31 Days

cottonToday is October the 1st. I have signed on to join over a thousand writers, known as 31 Dayers, to write every day in October.

My topic is purity… with a focus on John the Baptist, who happens to be one of my favorite people in the Bible. He was bold, brave, and absolutely sure of His purpose on this earth: Prepare the way of the Lord!

If he was concerned with what anyone thought of him apart from God, his life gives no indication. He was sold out, all in, and his actions testify to the fact that there was a white surrender flag firmly planted on the soil of his ego.

Each believer receives that same call of wild John the Baptist on this opposite side of His coming as we await His return. Now, collectively, we, who are blood bought, are known as the Bride of Christ- a bunch of wretched, con-artist sinners, washed clean and invited to be wild in the John the Baptist sort of way, which is the way we were intended to live… trusting and loving the One.

We are clothed in the rich robes of grace and truth becoming unified as the Bride. I can think of no other word more appropriately fitting for this Bride that awaits seeing her Bridegroom face to face than… PURITY. Purely, following Him, not seeing Him yet believing that “the pure in heart shall see God”…joined forever with her Beloved.

Join me? I would count it an honor. My fears and failures stir gently nudging me not to write, but I’m choosing John the Baptist boldness and fixing my eyes on Jesus, writing because He first loved me.

Lord, when you come we shall be like You for we shall see You as You are. We have this hope and choose to allow You to purify us. We cooperate with You, the One who is our Purity. 1John 3:2,3

In Christ Alone,


No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest #31Days

We head out to the garden and animals every morning. 7:30 sharp, well most of the time. I don’t carry a reputation for punctuality. This morning I lovingly made biscuits. When I opened the oven, they were burnt. To the touch, they were still soft. So, I ushered the children in to gobble some up before they cooled to the stiffness of rocks.

Yum… fresh biscuits, slightly dark, but that’s okay. All is well.

Then sang the series of yucks! Yuck! Gag!

Heavy on the baking soda.

“Oh, well. Chicken food! That’s what I just spent my time doing,” I’m thinking as I survey the mess of a kitchen…

“Baking chicken biscuits.”



“Quick! Quick! Outside guys! Grab the biscuits. Let’s go.”

We moved into this house out in the country ten months ago to start a little homestead. We’ve learned to garden… I mean GARDEN. We are producing enough food that I am canning and freezing consistently. We even have a second garden- a fodder garden! Eek! I love the sound of that. This garden grows food for the livestock. Bless my soul just about sums it up. My previous garden in the city would squeeze out a small, often pitiful harvest. Now, to grow food for the animals, too… May I just say: Beside. Myself. Really, I am.

I’ve always loved dirt, used to eat it, in fact. Some say this is evidence of a mineral deficiency. Nonetheless, I can clearly remember as a child sampling the soils in various places. I was on a little hunt for just the right flavor. Any old dirt would not do. I could immediately tell when I found the right plot to indulge. I loved the feel in my little hands and the taste in my mouth was just what I was seeking. I can imagine little me, down on my knees, hidden from all other eyes closing my own and licking my lips enjoying the treasure I had searched for and found.

Well, you might know I needed to give this love affair up with dirt. I was sick on several occasions. The Dr. looked at me sternly and said, “Don’t eat dirt anymore”. That stern look frightened me and I believed something terrible might happen if I did not heed this advice.

I never touched dirt to my lips again. Cold turkey, you might say.

But, Oh, every morning all these years later I’m down in it on my hands and knees. I crawl through the rows picking weeds and surveying for bugs and damage as I go. I love it.

This dirt freshly tilled just a couple months ago sports a beautiful harvest and harvest to be.

I’ve learned:

Number 1-

Every day in the dirt makes a big difference.

Number 2-

The garden is a battlefield.

no mercy

I have become a crusher of the enemies in the garden.

Right now enemy number one is this green worm, he goes by “Cabbage Worm”.

The orders were- spot them, crush them- No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest!

Today, the count was a whopping 250… crushed. Bare hands and boots were our only combat weapons.

Yes, we counted every darn one.

I closed my eyes this very evening to kiss my husband and I saw worms in my mind’s eye.

We were obviously serious, focused, and on mission today in the garden.

Francis Frangipane, in his book, The Three Battlegrounds, writes, “When the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs repentance, we must overcome the instinct to defend ourselves. We must silence the little lawyer who steps out from a dark closet in our minds, pleading, ‘My client is not so bad.'”

