Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Jesus was a prisoner. It is strange to put the name of Jesus with the title of prisoner, but it is true. He was a prisoner wrongfully imprisoned, sentenced and executed.

A prison sentence imposed on criminals has far reaching influence. The criminal has created victims and has victimized his/her loved ones for as long as the memory of his/her actions are remembered. For this reason, a prisoner who repents and turns around to walk in a new direction is not always received with trust and open arms. Unfortunately loved ones who stand by and encourage the new life path are also shunned, at the least ignored. Few really listen and sympathize over the trials of a prisoner turned good. Few want to see the convict succeed. It seems that most would rather hide away from any knowledge of their struggles. They brought it on themselves didn't they?

Jesus was different. Before He became a prisoner, He asked that His followers would treat them with kindness and understanding. (Matthew 25:43) The truth is that if Jesus could become a prisoner without reason, surely each of us could become one with good reason!

Maybe our prejudice for prisoners stems not only from fear of getting too close, but also a false pride believing we are not one of them. Or are we? Am I?

Righteous Judge, You are holy! You are perfect! You are good. I have no place with You except for the place Your Son, Jesus, made for me! I am a sinner. I deserve a death sentence for the sins I have committed against You and against people. Thank You for becoming a prisoner for me, Thank You for dying in my place. Thank You for letting me live free! Lord, help me put aside my fear and pride so that I might follow You in embracing the prisoner and their families. Help me to be humble before You and become a prisoner of Christ!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Four Days

It has been four days since my last post. Yes, busier than usual days. house cleaning, concert, family dinner, final Significant Woman study, and every day activities filled my schedule. The blog was not a priority.

We have four days to prepare for Resurrection Sunday! I am preparing my heart to understand the love of God deeper than before. I am preparing my heart to share the love of God , His forgiveness and His soon coming to those who need to know Him.

I want to celebrate the events of the four last days of Jesus' life here on earth with greater understanding and deeper worship. From Celebrating the Passover with His disciples, to His trial, death and glorious resurrection Jesus, poured out His love, His blood, His life for all people!

Four days. What does God want me to do, what will He reveal to me in these next four days?

Father, You are so patient and perfect. You precisely planned every minute of those four last days of Jesus' earthly life so that they would be full of meaning and purpose for all people. I fail to see the importance of those precious minutes most of the time. I allow the world and the cares of my heart to crowd out the most important and most wonderful events that were meant for me. Thank You. Thank You for humbling Yourself in those four days, so that I might be lifted out of my sin and be united with You for eternity. Open my eyes, open my ears, open my heart so that I might see YOU in these next four days before I celebrate Resurrection Sunday! I want a new revelation of You, my Lord!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Asking Forgiveness

A week or so ago, I wrote an email to a friend. I had mixed motives in writing the email, and was not completely honest with her. Since then I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to ask for forgiveness.

I've been slow in asking for forgiveness because my heart had not changed and I needed to deal with my bad attitude before sending off another email with mixed motives. This morning was my day to humble myself, seek forgiveness, be honest even if it meant being vulnerable, and clear my conscience before God!

What a relief! I have not heard back from my friend and she may not accept my apology. She may either say there was nothing to apologize for, but I know that if the Holy Spirit leads me in that direction, He knows their true heart. She may allow herself to express anger towards me that was held back because of the veiled messages I sent. In either case I am free from the sin because I have God's forgiveness and have obeyed Him in doing the right thing to clear the mess I made with my words.

Father, You are so gracious and kind to wipe away my sin! You are my peace, You are my Lord! You are holy and I am to be holy! You are wise in all You do! I need You to guide me, teach me, reprimand me and forgive me! Thank You for being all I need and for helping me through the really tough times like asking forgiveness. I want to be transparent. i want others to see my flaws and most importantly to see You working in me! Keep me under Your wing and never let me stray far from Your side!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning a New Game

My Grandman, Scott, is experimenting with potty training. He sits on his potty and wears pull-ups. He has not yet even begun to really "Play the game" so I am giving him the rules over and over again.

The other day I bought my Grandman a set of plastic golf clubs. He has no idea how to "Play the game," so I just keep repeating the rules and showing him how to hit the ball. He still likes to throw more than putt!

