All posts filed under: Spiritual

Christian woman flagging outdoors in Banff, Canada

In the midst of the lockdown, Claire Shieh, a Christian woman, took to the streets of Banff, Alberta, Canada, to worship God in dance and with flags. God TV writes: A woman worshiped with flags and danced in an open street in a Canadian town. The woman, Claire Shieh, hopes to bring peace to the tension of pandemic by inviting the Presence of God through her worship. Called to Flag, is a ministry in Canada that aims to equip the Body of Christ with techniques and teachings of praise for worshiping with flags. Claire and her husband, David, founded the ministry with the heart to serve and see people restore their identity in God. And just last Sunday, they took their flags and boldly worship at the heart of downtown Banff. READ: Woman Worships With Flags At Open Street In Canada Mesmerizes Viewers On her YouTube Channel, Claire explains what happened in Banff: Everyone in the downtown core is required to wear a mask. I can feel the tension from the moment I checked into …

Exposing secret strongholds

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we had some unusually strong winds blowing through our city and province. It was a pounding and relentless wind that went on for several weeks. It was uncomfortable to even be outside and people wondered when the winds would stop blowing. During this time, I often went onto our deck, faced the wind, looked up at the open sky above our yard and played ‘Catch the Wind” by Bethel Music.  Sometimes, I would just stand facing the wind and praying. At other times, I would pick up my flags, dance and worship on the deck and blow my Shofar. (I am sure it had my neighbors wondering what is that?) In the Old Testament, as Israel marched around the city of Jericho, a natural stronghold in the Promised Land, the Shofar was sounded to announce God’s victory and the pulling down of Jericho’s walls. I play my Shofar with the same expectation of victory. But the Bible also talks about spiritual strongholds that need to be pulled down …

Removing the tentacles of judgment

Over the years, John 3:16 has consistently been one of the most popular verses for Christians. But do you know what the most popular verse is for those who don’t believe? Surveys reveal it is “don’t judge, lest you be judged.” And God has been really speaking to me about judging, because Jesus “holds space for me” and allows me to show up with all my faults and weaknesses. But am I treating others including those who are not believers the same way God treats me? Jesus embraces me despite my imperfections. He embraces me through eyes of love and nothing I do can change His perception of me. And when we get ourselves into trouble, we can ask for help and God will provide it. But notice what James adds: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5) God will provide help without finding fault. He won’t point a finger of blame or judgment when …

Embracing your rest?

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) What does ‘rest’ in God mean to me? Personally, I can rest in God because Jesus has made me ‘enough’ and in the eyes of God I will always be enough despite my mistakes, failures and shortcomings. Truly, there is a liberation that takes place when one accepts Christ as their personal  Saviour. No more worry about heaven or hell.  Eternity is secured because of the rich red blood of Christ that flowed down the cross to redeem the world from sin. Through Christ’s death, we become a ‘friend of God’ and we are no longer a slave to the law of religious dos and don’ts.    A relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes easy knowing we are deeply loved as a ‘child of God’. We can talk with Him, confess our sin, failures and shortcomings and then move on, no longer restricted by them. But it takes faith, believing what God says about you, and then …

How to become a fountain of life in times of trouble

In your mind picture a fountain that you have seen in a park.  This is a picture I am holding in my mind as I walk through these days of uncertainty with riots, fires, rules and legislation changing during this Covi-19 panic.  These things have been weighing on many of us heavily and each day something new gets thrown onto the pile of rubbish. And I find this garbage growing in my mind, and occupying way too much space there. But like a stream that never stops flowing, even though garbage and rocks get thrown into it, if there is enough pressure, the water will find its way over, through, and around the obstacles.  If, there is enough pressure flowing from the source, then the stream is unstoppable. This is how God wants us to function in these days and always.  In John 7:38, Jesus said if we believe in Him that rivers of living water would flow out of us. We are to be the fountain life to everyone around us. The Holy Spirit …

