talking to switch people over because the difference was well… unlimited. God is limitless. Animal control is not going to lasso or contain Him. Extraverts will not wear Him down with their prayers. There are not enough votes in the nations to impeach Him because those who are for Him are more numerous than the grains of the sand, the stars of the sky. Remember, God still is bigger than Walmart, McDonalds or Coke. God never runs out of mojo, power or energy but remains faithful, refreshing the weary and giving strength to the weak.


 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
 His mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
 great is Your faithfulness.   Lamentations 3:22-23


Sure, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but that’s Old Testament? Well, …there is a Well that never runs dry and the Samaritan woman surely can tell us about that story (John 4). Water that’s turned into wine is how the people of Cana would describe it. Then there’s the boat that was shiny clean until the limitless One’s Son came aboard and redirected their supply chain – “Not here but over there”. What about that little kid who had just a little lunch that fed thousands? You Northern cookin mamas know how to stretch a good meal, but THAT meal –was off the charts awesome. Slice the ham thick and call the relatives over kind of meal. Then there’s that woman that had a limited edition jar of Nard but a limitless edition of love … then lavishly poured it all over Jesus. You tee-totallers can celebrate one day in Heaven when the tap is open and wine flows throughout Heaven celebrating the victory of the Risen King. There – there is no last call, because the last call was already made! There – all drinks are on the House. There the celebration will be filled with the Spirit and Joy, not substances or sorrows.  Unlimited, inexhaustible, unstoppable, limitless…  So very different than bound, contained, small, restricted stingy love. God is limitless, His Son is limitless, and His children are limitless (or can be).

What if we saw how God sees, felt how God feels, loved like God loves? Just for a minute, an hour, a day?

Heavenly Father, remove the blockages that stop up our service. Remove the blinders that let us only see things from this earthly, small opinion living and view. Open our hearts, our minds, and our lives and then open our finances, homes and churches. Amen.


*Praying for the children of Uganda and their need for unlimited provisions and food today.

If I asked when does life begin, people would rush to their area of political belief. I read recently that in the olden days people believed that life was only valid after a mother felt her baby kick within her. That explains society quite a bit if you ask me – only the kickers survived? Life means many different things in our modern world. Joy has been replaced by debates and votes, making life something humans determine rather than what God breathes life  into. God still holds the keys to life and death and only He determines our start or final day.

NASA is exploring life in space and the latest discovery is that there just might be “life” on Mars. I’m not ready to go there yet and my mind cracks up whenever I think about that. They found hydrogen peroxide there which makes one think there is a mama and a few boo-boos up there somewhere, right? When I questioned some friends about what “life” meant to them one suggested that it is a prison term and how long someone has been sentenced. A “lifer” is one that goes to jail and does not ever come out.  It’s great to have friends from all walks of life to give depth to our perspectives.

I asked my favorite theologians (child 1 and child 2) and they both said God was alive because He created them and lives inside them. They were both proof positive that God was alive. I agree. When I pressed for less Sunday school-like answers this is what they told me. Child 1 stated that he has breath in his lungs and since God put that there He must still be alive to generate such breath. I was so stunned I could barely talk. Then child 2 stated that he sins a lot and when he asks God to forgive him he feels less guilty and gets a peace in his heart and it gets all clean inside. Grace has “got” him. That proves God is alive because only God could fix his heart. Their answers made me happy that they are aware of who God is and the difference that God’s life makes in their lives. I did not realize peace could be so easily explained. “I felt guilty and now I feel free”. Fair enough.

Movies like God’s Not Dead help remind us what God is up to, but have you ever wondered if God ever ran out of energy and just ceased? Did God’s life source run out last month and we are all running on fumes? What keeps God moving, doing miracles and loving? He’s the God that is un-caused and sustainable in all seasons. Eddie James sings all about the various aspects of His life and existence in, “I Am” ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHz2_HLw7fg ). 

