Can’t Lose This!

It’s on a page of stationary—– but only one page. I have several people I’d like to send it to, but I don’t want to let it go.

“I” need it!

So here is my solution: indelible ink– a blog.

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“IF YOU’RE OFFERED A SEAT ON A ROCKET SHIP, DON’T ASK WHAT SEAT! JUST GET ON.” Sheryl Sandberg

I analyze. I weigh this side and that. Then I worry about what people will think. And then, I do what I should do first: I pray. Though I think, to be honest, that most times God would be DELIGHTED if I’d throw all worry to the wind and Just Get On.

You and me, God. Let’s Go!

lonnie

Racism

“At it’s core, racism is a heart problem—-a problem of sin . . . Although government support can be useful on some issues regarding racism, its funds, programs, and laws will not change the human heart. Because racism is a violation of Biblical truth, genuine racial healing will require repentance before God for resentment against those with a different skin color or ethnic culture.”

James L. Garlow/David Barton

This Precarious Moment, p. 10; Salem Books 2018

Two words stand out to me.

Repentance and Resentment.

How do they fit into your story?

I know God is working in my heart, when the voice in my head moves from “have to” to “want to;” from “I can live with them,” to, “Man, I enjoy them!”

It’s a God-thing.

And we’re both smiling.

Lonnie

No Such Insurance

If Acts has convinced me of anything, it is that doing things doing right—-living righteously and honorably does not insure smooth sailing—–maybe just the opposite.

If Paul’s life doesn’t supply sufficient evidence, consider the sinless life of Jesus.

BUT “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”. Romans 8:18 New American Standard ” . . . for I go to prepare a place for you.”. John 14:2. NAS Have you ever asked Jesus to forgive your sins? To come into your heart and to guide your life?

Lonnie

Christian Nation??

“For the first time in human history, a nation was established on a solid foundation consistent with principles found in the Bible. Every one of our founders, with all of their distinction and diversity, clearly understood that this nation was, in fact, established under God—-not a Christian nation, but as a nation whose founders clearly understood the basic principles to remain free.”

James Robison, The Stream p.248; Worthy Publishing 2016

I haven’t known what to do when people say that our founders weren’t even Christian, and so argue that we cannot claim to be a Christian nation. Our founders had character flaws for sure. We can call those flaws, as I’m required to call my own, sin. Yet their prayers reveal their utter dependence on the same God I pray to. Documents and prayers show their knowledge of and reliance on God’s Word.

Robison acknowledges that our founding fathers possessed doctrinal differences. But, I guess, more important to me than whether I can call them “born again” is this: These men went to the ONE dependable source of truth to build the foundation of, what I consider, an imperfect nation for sure, but incredible; one that was founded on the firm foundation of God’s perfect, life-giving, and unchanging Word.

To God be all the glory,

lonnie

Unhindered!

I can’t help it. I love this!

I just finished my third consecutive reading of Acts. I was in the middle of a printed Bible study on Corintians when I felt God direct me here. At each reading, my eyes and heart caught different aspects of Paul’s life. I kept lists, one being persecution—- many beatings and imprisonment—-for preaching the gospel.

But the very last verse of Acts says this:

“For the next two years, Paul lived in his own rented house. He welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God with all boldness and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. AND NO ONE TRIED TO STOP HIM (emphasis and delight, my own).”

Acts 29:30 New Living Translation

New American Standard says “unhindered.” I’ll take it either way.

As for me . . .

One day, a friend of a different culture and faith persuasion noticed my cross necklace. As she tucked my cross behind the neck of my top, she told me in her country, they wore religious symbols beneath their clothing.

I told her this: “I believe one day, I won’t be allowed to wear my cross. So, while I can, I am going to wear it out.”

My Friends, Do Not Take Your Freedom For Granted,

lonnie

Money is Quicker

“One of the subtlest hinderances to prayer is probably the most pervasive. In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, compentency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time-consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God. As a result, exhortations to pray don’t stick.”

Paul Miller (A Praying Life, p. 16) NavPress 2009

Paul Miller’s thoughts remind me of a Scripture that, sometimes, causes me to ponder:

” . . . Has God not chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith . . .?” James 5:2

I used to ask myself if I had to choose, would I rather be rich in material goods, or in faith. They were pretty uncertain times for us. I would surely have understood this quote at that time. Money IS quicker. Today, still, with a little trembling, I choose faith. I choose God.

He hasn’t always been predictable. He has ALWAYS been faithful.

EverGrowing—-EverDependent

On Him,

lonnie

–Felt Abandoned By God–

(from a Turkish prison)

But what really broke me was unmet expectations. I expected that God would intervene to carry me above my circumstances into joy, that even in grief I would feel strength and an infusion of grace, and most importantly, that I would have a sense of his presence. Instead, I felt abandoned by God. The truth is, God’s faithfulness and loyalty and love are never put to the test in our difficulties; it was my faithfulness, my loyalty, my love for him that was being tested.”

Andrew Brunson

God’s Hostage, p. 213/ Nook; Baker Books 2019

This book was so HEAVY WITH HOPELESSNESS, that I could only read a couple pages at a time. Andrew’s feelings, though in far more difficult circumstances, felt too familiar; like those times I expected God to intervene and . . . He didn’t. At least not that I could see, then. And certainly not in the time I expected.

But I’d prayed for this stranger.

From a facebook post, I discovered he was from an area of North Carolina where I held cherished memories. I, with so many others, celebrated our prayer answers when this innocent man was released. I knew the book had a favorable outcome.

I think I kept reading because Andrew was so honest—–no superficial spirituality.

It feels so ugly when I go through struggles like a baby or drama queen (which I was in the middle of doing) and thinking that everyone else goes through with hope, patience and faithfulness.

Thank you, Andrew Brunson, for your honesty. I feel like you have walked through some struggles with me and helped me to recognize God.

EverGrowing,

Lonnie

P.S. Friends, do not shy away from hard books. You will find treasures therein.

A Bird On The Hand

“The Pine Grosbeak is uniquely tame when approached. The first one I saw . . . whistling from a bare elm in Madison, Wisconsin. I whistled back, and it hopped to a lower, closer branch. We whistled back and forth for a while, the bird steadily coming closer. I reached out, and it suddenly hopped onto my finger.”

Laura Erickson

For The Birds: January 6; Pfeifer-Hamilton 1994

Colour Me Extremely Jealous,

Lonnie

(One of the coolest books, ever. 365 Days of bird experience and trivia from a licensed bird rehabilitator and written from our backyard/ Duluth, Minnesota)