Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Yes Virginia, There Is An Emmanuel....

Yes, it really happened....There was a stable...there was a manger...
and there in the midst of it, was...Emmanuel. 
God with Skin on.

"The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!" - Luke 2:20 

But, Mary stayed face to Face with The Very Son of God.

Can you imagine...
All of God's Promises to her rang precisely true....
down to the each and every detail.....

"Mary kept all these things to herself, 

holding them dear, deep within herself"-Luke 2:19

The Birth of her First Born Son...
Was she wondering why Joseph had not hired a night nurse?
Was she concerned about where to send thank you notes to the kings with no addresses?

Was she wondering who left the banana bread or who left the wine?
Imagine the elation...the flood of overwhelming gratitude...
The proximity and intimacy with God Himself!
She held Him.
He holds us.
She fed Him.
He feeds us.
She heard Him cry.
He hears us cry. 
She gave Him a place to rest. 
He gives us a place to rest.
She changed Him...
He changed her...

He changes us....

She found joy in Him...
He finds joy in us.

God, Thank You for stepping down from Your Throne to come here for each and every one of us. Happy Birthday.

In The Dust of The Stable,

Monday, December 15, 2014

Be Not Afraid....

"Don't be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy,
 news that will affect all people everywhere." ~Luke 2:10

Our God is with us!!!

Yesterday afternoon was full of giggles for some...and others....not so much.

As I watched what seemed to be some kind of ancient interrogation methods 
upon very well dressed shorties.....
 It struck me that this is what so many of us adults feel too, during this time of year... 
 The man in the red suit might not strike terror in us.....
But other things this time of year sure do....
Long lists and short hours....
gift selecting, locating and buying.....
other drivers on the streets....
People's expectations that are impossible to meet....
Family members......
Silent nights are nowhere near.....
but don't be leery....
Take heart!!!
Our God is with us!!! 
Right in the middle of the very chaos we are rushing around in...
He is among us! 
We can run TO Him.
We don't have to fear "the fat man in a red suit"....
We have among us, The King of Kings...
The Lion of Judah.
The Maker of all things...
You included.

"Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see-how good God is
Blessed are you who run to Him" Psalm 34:8

God, May we create time to taste Your Presence during this season....
Sprinkle our souls with Your Peace....may we inhale a little more of You in every handful.  

In His Dust,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Advent....God With Us

Advent is defined as the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. 

This time of year, I find myself in a quandary.
I spend half of my time wanting things to slow down so we can soak this time in...
while the other half I spend wanting things to hurry up!
Aren't we all ready for a break!! Somedays life feels heavy, busy and even scary 
While other days we feel like our cups runneth over with blessings...
Half the time I am honking at cars on the highway to get out of my way....
the other half of the time, I am acting like I am real patient, in the church parking lot. 

Whether you find yourself waiting impatiently, or enjoying the days that lead up to Christmas...I pray you find the love, hope joy and peace that is found in The Baby in the manger. 
I pray you find peace in the present, for He is with us.

"A virgin will conceive and bear a Son and His Name will be Immanuel- 
which means God with us." ~Matthew 1:23

God Thank You for coming a distance we can not fathom, just to be with us.

In His Dust,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mary Sue...

I had Thanksgiving lunch with "a pilgrim on hand."
 K and I decided my broken finger looked boring. 
So, she googled this chick... 
and the next thing I knew....a pilgrim named Mary Sue was born.
Much like her ancestors Mary Sue sailed in to the shores of San Antonio, in a black suburban-while watching movies the whole trip.
She landed in the promise land of Hee Hee and Mac Mac and was welcomed with pink lemonade and Hershey kisses-
As we passed thanks around the table she was "thankful for shelter." Not kidding. 
In the meantime other family members were grateful for marshmallows. Before I knew it, Mary Sue's creator was craving and sculpting some butter and creating a bathtub for a fellow tired and dirty pilgrim.
Mac Mac even added a faucet made out of stuffing.
I started thinking about how easy it was for K, much like my create.
They have a gift for looking at something, or even nothing, and either drawing, designing or creating it in moments.