Could we fathom a world without His presence? He is pre-existent and was there in the beginning, wholly unlike us and eternal. But is He living, still? Job tells us in Job 19, one of the earliest books of the Bible, “I KNOW that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth.” If anyone deserved to think for a second that God was MIA it was Job. It looked like God was off the job or had gone out for a break when terrible things happened to him. A few verses later however he equates God’s existence with the yearning in his heart.  How does one long for a God one has never seen unless that being is wholly alive within us? It is personal to him – MY redeemer lives and ultimately in the end will triumph- He will stand on the earth. He could have appealed to the mighty mountain or the bubbling of a small brook but instead states that his heart knows that God will stand – that is faith! Do our hearts resonate and beat to the meter of God’s living power?


The God of life is seen walking with Adam and Eve. He intervenes all the way through the Bible and then Jesus makes many statements telling us that He is the bread of life, the way the truth and the life and gives eternal life. But how do we know God is life and alive today to impact us? Here are a couple things to consider:

  1. He provided life through creation
  2. He provided Jesus to give us life everlasting (salvation)
  3. He provided the continuation of life, breath and sustains us
  4. He provided eternity and Heavenly life with Him
  5. He provided reconciliation – a lifeline to continued relationship
  6. He provided the Holy Spirit for communication and wisdom so life is fresh and directed on a daily basis.

That sounds theological but let’s slow down….

This morning we found snails in our garden. A true gardener would have been disappointed but we were thrilled to investigate and understand the little creatures. They looked like rocks. They appeared dead. Our youngest told us they were “alive”. How do you know, we asked? Because we can see them move once in a while and they leave a trail where they have been – oily slime. “Sometimes this little snail moves, then we know mama that he’s alive.” He moved. If they feel safe and welcome, they venture out of their shell. We make room for them and then they slowly come out.

Sometimes we don’t feel or see God, but He still exists, still lives. My dad used to have a magnet inside his pick-up that said, I believe in the sun when it is behind the clouds, I believe in God when He is silent. Maybe we have to slow down, get quiet and make room for God. Maybe He reveals Himself on His schedule instead of ours.

One day I was trying to remember a scripture that a friend had shared but could not find it. The next day I got ready for work and tried to look it up again, but could not find it in my Bible or on my phone. Doubts and struggles clouded my belief that a mighty God could help with a certain problem I was facing. Later that day, I went into a random room that just “happened” to have a Bible, I flipped it open and it “accidentally” fell open to that scripture I had been searching to find. If coincidences only happened now and again one would dismiss that as random but when these things happen often it is pretty clear that there is divine orchestration that is grander than our human minds can imagine. God is very ordered, anything but random. The same God that sets the tides by the moon also designed our DNA. That same miraculous, detailed God longs to give us life – not just in the land of glory but in the here and now.

We see God’s life when we look at the Northern lights. We see God’s life when we look into a babies face. We see God when the altar is full on a Sunday morning. We hear life when a bird sings, when a sinner repents, when a saint passes. We experience life whenever a sovereign God moves, when the loud saints pray or when the quiet whispering ones stay silent. There are millions of expressions of the life of God around us.

When life ceases to exist, God still remains. Until then, we need His breath, His heart, His life. When He is given invitation, room, time … life increases. This life is meant to bond us together, to create a loving, living intimacy with the Lord of the universe. Dead faith does not have life giving daily talks. Dead religion comes from dead hearts, those whose relationships with God have no living fountain flowing. Fresh faith comes from vibrant, living interactions with a vibrant, living King. Dear Lord, show us Your life, give us Your Life, and use us to show forth Your life to others. Amen.


One night as our little boy lay sleeping, his younger brother woke up him with a “burning” question, “do worms have ears?” The reply “dude, go back to sleep, it’s 3 in the morning.” We laughed for a long time when we heard it and then every time we read letters that remind us of this event. Can a worm hear us? Is there a God who hears us? Is there a heavenly entity that understands what we are feeling?

