July 17, 2014


The past several months have brought quite a few life challenges and changes that affected many areas of our life… and even areas of well-being on and off.  Situations, relationships, perspectives have changed and brought growth…at times painful but much for the better – And such challenges, changes and losses are never easy.  It can become overwhelming when challenges happen all at once or one right after another.  Life brings such things to each of us.  Each person has a different way of coping during these times.  Some just keep plowing through.  Some try to control the uncontrollable.  Some give in to the pain and hopelessness.  Some close themselves off.  Some cry out for help. 

I tend to ‘circle the wagons’ with those I love… those who love me.  One of my friends once said she had learned that when I have gone silent (a.k.a. fallen off the face of the earth) it’s time to say a prayer and bring over the hugs. I told her I was just circling the wagons and hunkering down and she said – ‘well make an opening and let the reinforcements come in’.  I still circle the wagons but I have learned a couple of things. I’ve learned how to ask and make room for those reinforcements.  But most importantly I’ve learned to circle my wagons in THE place of Refuge.


Shelter or protection from danger and trouble; safety; a place to find aid, relief or escape; security; safety, a retreat, sanctuary, haven, a stronghold.

When life brings challenges, losses, illness, or trouble each of us want that relief, that security, that safety, that sanctuary or haven.  Each of us needs a stronghold where we can rest from weariness, regain strength, and begin to fight.
Finding THE Refuge – the best refuge – will make a difference in how the challenge is faced and will make a difference in how you come out of it on the other side.


Who is God? – He is our Refuge.

What is He to me?
Challenges are a bit easier when you don’t face them alone.  No matter what you are facing He will never leave you to face it alone… He’s there.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our Refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

I have faced a few of life’s hardest challenges and I can tell you this.  In those times there is a want and need for the strongest, safest, most secure and guaranteed relief of all refuges.  When you’re going through those times you may have others who offer well intended but misguided advice; there are those who try to help for their own purposes; there are those who simply leave - maybe because they just don't know what to say or do.  Some refuges may only provide temporary sanctuary. Some fail to provide safety and collapse. There’s only one REFUGE. God as the REFUGE is secure, unchanging, unconditional, and strong beyond our comprehension.
And as odd as it may seem, with God as our refuge we can live above circumstance and find good; find purpose; and even find joy.

My prayer for you is to consider His words that you may discover and know REFUGE.

Proverbs 22:3 – The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Psalm 118:9 – It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.
2 Samuel 22:31 – As for God, His way is perfect:  The LORD’S word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 – every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 5:11 – But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy.   Spread Your protection over them, that hose who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 34:8 - Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
2 Samuel 22:3 – my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.
Psalm 9:9 – The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 36:7 - How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

July 15, 2014

The definition of Love

Often times I feel that the word “love” has become trivialized.  We hear it being used excessively to describe everything from a pair of shoes to cars, from food to music.  It is used carelessly, sarcastically, off-handedly, almost meaninglessly and unfeelingly.

A profoundly tender affection. A feeling of warm personal attachment. A passion or desire.  A term of endearment.  To have a strong liking for something.  A fondness.

 It is a word that describes one of the most basic and foundational needs a person possesses.  We as humans have this need to be cared for, accepted, wanted, and valued.

The problem is, however, this word love never really lives up to the concept one’s heart and soul yearn for.  In this world, ‘Love’ often changes based on situations, reactions, feelings, emotions, desires, senses, perceptions, impulses, and actions. 

The true definition of LOVE is one that is absolute, unchanging, unconditional, uncompromising, all-encompassing, fulfilling, faithful, self-sacrificing.  It encompasses patience, kindness, truth, loyalty, fidelity, joy, goodness, hope, perseverance, completeness.

Three words tell us what Love is.  They define Love beyond doubt, reasoning, or understanding.

God IS Love. (1 John 4:8)

The great I AM – the one who is unchanging-remains-endures-exists-endures –
IS Love. 

Love isn’t a feeling or emotion that comes and goes.  Love is a state of being—Love is the BEING – The I AM.

As I consider what Love is (Who Love is) it changes everything.  I am someone who knows Love.   I have Love… that is unconditional, accepts me with all my failings and flaws.  No matter what I could ever do I will always have Love.  The kind that provides joy in my deepest sorrow, hope in the most desperate of times, light in the darkest moments, patience and kindness in the most undeserving situations. 
And because I possess LOVE, I am enabled to love others (1 John 4:19 – We loved because He first loved us).  I am enabled to live life above circumstance. I am a person of great value.  I am never alone. 

My prayer for you… is that you can define Love and know its fullness.

Ephesians 3:18 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
1 John 3:15 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for us.
Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1Corinthians 13:4-13 -  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

July 13, 2014

Creator; Maker of All

My family and I are very blessed to live in one of the most breath-takingly beautiful parts of the country… the Pacific Northwest.


We have hiked miles in-country and laid eyes on sights that leave us in awe.  Often times and old hymn comes to mind “When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; How great Thou art!”  and I am reminded that “Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made (Romans 1:20)”.

