Recently I have found myself laughing – belly laughing, the kind that shakes your stomach so hard it cracks through stress and any tightness left there by worldly situations. One of the memories that make me laugh like this is from a story when we were pastoring and had a surprise visitor who spoke Spanish. I tried to translate. I shared a story about making my kids breakfast – eggs and bacon. I was attempting to stress the importance of devotions before breakfast as a helpful discipline. I said it reminds you what to be “hungry” for, and its priority in the day. Instead of saying huevos (eggs), I said cervasas (beer). It ended up being a funny, embarrassing story but it connected us through laughter.

This week I have been laughing at myself again. I wrote the last blog about being persistent. Then I forgot to write the blog the next week. I’m not exactly sure why that happened but although I can follow through and believe in doing what we commit to do, there are times when the Lords’ “pause” is more important. That shouldn’t happen very often or we would never get anything done but His plans are better, higher, greater and much more effective. The pause was fruitful. The pause was refreshing. The pause had purpose.

Psalm 23. Just a little song passed on by David that is read at funerals and memorized by school children. I read it again this week. My mental cartoon character Sharon the Sheep went driving to the grocery story to get groceries. Wait… sheep don’t know how to park in a parking space at grocery store. Smile. How will they go in the sliding glass doors or even open a bag or oranges? Impossible. I thought of Sharon the Sheep wearing a pearl necklace trying on clothes at Dillard’s. Wait, sheep would fall on an escalator, they can’t go clothes shopping easily. Who will zip their zippers or button their blouses? Sharon the sheep would have an awful time baking cookies even with a Martha Stewart recipe, because her wool would be highly flammable near a hot oven. Sheep don’t have opposable thumbs so they can’t fix their own hair. Sheep need a lot of assistance, helpless, cumbersome and fluffy.

Because the Lord is my shepherd – I lack or want nothing.

Before I have a need He has met it. He gives us constant assistance, constant care, constant compassion, regardless of need. I want lots of things but I lack none of the things I truly need because my Shepherd is watching out for me in all things. That reduces much mental and physical striving.

He makes me, actually causes me to lie down in green pastures. Translation: where I can get good meals, snacks and provision. This is even when I have other plans, other agendas, other goals. His main purpose for me is not ministry or even serving my family. Manjia, manjia! Like an Italian mama filling her boys with pasta and sausage, the Lord’s prime desire is that we are filled with Him before we enter our day- His day.


Our Shepherd aggressively, completely and whole-heartedly with passion, wisdom and skill, leads us.


When I was in college I took an exegetical class in Hebrew. My patient professor knew I was scared to be in the class. It was mainly male students in the class. My first test I failed miserably. He brought me into his office and I fully expected him to say, “You need to go home girl, this is not your cup of tea.” It felt like I had disappointed my denomination, my church, my parents and I felt dumb, thinking I could ever study with the caliber of students called to this seminary. I packed up my carel and trudged to his office to hear the news of my demise. He showed me my test then said, “Go have lunch and come back this afternoon and I want you to take it again.” I slowly left his office; however, I did not eat. I put my head down on my desk in the basement of the library and cried, telling the Lord I desperately wanted to reach the nations but it would have to be as a prayer warrior because this was not for me. Later that afternoon I went back in and took the test, this time making a B plus. Performance anxiety gone, fear of failing already actualized, absence of handsome good smelling student sitting by me and the sun in a calmer place, I had passed! I couldn’t believe it. I wish I could say I elegantly thanked him for his understanding and went to study. What that moment meant to me was not a Hebrew test but a gateway door that maybe; possibly, I could serve the God I loved. It was big. I ran into the hallway and did a perfect cartwheel, jumping up and down like a high school cheerleader. They probably passed it off that it was some Pentecostal expression but it was sheer hope and delight. My professor did not release me to get off the path but redirected my focus so I could stay on the path. I think he wanted me to be able to read the Bible for all it was worth and press in. Smile. I’m thankful for his guidance to this day. We can trust the Shepherd that guides our path. The word tells us we go from glory to glory and He is guiding that.

The word for water here is mayim. Heaven is shemayim – a place John would later describe in Rev. 14:2 as a place of many waters and Ezekiel 43:2 expressed as Gods’ voice being like rushing waters. When your only water spot is in the ground or in the Heavens, you realize how important this Shepherd is that is leading you. He knows where these watering spots are and that becomes really important. We need this Shepherd to strongly lead us, because the ordinary path leaves us dry, dusty and weary. Dehydration spiritually means the difference between life and death.


This is the point of the blog this week, this next verse –but let me explain why first. In Hebrew there are verbs and then there are verbs on steroids. If I whisper a hello that is like a regular verb. If I stand on a mountain, using a sound system with a megaphone and thousand voice choir to scream emphatically a shout of hello – that is an intense verb (polel).

            He refreshes my soul is that type of verb.


Yoga can’t do that. Meditation can help but it can’t do that. Medicines may support some system but it can’t refresh that deeply. My Shepherd massively, intentionally, continually, effectually refreshes my soul. Saturated, anointed, blessed, calmed, watered – that is what Jesus does to our souls. Oh, if we come near Him, He knows exactly what we need. He touches those deep places of pain; He heals those rejection areas, places a balm on the injured areas nothing else can reach. HE refreshes my soul; HE keeps me going, in spite of anything that has happened in the past, present or future. He is not only able to refresh but super willing to! Wow!

Sometimes, we need to pull away from the routine, the ordinary, whatever anyone else is expecting us to do and just hear God’s voice, feel the Shepherds patting our heads, bringing us to eat what He has prepared. Manjia, manjia little lambs.


What is greater in your life that you pause for? What areas of grace do you need to apply as you please God and others? What can be suspended for a minute, an hour, a day in order to make room for God’s providential care or leading? Are you doing good things or God’s things?


I want to persist in following Jesus, not my own agenda, no matter how great or BIG that looks like to me or others. My Bible still says that He REWARDS those who diligently seek HIM. If “keeping on” looks more like willpower or spiritual muscle it may be directing us to more ministry – but people style ministry. The Way seems more narrow these days and following Jesus has more tangles and distractions than I ever thought possible. It is way too easy to get distracted by good things rather than God things. I want to persist after the One with real spiritual muscle because He never changes and Eternity is in His hands.





