Monthly Archives: January 2018

Horizontal Conversion


I live in a town that pretty much embraces the motto, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

I admit to still being shocked when a young woman, showing me her new purse, exposes her small pistol. This is new to me, the me whose six boys resigned themselves to gnawing peanut butter sandwiches into intricate weapons of self-defense, and bent posable Barbies into pistols. Until I gave up and bought them all squirt guns.

The thing is, these gun-toting townspeople are less about themselves than our biases would lead us to believe. These same people are actively involved in feeding the homeless, mentally ill and otherwise needy, and when one dreadlocked kid, fresh from Burning Man and reeking of New-Age everything ventured into church, he left with a job offer, a brand-new sleeping bag, two sheep skins, and a place to stay, in case he got tired of his car/sleeping quarters.

He texts me on a regular basis from where he’s landed, asking questions like, “Can you pray for me?

So I pray for him, and for myself, that I will not be satisfied with the conversion I’ve experienced through Jesus Christ until that conversion extends to every horizontal plane, allowing me to see others, not through the eyes of my assumptions, not as mere “projects” to sway to my thinking, or as notches in my holster, but with the same love that Christ pours into me. The love where “mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed.” (Psalm 85:10)

What if I loved in His Truth, rather than my assumptions of truth; His righteousness, rather than my self-righteousness; and loved with His peace that bathes others with a desire to know the only One who can give True Anything, and does.

I’m below ground zero in this, but I can start here, “Lord, make me willing to be made willing to love like You”.


He (Jesus) will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance, nor make a decision based on hearsay.

Isaiah 11:3 NLT

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Romans 2:4 NLT


Unsolved Mysteries


As John was leaving for church one Sunday morning, he grabbed his shoes by the front door and slipped them on. He came out to the kitchen and said,

“There’s something wrong with my shoes- one of them is too small!”

“What?! That can’t be…you wear them every Sunday!” I said.

“I know…but look. One is smaller than the other,” he said.

To my amazement, one shoe appeared to be a half-size smaller. After cogitating way too long, we laughed at the weirdness of this mystery, and he found another pair of dress shoes to wear that day.

Here’s another shoe mystery: I had a favorite pair of shoes in 1970 called Wallabies. They were genuine leather, came up to the ankle and went with everything- by “everything” I mean jeans- which was pretty much the only thing anyone wore back then. One morning, I got up and looked where I’d placed them the night before, near the foot of my bed, but they weren’t there. I searched everywhere and was nearly late for the bus. I never found them.

Mysteries. Life is full of them. Things that just don’t make sense. If we could view them from the top of the universe, we’d say, “Oooooh, so THAT’s what happened.” My husband John imagines heaven will have an IMAX screen in which we’ll see behind-the-scenes action films. Like, “This Was Your Life,” or “The REST of the Story” or “Solved Mysteries.” Until then, I trust.

It’s nothing much to ponder the small mysteries of disappearing shoes, but some of the biggies in life can really hang us up. Why did I lose our first-born, and another later on? Why were we the ones to witness a murder in that out-of-the-way place and as a result, have our lives threatened? Why have some of my dearly loved children struggled so? The list goes on and on.

Often our children did not understand our actions:

“That’s not fair!”

“Why CAN’T I do this?”

“OWWW! You’re HURTING me!” As I pull yet another redwood splinter from a little hand.

And, perhaps the hardest any parent faces:

“Can’t you bail me out just this once?”

Not necessarily from jail, but any number of other situations in which we allowed natural consequences to teach what we couldn’t. It did hurt us more than it hurt them- though I’m sure they weren’t convinced. And sometimes, it WASN’T fair for the one. But it was JUST in light of the ultimate goals for the family.

There’s a whole lot that simply does not make sense this side of heaven. Am I willing to admit I have a finite mind that will not and can not understand? Can I be content entrusting those unknowns to the God I do know? I expected it from my children, can I do the same as a child of God?

We solved the mystery of John’s shoes. Earlier in the week, we’d hosted a worship night at our house for a large group from our church. They all dropped their shoes at the door, and somebody accidentally took John’s shoe. That somebody had the larger shoe, and apparently hadn’t noticed the difference of a half size. We sent out an e-mail inquiry, but no one responded. The mystery was eventually solved, but it took awhile.

As for the other mystery, my shoes were never found. We lived in a very rural area, and I finally surmised some animal had come in and smelling the leather, had stolen them- maybe a raccoon?

So too, the Lord allows us to know the answer to some mysteries and we are privy to some secrets (though not nearly as many as I’d like), as we follow Him. It’s one of the many benefits of obeying His Word. More times than I can recount, we’ve been forewarned of thing to come, and instructed on what action to take.

For instance, I knew two years in advance John’s life would be threatened, but I didn’t know how. The action was to pray, which I did, but I also took things in my own hands and nagged John about his eating habits as I thought maybe the threat would be a heart-attack or something- which, in my case, is probably why the Lord keeps most things to Himself. I’d FREAK if I knew it all!

Lord, help me be content to act upon the mysteries You has revealed, and entrust You with all the rest.


