Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Super-Size Me!

Every time I drive through McDonalds, for a burger, the clerk asks me if I would like to “super-size” my order. That’s too much food, calories and money for me!  But, I like the word super, because it implies something more than the average.  For example: Super-Wal-Mart; Super-Man; Super-Mario; and Super-Bowl.  How about Super-Natural?  Hmm, that means more than what I can understand, and I don’t comprehend all the natural!!  I think I’ll stick to the super stuff  I “get”.  Unfortunately that would leave a lot on the table.  Just because I can’t figure something out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  The Internet: I rest my case.  We inhabit natural bodies.  We are born, live, grow, and eventually die.  We all can agree on that.  But there is, all around us, the realm of the Super-natural.  Natural that is not only above average, but light years beyond. And, even though I can’t explain it, or see it, sure doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  God, who is spirit and life, occupies this rarefied space, and he not only invites us to share it with him, but to operate in it!  Just like Jesus, we can be healing the sick, casting out demons, restoring sight to the blind, all sorts of super-natural activities and more! Little, old me, who can’t even figure out her cell phone?  Yes, it’s another promise!  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.“ John 14:12.  I don’t know about you, but I want in on this deal!!  Go ahead God, Super-Size me!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

War is Hell

“War is hell“, is a famous quote taken from a speech made by William Tecumseh Sherman in 1879.   Sherman was well acquainted with the atrocities of battle, having served as a General during the Civil War.  I’m certain, that no matter how horrific the scene, Sherman depended on his soldiers being prepared physically, mentally, and possessing the necessary weapons to fight with.  We, like Sherman, know that life can be hell.  Battle lines are drawn between good and evil, the forces of God and the legions of Satan.  Sounds crazy, but believe it, Satan does!  Sherman, or any modern day general, wouldn’t  think of entering  the battlefield with unprepared civilians  That’s why soldiers are  trained in all aspects of warfare, and are issued appropriate weapons.  But what about us?  It’s not a matter of if we’ll be involved in spiritual battles, but when.  What is a Christian to do?  First, and foremost, get training in His Word, basic to begin with, then more advanced.  God will then issue us a “suit of armor”. Each piece, of which,  is significant, and all the parts together combine to protect the wearer, and equip him to fight effectively and victoriously.  Equip yourself, and start immediately.  The battlefield is before us.  “Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Ephesians 6:13.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Reason for Seasons

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.  I don’t mind yard work, and I can say that, because my husband does it all! Although he’s not a winter fan, I’m sure he appreciates the respite the season brings. There have been times, in my spiritual life, when I’ve been busy teaching, mentoring, praying, really feeling useful to the kingdom.  Then there are those “seasons” when I feel dormant, or unemployed like these garden tools.  Does that mean I’m lazy, out of touch, or worse yet, that God doesn’t need me?  The enemy would like me to continue thinking  that way, but it’s just not true. Whatever the reason, no matter how useless I might feel, “spring” is coming, and he’ll be putting that rake and hoe back in my hands.  While I might think a period of inactivity is unproductive, God never sees it that way.  Fields lay fallow to build up nutrients, and moisture for the next crop.  Athletes rest, and train for the next season. In my life, too, changes are taking place, changes that will benefit me, and those I come in contact with later.  We may not be privy to God’s plan, on a daily basis, but later on,  as the fruit develops, we‘ll see how important the rest was.  As wise King Solomon assures us, there is a reason, for every season.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Escape Route

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13. Those of you, who are old enough to remember Flip Wilson, recall how one of his comedic characters, after they had “sinned”, used to lament that, “The Devil made me do it!” It became a catch phrase in the 70s.  While you don’t hear it much anymore, I think a lot of Christians still use it as an excuse for bad behavior.  We all live in the midst of a spiritual battlefield, have no doubts about that.  Forces of evil prey on our vulnerable spots, places of need, or insufficiency if you will.  For example, you feel unloved in your marriage, and a person, other than your spouse, appears and offers you tenderness. That hits you in your need. Your finances are failing, and someone offers a trip to the casino.  You get the point.  Needs are needs, and we are always looking for ways to fulfill them.  God knows what we need, but so too does our adversary.  Paul wrote this letter to the very carnal church at Corinth.  Google Corinth sometime.  Those folks, before they became Christians, and some after, thought that giving into fleshly desires was pleasing to God.  After all, the body was designed to enjoy earthly pleasures, why not use it to the max? God wants us to be fulfilled, in all aspects of our physical, emotional, financial and spiritual selves, but there is always the beneficial, and the sinful way to meet those needs. When we are familiar with God’s word, it makes the choice more obvious, not always easier.  This verse, yet another of God’s promises, offers us an escape route when we face those difficult choices.  It reminds me of the bright red EXIT signs in our office, that the Fire Dept. mandated we install.  There is always a way out!  Look up, see it and take it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Strength vs Weakness

