Thursday, December 07, 2006

Power Scource

I finally got to a project this morning that I have been meaning to do for some time now. My paper shredder was jammed. It was a birthday gift from my children, and while some might think it an odd gift to give your mother, my children know me well.

As a writer I am attracted to anything that has to do with paper. I love the beginning of school season. My children are grown and most of them have children of their own, so while I am mildly interested in the beginning of the school year, it does not have much impact on my life. No, I just love all the paper supplies that appear prominently in the stores at that time of the year. A tablet: new, blank paged, represents for me all the promise of a wonderful story or poem; a good look at reality or an escape from anything remotely true. There is no telling what will end up on that paper. The promise of a clean slate on which to begin is intoxicating.

And so: a birthday paper shredder. The clean slate image again I suppose. With a simple push of the button all mistakes disappear into a black basket; out of sight, out of mind. The slate is once again empty and full of promise. (The delete button on my computer does not give the same satisfaction for some reason. Perhaps it happens too quickly and without the physical pleasure of watching the cutters completely dismantle the displeasing text.)

I am mechanical in some ways. It’s a good thing, too, because my husband is not. One time, as he was getting ready to take the car in to have the oil changed, I suggested that it might be a whole lot cheaper if he would do it himself.

“You’re not stupid.” I said. “And, in fact, if you wanted to, you could even make your living as a mechanic.”

“And you could make yours as a cook,” was his ready reply. Touché.

Anyway, I figured I could fix my shredder if I tried. People fix these things and I am a person. I had already tried to get the jam out numerous times with a variety of objects and no success. Still, what if the offending wad that jammed my machine were wet? Would I be able to move a soggy mass as opposed to a dry one?

The first step was to unplug the machine. As I removed the screws that secured the shredding apparatus together I was careful not to cut my self on the jagged blades. Have you ever opened up one of those things? Frightening. To make a long story a little shorter I did manage to outwit the jam. By dripping water on the clog, and using a screwdriver, an eyebrow tweezers and my Pampered Chef scissors (don’t ask) I got the obstruction out.

The machine is reassembled. I am waiting for it to dry out before I plug it back in, but something occurred to me during the procedure. Jesus told His followers often that prayer is the key to the Father’s blessings. Prayer has been compared to electricity. When something that is powered by electricity is not plugged in it doesn’t work. In the same way a person or church that is not “plugged in” to prayer will not work either.

The thing that struck me this morning is that if my shredder had been plugged in to the outlet, I would not have fixed my shredder (Hopefully....I still haven’t tried it.) The thing is, I would not even have tried to fix it. I’m not stupid. I don’t mess with that kind of power.

Satan is more daring. Jesus tells us that the devil is always skulking around looking for a person or church to devour, and if you want to protected from these attacks, be a person or church of prayer. I assure you, if you are tapping into God’s power with a steady stream of prayer the devil isn’t going to devour you.

Watch and pray. And become one of the people or one of the places where Satan cannot win. I glanced often at that cord to assure myself the power was truly off as I worked amidst those wicked blades, and the devil, your enemy, is going to check back frequently to see if you are still “plugged in.”

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 17

P.S. I just tried the shredder. It does work, but so far only in reverse. (What’s the deal on that?)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Project

I'm taking an advanced writers course on-line and am falling behind. I did just have a devotion published in Reflections, an-online magazine. I am also a regular contributer to the e-zine, I've been writing a Sunday drama for our church for the past seven years, so I am writing. Still, I want to do the exercises, so I need to catch up. Three other writers and I finished a booklet of devotions aimed at soldiers serving far from home. It is on-line at At least that project is complete.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Terror Threat

Does anyone else see a world-wide treat emerging? Fundamental Islamic extremists are busy everywhere and we act as though this is no big deal. It is a big deal.

The British are waking up and are tracking multiple cells of home grown terrorists. But we seem to think we are immune.

When these people state that they hate America and all it stands for then the threat to Somolia affects us. The threat to Iraq and Afganistan and Isreal affects us. Hello. Anybody out there listening?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Yesterday's election results, consistant across the whole nation, must mean something. Being a Republican, it was, of course, a big defeat. It makes me ashamed, though, of the senators and congressmen who, working with a President from their own party, did so little with that power to do good for their nation. I am almost (not quite) ready to say kick them all out. The Democrats did that in rousing fashion, and I can't say I blame them. The saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is appropriate here. Lets the Democrats beware, however. They now have the headiness of being the party in power. Let's see how they fare.

