Saturday, January 30, 2010

His door won't open

If you don't know Tommy, you need to. He's one of the greatest and most precious guys I know. He lives in Texas. On a ranch (which he's selling?). In his "About Me" description that he once wrote about himself, he starts, "I am a paralyzed man."

Technically, I suppose, some would say he was. Because of a swimming accident, he can't walk and move like most of us do. But I told him the other day that the only thing paralyzed about him are his limbs. Other than that, there's nothing paralyzed about him! He's inspiring. Encouraging. Uplifting. Has one of the greatest outlooks on life that I know. He LOVES God and sees Him in everything. He has a great love for people. And... he's got a way with words! He doesn't bodily go with me into the prisons, but make no mistake, he still goes! He teaches in the place from the chair where he sits. But, still, I take him in through me when I go. And my girls? They're absolutely smitten. They totally love him! And have been impacted greatly because of his heart and the lessons he's told.

This is Tommy (the first two pics are before the accident, the second two are after):

Here is a copy of an email he wrote to me this morning with a new lesson he shared. His reason for sending the insight he saw was so that I could reword it and use it in a blog. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? He doesn't need me to change a thing. His words alone suffice for the teaching.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tommy
To: Sharon
Sent: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 9:57 am
Subject: (no subject)

What are you up to girl? I wanted to tell you about something I was thinking of writing about, but then I started thinking about you and your gifts of how to write and knowing the Scriptures and I think you can do much better than me. Anyway, what made me start thinking about you and the girls in the prisons was this. I have an automatic door opener that opens the door to my house when I want to go in or out. Last week it broke for the first time since I had my accident. They had to pick it up and take it to a shop. I have been without it now for about five days and am not exactly sure when I'll get it back. I have been having to call my helpers in the meantime when I want to go in or out of the house.

I was kind of feeling sorry for myself, but last night I had some excellent thoughts that crossed my mind. I was thinking about your girls in the prisons. I cannot imagine always not been able to open my door when I want to! Just a few days of this and I am going crazy. It is terrible to not be able to go in and out when you want to.

But then all of this suddenly God gives me a huge picture of you! You are an automatic door opener for these girls and probably many other people! I used to think of you as a flame fanner but not anymore . Now, you are a door opener. I was thinking who else could God possibly have as His automatic door opener to the kingdom than little old you! With your knowledge and your personality and your God-given talent for writing and I'm sure talking and now with the opportunities you have for these people who do not have door openers for you to be just that. God is so great! Your writings have always opened doors for me and now you have a huge opportunity!

Now I know that everyone can be a door opener and that it doesn't take much talent. God can use anyone to open a door if we are just willing to talk about Him and to show people that He is how we survive! So there are all degrees of door openers. But you, my friend, are one of the best I have ever seen or heard or read. I have a feeling you're going to be used to be a huge door opener! I don't know why I am so excited about what God has talked to me about last night. Out of my depression over losing my door opener suddenly He showed me new things.

I think you should write a blog about being a door opener. I cannot wait to see what all words you can put with that and the Scriptures! From now on, to me, you are an automatic door opener!

Anyway, I know I wrote too much, but I was so excited this morning I had to get this off my chest. Have a great weekend and God bless you.

P.S. Tommy emailed again and asked that I would pray that his door would get fixed fast! Please join me in praying and help to open his door for this most precious friend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Do you no what you need to no when you know to no it?

What do ya no???

And do you no what you need to no?

My poor kids! Their mother has a very, very, very, weird way of thinking. Therefore, a very weird way of saying what I mean in hopes to get my point across. In HOPES that they'll remember it! In hopes that they'll do what I said, and don't do what I've told them not to.

Often when my sixteen year old son leaves to go somewhere I'll tell him to remember to take his "No." And to use his "No" when he needs to! I'll remind him to "No" what he needs to "No!"

I've often threatened to tattoo the palms of his hands. One with a "N". The other with an "O!"

For we never know what all that we'll need to "No" when we leave. We're never aware of all of the offers that will be presented to us. We never know the temptations we'll meet. We need to be equipped with our "No"s when we go!

Too many times we don't No what we need to No when we should No better. All of us need to "No" better about some things. What do you No? Are you a good No-er? Do you No what you need to No? Or do you not No what you need to No and your lack of No-ing comes back to bite cha?

Who No-s what they ought to No anymore? And why don't we always No what we know to No?

How do we know what to No if we don't keep our noses in God's Word so we'll know what to No and yes God more?

We're all No-ing something or someone. Who is it (or what is it) that you're No-ing? And are you No-ing the right one (or right thing)?

I'm quick to remind my son, too, that if he doesn't "No" like he's been taught to "No," then I'll be "No-ing" all kinds of things to him when he gets home. :)

"When you need to No something, then by all means: "NO!" it, dear child! And then be glad that you did!"

Believe it or not, he's 'No-ing' better than he used to "No".

Bless my babe's heart! But we sure do have fun!

I guess one of the things that I say to God more than any other thing, I say it to Him all the time is, "Lord, I want to know You!" Because this I know: the more I know Him the less I'll "No" Him.

Ah, LORD! I want to KNOW You so I won't NO You anymore!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When I close my eyes....

.... there are people inside.

Perhaps I'll elaborate more later? Maybe I won't? It's just that when I went to bed last night after my yesterday (see blog below)..... there were people everywhere behind my lids. It's all I could see.

Needless to say, I cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm overwhelmed. Tired. Exhausted.

I'm exhausted. Totally so. I suppose the 3 1/2 hours sleep I got last night doesn't help matters. It's been a wild day. I just got home... and yes, already put my jammies on. Soon, I'm headed to bed. Hopefully! At least, for a nap anyway, if nothing else.

