Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This is almost an exact copy of a post from my devotion blog, Grace and Salt. I wrote this almost three years ago and I still wonder. Why is it that some commitments stick and most don't?

"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

I've been meditating on commitment for many days now. We seem to live in a culture that has abandoned the concept. When I was young, quitting was a shame — not any more. Husbands and wives quit. Parents quit. Children quit. Christians quit.

I've said before that I've been in church almost my whole life. I started out in the church nursery and I've been everything from a deacon's kid to a bus kid to the preacher's wife. Through the years, I have seen literally thousands kneel at an altar and make a commitment to the Lord. Sadly, without a scientific study, I would say that near 90% of those commitments are abandoned. The person who keeps a vow is the rare exception.

But why?

That question is the base of my meditation and I don't know that I have any answers yet.
What do you think? Why do folks not keep the commitments that they make to the Lord.
I know the basic answers like "the cares of this world," "decisions made in haste," "peer presure." But are those the root reasons?

Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


"From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Psalm 61:2

My Hero and I have been through a valley. It was perhaps longer and darker than most of the valleys we have travelled. In fact, there were times we didn't know if we would make it but we walked on.

At some point in the valley, we talked and decided to live as if we were on the mountain already. It wasn't easy. It didn't come natural. It made a difference.

The easiest thing to do when things are hard is to embrace the sadness. As Christians, we run to the imprecatory Psalms. 

We sit down beside David as he says, "For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate." (Psalm 143:3-4).

We wag our heads and cry out, "Oh, David!! Me, too! Me, too!"

Some of that is necessary. It is good to know that we are not the only ones who have ever hurt so deeply. But it is not good to wallow there.

My Hero and I made a conscious decision to listen to music about how good God is. We chose songs about how blessed we really are. We focused on the great things in our lives.

And we began to heal. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. It was time for us to go higher. We were overwhelmed and needed to get to that rock that is higher.

My Hero once again sits and plays his guitar that had lain silent for literally years. I catch myself singing while I do housework.

We chose to live as though we were through the valley. Are the troubles are gone? Not completely. But our hearts are once again on the mountain.

I have been blessed, God's so good to me,
Precious are His thoughts of you and me.  
No way I could count them there's not enough time,
So I'll just thank Him for being so kind.  
God has been good, so good.  
I have been blessed. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I am big enough! I am strong enough!

Years ago when I was homeschooling my kids, we would go every year to a History Heritage Lab at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe, Kansas. It was by far, one of our favorite field trips.

As you wondered through the hiking trail, you met up with Jacque, a French fur trader from the 1700's. Upon first encounter, Jacque would ask who you were and where you came from and why you were wearing those strange clothes. He then would tell the story of how he became a fur trader. Every year, his uncle would prepare for his fur trading trip down the rivers from French Quebec. Every year Jacque would ask to go along and his uncle would tell him he wasn't ready. Jacque would tell his uncle, "I am big enough! I am strong enough!"

Finally, the year came that Jacque was allowed to go. The first three days almost killed him. He managed to survive and even go on to thrive, but he found out that his uncle had been right before. He had not been big enough. He had not been strong enough.

Way too often, I am like young Jacque. I want to believe that I am big enough and strong enough to handle things. I take off down the river of life alone, and I almost die. Unlike Jacque, I will never be big enough or strong enough in my own power.

I have to constantly remind myself:

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"
2 Corinthians 3:5

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Isaiah 40:29-31

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
John 15:5


"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:7

I have to remember that I am just an earthen vessel and that I absolutely need the Lord to get me through each and every day, and especially the hard days.

Remind me, Lord.