God came to save us, rescue us from our impossible situation. He tills up the garden of our hearts and plants a harvest. BUT… He did not come to do everything for us… to enable and approve of lazy, selfish, consuming bums.

The gospel calls us to difficult… the daily “walking our rows” with the light of the Word lit up by the Spirit as our guide. Pulling, crushing, humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

I’ve learned:

Number 1-

Every day in the Word makes a big difference.

Number 2-

My heart is a battlefield.

The Bible says that Satan prowls around looking for whom he may devour. The thought of a snake coming at me is enough to make me shiver with fear edging on terror, how much more an ancient foe that hates me? And how bout that foe within me? O man, if I could blame everything on Satan, but there is a part of me that would agree with every wickedness that He could throw my way. That part- must be crushed- death to pride… bowing myself by an act of my will under God’s mighty hand.

There is to be No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest

John the Baptist, was this kind… “walking his rows” out there in the wilderness… He threw caution to the wind when it came to his faith in God and His promises- He sought no position among men, but was fully aligned in the wilderness with what was prophesied in the Word about his position with his God and His kingdom purpose:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:”Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

And on this side of history waiting… Am I this kind? Daily walking my rows, with the light of the Word and the Spirit as my guide.

All distractions from the One laid aside…

My God has fulfilled His covenant and died in my place. There is no obstacle except that for which I will not let go. He wants to conquer all my gods, all my fears, all my sickness, all my lies. He wants me to agree with Him- giving no mercy to the enemies of the harvest.

I bless you Dear Reader, morning by morning “walking your rows”, hearing Him saying, “This is the way” and heeding Him, laying down the sins He reveals, taking up praise, and walking with Him moment by moment.

Your life is meant to shine for Him… a harvest unspoiled by sin.

To Him Alone,


Be Thou My Purity #31Days

In Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word, she uses scripture prayers for different strongholds we may be facing. She has a chapter on sexual strongholds. In the portion where she writes on the topic before the prayers, she states that she believes as the times get closer to Christ’s return we will see an increased onslaught by the enemy on sexual purity.

If we, the Church, are called the Bride and we are, then this makes good sense.

A Bride is meant to be clean sexually and devoted to her bridegroom. Scripture gives us clear guidelines for sexual purity. The Bible is not confusing if we read it entirely. Addiction is full of confusion and will justify ANY THING. Addicts always find enablers as well, who are addicted to thinking they are good. Dear Reader, if the Bible says it is a sin, then it is- no matter who we can find to back us up if we are bent on justifying ourselves.

Despite the fact, that we live in a time period of rampant sexual sin (confusion) and acceptance (enabling) of it, the Bible is clear: Sexual sin corrupts and deceives us most intimately than any other sin.

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1Corinthians 6:18

This verse is not of condemnation, but of deep, deep love.

There is no way any of us are sexually pure on our own. People aren’t born bad or good. People are born with the capability to DO bad or good.

God is the only ONE who is good. This is foundational truth because if we believe we are  bad, we will act badly thinking we are a victim to it. If we think we are good, we will still act badly because we will be living from the well of pride.  Dear Reader, the truth is we are all capable of every sin. I emphasize, EVERY SIN. We are also capable of good… all the good that Jesus has prepared for us in advance. (from Eph.2:10)

Satan tells us we are unique in our sin, that our sin is part of our identity.

No, sin is part of the distorting of who we are meant to be.

I get this well because I have lived distorted. Can I get a witness? Anyone out there relate to  bondage that distorts you? Here is the truth though for anyone who repents: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.Romans 8:1- There is always a way out this side of Christ’s return. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,  and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’”  Matthew 3:1

As we await the return of Christ, we too, prepare the way. If our lives and our messages conflict with John’s, we cannot profess to be preparing the same way for the same Christ as John.

And His message was repentance… think of repentance as a place. A place where all is revealed about me about you- everything is in the light- and He says, “Come”. At my lowest, when I believed if people could be thrown away I should be first in the trash, is where I began to understand His love, His grace, and His truth. He sang songs over me of peace and salvation.

He cleansed me and walked with me in those early days, now, and all the days in between. He is more faithful than I could’ve imagined. I had believed I was bad and now I was supposed to be good. I have learned and am learning still, to rest in His goodness. I love Him and long to love Him more.