I am preparing to learn a new game as well! I expect that by the end of this year Patrick and I will be empty-nesters. We hope to finally have a place without the kids, grandkids and other relatives sharing our space. Don't get me wrong. It has been difficult, but certainly not all bad. We have had the rich blessing of pouring into our granddaughter's lives on a daily basis. We have been used of God to help my daughter stay focused toward this end. God has taught and prepared all of us to do so much more than we thought we could! We know that others have seen God through our lives! We pray it has changed them and drawn them to Him!

The changes that are soon to come will influence many. I believe God is calling me to prepare myself for this new "game" . He wants me to labor toward the end of this part of the plan and be ready to bring forth a new life! It can be hard to learn a new game. It may take some time to get it down pat. Like my Grandman learning golf or potty training, I need to listen to the new rules, and practice every day what He calls me to do.

Father, You are the one who has set a plan for my life. You are the designer of who I am and You know the best way for me to work through learning this new game. I confess it is a bit scary to change. I get comfortable where I am and who I am with. I don't want to let go of things that are so very close to my heart. I want to hold on. I can only thank You for taking the time to teach me to wait on You, Teach me to wait so that I might run and not be weary, walk and not faint! Teach me to not be weary in well doing. Lift me up on wings of eagles!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Someone Else's Name

My granddaughter, Paige, looks so much like her Mom that my husband and I often call her by her Mom's name, Erin. It happened again yesterday while driving Paige to a program. We apologized when we realized our mistake. Paige chuckled a little and said, "That's okay, then I don't have to hear Paige, Paige Paige, Paige all the time!"

This little incident made me think about how nice it is for someone else's name to be called after I have been called on to do a long list of helps for others, "Carolynn? Grommers? Mom? Could you?"

There is Someone who never seems to tire of hearing His name called. In fact He has a list of names you can call Him! He is ready to help, ready to listen. His name is bigger than any other name! He is able and faithful! He is good!

O, God, Your name is above all names! You are worthy of every name that exalts and glorifies! I bow to You in humility, knowing I need You every day! Thank You for revealing Your name to us so that we can call on You for help! Teach us to honor Your name in all ways and at all times!

Friday, March 19, 2010

How Big a Love

How big is God's heart? I do not think we can limit His big hearted love, do you?

I guess some may question His love because of the things they have seen in the world, but does our sin and its consequences limit His love? The answer is decidedly "No!"

When The Father gave His only Son to die in our place He proved His great love. He proved that his love was bigger than all evil, bigger than the greatest of human loves! God not only gave His son to prove his love, He also gives Himself fully and without reserve to those who seek him. He promises to let us find Him, know him, live with Him. He promises to give us his wisdom, his understanding, his life and his eternal home! He says He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly!

Big hearted? God is more! He is more than we can ever comprehend! He gives to all, He does not need to limit the number of souls He loves. He loves all because He is love! He can do nothing that is not love. Amazing! Wonderful! Worthy!

Love (Agape), You are my God! You are the only One who deserves my all. I am so small compared to You! I cannot drink in Your love without bursting with joy and the need to express to others the You I know! Thank You for revealing Your love to me through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for opening Your Big hearted love to the world! Teach me how to share Your love with those You love that are near me! Fill me with boldness to tell of Your great love!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pinch My Anger

Last night my granddaughter, Paige was explaining her difficulties with another girl at school. She told us "She pinched my anger!"

I can think of many times when others have pinched my anger. How about you? does your anger sleep quietly until someone comes and pinches it? What about your love? Does it hibernate until your heart is pinched with others needs for affection, hope, or food? Sometimes our love will actually pinch our anger! When we see injustice or abuse shouldn't our anger be pinched?

Today, being St. Patrick's Day, I thought it was appropriate to pinch your thoughts. What do you need to wake up to do? What is pinching you so that you want change? I have some habits I am fighting because they are pinching me! I am taking them one at a time. For me the pinch is waking up my anger toward myself. I have not been loving myself and until I do, how can I love others?

God of St. Patrick, I see that You are wise in all You do. You give us emotions and then prick them or send someone to prick them so that we might change and live our lives with greater significance. I admit that sometimes when I am pinched I fight back and try to hurt someone. I am so sorry for being that way. It does no good for me or for them and it hurts You! Thank You for leading St. Patrick out into the world where He brought Your love. Help me to follow in Your footsteps like he did!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pregnancy and Labor

I have two grandbabies on the way. They will be born later this year and I am very excited. Maybe that is the reason God spoke to me in a metaphor of pregnancy and labor. Maybe it is just what is happening!

