Lord, you have been a guest, and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant.

I didn’t know my grandmother very well. During my childhood, we visited her Sunday afternoon. She was a rather stern woman who enjoyed boxing matches on TV and ruled her household with an iron fist. My relationship with Grandma was superficial. When she died there was not a great hole in my life because the relationship never existed. I did not have an abiding relationship with Grandma. It contrasts with the “remain in Him” phrase in this passage because it means “abide in Him”. I did not abide with Grandma.


“Abiding” in I John 2:28-3:3 is the idea of settling in; making a permanent home. To dwell with Jesus does not mean occasionally stopping by for coffee. It is not superficial, but a constantly deepening and vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Read what Jesus said about “abiding”: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23) David Guzik writes: “There are two Greek words to convey the idea of “to live in”; one has the idea of living in a place as a stranger, and the other has the idea of settling down in a place to make it one’s permanent home. The beautiful doxology in Ephesians 3:14-19 uses the word “dwell”, the ancient Greek word for a permanent home. This indicates Jesus wants to settle down in our hearts, not just make a brief Sunday visit. Jesus is ready to park the U-Haul truck and unload his complete household into our hearts.


Allowing Christ to abide is the only way to discover His power to love people through us. In this broken world, Christ’s love is what people long to see. “Many people say they will have nothing to do with Christianity because of all the hypocrites. You see, if there were not some expectation Christians should be different, you couldn’t charge them with being hypocritical. You really wouldn’t go to a nightclub and discover the people at the next table weren’t overtly friendly, didn’t invite you to their home… If you discover one of them was sleeping with a prostitute, would you start talking about hypocrisy? No, no, no, no. In fact, in most of the religions of the world, there is no tie between morals and ethics on the one hand and religious commitment on the other.” (written by Don Carson) True commitment means abiding.


We aren’t talking about the type of love in Hallmark cards, little emojis, or “likes” on Facebook.  This quality of love goes into the trenches, pursues the unlovable, and spends a great deal of time on its knees. It doesn’t sacrifice so that it will look good or concern itself with “what will people think”. This is a strange love; the same sacrificial love by which Jesus gave His life for us. See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him.” The world didn’t know what to make of Jesus. It certainly doesn’t know what to make of us when we begin abiding in Him and loving others to the point of being willing to give our lives for them. 


What is your relationship with Christ? In “My Heart-Christ’s Home”, Robert Boyd Munger writes: “I saw it in a minute and dropping to my knees, I said, “Lord, you have been a guest, and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the Lord.” Give Him the keys. Let Him abide. Permit Him to move in, rearrange, and makeover your entire inner life. Say, “Go at it Jesus. I can’t live the Christian life without You!” 

Click link to read “My Heart – Christ’s Home” – you won’t regret it.


Did you ever realize that God rarely ever tells His children the details of the future?

In 1988 our family moved to Illinois so my husband could go to seminary. Homesickness conquered my heart. “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayers were not cutting it.  What kind of spiritual life sustains you in crisis? Afterall, weren’t we “doing God’s work”? At the time, I didn’t realize God would do whatever He wanted, regardless of our personal plans. We had given God permission to do bring pain into our lives.


We experienced lots of surprises. The sale of our house was supposed to carry us through most of Bill’s education. The funds only lasted the first year. Our new home was in Zion, IL and it certainly was not the Zion associated with heaven. We had given away our church home, our close ties with family and friends, and the confidence we had from prior ministries. Pastor Bill now worked as Janitor Bill. Teacher Jacqui who had excelled at working with young children found herself way out of her league teaching middle school and high school students. Our two sons had to build an entirely new world of friends. Life was hard.


Did you ever realize that God rarely ever tells His children the details of the future? Daniel and his friends knew that God would eventually bring exiled their people back to Israel, but God neglected to tell them that lions, a furnace, and tests would abound. One thing that especially pops out when one reads the Book of Daniel – Daniel prayed, no matter what.


The reward for my struggles, in 1988-1991 amidst all the pain, was a prayer life that exponentially expanded into rich and deep conversations with God.  There was nowhere else to turn.  I began, out of desperation, to really focus on my relationship with God.  5 AM marked the time when I commenced going for long walks in the dark, crying out to God and asking for His guidance.  I felt liked the Israelites when they had to trust God as they walked across the Jordan. God commented, “you have not passed this way before.” 


