Thursday, January 15, 2009


I slithered out of bed at 5 AM, knocked on the kids' doors, and one of them got up with me to see the lunar eclipse. Wow. No, I didn't take the photo on the left. A guy by the name of Ted Phillips did, and this was how the moon appeared to us. The night before, the family and I had made a trek to Wal-Mart. The full moon lit up the sky like a silver dollar. Cliche, but it did.

Then when we got up at 5 AM, this was how the moon appeared. Dark, brooding, shadowed, mysterious, as if someone had dropped a veil in front of it to block the glow of the sun--oh wait! That was us, on Earth.

Can you imagine what seeing a lunar eclipse meant to those living centuries before us? Yes, I know that scientists finally figured out there are orbits, that the Earth moves around the sun and the moon circles around the Earth. But to the common people, to the superstitious. I wonder if they thought the world was ending, or that the shadowed moon foretold great judgment would befall them. However, they simply didn't understand what was going on in front of their eyes. Then, hours later, the shadow would pass and the silver glow would return.

How many times do we not understand what's going on in front of us? Lord, this is disastrous. Lord, what's going on? I can't see Your goodness. How can this work for Your glory? I just don't understand.

These are the questions and statements that don't surprise our Father at all. It's true. We don't understand. But if we trust Him like we say we do, we'll keep trusting and waiting. Either we believe He's all-powerful and all-knowing, or we don't. How much do we try to figure out, or handle on our own and mess up even worse? I admit there are tough questions, those vicious unanswered why's that echo back. Right now, I try to stop asking, and instead say, "I trust You. The moon is shadowed and it can't mean anything good. But I trust You."

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Sob Story

On Today's Menu:
A Pity Party, With Chips

This is from an old post in the 2005 archives, but it's still relevant today so I thought I'd share it again. Ironically, I can't recall WHO I wrote this about. So their secret's still safe with me...

A friend has a problem, and I desperately want to help her. I believe she wants help, but I wonder why she still goes back and does the same things again and again? My compassion is wearing thin by now. Bear with me for a moment as I think aloud.

As a Christian, I believe I have every answer to every problem I'll ever face. Not in me, of course. I can mess things up quicker than a kid can stuff a PB 'n J sandwich into a DVD player and push "play." I succeed when I surrender to what Jesus wants for me in spite of my feelings, in spite of circumstances and when it seems like the world is spinning out of control. I may go along kicking and screaming, but I'm going along with Him anyway.

What a relief that my faith is not based on "getting it right" so I can achieve "paradise," or whatever other religions may offer. I would be the worst Buddhist, Christian Scientist, etc., (you fill in the blank) if it totally depended on me. But in spite of my failures and occasional cases of the "uglies," there's hope for me because of Christ.

Why then, do I continually see people who live as if there is no hope for them? They profess that they follow Christ and His teachings, they say they believe in the Bible, but the way they deal with their struggles is anything but hope-filled.

So that brings me back to my friend. I wish I could help her, I really do, but until she knows for sure that Jesus is her deliverer and she can be strong in spite of what she's up against, my efforts are futile. All the self-talk and positive thoughts will provide only temporary comfort. She's left with herself and her struggles when the words die out.

Is it any wonder why some choose not to follow Christ? If those of us who do live as though we have no answers, I don't blame them. Then again, when all is said and done, we can't point the finger because so-and-so didn't act like a "Christian."Like when my kids bicker and say, "Well, they're not acting right, so--" No excuses, no sob story, no blame game.

Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:19-20, The Message

Friday, January 02, 2009

For The Tough Times: By Max Lucado

I have to admit, I'm a Max Lucado fan. So when I had the chance to review For The Tough Times, of course I didn't pass up the chance.

Plus, I've had both friends and family going through some really, really tough times. Grief, loss, disappointment. Questions abound when the rug gets ripped out from under you. And when you're in pain, sometimes it's hard to remember the truths that you hear week after week in church.
This book can help remind us of what we know, or ought to know, with chapters titled:
Where is God? [nothing like starting with a biggee]
God's Great Love [something infinite, but beautifully portrayed in this section]
Eyes on the Father
Good Triumphant
The Bitter Taste of Revenge
In the Silence God Speaks
In the Storm We Pray
From God's Perspective
No emotion is left out--anger, regret, sorrow, the questions--and even though my troubles and storms are quiet during this season, I found my own eyes filling with tears as I read.
Not a long book, but enough to comfort. I'm sending my copy to a friend, and buying a few more to give to others as the need arises.
On an aside note: Max Lucado and a TON of other authors (including me) will be at the Christian Book Expo in Dallas March 20-22. What a spring break weekend! What an author line-up! And it's all because of readers. Hey, I'm a fan too, and I'm really looking forward to cruising the exhibit hall after my time at the booth is over.