God’s love — always in our history

Need some good reading today? Read your story (and mine) in two psalms—106 and 107.

Both chapters start out with the well-known thanksgiving:

Praise the LORD!
Give thanks to the LORD for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 106 goes on, after that wonderful opening, to recount the history of the people God rescued from slavery in Egypt. It’s shocking and sad and downright wicked.

After all God had done for them, they still turned away—testing God’s patience with everything from grumbling and complaining, to outright worship of idols and demon worship that included sacrificing of their children.

Yet, as God’s anger disciplined them and they were finally crushed by the results of their sin, when they called out to Him for help, He rescued them, “because of His unfailing love.”

The second psalm, 107, starts with the same refrain of thanksgiving for God’s faithful love that endures forever. Then it recounts our history. Read it closely, and you’ll most likely find your story. My story is there, too. All of us, wandering, willful, in distress and gloom, foolish, suffering from our sin, battered by life. He gathered all of us who had been living in exile from His presence.

And those who call out to God are rescued! God hears, and in His constant love, He comes to help. He’s done miraculous, wonderful things to care for His children. In your life. In my life.

Those two chapters end with this:

Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
   they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD.

Today, Thanksgiving, let us take heart. Let us each look back at our personal history and see how His love has cared for us. Even when we were (are??) foolish and rebellious and downright sinful.

His faithful love endures forever.

And for that, I will forever give thanks.


The Blessing of Foggy Days

How often we are impatient because God doesn’t seem to be giving us an answer we think we need immediately. We fret and stew because we cannot see tomorrow, and we’re frustrated that we can’t get even a clear vision of today. We do not like traveling through the fog that moves in and shrouds our path!

Today guest contributor Mary Jane Smith takes a new view of the foggy days along our spiritual journeys.

And her memories of one beautiful spot in Lubec, Maine, made me so nostalgic that I had to go back and pull out a few photos to share with you.





As a child, I dreaded foggy mornings. Fog distorted everything around me and made the familiar walk to school seem like a scary and unpleasant path. Because fog could obscure an object lying on the walkway, I learned I must slow down instead of making my usual headlong rush toward my goal. Who wants to arrive at school with bloody knees and torn clothing because of falling over something along the way?

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time in Maine with a friend from my college days. Many of our days included a hearty portion of fog – mornings, mid-day, evenings, there was no particular time of day that it would roll in. The sonorous blasts from the channel lighthouse were a constant reminder to lobstermen and boaters that the dangers were very real, especially for those not cautious enough to heed the warnings.

Lighthouse in the fog

Lighthouse in the Fog


As the quiet beauty of the Maine seascape was revealed, then hidden, revealed, and then hidden again, I was reminded that God has protected me many times by not allowing me to see too far into the distance along my spiritual walk. My limited sight has forced me to hold more tightly to His hand and to listen for His softly spoken instructions. Otherwise, if I could see into the distance, I might run before or possibly lag behind Him instead of keeping in step with my Savior and Guide.

I Corinthians 13: 12  “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” KJV

Same verse in NIV      “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.”

This passage reminds us that our “sight” will never be clear—until we see Jesus face to face. However, our Lord knows the end from the beginning. He sends us what we need—when we need it. He is never too late, nor is He too early as He assists us on our walk.

I also know that If He permitted me to see into the future, down the path I am traveling, there is a great possibility that my heart would balk or resist the difficulties He has allowed on my path. At the end of my journey, I will finally see everything clearly with eyes that are truly opened.

Clear day

A Clear View and a Beautiful Journey


As a child, I viewed the fog as a hindrance and a burden. Gaining a measure of maturity, I have come to view it differently.

Sometimes on my spiritual journey, God allows me to “walk in the fog” to keep me close to His side. Those foggy times become a thrill and a blessing. They remind me that my inability to “see” my way ahead does not make the road less lovely. Instead, the road becomes more beautiful as I find His love and grace protecting and encompassing me when I rely on Him to direct my way, step-by-step.