Why do you “go to church”?  Habit, fear of hell, family tradition/pressure, social acceptability?  Sadly, these are the reasons many people would give, if they were truthful about it.  One person told me they go because, “I’m weak, and human“.  I likened it to  taking vitamins everyday, it made sense. Then God shared this with me: If you went to a gym, worked out everyday, and took supplements, shouldn’t your physical body become stronger?  Hmm, that God, can’t argue with his logic. I think what the “weak” human was trying to say was, they had certain habits, vices, sins, call them what you will, that they didn’t want to part with, even though they knew God didn’t approve.  So, to offset the imbalance, they went to church, convincing themselves that, God would be so pleased to see them there, He would nod, wink his approval, and look the other way, letting them keep their weakness. Problem is, that’s not how God operates.  God doesn’t want us to stay weak and puny, He wants us to grow strong in Him.  Going to church should change us, if not it’s like going to the gym for an hour, standing, motionless, on the treadmill, and dusting off the dumb bells. Muscle mass doesn’t develop like that, and neither does our spiritual body.  It’s not easy to get up and exercise, or eat a healthy diet daily, you have to put yourself into it, but the results are worth it.  If you’re experiencing spiritual weakness, ask God to give you the desire to get into his word, and it will pump you up.  Our human weaknesses can, and must, be overcome, that‘s what really pleases God.  Those who make regular visits to his gym, will build spiritual muscle. Besides, who would willingly choose weakness over strength? “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:15

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ashes to ashes

You may run into some folks with smudges on their foreheads today, because it’s Ash Wednesday. In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Many churches don’t participate,  or teach about Lent anymore, but I think it bears looking into.  The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday.  The season reminds people to consider their own mortality, (Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return"), and calls them to repentance in preparation for Easter.  In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. Whether you don ashes, and participate in Lent  or not, the idea of putting our own earthly lives into humble perspective is a great idea. We won’t be here forever, but we will need to make the decisions that effect our eternal life now. Jesus died for us sinners, not only because he loved us, but because there was an outstanding sin debt,  which only his shed blood could pay.  46 days from today will be Easter, let’s use that time to think about the life he offers us through Him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras

The term Mardi Gras/Carnival brings to mind excessive eating, drinking and partying in New Orleans, and around the world.  It is the season that begins after the Epiphany, and culminates on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  In French the words, mardi gras,  translate to Fat Tuesday,  and carnival comes from the root word carnal or of the flesh.  For centuries people thought it would be a great idea to go on a total, carnal binge before the 46, long days of  Lenten abstinence. The thought is, “Let’s eat the fattiest foods, drink till we pass out, etc. and in general break as many commandments as we can, before we have to shape up”.  Then, for the next weeks, some of these same revelers will “give up” something they enjoy, as penance, thinking that will please God.  Following the fast, the festivities pick up where they left off.  Does anything about this picture strike you as crazy?  It should!   Call me nuts, but I can’t imagine that this behavior is gonna put a smile on God’s face.  And I, for one, want to see Him smiling!  Even as a kid, whenever I did something that I knew would not be pleasing to my Mom and Dad, I got a sick feeling.  Now, whenever those opportunities to venture into carnal activities arise, and they do, that same kind of feeling kicks in, but this time I know it’s the Holy Spirit sending out a warning.  God wants us to have fun, and enjoy life, but not when excesses lead us away from him.  So go ahead, put on a mask, and have a King Cake, but remember to keep God always at the center of your fun.  “And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Intentions

This is Presidents Day, a Presidential election year,  and as we all know, lots of promises and good-sounding intentions abound. Remember the old saying , “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  I know I’ve laid a few bricks on that highway.  Well meaning as they may be, without a follow-through, our intentions are merely fancy talk meant to impress others.  Some folks can see right through them, and for sure you know God will not be fooled.  It reminds me of a child who tells their parent that they thought about cleaning their room, doing the dishes or mowing the lawn.  Nice thoughts, but with no follow-through, they probably won’t impress most parents. In old testament days, and even when Jesus was on earth, many people made special vows to God. These binding agreements, called Nazarite vows, were voluntary individual acts intended to separate a person to God, sometimes for specific prayer requests.  They were made for a certain amount of time, and had specific requirements attached to them that had to be kept in order to be effective.  Good intentions would never get God’s attention, then or now.  “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.  You can read all about vows in Numbers 6:1-27.  While we are no longer under the strict law, God still wants to see us act on our intentions.  Don’t let him down. You know He will always hold up his end of the bargain.  