Much like The Father we ALL share.
"Every detail was crafted through His design, by His Own Hands, and for His purposes." ~Colossians 1:16
This includes you and me. Every detail He created in us is by His Own Hands.
He makes beautiful things....out of dust. 
Out of His Own Image.
Mind. Blowing.

God, thank you for the way you created us by design and for Your Purposes.

In His Dust,

Monday, November 17, 2014

Trusty Talking Donkey....

In honor of the Mules play off game this week,I give you...Balaam's Trusty Donkey.
The story of the talking Mule,(not to be confused with Francis, or Francie for that matter) is found in The Book of Numbers. 
"Then God gave speech to the donkey“What have I ever done to you that you have beat me these three times? Am I not your trusty donkey on whom you’ve ridden for years right up until now? Have I ever done anything like this to you before? Have I?” ~Numbers 22:28-30
I love that God uses, whatever He chooses, to get our attention. When was the last time a talking donkey spoke to you? (Please do not include this very moment) 
Personally I have experience with a rather chatty I don't find this story hard to all. 
There are so many lessons in this story. For me, one of the lessons is....keep your eyes and ears open. As God’s people, we need to be prepared for Him to speak in any way He chooses. Which might very well be out of our comfort zone....Sometimes hearing Him feels impossible to clarify or decipher. However, we can glean encouragement from this story. 
God will stop at nothing to make sure we "get the message."
Thank You God for speaking to us and for being patient as search to hear.
In His Dust,

Monday, November 10, 2014

Understanding Prayer...

I was just telling someone, "I will pray for you...."
She responded,through tears, "Will it make a difference?"

I was struck stupid.(not the first time.)

I wanted to give a good theological answer....
so, I said....

I don't know how...but I know it will.
I don't know what that looks like...
but I know it is what He tells us to do.

James 5:16 promises that our prayers are not in vain. 
"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

Doesn't God already know what we will ask for? Doesn't He already have plans?
Deep Theological research in Israel has lead me to this profound conclusion...

We aren't made to "get it."
It is beyond our ability to understand.
If God needed us to understand...HE would have made us able to do so.
In the meantime He has said to pray.
"Pray all the time." -1 Thessalonians 5:17
and remember....
"We are confident that He hears us 
whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him." - 1 John 5:14

The bottom line, our prayers DO make a difference...and that is all we need to "understand"

God, Thank You for letting us talk to You, without having to understand You.

In His Dust,

Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Father's Voice...

Nik Wallenda.
Did y'all watch it?
The "king of the wire," credited the King of Kings, with his success last night as he crossed a tight-wire the width of a penny from one building to another....
and then to top it off, crossed another one while blindfolded.
This guy literally walked by faith, not by sight. 
Now, while I am pretty sure I would endure my 9th ankle sprain if I tried a fat curb on Broadway while blindfolded, I am obviously not encouraging any of us to show our faith in this way.
I am however, interested in a certain aspect of this amazing feat. 
Nik's father stood at the other end of the wire and guided his son across by his voice.
Did you catch that? He walked a tight-wire with the voice of his father to guide him.
His eyes were not able to see any steps ahead, 
however, His Dad's saw each and every step.
and his voice is was Nik chose to focus on

Nik knows what we all should know....our Father's Voice will not lead us astray. 
In that voice, there is truth, guidance, encouragement and victory.

While there were other noises cheering him on and questioning his choices, he made sure that one voice was in focus over all of the others. 

"My sheep hear My Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." ~John 10:27

Nik expressed some concern at one point, and his father replied-
"You're going to be fine. You're looking good. Try and relax a little." 

 I love thinking that Christ is saying the same thing to me and to you.....
in moments that feel a little wobbly or maybe the wind is too strong...
when other voices and their plans for us seem to make more sense and look easier....

Our Father promises we can trust Him. His Voice is safest and His plans are best. 
"...plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give you a hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11

God, Thank You for Your Voice. May we chose to listen to it above all others.

In His Dust,

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Don't Know...

