Category Archives: Meditations

Can We Barter with God?

Most of us a familiar with the “five stages of grief,” as outlined by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. One step is ‘bargaining’–an understandable though illogical attempt to control the situation by cutting a last-minute deal, usually with God.

Let's make a dealPeter Jones, over at Kuyperian Commentary, explores the way our prayer and other devotional acts at all times, not just at a time of grief, are intertwined with God’s blessings. Is there actually a cause and effect? If so, can we manipulate God by our actions? Continue reading

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ALWAYS: A good word for hard times

Friends:  It’s been a rough week. I won’t go into details here, but if you’re a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers, especially for our Lucy. In the midst of everything, I don’t have many helpful words. But I happened to sign up for iDisciple last week, and this morning I read a really solid piece of writing from Stasi Eldredge.  (She and husband John are both wonderful writers. Look them up!)

Here is her devotional post entitled “Always”.  I’d just link to it, but I’m not sure you can get to it since it’s subscriber content. I couldn’t find it on her blog, as it is obviously not brand new. But since this past week was also the 9/11 anniversary, this piece seems especially appropriate.

I stopped getting the newspaper years ago because my heart couldn’t take it.  I would open it up and weep.  I didn’t know my tears were intercession, but they were.  They were then and they are now.

It’s been a week.  2:50pm a week ago today the first bomb went off, exploding our sense of safety and so much more.  I find myself today so very sad.  How are you doing?  My prayer is that my tears and yours join in the intercession for the many to aid in their healing and to bring the presence of Jesus. Continue reading

Déja vu: How NOT to write a Devotional Blog post (in 10 easy steps)

When I wrote this post, almost a year and a half ago, our granddaughter was two. But I find it still rings true, although the exact details have changed. I could write a new post to reflect the perils of trying to write something substantive while parenting a three-and-a-half year old…(substitute “Go, Diego, Go” for “Kipper the Dog” and chocolate protein bars for goldfish)…but I’ve been soothing nightmare fears since 4:30 AM, and now it’s nearly 6:00 and I haven’t made my coffee yet (see steps 1 and 2, below).

So while I continue to ponder self-discipline, and the parallels between our relationships with our children and with Our Father, I think I’ll just let you read this. 

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FIRST PUBLISHED ON APRIL 17, 2013:

alarm clock 4Step 1: Set your clock for a bit earlier than usual, so that you can write your first draft before the two-year-old wakes up.  Then hit snooze until the German Shepherd sticks his cold nose in your face and wills you to let-him-out-for-pete’s-sake-what’s-wrong-with-you.

Step 2: Brew a large cup of coffee and decide to check your email while the coffee is brewing. 30 minutes later …when you’ve answered three emails, deleted 12 others, caught up on Facebook (including taking your turn in Words with Friends) and checked the weather… your coffee is cold, and the toddler is stirring.

Continue reading

Weight, not Volume

marshmallowsIt is a truism that things are often not what they seem. I was struck recently by a verse of scripture which suggests that volume (the apparent size of something) is far less important than weight (its true value). 

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We’ve all done it: we open a package–it’s a big box, suitably heavy. But what’s inside looks so much smaller than the outer wrapping promised. We are hard-pressed not to feel disappointed.  Why does size excite us so? Our Let’s Make a Deal impulse is to take whatever looks bigger: Do you want what’s in the box? No, let’s choose what’s behind the curtain! Continue reading

Both Sun and Shield: of fathers and Our Father

light and cloudsI came across this thought while re-reading an old journal this week. It struck me as appropriate in honor of Father’s Day, and in observance of the imminent official start of summer, to look at our Heavenly Father as described by the sons of Korah:

The Lord God is both sun and shield. He will give grace and glory.”  Psalm 84:11

“Was the psalmist being clever?” I wondered.  Is this a contradiction? Or a paradox?  How can God be both my light and shade? Both tanning bed and sunscreen?  Both sun roof and umbrella? Continue reading

Tough Parenting Choices Make Us Think of the Ultimate Parent

Runestad

Ric Runestad

Ric Runestad is a resident of Fort Wayne and an occasional guest editorial writer for our evening paper, the News-Sentinel. I opened to the editorial page on Thursday and read a remarkable piece of apologetic–a really fresh response to the timeless question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

You can read the entire piece by following the link. I’ve reprinted a slightly abridged version, along with a follow-up thought I had about it.

[Not knowing how to contact Mr. Runestad directly, I can only hope that he won’t mind.]

The young couple sat holding their newborn baby as the stranger entered the hospital room…

Without preamble he began. “I represent a company that wishes to make you an offer. A ‘bargain’ we will call it. This new child of yours is just what we are needing for an experiment.

Continue reading

Speechless in the face of Grace

Kawai piano goodBesides being the artistic director of a faith-based theater company, I am a piano teacher. I started teaching piano when I was 18 years old, and with the exception of a couple of breaks (my last two years of college, and between the births of son #1 and son #2) I’ve been teaching ever since.

The annual Spring recital, right after Memorial Day, has been a tradition for my students for over twenty years. It’s the night when we celebrate their progress and their accomplishments. They play their most difficult pieces. I mention awards they’ve won. We showcase any graduating seniors.

It’s NOT a night about me.

Except that this past Tuesday, my piano families decided that it was.  Continue reading

How NOT to wish someone Happy Mother’s Day…

motherMotherhood:  a great gift, a great responsibility.  The real “oldest profession,” an amazing, exhausting, unending, uplifting assignment which women have been bravely taking on for all of recorded time.

Nine months of miraculous but uncomfortable growth, a few hours of often agonizing pain, and a lifetime of caring, teaching, loving, worrying over and praying for the life one has brought into the world.

And yet, the National Organization of Women (NOW) thinks that it would be a good idea to thank the mothers among us who have stood up for legalized abortion. Somehow, making it optional to actually care, teach, love, worry and pray for a child one has conceived, is seen as noble and progressive?

Notice the banner down in the right-hand corner: …was marching for safe and legal abortion really the best thing that YOUR mother did for you?

Really?

Continue reading