This webpage was created to start dialogue about rest and peace in our lives. I was reminded recently of a time in grad school when I was struggling to understand God and a good friend recommended reading the list of God’s attributes in a book by Millard Erickson. That list that I am going over on this webpage is originally created by him, although I have changed the content under the headings of that list. Over the years I have reflected back on that time and the ways God has revealed himself regarding each of these attributes. This week’s character attribute of the Greatness of God is that He has personality.

God is not a deaf and dumb idol that merely hears our prayers and never replies back. God replies, responds, communicates. God is unique among all other gods in that He tells us His name and identity when He speaks with Moses, “tell them I am that I am has sent you.” We read throughout the Old Testament the many names of God that describe His nature. Our God not only desires our friendship but gives us names so we can identify with and understand Him. That’s pretty amazing.

Matthew 11:35 tells us that Jesus wept or shed tears. I don’t really care if He cried for Lazarus or their unbelief or Mary’s faith. The point to me is that He had emotions which robots and other gods are incapable of having. The fact that He is moved by emotions at all is remarkable. Match that with His incredible mercy and that makes Him unique among all other gods, anywhere in history. I ran into someone recently that was not touched by another’s pain, was insulated against their feelings and closed off to the slightest thought of another’s suffering and it struck me that no matter how much this person said they knew about God, they clearly did not know the living Jesus of the Bible because He was moved by others insecurities, pains and griefs. Desperation does not give us intimacy with Jesus, because then it would be about our quest and not His greatness. It is His mercy and character that brings us into His realm and allows us to be touched with what touches His heart. Those who cannot empathize with others pain need to understand that He is deeply moved by what affects those who know and serve Him. In the end times the Bible states that the love of many will wax cold, in other words they will have dull and unsympathetic emotions. The word wax there means to grow or blow cold. They will say they love God but then show their hearts to be insulated, frozen and cold.

We see Jesus having another emotion, in the temple as He drove out the sellers and materialistic hawkers and charlatans. I do not believe He was hostile towards bird sellers or what was happening in the temple as much as He was angry at what was being prevented from happening – people praying and connecting with His Father. He was angry at what was NOT taking place. He was angry that they separated the children from their father with all their nonsense. Jesus is moved by emotion when He sees His children being used, manipulated, marginalized or pushed aside while the hawkers and sellers or religion take center stage. This real God is really concerned about who is prevented from coming near to His father and His anger displays to us that He was fully man, in all ways tempted like we are and true to His human form. It caused Him to take a stand against the injustice. We can personally trust this God because the foundation of His throne is Justice and He cannot remain silent – no matter the cost.

There are other theological handles that preachers have mentioned thru the ages but as I pondered on this God with personality I was reminded of a Christ that would search for a crazy little man up a tree even though everyone around Him was begging for His time We see His personality when He hangs out with the leper, the beggar, the bride and never tries to look like a leader or sound like a leader or even make a huge declaration from God. If anyone could gain applause from a big, “thus says the Lord” it would be this guy… but He doesn’t. Instead He says things like blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. He intentionally keeps His entourage small and just goes about loving the insignificant.

I encountered some things this week that made me very thankful for the leaders who teach and encourage me. I also encountered some people that made it very clear that they were more spiritual than the next guy and used shame and love as weapons. Their actions bruised my soul. I was tempted to let my heart grow cold but the more I pondered on the personality of this great God, I was reminded that Jesus weeps when we weep and it angers Him when the love of the saints grows cold or becomes a commercial. He is not distant from our tears, or our anger. That may be a good litmus test for fellowship as well. Do the people we hang around with see our tears, hear our hearts, and feel our anger? Are we aware of how God feels about the emotions of ours and others lives? If God has personality, i.e. emotions, feelings and character how does that touch us? Can we hold on to rigid theological belief systems while living out the feelings or lack of feelings that we see in the world?

If you can find time, watch the movie Inside Out. It’s a fascinating story that helps people understand emotions and the importance of all of the various ways we feel things. Being real means really feeling and those who know and love Jesus will know and feel mercy, compassion and loads of grace.

