Sunday, November 21, 2010


Psalm 100 (Message)
A Thanksgiving Psalm
1-2 On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.

3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

4 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

5 For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.

What an opening line! Look what the psalmist encourages us to do! He is lighting the fuse on a stick of dynamite and rolling it down the aisle. The command comes to stand to our feet and start clapping, to make God an offering of holy laughter while singing His praises.

I used to play a game with the kids at church where they shouted out a scripture while clapping and they hopped on one foot while spinning in a circle all at the same time. We always ended up in a dizzy pile of laughter.

John, a friend and myself were so blessed with a special time in God yesterday. A word came up I had to look up to see if it was even a real word. That word was jubilate.

I discovered as a verb it means to raise a shout of joy or triumph. As a noun it is a song of joy most specifically the 100th Psalm which was set to music. When the Holy Spirit gave each of us a personal revelation of that word it was spinning time! Some of us spun words, some spun songs and John spun the saxophone. The fire hydrant was full open and the entire block was underwater! We were "jubilating" and heaven was pouring it down.

There is a wonderful piece of music called the Jubilate Deo, so John informed me. (pronounced ju-bi-la-tay or u-bi-la-tay) It is high art but it comes down to the same thing as the children's dizzy pile and that is: Applaud God! Applaud God with laughter. Applaud God with singing. Applaud God with thanksgiving. Now do them all at the same time.

The 89th Psalm talks about the blessing given to people who "know the passwords of praise." Psalm 100 reveals one of those passwords, "Thank you." At this season that seems a most appropriate one. Each one of us has something to thank God for. I could not list it all here such is my debt. If I may connect the two psalms it would seem that thankfulness and its manifest expression is the way to a genuine soul drenching time of joy and fellowship in His Presence. A way to jubilate the very ground upon which we stand.

We are told God is beautiful, loving, generous and loyal. That is OUR God. The Almighty God who loves us. Who loves our ground, favors it, tends it and causes a harvest there. I want that ground to jubilate and return to Him the love He has lavished upon it.

Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can't keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us— you've been so good to us! We're walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God...Psalm 89

Thank you, Lord! Show your people the jubilation dance that we may dance it all day long in your presence. Teach us your holy laughter and we will fill Heaven with your praise. All we are we owe to you.

We applaud you, God.

May all our lattes be Jubi-lattes!

To Kim and John with thanksgiving for a wonderful time in God last evening.

To all our family and friends Happy Thanksgiving with love. John & Kathy

Friday, November 19, 2010

His Name Is As Perfume Poured Out

Songs 4:12-14 The Message:
You are a secret garden, a private and pure fountain.
Body and soul, you are paradise, a whole orchard of succulent fruits—
Ripe apricots and peaches, oranges and pears; Nut trees and cinnamon,
and all scented woods; Mint and lavender, and all herbs aromatic; A garden fountain,
sparkling and splashing, fed by spring waters from the Lebanon mountains.

That's me alright! Especially after a long day at the office. Sometimes there is not much sparkling or splashing about me. I do not have small children to care for these days. God's daughters who do probably feel like anything but succulent fruit. (Although they may have applesauce stains on a pant leg left over from a two year old wiping his mouth about knee level.)

Our lives are not always mint and lavender for sure and maybe I should stay away from addressing that, "Body and soul you are Paradise," observation. There are days I dress in the dark and hope my socks match, sprint between obligations and eat cereal for supper standing up in the kitchen. Once upon a time I had a little person I put to bed a hundred times a night. Now I fall asleep in the chair waiting for the dryer to finish. When do we get to be Songs Chapter 4? How do we find our way to that secret garden? Hmmm...The same way the water finds its way down the mountain I think. A force of nature draws it.

Another passage in Songs (1:3) describes the name of the Lord as fragrant ointment. "Thy name is as perfume poured out." Sometimes in the middle of a crazy day a hint of His scent catches my attention. I can pause even if I only have a moment to savor it. My soul is drawn to it as the water falls over the rocks. His lovely smell is calling me.

Christ's names are as perfume poured out upon me. When I can control little else about my situation I can agree to this. To be beautified in a moment because He has made time in His day for me. I can also call Him to me just by saying His name. You may still find me standing up to grab lunch but you might also notice the delicious fragrance of rain falling in the scented woods.

 His name is as perfume poured out upon us. It is His pleasure and it is a lot more attractive than matching socks. The high notes and the low notes. The fruity notes and the floral touches. The spicy and the woodsy hints. I want it all. Mixed just for me by the Master Perfumer. When I let Him anoint me you will know it without my telling you. Body and soul I will smell like Paradise.

Lilly of the Valley
Bright and Morning Star
Lamb of God
Your Name is perfume poured out.

Bread of Life
Word of the Father
Fairest of ten-thousand
Your Name is perfume poured out.