I feel like I've stepped onto a train when I heard what I felt was God's whistle blow.... and the train is moving faster and to more places than I ever dreamed it would. I do feel confident of Who my Conductor is, but I can't (at this point) say that I truly know where all exactly it is that this train is going and what all it has planned. 

I'm a bit overwhelmed!

Actually, who am I kidding? I'm not a bit. I'm a whole lot overwhelmed!

Can I just be honest?

I wanna cry.

I can't remember when I didn't believe that God was calling me to the prison ministry. Looking back, I can see tracks headed this way all over the place. Puzzle pieces have been accumulating for years and years to create this picture. So many. Some big. Some small. Some subtle. Some loud. But, so many.

For a while I just assumed that if it was God's call, that He'd pave the way, that He'd provide the avenue, and that He would, I guess, just send someone to my house to grab my hand and say, "It's time. You're ready. This is where we're going. Let's go."

From time to time I would seek an avenue in. But, I didn't know where to look. The prison ministry that we have at church didn't have much room for a girl. They were geared toward men's prisons. But I could bring toothpaste, and shaving cream, and toiletries to bag to give to the guys if I wanted. That's kind. That's fine. That's good. That's needed and appreciated, I'm sure. And yet, it really wasn't what I had in mind. It wasn't where I felt God was calling me. Not that I couldn't do that. But I felt that that wasn't it. I felt there was more.


 I would shelve the vision of my calling most of the time, and every now and then, bring it down to visit again. To wonder about it. To mull over it. To ponder. The fire inside would flame in its want-to. Only to be douched to a simmer when there seemed no way to get there from here.

Like I said. That was years of my life. When I would pass by those dressed in stripes on the sides of the roads picking up trash, every single time I so badly wanted to stop to tell them, we've all been imprisoned (or are in prison now!) over something or another. It's just that most of us have invisible bars for our prisons and we dress in street clothes to disguise ourselves to appear to be free. Yet "inmates" we are... or were.. or will be....... It's just not as obvious to others. And even sometimes we're even able to deceive ourselves.

And then!

Sometime this past summer (2009), out of the blue, though I hadn't thought about it for eons, I awoke with a refueled passion. My eyes were barely opened yet, but I grabbed my computer and started googling. Looking for someone in town that was working in the prison ministry. It didn't take long before I landed on the place that God had planned for me to. When I called, the president of this ministry that I'd found told me that I was his answer to prayer.

By the end of October I had been through the required "training" and my criminal background had been checked. I had the "Go"... and the avenue. QUICKER, I've heard, than almost anybody!

November 2nd was my very first visit! Wow! I'd finally made it in and met with wonder a precious bunch of girls who are wanting to change their lives and live for our Lord! It was a sight to behold! I left sobbing in my soar!!!!! I was elated, enamored, encouraged. But also saddened by the horror of the hole where they're held. It was hard to imagine. And after the glimpse I'd been given, I hardly slept at all that night after coming to my nice home.

I meet with those girls on a weekly basis now. These are my Monday night girls.

By January 6th (two months later) I was already invited into another prison, my Wednesday group. It's a long sweet story, but I've already given these preciously BEAUTIFUL girls a name (Have I talked about that already on here???), I call this group of girls: PWHDs (Princess Warriors in Human Disguise). They loved it! And I do too!

And now.

Last Tuesday, in the wildest of ways God introduced me to a man that is basically offering me the keys to every prison in my state that I am willing to go into. I mean, the hold up (if there is one) will be me! It's unheard of. I am by-passing the schooling, the training, and the jobs working my way up to this level of entry. Today, he took me on a tour into the depths of two of the prisons. One, a maximum security women's prison. Another, a men's!

I was sitting here a second ago trying to take all this in. I literally counted on my fingers how long I'd been in the prisons. NOT EVEN A FULL THREE MONTHS YET! And here God goes and introduces me to a man that doesn't know me from Adam, giving me access to every door to go as far as I want to go. Is that wild, or what??? Most unheard of, surely! This doesn't happen! And doesn't make sense without Sovereign intervention!

I'm praying for wisdom. For direction. For discernment. For God to make me smarter than I am!!! I know nothing about this world. I am trusting God to give me a WHOLE LOT of strength in my weakness! For Him to make up for what I lack. It's not about me anyway. As I keep saying, He just wants a willing vehicle (vessel) to use, and I am honored to offer Him mine.

Mostly what it shows me is God's concern for those being held captive! Psalm 69:33 is a HUGE verse to me. It says, "The LORD hears the needy and does not despise His captive people."

And forever(!), Exodus 2 and 3 have been some of the sweetest verses I know. Today, I feel it personalized. Today, I feel like God is saying this to me:

"The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning.... So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them...."  Then the Lord finds Moses in the desert and says to him, "I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Eygpt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So, I have come down to rescue them... and to bring them up out of that land.... So now go, I am sending you... to bring My people out."

At moments I'd like to join Moses' "Who am I" band. For who I am to send to do anything?

I don't know much. But this I do:

God LOVES people. Period! And He cares for those imprisoned! And Jesus died to save and set the captives free. And He also works through people.

Here am I, Lord, send me. Use me when and where You will! Help me to love as You love. To see those as You see. To have a passion that comes (come-passion!) and a mercy that runs to all those in need.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



What kind of date is that? 

It's a real date. Though, in reality, not really. In reality, it's no date at all.

Here's where I found it:

I was looking at some information of the girls that I teach in prison that was emailed to me. I took notice of their birthdates, and the dates of their release. That's when I ran across this date  for three of the girls in one of the prisons that I'm teaching in.


Upon seeing the date the first time, I wrongly assumed that someone had forgotten to enter it and it had been left blank. But when seeing the second one... and then, the third,.... and then the intials "LP" written out beside it, it dawned on me the reason, and what the initials stood for.

"LP" - Life with Parole.