Those foggy parts of my journey – just another example of His AMAZING grace!


Heavenly Father,

 Provider of all our needs, thank you for protecting us from our desire to see way down our pathway.Thank you for cloaking future difficulties, because in our frailty we cannot handle knowing in advance the hardships we are to endure. Thank you for providing the fog of obscurity to help us keep our hand in yours and our eyes solely on you for guidance. We love and adore you and ask for your direction through this day. 




From one approval addict to another

This is a message from one recovering people-pleaser to another.

If you do not understand that opening sentence, you can skip reading this.

If it immediately grabs you, then meditate with me today—-

Always seeking others’ approval was the way I lived until the addiction blasted my life into a gigantic shipwreck during my late twenties and early thirties.

Then God used the disaster to teach me all about my unworthiness and His grace—mercy and forgiveness wrapped in unconditional love.

I continue to be amazed and so thankful at the way God takes even our most terrible choices and decisions and builds new things from the broken lumber of our wrecked ships.

And yet—this is one addiction that still tries to lure me back into slavery. You who are also approval addicts know. You know that it’s a subtle thing. Even when you think you are standing guard, when you say you’ve learned your lesson, when you know that you don’t want to cave in to manipulation—even then, you feel that old call that says, Choose this, and your friend will be happy. Or, Live this way, and you’ll be respected and admired, or Do this, and he will love you more.

Those sneaky, snaky tentacles of desire for approval still rise up within me, and it’s all too easy to succumb to their power.

But today a verse came to me that cut through the power of that desire and made my choices very clear. Paul is writing to the Galatians, and he makes this point: It’s a matter of who we want to serve.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10).

There you have it, plain and simple. We each have to make a choice: Who do you want to be? A servant of Christ, or a slave to the approval of others?

Christ says He came to free us. From all kinds of slavery. When we make choices based on our hunger for the approval of other people, we’re still living under the power of that slavery. If we choose to make Jesus our Lord, then those old powers that controlled us must be broken.

I firmly believe—because I’ve experienced it—that Christ can break those powers and addictions. Yes, I still fight old addictions at times. The enemy has not given up trying to derail me. But Jesus is teaching me His freedom, and I want to belong, totally and whole-heartedly and solely to my King.

It is His approval I seek, more than any other.

He set us free and made us heirs of all He is and has. Why would we choose instead to live as slaves ?

Let us prostrate ourselves before Him, our Creator and Lord, and ask Him to rescue us. Let’s pray for each other.

What wonderful surprises, Lord?

“I have news,” the text said.

A few minutes later, I sat on my friend’s porch, trying to imagine what her news could be.

I knew she was considering a major change in her life, but we had talked about it and it sounded to me like a plan that would take months of just the right timing, the right circumstances, the right conditions—for it all to happen as she hoped.

Her news astounded me. God had stepped in. He had brought about something far beyond anything she had dreamed. Bigger. More wonderful. (I’m tearing up, just typing this.)

And everything happened in just two weeks.

We were both so overwhelmed by it all that we sat sometimes in silence, not even knowing what to say, just trying to grasp how big this development was.

I murmured into one of those silences, “What other wonderful surprises do you have in store for us, Lord?”


Since that evening, the thought has not left me: What if we lived our days with that prayer uppermost in our thoughts–“What wonderful thing do you have for me today, Lord?”

What if I spent more time in eager anticipation of the wonderful surprises God has for me, rather than worrying about what might go wrong, what terrible things might happen, what difficulties I might encounter tomorrow?

What if …?

Imperfect Churches

Feeling a little irritated with the way things are going in your church these days?

Having a hard time with some of the people you’re sitting in worship with on Sundays?

Feeling a little guilty because … well … you know you’re supposed to love your brothers and sisters but …

This post was a great reminder for me to consider God’s perspective on His children–and on me!