Your Name is perfume poured out.

Lion of Judah
Prince of Peace
True Vine 
Your Name is perfume poured out.

Mighty God
Lover of My Soul
Jesus Messiah
Your Name is costly perfume poured out.

King of Kings
Well Beloved
My Own
Jesus, your Name is perfume poured out upon my life.


Dedicated to all the busy women who are loved and perfumed by Christ.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Scroll of Remembrance

Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. Malachi 3:16 (New International Version)

I have several friends who have been giving those angel scribes writer's cramp for years. My emails from these special souls should be bound as a devotional. How insightful, heartfelt and hope inspiring are their thoughts. When I read them I am reminded of this scripture from Malachi. God is listening. They bless and thrill me and I am not their subject, how much more so must they touch (and entertain) God who is.

When we "who fear the Lord" share with one another what the Lord is doing in our lives, what excites us about Him, Heaven is typing an email of its own. We will see those words again. I cannot help but believe that God treasures our musings, declarations and excited utterances about His character. Maybe He rereads those scrolls like I reread old love letters.

Like the angel scribes, I have saved the best offerings and revisit them from time to time when I need a lift. There are emails that speak life to dead dreams, make children off bounds to bad stuff, put fresh lipstick on my soul, share the wealth, make me laugh, make me want to write or draw and remind me it is all about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I have received Reply to All emails that are chain letters on steroids.

Heaven listens as we breathe upon each others lives, rain upon one anothers fields and smell the fruit even when it is just the promise of fruit. All the while as those angel fingers are flying a fragrant wind has begun to blow.

I encourage you to let your heart speak of Him today. Send a note, write an email, buy a card, make a call. Celebrate Christ. Draw a word picture about our wonderful Savior and go tell someone...then listen for the sound of a pen on paper other than your own...the sound of a scroll opening...His heart opening.

See how long things that need resuscitating stay dead in that atmosphere. Buy a bigger cup because it will runneth over. Mine certainly does. It is a first rate blessing to have friends who are addicted to pouring! Pour forth! (Angels, take this down.)

To my darling, golden friends I say thank you for loving me so well in Jesus name. Thank you for sharing your magical heart thoughts with me. How often they literally are a "song in the night" for me. Thank you for painting Christ in colors that stir my soul to love Him more, serve Him more, want Him more.

From an old email comes this prayer I wrote. I have placed it in my Bible where I remember to read it on behalf of all who are so special to me. I pray it over you again now. I pray it on behalf of anyone who is reading this offering.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of wisdom that opens every door.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of freedom that liberates every prisoner.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of abundance that opens the storehouse.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of remembrance that counts every generous word and deed.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of tender ministry that pours oil upon all wounds. (Including the self inflicted ones.)

I breathe upon you the Spirit of protection that stiffens your shields.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of vengeance upon the Wicked One.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of composure and unity and peace and safety.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of life that awakens sleeping dreams and shattered hopes.

I breathe upon you the Spirit of creation that you may make His way beautiful as He inspires you.

I embrace you in the Spirit of friendship which is yours as long as Eternity is in our hearts.

What do you have need of?

What is Christ capable of?

Tell someone.

Angels are listening.


And the Lord saw and heard and kept a record and set deliverance in motion by a strong wind from the south. A fruitful wind. A beautiful, fragrant wind. And God breathed upon them and life returned.


Love and gratitude to those who know who they are.

Monday, November 15, 2010


He desired to eat a last meal with His friends before He "suffered." If any of us knew what Christ knew about what was to come in a few hours-I'm betting we could not have gagged down even one bite. I had to have a biopsy once and couldn't sleep or eat the entire day and night before the procedure such was my dread of the discomfort.

In such a moment magnified to the power of Eternity, Christ was thinking about those dear to Him and considering their needs. In the horror that was to come, when they would be scattered by fear, He was giving them a standing stone of remembrance. A mental anchor, a place where they could connect to Him. He was establishing a new covenant throughout the generations.

So He put a towel around His waist, He who had held the universe in His hands, and He took their feet into those same hands and washed them. This really is a different kind of god. The world knew of nothing quite like Him. Isaiah 53 says, "...we did not esteem him." Power with gentleness. Righteousness with relationship. An un-scary God.

He brought the calm before the storm. Maybe as much for Himself as for them. He surrounded Himself with their comfort and familiarity, their humor, their smells. It would come down to the Garden and the will of the Father in a few hours but for the moment it was about the branches. It was all about beloved friends.

He is still that calm place for us. Still the God who washes, who feeds, who pours, who relates.

Take some time today and become still in God's presence. Slow your breathing through the following exercise:

Inhale: Breathe in the peace of Christ
Exhale: Breathe out the anxiety of the day.

Inhale: Breathe in the gentleness of Christ.
Exhale: Breathe out mental clutter and distraction.