Better than Life w/OUT Parole, I'm sure. But it's not a date that would seem encouraging to most people I know.

It's like, it's a date that doesn't exit!

If asked, "When do you get out?" "What's your release date? Mine is in ____ years."

Their answer if verbalized would say, "There isn't one."


What do you say? How do you handle that? How do you answer that? Worse than that, how does it feel? Is there a panic to the feeling? Surely a sorrow that's overwhelming. Surely, its something too huge for the mind to process. A heaviness that always hangs over you.

All of the girls in my group are longtimers. They've all been inside the prison for a whole bundle of years. One girl in my group's release date is in 2038! Hard to imagine! That's a long time way off!

Another's is 2051! Woosh, too huge to fathom!

But for the ones whose date is 00/00/0000?

Basically.... I have no words!

Of course, like I said, some are worse off than Life with Parole, some have Life with-OUT. And there are others that are literally on Death Row.

One of the girls in my group was once.... was on Death Row. After her first appeal, it was Life w/o Parole. After her second, she now has a release date. And one with an actual year that doesn't end as 0000.

I am not naive enough to not realize that obviously those girls committed a horrendous crime or the sentence wouldn't be so steep. I don't doubt that most of the family members that were affected and hurt and horrified and traumadized by what they've done do not pity their years.

But there is nothing we can do that God can't or won't forgive and release us from. No sin rates too big for Jesus to wash away. Nothing, no matter what we've done, has to carry the 00/00/0000 for a release date if we'll believe God and give it over to Him. He can ransom it all, restore all, and redeem anything.

Tonight though, this is my wonder. Sometimes we decide alone how long our sentence is. What is it that you[re imprisoned to? Maybe that you're addicted to? Your stronghold? Your thing that holds you and seems not to let go? That you're riddled with guilt over? Or embittered to? Or refuse to turn from?

What's your release date?  And do you honestly have one?

When will you be released from the thing that you've allowed to imprison you?

This is a date that only you decide. You hold the pen to scribble its date.... but only if you want to.

What's your "release date?"

How long will you chose to stay imprisoned?

A life sentence? Really? That's a really long time!

A friend sent this video to me. Now this is what I'm talking about! Powerful! It may have taken this guy awhile (like it does so many of us!).... but this guy here finally got his "release date"! God's mercy is new every morning! We can get our release date too... and every morning thereafter!

My mind is whirling with a thousand different things!


Argh, I've got so much to say that I totally drive myself crazy! My mind never stops! Even in my sleep it's working on something. The sad that about it is that it's working on so many things all at once that most will only be stuck stayed in my mind forever. For there will never be enough time to record it.

:) As if everyone were just waiting for me to be saying...........

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mercy feels... it loves... it covers... it runs to help those who are hurting.

For fear of being misread. Let me clarify on my yesterday's post.

I had someone write to me and say, "As for the one who rudely told you about aka Caught, we need to pray for him. Why was he there in the first place?"


We so often are blind to ourselves and our sin. Here Mr. X was looking and lurking and seeing the sins of another, yet he failed to see the sin of letting his "little eyes see" things that they had no business seeing. Then after failing there, as the song continues to sing, he failed again in "Oh be careful little mouth what you say." For one sin often leads to another. He never even saw the trap he fell into. Even worse, he never even knew that he'd fallen. It's that "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own" kind of thing. While we have our eyes on the sin of another, we're oblivious to the monstrous one that looms inside us. Satan is so deceitful and deceptive at his scheming, for while we're excited (though calling it "concern") about the sin in the one we've found that has fallen, we often get caught in the strings of the unseen web... never even seeing the tangle that wrapped around us.


I don't want to get all caught up in it too! For who am I to beat my breast and say that I'm so glad that I'm not like him, while he's beating his and saying that he's so glad that he's not like her?

My meaning here wasn't to rip the guy that wrote me the email. But I shared it here in hopes that we would think to perform an inner check on ourselves. So that we might could see if it's something that our eyes have been blinded to... so that we could see if we're guilty of it... and to see if we might need to change.

We do need to pray for Mr. X, but I don't mean for our focus to be focused on him. He's not a bad guy, just blind too. I mostly want us to see ourselves... maybe it'll help us all to see and "be" a little (or a lot) different, more compassionate toward those in need and be more helpful (prayful) instead of so judgmental.


I've prayed for Caught  ~ who's been caught and trapped in her sin and who needs someone to pray. And I've prayed for the one who wrote me ~ that he too might can see and be aware and be sorry for his sin. And I've prayed for me and God's children (the ones that wears Christ's name) ~ for our hearts to beat and love like His, for our eyes to see as He does, for our ears to hear the hurt, for our hands to feel the need to touch, for our feet to carry the fallen, and for our knees to kneel to pray.

May we be reminded of the verse again where Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means, "He said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

Where is our mercy? Everyone of us need it! And being that we have such need, why are we often so apt to fail in giving mercy to others?

Mercy isn't focused on the sin that's seen, but Mercy hears the cries within. Mercy has compassion for the offender. Mercy stoops to give undeserved kindness to the guilty. Mercy shows favor in its forgiveness. Mercy bends to tend when the one being tended to doesn't deserve it. Mercy understands and sees beneath the circumstances and its goal is to change the end. Mercy can see past the present, because it's seen the past and envisions hope for the future.

Lord, have mercy on me... and then grant me with mercy to give!

  • We are taught the song as infants, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see”…. but are we? What does the curiosity inside us really seek to see? What makes us look?
  • “Oh be careful little ears what you ear”… but we readily listen to what’s told to us about another???
  • “Be careful little lips what you say”….Do our lips that were created to praise our Creator talk about the ones He’s created but not yet saved from the very thing that we find ourselves talking about?
  • So, how will that help that sinner? And is our sin any less wrong (any righter to us) than his and what he’s doing or done?