So, last week I decided to work several days in a row in order to go to a Ministers meeting I really wanted to attend. How hard could it be I thought? So, I ate protein every three hours, took some power naps and pressed in. At the end of my 30 hour jaunt, some minor emergencies happened stretching it  even further. I lived, I pressed in and was feeling very “Navy seal” like until my eyes started to cross, my head started to throb and I realized I was not invincible. After my meeting, which required 11 hours of travel, I returned home exhausted. Monday morning came and I felt more like a grumpy bear lumbering through the woods than a trained minister of the Gospel. The blog which I usually finish Sunday night was just going to have to wait. Alas, my persistence had worn out.

Hunky Hubby however did rest- a concept I’m usually enjoying and nagging him about. He woke up Monday morning refreshed, made a fresh pot of coffee and had 2 roasts in the crockpot by 7:00 AM. Although it was a blessing, something just felt out of kilter but nothing in my soul or spirit wanted to stop him. So after working a long day, I came home and there he was in the kitchen again – my kitchen, making the best gravy I ever tasted. Hmm? Then came the confession: Tonight I was supposed to write a blog about God’s love and persistence but my persistence has run out. We laughed and then he reminded me of the truly great “persisters” in life such as the Navy Seals, trained to resist inertia and defeat by constantly subjecting their bodies to discipline and the elements. “Give up” is not in their vocabulary. We discussed William Tyndale who learned seven new languages and then translated the New Testament. He persisted all the way until they burned him alive – that’s persistence much deeper than me getting up Sunday and going to church without curling my hair!  Then there is Martin Luther who persisted to write the Bible into common language so the world could understand God better. What if he had quit because he was weary? There is a time to quit, but it’s not generally in the heat of the battle. Sometimes it is honorable to quit – but only when the Lord says, not just when our flesh is whining.

What about Gladys Alyard? She had a burning desire to reach Chinese children but was told “NO” by her denomination. So, she went home, pouted and decided to style her hair instead. A thousand times NO! She took a trip to another country to get in a different way, was held in prison, wrecked her feet and then after much more persecution rescued many orphans, leading them to Christ. That’s persistence. The “no’s” merely served as fuel for the fire that propelled her to preach the Gospel.

So, after we have looked at Benevolence, Grace and Mercy the last aspect of love to uncover is persistent love. God’s love is persistent because He planned redemption for us from the minute Adam and Eve sinned, until Jesus died on the cross.  Persistent love is Noah sounding the alarm while pounding nails in the Ark. Persistent love is waiting many years before closing the door of that Ark. Persistent love is Abraham asking God to spare just one more righteous person. Persistent love is Sarah kissing Abraham in hopes of a child. Persistent love is Moses enduring yet another plague. Persistent love is Joshua standing in the middle of the River so the children could cross over. Persistent love is Ruth gleaning in the fields, single and dusty,  Persistent love is Hosea, welcoming home his less than virtuous wife, persistent love is the prodigal father and mother making big meals until they see the light in their sons eyes, persistent love is writing words of love in the sand while rocks are dropping to the ground around you,  persistent love is the woman with the alabaster jar ignoring the mocking laughter even while she served their Lord, persistent love is the parent begging for Tabitha to be healed, persistent love is Jesus driving the slick salesmen out so people can pray, persistent love is being nailed to a cross, persistent love is forgiving all their sins, persistent love is filling the people with His spirit,  persistent love is …  looking for His return.

Our love is only our love as long as it comes from OURSELVES. Persistent love generates from the Fathers heart.  If our love is to be like the Father’s it must come from and be shared through the love of Jesus. The One tempted, but yet did not sin, the One victorious though nailed to a cross. The One risen and victorious in all things. I love this verse: being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6.
   When I am weary, exhausted, spent, He will carry not only me but the work God has for me to completion. When my “persistor” is broken, God will persist through me. He’s just good that way. Maybe that is why throughout the Old Testament we are called and encouraged to walk in God’s ways – to stand firm and to keep on keepin on. Or as a dear brother said this weekend, “Keep Going”. We have to let God inspire us and lead us on until God tells us to stop.

Maybe you cannot persist in your love with someone because of rejection, addictions, violence or miscommunication–  but you can still pray. Sometimes broken relationships are not spiritual dilemmas but family system disorders. Maybe it is spiritual warfare. Maybe people are apathetic or just choose to not want to fix the real issues. Whatever the case may be we can look at God’s character and His persistent love as our model.

I like the quote by Elizabeth Edwards that says, “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” It reminds me of Paul continuing his journeys through opposition, it reminds me of the disciples too timid to continue and then with power and authority declared the Gospel all over their world, persisting until some were burned, some beaten. You may have a test or trial you are facing which could be as intense as what Malala Yousafzei  faced or as small as keeping your homeschooler on track. God sees your struggle to continue. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me, is more than a song lyric – it’s true.

I do not know what God has called you to do: perhaps rally for women’s voices in your generation, picket for life, rally for prisoner justice or maybe just have grace to make it through the day. Whatever it is – God will carry you and God will persist through you until it is completed or reconciled.  When our love is broken, disillusioned or challenged we can go back to the source of all life, all love and request His help. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us,

 “The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases, His mercy never comes to an end.”


                                                     God is Mercy

The dictionary (Google) defines mercy as compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone when it is within someone’s power to punish or harm them.

Who deserves punishment? The Bible talks about a very real, eternal hell and describes throughout scripture the perimeters regarding who will go there. It seems that is focusing on one thing- separation from God (or lack of intimate relationship with Him) rather than individual sins. Hebrews 4 echos this sentiment when it states, “TODAY, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Something so large and cruel– is the punishment for those who did not guard their hearts to stay “tender”. Our pastor regularly talks about keeping wiling hearts and that pulls me back to knowing I need to guard my heart because it is very important in God’s economy. Becoming cynical, lukewarm or cold matters to God. When we look away from Him to others actions, we are shaded from the light.

PETA – a group that used to protect kittens and bunny rabbits from “bad people” recently called for the execution  of a dentist who went on a game hunt and got a lion. Actual murder somehow of this man was not alarming to them but hunting a lion was, which seems a bit barbaric and extreme. It reminds me of the recent political debate about the supreme court. The rules were all twisted as people acted out of their fears and agendas rather than with decorum and honesty. We may never know the full story and once again the sides were drawn to such extremes that the whole crowd had mud on their faces. I’m not going to comment on the spectacle but I do want to say that it is troubling that people on both sides, or should I say fanatics on both sides have a bent for vengeance which is crazy making at best. I fear for the lives of everyone involved because the lust for “punishment” and evening the score is at an all time high. People in the marketplace (and perhaps churches or courts) are trying to exact justice from anyone who walks, talks or sounds like anyone in this case that they disagreed with and that is dangerous. It looks like “that person reminds me of this guy/gal so therefore I will take out my unresolved frustration on them.” When we evaluate things with our limited views and then try to bring punishment instead of compassion or forgiveness we might end up punishing the wrong people or persons.