I have written another verse to the song, Be Thou My Vision, asking Him to be our purity as we await His return.

Bless you, Dear Reader with the purity of Jesus given to you by His blood.

am i done yet design

In Christ Alone,


Jacked Up Places Do NOT Equal a Jacked Up God #31Days

jacked up

John the Baptist was born into jacked up times.

Remember Herod the Great?

He was the one jealous of the prophesied King to be born under a star.

He was the one who ordered the killing of the baby boys two and under.

Yes, that Herod was ruling when John the Baptist was born.

Herod was an Idumean under Roman domination, ruling over the Jewish people. Gentiles were everywhere throughout the land, ruling, and taxing the people.*

The Jewish people were oppressed IN the promised land.

And the religious leaders of the Jews? Oh! Many were blind guides, who strained out gnats and white washed their tombs of dead men’s bones keeping people from God instead of ministering God to the people.

And to show the mix up of this time period further: A movement began to search the scriptures to see what the future held. Many believed that the time had come for the Messiah.*

John grew up in the desert- He was a Levite,

a priest from the line of Aaron from the tribe of Levi FROM BOTH SIDES!

Yes, Zacharias, John’s father AND Elizabeth, John’s mother

Both descended from the line of Aaron.

He had Levite coming from both sides.

A priest with a call to prepare the way for the Great High Priest, Jesus.

Now, stick with me and listen to what Malachi, the last prophet to speak in the Old Testament before the four hundred years of silence that preceded John and Jesus’s birth says concerning the Levites. First, he admonishes the priests and then says this:

“And you will know that I have sent you this admonition


with Levi may continue,”


MY COVENANT was with him,

a COVENANT of life and peace,

and I gave them to him.

This called for reverence and he revered me

and stood in awe

of my name.”

Let’s recap…

Remember the jacked up times John the Baptist was born into? Put that together with Malachi’s prophesy and like my thirteen year old daughter would say, “Bam!”.

God’s Covenant with Levi continues with this Levi of a Levite, Mr. John the Baptist!

Would you chew on that for a minute with me? Picture God for a moment taking a divine finger and pointing at His chest every time He makes reference to Himself in that verse. Go back and read it again. Every time He points to Himself… He is talking about the God of the universe, the One who speaks and light appears, water parts, stars spread across the sky. And those words He speaks? Here’s what Isaiah proclaims:

“The grass withers the flowers fades,

But the Word of our God stands forever” 40:8

And let’s get this afresh: Jacked up places, messed up situations, evil and abuses piled high DO NOT Negate God’s Word.

Everything I may have leaned up against might have been flimsy like grass and fading like a flower. But God is a rock. I can be sure I can lean up hard against Him and He will not fall over.

His will is not always done, we know. It is not His will for a man to walk in a classroom with guns to blow away the brave that answer, “I am a Christian”.


We can rest assured

  His purposes are NEVER thwarted.

One of His purposes is that His people trust the Truth over the fear of a gun… the rejection of man, the loud voices of doubt, unbelief, and ego.

For a little while, and in some of our places it will seem like evil has the victory.


He made a covenant.

He will come in and fulfill





He has a plan and it is already set in motion.

And Dear Reader, you and I can take that to the bank of faith and securely deposit it there.

In Memory of the Slain at UCC in Oregon

God, stir up your Word in the hearts of this Oregon community, so that they lean hard against You, the Unchanging God. Thank you for the faithful, who knew he would shoot, and said, “I am a Christian”. To You We Give All the Glory!

In Christ Alone,


* The quotes marked with an asterisk are from: The Journey Through the Bible by V. Gilbert Beers

Three Stores in One Day and Back to the Right Well

Three stores today, well, three grocery stores that is.


Two on purpose, back to one because I forgot garbage bags.

“Say it with me, kids, I cannot leave the store without these five things: garbage bags, dessert, meats, napkins, and peanut butter. Anything else I can forget- not these.”

Then two of them argued over who was going to remind me about the dessert as if… I would really forget the dessert.

But the garbage bags- that’s what I really need help with remembering.

So, when I forgot, I tried to blame them because I had asked them to help, right?

But I stopped after one blame, suddenly coming to my mommy senses, and said, “It’s okay. I forgot, too”.(notice the “too”- I’m still blaming them all while taking personal responsibility- no way I was taking the full brunt of this mistake)

“I’ll just go to the store again, for the third time today”.(a bit more immaturity on my part- just a little reminder about how many times we have been to the store)” Am I the mom or the big sister? O, yes, Mom, yes that’s right.