They brought her to me. What would you do with her?

The Patrolling Pharisaical Policeman popped into my mailbox just recently dropping off his report of what he had searched and searched and sought for until he finally found the sin that had him elated with delight and soaring from his find. Yet under the guise of "great concern" he wrote to me and tattle-taled in order to expose and tell and show what someone very dear and close to me had done, while he looked down his pious nose at the sin that he'd found them in.

So that you'll better understand and can make more sense of my response back to him I'll tell you what it was that he was tattling on them to me about. He sent me a website of a girl that I love like crazy, that just happens to be caught up in the tangled web and trap of an ugly sin… and the pictures and pages and writings and blogs and comments on her website shows it. So, when this stalker found the stink and proof of my friend's sin, he shot me an email telling me about it while also sharing the address of her site, hoping that I'd dive in as he had done, basking in her evil, then blasting her for it to all that don't know.

Needless to say, it made me sick. I was already aware of her site, another someone else had already readily told me. Instead of checking the site and going where he did, I wrote him back instead. (Note: the names were changed both to protect the innocent… and the not so innocent.) Here's the note that I sent him:

Dear Mr. X,

I already know about Caught's webpage. But did I go and check it out as you did like you told me to? Do I constantly keep my eye fixed upon it?... consistently checking back to see what next new thing she adds?... who says what?... what she’s said?... what provoking pictures she’s added? Do I stroll through her bed of sin to see what else she's done?... to see how repulsive she is? Do I open her closet and feel I have a right to go through it?.... picking through her things in her darkness while she doesn't even know that I'm there?

What right would I have to do that when I, too, once lived in the dark of my own sin? And if not for Grace, would live there still? The ones that need to know already knows. Yet, what can they do? Though they've tried to stop her, you can't stop someone from their sin. Only Jesus Alone has the power to stop and to change them. And if you’ll remember,
  • God Himself left His precious sinless man and woman in a perfect garden in a sinless world to choose for themselves whether to do right or not.
  • Paul? Paul told the Corinthians about the man that was sleeping with his father's wife to "hand this man over to Satan, SO THAT his sinful nature MAY BE destroyed and his spirit SAVED on the day of the Lord."
  • The father of the prodigal son? He gave his son his inheritance early and allowed him to leave when he asked.
The more I read of Scripture, and the more I see of life, the more and more that I am thoroughly convinced that sometimes we have to go to our “Egypts” (our “foreign lands”) to be able to come back HOME to Jesus!

There are countless examples of this in the Bible. Let me just share one or two of them with you.
  • Judges 4 tells us that "After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. SO the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin... (and) BECAUSE Jabin had.. cruelly oppressed the Israelites FOR TWENTY YEARS, they CRIED to the Lord for HELP." Then because of their cry from their oppression, God runs to rescue.

  • In 2 Samuel 14:14, God says that He "doesn't take our lives. Instead, He figures out ways of bringing us back when we run away" (CEV). The NIV words it this way, "God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him." He's constantly devising ways to bring His wayward sons back again from the places that they've left Him for.

  • And Job 33:29-30 says that, "God does all these things to a man - twice, even three times - to turn back his soul from the pit."

All the while that we whirl in our sin God is working on ways of wooing us back to Him. He sometimes lifts His hands and turns us over completely to the enemy..... so that we will become so miserable in our sin that we cry out to Him in our oppression. So, all the while that “Caught” seeks to find love in all the wrong places, Love seeks to find her.... for Jesus is a Shepherd that leaves the ninety-nine to go look for His lost one. She is in His eye and His heart, and He alone knows how to save her. He seeks to find… in order to cover her when He does… not to expose her by voicing what He’s seen to another. And He knows too of all of the places that she will have to go before she hits bottom enough to cry out to Him Alone, so that He can lift her out of the pit that she's leapt into and buried herself in.

1st Corinthians tells us that "Love is patient" and 2 Peter 3:9 says that "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." I can't even imagine the love that God has in His heart as He looks at her.... all the while wanting one of His children to help her…. not look at her in her sin…. and surely not talking behind her back about what they’ve seen of her to another!

I want you to know that I'm not trying to preach to you. I just feel like as Christ's people, we have so much to learn. We're blinded to so many things. Our hearts are cold, when we think they're warm. They're hardened to things, while we believe they're tender. One thing that God has been working on and is teaching me is about "mercy." And mercy doesn't shun nor shame.... but mercy runs! It runs to help. It runs to rescue. It runs in hopes to save. Mercy covers! Mercy never exposes a girl's nakedness to others, but instead takes the naked to Jesus, and cries out to Jesus for the one that can't cry due to their drunkened stupor that has intoxicated and influenced and induced them to sin. Mercy takes the one to Jesus so that Jesus Himself might cover them!

Listen to these verses:

"Noah... became drunk
and lay uncovered inside his tent.
Ham... SAW
his father's nakedness
his two brothers outside.
Shem and Japheth TOOK A GARMENT
and laid it across their shoulders;
they walked BACKWARD
their father's nakedness.
Their faces were
Gen 9:18-27

Ham saw his father’s nakedness and TOLD(!)… while his bothers turned the other way so that they would not see… and after taking a garment and putting it on their shoulders, they walked backward and covered him where he lay. Ham and his descendants were cursed because of what he had done; while Shem and Japheth were blessed for what they did. But who are we when we find one “naked” from their drunkenness? Do we tell as Ham told? Or rather cover WITHOUT LOOKING as his brothers did?

Now another:

"Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph,
but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
BECAUSE Joseph.. was a righteous man
and DID NOT WANT TO EXPOSE her to public disgrace,
he had in mind
to divorce her
Matt 1:18,19

It was Joseph's want to keep Mary covered, not his want to expose her to shame, that showed him righteous. But again, what do we do? Do we handle the matter “quietly” so as not to expose and disgrace? Or, are we more prone to be the one that exposes their sin so that the public will know?