The real sadness is that Missouri passed the stem cell amendment to their constitution. I have read parts of that document, and using a phrase from Jesus, all I can say is, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And an electorate that votes on emotion rather than ethics or even facts will have this thing come back to haunt them.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Time Flies

Since I last wrote in my blog I have been to Texas for my neice's wedding and have a new grandson. Both are momentus events. And yet life just seems to go on. Day follows day. Fletcher Stephen Wilson is almost a month old already. Can we redeem the days? Is there a way to make them slow down, or at least count for something?
I guess, like Soloman, I have come to realize, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12: 13.

Or as the old saying goes:
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My internet service was out for the past day and a half. I cannot believe how dependent I am on my computor. It was a frustrating feeling. Anyway, I am up and running and a lot less crabby today. Is that how God feels when we "unplug" from Him? When He is trying to communicate with us and we are just "offline?"

"I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, "We will not listen." Jeremiah 6:17

I must resolve to stay connected.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Funny Response

I got an e-mail from Mike who has become our high school class reporter. We usually write him knowing he forwards most stuff to the rest of the class. Well, he posted pictures of one of our classmates, Dan, diving off a high cliff (seven times higher than a high board at a swimming pool, he claims). We graduated from high school more than forty years ago, so you can guess this guy's age.

What was really funny was Jerry's(another classmate), response: "You know you're a redneck if you have at least one relative who has said "Hey, watch this" just before he died."

It made me laugh, anyway.

Friday, August 18, 2006

God's Surprise

I often post my writing on and yesterday I received a message from an on-line Christian website editor asking if I would be willing to be a paid freelance writer for them. How wonderful is that? I have been praying that God would use me like a good little branch as I rested in Him, and had no idea what He had in mind for me. Wow.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. " Ephesians 3:20,21.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Day Off

Yesterday I packed a picnic lunch and drove to nearby Stillwater, MN for the day. It was a hot summer day and felt like I was on vacation for real. Stillwater is a quaint, yet vibrant city on the St. Croix river, complete with tourist attractions and a lift bridge. I even witnessed the bridge raising up to let a vessal through. Mosly I sat at a picnic table at riverside, ate my lunch, read a book and worked a puzzle or two in my sudoku puzzle book.

It reminded me of a number of things. The value of vacations. The beauty of nature. Time alone and without distractions brings God often to mind. And what a priviledge is is to live in this free country.

If you are failing to set aside days or hours like this in your life, I urge you to do so. Don't be too busy to reflect, and pray, and replenish.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


My daughter, Sarah, just dropped by to pick up Bradley's stroller that she left here yesterday. She said she was on the way to the mall, because one of our favorite stores is having a 70% off the sale price sale.

Curiously, I found myself not too interested. I am in a non-spending, non commercial mode. Partly it is because I have been deliberately working less this summer. I would much rather have time than money right now. But, partly, I hope, my accumulation glands are waning in strength. I feel I have lost some of my appetite for "things". I don't know if it is a sign of maturity or old age, but it is a peacful feeling and I am glad to be in this stage.

Will it last? I'm not sure, but I do not spend much time shopping anymore. I find the less goods I see the less I want, and there is a time for everything. Apparently, for me, anyway, it is not currently the time to shop.

Monday, August 14, 2006

God go with you.

We went to the farewell for Kevin, our church camp directer, on Sunday. Kevin is a example of servanthood. He is a humble, peaceful, and yet strong leader. We will not be able to measure, this side of heaven, the impact his faithful following of Christ has had on hundreds of camp counselors and thousands of campers. He is going to take a position as a professor, teaching the teachers, and his work will continue to be a gift to the church, only now in a different setting.

Anyway, I left my Bible at camp, and I feel a little adrift without it. I know we have other Bibles, many as a matter of fact, and I have Paul's sitting here on my desk. Still, I want my Bible.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bible Reading

Paul and are are on our second year of reading through the Bible together. It is very good to see the whole story unfold. We are currently in Isaiah, and his predictions of the coming Messiah are so real you think he had to have been there. We have been using Halley's Bible commentary as a companion. Halley puts the books and chapters in historical context. Anyway, it has been good for us, and makes us see, once again, how essential it is to be in the Word on a daily basis.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Leviticus 17: 11 NIV

Do you remember the old gospel song about the blood of Jesus?
It begins like this:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Andrew Murray wrote a wonderful book called The Power of the Blood of Christ.
In the book, this dedicated man of God traces the story of the power of blood to atone for sins. Starting in Genesis and continuing through Revelation. there is no stronger theme throughout the Bible.

