Monthly Archives: October 2013


Each morning I do stretching exercises to keep my back muscles from tightening up. God seems to be stretching my emotional and spiritual muscles lately. I have a sense I am holding on too tightly and trying to control my circumstances.

In need of encouragement, I pulled from my bookshelf a book I read about 20 years ago. As I skimmed through Fresh Elastic for Stretched Out Moms by Barbara Johnson, I concluded one doesn’t have to be a young mom to feel overwhelmingly stretched by the circumstances of daily life. I chuckled to myself as I read this insight:

A wrong attitude is like a flat tire:
it needs to be changed before you can get anywhere (pg. 96).

I was convinced. I had to STOP and change my flat attitude. It was time to silence my thoughts in order to honestly pray by filling my mind and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse (Philippians 4:8 MSG).

So here goes: Gracious God, I confess I have had a flat attitude, nevertheless, continue to stretch me so I can get anywhere you are inviting me to be, for Christ’s sake, amen and amen.

I hope you have chuckled too…and have been encouraged to pray!

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Power to Surrender All

For over two weeks, I have been dealing with power issues. First it was the pickup. How frustrating not being able to control the power that would randomly switch from
2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive.

Then it was the house. At first we were awakened “on and off” all night by lights shining in our eyes and the whirl of the overhead fan. One day It took an hour to complete the 28 minute cycle on the washing machine. Eventually, the power stopped flickering “off” when we had it “on” and started flickering “on” after turning itself completely “off.” It made not sense.

The day, I got in the pick-up and found the engine light on again, was the day I realized my engine light was on too. I am completely powerless, have no control, over even modern conveniences. Moreover, the Lord seemed to be saying to me what he once said to Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).”

The Holy Spirit is truly inviting me to surrender daily…to surrender all! So I have spent time reflecting on the words to the hymn by that title:

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!
~Judson W. Van DeVenter

Gracious God, fill us and bless us with the Son’s love and power to surrender all…by your Spirit, Amen and amen.


I do not think we know our own STRENGTH until we have seen
how strong LOVE makes us. ~Anonymous

During his senior year of high school I stopped doing my son’s laundry, mostly because in college having clean clothes was going to be his responsibility not mine. He started off “strong.” In fact, the day I discovered a broken washing machine knob was the day I thought to myself, “I don’t think he knows his own strength.” I realized then he was growing into manhood.

I have to confess that as I walked away from the washing machine, my love was not as strong as my frustration. But I am learning moments like these are invitations to pray that like my son, I would not know my own strength.

After all, there is an eternal life-changing connection between STRENGTH and LOVE. In Christ’s weakest moment on the cross, he had the strength to love…to love me…to love you.

Strength comes straight from God. Love to you, Lord God!
~Psalm 62:11-12 (The Message)

May you and I grow into our own strength, having seen…having experienced…how strong God’s love can make us.



The older I get the more courage I need to muster up in order to “let go”! Change requires more of me…more of a willingness to hear about and see what God is truly doing. And as I do, God consistently and graciously reminds me of the prophet Isaiah’s words:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
~Isaiah 43:19

In her book Call to Commitment, Elizabeth O’Connor shares this insight about change: God waits for each of us to hear him say, “Behold, I do a new thing—through you!”  The question is always:  Can we open our lives so that the Holy Spirit may descend and new power break that we may be the kind of person around whom renewal begins?

Who are the people “around whom renewal begins”? Perhaps they are most like the man blind from birth who knew one thing: “I was blind but now I see.” (John 9:25b).

May God graciously allow us to see change as the new thing he is doing in our lives today.