And that’s not all I did today- I homeschooled my kids today. Yes, all three of them were educated… into this very night… educated.

And we made an advent calendar, yes, they did actually- because they are old enough to do it ALL BY THEMSELVES. Guess what?  That is the only reason so much gets done around here- cause they are big and it is not all up to me.

And… I went to the dentist.

I cooked dinner.

I did laundry.

I read, studied, and prayed.

And… I am tired.

One day and three grocery stores plus the business of a regular day and I am tired.

I don’t think I should be but I am. I’m human. Isn’t this season all about the human being tired… and the Savior coming? If I wasn’t human, then I wouldn’t be tired and I wouldn’t need a savior, a place to lay my burden.

I want to write about marriage and submission but again I am so tired… maybe if the kids would stop asking me questions…Why don’t they yell, “Dad!” in the same tone of urgency and with the same frequency?

So, instead of sitting down to write, we listened to Ann Voskamp talk about hope. We sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” together as a family. And my heart was refreshed and renewed- overwhelmed that my King is right here with tired ole’ me. Thank you, Ann. I may have had to apologize again if the lesson was up to me.

And so, tired Momma, may I remind you?

About hope. About your King and how it’s really not a big deal to go to the store three times in one day. May I remind you that without love we are resounding gongs, clanging cymbals? May I remind you that we are nothing that we gain nothing without love. (from 1 Cor. 1:1-3)

So, what does the Bible say LOVE is? Or rather who is LOVE? The Bible says God is Love. 1 John 4:7b

Our source of LOVE is God Himself… maybe little pauses throughout the day are needed to remember just that. I am loved, deeply. I can abide with Him every moment of every day because He has an open door policy for me. He is not the slave driver of my perfection… that is what I do to myself. Rather, He is perfect FOR me.

I can rest.

My kids, your kids, are watching to see if we walk through that open door He is for us… and abide… if our faith is the real deal, rubber meets the road kind of faith… Did this baby Jesus really really come and does He really make a difference?

When I find myself bent out of shape. I can be guaranteed that I am drinking from the well of me… or from other people…  that my expectations not being met.

It’s like a little red flag that signals me: You are NOT at the right well. Jesus does not serve up chaos.

On that holy night, with all the trials in the world during that particular time and the pain of labor and the mess of it in a dirty barn…the One whose name is PEACE and LOVE was born.

He wants to be with us and be our Peace and Love in our times with all our trials and in our messy barns.

So, may I remind us: Slow down, breathe deeply, and trust Jesus. He loves us. He is for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Him.

In Christ Alone,


The Blessing at the Library

I just moved to town.

As a Momma to three, one of the first trips into town we made was to the library. We signed up to get our library cards, checked out our books, asked a few questions about this place we now call home and left.


The following week, we returned with our books. In the town I used to live in, I would set the books we were returning on the counter next to the book drop when the library staff were busy checking people out. Then we would continue on about our business of finding new books.


Apparently that’s not how things work around here. When we had gathered our new books and headed back to check them out, the books we had returned had not been deleted from our cards, but they were also not where I had placed them. So, I explained that I had laid them on the counter right by a stack of other books I had assumed were also being returned. The books were found quickly behind the counter.


I was scolded. Yes, scolded, in an unkind manner I might add. My offense was repeated to the other lady behind the counter with contempt.

I apologized for not knowing the system and repeated her directions to make sure we were on the same page, agreeing to follow the system they have in place. Simultaneously during this conversation, I am also praying inwardly.

Now, you have to know that I am NOT about being a doormat. I don’t think being a Christian equals being a pushover. I don’t think one can read the Scriptures and get this. Even if you set aside all of Scripture except for the four Gospels, I don’t believe you can get this from the life of Jesus. Although Jesus went to the cross willingly (1Jn 3:16), and He did say, turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39), this isn’t the end of Him…We can’t put Him in a box, because we also see Him in Scripture throwing over tables(Jn 2:15), calling people names(Mt. 23:16), talking about hell and judgement (Mt.23:33)…

I don’t mind taking up for myself or others and confronting ill behavior even if my knees knock a little. I’m a Momma. This is part of my job description. I’m a Christian. This is part of survival. Have you tried being passive in spiritual warfare? Not a good idea. Confrontation is a healthy part of life and loving people. Scripture even gives us directions on appropriate confrontation in Luke 17:3, 1Timothy 5, and Matthew 18.