I’m thankful we don’t have to feed Jesus like a ceramic idol. I’m glad we don’t have to sacrifice our children to stay His anger. I’m glad God is not just a cosmic candy machine that dispenses blessings when all around us give us a thumbs up. If we really know this God, we will come to appreciate Him. If we appreciate Him we will understand who He is and how that relates to our relationships with others. We can choose phony slick salesmen relationships with our loved ones, awaiting their admiration and applause or we can cast that aside and feel pain, feel mercy, feel anger and feel grace. If God condescends to us with His character and personality don’t we at least owe Him to be or become real worshippers, real friends and have real relationships? I really think so.

What part of your personality has been hijacked by a lack of understanding of Gods? I pray for all of us that we can see God fully in His attributes and then model that understanding of personhood and identity not only for us to see in the mirror but for the world to see that mercy and real tears and real anger are not things to be avoided but embraced by a God who is more than enough. If our lives revolve around God and His personality, the rest will take their rightful place and emotions will blossom into character traits rather than human personality differences. Psalm 62: 10 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” Trust and pour in this verse are both imperatives.  If we trust that God has emotions and personality, we can also trust that He is not shaken by our feelings and emotions. Fake emotions will not produce real healing. Fantasy lives will not produce God results. Go to this living God today and pour out your heart. Trust in Him – at ALL times and when we pour out our real hearts to Him, He will be our refuge. A real God, a real refuge –with real results.


Jumpin Jimmy

So, we’re coming home from church this morning, and the highway goes down to two lanes. Fair enough they are doing construction. We are hurrying to go see my sweet daddy so our minds were far down the road. All of a sudden a tiny little mouse darts out from the left and barely makes it underneath a truck. Then traffic slows down and he continues to speed through the lane, under another car and hops up in the air several times and then safely lands on the right side of the road. Having a bit of a wild imagination, I wondered what new sneakers he was wearing. One of the boys commented that he was a very athletic mouse and then my wise hubby pointed out that in 105 heat index weather, the pavement was probably super hot causing this little guy to jump as he raced across the freeway. I was so happy for him and had never seen a jumping, flying mouse before. He was very courageous!

Hubby went back to maneuvering thru the traffic to get us to our destination. The boys went back to doing their various “keep occupied” in the van activities. My mind went to wondering how much this mouse was of value to God. Hmm? He certainly was of value to me! You could create a whole YouTube channel around that little guy. He was incredible.  Would God stop up traffic down the road to make sure this little rodent got to safety? Was the plan set in motion long before the mouse encountered these hurdles? Did God know this little mouse would delight my heart for hours on this hot, Father’s day? Is this why my husband turns on music after church on the way home so I don’t ask him questions about animals? Or theology? Lol. Just how far in advance does God plan our lives and trials? Maybe only pastors or Bible college students wonder about things like this, I don’t know.

God has attributes that are communicable and in-communicable. Things we as humans can emulate and copy (Communicable) and then things that nothing and no one on earth can replicate – like omnipresence or omniscience.


He is not limited to one place or time. The centurion soldier shows us this when he requests a favor from Jesus – “heal my servant who is very ill”, and in that same hour the servant gets healed even though Jesus never treks back to the sick bed where he is praying for healing. That’s amazing! That is why we can pray for someone in Istanbul or Fargo or Croatia and God’s presence shows up in mighty ways – God is not limited by geographical boundaries. I remember once praying for a missionary in Argentina. I woke up in the middle of the night in grueling agony, praying for some guy in a truck and bombs were going off all around him. The next day I called and asked what was going on. At first I was told everything was calm but then later they called back and related a story about a guy being in the back of a truck while bombs were going off all around him. We cannot see around the world but God can. Who are we but jumping little mice that God would condescend to us and make us partners in His kingdom? Incomprehensible.