From animal sacrifices that required the shedding of the blood of animals to the ultimate fulfilling of God’s plan of redemption through the shedding of the blood of His only Son the message is constant.

The writer of Hebrews 9:22 states, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:12 says of Jesus, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption”.
Precious, indeed is the blood of Jesus. And when we approach the throne of God we’ll gladly sing that gospel song for it says what is in our hearts:

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, we come seeking forgiveness for our many sins through Your Son, Jesus Christ, knowing that You receive us only because the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. May Your Holy Spirit work such faith in our hearts that we are ever aware of your love toward us, and ever mindful of the great sacrifice that was necessary for the forgiveness of our sins. We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

RE: Prayer

I found this on a site talking about the life Of Andrew Murray a great prayer warrier and wanted to save it, so here it is:

It was the outcome of a conference of ministers at Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 11-14,1912. The occasion of the conference was as follows: Professor de Vos, of our Theological Seminary, had written a letter to the ministers of our church (Dutch Reformed Church) concerning the low state of spiritual life which marked the Church (universal) generally, which, (he said), ought to lead to the inquiry as to how far that statement included our church too. What had been said in the book, The State of the Church, called for deep searching of heart. He thought there could be no doubt about the truth of the statement in regard to the lack of spiritual power.....

The Lord graciously so ordered it that we were gradually led to the sin of prayerlessness as one of the deepest roots of the evil. No one could plead himself free from this. Nothing so reveals the defective spiritual life in minister and congregation as the lack of believing and unceasing prayer. Prayer is in very deed the pulse of the spiritual life. It is the great means of bringing to minister and people the blessing and power of heaven. Persevering and believing prayer means a strong and an abundant life.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


It is so encouraging to have feedback on things you have written. I occasionally post pieces on the website Today I received a note from a fellow writer and that gives me the desire to continue to write. Most often I write because I need to put thoughts into words, and because I find that it builds my own faith. It comes as a welcome surprise to find I have touched others as well. Anyway, it made my day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Writer's Prayer

Holy God, Creator of language and words, as the Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures through the pens of holy men, so, too, help me to put thoughts on paper that glorify You. Give me words that edify and build up the body of Christ.

Even as You sent the Word to dwell among us that many would be saved, may the words I write concerning Jesus Christ prompt the hearts and minds of many to turn to You. Keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith that, as an author of books and devotions and stories and skits, all I write may be but a reflection of You.

Made in Your image I cannot but create. Thank You for this priveledge and this gift. Give me words that You would say, so that others would read these good words and glorify the Father in heaven. I ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.


I recently read about a man who was a collector of diaries and an avid diary writer himself. He said he made sure he did somthing special everyday, so that he would have something to write about each evening. Not a bad way to live. I think I will try to write something everyday so I have something to read and edit each evening. Daily devotions seem a good start. So here is the first.

O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33: 2. NIV

I went to a funeral of a 22-year-old boy this past Friday. It was very sad. He died doing the stupid stuff that young people do in their exuberent way of living. He drowned doing stupid stuff, and his family and friends are left reeling from the blow.

I identify with the mother. Not to the extent that I know what she is really going through, but I try to imagine, "What if that had been my son?" I think much of the sadness in times like this is our ability to sense not only the fragility of life, but the vulnerability of those of us left behind. What if that had been my family member or friend? How would I survive that loss?

The above verse in Isaiah is a ready prayer times like these. We need God to be gracious to us. There is so much harshness to grief. We long for Him, because we're pretty sure His strength is the only thing that is going to see us through the day. And we need that strength right away in the morning or we might not even make it out of our beds of weeping.

And as for being our salvation in time of distress, well, those of you who do not know the Lord Jesus as you personal savior could write books about distress with no rescue in sight. As for me, I have a rescuer in place, one who has promised to save me in the midst of my distress.

Isaiah 33: 2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. Amen

A start

To God all praise and glory.