So, in all the pain you may currently be going through, are you consciously keeping your eyes on God with the expectation that He will direct you since “you have not passed this way before”?  This may involve life changes such as intentionally spending more time talking to God and less time complaining to others about what is happening.  More actions carried out with the courage and wisdom of Jesus and less behaviors determined by your fears.  This is not the time for cookie cutter prayers, this is the time to move forward, deeper into the Christ Who knows “you have not passed this way before.” 


Ruth Haley Barton in “Sacred Rhythms” writes: “As long as we continue to reduce prayer to occasional piety we keep running away from the mystery of God’s jealous love.” I wanted to run away from this painful love.  Barton continues: “let God’s creative love touch the most hidden places of your being and …to listen with attentive, undivided heart to the inner movement of the Spirit of Jesus, even when that Spirit was leads to places you would rather not go.”  In the dark at 5 AM I began to let God pry my fingers off those things I had previously treasured.  I began to beg God for what He wanted to transpire in my life, as hard and painful as it was.  The floor had been ripped out, the roof blown off. God wanted to build my life in a new closer way. 


Barton continues: “We come to Him with empty hands and empty heart, having no agenda.  Half the time we don’t even know what we need; we just come with a sense of our own spiritual poverty.”  I just dumped all of it, every awful shaming moment of it all, and came to the cross with bended knee.  It was in the dark in Illinois that I learned to let God do whatever He wanted, no matter the future. I had “not passed this way before.” 


You don’t need additional Scriptures; you need to begin taking seriously what you already have.

Have you heard the commercial claiming if you ingest their fruit & vegetable supplements you will “feel better than you have had in years”? Regardless of your existing diet, “you are not receiving sufficient nutrients for optimal health”. By consuming their products, you will obtain the ticket golden for longevity. Bottom line is: YOU NEED MORE for these last hours. They have you pegged as a sitting duck.


In I John 2:18-27, John gives a warning for believers who think they need MORE. He warns of teachers who tell believable lies. “Even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” Satan aims to get believers off track and useless for the Kingdom. John Piper summarizes the claims of the antichrists’: “We have the Spirit and can tell you some crucial information that you have been missing about Christ.” Their goal is to want us to think that we don’t have everything we need for these days.


The Apostle Peter writes: “For His (Christ’s) 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. Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust.” (II Peter 1:3-4) Note the verb tense: “has granted”. This action has already taken place. Everything you need is offered by God Himself. When people have no theological depth and have not submitted to Christ working in their lives, they are sitting ducks for the antichrists. Do you know what a sitting duck is? Someone or something very easy for an enemy to shoot or attack.


During the 1,000 years, before the Protestant Reformation, average men and women had very little clue as to what the Bible said. They were sitting ducks. Without copies of Scripture in their own languages, the people had to totally rely on their local priest to tell them what they should or should not believe. They were easy pickings for false teachers.

God brought to the scene a man by the name of William Tyndale. Tyndale translated the Bible into English so that common people could read the words of God. When a bounty was put on Tyndale’s head, God brought another man, John Rogers, who rescued Tyndale’s translation. Rogers further edited it so that we could eventually have the Book we today may carelessly disregard.


Why were both Tyndale and Rogers murdered? Because they put “dangerous” words into the hands of everyday people. They didn’t give people new words of God; they gave them something ancient which could powerfully change their lives since it was now available in their own language.


Your Bible has the words of God. The Apostle John refers to “anointing”. Ray Stedman explains, this as “an illumination of the mind and the heart, and a deep persuasion from the Holy Spirit. It involves intense powers of persuasion, it is a compelling thing, but it is not an impartation of knowledge. It is not a case of the Holy Spirit giving information which is not recorded in the Bible; it is a taking of the Scriptures and confirming them.” You don’t need additional Scriptures; you need to begin taking seriously what you already have.


As for the bestselling supplement’s claims for additional health benefits? Their ads changed when lawsuits popped up. The website’s disclaimer currently states that the product “isn’t intended to treat or cure any diseases.” In contrast, God’s Word treats and cures our diseased hearts. Don’t be a sitting duck. We don’t need extra revelations by teachers who claim new and additional words from God. Regularly ingest what’s already graciously been given by God Himself. Pull down that ancient Book and begin reading it today!

For extra encouragement read about Tyndale and Rogers.


Yes, she’s had a long history of traumatic life events, but shouldn’t those scars be completely healed by now?

