Saturday, January 23, 2010


This poem is based on the cities of refuge provided for the Israelites as a place of safety if there had been an accidental death or unplanned murder. If the priest agreed, the refugee was given permission to safely reside in that town, so long as he followed certain rules. [More details, but if you're curious, look it up.] The cities of refuge are symbolic of how the blood of Jesus provides "forever refuge." [I also have this as a song.] [I'm still struggling a bit with posting adjustments...this doesn't have the spacing my original piece has. Oh, well.]


I was fleeing for my life
I could see the city gates
Open to enfold and bring me in.
Behind me, on the pathway,
My enemy pursued me,
Intending to destroy me for my sin.

Oh, Blessed place of Refuge
I Cried, Oh, Refuge City,
My only hope was found
within your walls.
Before the priest I trembled
and pled my case for mercy
I knew before this judge I’d stand or fall.


I was fleeing for my life,
Fleeing to the Blood of Refuge
Shed by Jesus Christ, it drew me in.
Behind me on the pathway
My Enemy pursued me,
Accusing and condemning me for sin.

Oh, Blessed Man of Refuge,
I cried, Oh, Blessed Savior,
My only hope is through
Your cleansing Blood.
Before my Priest I worshiped
He pled my case for mercy--
Freedom came through
His Redeeming Love.

And now I walk in Freedom,
I daily walk in Freedom,
Rejoicing as I look upon His face.
The Refuge I once cried for,
The Refuge Jesus died for,
Enfolded me within the walls of Grace.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


While reading Luke 9 this morning, I was drawn to the verses that talk about Jesus "setting his face" towards Jerusalem. Isaiah 50:7 refers to setting a face like flint. It reminded me of the times when I actually have that same sense and I know the Lord has called me to do something outside my normal pattern, my comfort zone.

When the "flinty face" happens, my understanding has grown that it is God's way of telling me I'm headed into a tough situation or onto an unfamiliar path and I must not let fear, or other interfering emotions, deter me from "following my face."

Two examples:

Six years ago He laid it on me big time to go to Soroti, Uganda, to help in the rebel/IDP situation . I felt very insecure at first. Not the "going", because I'm nearly always ready and willing to do that, but having no idea how I could help in a war zone; I'm definitely not a medical person, which was the obvious need. From the beginning of the "call" -- so intense and specific -- I could, at certain times, feel my face becoming "flinty". Occasionally during the stretch between the "call" in early September, until my arrival in Uganda in mid-November, if someone told me they disapproved of what I was planning and they didn't believe I'd heard correctly, I felt my face tighten and harden ... and it wasn't because I was torked at the person who was challenging me. It was simply because the Lord was making sure I didn't let anything, or anyone, interfere with His instructions.

When I reached Uganda, while resting and prepping and hanging out with my many Ugandan family and friends at a ministry location, a hundred miles or so from Soroti, one of the organization's leaders told me I seemed "too determined" and he couldn't guarantee they would help me or allow me to help them. While he was talking to me, I felt my face tighten, and I, basically, told him whether they approved or not, I was going because that was what God had called me to do. Period. He said I was being too inflexible, but I knew "flint" doesn't flex. Within a few days he had "caved" to my desires and for part of my time, I did work with and for them. My time in Soroti was one of the hardest -- if not THE hardest -- ministry stretches I've ever faced, even though I met many wonderful pastors, international aide workers, and locals. I returned home in mid February and was in emotional and physical recovery for several months. However, not once did I question whether I was in the right place at the right time. [And, thankfully, neither did my dear husband, who had to walk through the pre-, actual, and post- results of the "call."]

The most recent "flint" occurred in July. The Lord called me to drive a truck from Omaha to New Hampshire. I had never driven anything diesel; I had never driven anything that long/large; I had never driven through much of that part of the country. I had several scary driving situations due to weather, my inexperience, other folks' popping their cars around the truck and startling me. "Help me, Jesus" was hollered hundreds of times, I'm sure. And, if He hadn't responded, not only would the household belongings in the truck have been damaged, but quite possibly my body. Also, while driving, I could sense that not only was I crossing "state" lines, but crossing spiritual lines. The spiritual discernment gift of mine that's a little on the weak side much of the time was greatly sensitized. Knowing these things really kept me on constant alert. After 3 very long 12-to-15- hour driving days, I reached there in good condition, other than exhausted, and, miraculously, nothing in the truck was damaged.

Quite often I "feel" the Lord wants me to go somewhere and I prepare for the trip. During the prep time, I usually move cautiously to make sure I'm not just in a mood to "run away from home" -- away from the frustrations and everydayness of life.

-- And then there are those other times... those amazing times .... when my face turns to flint.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


A couple weeks ago, the Lord laid it on me to study Luke... for an unrevealed stretch of time. Maybe for this whole year. Not exactly certain why, and it's rare that I'm put under that sort of pressure to study something "Gospel" or "NT", since I'm usually buried in prophets and psalms and history. A few small pieces have buzzed out at me, but the other day one jumped out and really hit me.