Friday, February 17, 2012


One year ago today, on an unseasonably balmy February morning, one of my darling grandsons, Graham Edward Feldhake, joined the ranks of humanity.  Each of us is assigned a day to be born, and a day to leave this earthly realm.  The time in between these two dates will be marked with a dash (-) on our tombstones.  A short, simple line will represent the years, and how we used them.  A newborn baby holds such promise, and potential in their tiny bodies.  Parents wonder, “Will they be famous,  an actor or political figure?”  Perhaps they will serve mankind as doctors, researchers or teachers.  When my children and grandchildren were born, I prayed simply that God bless them with an open, teachable nature. In addition, that He place in them the desire to seek out, and follow His voice, amidst the din of the world.  With these blessings in place, I feel confident that God will use their lives to bring glory to him, filling those little dashes with abundance. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8. Happy birthday, dear Graham!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Well Done!

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matt. 25:21.  Most of us are familiar with this story.  A wealthy man put several of his servants in charge of his property,  entrusting varying amounts to each,  then he departed on an extended journey.  When he returned he was pleased to find that most of the “talents”, he had divvied out, had doubled in value.  But, there was that one guy, who in fear of losing what he had been given, buried his share.  In today’s volatile stock market, that may not seem like such a bad idea, but the master was not pleased.   Whether we know it or not, God has given us all a piece of his kingdom to take care of until he returns.  What are you doing with your portion?  Is it being nurtured, invested, is it showing a return, or did you stash it in a cardboard box?  Is it gathering dust, or interest?  I don’t think God is going to be angry with us if we really try to increase what he has given us, even if it doesn’t always pan out, but he will have an issue with those who do nothing.  God has given us an awesome responsibility, to further his kingdom, try not to let him down.  I want to wear out, rather than rust out.  I can’t wait to hear him welcome me, one day, with those wonderful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cats vs Dogs

“Cat and Dog Theology: Rethinking our relationship with our Master”,  is a book written by Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison.  I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds interesting.  The premise is based on how differently dogs and cats react to us, their masters, then compares that to how we respond to God, our master.  A dog, if you could read his mind, would think like this…”wow, you feed me, give me a home and love me, you must be God!”  Conversely, a cat thinks, “you feed me, give me a home and love me, I must be God!”   I cracked up laughing when I heard that, because it’s so true.  What’s not so funny is how some people, even those who call themselves Christians, perceive their relationship with God.  Like the cat, they figure they deserve what God does for them because that’s what God’s job is.  Worse yet, many leave God out of the equation entirely, thinking they alone are responsible for all their blessings. “It’s because I’m so smart, motivated, or influential”, they explain.  “God, shmod, who needs him?” The dog, on the other paw,  realizes that everything he has comes from his master, and he responds with love and gratefulness. Are you a cat or dog?  “Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” Psalm 105:1

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I can understand celebrating a holiday based on LOVE, but who the heck was Valentine??  Not surprisingly, I Googled the name and was directed to It’s a fact that a man, probably a Christian priest named Valentine, lived and died a martyr’s death on Feb. 14,  269 in Rome.  His flower bedecked skull is on display there, if you are so inclined to check.  But I digress, he became associated with love and lovers, because he was secretly marrying Christian couples back when Rome was not yet a Christian empire.  It was a capital offence, and he paid the price; beaten with clubs, stoned and finally beheaded.  A legend about him tells us that before his execution, he restored the sight of his jailer’s daughter.  He even sent her a note, signing it your Valentine.  Sweet huh?  Over the centuries, love has made many lose their heads and hearts, thus the association with the color red I guess.  Biblically speaking, the quintessential passage on the subject is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS”.  Thank old Val for the holiday, but give God all the credit for the gift of Love!!  Flowers and candy hearts are still appreciated!

Monday, February 13, 2012


“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38.  Be honest, don’t  people who give all the time, make you mad?  OK, maybe jealous is the correct term.  They give of their time, money, talents you name it, and to make it worse, they seem to enjoy doing it!!  Don’t get me wrong, I like to do my part in the giving department, trouble is it doesn’t come naturally.  There is always a time of excuse making, and procrastination before I kick into action.  When I get started giving, it feels great, and if that were the only reward, it would be worth it.  But then God follows through on his promise, pouring more into my lap.  That’s not why I do it, and I don’t think natural givers even give the fringe benefits a thought.  God, like any good parent, wanting to encourage his kid’s  positive actions, gives back to us more than we could ever give.  That’s a win-win situation…kind of like buy one, get endless amounts free!!  Don’t pass this deal up!