Dealing with the fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown can overwhelm us and impact our body, mind and spirit in unhealthy ways as we start obsessively worrying about the future, which some refer to it as “future tripping.” The actual purpose of fear is to signal our brain that there is potential for danger or death telling us to ‘fight, flee or freeze.’ Though there is benefit to it, that changes to negative when we are consumed by prolonged bouts of fear. Psychotherapist Terri Cole, who has worked with women for 20 years, states that we must be aware of the psychological, emotional and physical cost to walking around in a constant, heightened state of fear. She says being on constant alert is not good for you and can even compromise your immune system. Exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, brain fog and depression are all symptoms that your nervous system is being overloaded by fear. And if this describes you, it may also suggest this pandemic is exposing deeper emotional issues and trauma in your life, that you have been carrying around …

A cocoon is not a tomb: A prophetic word about the Coronavirus

A recent prophetic word by Nate Johnston has encouraged me during these last stages of the COVID lockdown. For a while now, my husband and I have sensed that things may be different for the church and the people of God when we are finally released from this lockdown or maybe  ‘set free’ is a better term to use. Nate Johnston is a prophetic minster from Australia who I have been following for years. Nate’s recent prophetic word “This is not a tomb season, This is a cocoon season” has helped me understand the place many of us are finding ourselves in — spiritually confused, frightened, disorientated and maybe a bit angry.  For many of us, it feels like we have been locked up in a dark place for too long and the glimmer of hope that it may soon be over has many wondering what’s next?  Things may not be the same. We are not the same and how do we prepare for this new stage that has been set before us?  Nate prophesies …

Start walking

One of the problems with vision is that we want instant success. We want it to happen now, but in order for you to produce fruit, there first needs to be pruning.  Pruning can be a long process for some of us, as in 40 years of pruning from when my husband started to write and pursue his passion for Bible teaching and world events.  It wasn’t until my retirement that I began to pursue my dream and desire for women to connect and whenever I gave up and let go of the dream, it always came back stronger than ever.  Maybe God has given you a dream or vision that He has called you to do. Below are a few tips from a sermon delivered by Matt Adams a couple of years ago, that helped me in my journey: “It doesn’t matter how many we lead. It matters where we lead them and how you lead them.” “Learn to lead from your placement, where you are now, without wanting to be a star.” “We …

Can we block our own prayers?

What is your stance these days in light of all that is happening? What are your thoughts? Are they fear based or faith based? Are you standing on solid ground or shaky ground? Do we need to shift our prayers from a place of fear and frustration and step onto more solid ground? The Apostle Peter writes: “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3) Based on this promise, I have challenged myself to change my position from pleading to God for help to stepping into a posture of thanksgiving and praise. God’s word says that He has already given us everything we need to live a life of abundance. Asking for what we want or need is a good thing, but staying stuck in a place of continual pleading may block us from receiving or even seeing God’s provision and answers to our prayers because of our frustration and …

Keeping Prayer Simple

When I looked at prayer in the past, I thought it meant praying for at least one hour before it counted, and this belief discouraged me from entering into prayer. I believed that it was just too hard to incorporate into my everyday life and as a result prayer was often the last thing I did. Then I started feeling guilty about not praying enough, and this led me to just stop praying altogether because I felt my prayers weren’t good enough or long enough, so why bother. The priests ministering in the temple in the Old Testament had a great spiritual responsibility to offer sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. But they also had other duties. These were called ‘sacred lots’ where the menial duties of priesthood were divided up including such things as kitchen duties, yard work and providing oversight to the Levites. They had other necessary duties that did not include the sacrifices, but were important enough to be called ‘sacred.’ Understanding that the Old Testament priests had menial …

Standing in hope

I watched our dog, Lulu, bounce down the stairs, go to her dish, do her little dance as she looked up at me with hopeful eyes expectantly waiting for her breakfast. She knew that I would not disappoint and I realized as I prepared her dog food that this was the perfect picture of hope! I have been trying to enter into hope as I prayed at different times throughout the day and the night about the Coronavirus. But the events of recent days are pushing against hope. Like many, I was caught up in the concern of those feeling panicked, overwhelmed and because of this, fear held me in its grip as I struggled to pray during this COVID-19 crisis. I had lost my hope. And, in the midst of this an indignation and anger rose up within me and I found myself fighting and pushing back against the injustice and manipulation this pandemic had brought into our lives. And for me, hope was the seal and security I needed to continue stepping forward …