Luke 5:15-16 -- Amplified. But so much the more the news spread abroad concerning Him, and great crowds kept coming together to hear [Him] and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.

But He Himself withdrew [in retirement] to the wilderness (desert) and prayed.

This reveals one of my besetting sins. Wanting to keep jumping in to help people walk through, or be healed of, their "infirmities" -- body, soul, or spirit.

But Jesus withdrew Himself to the wilderness, and prayed.

Oh, my!! What a concept. Withdraw and pray, without jumping in and "fixing" -- controlling? -- "helping" -- doing what's "obviously" needed. [As my dear husband has described my knee-jerk responses to many crises ... throwing myself on other people's grenades.]

What a daily struggle for me! Withdrawing to pray, seek my Father's heart, hear His clear instructions, touch [spiritually speaking] only those He indicates ... even if I don't know how they will respond. Realizing it's not my business to know the ultimate result. My only "business" is to do what He calls me to do. Period.

And how would I know what He calls me to do? Listen.

How to hear His voice? Pray.

How to pray in that way? Withdraw to a "wilderness", "desert",
quiet room, closet.

To "Be" Jesus.

My prayer: "Come, Lord Jesus, fill me, and give me the courage and discipline to follow Your pattern."

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I wrote this prose/poem a few weeks ago, didn't like it, forgot about it. Was dumping my paper trash into the recycle bag this morning and saw this on the back of a story I'd written, pulled it out, re-read it, and thought... "Ehh... it ain't perfect, but it's true." So, here it be...

That I may know You...
lift You high above
the struggles, trials, and tests of life.
...praise You first, second and third,
and forever
for the Salvation You provided
for all [and, amazingly, for ME!!] You through the darkness
rejoice through the light --
Your Light --
that floods
my life, my soul, my spirit.
to know You
the Key to Life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I was reading the Word this morning, my schedule having me committed to reading one of my least favorite Books, Ecclesiastes. While reading I spent time rolling my eyes and shaking my head at the verses and Solomon's thought patterns, and trying to stay on track, and I suddenly was "out there", my brain wandering. I honestly can't remember which verse tugged me this direction, but I suddenly thought "why do I always want to go places... why do I struggle when I'm sitting at home for such a long stretch?" Then I remembered. My personal slogan for life, in place many years ago, was:

Go new places, see new things, meet new people.

That's it. Even though it's not all connected to trips to other parts of the world, and I LOVE my house, and I've experienced a lot of those elements here on trips around the States, I most often think of my international wanderings. So...

that's why I enjoyed Costa Rica, was excited when visiting England, lived happily [most of the time] in Uganda and absolutely marveled at Morocco. Lots and lots of wonderful sights and sounds. Sweet, caring people. Creative thinking and plans. Innovations to fit into life as it's moving forward. Coming up with ways to share the Lord without bringing His name into the mix, but simply showing concern and love.

When I'm home, trapped in the everyday routines of life, it is easy for me to become bored and feel I simply don't fit. Yes, I realize "God is bigger" and I am content to walk on the path He has chosen for me. I never consider it an option to be disobedient to His will for me at any moment. But I do look forward to the times when He opens a new, unwalked-upon path for me to begin a jaunt ... and can live my motto:

go new places, see new things, meet new people.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I wrote this in Oct., '01, when I was on a trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Marais, MN. I was recovering from a surprising depression that slammed me near the end of September over the 9/11 attacks. My husband is just the best... and after nearly 25 years, my thoughts re: him haven't changed a heartbeat, even with all the challenges that come with life and create unexpected stresses. I am so grateful to the Lord for dropping him into my life. The first line is linked to the fact that my son, when my husband was going to bless me and send me off, shook his head in amazement that I had the gumption to hit the road when much was happening at home that needed my time, attention and help. I packed up rapidly and hit the road and was gone for several days. [BTW, when I typed this poem out, I put it in the order/manner I wanted. When I hit "preview" it turned the "poem" into a "paragraph" -- so much to learn. But rather than risk losing it, I'll just pop it your way. So I just threw in the "dashes" to show some division. AAKK!!]

"You hug your husband, and tell him you appreciate him," Steve, my wise son said. -----

I did -- and I do. ----

"I'm sending you my representative," Abba said to me Those years ago. ----

And in the season of robins and lilacs, You bounced through my door -- One of a group. -----

For some reason, I noticed. And weeks later "we" noticed --

And then we got married. [Just about that fast --
and that shocking -- And scary!!] -----

[Because the world would never have put us together, But Abba did.] -----

You were not who I expected -- I was a surprise to you. [I still am sometimes, I think.] -----

But if I know nothing else in this life to be true,
I know my Abba sent his representative. ----