Tag Archives: Bible

When did God Start to Love Me?


When did You start to love me, Father?  When I made my first confession of faith?  Or the thirty-second one?  Was it when I got seriously committed to my Bible-reading plan or more regular in my times of extended prayer?

Because it seems earlier.  I have known Your love as I have received each grandchild into my arms for the first time.  I have understood Your devotion in raising my children from the first to the last, all the way until it was finished.  When they were birthed from my body into the world, I grasped the glorious moment of man’s creation as “heaven and earth” passed through me.  At the altar of marriage I sensed the abiding gift of Your love over my life – mine to receive.

So when did You begin to love me?

Zechariah 12.1  Was it when You stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth, could You already comprehend the spirit You would form in me?

Ecclesiastes 11.5  Was it when you were forming my body in my mother’s womb – just as surely as You created the paths for the winds?

Psalm 139.13-16  Or was it when You created my inmost being, as You were knitting me together in my mother’s womb?

Could it have been before that, even?  Did You already “get” me, decide to love me when I was being made in the ‘secret place,’  woven together in the depths of the earth, where already, You understood the look, the frame of me?

Before even one of my days had come to be, You had already written the book, told the story of my life – every single day of it.  Did You like what You had written?  Could You see me as a character You loved and wanted to follow?  You are my Author.  Are You finishing my story in a way that brings You joy?

Job 10.8-12  You gave me life and watched over my spirit, the soul of me,  even as Your hands touched me, shaped me like clay and molded and made me.  When You were knitting me together and clothing me with skin and flesh – is that when You began to love me?

Isaiah 49.1-2  Before I was even born You called me and at my birth You named me.  You gave me unmistakeable characteristics.  Why?

Jeremiah 1.4-5  Before I was even born, You set me apart and made an appointment for my life.  Before I was born You knew me.  You knew me.  How?  How did You know?

When did You start to love me?

Galatians 1.15-16   Was it when you set me apart from birth, calling me by Your grace?  Is this when You started loving me?

I don’t know when.  I cannot comprehend how.  But I am so thankful for Your love.  That You – so loved – even me.

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered.  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, You are still with me.”  Psalm 139. 17-18  NLT

Five Hundred


This is my 500th blog post!  Very cautiously and nervously entering the blog world in November of 2006, I find I can now blather endlessly about the minutia of my life, even sharing my most embarrassing moments in the mix.

blogging  blogging1

But still, I write it for my children and family.  That has always been the point.  And because my mom likes it.  But mostly for my children.

Because between the silly and the mundane, I have also exposed and cast down sin as it has been revealed to me.  I have spoken truths almost too unbearable to reveal in the light of day and I have written the things that someday they will look back on and read and see as an altar, a guidepost and landmark – the place where the truth of heaven was spoken and remembered in my life.  And it will become for them, eventually, if not now, the wisdom that will keep them on the right path.

“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”  Proverbs 22.28 NKJV

The coolest thing now, though, is realizing a promise of God to me in my lowest hour – that there would also be spiritual children, that I would be increased and multiplied, that I will continue to be vigorous and bear fruit in old age.  And true to His promise, my family enlarges (it has even happened through this blog!).  My capacity to love is increased.

So, for the children I know and the ones I have yet to meet, I write.  And I write. 

And I write what I have heard, what I have seen with my own eyes, what I have observed, and what I have touched with my own hands in the hopes that these things will be received in the spirit with which they are given and that they will, in some measure increase your joy (1 John 1.1-4).  May your joy be ever full!

Graphomaniacally yours…Jeanie/mom

NOTE TO SELF: “It is written…” was even for Jesus, a touchstone of proof, a declaration of the “fixedness of the divine record” to the faithfulness of God.  Make my written words nothing less, Lord…

How we all know you’re a Sabbath-breaker

This is how EVERYONE (especially your spouse) will know you are not keeping a holy day (one of God’s greatest gifts for us):

  1. You will not be able to see, nor understand what God is up to in your life.  You will feel defeated and exasperated at every setback or delay.  You will frantically try to push against circumstances and curse what you cannot conquer.
  2. You won’t hear God’s voice.  You’ll hear from TV, radio, e-mail, advertisers, Linkedin, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Blackberries, Blueberries, I-pods and MP3s, but you won’t be able to discern what God is saying for direction.  You’ll be confused, overloaded and over-connected.
  3. You’ll be spiritually dried up.  You cannot fake green, healthy growth, nor a fresh Word from the Word.
  4. Your body will be weakened and you will grow old faster than you should be.  You’ll know when you see your eyes in the mirror.  Who are you kidding?
  5. You’ll have a sense of rootlessness, as if you have been pulled from the place you were once planted.  You won’t know where you belong.
  6. There will be no fruitfulness right now.  You’ll have only the past to point back to.
  7. You can’t praise your way out of a paper bag and even though you consider yourself a witness for Jesus, you are not in any way, shape, or form evidence of Jesus Christ and His grace in your life.