Standing in Faith Against the Storm

Often during the past few weeks, I have felt fear and uncertainty rise up within me. During these times, I made a firm decision not to succumb to fear, and as soon as I did that, something changed and life suddenly felt lighter and brighter in our living room where I was standing. As I stepped forward and envisioned myself on a beach with waves rising and building on the waters before me, I was reminded of Christ’s words, “Peace to you!” Shortly after the Lord’s crucifixion, the disciples had locked themselves in a room for fear of the Jews and the uncertain times they were in. Jesus appeared in their midst saying: “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  John 20:21-22 The Hebrew word for spirit in the Old Testament is ‘ruach’ and it means ‘air in motion.’ The same word is translated ‘breath’ and life’. When talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus …

Touching heaven, touching earth

Like many these days, I am praying more often than usual and in so many ways God has used this season of ‘panic’ COVID-19 to pull me into prayer more consistently than I have done for many years. Yes, God clearly used this time to ‘work out good,’ and bring out good disciplines in my life.  But there has been a change in how I pray. I am now praying more often, but not as long as I used too. These are not extended periods of prayers. They can be short just two to five minutes or sometimes longer. As well, I have set aside specific times to pray. When the clock strikes 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight, these are my designated times to pray. I start first by giving thanks. I often take five slow deep breaths to help clear my mind and slow my thoughts and then I enter into a time of prayer. Sometimes things come up and I miss my time, but I carry on with …

Lack is not the Issue

In these COVID-19 days, images of empty shelves are splashed across all media outlets. Long line-ups of people rushing to the stores to purchase food items and sometimes over-buying non-essentials, resulting in hoarding. While world poverty has been reduced significantly in the new millennium, there is still over a billion people world-wide who live in extreme poverty. Self-survival is not new to our generation and although we’ve never watched a child die from malnutrition, or had to resort to cannibalism to survive, a great majority have experienced a ‘scrapping the bottom ofthe barrel’ time. The Bible is filled with stories of people seeking provision during times of adversity. Jesus recognized this social issue; “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me,” (Matthew 26:11). Panicking during droughts and diseases is mankind’s natural reaction to an adverse situation. But lack of provision is not necessarily the true underlining issue for our reaction. The prophet Elijah is instructed by the LORD to go into Zarephath, a city of Idol worship, where …

Staying on your side of the street

When I talk about  ‘staying on your side of the street,’ I am not referring to social-distancing that we are seeing worldwide with the ‘coronavirus pandemic.’ I am referring to a ‘pandemic’ of my own making, where the actions and opinions of others sends me spiraling into anger, fear, confusion and doubt about my own abilities.  And, even as scientists are working on a vaccine for the present ‘coronavirus’ threat, I am very aware of my need to become immune to my personal pandemic, where I require validation from others to feel good about myself. One of the symptoms of this disease is that I become negative or depressed when someone says something that offends or degrades me. If I allow their words to affect my life then I have the ‘validation virus.’ The ‘validation virus’ occurs when I lack confidence in my myself and find myself deeply affected by what others say. Because I have failed to validate myself as a person of worth created in the image and likeness of God, then others …

What is your reflection?

When I reflect upon the verse in the Bible that says God will draw all men to Himself, I ask how could people be drawn to God through me? What would draw them to Christ and His love and the gift of salvation and eternal life? The Pulpit Commentary says, when Jesus said God will draw men, (John 6:44), the Lord was talking about God’s work of grace that prepares the hearts of men to come to Christ, and people will see that work of grace on display in the believer’s life — you and me. People will be drawn to us by the power of the resurrection of Christ in us by the Holy Spirit. The word draw means to: Draw (def) -pull or drag to make it fall behind; to cause to move in a particular direction by or as if by a pulling force, to bring to tack to pull out of  Attract – like a magnet to iron, TO DRAW BY APPEAL. To pull or draw toward oneself In other words, …

Time to quit reliving the past

The start of a New Year is usually a time we look ahead at things we want to achieve. This year is particularly significant because it is also the start of a new decade. But studies show that 92% of us fail to achieve our New Year’s resolutions, and I believe it is because we are going about it all wrong. In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul talks about an important key to achieving future goals in life: “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 First understand it is a process. Success won’t happen immediately. Paul was considered by many to be the greatest apostle of the early church, yet despite all he achieved, Paul said that he hadn’t fully attained everything God had for him. We are on a journey. There will be good days and …

