Thursday, June 27, 2013

God Can Change Me

A few days ago, my husband had the “Oldies” station on the television. Most of those songs put me in a good mood – they’re happy songs and I can sing along. While I was putting on my make-up, I heard a melody that I wasn’t familiar with and when I listened to the words, they threw me for a loop.

I don’t remember ever hearing that song before. I can recognize the sentiment behind some of the lyrics, but there’s one line that really disturbs me. The title of the song is, “Let Me Be.” The artists were The Turtles.

One of the verses of the song says:
Don’t try to plan me or understand me
I can’t stand to be understood
I could never give in to or ever live up to
Being like you think I should
I’ve got some inner need which I’m tryin’ to heed
I can’t take hand-me-down destiny
That makes me sad. Here’s the story of someone who pushes back against the expectations of others. This is the part I can somewhat empathize with because living to please others can be a hard journey. I get wanting to be yourself. But now, look at the words of the chorus:
Let me be, let me be,
To think like I want to
Let me be, let me be
That’s all I ask of you
I am what I am and that’s all I ever can be
This is the really disturbing part of the song. To think that a person is what he/she is and that there is no hope of ever changing. That’s just not consistent with what God tells us in various Scriptures.


2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I will do a new thing.

Hebrews 13:20-21 - Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I am so grateful to know that God isn’t finished with me yet. Jesus gave His life on the cross so that I don’t have to be held hostage by the thought that “I am what I am and that’s all I ever can be.” He’s working in and through me to make me more like His Son, Jesus Christ. I can change; there is great hope for my future when I walk with my Lord.

Isn’t God good?!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Godly Heart

I’ve been thinking lately (that makes it sound like it’s not very often that I do some thinking – just lately ☺ ). Anyway, some of my recent thoughts have taken me to a verse in the Bible that I have read and heard many times. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Whenever I wonder what it is God is asking of me, as I desire to serve Him the best ways that I can, I am reminded of this Scripture. Seems too simple, doesn’t it? Surely God is expecting grand and profound deeds and words from me, because in my mind, those are the things that will make a difference in another person’s life.

I stand corrected. God is clear in Micah 6:8. It’s not the grandiose accomplishments that are viewed as “good” by God. He asks three things in this verse:

 • First is to act justly
 • To love mercy
 • And to walk humbly with my God

I’m positive that I don’t have a complete understanding of these three exhortations, but I believe they all start with an attitude of caring about others and not focusing on myself. A regular reading of Philippians 2 helps me keep perspective about Christ’s model of humility and looking out for the interests of others.

The act of looking out for the interests of others includes doing justice – protecting the innocent and watching out for those who are mistreated. In other words, I am to be a champion for those who cannot stand on their own. A co-worker recently returned from a trip to Russia where she spent time with orphans. Those children dearly needed an uplifting hand from another person. What a wonderful example my co-worker is to me of acting justly!

The second phrase is to love mercy. I found that the Hebrew word, hesed, is included there. Hesed means “loyal love” or “lovingkindness.” As God speaks to the nation of Israel in Micah 6, He wants them to show love and mercy to others. There are an abundance of opportunities for me to express caring and hope-filled love to those in my sphere of influence. Oh, that I would seize those moments! 

Finally, God wants me to walk humbly with Him, knowing that it’s not what I do or what I bring to the mix but rather affirming that God is God and I am not.

 Lord, please help me to have a godly heart that acts justly, loves mercy and walks humbly with You.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Tea Time Thought

I have several beautiful teacups. Most of them were given to me as gifts from treasured friends. Each of those teacups and saucers are unique in design, color and size. I also have a set of teacups that is part of the china I chose almost 35 years ago now. That set is delicate and lovely and makes a stunning presentation on a table because of their uniformity.

But I absolutely love variety! There’s a wonderful tea house in Monument, Colorado, not far from my home. Whenever I’ve gone to the Wisdom Tea House, I get excited that I get to choose my own teacup. It’s also fun to see which cup another person might pick. Some will go for a soft and subtle pattern while others prefer bold colors. A person might feel that a large cup saves time and effort, and another thinks it’s proper to sip tea from a small cup. I find the assortment of options and the choices of each partaker to be telling and fascinating.

Catherine Douzel is quoted as saying, “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.” Look at the teacups below. Can you just imagine the adventure that each cup represents?