If you go to this link:  you will find eight people who were convicted of heinous crimes, put to death by the courts and then found innocent later. Capitol Punishment is not much of a hot topic in our nation because it does not directly affect the average American. Part of our sinister selves want to see people punished and crimes solved because it makes us feel safer but for the wrongly accused –it’s life altering. The scene at the foot of the cross was like that – the crowds shouting “crucify him, crucify him!” When we get blinded by our own style of justice, when we let our egos get fed by others flaws, when we relish in retaliation we are so far from Christ-likeness, we may never return.

Hear Matt Redmans Song Mercy:

I will kneel in the dust
At the foot of the cross,
                    Where mercy paid for me.
Where the wrath I deserve,
It is gone, it has passed.
Your blood has hidden me.

Mercy, mercy,
As endless as the sea.
I’ll sing Your hallelujah
For all eternity.

We will lift up the cup
And the bread we will break,
Remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
                     But You took on our shame
And nailed it to a cross.   ….


The sweetness of mercy, the flowing and cleansing flood of Mercy spills into every arena.


If we mock the judges, if we tear down the leaders  (women and men), if we assassinate the character of  priests and pastors (the innocent ones along with the bad) we will become like the days of judges. That fine line between weed and wheat is left to a righteous God who discerns and sees all. Maybe that is why so many priests have fallen and the media have made such a mockery. Some are justly accused and some were made to be part of the news spin and only God knows the difference. When people stop remembering, stop worshiping, stop seeing the One High Priest, they  stop knowing that they, we need mercy. It’s a strategy! People who have no need of mercy and think that they are able to judge all –soon throw off restraint and make retaliation their goal. Retaliation wounds and retaliation kills. Luke 6:36 – Jesus exhorts us to be merciful just as your Heavenly Father is merciful.


That should cause people on all sides of politics and religion to pause and pray.


This blog usually contains a joke and a few light-hearted anecdotes along with scripture to inspire your week. Today I’m constrained to note the seriousness of the hour. If ever people needed to pray for ourselves, our families and nation it is now. A people who have forgotten mercy, the merciful One, will soon exact their punishment and retaliation without fear or restraint. Innocent people will pay the price for others anger and the bitter tree will bear its fruit.  To hold that back in prayer, to co-labor with the merciful One in this hour is imperative.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—

yet,        He did not sin. 16    

 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, (He chose to forgive, not retaliate) so that we may receive MERCY and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Cleanse us Lord, fill us Lord, release us Lord we pray.



Genesis 6:8 says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. In other passages we see Abraham and Jacob and also Joseph finding grace in the eyes of the Lord. This Hebrew word is chen (pronounced hain) and means to find favor, good will and acceptance.

That must have felt special to Noah – ridiculed, hated, mocked and dismissed.

That must have felt beautiful to Abraham – out on his own, wandering and alone.

That must have felt comforting to Joseph – angrily thrown out, cast down, forsaken and imprisoned.


We spent some time by the waterfalls in Bass Pro today. The silence around was calming, the waters in the little pond were still and the splashing of the water from the rocks above brought us into a different place and time to just relax and rest. Now read that again… Noah found grace, favor, acceptance in the eyes of the Lord. Can you hear, feel the similarities in those words? It’s like aloe vera on a sunburn or milk after eating hot peppers. Accepting, favor and goodwill bring peace and they bring rest.

Grace says we don’t deserve anything because we are sinful, wicked and messed up, but we get it anyway. It is like that new song by Mercy Me that says, smile like you just go away with something. Why? Because you just got away with something. Receiving favor or goodwill when it is not deserved feels good and takes us by surprise. This past week I studied benevolence and I love it when God just blesses you for no reason. We experienced this when a family friend took the boys out to play Laser Tag. It was just a joy. Then midweek I had some car issues and part of it was my fault for driving over a speed bump a tad bit too fast. The bill was high but we remembered we had a service warranty package which helped significantly. That is grace because I deserved to pay for it. It was accidental, yet I intentionally drove down a street that was not designed for NASCAR. Grace can come in many different forms. We forget how important grace is until we are the ones in need of it.

This week I was visiting with some young kids. One had never heard the whole story of the crucifixion before. She exclaimed after the story – that must have weally, weally hoit (hurt) Jesus. Another asked how they nailed his head to the cross. I guess I haven’t been in little people Sunday school for a while. Their shock at Christ’s pain and compassion for Him brought tears to my eyes. It was like I heard the story for the first time. I sat back and let the other children fill in the rest of the story in their beautiful and sensitive way of telling it, proud that they had parents who had trained them in this precious story. We certainly do not deserve grace after all of that, yet Christ’s love pours out unmerited favor, love and acceptance. Maybe we don’t hear much about that because it follows after understanding how wicked and in need of God’s grace we truly are on an hourly basis!

Many times we read stories and they become so familiar we don’t really hear them. Consider this story – the adulterous woman kneeling with Jesus in the dirt, for example and we picture ourselves as Jesus, extending grace and those awful, judgy people around her barking out condemning words. However, in reality we are not the extender of grace, we are the ones in need of grace. Whether it is adultery, theft, slander, murder or anything else, it is you and me that stand naked, wretched and in need of any small drop of grace from Heaven. We are not the good guys in these stories; we remain the villain until Christ’s grace is poured out. We need that grace because without His salvation and kind favor and goodwill ,

none of us would have the power to get or stay saved. That is what makes it so amazing.

Space limits a full telling of the story here but if you get a chance, rent or buy the movie John Newton. It is the story of the man who wrote the lyrics to Amazing Grace and tells of his slave trading days. If ever we could see someone who was deep in sin change, it was this man. It gives fresh hope to politics and struggles today because someone was praying for this man and when he was saved by grace it affected an entire nation. We see the story, but God remembers those who interceded for him. Now, it’s our turn to pray and weep for grace to affect souls darkened by sin.

Where have you come from? What gallons of grace helped you to get here? Where are you today? What forms of grace are keeping you in place? Where are you going and what grace will need to be poured out so you feel and know God’s love and favor? I am so glad we are saved by grace. I am even more glad that we can be kept by that same grace until the final day of completion. I was shocked recently to realize that I trust the Holy Spirit to save people but not always to complete the work in them. Same Holy Spirit. The leading and gifting’s follow a person until that final day. Grace is God’s unlimited and unmerited favor. He pours it out – for others just like He has done for us.