There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t CONFIDE in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. John 15:13-15

The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. Duet. 29:29

But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 1 Cor. 2:10

You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled,

but you refuse to admit it.

Now I will tell you new things,

secrets you have not yet heard. Isaiah 48: 6

Your Faith or Mine?

  1. I was eighteen when introduced to Christ through John- the cutest, smartest, kindest guy in college (I took a poll of all my thoughts, and the vote was unanimous). A year and a half later, we married. The first few years, my relationship to Christ was so entwined with John’s, it was unclear to what extent my “faith in Jesus”, was actually faith in John.
    A life crisis- one of those earthquake situations- forced me to examine my personal relationship with Jesus and confront my beliefs:
    “Maybe my connection to Christ is solely through osmosis. Is it possible ‘this little light of mine,’ is merely the broad glow of John’s steadfast faith? Who IS my lifeline to God- John or Jesus? What does faith and trust even look like?”
    I quickly had to chose whether to allow the Lord to teach me this hard lesson of trust, or pull the escape hatch.
    The decision to trust occurs in a moment, but the learning to trust occurs over a lifetime of such moments and decisions:
    To obey His Word, rather than my impulses;
    To believe His ability in the face of impossibility;
    To trust that even if the worst of my fears are realized, He is there, even in that dreaded place.
    And- perhaps the hardest of all decisions:
    To cry out to Him, when I have miserably and completely and continuously failed all of the above.

In reference to my most recent topic of women whose husbands have lost their faith:
In this loss may you gain Christ, and trust the Lover of your soul.
Hugs to you today.


Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves…
2 Cor. 13:5a

You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thunder and tested your faith when there was no water.
Psalm 81:6-7

“Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well.”
Luke 8:48

Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?
Jesus replied, “…what is that to you? You follow me.”
from John 21:21,22


Tectonic Plates # 3 (Continued)


It begins shortly after the honeymoon- the shift of tectonic plates (i.e. earthquakes to the not-so-solid ground of our expectations). Like, say- when you discover your husband drinks from the carton, eats from the can and belches from his innermost parts.
Not my husband, of course, but I’ve heard…
Or later on- hypothetically speaking- he overfeeds the kids with pizza and two cartons of Rocky Road ice cream, then attempts to clean up the vomit with your vacuum while you are out for the afternoon having a baby or something…
But there’s no use arguing over the fault line, because we women are not the only ones for whom the plates shift. John had to deal with the Mother of All Tectonic Shifts, P.M.S. : One week of earthquakes, one week of disaster clean-up, two weeks recovering from aftershocks, aannd…
Begin again.
His only chance of parole was pregnancy or menopause, the latter meaning he needed a coat, scarf, and hat all winter. Even in bed. Because I need the windows open for that frosty air- it’s SWELTERING in here… Oh wait…no it’s not…Can you turn the heat up?
So yeah- we’ve leveled the playing field sisters, and it may just slope in our direction.
About these posts:
I welcome readers of the male species, but I am not comfortable addressing men in an instructive manner…Wait…What? Stop laughing John.
My opinions, while hopefully Biblical, are not intended as professional counseling. I speak to you as a sister in Christ, a mother, and a friend (yeah-that crazy one).
Let’s see…I think I’ve covered all my bases- oh, wait…one more thing: If you try my recipe for bread pudding but OMIT THE SAUCE, and end up taking home the majority of a 13×9 pan of soggy, tasteless bread from a church potluck, it’s NOT MY FAULT!!! Moving on…
A spouse who leaves their faith is no laughing matter. It’s really really scary, and based on whether its a slow slide, or a quick descent, emotions vary. We grieve. As in any grief, there’s a pattern (usually) and a process (always).
The first response is usually shock and denial, because to face a crisis gives it substance. To acknowledge it is to say, “This thing is REAL, and it might not go away.”
I prefer denial. To recognize all this pain is the last thing I want to do. What I want to do is drugs. Or run far, far, away. Or drink.
(see former post under “Vodka”)
Yet while the temptation to escape, hide, kill, die or deny may be our first inclination, THOU SHALT NOT.
Denial is the first yellow brick on the road to insanity. We’re forced to create diversions, and depending on our coping skills (and creativity), there is no end of the lengths to which we’ll go as we attempt to keep reality from popping out of the box, Jack. But adjectives like “obsessive, “excessive,” and “destructive” are usually involved.
It often takes the death of something, to open our eyes to Truth:
“In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord….”
(Isaiah 6:1)
Your spouse’s loss of faith is a death to a tie that binds. It may be death to the reason you married him- though not death to the reason God allowed you to marry him, and I’d be pretty angry about that. Furious, maybe.
But face this death facing Him. Face Him wearing your angry eyes if that’s the reality. Maybe it’ll help a little to know that He cries over this too.
It’s a first step, and it’s a big step toward healing. Healing for you, your marriage and…. your husband because ( I say this next thing in a whisper) as difficult as it may be to embrace this, it’s quit possible-probable even- that your husband is hurting too.

Life is emotionally abusive, isn’t it? But walk in truth.