But… all my words, all my actions have to be filtered through Him. If I am walking by the Spirit, I have to know that what I speak, what I do is His will or else it is meaningless. It is no better to equate Jesus with always being nice as it is to equate Him with always being confrontational.

The Word says: Walk by the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16 and 25)

 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

So, here we were at the library with this lady that I could have very easily given a piece of my mind and I would’ve been right. She was clearly in the wrong. I was emotional, though. I had a few things happen on that day that tempted me to be discouraged and this scenario, her words, filled my eyes with tears. They never spilled over, but nonetheless, there they were. I quickly prayed for direction and I immediately knew my mouth should be quiet. I would be speaking out of my whole day into this situation. She would get the brunt of all the collective hurts of the day.

The four of us  (my three kids and I) each stood there politely and checked our books out. My lips are moving as I am quietly blessing her. I am not even noticing their movement.

When we hopped in the car, my middle child, who is constantly observing people and her surroundings, asked, “Momma, why were your lips moving in there?”

“What do you mean, sweety?”

“When we were checking our books out, your lips were moving.”

“Oh! I was blessing the librarian”.

“Oh, why?” she asked.

“I was blessing her because I wanted to curse her,” I answered in a monotone voice.

And do you know what? Laughter erupted in the car. They all three thought that sounded so funny. Honesty is often funny, isn’t it? I think it’s funny because we can relate to each other. Children are so wonderful because they don’t thrive in plastic, fake, controlling, appearance ridden environments. They can see through all of it even if they can’t quite put their fingers on it.

Then, I laughed.

One of my kids belted out, “I know about that! I wanna curse people sometimes too!”

Another one said something funny that she wanted to say to the lady, who had been mean to her momma and it had us all in stitches.

And then I blessed the library lady out loud and prayed for her. Maybe she had felt discouraged like me over the course of the day and maybe she took that discouragement and flung it at the next person in line, who happened to be me and maybe I have behaved like that more times than I care to admit? I thanked Him that I had not walked by my flesh.

Dear Reader, we, who follow Christ, are people of THE BLESSING.

Did you know that in Genesis 1:28 after God creates man and woman, He blesses them?

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And did you know that The Fall does NOT revoke the blessing? In other words, the blessing on mankind is NOT cancelled, or invalidated by withdrawing or reversing.

God does NOT withdraw His blessing from man at the Fall.

He does NOT curse us, oh there are consequences alright, but go and look at the Fall in Genesis chapter three and you won’t find God revoking His blessing on mankind. He curses the ground and He curses the serpent.

Even when we are under sin, in rebellion, by nature children of wrath, HE DOES NOT CURSE US.

Instead He purchased the security of the BLESSING FOR US with His own blood at Calvary.

The Bible says,”But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

He actually became THE CURSE FOR US.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—Galatians 3:13

Then, defeating death’s stench, He was raised and He BLESSES us with HIS VERY LIFE.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13 and 14

And Dear Reader, walking by the Spirit blesses our children and the people around us with the real deal of Jesus- a form of godliness that DOES NOT deny its power. Jesus in us the Hope of Glory!

All that we do as believers is done in and by the blessing, never the curse, because He became the curse for us. This is precisely what we want people to see.

He loves people. Whatever He gives us to say or do, whether it be a strong word or a gentle gesture- it must be done IN THE ATTITUDE OF BLESSING. That is the fragrance of Christ.

Then, we leave the results to Him. We do not follow Him to please people.

George Mueller said as believers we are to die to our:





the world- it’s approval and censure

our friends- their approval or blame

Isn’t that worth thinking over? Isn’t that a snapshot into the life of Jesus and the way He modeled life to us?

And now, I’d like to bless you:

May you walk so closely to Him that you hear His voice saying, “This is the way walk in it”. May your life crown Jesus and point others in His direction. I bless your home with Scripture coming to life in front of your family’s eyes because a surrendered, blood bought child of the King of Kings resides among them and lives faith in Christ out before their eyes. And your people? I bless them with blessing you with Jesus in their lives… may all your people know Him and walk with Him accepting His gracious gift of redemption.

Blessings in Jesus Alone,