It is the perfect storm which seems to come out of nowhere. Yes, she’s had a long history of traumatic life events, but shouldn’t those scars be completely healed by now? The experiences that caused her so much pain now appear to be on a loop tape. How does she keep running into the same circumstances encountering the same people as the last time? It seems that the only thing that changes are the peoples’ names.


At this point of her life, shouldn’t those memories be long in the rearview mirror of her past? Of course, it has not helped that recently life around her has seemed like one bad nightmare of a circus. She feels helpless.


Some days just the thought of getting out of bed takes more energy than running a marathon.  There is just no more energy to give. Weighed down, 100 lb. weights tied to her ankles. Will it never get better?

This is life dealing with trauma.  It locks you down and freezes you into place. Sandra Marinella recalls: “I learned this as I sat on the edge of the black velvet chair in the chalk-white, sterile office. My heart clenched as I waited for a doctor I did not want to meet. The door swung open, and a chalk-white radiologist entered and motioned me to sit back. I began to choke, and tears of nervous anticipation flooded my eyes. And then it seemed as if we were trapped in a black-and-white 16mm movie of my life, a scary, surreal film — the kind of strange avant-garde ones Andy Warhol used to make in the ’60s. There was no sound but the ghostly doctor mouthing the words, “You have cancer.”


In Warhol style the film, appropriately titled Cancer, was projected onto dark walls — and it was showing my story. Then the projector clicked and sputtered and went silent. Suddenly my story seemed to have slipped off the spool and was cascading to the basement of my mind as ribbons of unwound, damaged film. Can this film — my story — be repaired?” (The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss)

Is your film, your story, repairable? Yes, oh yes!  What are some steps toward healing?

  • Experience your pain and grief
  • Break your silence and find your voice
  • Accept and piece together a difficult or broken story
  • Find meaning or make sense of your event or story
  • Rewrite your story and find ways to reconnect with your health: physical, spiritual, emotional and mental

Take a pen and begin to write. Don’t be concerned with spelling or grammar, wondering if your writing is “any good”, or succeeding or failing, I challenge you to play around with a writing prompt this week. Begin by writing one or more statements that follow this form: “I want to…but I can’t because…” Examples are: “I want to move, but I can’t because I don’t make enough money.” “I want to find a find a friend, but I can’t because I suffer from shyness.” “I want to undertake a new challenge, but I can’t because I believe I am too old.”

Connect your statement with a dilemma currently face. Then answer these questions:  What is my dream? What obstacles are making it hard to accomplish my dream? How can I face this challenge? Write from your heart. Tell yourself the truth. It may be surprising what you learn. Ernest Hemingway wrote: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down with paper and bleed” Similar, but not the same, is my earlier post “Writing Your Story and Changing the Ending”.

Try learning to write (or sing) to the Lord a new song. It could be quite refreshing. Please let me know what you learn.


Just because one sinks to the depths doesn’t mean one has a truly repentant heart.

It is hard for me to believe; six months and out the door. Sue (name changed) and I had lunch to discuss her recent marriage and upcoming divorce. Her groom quickly broke his wedding vows. Sue professes being a believer. Prior to the marriage, Sue disregarded her counselor who strongly urged Sue not to get married. Her fiancé is not a Christ follower. Now Sue drowns in a sea of remorse. I mention some Scriptures that might help and Sue adamantly says, “How can Scripture help? After all, we know that the Bible is made up of a lot of fables. Take Jonah and the whale for instance.”


Jesus does not have the same attitude about Scripture as Sue. He references the account of Jonah as literal in Matthew 12:40-41. It’s interesting that Sue and Jonah share the same wrong mindset toward the sanctity of God’s Word and commands. God has told both Sue and Jonah to turn right and they run in the opposite direction. Sue runs into a disaster of a marriage and Jonah takes a ship to nowhere. Regardless, Sue wants God to make her happy again, even though she rejects His Word. Jonah wants to again breathe on dry land.


Sue and Jonah share something else – a lack of repentance. Remorse is quite different than repentance. Sue regrets her unhappiness and Jonah regrets his lack of oxygen. Remorse is a sadness or disappointment over something that has happened. Repentance is to rearrange your entire way of thinking, feeling, and behavior in order to forsake that which is wrong. Sue regrets losing her marriage. She is not interested that God has a good plan for her life. Jonah regrets not being on dry land. They share remorse but not repentance.


A truly repentant heart is expressed by David: Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.   Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. (Psalm 51:2-9 NLT) Contrast this with Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2. Do you hear Jonah recognizing his rebellion; owning up to his sin? Does he confess the enormity of his disregard of God? Or is his prayer a “hail Mary”? The kind of prayer you utter when you have used all your lifelines. It’s the scream of one drowning.