It’s up to you, not them

Christmas is often the time of year when unhealthy feelings towards others are exposed and maybe it’s the pressure of the season that makes these ‘triggers’ more volatile. Lately I have been developing clear principles to follow when ‘I am offended.’ How to forgive and keeping myself in the mindset of ‘forgiveness’ often eludes me.  For me, it has to be simple, as my mind grasps concepts best when they are easy to remember.  First, I needed to get a grip on my ‘trigger’ moments when I find myself suddenly engulfed in waves of emotions that carry me to places where I don’t want to go. Fundamentally, forgiving is a choice we make to step forward and away from the feelings that hold us hostage to the unhealthy energies of anger, bitterness, resentment and offense.  One key principle that has helped me immensely this past week has been allowing myself to feel the emotions and acknowledge each one as they roll around in my life. It doesn’t do us any good to stifle what we …

The ‘Act’ of Forgiveness

How do we forgive? I seem to have forgotten because this past week I was triggered twice and found myself engulfed by emotions that had not been there 30 seconds before the incidents.  And, I struggled by first reacting and then instinctively trying to push the thoughts out of my mind. I knew I needed to forgive and wanted to forgive but the angry thoughts swirled in my mind and the more I tried to get rid of them, the more they kept resurfacing. It was out of control, and I was not handling things well as I spouted off to my husband how I felt. I thought I knew better and also believed I could handle these unexpected triggers. But obviously, I was wrong. I immediately recognized that my emotions had a hold on me and were pulling me into an unhealthy state of mind. I asked myself, who was in charge at this moment? Well, it obviously wasn’t me. The Bible talks about our need to forgive, because our Heavenly Father knows that …

The difference between giving and pleasing

Recently, a group of women met in my home for a time of fellowship and  the topic of our conversation was about the difference between giving and pleasing. I started out by asking this question: Is there a difference between giving and pleasing? Some thought there was a difference, while others looked puzzled. In my life, I did not understand that there was a difference between the two, because they both look the same on the outside. But there is big difference as they each come from a different motivation of the heart and knowing the difference will help us put in place the proper boundaries that we need to stay on track with our priorities and what is really important to us.  I remember years ago, when my kids were still in high school, receiving a vision or mental picture of my life. I was holding a basket of flowers in my hand as I was walking on a beach covered in small to medium-sized stones.  As I walked down this beach I was …

Getting a grip on our value to God

For years, I have struggled with this verse in the Bible: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24 I interpreted this verse to mean that if you saw someone in need, you were to drop what you were doing and take care of their needs first, even if there was something important you were doing. In other words, that other person’s need was more important than my needs, or the needs of my family. I thought living this way would make me a happier and more joyful person because back in my day JOY meant — Jesus, Others and You — in that order!  But years of functioning this way did not produce joy in my life and in fact it became ugly. Between working my part-time job that included shift work, caring for my family and serious health issues, I continued to step over my needs, and the needs of my family, to encourage and help …

The struggle to shine

For years, I struggled with an unbalanced view of the Christian faith. In the Gospels, Jesus promised that when we took on His yoke, it would be easy and light: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29 – 30 There are many things that can make a yoke a burden such as too much weight. Sometimes it becomes lopsided and the burden is distributed unevenly and it starts to wear on one side causing painful, chafing sores. I think many of us have an imbalanced view of the Gospel and because of that we have turned Jesus’ light yoke into a burden. The message of the Gospel is that we are all sinners and that Christ came to take the punishment for our sin. This is an incredible message of hope. But as important as this message is, if we only focus on this one aspect, it can cause an imbalance. …

Your secrets hold you back

Our secrets keep us in the dark and hold us back from truly being who God wants us to be. We can’t truly shine in the world when our secrets repeatedly drag us down and even restrict us from moving forward in our lives.  The shame and guilt wrapped around these secrets keep us in hiding. Sure, we can wiggle around a bit and shuffle forward, but then end up taking two steps backwards because the power of an untold secret or sin keeps us glued to one spot. This is why the Bible talks about confessing our sins to one another. Because what holds us back is the fear that others will find out and Satan uses that to keep us hiding in the dark: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. “ James 5:16 NLT This verse says that even though we have confessed our sin to God, it is in our best interests to tell at least one person our secret sin …

Balancing out the message of the Gospel in your life

For so long I misunderstood the message of salvation and sharing it with another person has been difficult for me. I struggle with the right words to say even though I know them by heart, because I had things twisted and turned around in my mind.  The message of the gospel hadn’t balanced itself out in my life. I was putting too much weight on one truth and not enough weight on another equally important truth. Once I balanced it all out, it started making sense to me. I have been a Christian for many years and I know that God loves me and that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross closed the gap between God and me.  But my life was riddled with insignificance and I fell short of loving, giving and caring for others the way I wanted too. I tripped over jealousy, comparing myself to others and a selfishness that tied me to the fear of not being good enough and the ensuing rejection that was guaranteed after my attempts to be included. …

What is the strongest thought you have about yourself?