Matt Maher sings “Lord, I need You” and there is a line that rings in my heart as I write this “where sin runs deep, Your grace is more, where grace is found, is where You are.”

“Where You are, Lord I am free, Holiness is Christ in me.”  

Acceptance, favor, grace and good-will are awesome in a world that condemns, rejects, categorizes and hates. We need Jesus for salvation, sanctification and just daily knowing that we are welcome in His arms and Heaven. The world also needs to see that.

How can we deny others this same grace that is so freely given to us?

RenaeRoche 2018

Ps. Why did Noah light a candle? Because he was in d’ark. Go shine this week!



One evening a Scotsman was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the road eating grass. Disturbed, he yelled at his driver to stop and got out to investigate. He asked one man, “Why are you eating the grass?” “Well, we don’t have any money for food” the poor man replied. “So we have to eat grass.” “Well then, come with me to my house and I’ll feed you the Scotsman said, “But sir, I also have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.” “Ok, bring them along too” the Scotsman replied. Turning to the other poor man he stated, “You come with us, also.” The second man in a pitiful voice then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and SEVEN children with me!” Very well then, bring them all” the Scotsman answered. They all piled into the limousine, which was no easy task. Once under way one of the poor fellows turned to the Scotsman and said, “Sir you are truly too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you. The Scotsman replied, “No problem, glad to do it. “You’ll really love my place “the Grass is almost a foot high.” (Joke from

Thankfully, God is not like the Scotsman in this story. He does not bless us for His benefit but for our welfare or sake. He hears us, sees us and genuinely cares about our being. That is a sharp contrast from the world and its’ ways. God blesses without selfish intent or manipulation.

“The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh King of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. “ Deut. 7

Wow. So God isn’t a fan of just large, big or mega. He sets His affection on us just because He loves us and promised redemption. THAT is HUGE! Little ol you, little ol me. That is regardless of how many “likes” we have on Facebook or how many hits we have on our blogs. God does not play favorites and is not swayed by popularity or bigness. I love Hillsong United – but God loves a little boy humming a tune to Him just as much. I love movements like Women of Faith but God hears a single woman at work asking Him to help her just as much. I love when huge amounts of people stand in solidarity for a cause but God sees and helps little warriors like David bringing sandwiches to his brothers in the field, just as much. It’s our views that our limited. God hears, sees and cares about those whose hearts are postured towards Him. A verse in Psalm 145:16 says, “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” That’s benevolence.

Love is a broad topic but benevolence is a narrow definition of that type of love God has for us. He is concerned not only that we know and worship Him but He cares about our welfare – what is troubling us, what we need, what we desire and care about. He does not use us or manipulate our need to His own advantage to get “air time”. Some days I feel like just a living thing. Lol. If you saw my hairstyle today you would know that accurately describes me. Yet God loves me in spite of that.
This week the Lord showed Himself strong. I know He cares about theology and church stuff but our heater/AC went out. We feared it would be a big deal but it turned into a blessing. Then I went to buy my handsome hubby some new shirts for his birthday and they were on sale. Several times when things looked chaotic it turned around to be something that worked out for our good. That is not because we are educated, brush our teeth, go to church or have superpowers in the area of home management. God is just good or more precisely God is benevolent.

Do you want to experience Him as such? You can sit and hum asking to encounter God and He may oblige you. I know many that spend vast hours in worship and meditation and are still seeking God for that experience that will give them goosebumps and that is fine. If you really want to encounter God, though… I’ll let you in on a secret – act like Him. Find someone who is praying for an answer, blessing or miracle and then become that in that person’s life. Your goosebumps will get orange size.
I remember a couple of years ago there was a lady who needed some shoes at a thrift store. I found a dress pair and some snow boots because both seemed necessary. Then I got carried away and put together an ensemble. For those men (or women) who do not know what an ensemble is –it is a matching hat, scarf and mittens. She looked at me and said, “I could never know which to choose.” I said, no silly, it’s an ensemble -you wear it all together. I want to get it for you. After she was done crying we put it all on. I stood back and exclaimed, “You look like a fancy model from Paris.” Oh we had fun. Then that woman decided maybe she was worth something and we began a conversation that ended with her escaping from an abusive domestic situation. God’s benevolence towards us expresses value. He see and stoops low to help us because we are valuable to HIM. Awesome.

My memory verse this week was about conforming to Christ – looking similar, being fashioned like Him and mirroring who He is. It fit in nicely with this topic because those who have been chosen and redeemed by the benevolent loving God will most look like Him when we are acting like Him and benevolence is a good place to start. Who do we pay it forward to? Who deserves a smile, a hug, a full gas tank or paid rent receipt? IF we are following after Christ and His ways, it should look like something He would do, not just what we would want.

We can pray for God’s to grant us benevolence – and I like being the recipient of that. We can worship Him 24/7 and tell Him how benevolent He is and I’m sure He would enjoy that. Or, we can pray as we go to be benevolent to others and then worship with them that God answered their prayers for provision and our prayers for an encounter with a living God. I like the celebration and co-laboring aspect of that.

Acts 14:17 states, “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” God continues to pour out His blessings in our lives. When we don’t see the big stuff we can be reminded of the constant things like rain, food, air, sight, health and joy. He is an on time God, never early, never late.

I pray for you this week that you will see His hand in your life as you turn to Him for provision, care and heart needs. I pray you find many opportunities to be His hand outstretched to others in a benevolent way. I pray this new found sense of purpose and joy will impact your family, church and neighborhood. Lord, thank you for seeing and hearing our needs and desires. Show us the needs and desires in those around us and which ones you would like us to meet. Use us for Your glory. Amen.





 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John.

That’s pretty radical because google says that love is eros or sexual. Google says that love can be for food, friends or even television shows. Hmm? Love sure has gotten complicated over the years. I remember my friends boyfriends in college saying they need to go further romantically because of “love”. I have heard alcoholics tell family members that they needed to put up with their manipulation if they truly “loved” the addict. I get blind-sided when I hear people bully, cajole and harass people and then say that they are supposed to love because these people are related or in the same group or the same church.  Hmm? When did love get so many new avenues of crazy? Perhaps we have substituted our love for God’s and blamed Him for all our inconsistencies? Defining true love should be left in God’s hands as much as possible!