Jonah purposely turned the opposite direction from God and ends up being been cast into the sea. Our merciful God rescues Jonah but lets him flounder around in the insides of a fish for three terrifying days. Yes, Jonah ends up going to Nineveh and fulfills the original command given by God. Yet if you look at Jonah 4, Jonah is angry at God compassion. Jonah throws a tantrum when the shade tree he sits under wilts. God addresses the real heart disease of Jonah in 4:10-11: Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”. I wonder if Jonah ever comes to terms with God?


I still wonder if my friend Sue ever accepts the God Who knows what is right and can be trusted. Will she repent of her heart attitude? Does she recognize her rebellion? Does it haunt her day and night? Just because one sinks to the depths doesn’t mean one has a truly repentant heart. Maybe your heart needs a checkup on its own relationship to God. Has sin taken up residence? Don’t be a Sue and definitely don’t be a Jonah.


Your story needs to be told

Everyone has a “I don’t believe this is happening to me” story. The story that makes you feel as if you are drowning, not even sure if you will survive. The experience that has sucked the air out of you and made you feel as if you are going under. This is your journey.


Sandra Marinella writes: “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away; they morph into volatile emotions, into flashbacks and anxiety, into behaviors we don’t understand in ourselves, things we wish we didn’t do — lash out, hide, avoid, get depressed, become lethargic, unable to go on. Untold stories cause ruptures in relationships, ill health, and spiritual or religious crisis, and contribute to a growing sense that our lives are disintegrating into chaos.” You need to find your story.


Why not try writing? Maybe you’re not a writer. You don’t have to ever show anyone your writing, and it will still work on your heart and mind to reorganize your life. Maybe you don’t have time for this. Ten minutes a day? Really? That’s way shorter than a Facebook minute. Possibly it’s scary to think of putting your life-breaking moments into words. This is your safety net. Are you ready to live a more resilient story? You can get through a crisis. You can survive grief. Repeat: find your story.


A key is finding the place that lies between our hopes and reality.  For example, let’s share the saga of Janet. She is the parent of 2 adult children, Sandy and John. Janet had always imagined that she would have a close family where her adult children deeply loved Christ and nurtured that same love within their own children, Joyce’s grandchildren. She imagined Sunday dinners, like a scene from the TV series “Bluebloods”.

However, Janet’s reality is that she has 2 adult children, only one of whom she feels even remotely close to. As for sharing a same love for Christ, that isn’t even on the table at this point in her children’s adult lives, let alone if they actually provided Janet with grandchildren. The only Bluebloods family dinners she experiences is if she watches a family of actors on TV. Janet’s heartbreak is daily and drains her from finding any joy. Could Janet rewrite her story?


  • Begin by finding a comfortable spot to write. If you want, bring your water bottle, coffee, or tea.
  • Choose a journal, notebook, or computer.
  • Forget about rules — grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Just plan to write.
  • ​Choose a prompt, put your pen to paper (or your fingers on your keyboard), and write for at least five minutes. If you write more, congratulate yourself! If a prompt fails to connect with you, try the next one.
  • Write as often and as much as you dare. Give it your best.
  • ​Then reread and reflect on what you have written. You may be surprised at the stories or thoughts you hold within.
  • ​Work to develop a personal writing practice that works for you. Every writer is unique, and by finding how you write best, you will grow your words and your voice.

This Week’s Writing Prompt: The Tragic Gap

Start by creating “tragic gap statements.” Do this by writing one or more statements that follow this form: “I want to…but I can’t because…” Here are some examples: I want to move, but I can’t because I don’t make enough money. I want to be an actor, but I can’t because I suffer from anxiety when I try to perform. I want to undertake a new challenge, but I can’t because I believe I am too old. Choose a dilemma you are facing. After you write this statement, answer these questions as best you can: What is your dream? What obstacles are making it hard to accomplish your dream? How can you face this challenge? What can you change? Open and close each writing period in prayer.

Freely borrowed from: Sandra Marinella. “The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss” Highly recommend this book!


He shakes the sand off his feet and goes on to the next problem he will solve.  Afterall, he knows the answers…

Sam is saved, redeemed and sits in the front row of his Bible classes so that he will not miss a single word of the professor. At last, he knows all the answers to how to minister! And then comes the weekend. His sister Katie visits. She is a believer, struggling with hurts suffered from other believers. She opens up to Sam. He immediately jumps at the opportunity to straighten out his sister; to give her the prescription he has carefully memorized. Surely his love has been transformed?