What is the strongest thought that you have of yourself and what thoughts are rolling around in the back of your mind supporting it? Over the past years the strongest thoughts and opinions that I had of myself was that I couldn’t do anything and I had all sorts of excuses: There was the comparison trap. Susie was better at this than me. In fact, almost everyone was more capable and gifted than me and comparing myself to them just made things worse. I don’t have everything together in my life right now to tackle this. I thought I needed to be perfect, before I could accomplish anything. There has been too much struggle and rejection. If others don’t think I have what it takes, then who am I to think I can. I keep trying, but people keep getting in my way. I can’t do this anymore.  In my mind I was never enough or up for the challenge. Comparing myself to others and being directed by other’s rejection is what defined me.    Everything …

Where are your thoughts taking you?

My greatest struggle over the years has been that deep-rooted feeling that I was ‘not good enough.’ Feeling and believing this way led me to some very unhealthy places. I became lethargic and allowed circumstances to roll over me because I believed I was a door mat. People were always going to wipe their feet on me, because that’s who I was. Because I was thinking I wasn’t good enough, it brought along feelings that I can’t do this. I have failed before, so I will probably fail again. The mind is the battlefield, and your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. You become who you think you are. The Bible says that as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, our thinking becomes our reality. If you believe you are a victim, always blaming outside circumstances, you will stay a victim. Yet the power to change is inside you, but if you believe it isn’t, then you are trapped. When your mind is consumed by …

Tearing down the hostile walls

At times, my soft spot for a particular person shows up when I should be offended, as they unexpectedly direct their anger at me. Because I am starting to realize that behind the angry words is a hurting, wounded person. And through this, I am learning to find my soft spot that overlooks and pushes through their angry energy that pops up out of nowhere directed at me or more often past me, when they’re actually angry at someone else, but I was in the way.   I am learning not to take it personally, because it is not me they are furious at. And, as I peek around my shield I try to reveal my heart for them and be sensitive to what might be the root cause of their anger, that often they can’t explain. This happened to me recently. And in this situation involving a young woman, I turned and faced her trying to understand the reason for her pain. I pushed back the offense and judgement that was rising up in me and …

Denying yourself doesn’t mean depriving yourself

It began in a very difficult season of my life several years back. My physical health was deteriorating and my emotional and mental well-being was in a dark, downward spiral.  Tough circumstances at work and hurtful accusations that sent me reeling kept me emotionally drained and teetering on despair. How could this be happening to me?  It was the worst of times but ended up being the best because out of those dark, depressing days came some extraordinary changes in my life. While people were beating me down, God started the process of changing the way I thought of myself as these difficulties revealed the fragile, wavering opinion I had of myself.  I believed that I wasn’t good at anything. The gift in these painful circumstances was my desperation and after saying no to several opportunities to get help during that difficult period, I finally said yes and took a course that woke me up. At this course, I heard things like you need to love and value yourself. People were telling me that the …

The journey from your earthly father to your Heavenly Father

Recently, I had an appointment with a young lady. Halfway through, my daughter arrived bringing me a coffee and joined us for the last half of the appointment. I love this young gal, and she obviously felt the freedom to express her thoughts on various world views. But the conversation was starting to become intense. Something had triggered her and I wasn’t able to figure out what it was or why. In the middle of this, she abruptly stopped and said, “I would give anything to have the relationship you and your daughter have.” Then she started to talk about her own father and it was then I realized she was talking about the relationship my daughter had with her dad. My daughter joked about her dad and how he likes to tease her. My daughter loves her dad, and they have a good relationship. I had found the trigger and the explanation why the conversation had become so intense. I looked at her and asked what the relationship with her father was like. She …