I was in prayer last night asking for forgiveness for being crabby, grumpy, irritable, well you can name it what you want, but I wasn't being loving and so I was needing forgiveness. In God's revealing way, He spoke to my heart saying that I am in the middle of labor and under alot of pressure. He knows that knowing what is happening and understanding where I am helps me to accept and behave in a kinder way. He knows me so very well!

I agreed with God that I am under pressure. I can see why He used the idea of the end of a pregnancy and beginning of labor. Things are changing for me and my family. The onset of labor pains has begun. I cannot know how long the labor will last, or how difficult it is going to be, but I can prepare and depend on God, the Father as my coach through it all.

I need to rest in him and His word. Breathe deeply and let the natural process of change ordained by God happen. I must move with it not struggle against it.

Father, I am ready and even eager to birth the new life you have for me. You are the my Father, my Lord and my source of wisdom, understanding and strength. I know that alone I cannot do this your way. I need You! Thank You for being with me every step of the way and for completing the good work You have begun in me! Teach me what to do and when to do it! I trust You to be there for me if I cry out to You!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Play Time

Does God like to play? If so what do you suppose He likes best to do when He plays? Does His play time include us?

My imagination takes a stretch when thinking of God playing. I don't readily think of Him enjoying a sport or even board game. I guess I've been taught that God is in control of the universe, and maybe my mind just can't comprehend Him dropping the weather or forgetting the dance of the universes to play. Why is it so hard to believe?

Could it be that when God walked in the garden with Adam, He didn't just walk? Maybe He played hide and seek, but He would always win unless He humbled Himself and became a man who was not all-seeing. Maybe He played chase with the lions, tigers and bears. Oh my! It is fun to think that His creation of the world might have been play for Him. Did it have to be all science, or well thought out plan?

My heart longs to think that He delighted and enjoyed creating as much as I do! I want to believe He has fun surprising us and maybe even playing with us once in awhile!

You, Lord, gave us Your people a love of play. You give us glimpses of fun in scripture. Would You like to play with me? Can we play tomorrow? Let's have a play date!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Elephant

Most people have heard the story of the blind men who examined an elephant. Each one touched a different part of the animal and described it differently. The lesson of the story is that we don't always see the entire picture.

I think that it is the same with knowing God. I can look, listen and learn about God, but unless others share what they have discovered about God with me, I will not have a true picture of Him. I need to share with others also.

God is much larger than an elephant! He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving. We will be experiencing new things about our Great and awesome God throughout eternity! Finding out about Him will never grow old or dull!

I have a question I need you to answer for me. What have you discovered about God this past week? What can you tell me about Him? Yes, I may already know that He loves you, but how did He love you last week? Please tell me so that I can know him more!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Along the Journey

Who is coming along with you on your journey of life? Are they coming all the way into eternity with you?

I have people on my journey that walk in step with me. They remain close and we speed up or slow down for one another. Others on the journey wander far ahead or behind and we catch up with one another now and then, enjoying great fellowship until the partners we are committed to need us to speed up or slow down.

I see many on my journey that I don't know well. I know their faces and maybe their names but seldom get to know their struggles or their loved ones. It is nice to know that the race we run is not a competition between us, it is a race to finish doing our best!

It is also nice to know that we are not climbing a ladder where we step over one another or one person is greater than the rest. We are on a road following Jesus, our leader. Yes, some are further down the road than others, but we are all going in the same direction! It is a great reason to celebrate!

Jesus, You are the Leader of all who want to enter heaven and live with You forever! You show us the way. sometimes I slow down and even take a rest by the wayside, but I always want to come back to You! Thank You for being patient, waiting for me to catch up. Thank You for being the light to my path so my feet can step over the things that would trip me or the holes where I might fall. I need You every day! I need You every hour! I need to hear Your voice. I trust You!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Think About It

Have computers taken away our desire to think, ponder or meditate? It is so easy to Ask Jeeves or Google and it goes so much quicker than my brain!

Do we depend too much on our microchips or others words and not enough on the God given ability to think? I see it more and more.

Our schools are not designed for a thinker student. Learners are expected to listen to the answers and then repeat them back on a test. Thinker students that have a different answer are penalized with poor grades. They may be the student who take time to think about the answers and in the event of a timed test they are short on right answers.