How about this one?

"... The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman CAUGHT in adultery.
and SAID to Jesus,
"Teacher, THIS WOMAN WAS CAUGHT IN THE ACT of adultery.
In the Law Moses commanded US TO STONE SUCH a woman.
Now what do You say?""

[Notice that Jesus doesn't 'say' any thing! I feel that He was heart sick instead and it left Him silent, so He bent over just writing in the sand in hopes to silence them.].....

"When they KEPT ON questioning Him, He straightened up and said,
"If any one of you
is without sin,
let him be the first
to throw a stone
at her."..."
John 8:1-11

" each other DEEPLY,"
1 Pet 4:8 tells us,
"because love COVERS
a multitude of sins"

"He who covers an offense prompts love..."
Prov 17:9

"Brothers, if someone is CAUGHT in sin,
YOU who are spiritual
SHOULD restore him gently.
or you also
may be tempted.
So, if you think
you are standing firm,
be careful
that you don't fall."
Gal 6:1; 1 Cor 10:12

"As for you,
you were
dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live
when you
followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time,
gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature
and following its desires
and thoughts.
Like the rest,
we were
by nature objects of wrath.
But because
of His great love for us,
Who is rich in Mercy,
made us alive in Christ
even when
we were dead in transgressions -
it is by grace
have been saved.
God raised us up with Christ
and seats us with Him...
He might show the incomparable riches of His grace,
expressed in
His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace
you have been saved,
through faith -
and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God -
not by works,
so that no one can boast.
For we
are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance
for us to do."
Eph 2:1-10

Could the "sin" that we see in another's life be part of the work that He's called us to? Could that be one of the things that was 'prepared in advance' for us to do? His love inside us showing through? In efforts to save the sinner? For if not for His Grace - we wouldn't be saved! If Mercy had not come running to us in our cry - we would still be dead in our sin. If not for Love - we would still be living among them... still living like what we once were... still gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, still following its desires, and still heeding to its thoughts and its evil demands.

Let me ask you a question: What if every "Christ-like" person you knew was repulsed by who you were and what you did? What if every "Christ-like" person you knew saw you as nasty? sin-FULL? dirty? raunchy? and bad? What if every "Christ-like" person you knew looked down their pious noses toward you.... even though they said that they didn't? What if every "Christ-like" person you knew, that had "caught" you in your sin, took your sin and exposed it to other "Christ-like" people, but never took you to Jesus..... like those Pharisees who had "caught" the woman "in the very act of adultery"......... and instead of them taking her in private to Jesus they took her before the crowd instead to tell of all she had done asking Jesus if they shouldn't stone her?

Have the ones that shared the sin of this sinner (Caught) with you (that you shared with me) even bothered to take her to Jesus? They've talked about her to you… but have they talked about her to Him? Have they carried her to Jesus? Have they taken her to our Father? Is every “Christ-like” person she knows not Christ-like at all when it comes down to it in reality?

And then: What will you do with her? Who have you told? Who will you tell? And why did you bother to look? And then, why will you look again??? Could you not had rather (like Shem and Japheth) found something to cover her and cover your own eyes with, then walked backward "so that you would not see" her nakedness when you first realized that there might be a glimpse? Or, might you have (while you observed the one that was Caught) got caught in a trap yourself while never seeing your sin? Called gawking and stalking and talking maybe? Continuing to look long past what you should have? Should you have even bothered to look in the first place when told? And then, should you have told yourself?

"If someone is CAUGHT in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall." What business is it of ours to ever look upon another's naked? And what business is it of ours to talk (to cast the first stone)? Are we blinded to our own sins while we beat our breasts when we pray and tell our Father "I'm so glad that I'm not like" him? (Luke 18:9-14)

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law complained to Jesus' disciples, 'Why do you eat with sinners?' they asked Him. And Jesus answered them back, 'I came to call sinners to repentance, not to call the righteous. It's the sick that need a doctor, not the healthy.'

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor,
but the sick.
But go and learn what this means,
'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Matt 9:12,13

He came to heal the sick!

But we shun the sick and shame the sick by exposing their sin-sickness......... while rarely (if ever) taking the sick to Jesus, the Great Physician. While rarely (if ever) showing them mercy… all the while deceiving ourselves into believing that somehow we have!

Wouldn't you think that that's why we run into the sinful man in the first place??? So that we might LIFT the robbed man that was beaten and striped and left on the side of the road for dead…. so that we might kneel in efforts to help him there, then lift to load him upon our donkey, and then take him to the "inn" for Jesus to clean and to dress and to balm his wounds in hopes to heal him? I think more often than not, that we are guiltier than anything else of just passing him by. Oh, but sometimes we do stop and we 'lift' the robbed man lying there, and we do load and carry him with us on our 'donkey'........... BUT NOT TO JESUS! We don't take him to Jesus! Instead we carry him to other 'Christian’ people instead…. we take him before our "group", so that we can sit together and shake our heads in 'great concern' for this sinner.................... Never ever ever even thinking of (forgetting completely) to take the man to Jesus!!! Where in scripture are we ever told to take the sinner to another?

WHEN was the last time you prayed for someone you caught in the very act of their sin?

WHEN was the last time you didn’t tell a soul except to plead with the Savior to help them?

WHEN was the last time you showed mercy as you have been shown?

WHEN was the last time you ‘judged not’…. because you knew that you too once wore their shoes?

WHEN was the last time you were MOVED with compassion and wept for the one you saw and begged your Jesus to cover and heal them?

WHEN was the last time you allowed God to use you to COVER another?