Yet, things don’t go as planned. Katie takes afront to him and clams up. Sam has just dumped on her the truth and she has not listened. The brother shakes the sand off his feet and goes on to the next problem he will solve.  Afterall, he knows the answers…


The author of I John is the same disciple who wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those who rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:52-55) Sam’s behavior toward Katie is akin to the Luke account. However, disciple John featured in the Book of Luke and the John writing the epistle of I John are as different as night and day. The mature version of John has learned the love that makes every effort to conform to God’s mindset toward believers, even the prickly ones who have gotten a little lost in the shuffle. John’s love has been transformed.


Transformed love described in I John 2:7-11 is not a new love. The commandment existed from the beginning but there is new energy when a believer begins to live and obey the word. The Holy Spirit transforms us, enabling us to have the same love Jesus extended to His “besties”, the disciples.


This is foundational to the gospel message. John Piper writes: “For John, the commandment of love belongs to what people should hear from the beginning. It is not an optional stage two in Christian growth.” The gospel contains not only the commandment to trust Jesus, but also the commandment, by the power of that trust in Christ, demanding transformation into a new loving person.


In that living room, Sam never listened to Katie, never shared her pain, never waited for the nudging of the Holy Spirit in the conversation. Sam considers himself the pharmacist, the one who dispenses the medicine and goes on to the next patient. He does not beg Christ to change him into a loving person who can walk alongside his sister, helping her to heal.


It is costly to walk alongside someone who is hurting. Jesus spent three years walking alongside 12 men whose spiritual growth was often negligible. Yet, He endured, nudging them toward maturity.  John commands that this type of love enter the life of every believer. It is not optional. The Apostle John pretty much says, “If you don’t want to love, then you have not been changed.” Sam missed the boat by not bending to the command to fully and humbly love his sister. Is your ability to love transformed by the power and wisdom of Christ? Can Katie safely come knocking at your door?

For further inspiration regarding transforming love, watch the testimony of Gracia Burnham


Feelings of dread filled out hearts. This was definitely more than a bump in the road.

We visited the eye specialist thinking it would be an easy fix, like changing my husband Bill’s eye prescription. Earlier that week, Bill admitted that when driving, the single car approaching him on the right now appeared as two separate vehicles.  Not good.  The doctor talked to him for about twenty minutes and immediately scheduled Bill for an emergency deep tissue brain MRI. Feelings of dread filled out hearts. This was definitely more than a bump in the road; this was a giant pothole.


Bill is claustrophobic and it took 3 tries before they were able to get him into the narrow tube for the 45-minute-deep tissue MRI.  The technician told us Bill had a brain tumor.  It was Friday, which meant a very long weekend until the appointment with the neurologist Monday morning.  The irony of the situation was that Bill, just a few weeks before, had decided to take a huge step of faith and resign from his ministry position and to become open to wherever God wanted him.  This was bigger than a pothole.

Monday came.  The tumor was a benign pituitary tumor pressing on the optic nerve which was causing the double vision.  It was inoperable.  Hence, the doctor prescribed drug therapy to shrink the tumor.


My husband is not one to jump into decisions (whereas, I often just want to know which particular cliff to jump off of) ……So, in the car, I told Bill I was okay if he wanted to reconsider his previous decision to step out on faith regarding his ministry career.  I still remember the certainty and strength in his voice when he replied, “No, I’m still going to obey.”  That my dear friends is faith.  Stepping into the unknown, especially when the unknown is unfathomable.  Sometimes potholes are terrifying.


Psalm 91 kept going through my head.  “He would dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”   When Daniel’s friends were in the fiery furnace, it wasn’t like God said “Oh, my goodness!  How in the world did that one happen?!”.  Jesus walked with them through the flames.  God was not walking Bill and me around the fire, God was accompanying us through the fire and through the pit.


We had to choose to get our focus off the fire and look up to see the face of our Traveling Companion, Jesus.  “The person who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  Amen and amen!

Have you invited Him to not only join your journey, but to also lead the journey, regardless of the potholes? Listen to the true story of George Whitefield, one who ran through the potholes.


When Jesus could have healed Lazarus, but God tells Jesus to pause.  Lazarus died.  What good friend lets another die?