Even Christians are afraid to have the wrong answer and so they accept some teachers' explanation for scripture without thinking it through with the author of the book!

I was very excited to read in Margaret Feinberg's book The Organic God about the midrash that Jews practice when studying scripture. It is simple. Take a passage and find a question or problem within the text and then only using scripture, your brain, and your relationship with God try to find an answer or something that sheds light on the text. Once you do that then find someone with which you can explore the thought.

Yes, it takes time. It takes brain power. It can be exhausting. It is very rewarding! God rewards those who DILIGENTLY seek Him! I can't say that using my computer is classified as diligence.

Creator, Lord, You are the source of all knowledge. You created Your people to share in that knowledge and You make life interesting and enjoyable in the process of learning! You are an Amazing God! I do not always use the brain you gave me as you would want. I am sometimes lazy and want others to do the work for me. Thank You for drawing me back into discussions that make me think deeper and grow better. Teach me how to rightfully divide Your word, Teach me to remember and to think on the good things.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting Muddy

John 9 is the story of the man, blind from birth, that Jesus healed by making mud from His spit. I often cringe a bit when reading about that. I do wonder how Jesus performed this task.

Did He use just the tips of His fingers to mix the mud? Did He work His whole hand into it, or both hands? How dirty did Jesus get?

How did Jesus apply the healing mud pack? Did he use one or two fingers, or did He take both hands and mold the mud over the mans' eyes?

Of course, Scripture does not tell us these details. It is left to our imagination. I can imagine both ways but I like the idea that Jesus would use His entire hand to mix and mold over the mans' eyes. I like that visual because I think it would bring a sense of security and confidence to someone blind. Not seeing what was happening, I would think that a firm touch would give a sense of authority more than a light touch. I guess the important thing for me is knowing that Jesus would touch with a love and power greater than I could ever imagine!

Jesus, You are the lover of my soul! I fail to see You clearly many times during my day. I want to see but I am blinded by the world. Thank You for loving me enough to get dirty for me so that I can see. Heal my blindness and give me sight that give You all the glory!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Irritant Me

Sometimes we are called to be an irritant to others. It isn't meant to harm them it is meant to help them grow. Though I've been told that I have played that role well, I really do not like being an irritant to others.

Being an irritant to others is like being the grain of sand in the oyster. The irritation causes the oyster to do something to make the irritant something beautiful and precious. Pearls are my favorite jewel because they softly reflect the light. They seem to be a gentle warm expression of beauty! The source, though, is from a small irritable hard grain on the soft lining of the oyster.

As I examine my life and who God has created me to be I cannot help but see myself as an irritant to others. When I speak God's truth I often find the response to be harsh. I feel rejected by the one I am trying to help! I am so happy that I am not always the irritant.

I do get to be the comforter and encourager sometimes and I enjoy the warm responses to my efforts. Because it is difficult for me to accept being an irritant I confess that I have often held back God's truth from others. now that I know my purpose in being the irritant, I can accept the challenge with greater courage!

God Almighty Judge, You are Wise and You alone are Judge. I have learned to watch my tendency to judge and to relinquish that right to You alone. I confess that I have not wanted to be the instrument You have created me to be! I have not wanted to be an irritant. I want people to like me and not reject me. Today I submit my will to Yours. I have asked that it would be taken from me in the past but today I say with Jesus, "Not my will but Yours be done." Thank You for using me to help others grow, to help them turn their lives into a beautiful pearl , reflecting Your glory! Help me to do what You ask of me with joy! Teach me to be an irritant of love.

I have an appropriate poem to share here. It has also been shared on Poetry Impressed and Significant Woman blogs.

by Carolynn J. Scully

Roses grow on thorny stems, and still,
Roses are meant to give away.

There is no true intent
To prick, hurt,
Or bring to tears
With gifts of thorny roses.

Love only exchanges
Bouquets in friendship
Meant to bless
With the beauty of soft,
Spicy sweet petals.

Yet, roses grow on thorny stems, and still,
Roses are meant to give away.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Freedom in Christ

For a long time I lived my Christian walk bound by rules and regulations that I placed on myself. I thought I had to do many things in order to be a good Christian. church attendance, bible reading, and of course all the "Don'ts." Don't drink, smoke, dance etc. I found myself afraid to enjoy life.