To me, it is both ridiculous and an insult to intelligence to hear someone say that all of it “just happened or evolved”.  Forget the beauty for one moment and consider the odds/statistics of all that goes into what is seen looking at a panorama from a viewpoint: a particular type of sun, a particular distance of the planet from sun, the exact balances of atmospheric gasses, the ecosystem of just one of those living organisms within the panoramic view having to be just right, then the balance of a multitude of ecosystems of the many organisms – each having to be just right for all of them to exist interdependently. Then consider each living organism and each of its physical systems – how each physical system/life function works and comes together with many systems to give that organism sustainability and how each of those organisms come together in interdependent ways to create  ecosystems.  Next consider that basic laws of physics/thermodynamics function state that the usable energy in the universe is becoming less and less – things go from a degree of disorder to a higher degree of disorder as time progresses – when left to itself a thing will degenerate.  Yet someone is saying the majesty and wonders of our world “just happened” over time. Not likely.  The statistical probability of any one part of the fore mentioned awe happening is crazy and the statistical probability of all of it happening just right to have the perfect circumstances come together to form the whole… practically impossible.                                                                                            

QUESTION – “Who is God?”                                                                                          

The Intelligent Mind behind Intelligent Design.  The Creator.  Creator.  One who caused to come into being.  One who conceived, designed, made, generated, set up, or formed.

QUESTION – “Who am I to God?

King David once asked of God, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers … what is man that You are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:3).”  I have been working towards a new educational degree in the process of changing careers and have had to study the anatomy, physiology and neurology of parts of the human body.  The human body is an amazing organism with a complexity that boggles my  mind. What boggles my mind further is that this The Creator created…me.  His Word tells me “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139) and also that before He formed me in the womb He knew me (Jeremiah 1).  He knows the very number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30).  He has called me by name (Isaiah 43) and I am written in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).  I was created in His image (Genesis 1:27).

So Who am I to God? - I am wonderfully, purposefully made in the image of my creator - so valued that I am written in the palm of His hands.  That both humbles and amazes me.

My prayer for you is to know you were so valued – that you were wonderfully and purposefully made!
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:31 - And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good
Ps 139:14  - I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

July 11, 2014

I AM not me

We are looking for answers to questions (7-9-14).  As we begin to find the answers to the questions, we first have to separate ourselves from “me”.  Finding the answers is not about “self-realization”, “self-fulfillment”, deciding or discovering MY spirituality, MY experience, what I believe, or finding MY “personal truth”.  It’s not about “me”.
Finding answers is all about finding the truth.
There’s a paradigm here.  For when we find the answer to who GOD is, it is then that we find the truth as to who “me” is – a wonderfully created, talented, gifted, unique, purposed, valued beyond measure, beloved individual.

Looking into the Word, we find that Moses – during a time of self doubt, uncertainty, and stubbornness – asked this questions directly.  “Who should I say when they ask me “what is His name?” Moses asked.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”   In Hebrew I AM is Yahweh - the most holy of names for God.  The name by which He makes a covenant with His people and keeps His promises.

“I AM.”

To be. To exist or live. To take place. To happen or occur. To continue or remain. To endure.

QUESTION: “What is God to me?”
He is I AM. 
He exists.  His presence is real.
He continues and remains.  Think about that for a minute.  In this world nothing remains-the only thing that is sure is change and uncertainty.  Everything else comes and goes.  There is nothing and no one we can count on or trust.  Bad things happen to good people.  Good people are imperfect and make mistakes that cause consequences for those around them.  There are times of joy and laughter but loss, pain, sickness and darkness are experienced.
BUT… HE is.  He always was… always will be…


 Because I AM is… the me won’t be lost – subject to all of life’s uncertainty.
Malachi 3:6 – “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you are not consumed.”
Because I AM is… “me” has hope. 

 “suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces Hope AND HOPE DOES NOT DISSAPPOINT us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts”. (Romans 5)

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.  If you look within, you’ll be depressed.  If you LOOK at GOD, you’ll be at REST.” –Corrie ten Boom

July 9, 2014

Questions. Answers?

Who? What?? When? Where? How?  WHY?!
So many questions.  Some are harder than others.  Harder to ask; harder to answer.
Some are impossible to answer.
When questions are asked people are looking for information…knowledge…truth…a response.

I listened to a series of questions recently.
They’ve been stuck in my head.  I guess that’s because I was once asking the very same questions from a place of great loss and hopelessness.  Yet even though I had found answers and know The Answer with all of my very being - when I went to answer these questions I struggled to answer them in a way that would adequately communicate something that is more than just knowledge, information or a response. 

Let me ask YOU –
“Who is God really? What is He? What is He to me? Who am I to Him?”
Sometimes an answer in response won’t truly provide what a person is seeking.
Sometimes an answer needs to be discovered… together. 
Sometimes an answer needs to be witnessed… experienced… felt with the heart before it is truly known by one’s being.

So –
“Who is God really?... What is He?... What is He to me?... Who am I to Him?”

Let’s Stand Still together over the coming time. 
I know we will experience the heart felt answer because we’re going to go straight to the source together.
It’s my prayer for you that it will be an experience that will provide you with what you seek.

I will start with I AM not me…

Psalm 3:4 - I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from HHHhhhhhis holy mountain
Psalm 34:4 - I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 38:15 - Lord, I wait for You; You will answer, Lord my God.
Psalm 65:5 - You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
Psalm 17:6 - I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.