Why are you the one exception to the need for a Sabbath, a day set-apart, holy to the Lord?  Why are you exempt from receiving the blessing God set up for you to refresh, renew, restore, re-establish, and rest?  It doesn’t have to be like this.

The simple solution.

Work 6.  Rest 1.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 4.9-11

“There remains…”  Check out the previous verses to see WHY it remained – and don’t do that!

Wait until I tell you what I have been learning from Psalm 92!!!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  I wonder if people can tell I have been cheating here and there…:{  Don’t ask Dave.  PLEASE!

UPDATE FROM JEANIE/2-26: Yes, maybe I should have called this post, “How everybody knows when I am a Sabbath-breaker,”  but hey, *SMILE!  Especially if you are connected all the ways I mentioned in #2 above, because then, you truly are ON CANDID CAMERA!  Everybody sees you-by your choice!  And they all know.  Hehehe…And it takes one to know one.

Lover of My Soul

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”  Ps 19.7

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul…”  Ps 23.2-3a

“I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.”  Ps 31.7

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ Your love, O LORD, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me,  Your consolation brought joy to my soul.”  Ps 94.18, 19

“Be at rest once more, o my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.  For You, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.”  Ps 116.7-8

Charles Wesley’s famous hymn called Jesus the “Lover of my soul,” and painting a picture of raging waters and a “storm of life” asks, even pleads with Jesus to be his refuge, his hiding place.

But this morning I am singing an older hymn – my current favorite “oldie” written sometime in the 1700’s:  Be Still, My Soul.  Amy Grant has an a m a z i n g rendition of it!

The soul, they say say, is the mind, the will and the emotions part of us.  It is the center of the human personality and at times we think if we could just get past that part of ourselves, we could really serve God, be faithful, be holy.  But I really think Jesus is the Lover of our souls.  I think that is the part of us He created that brings Him a lot of joy.  For even though that is where the anguish and battle of self-rule try to rage, the soul is also the part of us that makes the decision to repent. 

Does He love me?  All of me?  Does He love the mind He created in me?  Does He love my emotions?  Does He love my very personality?  Does some of it need a workover?  Oh, yes, at times.  But we are spirit, soul and body – and He made all of that – on purpose.  He is the lover of my soul.

Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side
Bear patienty the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul, thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still my soul the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt here below…


Robin, my brother Joe’s wife, is one of my closest friends.  I wish I could explain why, in a way that would validate it and at least bring it some redemption, we weren’t close friends for about 23 or 24 years. Not even friends, really.  Just sister-in-laws with the emphasis on the in-law part. Intimidated by her smarts, her insights and my own stupidity, I held her at arm’s length.  Other than knowing the enemy didn’t ever want to see us in agreement, hearts filled with love in God-pleasing unity – there isn’t a good reason.  It was a waste of time.  I tell her now, “I am so sorry for the years we missed.  Please forgive me.”  Now she is a treasured friend, confidante and truly a sister of my heart (not to mentioned a really anointed and insightful Bible teacher).


She emailed me this encouragement yesterday (with just the tiniest bit of editing to protect the innocent):

I think you need to press on. That is my word to your from my own experience. I have allowed despair to thwart forward motion…despair paralyzes [people who] then tuck all hopes and dreams in a little pocket for the good times. It never happens. [The question is] how to rise above and do what we are called to do in the midst of hurt, hopelessness and despair, but I know we are to do it. I am not sure why this Scripture stood out to me this morning but I am thinking it may help both of us.

 Mt. 11:19 – “But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it.” NLT

Contextually, John the Baptist, in prison, sends his disciples out to find out if Christ is really the Messiah.  Remember, he saw the dove. Why would he wonder now? I think John the Baptist is completely confused by the fact that he is in prison. Why me and why this. 

A little further on Jesus says, “For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he fasted and you say, he’s demon possessed. I, the Son of Man, feast and drink and you say, He’s a glutton and a drunkard and a friend of the worst sinners.”  Then he says “But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it.”

Sometimes in life, nothing makes sense. Decisions we make to do something for God seem completely out of the norm and make no sense to the others…Just like Jesus said, they are going to say whatever, but in the end, the wisdom will prove itself by the results. I realize it is so hard to trust what you believe God is saying and just do it, but I say, do it. The results will prove the wisdom in it.

Anyway, just a thought or so….love you.. Robin



I am so blessed, Robin.  Thanks for hanging in there with me…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Beg God to restore the years the locust has eaten.  It is ridiculous to live without the beauty of the relationships we could be having…

pictured: some business cards Stormie was helping Robin put together.  Not sure which one she finally chose (or if i was a combination of a couple), but I obviously love the red one on the bottom and that charcoal gray and red one on the top right!