"When they came to the crowd,
a man approached Jesus
and knelt before Him.
"Lord, have MERCY on my son,"
he said.
"He has seizures and is suffering greatly.
He often falls into the fire
or into the water.
I brought him to Your disciples,
but they could not heal him."
"... Jesus replied,..
"Bring the boy here
to Me."
Jesus rebuked the demon,
and it came out of the boy,
and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked,
"Why couldn't we
drive it out?"
He replied,
"Because you have so little faith."
Matt 17:14-19

He tells us that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much! I don't think we have an inkling of how power-FULL and effective our prayers are!........... even to drive out the demons in the demon-possessed, to heal the leper sick in his sin, to open the eyes of the blind man that can't see and so walks in his darkness! "Why couldn't we" help save the man? "Why couldn't we?" I believe with all of my heart that it’s mostly because we don't take them to Jesus!!!! Not that we don’t have the faith to… but instead, because we fail to even think to! How many opportunities have been set before us? How many times could someone say of us, "I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not heal him"? Are we into talking to each other about the sins of the sinner, more than we talk about them to our Lord and our Savior? How many people, I wonder, do we take to another that Jesus wishes that we would take to Him? Who, in your world, would He like to say to you, “Bring him (her) to Me”… that we instead take to our friends???

We admire Jesus for touching the leper to heal him. We’re enamored and in awe at Jesus having such mercy on the adulterous woman. We're overwhelmed by His words spoken to those that crowded around Him to stone her, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." We love that Jesus would take the time to cross to the other side of the lake just to get to the demon-possessed man who had "not worn clothes" for a long time, who lived in the tombs because he had been driven by the demons to go to solitary places, and who cried out day and night while cutting himself with stones. But do we really do as Jesus did?

Do we "touch" the leper? Do we tell the crowd that cheers to stone the one they caught, "You, too, were once in sin…We have no right to stone another." Do you carry and cry out to Jesus for the one that you ‘saw’…. the one that tries to find "life" in the tombs……..... but she only finds herself in lonely solitary places, cutting herself and tearing her clothes off in her misery................ because she's "caught"… and she’s stuck and held captive and imprisoned to her sin? She’s found naked because of the drunken stupor she’s in. She can't rid herself of the demons......... and today NO ONE cares to cross over to the other side to save her. Of all the ‘skins’ that Jesus now lives in…. NO ONE cares to cross over to the other side to save her! They see her (even sometimes when they shouldn’t be looking!!!)… but they see her, then tell another ‘skin’ that Jesus lives in about her so that they see her too….. and NO ONE takes her up and lifts her up in prayer to Jesus! And they think they’re righteous, while Jesus longs for someone He lives in to do something about her!

Who do we have to thank that carried us (in prayer) in our sin 'sickness' to the Great Physician for healing... all the while we were oblivious that anyone was carrying us there? Our moms? Our dads? Our grandparents? Christ-like Spirit moved people? And who will carry this sinner (Caught) that’s found caught in her sin that you see? Does she have anyone to carry her to Jesus? Does everyone pass her by? What if she doesn't have a mom that’ll carry her there? Or a dad that will? And what if all the 'Christ-like' people she knows are too busy gawking and talking among their 'group' about her sin rather than to pray for her to be healed from her sin?

Will anybody pray for her?

Will anybody pray?

What waters did Jesus cross over to save you from the demons within your own self… that had you stripping off your clothes; cutting yourself; making you run to solitary, lonely, and secret places; while you tried to 'live' and find life in the tombs like she is? And WHO prayed to ask Jesus to go there to save you? Where are His people? Where are His people who pray? We are His people! We're called to pray. Called to rescue. Called to save. Called to have mercy. Called to take sinners to Jesus!

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor [Jesus said],
but the sick.
Go and learn what this means,
'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Matt 9:12,13/Matt 12:7/Hos 6:6/Prov 21:3

If someone has cancer, we don't dog him to others because of his sickness. We don't look down upon him. He doesn't repulse. But our hearts are touched and tendered and we pray! We really do take him to Jesus. But what about the cancerous-sin, that poisons inside the soul and sentences to an eternal death? Who will pray for that robbed man?.... beaten and left for dead on the side of the road????

Mercy comes running. Yet what do I do with the sinful man? If I bother to lift him at all to put him upon my donkey, who is it that I will take him to? to man that talks? or to Jesus Who walks on water to cross over to the other side to save him?

Will any one bend their knees, and bow their heads, and cry for the Caughts? For the ones that gets kicked even more as they go… while she watches the 'religious' pass her on by all the while dogging her for what all that she's done? If we are found guilty of talking to others about a sinful man more than we talk to Jesus about him............ then I wonder what Jesus will have to say about us? or perhaps rather write in the sand?

Job 33:23-28 tells us:
"Yet if there is an angel on (her) side
as a mediator,
one out of a thousand,
to tell a man what is right for him,
to be gracious to him and say,
'Spare him from going down to the pit;
I have found a ransom for Him' -
then his flesh is renewed like a child's;
it is restored as in the days of youth.
He prays to God and find favor with him,
he sees God's face and shouts for joy;
he is restored by God to his righteous state.
Then he comes to men and says,
'I sinned, and perverted what was right,
but I did not get what I deserved.
He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit,
and I will live to enjoy the light.'"

Can we not be a "mediator"? One who stands in the gap? One who intercedes? One who pleads? Isn't that what we're called for? Jesus said, "Bring the boy to Me;" but do we really? We know the One that ransoms, but do we bother to tell it?

Surely you've heard Casting Crown's song If We Are The Body. See the words to it here and see it as Caught:

If We Are The Body

It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in trying to fade into the faces
The girl's teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgmental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road
But if we are the body, why aren't we....

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ.

