The Center of the Bible

Do you know what the central verse in the Bible is?

I didn’t.

Now I do, and if you can extrapolate that perhaps the central verse of the whole Bible might be the one thing God wants us to “get,” then it’s worth knowing, even memorizing.


Words and the Power of Life or Death

Have you ever had the same message come into your life twice in one day?

When that happens, I always pay attention.

Today I heard a moving message on Focus on the Family by David Meece about two words his father said to him that killed him, spiritually speaking.

“You’re worthless.”

That’s what David’s father told him when he was 10 years old, as the father held a gun to his head. “At that moment,” David said, “I didn’t care if he pulled the trigger.”

His father had already killed something in his spirit, and he didn’t care to live.

(To listen to the whole compelling story, Continue reading “Words and the Power of Life or Death”

Joys of Summer?

lavender and daisiesI admit:  Summer is not my favorite season.

Not when it’s so hot and humid there are heat warnings. When I dread the relief of thunderstorms because most all of them all summer have meant water in the house and power outages that keep us bailing our sump pump and spending the weekends at Home Depot trying to solve this water issue.

HOWEVER, determined not to overlook the gifts of summer, I started a list. After you read mine, will you add a few items of your own by commenting, please? Let’s not let ourselves fail to appreciate the abundant gifts specifically of summer.

Abundant Gifts of Summer

  • fresh fruit: watermelon, ice cold on a summer day; cantaloupe, Michigan peaches, strawberries, and my favorite, blueberries–especially when picked fresh on an outing with a friend, or given to me by my son who thoughtfully bought 5 packages on sale because he knew they were my favorite fruit
  • garden produce, especially zucchini (I make a mean Italian-style fried zucchini dish) and tomatoes (the only time to eat them is in season, in my opinion)
  • flowers: the amazing variety of color and shape
  • light before 6 a.m.
  • air conditioning (a godsend when it works)
  • warm gentle rains (I do remember one, anyway, that was lovely)
  • the color green
  • birds and their songs (I saw a bluebird–only the second time I’ve seen one in my life. He was gorgeous!)
  • pools and lakes and oceans to swim in

And …? What particular gifts of summer are you thankful for?

What to Expect in the New Year

Happy New Year!

One of the highlights of Christmas this year also sheds a little light on what I think we can expect from God in the coming year.

It was my son’s gift to his sister.

David loves to give gifts. I’m sure it’s his “language of love.” For Mother’s Day, he bought me a wonderful digital camera. This Christmas, he bought Christine an ipod.

I think what he loves most of all is the look of surprised joy when the recipient opens the present: “You bought this for ME?!”

That’s probably why he wrapped Christine’s ipod in a very special way. Knowing she would immediately guess if he just wrapped the package it came in, he put it in a bigger box. Wrapped it. Then he put that into a very large box and wrapped it (all by himself, I might add).

Yes, she was surprised–and joyful.

I can’t help but think that God likes to Continue reading “What to Expect in the New Year”

Through the Storm … The Impossible Path

When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
—Psalm 77:15-20 (NLT)

When God acts, he makes a road where eon one dreamed a road could possibly be–through the sea! A storm can be all around, a fierce storm that lights up all the world and shakes the earth. Yet God is in control of the storm and he makes that impossible pathway for his people. Trust this God in your storm; believe his is making a pathway no one knew was there, and that he is providing leaders to take your through the road.

(Note: If you liked this short meditation on Psalm 77, you will enjoy Abundant Gifts from the Word, a daily devotional sent to you via email. Sign up at

“Abundant Gifts from the Word” Daily Devotionals Now Available

For nearly 2 years now, I have been writing daily devotionals for Today’s Christian Woman’s online site that are delivered via email. They are reportedly their most-opened email newsletter.

I am pleased to make those available to you as well, as “Abundant Gifts from the Word.”

Every day, until you decide to stop it, you can receive a very brief meditation on a Scripture taken from the New Living Translation (NLT).

I can’t tell you how I myself have been blessed in writing these.

Every morning, I pray that God would open my heart to the truths he wants me to see and pass on, open my Bible, read and start writing.

Each meditation is 100 words or less.

People have told me that this is the one email they make sure they read every day. They write and tell me how much a particular message blessed them.

I can honestly say that nothing has blessed me, strengthened me, or given me more joy than God’s Word. My prayer is that you, too, will fall in love with God more through his Word.

Just go to to read some samples and sign up.

(By the way, there is no charge for these. Freely I’ve been given, freely I give.)

What Do We Really Need to Do to Be Close to God?

I’ve been attending an amazing Bible study taught by a woman in my church, Cathy Deddo, who does “manuscript studies.” That’s where the Bible passages are printed out in manuscript form, no verses delineated, just lines for reference points.

We’re studying the Gospel of John. I would like to share insights from this study here on this blog.

One of the life-transforming truths I’m gleaning from John is the whole idea of abiding (from John 15). “There is only one vine, Jesus, and we can either choose to remain connected to it, or we can cut ourselves off from it. The main thing we need to do as Christians is abide in the vine.”

Recently, I spent time with a friend who, I discovered, follows a “spiritual master” and wakes at 3 a.m. to meditate for 4 hours. “Why?” I asked, amazed.

“Well, you know,” she said. “If you want to be close to God, there are certain things you have to do to get there.”

I said, “Not really. All I think I’m asked to do is abide.”

I believe this is the great Good News of the Christian message. We really do not have to do anything. Religion says you have to follow all these rules. But Jesus said, “Abide in me, the same way you’ve seen me abiding in my Father. You see our relationship, one of complete trust. Now trust me, abide in me, the same way. It’s all about relationship. I am the vine, you are the branches. Just abide in me, and the rest comes naturally, like fruit from a vine that is rooted in good soil.”

One thing abiding means, I’m discovering, is that I don’t have to try to give anything I have not first received from Jesus. Like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, the main thing is to listen first. Martha was all agitated by everything she had to do. Mary first sat and listened, and Jesus said she chose the better way.

Perhaps Mary then got up and helped Martha. Peacefully. Full. Able to give, able to do, because first she listened. First she remained at Jesus’ feet.

Abide. Abide in God’s love. Isn’t that simple? Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t that freeing?