Our family was discussing love tonight. One of the boys said he feels loved when he goes to church because the people help him and they worship together. The other one said he feels loved most when our family plays games together. My husband said that love is a very deep subject and that God’s love is so inexhaustible that we could study it every day for a lifetime and never fully comprehend it. While I agree with that definition I’m  aware that this little blog will not cover the vastness of that subject. As a newlywed I enjoyed reading 1 Corinthians 13. Now after thirteen years of marriage it is more meaningful but still so unobtainable – without the Lord’s help.

I went to a ladies meeting last week after work. I had walked for over 10 hours  that day and my feet were sore. I was tired and hot and cranky. I drove over 2 hours to get to the meeting and do you know what i encountered when I got there? Lovely, smiling ladies talking about their families and encouraging one another. Two of the leaders shepherded each person who came. They cooked amazing short ribs and a heavenly cheesy potato casserole.  There were two options for dessert and both were mouth-watering delicious. Then someone shared their testimony which was vulnerable and displayed God’s faithfulness and strength. They prayed for each one and someone offered up a song. If that weren’t enough the hostess put leftovers in ziploc bags and my family munched on them for days. I thought it was one serving but it lasted for several meals, reminding me of their love and God’s. I felt nestled into their hearts and God’s as well. The “glow” of that evening still lingers in my heart and mind. No, religion isn’t about going to church but if we are to ever know Jesus and His love we need to understand Him in the company and fellowship of the saints. It reminds me of that passage in Acts that says, 

  • Acts 2:46 (CSB)And every day they devoted themselves [to meeting] together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart…   I know the Holy Spirit was at work but after this week I’m wondering if there was some heavenly, potato, cheesy casserole in the mix somewhere!  Tongues, gifts – sure but warm bread and vittles certainly didn’t hurt and seems to be part of this whole Pentecost thing! People got saved daily and added to the church. Yes, spiritual things were taking place but I’m pretty sure some warm natural things were taking place as well as they gathered and ate warm bread.


Saturated in God’s love and others love is like fuel for the gasoline in your car – you get much further if your love tank is on full vs. empty. How marvelous to feel God’s love in the hearts of His people!

We’ve all read 1 Corinthians 13 but what about God’s type love? I don’t want to just know how He loves but His process of love. God is Trinitarian – all parts of the Godhead work together in different roles. That means God is collaborative. He doesn’t try to do the others part or the whole thing by Himself. God enjoys team effort. Smile.  God so loved the world that He gave His only Son – that means that God’s love is giving and unselfish. God’s love is wholly unique and different from humans and His special love comes from a relationship with Him which means God’s love is exclusive. Love is squishy in American culture. Abductors, abusers and Hollywood stars can all use it for their specific motive but when God says He is love, it is to invest Himself in us for  GOOD purposes and unselfish ends. No wonder they call it amazing!

We were listening to the song, God’s not dead tonight. I was kind of bored and  wanted to hear some of the new songs but it is a favorite so I endured the monotony. Sometimes we hear things so many times that we forget how powerful the lyrics really are.  Hear the words: Let love explode and bring the dead to life… Wow! How did I miss that? That creates a whole new category of love and what results from it. Love God style is the kind that seeks the best for others, their worth, their value, their success. That is very different than cultural love. Because God lives, mountains move and strongholds crumble. Because He loves, our hearts beat, resonate, sing. That is not average or tepid love.

In the next few weeks we are going to discover four distinct aspects of God’s love but for this week it is the overview. Love from God is not like love from any other person. It is strong, jealous, bold and enduring. Another song stated this week, “If you can hold the stars in place, you can hold my heart the same” (Skillet). Love from God can impact the universe but it can also keep our emotions and love steady and stable. Love is not fickle and many have misunderstood God’s love which can result in strange new religions and strange new ways to serve God. I’m reminded of the line in Princess Bride when Intigo Montoya says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Love is like that. We need a Biblical view of love if we are to understand a Biblical view of how God loves us. We also need to understand it so we can love in like manner.

Let’s explore this deep, deep love of God together, not for a chemistry lesson or spiritual gymnastic move but so that we can embrace God’s love for us, share it with our families and bring it to the nations. Thousands of songs have been written about it, but let’s let God sing new songs through our hearts back to Him as we embrace and share this marvelous, wonderful love.

Blessings and Fervent, great love to you!  RenaeRoche 2018






God Is Faithful defines Faithfulness as: “true, devoted, staunch, constant, loyal, speaks to stability, dependability, and devotion. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by a pledge, duty, or obligation: a faithful friend.”

In a world that values success, the church often picks up what the culture believes. Some pastors have long seasons of remarkable ministry. Others put in their effort and blaze or burn out after a couple of years. What is the measuring rod of success? Some are given congregations ready-made – just add water. I think of the fathers who pass on their legacy to their sons and thousands of congregants enjoy the family line of a good preacher. While others envy them something is to be said about continuity. Others struggle to make ends meet and once in a while you see a persevering pastor reach a whole nation though his/her congregation is small. Sometimes women against all odds get in the mix and dig in their heels and thrive and the “norm” changes. Because God works with individuals it is hard to pinpoint or replicate success in the church.

Consider for a minute a young man named Thomas. He preached in Kentucky – but only for a year. Just one single, solitary year. One, only one. He was kind of a failure. He had no following, but he could write poetry. Townsfolk probably thought he needed to get back in the seminary for some “good learning”, after all he was kind of shy in public and his sermons were kind of half baked. When Thomas was away from his congregation he would pour out his heart in poems. His congregation may have thought he was kind of a soft fellow as he had a way with words but no dynamic showmanship behind the pulpit. When he finally quit the ministry he decided to become an insurance salesman. He wasn’t especially good at that either. But one thing Thomas did, he kept expressing his heart through his poetry. The saying,

“The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground,”

would apply to him.  He became the editor of the Pentecostal Herald for a brief time and then spent the rest of his years in Ocean Grove New Jersey in a retirement center. Illness interrupted his ministry. His mama named him Thomas Obadiah so there must have been some hope there for a career in ministry.  His prophetic middle name only lasted in pulpit ministry for one year. Just one year, 365 days then exit stage left.  This precious man, un-celebrated in his life, penned the words to the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness which was one day made well known by George Beverly Shea, another preacher who was not designed for the pulpit but made it in the music world. Both of these men changed careers, stepped past others opinions and expressed their faithfulness to God in their area of gifting. They were faithful to God, not to a set prescription of “ministry”.

