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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wise Men Always Seek Jesus

"Daddy! Daddy, I'm gonna be a Wise Guy!"

I can still hear my son's delight like it was yesterday. He couldn't wait to tell his daddy that he had the most important role in the Christmas program at his preschool. Of course, he didn't know that all the children who weren't Mary or Joseph, or the angel, were assigned roles as shepherds and wise men. At four years old, Jonathan was simply ecstatic to participate in his first Christmas play. His vernacular reference to the role might have been less than dignified, but his joy was contagious.

At such a tender age, he probably didn't have much of a grip on the concept of wisdom, but he'd heard it spoken often enough in Sunday School and at home to know that it was something worth attaining. He likely thought he automatically became wise simply by his teacher assigning him the role.

I was grateful for the example of a wise man that our son had in his father. More often than not, Jonathan could see godly wisdom demonstrated in my husband's life. Their close relationship offered many opportunities for John to teach Jonathan the excellence of wisdom.

Through his adolescent years, wisdom was a virtue that slipped through his fingers more often than it stayed, but bit by bit he gleaned precious nuggets, if by no other means, through experience. Countless times, his choices fell under the heading of foolish rather than wise. His Christian upbringing remained hidden in his heart, however, and emerged in unexpected ways. Occasionally he would quote a scripture or declare "the Bible says . . ." in opposition to something he saw on TV or a statement made by one of his professors in college. We never failed to be amused by these occurrences. Despite his rebellion, God's word was embedded in his heart, and there was nothing he could do about it.

So when he was confronted with the brutal monster called cancer, wisdom kicked in. After choosing to turn his back on his faith for many years, Jonathan finally bowed his knee and his heart to Jesus. Truly his was the reaction of a wise man.

The 2007 Christmas program was nearly upon us, and rehearsals were in full swing. I knew there were going to be dramas connected with it, but since I was only involved in the music portion, I didn't pay much attention to the preparations for the drama. That is until my husband announced on the way home from church, "I'm gonna be a Wise Guy."

Should I tell him he already is?

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I've been following the posts and updates on Kristy Dykes' website and blog.


Kristy is an incredible lady with a heart for God. She is a multi-published author of Christian fiction and a fellow member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kristy was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with a malignant brain tumor. Her surgery was Thursday, Nov. 15.

The good news was that she came through the surgery well. The devastating news is that the primary tumor that the doctors removed has spread to the other side of her brain. The prognosis is grim.

When our son was diagnosed with cancer, I well remember the emotional roller coaster. I remember telling God, "Father, I just don't understand." I'm sure Kristy's family is wondering the same thing. For many months those thoughts circled overhead like vultures, trying to rob me of my peace and attacking me with fiery darts of fear. Then Jonathan went through a crisis that brought him to the brink of eternity. I sat by his bedside, praying for God to make His presence known to me. Finally, I remembered something a preacher friend told me-- God inhabits the praise of His people. I needed to know God was close enough to touch. So I began to praise Him. I sang praise choruses and praised Him for who He is. Peace was drawn over me like a warm blanket.

Faith is not the weapon of choice when we are battling fear. I am humanly fallible, and my faith is weak at best. I cannot conjure up enough faith in my own strength to defeat fear. But when I praise God, I am welcoming His presence, and where God is, fear has to flee.

Afterward, I thought again about those vultures. I told God once more, "Father, I don't understand. I don't understand my son's disease, or his pain, or my fear, or why he has be chosen for this cancer journey." But when I remembered His peace with which He embraced me that night at Jonathan's bedside, I realized something. God does not call us to understand. He simply calls us to trust Him. It's not just a matter of not understanding. I can't. And I don't have to. His ways are far above my ways, and His plan is far beyong my understanding. So I will just trust Him.

My heart aches for the Dykes family. I know the pain they are going through. My prayer is that they would know the same peace with which God comforted me. God's love, and mercy, and peace are so far-reaching, and so complete, we cannot measure the width, the length, the height or the depth. God grant this all-consuming love to Kristy and her family.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome to my Site!

Writing is such a lonely business. Cyberspace is the means by which we stay in touch with fellow writers and keep up to date on their writing struggles and successes, but it is hardly a substitute for face to face working relationships. The only face to face conversation I have during the day is with the cat when she jumps up on my desk, gets in my face, and demands my attention. Quite often I have nobody with whom I can toss around an idea or debate pros and cons. If I have a brain freeze, the cat can't help me work through it.

I sometimes wonder what it's like to work in a busy office with people coming and going and the boss looking over your shoulder. Office politics come into play when dealing with various personalities, positions, and egos. A certain hierarchy is in place—a distinct pecking order, if you will, and company policies must be followed. While people who work in an office have co-workers with whom they can interact, I have my husband. Unfortunately, he is a "normal" (a non-writer). When a writer tries to talk about writing with a normal, the responses range from puzzled frowns to patronizing smiles. They just don't get it.

On the other hand, my "boss" is the Lord. I don't punch a time clock, nor must I dress in the latest designer originals. Sometimes I work in my pajamas, and He doesn't mind. We do have "business luncheons"—usually a peanut butter sandwich and a diet Coke—during which He outlines His plans for my work, or gently critiques something I’ve written. He often asks me to work late, but He is always generous and patient with my flexible hours. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this business is that a Christian writer never "punches out and goes home." God and I can be discussing "business" in the kitchen while I'm cooking supper, or while I'm folding laundry, or even after I climb into bed.

The hierarchy is two-steps—God first, and everything else second. God's company policy is pretty simple: trust and obey. Yes, I'm always "on call", but then I can look forward to those glamorous luncheons. And I am grateful that God is looking over my shoulder. How many blunders would I make without His constant presence? How lonely would I be were it not for His companionship? The best part? God is not a normal. I can talk to Him about a writing project, and He understands!

Yes, I believe I am blessed with the best "boss" in the world—or in heaven.

Thanks for letting me share my heart,