hope sign

hope sign

Friday, April 18, 2014


Take me past the outer courts into the holy place
Past the brazen altar, 
Lord, I want to see Your face
Pass me by the crowds of people, 
the Priest who sing Your praise
I hunger and thirst 
for Your righteousness 
but it's only found one place

Take me in to the holy of holies
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb
Take me in to the holy of holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am

by Kutless

This is my prayer today.  When I sing this song, I feel the struggle.  Sometimes, it's a struggle to just have a moment to pray, to spend time with the LORD.  To me, this song is so visual.  I can see myself, fighting off the things that want to keep me from the holy of holies.  In the holy of holies, in His presence, that is where I desire to be.  

It's not only bad things that can keep us from our destination or goal.  We can be busy doing good things, reaching out to others.  But if we don't take the time to recharge, everyday with Jesus, in the Word, in prayer, we will become burnt out.  

My sister wrote the song, "I Can Be Free In Your Presence".  We are struggling to get to the holy of holies, where His presence is so that we can be free.

I can be free
In Your presence.
Offering all I am.
Releasing my pain
Feeling no shame for who I was
Cause I now know who I am.
I must be alone with You
Before my day is through.
Guide me by Your grace
Until I see Your face
Abiding in
The presence of the King.
by Christian Estep Wright

I hope you find the time today to be in His presence.  

Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wash Me Over Again

Bishop and Henry
Tonight our church will come together and celebrate the last supper.  A time where Jesus took off His robe and took a towel.  This is the night that Jesus, the One who is to be praised and exalted, took the role of the servant, washing the feet of the disciples.  Showing us how to serve each other.

I think most of us who know Jesus would be like Peter.  Refusing to let the LORD wash our feet. Feeling guilty that we didn't think to wash His feet first.  But the LORD meant no condemnation in washing the feet of the disciples.  He was still teaching them, loving them, being an example of how they were to live and die.  After Jesus explained to Peter that you have to be washed by Him to be part of Him, Peter offered his whole body for a washing.

Reminds me of the song, "Wash Me Over Again".  Jesus is so amazing.  Knowing His time had come, He took His last moments to teach us how to be a servant, how to love, how to live.  When others would have demanded to be served, Jesus served others.  We would have understood it if Jesus would have wanted to be pampered at this time, He was facing the most difficult of circumstances.  He knew He was going to be beaten beyond humanity, He knew these were His last days on earth.  In our minds, a little pampering was called for.  But in His mind, He still had work to do.  This washing of the feet was leading to the washing of the blood.  

Oh, LORD, wash me over again, wash me over again.  In your precious blood, wash me over again. 

He told Peter in John 13:8, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”  I feel like Peter, not just my feet but my hands and my head.  It's the same today, unless He washes us, we don't belong to Him.  Now instead of using the water in the basin, we come to Him and His blood cleanses us.  

Let me encourage you today to find a place to go this evening to partake of the Holy Eucharist.  CTK will have a foot washing, where the Bishop, Elders and Deacons will wash the feet of a church member.  We will all partake of the Holy Eucharist, entering into Holy Communion with Jesus.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

His Actions Made His Faith Complete

What do I truly believe?

Am I living out my faith?

Where do I place my faith?

It has been a week since I shared with my church a sermon titled, "An Unbecoming Reflection."  A look at Judas Iscariot and how I see myself at times when I look at his life with Jesus.

How Judas Iscariot never came to the point where Jesus was more than a teacher or a good man who had the potential to do great things, if only he would.  Judas Iscariot saw the miracles, he was a part of the ministry team, he heard the parables straight from the mouth of Jesus...but he failed to know Him. He couldn't truly recognize who Jesus is.  His heart was so full of himself and his desires that it hadn't room for the Savior.

We don't like to focus on Judas Iscariot in our studies or sermons.  It's not a feel good message or time.  It makes us look at our own hearts and motives.  My heart breaks every time I read how this man who walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, laughed and fellowshipped with Jesus on earth and then turned around and gave Him up to His enemies...in my eyes, always a monster, a traitor, a horrible man.  I never even felt bad about him killing himself.  You just can't come back from that.  How can you even ask for forgiveness when you have turned your back on Jesus.  Strong words from someone who should be full of compassion for the unworthy since she too is in that category.

How many times have I failed to truly see who Jesus is?

How many times have I looked at Jesus as a means to get me what I want?

How many times have I been willing to put my relationship with Him aside in order to gain a worldly pleasure?

Hard questions with horrible answers.

Yesterday, I was reading James 2.  It's about living out our faith.  What we believe will be seen by how we live.

19 You say you have faith, 
for you believe that there is one God.
[f] Good for you! 
Even the demons believe this, 
and they tremble in terror. 
20 How foolish! 
Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor 
Abraham was shown to be right with God 
by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 
22 You see, 
his faith and his actions worked together. 
His actions made his faith complete. 
23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: 
“Abraham believed God, 
and God counted him as righteous 
because of his faith.”[g] 
He was even called the friend of God.[h] 
24 So you see, 
we are shown to be right with God 
by what we do, 
not by faith alone.
-James 2:19-24 NLT

I love how James says, in verse 22 "his faith and his actions worked together.  His actions made his faith complete."  I love that verse.  I wrote it down and wrote it down again.  