I has been awhile now, but I have finally found freedom in Christ to enjoy the abundant life He offers! I am free to do anything I want! True! I can do anything I want as long as I remain in right relationship to Christ. It is an amazing feeling to enjoy life without restraint, knowing that Jesus is right there with me and certainly enjoying my delight in all the feelings and experiences He has planed for me!

Lord, You are an amazing and wonderful God! You delight me with life abundant! I realize that I often step over the line into sin with my enjoyments, but you are always faithful to bring me back to You! Thank You for making my life full and free! Help me remain close to You so that i never need to be in bondage to sin! You are my delight! In You I trust!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hours or Minutes

I came across a note I wrote a few years back. I wanted to remember something my granddaughter, Brooke, said to me.

She was waiting for something to happen and asked me how much longer. I must have told her an hour or more because she replied, "I don't like hours. I like minutes."

I am the same most of the time. I like minutes because I don't like to wait for most things. But I must admit there are times when I would like an hour or two just to slow down.

Some of the things I want to come in a minute (or less) are a response to an email, any celebration, seeing someone I have not seen in awhile, good food, getting over a cold, getting to reveal a secret, completion of chores, hugs, and so many other things.

Some things I like to spend hours doing might be, watching beautiful sunsets/sunrises, alone time, visiting with a friend, a nice bath, a good nights sleep.

God of Creation, You set the sun and moon in place to mark out our days. You are all wise and knowing. I may not understand why time seems to speed up and slow down at times but I trust that You do! It is all in Your hands and under Your control. I need the hours right now, Lord. I need to spend them with You! My minutes are going by too quickly and my hours are speeding through the hour glass. Teach me to number not only my days but also my hours and minutes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Before I Die

What do you want to do before you die?

That is a question posed by many people. Some go so far as to write out a list of things to do before they die. I've watched a show called Buried Life that is dedicated to fulfilling the "Before I die" lists. So I've wondered what I would write on my list.

Dreams are elusive. They are not easy to write in permanent ink. Ink makes them real and frightening. What would happen if I wrote my list and then laid it aside never reaching for those amazing moments that I dream about? It may not make a difference, but then it could make all the difference.

I think I need to make a list!

Living God, You are an amazing adventurer! You not only invite me to explore Your creation and discover the abundant blessings of living life fully, but You also join in the adventure! You became a man, experiencing all that life holds! You join Yourself to me through Your Holy Spirit and ask me to risk and reach into unknown areas and live! You began the adventure of creation. Seeking and knowing You is an adventure. you are the planner and the completer of all my adventures! I will let You help me write my list!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I've Said It Before

I've said it before and will say it again. I would love to see myself from behind the eyes of others.

Though I need affirmation and feedback from people (maybe more than others), I desire most to be able to see myself from behind the eyes of my Heavenly Father.

What does He see from my actions? What do my actions tell Him? My trust in Him? My belief in who He is? Yes, He sees the heart but what do my actions reveal to Him? To others?

I often feel like the pottery piece shown last night at our Significant Woman class. It was a beautiful vase with a heart design. A large gash splits the vase down the center. I feel vulnerable, wounded and incapable of being of use to the one who holds me in His hands.

Father, You can use any willing vessel. I am willing, but flawed! What can I do for You? What do I have to offer Your kingdom? To whom shall I take Your message? How do I go when they don't call? How do I tell when they won't hear? How do I reach when the doors are closed or my resources limited? Teach me,Lord to follow the direction Your finger points! Teach me to do and leave the results up to You! Teach me to trust You in the risk. Teach me the magnitude of small steps. Teach me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mission Statement

Years ago I wrote a mission statement stating the following:

My Mission is to communicate God's truth to families in creative ways;
To put aside my wisdom, strength, and riches so I may understand and know the Lord God of kindness, justice, and righteousness, and to build my family on that understanding and knowledge;
To write in order to strengthen, support, encourage, and celebrate family relationships in loving one another.

Recently, I have rewritten my mission statement, simplifying so that my focus is clear and precise.

To communicate God's truth to families, helping to strengthen, encourage, and celebrate their relationships with God and others in inspirational and creative ways through writing and speaking.

Father in Heaven, you alone know the purpose and plan for my life. You reveal it to me through Your word, Your, Spirit and Your people. This statement that I have made is only a glimpse of what You have for me. You continually open my eyes to what You call me to do. I want to be faithful to You and Your calling. If I am amiss in my vision correct me. Set me on the straight and narrow path to complete the work you have for me to do!