I asked the family at supper tonight, “why doesn’t God have a body?” The oldest boy said, “that’s God’s business.” Fair enough. We talked about what we would do if we were invisible and how many people we could secretly bless. I kept thinking of this big theological concept I’ve known for years but tonight the answer seemed so basic as I talked with my kids – GOD DOES have a body – us!  We are literally His hands and His feet. He lives and dwells within us as we yield to Him. We can pray, we can be used to further God’s causes. I love that God does not call us just to co-exist like we were frogs or robots or something. He calls us to co-labor, smelly, weary, fragile, human beings -us. We are powerful because of the One we partner with! Power team – with purpose, not random animals on the highway of life.

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
   John 4:24

Those who worship God do not do so merely in a building but worship wherever God is, where God dwells. Jesus went to a tree, a river, a lake and many other places to proclaim His Father. Places where He showed up – became church! Minus a mortgage payment, there was still some praise goin on. Because God is Spirit He is not limited to a building. We limit God when we believe that is the only place where people can get saved, healed or reconciled. What if every building we went in, every tree we stood under, every lake we swam in – became places of His presence, places of praise?

We have been given attributes from God so we can more fully know Him and His ways. We have been invited into His family and ministry. The Father’s heart is that we would know Him, fellowship with Him and demonstrate that to other’s who do not know Him. Yet.

Thank you Lord for Your love and care for us. Thank you that we are not just little mice in some big cosmic plan but participants in your life and continually reminded of Your greatness. Show us how to co-labor with you. Amen.


So, it’s summer and the student loans, car payments and mortgage payment are weighing us down. The stretching of the budget with hot dogs and cereal has not been fun. While cleaning out the shed we found a little white birdhouse and I promised the boys we could clean it out and get some birdseed. Pet food is not cheap and investing $3.98 in a bag of birdseed seemed excessive when we were “jones-ing” for some soda, s’mores or something filled with empty calories and pure heavenly sugar for us human people. After all, doesn’t God provide for the birds of the air and feed them?

We filled the thing full with bird seed and hoisted it up high in the branches so wandering kids, squirrels and raccoons would have limited access. Later that night as I sat outside, a big chubby bird sat on the very top branch and sang the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. It had a trill at the end. I’ve lived in the same place for many years and listened to many bird songs but this was special, long and loud. I asked hubby if it was possible that the bird was grateful for the new house and his new dinner. He muttered something about “not knowing what the birds are thinking” and went inside. So I sat there wondering and feeling quite content. The bird lifted its little beak and belted out another verse. As the sun began to set, in the quiet of our neighborhood, I was his only audience. Maybe, this bird had appreciated what we had done. Maybe we were part of the Heavenly fathers plan for feeding him? I delighted to give the birds in our yard a little treat.

In that moment I got to feel what grateful felt like on the other side. This little bird appreciated what I had done and that tiny little song was sweet to my soul. I wondered if my Heavenly Father feels so delighted when we sing to Him, when we pause and let Him know how thankful and grateful we are for His care, love and provision? I thanked God and felt sweetly delighted in my soul. The next day I received a message that a surprise was coming and a delivery guy came to our house and brought us a freezer box of Omaha meat. It was a special blessing from a dear friend and oh what a timely gift it was for our family! God’s goodness and care was seen when a sister in Christ just felt led to bless us. I may have a doctorate but I’m super grateful for my little  “bird brain”, just  smart enough to know where provision comes from and the mighty hand outstretched with blessings from the Lord. What a delight to have a friend to bless us! Giving and receiving God’s love is pretty cool. When the boys opened up the freezer they were pleasantly surprised and we had so much fun planning all the meals we were going to make with it. Steaks, meatballs and more! While we were planning on surprise blessing other people this week, someone blessed us. God’s pretty sneaky that way. 

The verse I’ve meditated for this weeks blog is from Romans 12:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Anthony Bourdain, a television celebrity who committed suicide this week, once said “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” This man was world renowned for his cooking food and sharing with others. We’re praying for his family. Paul had a very different view on life and tells us something life changing in these verses:

We ARE living sacrifices and purposed to life for God’s enjoyment.