We see God’s faithfulness every day but it often goes unnoticed. I heard this joke last week and it stuck in my heart: God is talking to one of his angels and says, “Do you know what I have just done? I have just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness on Earth. Isn’t that good?” The angel says, “Yes, but what will you do now?”

God says, “I think I’ll call it a day.”

I love that!  Every day God is pouring out His love but if we consider the works of His hands and how constant they are we can understand His faithfulness. Have you ever gone a day when there was no oxygen in your house? Ever had a day when the trees in your yard yawned, laid down and said I think I’ll rest today? Have you ever seen the moon decide to go somewhere else for a vacation? God’s faithfulness is all around us. Did you know that men have a monthly cycle? They have an internal clock like women do with highs and lows. Just because it’s not joked about on late night shows doesn’t mean it’s not a real thing. Seasons have cycles and the animal world have systems and calendar times that we often overlook in our busy society but that does not mean that they don’t exist because no one is looking. I’m continually fascinated by a beetle that only comes to the surface every 14 years. Talk about making every moment count! God continues His faithfulness; perhaps hoping someone will pull over on the side of the road once in a while and notice.

 Know therefore  (understand, ponder and realize) that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep HIS commandments. 

Faithful here means one who establishes. It was used to describe a nurse carrying a patient. Blue letter Bible describes it as “trusty”. God is trustworthy and carries us through all of our seasons and circumstances. He is described as a “covenant keeper” with those who love Him and keep His commandments. That is powerful.

We have been investing time and money in education, kid’s  and a special project. There always seems to be more month than money. My sweet hubby was supposed to go to a meeting this weekend but our washer and dryer both broke down.  God provided an inexpensive washer by a guy who refurbishes them and then insight on how to fix the dryer. While I was at work, both broke and both were fixed. I didn’t even have time to worry about it so I felt kind of shortchanged. Lol. Before I could even pray, it was taken care of and done. God was faithful to us but my husband was also faithful to take care of a situation rather than doing something he really wanted to do. Sometimes our faithfulness displays God’s faithfulness to others. Imagine a work week with no laundry and what that would do to your schedule. God is never too busy to take care of our needs or provide for us – even when we are unaware that He is doing it.  We anticipate that our household appliances will keep working but often take them for granted. God is faithful and works for our good daily but how many take Him for granted and resist praising Him or thanking Him, one day a week? Ouch.

How has God been faithful in your life? Maybe tell someone today,  not only  to encourage their faith but to boast about the God you serve and increase your faith. What if reminders of God’s faithfulness encouraged someone elses faith in their time of despair? what if someone is only staring at their one year instead of God’s faithfulness and need a vision adjustment? Help steady and establish them in God’s faithfulness and grace.

Lord, help us to know you as the Covenant keeping God who is faithful. Help us BE covenant keeping people who act faithfully. We choose the faithful road over the easy road; we choose to be like YOU rather than the norms around us. Please give us Your power to stand, to work and rest for Your glory. Amen.

RenaeRoche 2018




For those who are old enough to remember the show Dragnet you might remember Joe Friday. Do you remember him saying, “just the facts ma’am?” Many do, however he actually never said those words in any episode. There was a satire of him by Stan Freberg where he attributed that to him and it stuck. Year’s later people are still quoting Joe Friday as the author. It was close to the story, it looked and it smelled like the story but it was inaccurate, not the truth.

This week’s blog is about God’s truthfulness, specifically in the area of veracity. Veracity defined is a conformity to facts; accuracy. Close to the truth may work at Dairy Queen where you just yearn and hope that they measure MORE when filling your ice cream cone but in science or finance accuracy is much more important. The opposite of veracity is inaccurate, dishonest and false. Isn’t it strange how we wrongly believe that we hold truth while others do not. That type of thinking creates all kinds of barriers in church, business, families and more.

Rodney Dangerfield once said, “I don’t understand women. They spend 3 hours on makeup, they buy things to make them look smaller, they buy things to make them look bigger then they meet a man and tell him they want the truth.” That’s funny but true of both genders, right? Sometimes men do the same thing when they ask for feedback but only hear the positive. Both genders get sucked up in that because we are human, not divine. We all want to be told the truth but maybe not with the same passion that we want to speak the truth.

In several different disciplines I have heard the story of the blind men and the elephant. It goes something like this: Several blind men discovered an elephant, the one who touched his leg thought he was like a tree, the one that touched his trunk felt he was like a snake, the one that touched his tail thought he was like a rope, etc. This story has been used for a long time for various “points”. For the purposes of the blog I just want to mention that without discovery, curiosity and time investment no one can see clearly. Getting different perspectives, understanding different views and being humble enough to seek out someone else’s opinion affords the viewer clearer sight.  Only God can see the whole puzzle at any given time. Whether its education, collaboration, discovery or time, all  those things can add to human “truth”. But God, He does not need our input, opinions or skill, He is just truth all day every day.

Jesus, when He walked the earth said, “I AM the truth”. (John 14). No wonder they crucified Him. Even in our culture today that would not go over well. He was either highly arrogant or God. His claims still make people angry today because His statement says that He not only embodied truth but that He is truth. There is no falsehood, corruption, blemish, deceit or cunning in Him. He challenged the status quo and how they measured truth.

It was a practice during biblical times for people to carry two sets of weights in their bags. One was for their friends, relatives and chums and the other set was for anyone they were not favored to fancy. They weighed things one way for their kin and another way for “foreigners” and unsavory individuals. The Old and New Testament speaks against this. I used to think this was pretty stupid and heavy to carry around. Now that I’m older, I wonder if we don’t mentally do that today – just without the rocks. This person gets my smile, this person gets my evaluation. Maybe we categorize truth like these folks but just use different measures. I’m going to put you in this category, me too. It is kind of a we thing – in our culture, churches, nation. We can be individually, corporately and nationally guilty. We need to be able to see our own sins and hypocrisy and be very cautious when we weigh or judge others. It will always be skewed. Perhaps that is why God reserves the role of ultimate judge and motive discerner.

Maybe, just maybe that is why Jesus died. To pay the payment we exact from others we don’t fancy. Maybe He shed His blood to even the score, once for all. Maybe when grace was poured out for me or you, it was also poured out for that other guy and all his failures, faults and shortcomings.

So, what does this have to do with God’s veracity? We can’t speak truth if we don’t know Truth. We can’t declare something that is broken, cloudy or blind. It seems like everything in the human realm might be a little tainted from sin and sinfulness whether its pride, ambition, selfishness, etc. We choose to believe what we believe; we choose to see things how we want to see them, leaving a whole lot of information out of the equation.

