Monday, January 26, 2009


A shiny icy skin covers this part of MO this afternoon. They're forecasting another ice storm, but although our sidewalk and the street already are slick, the rain isn't coming down as it did in the 2007 storm that caused so much trouble. I'm hoping it doesn't develop.

I imagine Michelle would love it. Jaron might, too, if we had thick ice covering everything as it did before. He'd go bonkers with his camera. I even wandered out to take photos myself. How can anything so beautiful be so destructive? Springfield looked like a tornado went through in '07 with all the trees down, and folks everywhere struggled to keep warm with power lines down and no electricity. We were fortunate to have a fireplace with a pilot light and we used our outdoor propane grill to cook. We were without water a while, though,, because the city water in Battlefield (where we lived then) depended on electric pumps.

Often since that ice storm I've thanked God for heat, electricity, and the many blessings we have. Many people in the world never have electricity or the conveniences we have. God truly has blessed America. I pray he will continue to do so. But I worry. Yet, the Lord said if we seek HIs face, repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways He will hear from heaven and heal our land.

That's a warm promise for a frigid day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Knock! Knock!

"Who's there?"

How many times did I hear those words when the children were growing up?

One day I'd said, "Who's there?" so many times if I'd kept a grain of sand for each, I'd have a beach. So, to throw the kids off their raft of questions, I said, "Knock! Knock!"

In unision they answered, "Who's there?"



"Door-belle repairman."

They weren't impressed with my ingenuity, which I thought showed genius.

I grew tired of knock-knock jokes, but I've thought about knocking lately. Knocking not only is what we do when a door is locked, we also knock as a matter of courtesy and respect before we enter someone else's home or space--sometimes even when the door is unlocked or open. We don't just barge into someone's house. If we do it to a stranger, we'll be arrested!

I started thinking about knocking one day when my siblings and I discussed our loved ones who seem to have every reason to give their lives to God, yet they haven't made peace with Him. This we know: The Lord won't barge into their lives uninvited. God will never violate their freedom to choose whether or not to accept Salvation, despite our aching hearts and fervent prayers. Because of prayer, the Holy Spirit will continue to woo them, but will never take them by force to abundant life here and eternal life in the heaven.

Contrary to some which will kill if a person refuses to embrace their religion, Jesus gently waits for an invitation.

Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).

I keep asking the Lord to continue knocking on hearts of people I love. I believe many will hear His voice call to them and will open the door. What rejoicing will occur in my heart and in heaven when they do.

But they'll be excited, too. In my younger days people who accepted Jesus as Savior used to display joy that would make winners on Wheel of Fortune look like wimps.

Our church sings a rousing song, "I am a Friend of God! I am a Friend of God! He calls me 'Friend.'"

Being God's friend is awesome. I'm glad I opened the door long ago.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We came home from a vacation one time to discover someone jimmied the back door to the basement of our bi-level home.

Nevertheless, they were unable to get inside, for which we were thankful.

For the first time in my married life, I was thankful my husband had an obsession with locking doors. My parents never locked the door when I lived at home. Most of the time, we'd even go on vacation with our doors unlocked. If Dad did lock the door, he used a skeleton key and every family in town probably had one. Might as well leave the door open.

For the first 10 years of our marriage, I told Les I was the only person he locked out. I'd go out one of the doors into the yard and couldn't get back in. I'd go to the car before he did, and had to stand outside until he decided to come. Since I'm a redhead, sparks flew and I'd give him some heated words about the senseless act of locking everything.

But that changed when we discovered someone tried to get in our home. After that, I started locking everything with a lock on it, just as he did. One day without thinking I even locked our teenage children in the backyard while they were tanning.

The more I think about locking things, I remember a prowler lurks that hopes to steal our most precious possession--our salvation. Jesus said, "The Thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10).

Satan uses many different methods to break in. He uses people, he uses techology, he uses our own lusts of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life.

But scripture tells us when the Enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will raise up a standard against him. I would assume that's because we asked God to help us guard our hearts and minds. We're also told if we have the Holy Spirit with us, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Satan can't ravage our lives without our permission. We can keep God's Word and power locked up in our hearts and the Enemy can't slide a tool or a credit card across our hearts and get in.

When Jesus warned that Satan comes to steal and destroy, He added, "I have come so they (we) can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way."

Yes, it makes sense to prepare for burglars, and enjoy the wonderful gifts we possess because of the love of God.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


We were traveling through Rifle, Colo., one evening when we hit the town square. People plopped on steps of businesses, leaned on walls and cars, scrambled around each other, while others' feet seemed glued to the sidewalk.

We stared out the car windows wondering what was happening and then heard the music. A small band with guitars, an accordion and brass instruments stood near a curb while plain-dressed singers belted out, "I have decided to follow Jesus."

An old whiskered fellow dressed in rags sat on the bank steps. Tears dribbled down his wrinkled cheeks.

Traffic made us go through the area slowly and I heard the familiar words and melody: "No turning back, no turning back."

As a soloist with a microphone sang a verse,"Though none go with me, still I will follow," I could see other weeping.

That was in the days when churches brought the Good News to the streets. Today you can read the words to the song and hear the tune on the internet by typing in the title.

I wondered how many people decided to follow Jesus that day. I imagine several. I made a similar commitment as a child and never turned back.

In my teens, with no friends my age who went to my church, worldly friends exposed me to what following another path would be like and I had to make a decision. I decided to follow Jesus. I've never regretted it and God has blessed my life beyond what I could ever dream.

If we follow Jesus, we're going somewhere--to the abundant life He promised as well as a glorious future for eternity.

I can't figure why so many trek the other direction.