Do not conform means to not fashion yourself according to the pattern of this world. It is an outward focus. To be transformed is to be morphed into something else. This verb is a present passive imperative verb which means the action is not something we do but something the Holy Spirit does as we surrender and REST in the Lord. It takes place at once with continuous effects, ongoing. It is imperative that we renew, it is super important that we foster and allow this process to take place. It is a process of becoming more like the image of Christ –which takes time and saturation. It does not take place by merely observing rituals or traditions out of habit, but by surrendering to the Lords will in our lives and specifically the renewing of one’s mind.

How do we do that?

We don’t. That’s why it is a passive verb. The Holy Spirit does. What we can do however is posture ourselves under the faucet of His love daily, weekly, annually. We can set aside time to saturate in His power and Word. We can posture our hearts to receive His love and spirit. Renewing according to Strong’s’ dictionary means to have a renewal, a renovation and complete change for the better. The Lord pulls up the old baseboards in our minds and lays down new fresh structures of His grace and mercy. Renovating is changing the vision and perspective of one’s mind. It is a refusal to leave yesterday or year’s internal décor as is. We allow God to “overhaul” our spiritual man and give space for the demolition crew to come in and make it happen. A Ruach Rehab so to speak. 

So, exactly what is our part?

Set aside time for the Holy Spirit to do the “home repair”. We allow the Lord through His Spirit to minister to our minds and get in and stay in the Word of God. His part is to renew, renovate and completely change our minds according to the inner working of the Holy Spirit. Internal work vs. external work.  External is things we physically do and Romans reminds us not to establish our own righteousness by any of these things. Internal means we submit to God’s Word and Will, letting the Holy Spirit work in process with our hearts to become more like Christ until that final day. Outward “motions” can never equal inner renewing. They can however facilitate the space to let the inner work take place. One is gymnastics and the other is a purified heart. If we practice spiritual formation habits (such as rest, study, worship) to allow God access to our hungry hearts, we get transformed but if we practice those things as righteous building traditions to look on the outside like we are holy, we actually impede the work of renewal by creating monsters of our own making. Scary.

I love getting blessings in the mail, rewards, favors and encouragement. I also love watching God renew my mind and transform me into His image. Some may run a marathon, some may earn a degree, some may master a hobby but delighting God’s heart is what living sacrifices do. Worship, thankfulness, praise are part of our reasonable service. Focusing on His Word and gaining His perspective helps us prove His will. It’s opposite of living to get the most bang for your buck. It’s opposite of treating life like it’s a party and getting everything you can get out of it. You can search the whole world over and still remain empty inside. You can eat the foods from every nation and fancy desserts from every bakery but if your joy is not found in the Lord you will live empty in spirit.

The horse races were not on my calendar for this past weekend but it was exciting to hear that a crown had been given to the winner “Justify” for winning the Triple Crown. Our culture has lost the understanding of living for the Lord in such a manner as to be “crown worthy” or a “living sacrifice” . It’s rare to hear someone talk about being fashioned after Christ or transformed. Paul states the “fashion violation” is if we do not let the Spirit transform us on the inside! In our Designer culture, We feel justified in our own merits and many have given up trying to please a God they no longer understand or know. Bibles have been replaced as the Christians main accessory with designer handbags and shoes with rhinestone crosses on them. Without renewing our mind in prayer and the Bible, we cannot understand who God is or His character. He’s merciful, He’s mighty, He’s everlasting love. When our goal is to be an amusement park or live for our own enjoyment and praise or a crowd, we miss out on God’s amazing journey and plan for our lives. We cease being grateful, thankful or surprised by His goodness. James 1 tells us, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having STOOD the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who work for Him? No, those who love Him.”

These are just some thoughts for the week. Now you know what this crazy bird is thinking. Smile. Simple, not profound. Sometimes the answers in life aren’t given to the rich, poor, wise or wonderful but those merely responding to the rhythms of God’s love – living sacrifices that believe they will be loved, nurtured and fed. God is so simple a child can grasp His love yet so profound a scholar can never exhaust His majesty.