Lost dog, lost sheep, lost people

A few nights ago my daughter parked her car in a bay next to the park where she plays soccer. She opened the door and a small gray dog jumped into her vehicle. She noticed that its two front paws had blood all over them, and they were still bleeding.  She felt torn because her game was about to start and her team needed her that night. She picked up the dog and asked a lady in a yard nearby if she had seen the dog before. The woman replied that she had seen it running around the bay before. So my daughter placed the dog back on the street in hopes that the owner would find it. Since our dog Sugar had just passed two weeks ago, I wondered if this was a sign from God that this dog was to be ours, as it didn’t have a collar. First thing in the morning armed with a blanket I drove to the park to find this dog, rescue it, take it to a clinic …

The Choices We Make

I miss my dog Sugar. She was 14 years old and passed a week ago.  My greatest comfort has been envisioning a creamy white pup running through fields chasing rabbits. It was her happy place and on most of our walks over the years a rabbit usually showed up just around a corner or ran across the street in front of her to entice her. I hope there is a doggy heaven, that dogs and pets alike may be guaranteed a heavenly home because of their innocence and inability to make human choices.  They make choices but it’s limited to chasing a rabbit or not, begging for food or escaping the back yard into the neighborhood and beyond. Unlike humans, animals do not have the same understanding that we have.  Our Creator gave us a free will to make our own choices — good, bad and ugly — and as a reward we get to own our mistakes, failures and successes. We get to take responsibility for the good and bad. We may want to …

Is it time to step into your dream?

I am a fairly optimistic person and at times ideas flood my mind and I have said to myself and others “anything is possible.” I feel a dream rising in me like a bubble and I can’t stop it! It’s just there! When these thoughts overtake me, I find myself incredibly happy!  The ideas and the possibilities are endless. This is what energizes me and propels me forward.  Over the years dreams and desires have stirred within me only to be overtaken by work, family, health etc. But, the Bible tells us: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19 Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. Although my desires and dreams have been dampened and squashed at times, over the years they continually resurfaced and reminded me that they haven’t gone away. I believe these desires and dreams, that refuse to leave, are often put there by God. It’s …

Is eternity in your heart?

Recently my niece, who has been dealing with cancer for the past two years, sent me this text: “In my dark times, I cry and ask for help but overall I am just trying to put one step in front of the other, trust in God and be grateful for each day. That is all I can do and need to do.” Afterwards, I thought that is really all any of us can do, whether we are dealing with a life threatening illness like my niece or day to day stuff such as kids and money we need to put our confidence in God. When we worry about tomorrow, our future remains unsettled in our hearts.  The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God “has set eternity in their heart.”  One meaning for ‘eternity’ is future. There is a God-given awareness inside each of us that there is more to life than what we are currently experiencing in this unstable world. This verse says humans operate differently because we have a sense of this eternity …

What it means to go the extra mile

For years my life revolved around how people hurt and wronged me but the light has recently been turned on exposing areas where I may have offended or hurt others in the past.  As God revealed this to me, I have done my best to make amends and it has been hard work. It’s never easy admitting that I was the one who erred, and I was the one doing the offending. It is all about going that “extra mile” in our Christian walk. Though the phrase going the extra mile is in our modern vernacular, in fact it has a Biblical root and comes from a statement Jesus said to His disciples: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. “ (Matthew 5:41) In this verse, Jesus was describing the practice of “impressment” that was common at that time. According to Roman law, any Roman soldier could order a Jewish civilian to carry the soldier’s baggage, often his heavy armor, for one Roman mile  (1.45 km). Obviously, the Jews …

Breathing life into your dry bones

How far can you go without breathing? In reality, you are breathing but sometimes it feels like you have stopped breathing or does it feel more like your living in the valley of dry bones where numbness has set in and you are clattering through the day just barely surviving? If I pay attention in these moments I notice that my breathing is shallow and I wonder if at times I have actually been holding my breath. I suspect that is exactly what happens as I lose myself in the course of my day full of  ‘to do lists.’ And, I am sure this happens to many of us. There is a small group of women who meet regularly on my deck to do some gentle stretching.  Each of us has tightness issues, and we have greatly benefited from this weekly routine. Sometimes between stretches we lay on our backs and notice our breathing and listen to the birds singing in the yard. Often during these times a gentle breeze will blow over us like …