Friday, February 10, 2012


“God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.” Job 37:5. I’ve never been afraid of storms, even now I love hearing thunder, and seeing the sky ablaze with lightening. My dad always said that it was the sound of the angels bowling.  Made sense to me!  A meteorologist will tell you that it is the meeting of warm and cold fronts.  The bowling scene was much more fun to imagine. The point I’m trying to make is, that warm and cold fronts are always bumping into each other, spiritually speaking.  I think God sets these confrontations up so that we, if we’re truly listening, can hear His voice, comforting, guiding and protecting us through.  He is beyond my understanding, and I’m OK with that…after all who would want a God you could figure out completely.  It’s so much more reassuring to know He’s supernaturally got me covered! That’s like rolling a 300 every game!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Righteousness is Ours

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:22.  It’s awesome to know, that when we accept Christ as our savior, God imparts His righteousness to us.  That’s correct, absolute, Godly perfection is placed in our personal account, and from that point of acceptance on, that’s how God sees us. Righteousness, not to be confused with self-righteous, which is from our selves, belongs to us.  There is no way we can attain this right standing on our own. No amount of “good deed doing”, or church attendance can purchase it.  In fact God emphatically states that, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6. This promise is so edifying to me, and I hope it is to you as well!  Quit blowing in the wind, believe, accept, and start living in His righteousness today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is an iconic work of art.  It’s hard to imagine anyone not being familiar with her enigmatic smile.  While visiting the Louvre, it was one of the pieces I really wanted to see.  Of course a few other folks had the same idea.  When we reached the room, I was surprised to see how small it was.  After viewing images of her, my whole life, I assumed she would be much larger, and certainly much grander. As I stood in that throng, trying to snap a picture, it occurred to me that I had done just the opposite with God.  For many years I took Him, his creation, word and certainly His plan of salvation, for granted.  I made God very small in my eyes.  What could he offer to me that the world hadn’t already supplied?  It took time, but He lovingly showed me what I was missing.  Now I stand in awe of all that He is.  “Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:3-4.  Open your eyes and really see the Masterpiece he is!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Clean Vessels

If I were to come to your house for a visit, and brought along a vintage bottle of wine, or grape juice, what kind of a glass would you serve it in?  Grandma’s fine crystal, or the cup in the bathroom that holds your toothbrushes?  Either one will do the job, but the choice is obvious.  The bathroom cup, while clean-looking on the outside, will not be as pristine on the inside.  Jesus wants to fill our goblets with his “choice wine“, but not in dirty vessels.  He wants us to enjoy the full taste, and robust body which can only be a savored when our cups, that’s us, are clean. Once again, the Pharisees stand as an example to us, when Jesus scolds them by saying, “For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy--full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matt. 23:25-26.  Get out the Dawn, scrub down inside and out, then enjoy what the Savior offers. Cheers!

Monday, February 6, 2012


A person told me recently that they had to, “play the Jesus card”. This action came as a last resort in getting another person’s attention on an area of dispute. Explaining, arguing, pleading, crying, nothing had succeeded in shedding gospel light on the issue. Then the proverbial “light bulb” went on, when she asked them, “what would Jesus have done?” WWJD, I remember when that slogan was emblazoned on everything from key chains to coffee mugs. After a while it became just another advertising catch phrase like, “Where’s the beef?”. But stop and think about it for a bit. When you are in the midst of any human situation, that may need clarification or direction, where do you turn? Google is always my first choice, LOL. Actually, if you’re lucky, Google might take you to a scripture-based web site, but referring to the Bible directly is always your best bet. Whatever the scenario, you will find out how Jesus wants us to act or react. He has the deck stacked in our favor every time, don’t make him your last option!

Friday, February 3, 2012


One of the things that annoys me about myself, is my inability to complete projects. Half done cross stitch pictures; boxes full of family photos; unfinished crafts, need I go on? Often I think I hear my closet whisper, “tsk, tsk”, as I put yet another plastic bin on the shelf. All too often I lose interest, the task becomes boring, and said items never reach the perfection that I envisioned. Thank God my heavenly Father doesn’t do the same thing with me. After all, I too am a work in progress! I’m sure that at times I try his patience, like a piece of embroidery floss that constantly knots up. Yet, Paul reminds me of His promise, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1: 6. God has that finished picture in his mind, and it is ME!! Each day another stitch goes in, a rough edge is sanded, or a broken piece is mended, because I represent Him and his perfect craftsmanship. Thank you God for your persistence and patience! Makes me want to go open some plastic bins!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Harassed and Helpless

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Mat. 9:36. Helpless and harassed, boy that’s a double whammy, like kicking a guy when he’s down. Jesus could have just passed through the crowd without emotion, but he didn’t. What he saw, with human eyes, precipitated a reaction in his godly nature. Compassion. He deeply shared in their suffering. Not merely feeling sorry for them, he truly experienced their pain. It’s hard for us to believe that the Creator of the universe has time to feel our anguish, but he does. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22