Go find a branch and belt out your praise to the God who is waiting to hear your song. He understands it. Present yourself, STAND before Him and renew your mind to get to know this God of love and life. Eat like a bird on the word- continually and thankfully. It’s imperative that we keep on singing in our Temple, and His. Then, today and tomorrow we will be able this side of eternity, to rest in peace. Enjoy !



God is so awesome. Last week after writing the blog I heard the song, “Enter in- Psalm 100” and it fortified my soul. It also caused me to reconsider what “offerings” we bring to the sanctuary. So free from the law, free from offering goats, bulls, etc. we are to bring in our best.  I’m thinking that a couple of songs can’t replace a whole bull. Bull in our culture is just a show on Netflix. How far removed we have gotten from the Old Testament sacrifice of giving God our best. As a youth pastor I once had the teens experience sacrifice old school, it was gross, time consuming and laborious. We are so thankful that the New Testament has given us the New Covenant!

We heard a really good sermon this weekend on “Denying Yourself” and we were stirred to follow Jesus with passion.  That’s all part of sacrifice isn’t it? The thought was that if we don’t get the new toy or dress, we can give to God’s work, missions, etc. In a Kardashian culture, no wonder the church is missing walls, staff support and all kinds of blessings.  I wonder if God feels like He gets a bad deal week after week when we slump into our church chairs and hope someone else “stirs it up”. That’s a lot of ecclesiastical pressure placed on the leaders. I’m praying about what to bring as an offering this week and if we can “offer” something to God’s people as stand-ins for Him? Your thoughts in the comments below would not only be appreciated but might slow down my Russian hacker that is sure to get saved any day now. Smile.

The Bible for the blog this week comes from Romans 5 (ESV):

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Our family used this text for a mini-retreat this weekend. It has been a theme for us for a while. Justified means made right with God or as the kids say “Just as if I’d never done it.” Throughout my graduate studies we tested hundreds of ways to peace including yoga, vitamins, stress management techniques, resting retreats, massage, aromatherapy, etc. It was a fun journey but the conclusion of all of that was – we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The other things are mere additives– no matter the price tag, source or random study done in some government building.

Because of Christ, because of His BIG sacrifice (that wasn’t measly, greedy, stingy, weak, misdirected or meager) we have obtained access…

Jesus gave us some keys so to speak. He gave us keys to God’s presence that let us know we are acceptable to Him, because of what He’s done for us. It also lets us know His favor is on us. We should reek of His grace, His favor, even when we are unaware of it. Not because of Bible College, church affiliation, good works but because He made a way, opened the DOOR and gave us FULL ACCESS by faith into this grace in which we stand. We enter in… because we’ve been invited and given The Key.

The idols in your mind should be rebelling about now because it just sounds too good to be true. You know, the idols we all build from past hurts and establish after years and years of being discounted, marginalized, slandered, rejected or thinking we are too miserable or wretched for anything good from God. If you don’t resonate with that last sentence either you are super spiritually healthy  or have never wrestled the enemy for souls and need to get in the battle. There’s just no way human minds can ever conceive of all that God has in mind or in store. That’s why we need to STAY in the Bible so we could be reminded of the revelation that Jesus is for us and not against us – no matter what our enemies (or friends) or even ourselves say.

That access does not come because you study, fast or worship 24/7. Jesus is positioning us for a much bigger “clique” where all are welcome and connected based on His blood and not small group or large group identification. It does not come from being part of a generation of young people and wearing certain jeans or having a certain hairstyle. It does not come from grey hair or apostles regardless of their title. That access solely comes from Jesus and it cost Him -His life.

Access implies trust, acceptance, familial relationship and we get that from Christ not because we deserve it but because HE IS GOOD. It is given to ALL those who love Him and accept that blood stained payment for sin, not just a select few. That access also means FAVOR because He has made us ACCEPTABLE to God. You don’t even have to join the churches praying for gold bricks or helicopters because it is not how or what YOU pray, it is based on Jesus and what HE’s prayed and done. Hallelujah. The ground at the foot of the cross is level. Woohoo.