Easy like Sunday Morning

You children of the 70s will recognize the title of this blog referencing the song, “Easy” by the Commodores.  Frankly, church girl that I was, I couldn’t relate to the metaphor of Sunday being easy back then because Sundays were the hardest day of the week (Sunday morning church, people for Sunday dinner, choir practice at 4, Sunday night church, etc), but it was intriguing.

Sometimes I still cannot grasp the truth of what Jesus said about life following Him – that to follow Him would be to find rest for our souls (our minds, our wills, our emotions – our very personalities!)  He even said that His yoke (which was a wooden beam used to tie two oxen together as they trudged forward in their very hard labor) would be easy.  Easy.  Seriously?  When?  Where?

What is the essence of what Jesus really said?  Well, here it is 3 ways (Mt. 11.28-30):

Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  NIV

Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to Me.  Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of graceI won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” THE MESSAGE

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-ladened and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls].  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.  THE AMPLIFIED

Following Jesus is following REST!

Following Jesus and His plan for my days is NOT: ill-fitting (having a job to do but being stripped of the resources or authority to do it), heavy, harsh, hard, sharp (pain-causing), or pressing (can’t seem to stay ahead – losing your breath, feeling pushed), wearisome, burdensome, hard work (work is good, a blessing, but there is a work that is just nothing but hard and life-sapping), loud and abrasive.

Following Jesus and His plan for my days IS:  go to Him, run, maybe.  Because He is gentle and I will find rest for my whole being because He is going to give me rest!  In Him?  Real rest, recovery, living the abundant life freely, lightly.  Ease.  Relief.  Refreshment.  He’ll re-create me.  And blessed quiet for my mind, my will, my emotions.  Quiet for my emotions!  I am sensing/feeling freer and lighter already!

And His call on my life?  The work (good works) He prepared for me before time began (Eph. 2.10)?  Easy.  Light.  Comfortable, gracious, and pleasant.  Not to mention wholesome (whole, not fragmented, and holy).

I’ll trade this for all the churchy titles and religious service I have done all my life any day.  Where do I sign up?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  I am going to Him.  I am going to follow Him and watch how He does this thing.  I want to do life the way Jesus did…this is vital to life…”Why in the world would anybody put chains on me…”

Casting Wreaths

Christmas is everywhere!

Even this morning as I was reading about how Solomon was building the Temple for the reknown and glory of the Name of the Lord and to establish his own house, I read this, surely a precursor to our Christmas ornamentation:

“He made wreaths of [gold] chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and put them on the wreaths of chainwork.”  2 Chronicles 3.16

I sigh wearily of hearing Christians who attribute all the symbols of Christmas to ancient pagan traditions.  The tree, my brothers and sisters (created in the Garden where God walked first), the lights (Jesus IS the Light of the World, after all), the gift-giving (must I mention John 3.16 and the inspiration to all-gift-giving ever for all times based on this, THE most amazing gift ever?), and all the rest seem to be up for scrutiny every year.  If I act a wee bit too joyous they remind me, like the father-in-law at Clark Griswold’s Christmas Vacation, “The little lights aren’t twinkling.”  The bah-humbuggers want to drop-kick the joy and the meaning we have tried with our little human efforts to capture right out the door.

I don’t think the Advent wreath on which I light a candle is some all-holy-get-me-into-heaven thing.  Nor do I believe God is displeased that I annually string lights and drag out the Nativity set and wrap gifts for the people I love.

What is a wreath after all?  It is something woven into a circular shape and hung purely for its beauty.  Or placed on the head of some one royal.  It is part of my Christmas, my Christ Mass, my worship of the Christ (Christmas=Christ worship).  While I am living to proclaim the reknown of the Name of the Lord on the earth, I am also establishing and decorating my home at Christmas.  Solomon did it for the love of God. And so do I.  His were real gold, heavy in richness.  Mine are simple branches woven and beribboned.

Someday, the wreath of my life, the things I have feebly woven together in honor to God will be the crown on my head.  But like the twenty-four Elders in Revelation

“[they] fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives until the Ages of the Ages and they cast their wreaths down in front of the throne…” Rev. 4.10 wey

The traditions we keep aren’t sacred.  They are just our ways of celebrating and enjoying the story of our redemption, God’s plan, a Savior!  They just mark our deliverance from darkness into His marvelous light.  They are only the symbols we use to try to depict a God so great that even our words fail us.

Let me have my wreath and worship with it, too…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Weave golden moments and bejeweled treasures together into love-wreaths for people all around-even and especially the bah-humbuggers.

pictured: the front door one night last year…


In WWM staff prayer yesterday, s-i-l, Dave, prayed a prayer of yieldedness.  We pondered for a few moments on what it means to yield our hearts, our lives, our thoughts, opinions and desires to God.  “Here I am, “ many people in the Bible responded to God.