Questions I have heard this past week and don't have answers to:
How were 4 people I know diagnosed with breast cancer last week?
Why did a 35 year old mother die and leave her one week old son?
How does a simple hip replacement end like this?
How were there 3 funerals in one week in our community?

I. Don't. Know. 
I do know, when I asked God how I should be answering people....I got this...

You don't need to defend Me.
You don't need to understand or explain.

If He needed us to do either of these things...He would have equipped us to.
On the contrary, He has made clear that we are not able to understand many things...
Although one day we "shall see in full..."

And until then....we will
"Trust in The Lord with all our hearts 
and lean not on our own understanding."
- Proverbs 3:5
These times are an opportunity to show and tell what we DO know. God is good...all the time. And all the time....God is good.

God, Thank You for loving us enough to remain Constantly Present.

In His Dust,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Questions And Answers...

So last week I got a call from an 11 year old with some questions about what she read in The Bible. 
I felt confident in my knowledge....because it was an 11 year old...
how hard could her questions be??? 
They were from Leviticus. 
Good times.

You can imagine my excitement...since I am practically an expert on Leviticus and by expert, I am referring to.... I am able to spell L-E-V-I-T-I-C-U-S

I tried to remain calm as the kid asked me 224 questions on God's Laws and Why He made them. 

I have to tell you, I loved the conversation I had with her. She was honestly seeking and digging in The Text.
I thought to myself, I wish I had an expert on Leviticus here to help me....and then realized, if God wanted her with an expert, He would have put one in her path.
He didn't.
He put me in her path.
He told me not to be intimidated about what I didn't know....
But, to be confident in what I did know.

I know God's Character.
I know He is loving and just...and therefore, if He makes a rule, it is for our best interest....
no matter what. 

I think it is important for kids to know that we don't have all the answers...
because we don't need to have them.....God does.

God, Thank You for not commanding us to understand You, but to love You.

In His Dust,

Monday, October 13, 2014


So.....Friday I was walking down Broadway and came across this magnetic sign.
(It had fallen off of the Superintendent's car during a parade.) 
As you can imagine the upgrade from Mule to head honcho, 
felt warranted and quite honestly, long overdue.

As tempted as I was to slap it on my Tahoe and start making some serious decisions...
I refrained and walked it back to the district office.

I got several weird looks and honks as I walked the mile with it.
The people seemed, I just smiled and waved back.

After a while I realized...
the only thing they saw on the other side of the sign, 
was a "certain broken finger" sticking out at them.
This impostor superintendent, was unknowingly giving a signal at those passing by. 
(see below)

Of course the icing on the cake, was that I was also wearing a 
neon t-shirt, covered in Bible verses.

Who I was and why was I angrily running a school district while proselytizing on Broadway?!?!? Lots of mixed signals.

Made me realize how quickly I judge people on what "signs" they "show" me.
Which lead me to thinking about signs from God.

"This is the Lord's Sign to you, 
that He will do what He has promised." ~Isaiah 38:7

How we look for them.
How we miss them.
How we forget them.

His Sign that we must find and must not forget.

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son. 
By believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." - John 3:16

God, Thank You for loving us beyond what we show others.

In His Dust,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blue Jean Related Incident...

Well....perhaps you have heard.
There has been a Blue Jean related incident.
(Look for it on CNN)
I would not have guessed there was any risk off pulling a tag off of my new jeans...
However, now....I am wiser. 
Today, I am also the recipient of one freshly broken Mallet Finger. 
What never heard of it? Yeah, me neither before Tuesday. 

Today, I type as a schooled veteran on the subject...
and by type, I of course mean peck like a lethargic chicken.
 What are the odds Brooke Shields ever had this problem?
Like her jeans.

As I was complaining about how hard painting my nails and texting have become....
God sent a reminder across my TV by way of Bethany Hamilton on Amazing Race.    

Jesus has made beauty from the ashes in her life. 
He wants to do the same in each of our's.

All of us have something broken, don't we?

"My body and my heart may grow weak.
    God, you give strength to my heart.
    You are everything I will ever need." -Psalm 73:26

God, Thank You for not just being our splint, but being our Healer. Thank You for making the broken...beautiful.

In His Dust,