We don't have to be a Judas Iscariot.  We can be an Abraham, a friend of God (vs. 23).  

Judas Iscariot had a chance for almost 3 years, every single day that he walked with Jesus.  He was being taught by the Savior Himself.  It makes my mind spin to think that he chose not to believe and not to see who Jesus truly is.  Just like us, we have the Scriptures, we have everything, yet we can choose not to believe, just like Judas.  It will lead to our death, just like Judas Iscariot.  It's our choice.

I choose Jesus.  I choose life.  I choose to live out my faith, every day.  I want to be a friend of God. We can say all day that we believe, but what we do will be the proof of what we truly believe.  

So, I have to ask myself the first three questions in this post all the time.  

What do I truly believe?

Am I living out my faith?

Where do I place my faith?

His actions made his faith complete.

I pray that my actions, how I give, love and live, reflect my faith.  Let my actions make my faith complete.  Even when it is hard, Lord, give me the strength to do your will.  

I pray you have a blessed day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's A Love Thing...

"Therefore say thou unto them,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD
of hosts, and I will turn unto you,
saith the LORD of hosts."
-Zechariah 1:3

As I was falling asleep last night, this scripture reference came to my mind.  I had to sit up in bed and look it up.  I said to myself, "hmmm.  Wonder why I thought of that and what am I suppose to take from it."  I put my phone down and went back to falling asleep.

Do you every wonder why certain things pop into your head as you are falling asleep.  I have dreams a lot of times in those moments when you are between being awake and truly sleeping.  When you can still answer a question but you truly are getting loopy.  

I sometimes want to sugar coat things for people and even for myself.  Some words are hard to hear and even harder to speak.  But I believe God was saying to me, speak what I have given you, it's for the best.  In this scripture, He is calling the people to return to Him.  It's a call for redemption and renewing.  He tells Zechariah to give this message and remind them of what happened to their ancestors who would not listen to the prophets.  

I love that God loves us so much He is willing to send us people who will speak His words.  He is willing to give us a chance to get it right.  He calls us to repentance because He loves us.  He desires our salvation, that none should perish.  It's a love thing, not condemnation.  

I love my children, so I try and direct them down the right path.  God does the same thing.  It's not so I can control everything.  It's not to make them think bad of themselves.  In the words of most parents, "It's for their own good."  
God calls us to return to Him, for our own good.  He loves us so much.  He is pure love.  

I hope you know today that you are loved.  Even if you feel overlooked, overworked, over burdened or alone...God loves you.  He says, return to me and I will return to you.  Call upon Him.  How long has it been since you have had a real conversation with God?  Take the path back to Him.  He knows where it will lead even if you don't.  What an adventure.  

I love pictures of paths that lead to unknown places.  Here are some that I have taken.  

Winery in St. Helena, CA

Sonoma, CA

Hatteras Island, NC

Rising Sun, MD

Grand Canyon, AZ
View from the top...great lens

Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome Home Bo and Daddy

I just noticed that today is my 351st post.  Crazy!!!  How can I have so much to say?  Thanks for reading.  (First post Link)

Well, my hubby and Daddy came home on Friday morning.  The house feels like home again.  We each carry within, something that uniquely adds to the atmosphere of the home.  Even though Bo has severe jet lag and has spent more time upstairs in the bed while I'm up...my home feels right.

I remember the first time he went to the Philippines in the 90's.  I didn't think I would really notice that he was not there.  I still had to take care of three kids, my daily routine wouldn't change.  He worked 9-5, came home for a couple of hours and then was back out by 7pm each night.  We had a new business that needed growing.  Our time together was limited.  He would usually return around 11pm and the whole process would start over the next day.  I thought the next 21 days would go without too much trouble...WRONG!!!!

I mourned every day.  I was so lonely and lost without him.  I was scared that he was not okay and scared to be home all the time alone with three kids.  To make matters worse, all three kids ended up with a virus.  We had messes coming out both ends.  I was cleaning up stuff for days.  That took about a week before it cleared up and then, I GOT IT!!!  I remember crying, asking God to just send Bo home.  I needed him immediately.  It was very traumatic and dramatic.  But we made it through.

Now we have three grown children, 2 who are married.  We have 2 grandsons and 2 more grand babies on the way.  When he is in the Philippines, we can talk easily.  The first time, I would get to say hello and that is about it.  Now we can text, call, email...so many ways to communicate.  I don't mourn like I did that first year and I am not so scared.  But let me tell you this...HE IS ALWAYS MISSED!

So, even though, he is sleeping a lot when I am awake and awake when I am sleeping, I am so glad he is home.  I am so thankful for his safe return and for my father's safe return.  I am thankful that we have such a wonderful Filipino family that takes such good care of them while they are there.  I am thankful that God has allowed us to be a part of touching the world and building His Kingdom, near and far.

That first trip to the Philippines changed our family forever and our church.  It made Bo and I realize how much we need each other and it caused us to see beyond the end of our own driveway, community and country.  We LOVE America but the scripture says, For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only Son...it goes way beyond America's shores.

Welcome home Bo and Daddy!!!

Bo & Daddy right before they left
the Bible School