What hope is there then? Possibly by looking at God’s measures, that Jesus is the standard and only true standard of truth. By understanding that Jesus is the epitome of real, pure truth that might give us a couple seconds or two of humility and self- perspective that would help in our judgements. If we speak of His life, His truth, His Lordship it might at least bend us in the right direction.

When we soak in prayer, Bible study, etc. we will align with God’s heart for our lives. When I was considering this topic of veracity I realized these basic spiritual disciplines are so essential and foundational to everything we say and do. It will also align us with God’s truth rather than living out our own truths. We can’t live lives of truth if we don’t know God’s truth. That also puts a high premium on education and fellowship. Hanging out with those who keep this as their passion might also help nestle us in the midst of God’s will. We were in a wonderful worship service Sunday morning. It did not go as the people planned but I rejoiced in hearing the words of the song and then again as they stayed in my heart the next day: If God moves to the left, I move to the left, if He moves to the right, I move to the right. Then another song was God will break down walls and fears for me (reckless love). Those powerful affirmations of truth burrowed in my shaky heart. It did exactly what worship should do – exalt God and remind those serving Him that He is God and we are not. It was so sweet and refreshing.

Why does this matter? Well, in a nation that is very polarized we can step aside and acknowledge that we may not have the full picture. We err when we believe we have or know all truth. It also defies Gods position as true Judge. A wise man pointed out this week (actually it was 2) that we don’t have to pick one side or another but can stay steady and choose the Lord’s side. Maybe that is why 2 Chronicles 7:14 -15 says, “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place…”

Lord, we surrender our “truth”, measures, weights and opinions to Your Lordship. Forgive us for jamming our beliefs through rather than surrendering to Your opinions and will. Thread Your truth thru our lives so we can be true to You and true in speaking with others. Help us to see through Your eyes and Word. Help us to know You as the Truth we know and live by. Help us to speak only after we have sought clarity and sought YOU. Forgive us kind father for presuming to know others hearts or Your will for their lives. Work Your truth in and through us we pray. Amen. (Read Colossians 1)


God is Genuine

While researching truth and what it means to be genuine I discovered several tests to test if gold is fake or genuine. It was fascinating. You can bite it, scratch it and weigh it to test it. You cannot dent real gold. Man, that would preach!  I read an article from Fox news about an anonymous man in New England who found a fake coin. No one believed him. There were “flaws” and anomalies in the coin surely making it not real. But it was those very flaws that made the coin recognized to be the real deal. After taking it to an expert he found out that it was worth over a million dollars. It was only fake to the untrained, uneducated eye. The ones certified in authenticating it recognized it immediately as real, mainly due to a raised number on the coin. It reminds me that God knows what He has placed in us and if we are resonating with Him in our lives and hearts. Being true to God and ourselves is what determines if we are fake or the real deal. Only those who take time to search out a matter or a heart can make those determinations.  In a culture where the only real thing is Coca-Cola, maybe our standards of testing need to change.

Nearby this article that I read was one that appealed to me more – a scientific breakthrough on body fat. I have to admit they reeled me in and I watched this ad for over 20 minutes. That was 20 minutes I did not have and will never get back. However it did lead me to a different article that talked about Taurine, an amino acid that helps grow brain cells. That was huge. The fake news lead me to a real article about a possible breakthrough for Parkinson’s. The possibility that we can not only renew our minds but increase the cells in our brains would be monumental. In a world swirling with sound bytes and information it is often hard to discern what is true and what is false. It requires discernment and wisdom and both those things don’t come in a microwave format.

Concerning God, we know that He is true because He tells the truth; He represents the truth and is the same yesterday, today and forever. Truly that is remarkable. Real means it is not plastic or pretend. Preacher Steve Furtick recently said that if something is taken away it is said to be diluted, if something is added it is polluted. Sometimes people’s faith gets that way. Faith in its purest form is just about Jesus. Religion tries to weaken faith but calling Him “buddy” instead of Lord sounds good but may diminish the fullness of who He is. When we dilute, we soon get deluded. Jesus is full strength power. Others add stuff like standards or measures no one can meet, they add worship, communion, study (all awesome things) but if we use them as rods of perfection instead of practices of grace then we pollute the stream of blood that freely flowed for all and we polarize the saints. Martin Luther worked towards freedom and reformed some of our thinking but when he  came up with, or we come up with a new system built on anything but the cross, it may look very similar to the  previous system – just with new robes.  Religion often confuses  the saints from the basic pure message of Jesus and the release of His priesthood (forgiven, not perfect men and women). It is  a tough time as churches navigate these areas.

Genuine truth faith relied on the cross, just that or Sola as Martin would wisely say. But we added catechism, confirmation, new songs and instead of steps of penance we went with steps of a new church Charleston perhaps. Genuine faith demands the cross, only the cross. All other gyrations and adulterations will leave our hearts weary.

In my heart I am singing “Just give me Jesus”. My heart is rather tender today. A precious couple we know recently shared some pain in their lives. It was vulnerable and raw. I do not know why they ventured out so as it seems scary for leaders to be so real. I think it is because they are not building their own kingdom but God’s. They are so busy fighting the gates of hell that they do not have time for plastic faces – the fire would melt them off. Real pain can only be healed by a real balm. It is in those crucible moments that we discover who we really are and who are true friends really are. Maybe that is why God allows the storms to come?  I am so impressed by people who live for Jesus and are not swayed by others opinions. We live in a sea of “critics” and American idol judge wannabes. Those wanting the Masters nod live by a different standard and that is not always understood by those waiting for human applause.

My husband regularly tells the boys “opinions are like bellybuttons – everybody has one”. That does not mean we are to listen to everyone that has an opinion. If we live our lives for the accolades of people or their assessment of what is real or fake, we will not have time to live for God’s call and voice.  It is tempting to live “proving” to others that we are just like them or just like they want us to be but we are only called to live for the truth in God. 1 Thessalonians tells us, “for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

Jesus tells us that HE is the way, the truth and the life. He is the epitome of vulnerable, fresh and real.  I want all my truth to be in God. I want to live His truth through this vessel in His way, in His time, for His glory. I’m praying that God would strip the veneer in me away so people could only see Him shining through. I’m asking that He will bring up the dross and scoop it away so only the gold granted by Him would shine. After all this study, it is still up to God when He does those things. We can’t even be “real” without His divine time and help! So “be real” is not something that comes from our will, our hand but by submitting ourselves to the master potter and letting Him work His hands through the clay we yield to Him until all that is left is His design.