Reality is truth, and truth bites.

But then it sets you free. So walk in truth. Or crawl, if necessary.

(And know you are loved with an Everlasting Love, and that I am praying and cheering you on to the finish line).


In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, seated on His throne, high and exalted…
Isaiah 6:1

Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE…”
John 14:6

He (the Lord) Himself has said, “NEVER will I leave you. NEVER will I forsake you.
Heb. 13:5

…If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:11,12


Tectonic Plates 2 (continued)


Regarding a spouse who shifts from belief to unbelief

Two things happened yesterday to prevent me from writing on the above subject:

1. My husband John is sick. Women, you KNOW what that means: Serving up soups, teas, and barbecued steak (he uses illness to his greatest advantage); shopping for anything and everything that even alludes to the words “flu or cold,” including FLUid, FLUsh, FLUffy, and ice COLD Coca-Cola. Also gloves, wipes, masks, germicides, and anything with alcohol — just the rubbing kind, of course. Although I’ve heard Vodka can be used as a disinfectant, readers of our local newspaper could misconstrue the headline:


(Just so you know, I had to Google “popular vodka brands” in order to write that last statement).

2. (The main reason). I’m scared to death to write on the subject hitherto mentioned. I’m no expert, and judging from the private messages received, I’ve hit a need beyond my expertise- the sum total of which is listed under number one of this post (i.e. cooking, shopping, and avoiding bad press).
I spent the better part of the last two midnight shifts pondering and praying for enough courage to rise up and just plunge ahead, but I got a bit side-tracked as is my habit when stressed, so if any of you want to know how to make your own coffee-pods like for K-cups and the Starbucks Verismo, just ask. I’ve stockpiled a bunch over the past two mornings.

I’ve now run out of excuses, and I hear the heavy breathing of the “Still, Small Voice,” so I will venture on just as soon as I finish surfing the web on “How To Make Homemade Pellets for The Wood Stove.”

Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9

Only be strong and very courageous. Joshua 1:7

Be strong and courageous and do it. 1 Chronicles 28:20



How to Not Drown


Yesterday I addressed the issue of a believing spouse that decides to no longer believe—a situation listed on the Top 10 of “Things That Rock Our Boat, Tip it Over, and Leave us Flailing in the Icy Waters Off the East Siberian Coast”.

I’m reminded of a white water rafting trip on the North Fork of the American River. As we headed toward a narrow canyon, a guy, young enough to be my son, jumped out of the raft into the water. I did the only sane thing a mother would do: I jumped in after him. Turns out, that was insane. Under I went, and every time I surfaced I gulped water rather than air. So sure of my eminent death, my mind actually started singing,

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…” I once was lost but now I’m drowned…

As I flailed I heard a still, small, voice saying, “Head to shore! Head to shore!” It wasn’t God’s voice, but it was a good second— the voice of our rafting guide.

I was so busy flailing and trying to “save” the other guy (who, didn’t need saving after all), I forgot to swim. Also, had I remembered the life vest wrapped around me, I wouldn’t have panicked, but known regardless of the depth to which I sank, I’d be buoyed up again.

So it is with all things in the Top Ten, and particularly THIS thing of which I speak:

* It’s normal to freak-out when your spouse takes a dive; you just can’t REMAIN freaked-out. When you stop flailing, you’ll remember to swim.

* Also, you can’t save the guy. There’s One who can though, and our Guide is very aware of the situation. Leave it to the Expert.

– Remember you’re life-vest wet suit and scuba gear, which hadn’t been invented back in the day of Ephesians chapter 6, but they had “the full armor of God”. You have that. Put it on. Learn how to use it.

There’s no greater classroom than the School of Hard Walks, and no greater guide than the One who’s seen it all. Last I looked, He was not wringing His nail-pierced hands, but rather holding them out to you— yes, YOU. Take hold. Trust. Learn. And don’t forget to breathe.

…to be continued…


Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Eph. 6:13

The waves Of deaths swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me…

(2 Sam. 22:5)…He treads on the waves of the sea…(Job 9:8)…He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed…(Ps. 107:29)…If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea…Isaiah 48:18

“Peace! Be still!” Jesus cried, and the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps.46:10)


Read Mark 4 “The Storm”.


Tectonic Shift


It is a fearful thing to marry a believer who slides into unbelief. I’ve heard the panic in a woman’s voice-and the heartbreak- as she shares concern over her husband’s waning faith. It can be the ultimate test of a marriage, and one’s own faith.

I’ll continue that topic tomorrow.

But those of you who are there, please know this: God has a plan, and it’s a good plan. Not “Plan B”, but His best plan for you: to know “the Lover of your soul” as never before.

Are you willing to trust Him? If so, the tap is now open for the cleansing of fear, depression, ugly thoughts and stresses that clog our ability to see beyond another’s faith; to the Author and Finisher of our own. To be continued…


For your Creator will be your husband, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name.

Is. 54:5


He protects His flock like a shepherd…He will carry them in His bosom and gently lead those that are with young.

Isa. 40:11


Jesus asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Jn. 6:67