He was 6’4” with a long, lanky body. Viewing his early films of the 1930s, he looks very stiff and a bit awkward. Slowly but surely, he learned to move in a very slow, deliberate way. The gait of John Wayne, the actor, “was slightly tipsy, slightly off-balance looking, rough, tough, and rugged”. He chose his walk, his trademark swagger.


Jesus’ walk is also unique. What does it mean when John writes: By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked”?  What is this Jesus walk? Earlier in the passage, there is a connection made between behavior (how we walk) and knowing Him. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (I John 2:3-6)


What were Jesus’ commandments? Read the Gospels. Jesus doesn’t conduct Himself according to the cultural norm. The disciples find this a wild unpredictable ride. Daily, Jesus spends time with His Father and follows the Father’s instructions for that day. This can lead to the unusual. One day the disciples find themselves taking a boat to visit a demoniac and another day visit a scandalous woman who belongs to “those people”; a group which good Jewish people do not associate with. The 12 never know if the next town will bring cheers or jeers.

Remember that occasion when Jesus could have healed Lazarus, but God tells Jesus to pause?  Lazarus died.  What good friend lets another die? Mary and Martha are none too pleased when Jesus shows up late to the funeral. Jesus often does not meet peoples’ expectations. He doesn’t play by the rules of the Pharisees or the Sadducees. When they condemn to death the woman caught in adultery, Jesus kneels and scribbles in the dust. They expect Him to launch the first stone.  Instead, He forgives her.


Let’s be honest, if you were Jesus’ employer and had to give Him a job evaluation, He would not excel on the spectrum.  For example, you would give Him negative points for planning. He spends hours speaking to thousands of people and after the fact (seemingly, off the cuff) asks the 12 to supply lunch. Jesus doesn’t even use hand sanitizer when He touches the lepers.

He is disruptive and uncooperative with local commerce and causes a big scene at the Temple. When an employee should be fired because of betrayal, Jesus welcomes him back with open arms and appoints him the leader of the group. In other words, by our standards, Jesus would be fired and His walk would be exiting out the door.


Jesus is not a good employee of mankind because He only follows one Boss, His Heavenly Father.  He came to do His Father’s will. That was and is His pattern every day of His life. Maybe you are a little stiff and a bit awkward with this whole concept of walking as Jesus walked. Is your aim to learn to move in a deliberate way that only aims to please Him? Do you let go of your schedule and with open hands accept Jesus’ priorities, uncomfortable situations, and the upheaval which He can bring to your life?  Have you learned to trust Him?


Yes, your Jesus walk might at times appear slightly off-balance, rough, and not blend in with everyone else. But, “whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself. (I John 2:6).  It’s the only walk that glorifies Christ. Learn the Jesus swagger.

Suggested further study: George Whitefield, a Christ follower who God used to shake the world with his footsteps


The patient is not afraid. It’s operation time. He is healing her. It is good

Nestled in the arms of the recliner.  Legs outstretched in front; body tilted back. She can see laid out to the left of her chair are the doctor’s tools. Some of the instruments are rather sharp, even fearsome, but the patient is not afraid. It’s operation time. He is healing her. It is good.

The Doctor’s favorite scalpel is a battered and marked up Bible.  The patient spends a lot of time with this book; writing notes upon notes in the margins regarding things he points out to her during their sessions. Sometimes she takes the words and comments to heart; other times they get filed away until her wounds break open yet again. The Doctor remarks his patient is rather hard of hearing during some of their consultations. Maybe she also needs hearing aids?

The therapies are not convenient and often not comfortable. Keeping further infections at bay is critical. But healing comes from brokenness. This Surgeon will not turn her away, regardless of her illness. She can be made whole.

This operating room is sacred space. It is here, in the quiet, that God pulls her out of herself, away from her own worries and upheavals and into the Universe where He rules. She needs clarity, especially on those days when she wanders through His Book and it seems as dry as dirt (often a match for her own soul). His plans are far greater than her short attention span can fathom. Her home remedies are futile.

Just a warning, God’s work while she’s in the chair can be painful. There are numerous times when God has told her in no uncertain terms to repent, to eat humble pie, and to let go of prized projects. He nudges her to remember that He alone is the expert with the scalpel, not her. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Despite the pain, this is the one place in the world where she knows she is guarded, protected and secure. Healing is possible. “Whoever dwells in the recliner of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2) In this space, she is consistently, heard, valued, and loved. She is safe in the Surgeon’s arms.

For suggested additional spiritual healing, try Sharon Garlough Brown’s book “Sensible Shoes”