One thing that gets better with age is the ability to look back and see trends. The “real” trend earlier in the 80s looked like people letting all their baggage hang out and be so real that they no longer needed all the trappings of religion. It translated to carnal people who only cared about their world. Judgement for others reigned high and the “freedom” was short lived as people gazed more at their lives than the cross. Other times when it was defined as being vulnerable or transparent it produced life but it was only popular to share weakness and sin and not praises. It can easily become lopsided or therapy driven. Clinging to the cross and being real according to the life of Christ means we can suffer or rejoice. Being truthful about ourselves in relation with Christ and others can produce tremendous fruit but will be short lived if it does not extend beyond our neighborhoods. Lord, lead us to walk in Your truth, to feel Your grace and to lead others in Your way.

God designs us. God authenticates our worth and value. God can keep us pure and focused on Jesus. We will have to yield to all of these processes. If Jesus is truth, true, genuine and pure, and I believe He is, then following after Him will look like those characteristics and will slowly be formed in us. If we try to “put them on” so others feel, think or find us to be real, then that plastic formation will be a barrier to us and the Christ. Real Jesus, Real Jesus People – unadulterated, pure and ever so genuine. Just give me Jesus.




We’ve been looking here at Millard Ericksons’ descriptions of God and His attributes. This week is God’s justice. Erickson points out that God acts righteous towards others in His individual capacity but as a corporate judge He not only acts morally but with justice. He not only demands that we do right by others but that we adhere to His laws. I think this is where the breakdown in society occurs – we talk about God’s characteristics of love and grace but often omit righteousness or justice because it requires something of us. Romans 6:23 points out that the wages of sin is death and throughout scripture we see passages that tell us there are consequences when we do our own thing or forsake God’s laws or precepts. This topic is less popular but probably the most necessary to discuss.

Through the years many have questioned God’s justice. The Psalmist David in Psalm 73 says he could not figure out why the wicked prospered – until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord. His perspective changed when he looked on God instead of his circumstances or others sin. We’ve seen much chaos in our nation over the last year as people ask where God is and why  He has allowed some people to prosper in their folly. Our court system is jammed up with people seeking justice for perceived and actual wrongs committed against them.

Our city is no exception. There have been multiple unsolved crimes and murders in the Metro area. A disproportionate number of African American men have lost their lives. One of the stories that has troubled me has not yet leaked into the news but is common on the street. The drugs infiltrating our city are supposedly being  “tested” on poor people in the inner city. If they live then the supply can be passed on to rich white collar customers. Those overdosing or being poisoned by the bad supply are seen as the users but the people in suits and dresses in the corporate world rarely make it in the news. Their demand creates the chain of supply but often they go unnoticed and unpunished.  Truth and reality get twisted as the story is spun to punish the guinea pigs being used to promote and test the product. Often this ends up being about race and the injustice continues on in new avenues such as discrimination, brutality and wealth segregation. Common misconceptions go unchallenged and the cycle continues. Jesus looked on all men’s heart without bias or favoritism. Amos decried unjust treatment by judges. Other prophets have addressed areas of moral corruption in the government and church systems. American can’t be great again until the moral fiber of our society is considered and the cry for justice on all levels is heard. What we ignore today we will serve tomorrow.

Maybe injustice in your house is not so serious. Maybe your husband gets the remote every night or your kids get the last Twinkie every day. (We have Oreo’s wars at our house so we are not guiltless). Maybe your spouse does all the dishes or you do all the cleaning and it just isn’t fair. Maybe sister Sally gets to sing solos every Sunday or brother Harry has football game parties every time you want to clean the church or do evangelism. Life just isn’t fair and it is not fair in varying degrees. Whether it is perceived injustices or major infractions like someone cutting you off in traffic, we all get the short end of the stick at some time.

We are easily deceived when we believe that God does not see or care. That is why we need the Lord and one another to remind ourselves that God hears, sees, cares and ANSWERS.

Culture, experience and time have jaded us into believing that that is just how things work. Maybe that is why we need to study God’s word deeper – to remind others and especially ourselves that in God’s economy it doesn’t work that way and NEVER will. The following text is about prayer and its importance but as we hear Jesus teach we can also learn about the justice of His father:

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 

And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Some of you reading this blog have cried out for justice for a long time. Some have given up waiting for it. Others believe it might be true but no longer want to risk hoping for something that seems to never come to pass. We can remind ourselves today – God is JUST and He promises to “bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night.”

Two gun shops were robbed here recently. The news downplayed it but it is concerning that  “bad guys” are now armed. We pray daily that justice will be served and for God’s protection. We can feel helpless or battle in prayer. Before the battle MUST be the belief that there is a just judge who will hear. God is JUST. God acts in JUSTICE. There is a REAL Judgement day.

As I was returning home from work last week I saw a bunch of moms with picket signs on the street corner. They were mad about the crime in our city. I guess I had gotten fed up too. Their sign said to “honk if you agree things needed to change”. I’m not much of an activist but I just put my car in park, laid on my horn and refused to let up. The women started cheering, cars started slowing down to see what the commotion was about. Others started honking and for one brief moment in time it felt like God and the city was hearing the cries of these precious women. It is not much, but it was a start and drew attention to their cause, God’s cause.

We can’t see what God sees if we don’t know His heart. We can’t defend what God defends if we don’t understand His justice or mercy. The news and culture are surely not going to lead us in the right direction. Whether you are a drug user testing out the wares or a man in a suit lavishly snorting up the quality stuff without a care where it came from – there will come a day when God says

 “ENOUGH” !!!

He won’t change His judgments based on favoritism, skill, talent or pride. His ways are pure and perfect. He is all knowing and loving but He remains the Just Judge, full of grace but also full of jealousy and wrath.

Rev.6:10 says, “They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Judgement day will come whether CNN reports on it or Hillary Clinton agrees. It will come for Trump supporters and those in high places of leadership and those in the street. God is Just.

I want to know God for who He really is – not just what the churches or movies promote. I want my heart to break with the things that break His. I want my life to reflect the values and attributes of the Creator, not just what Hollywood says is real. I want to stand for the things that matter to the Just Judge who hears our prayers. I also want to walk in just ways in my family, church and work life and that is not always easy in a dog eat dog world.

Praying with you today to be who God wants us to be and do what God would want us to do. As always you are welcome to comment on this blog or email me your viewpoint.

Thankful for His justice, in need of His grace,