Why do we often talk about the one caught, more than we pray? Oh, at the damage a tongue and its words can do! Why is it that once our tongues start wagging the juices fill it with enough fuel to run to all the tos and fros of the whole earth and back? We bask in the swim! Sing in the stew! Shout from the rooftops! It's a drunken stupor all its own and we get caught up under its influence which has us seared from any concern of what it might do to another. What is that? Woe, at such an evil!

We maim... wound... pierce... sever... cripple... deafen... blind... harden... embitter... enrage... imprison... with our words! Then we wonder at why they don't turn and why they do what they do. Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!" The Caughts that we've found in her sin; do we help her, or help in hindering her, or help harden her in it? Are we guilty of being a one that causes another to sin? Woe, to the man that is!

The question boils down to this: Do we love? For love sees beneath the sin and seeks to help the soul. I've thought so much about God's GOoDness lately and His love. For: Love is patient, because He is Love and it is! Love doesn't hurry, but waits because it has hope! Love is Kind, and Kind wants us to be! Love does not envy, because we shall "not want," for He is sufficient for all of our needs, our PRO-vider pro-vides and does not leave us lacking! Love does not boast, because Love is not pride-full and does not puff up. Love is not rude, because Love cares! Love is not self-seeking, but instead seeks to help another. Love is not easily angered, because Love sees the heart and knows the hurt or sorrow and longs to tend to it. Love keeps no record or wrongs, because He washes whiter than snow! Love does not delight in evil, but grieves for the darkness and rejoices with the truth that gives light that sets men free. Love always protects, and under the wings of His feathers we can find refuge! Love always trusts, because we can lean and rely on Love, it's a safe haven, a place of perfect peace and rest. Love hopes................... anxiously anticipates!!!!! Love perseveres.............. and shows His character which proves to be true! Love NEVER fails! People do..... but Love never does! And Love wants us to love! Love wants to LOVE in and through us! Love IS! Yet where is our love?

Back to that passage in Job 33, the one that says, "Yet if there is an angel on (her) side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell (her) what is right for (her), to be gracious to (her) and say, 'Spare (her) from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for (her)' - then (her) flesh is renewed like a child's; it is restored as in the days of youth. (She) prays to God and finds favor with Him, (she) sees God's face and shouts for joy; (she) is restored by God to (her) righteous state. Then (she) comes to men and says, 'I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.'" Can you even imagine if we actually lived in the mentality of being the 'angel' beside her? One who comes as a mediator? One out of thousands that passed her by? To tell her what is right for her? To be gracious to her and to pray asking God for His help? Having the urge to run to cry out for our Him to "spare" her from where she's fallen into her pit.... because we have found a ransom for her! "God, save this soul, I've found a ransom for this one that's lost. I know the One Who can pay the ransom, It's Your Son, Lord God. Jesus! It's Your Son!" Or even yelling to the one inside her pit while she's caught there, "Hey, you're gonna be okay. I found a ransom for you! I've gone to get Him now! Hang on! He's able to save! Hang on, He can reach you there!" Doing all this so that she can see the Ransom that came and her soul can be made whole and be saved... With her finally finding the favor of her King... Seeing God's face and shouting for joy, because she's been restored to her righteous state... And then seeing her go to all that God allows her voice to reach telling them, "I sinned. I perverted what was right. But I did not get what I deserved. HE REDEEMED MY SOUL and I will live to enjoy the light."

Is that not the hope that we should have for the fallen? Are we so blind that we cannot see? How horrid! What all am I blind to that's made me mean? and that's hardened my heart to the one in the dark? Why am I repulsed by her? Why want to shy away from her? Why talk about her? And dog her, when I've been where she's been? Why is it so easy to encourage the "righteous" and roll my eyes at the "sick?" I want mercy to come running to me, so then why won't I also "be" the mercy that runs?

What do you do with your Caughts? Will you pass them by? Or load and carry them on your donkey? Once loaded though, who will you carry them to? Where is your love? Do you love to share their sinful stories or seek to save their souls?

Come, let's go together... grab a load and lets take Caught to Jesus. For "Bring the boy (the girl) to Me," He said... And "as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for (her). And teach(ing her) the way that is good and right” (1 Sam 12:23).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just a wonder

In sermons and in bible classes teachers and preachers and people of all kinds often ponder the wonder of what Jesus bend over and wrote in the sand when the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law brought the woman "caught in the very act" of adultery to Jesus. They speculate that He could have been writing this... or maybe it was that that He was writing.... or perhaps........?

Here's my wonder:

Why are people often more curious about what Jesus wrote in the sand that He didn't tell us about, than what He actually did? Why do we seem more interested in what He failed to tell to say, than what He inspired in His Word to be scripted and passed on for all of these years that He's preserved because He wanted us to hear?

Lord, I love Your Word!

Lord, I love Your Word! I LOVE Your Word! It makes me wanna go. It makes me wanna say. It makes me want to do. It makes me wanna let go of somethings. It makes me wanna transform. It makes me wanna change. It makes me want to get over myself. It makes me wanna help someone else. Lord, I love Your word!

It thrills like no other! It invigorates! It revives. It refreshes. It renews. It refuels. It brings us to a heeling in order to give us a healing! It makes us won't our unholy wants and wholly want holy ones!

A favorite verse of mine that I have spoken to God so often is, "If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction" (Ps 119:92).

Amen, Lord, all over again! Thank you for being the DeLight of my soul and for Your Word, Your laws, Your commands that delights my soul so! Thank You for rescuing me and saving me from the perishment of my afflictions. I would be lost, sold, horrid, wretched without You!

I love Your Word! Teach me!!!... so that I can walk in Your ways in the freedom of the abundant life that Jesus came to give!

Lord, I love Your Word! Help me to love both You and It more!