As Dave restated that phrase: Here I am, I suddenly saw it and heard it differently.

Here, I Am.

I caught a fleeting glimpse of the meaning of yieldedness.  To say Here I am is to say You be here, Great I Am.

Here, God (I AM) be in this circumstance.  Here in our home, I Am, reign.  Be here, I AM, in this hour of indecision, these times of heartbreak, this uncertain future.  Here, I Am.  I surrender to You.  Be here.  Be here…

Healing Rain is Falling Down

Times are hard right now for a lot of people.  A newer friend of mine just lost her job and is now homeless, living in her car.  Another friend’s brother-in-law is having to work across the state, away from his wife and young children to keep food in their mouths.  An amazing pastor’s wife has breast cancer and is facing major surgery in a few days.  One beautiful family struggles through prolonged accusation and custody hearings, sapping life-strength one agonizing day at a time.  A brother is fighting his way back to his family from addictions that have ripped his soul, and crushed his family’s hearts.  Everywhere I look, the result of the fall is wreaking havoc.

Yet, in these same circumstances and many more I am watching, grace is flowing like water.  The faithful are rejecting the fear and looking to Jesus, and oh, what a beautiful sight as their faces reflect the glory of the One who is holding them steady – walking right beside them through these things.

Think about this, my friends, and don’t lose heart.  This is what Jesus did so He could complete HIS work in YOU:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12.2-3

He is your Author, your story-writer and He endured it all so He could make sure it ends with a glorious flourish.  He is in all the way to the finish with you!

Dave and Tara blew me away singing the last part of a Michael W. Smith song at church on Sunday.  I did a quick search for it this morning and the video actually captures, right toward the end, what I have been “seeing” in the Spirit in the lives of the people I mentioned here – a looking to Jesus, a receiving of His healing and blessing.  Check out the video and stay with it, and then sing it, declare it:

Healing rain, I’m not afraid to be washed in heaven’s rain. 

Healing rain is falling down.  I’m not afraid!  I’m not afraid!

Healing rain is falling down. 

I’m not afraid!  I’m not afraid!

Don’t lose heart.  Don’t be afraid.  He is not finished yet…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  He. Is. My. Author.  My story is His.

Prayer for the Nation

It’s November 4.  It’s election day.  Before we go to bed tonight, we will most likely know who our next president will be and we’ll spend the next several days sorting out who all got elected and where and the talking heads will tell us what they think the next 4 years will look like.  It would be easy to fall in to fear on a day like this.  We become so impassioned about our candidate, so certain he or she is the only way and must certainly be God’s way.  I wrote about it before.

Now don’t kill me for saying this, but: the collective vote of the people is NOT always the right one, the best choice for the nation.  But it is the choice we have made, collectively.  And since we want our democratic society, we have to roll with happens – that is part of getting to participate in the process.  This makes Christians who rip leadership apart instead of praying for them humbly, just as guilty and stupid as the celebrities who claim they’ll leave the country if their candidate doesn’t win the election.

What?  No democracy?!?  Saul and David are good indicators of this.  When God alone wanted to rule His people, they wanted a king (to be like other nations).  So, God let them have the one they wanted.  He was tall and good looking and popular and a warrior.  He was the obvious choice.  And God used Saul, in spite of himself.  But he was never God’s choice (because God knows the heart) and Saul’s actions exposed the deep lack of character inside.  Whereas, David wasn’t the obvious choice, but God knew he had the right heart to lead the people.

But in the end?  Still – God’s people!  His. 

I voted.  And tomorrow, come what may, the Word still calls me to pray:

“I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we made lead peaceful and quiet lives in all godiness and holiness.”  1 Tim. 2.1-2

So, I pray for all of our leaders, both freshly elected and remaining:

  • I pray for the leaders of my nation to come to the light. Isaiah 60.3
  • God, let our leaders be just and let them rule in the fear of the Lord.  2 Samuel 23.3
  • May we, as a nation, praise You, Lord, for Your merciful kindness and truth.  Psalm 117
  • Turn our leader’s hearts to fear You, Lord.  Proverbs 21.1
  • God, I pray that we, as a nation, will make a joyful noise to You and serve You with great gladness!  Psalm 110.1-2
  • Uproot the wicked from our land, Lord.  Proverbs 2.22
  • We pray that our nation will submit to the reign and rule of Christ.  Daniel 7.14
  • May Your governement and peace continually increase in my nation.  Isaiah 9.7
  • I make supplication, petition, prayer, intercession and give thanks for ALL the people of my nation and especially today for all the leaders of this nation.  1 Timothy 2.1-2
  • Hear us from heaven, we ask, as we humbly pray and call out to You.  We repent of our wickedness, God. Forgive our sins.  Heal our land.
  • Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.

God bless America!…Jeanie

NOTE TO COUSIN DIANA:  Happy Birthday!