Favor means you are positioned to receive blessings from the Heavenly Father. It does not mean money, positions or titles. It is not reliant on human material blessings. The best favor someone can have is to waltz into Heavenly Daddy’s throne room and hang out for a while.  I think the reason most people neglect prayer is because they don’t realize:

Who is waiting to speak to them.

Who is waiting to listen to them.

Or possibly, someone else’s opinion has blocked the knowledge that there is therefore now no condemnation! We have audience with the King of Kings, who rules the universe and has sovereign power to change the tides and sunset with one movement of His hand! That’s huge. All other favors are smaller, lesser, tiny.  Jobs, houses, money will all pass away but relationship with the Holy One – is Eternal and Awesome.

While having devotion time this morning, my little boy and I saw a commercial that popped up on You tube. It was for Degree deodorant and had a catchy drum beat. We laughed about DOOR in the middle of deo-dor-ant. The ad promised that Degree would “never let you down”. Wow.  Society thinks the idols of education, money, power or prestige would work but all we needed to buy was some deodorant? That idol sounds good because you could get one for your purse, one for your gym bag and one for your vehicle. Until … you run out. Deodorant has really come a long way. Lol. I know of One that has come a much longer way and is the only One who will never let us down. The Eternal One wants to replace the immediate and temporal idols in our lives, giving us permanent acceptance and favor with the King. Whichever one we choose will determine the doors and blessings that open. The One who sits on the throne, the One who offers Peace also offers access.

Access is offered not to the spiritually mature or brilliant or wise but to the one who relies on and worships the One who paid the penalty for their sin.

Our status,  our belief system, our status all just increased. The Lord of Lords and King of Kings has made a way for us, for me to enter in. Me, a little ol white woman from the Dakotas. That’s amazing. I must have spent many days in defeat because I didn’t realize how powerful that could be if I realized what that meant! The One who never changes, never lets us down, never forsakes us is waiting for me. I’m acceptable to Him, so much so that He beckons me to enter His gates. He has made me so favored that He invites and gives me access to come into His courts… with singing! How many people do you know that want to hear your voice and would pause to hear your singing to or for them? Lalalala!

Irrevocable invitation. No one can slander you there. No one can gossip about you or malign your character there. Accepted and favored one, the robe of righteousness has been placed on you and the King has invited you into HIS presence. Outside in the hallway the naysayers may hear the echoes of, “who can separate us from the love of Christ, nothing!”

Idols of our generation and nation do not promise unconditional love, stop serving them. Idols do not give us unconditional access. Stop serving them. Their worship is based on human’s needs, emotions and situations not ONE sacrifice made for All. Dead idols cannot reciprocate love or favor. Idols are earthly and do not have Heavenly perspective. Idols are subject to stress, weather, financial difficulties and popular opinion and conflict. God, who sits in the Heaven laughs at the things man reveres and worships.

If man/woman did not give you access to God, they cannot take it from you. If spiritual, legal, local, church authority did not give you access to God, they cannot take it from you. If good works did not give you access to God, bad works cannot take it from you. Access to God comes from one source and one source only – Jesus and His blood stained sacrifice and resurrection to give us life.  That or I should say HE is the reason we stand in grace. If it required SO much of Him, why would we neglect to great a salvation? Why would we neglect so great an invitation? How would we orchestrate any other purpose or plan than coming before Him on a regular basis?

The King waits… The Bridegroom beckons… The Holy Spirit draws and longs for us to enter in as accepted, favored sons of the King. We did not realize Lord. The way was open but we have let lesser gods distract us. We have allowed idols to entice us. We have let other humans condemn us, clouding our vision of the open Door.

We enter in, not because it is our ritual. We enter in, not because of what we bring. We enter in, not because it’s Sunday. We enter in, not because it’s a reasonable sacrifice or part of the worship hour. We enter in because we have been given access by Jesus for an audience with the King.

We choose to what degree we will enter in – He chose to give us FULL Access.