The charm and appeal of each teacup helps us to remember that God has designed every one of us with our own special attributes. I may not be my neighbor’s “cup of tea,” but I do offer a flavor all my own. And those around me will likely want a different cup than I do. It would serve me well to remember that they, too, have an essence that is distinctive to them.

We know that we are created in the image of God, to be a reflection of His glory. He knit us together in the womb and even knows the number of the hairs on our head. Thank you, Lord, for the array of splendor You have provided!

Friday, April 5, 2013


“Hey, are you happy?”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Then tell your face!”

Ouch!! Have you ever heard that not so subtle sort of rebuke? We all know folks we’d like to hold a mirror to and ask them why they’re so sour.

The infrequently used word, “countenance,” comes to my mind. What is the definition of countenance? It means, “the face or its expression.” The word is said to originate from turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice this is still common. The opposite conduct would, of course, express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied by a look directed to the petitioner, averting the refusal or denial.

Our countenance is an important reflection of our hearts. Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance;” and, like Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14:29, we can identify with his delight, “How my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.”

On the other side of the spectrum is Cain when his offering was not acceptable to God in Genesis 4:5. There it reads, “And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”

Granted, no one can keep a smile on his face all the time. It’s just not possible. But, it’s too easy to use excuses to justify our down-turned moon face. Whether a small child, an adolescent, a young adult or an elderly person – we can choose to have a countenance that is a beautiful, full of joy and gratitude. Probably one of the keys to a glowing countenance (rather than fussy) is where our focus lies – on God and others or on ourselves. Too much self-involvement, without the breath of the Holy Spirit, comes through as down and discouraged. We have much about which to rejoice, let’s show others by the countenance we share with them!

There’s another Bible verse that talks about countenance. In Numbers 6:26, it proclaims, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Amen to that!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Cake testing, bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding venues – these are the plans that are underway for my son and his fiancĂ©e. In just six months, they will exchange their marriage vows.

This is another path along my empty nester’s journey. I can’t help but look back at my little tow-headed tike and recall his quiet and playful spirit. Look at him now! All grown up and starting his own family.

Thank God for the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. He established that union from the beginning, in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God knew that it was good for man and woman to be helpmates to one another. Man was made for woman, and woman for man. Throughout the Word of God, we see the great value God places on marriage. How can we not also honor this God-designed provision?!

Sadly, the governor of the state in which I live, Colorado, signed legislation yesterday recognizing civil unions between same-sex individuals. This is not God’s design.

I am privileged to work alongside folks who, although certainly not the “popular” thing to do, will stand up for righteousness in our hurting culture. Our nation is reeling from apathy and poor choices. Is it a lack of knowledge, a selfish mentality of entitlement or a blatant disregard for godliness? God help us at Family Talk to have a voice that speaks truth in love.

The next few months will hold many plans, expectations and decisions for my son and his soon-to-be wife. I am praying for God’s wisdom, protection and care to infuse them as they approach their wedding day. Let’s ask the Lord to guide and bless all of our young adults who are contemplating marriage or moving into relationships.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Mother's Prayer

I returned a few days ago from Nashville, Tennessee. I was there to attend the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Convention. I am thankful to have gone – I learned a great deal and met many, many people who are serving the Lord through radio, television, social media, etc.

One of the highlights of the trip was the worship service on Sunday morning where we gathered to sing together, pray, worship through the act of giving and to hear Pastor Tony Evans share a powerful message. Keith and Kristyn Getty and their band led us in music – oh, how marvelous to hear voices raised in unity to magnify the Lord, along with amazing strings, bagpipes and piano. What a great blessing that time was for me!

My heart was lifted up by several of the hymns the Gettys sang, which prompted me to take a look at the CD from which those songs came. And then I found another one that we didn’t sing Sunday morning, but I’ve listened to over and over since I returned home. It’s called “A Mother’s Prayer.” Here are just a couple of the verses to the song (I think you’ll see why I love its theme):
Before you close your eyes to sleep,
I have a promise still to keep.
As I hold you in my arms,
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hope while you are young.
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand, I’ll teach you the way to go
Through the joys, through the years
The journey of these years.
May you trust Him till the end.
May you trust Him in the end.

. . .

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise and lead your feet
On a journey of your own.
May my mistakes not hinder you,
But His grace remain and guide you through.
This is my prayer for you.

Take His hand and go where He calls you to.
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart.
This is my prayer for you.