When I met with my Wednesday (prison) girls this past week I told them that I had decided in the middle of the night while lying in bed that we needed a name for our group. I needed to call them more than just "My Wednesday Girls." But I didn't know what? What could our group be called? 

The name came to me in less than a minute. It hit me with a convicted knowing! Yep, this is what I'll call them. For this is who they are.

My Wednesday girls are now called PWHDs ~ Princess Warriors in Human Disguise! :)

I couldn't wait to ask them what they thought when we met. As soon as I did, their grins were spread on their faces from here to there. They LOVED it! They loved it as much as I did. They LOVED their new name!

Princess ~ because we're daughters of The King!

Warriors ~ because we're in a major spiritual battle while left here on this earth.

in Human Disguise ~ because these bodies are NOT who we really are. I told them, these bodies, this earthly flesh, these jars of clay, these skin-bags that we're encased in often get in the way and get us in LOTS of trouble! All of them nodded. All of them agreed. I didn't have to elaborate. You could tell that they got it.

May we all remember who were are while here, aliens on a pilgrimage trekking a very evil land. We must not forget that it's a land on which we don't belong. It's not always easy, it's hard, but the fight's always worth it. The victories been won. In this world we will have trouble. But, our Savior has overcome!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What turns your head?

In the past two days I've posted glimpses of two of my children.... things I had written about them in the past. Here is a glimpse of my youngest.

Sabrina's Season....
Sabrina & Boo

Sabrina (my youngest daughter) was the biggest hit of Saturday night's ballgame. No home run hit even came close in comparison. We went to watch my son play All-Stars, but it turned out that it was my daughter that seemed to be playing the starring role and was being watched. In the midst of the game one of my son's coaches came over to us in the stands and told Sabrina (my daughter) that she was a total distraction to the whole team. I laughed at what he said and told her that perhaps she had better go to the other side to distract the players on the opposing team, for we needed our focus. She grinned! She's come into the limelight --- and is thoroughly enjoying the spotlight that's shining upon her! One of our best players (I'll call him P1 for Player 1) was VERY interested and vying for her attention in whatever way he could get it. He was our 1st hitter, also our pitcher, and he had already told Tabor (my son) every which way he could think of to say so that he liked her.

Sabrina had a 'boyfriend'. We'll call him P2. He, too, was at the game; but at first she didn't know it. Finally he spotted her at about the same time that she spotted him. He nodded with his head for her to come over. She obliged his nod and submitted to its bidding. They stood and talked for a while then went and sat in the stands on the other side. Meanwhile, the guys on our team saw her do it! And questioned Tabor in their wonder of why? Mind you, they were supposed to be paying attention to the game; what were they doing paying attention to Sabrina? These were 12 and 13 year olds, way too young it seems to be interested or to notice.

During all of this a friend of ours (oblivious to all that was going on around him) was trying to "arrange a marriage" between his son (P3) and Sabrina. His son sat with us, and seemed in total agreement to what his daddy was suggesting. Finally, they realized that she hadn't left us for just a mere moment, but that she had left us to go sit with another boy. Well, "Who is he?" they asked. "And why is she sitting with him?" they wondered. SO(!), P3 did what any smart man would have done. He got up from his seat and went to sit with them! I LOVED IT! No man would scare him from his target, even if she had left him to go sit with another!

The next day we had half the team figure out one reason or another to come over to our house. Tabor was the decoy that they were hiding behind - but we all saw through their disguise and knew the truth of it! Each of them grinned when Sabrina's name was mentioned. Like I said, she thoroughly enjoyed being the night's attraction that had turned their heads and their hearts for the moment.

Shall I think that I see another season coming in my forecast? Did yet another one slip up upon me before I ever saw it coming? My goodness, will we weather these seasons? "There's a time for everything........," right? So shall we remember not to get lost in our seasons.
Written: July 2006

This is my prayer in our season - that though their heads might turn (and hers might too), I pray they'll never lose their focus! Boys will be boys and girls will be girls, and they'll have a normal attraction to each other,,, for it's put inside them to - meant for a good purpose I suppose; for to "replenish the earth" (as God told us to) attraction helps in the process to one day find the right mate to marry. Yet even while they look, may they always retain their focus on God and His commands and His will and their purpose.

We must learn from the examples in Scripture. In one verse we find that "The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, Who had appeared to him twice" (1 Kings 11:9). And that, "As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been" (1 Kings 11:4).

We don't want our children's (or ours!) spouses or 'boyfriends' or 'girlfriends' to-turn-their-hearts after other gods. We're told that God told Moses once that the Israelites had "been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt" (Exo. 32:8). We don't want our children to be "quick to turn away from what (He) commanded them" and make "themselves an idol cast in the shape" of the boy (or the girl) that's "turned" their heads. "Sacrificing to it", thinking that they are the 'gods that brought them out' of their "Egypts". You know what I mean?

What turns your head?

What turns your daughters? Whose head might she (or you) turn?

Are they turning their heads from the "game" of life (the race that God has called us to run) that should be their focus? Just a wonder. Just a wonder. Where is your head turned?

My prayer is that my daughter's (even though she might enjoy such attention) head and heart doesn't "turn" from the Lord that she loves. For we must remember our warning in Deuteronomy 5:32 to, "be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left."

Ah, these seasons that I'm watching my children weather have a tendency to "turn" a lot of heads in all kinds of directions. Actually it's with all of us all of our lives, for satan never gives up finding a tantalizing bait to dangle before us, hoping we'll turn to grab it and be grabbed by it instead.

May we plant the word of the seed into our children so deeply, that the word will be so engraved inside their minds and hearts that it springs out into their thinking whether they want it to or not when such things pop up to entice and to turn them. Let's pray hard for our children to be able to weather all of their seasons fully focused on the One that created them!
And too, with that reminder, let's watch where our own heads and hearts might be turned to!