Father, hear my ceaseless prayer,
Oh, keep her in your care.
So, even now my eyes are welling up with tears. Yes, all my children are “where my arms won’t reach.” But my intercessions for them are heard by the same Heavenly Father to whom they pray. Hallelujah!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

I Am Honestly Befuddled

I am honestly befuddled. There are not many days that I sit down long enough to watch a newscast. Sure, I catch headlines and read about what’s going on in the world around me. But, I can hardly recognize this world anymore – at least not the world I was hoping it would be for my children.

The news stories of yesterday – just yesterday – made me want to cry ... a national economy spiraling downward, an outright endorsement of homosexual marriage by the President, a six year-old child whose parents promote that he is “transgender,” and on it goes!

The Bible tells us, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)” That is a stern warning from God Almighty! As believers, we are commanded to stand for righteousness. As a believing community, however, we have fallen asleep at the wheel. Our personal conveniences have overridden our commitment to morality and discernment.

I must call upon God’s grace and forgiveness for my ambivalence. Oh, how restoring is God’s Word. James 4 tells me, “But He gives more grace ... God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded ... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Lord God, where can I go but to You? You are life! You are light in a dark world. Show me, Father, how You would have me to be a vessel of Your truth. Open my eyes to discern good from evil and, with Your strength to stand and speak for what is right. You have redeemed me at great cost. My life is Yours. Use me to courageously proclaim Jesus and Him crucified.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Observations of a Mother-In-Law

One of the passages of empty nesting is becoming the infamous "mother-in-law."

My older son, Ryan, married Joanna eight and a half years ago. Joanna and I had to get to know each other -- to learn to trust, to appreciate each other's strengths and to be respectful. Joanna is wonderful. She complements Ryan beautifully, and she is an integral part of our family.

Our younger son, Austin, has recently proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Kim. They will marry in September. It's been such a delight to watch as they make plans for their future. I'm happy to build a relationship with the young lady my son loves.

The way I see it, being a mother-in-law is a grand opportunity to be an example of love, acceptance and care. Instead of dwelling on the emptiness of my nest, I can rejoice in our growing family.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Savor the moments!

As a young mother, I was often encouraged to enjoy the child-raising years. More often than not, my internal voice would say, "Don't you think I want to do that?! I'm trying ... But I'm just so tired. I can't keep up enough to reflect on the 'joys' of parenthood."

I now understand what those well-meaning friends wanted me to know. They were offering a nugget of wisdom -- one day, you'll miss the bustling activity of toddlers hanging on your ankles, the thousands of questions posed by an inquisitive five year old and the rigors of carpooling children to karate or ballet or piano lessons. These are the things memories are made of. Deposit them in your heart and mind. Someday, you're going to want to re-live those hectic days. Believe it or not, you will miss it!

Well, I do miss it. Gratefully, God has preserved many of those delightful (and challenging) mothering episodes in my memory bank. That has prompted me to keep a journal of some of those memories.

For example, I recall one day when the children were helping their dad with yard work. They were given the chore of pulling weeds in the terraced area of our backyard. All was quiet -- too quiet. In their 'diligence,' their weed pulling had resulted in pulling up all my beautiful irises. At the time, I was steamed! Looking back, I find it comical and that their actions didn't warrant the reaction I had. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of the "iris incident." I love that I can have eyes to see that my children were trying to obey. They didn't pull up my flowers to hurt me. Quite the opposite -- they were wanting to please us.

God is teaching me through my walk down memory lane. How often have I tried to obey my Heavenly Father only to fall short? Yet, His response to me is forgiveness and compassion.

These memories and lessons from God comfort me when I'm missing the "good old days."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Something’s Got to Give!

Hello, friends. It’s been quite a while since I’ve written for my “At a Crossroads” blog. As you all know, life holds some surprises and roadblocks along the course, and you begin to feel that something has to give. Of course, when those surprises and roadblocks present themselves, there are also opportunities for learning and growth.

One of the themes that keeps cropping up is that dependence on God is critical for my daily living. When the load seems too heavy or the responsibility too great, God is my refuge. When I’m discouraged or worried, God provides peace. When my joy is lagging, God meets me where I am and shows me His goodness. Hmm, it all seems too simple . . .

The real issue here for me is that I get in the way. I think I can do whatever needs to be done in my own strength. How could I be so arrogant? How do I get past my own stubborn pride? I’m learning (relearning, actually) that coming to God in humble confession and releasing my ironclad grip on my destiny bring me to my knees. Oh, that I would remember the lesson that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10b)

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:28-29)