Inhale: Breathe in freedom in Christ.
Exhale: Breathe out that which binds you.

Inhale: Breathe in the joy of Christ.
Exhale: Breathe out discouragement.

Inhale: Breathe in the love of Christ.
Exhale: Breathe out selfishness and personal agendas.*

Continue doing this until you feel ready to meet God today on His terms. Until you esteem Him for who He really is to you. Until you "remember" and recognize that the Vine holds tightly to its branches. He will not give you up. He is the God who suffered for a connectedness to you. You mean everything to Him. Everything.

As the meal is eaten one lays his head on Christ's shoulder.

Is it you?


*(Breathing Exercise from Contemplating the Cross by Tricia Rhodes)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Show Us Your Glory

Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of the donkey. He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace to the nations, his empire will stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the limits of the earth. Zechariah 9:9-10

I was awakened early this morning by a news story on the radio that was playing softly by the bed. It was a story about the economy. Had I still been dreaming it would have made a considerable nightmare. It was a nowhere to run nowhere to hide sort of story. The kind that you either dismiss out of self defense or get down on your knees.

As part of the awful story they were doing they discussed a book on the financial crisis, its origins and ongoing national and global effects. Its title struck me: All the Devils Are Here. (I assume as in "Hell is empty and all the devils are here" from Shakespeare's The Tempest) Now I am wide awake and thinking about a friend's child who is one year old today and my own two year old grandson. I am looking at the world they could inherit. I place the pillow over my head and try not to "see."

I recall T.S. Eliot, "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper." Our world is beginning to whimper. I can hear it. The overt screams we notice like the Sudan or Rwanda or Katrina or 9/11 shake us when they occur but it is the whimpers spreading like foundational cracks that have pricked my ears. There is no safety outside of the Kingdom walls. No peace without the Prince of Peace. No real economy that is not backed up by Heaven. Remember the Glory.

The opening scripture was revealed when Israel was under the control of Persia and the Temple was being rebuilt. When it was again spoken of years later Rome was law. But that scripture speaks freedom to me today.

Today my day started with the words, All The Devils Are Here. Maybe that is so but when will they ever out number the angels of Heaven? When will the place they occupy ever have a position of supremacy over the Kingdom of the Lord and His Christ? Absolutely never.

Must we number the days aright to gain a wise heart? Certainly. Should we practice Kingdom economics and invest in what produces life? Ditto. But should we fret and be swept away by the predictions of the coming storm? Never.

I will take the advice of the prophet which flies in the very face of the gathering clouds. I will rejoice heart and soul. I will sing praises as His daughter. I will look for the One who will banish anguish and war and worry from my heart, who will break in pieces the siege engines of Hell and cause me to behold His empire stretching from sea to sea and from the River to the limits of the earth.

I will do this now not at some future date. I will open my eyes wide and search the horizon for all signs of His coming. He is coming. His Glory will fill the earth one day. Today it will fill me. I will be humbled and surprised by it and filled, filled, filled! May the world see Jesus in my unveiled face.

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I've ever seen
like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
I know I'll never be the same

Show me Your glory
Send down Your Presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your glory
(Third Day)

As for those devils who are all here...well...may they be like just so many cans on a fence and may the Bride have them in the "cross" hairs. We were meant to posses a dangerous beauty. Furthermore, if the Federal Reserve can print worthless paper and flood the economy with it maybe it is time for the Church to put the real thing into circulation. Look for every worthy opportunity to give and to bless. Open your wallet and let the Glory loose.

I will rejoice, Lord, heart and soul in your empire that stretches from sea to sea, whose waves break upon my own shore.

It is The Glory of the Lord that is here. Hell's going to be having the nightmares not the Beloved.

Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look your king is approaching.

Show us your Glory, Lord!
Show me your Glory!
May the earth be filled with your Glory!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Home Waits For You Soldier

Four years ago this month the faithful prayers of friends and family brought our son home from Iraq. To say we were thankful would have been to understate the gratitude we felt with all of its jubilant overtones and reverent undertones. To this day, every day, I remember to be thankful.

But other sons and daughters remain away from their families as we approach another holiday season as a nation at war. (64 lost their lives in Afghanistan just last month.) We must not leave our military out there without our support. We must continue to weave our prayerful protection around those on the field. At the same time we must ask God's healing for those who have returned whose injuries physical and emotional have brought many to the brink of despair. May God minister His peace to all. May he bring them all "Home."

The following is something we sent to friends as an email when JD was still in Iraq in 2006. I offer it now because it speaks of "Home" in a way we need to understand. May those in Iraq and those in Afghanistan know those of us at home are praying and waiting for their safe return. May those at home but hurting soldiers and veterans know we are here for them.

America is having another birthday although there are many of her sons and daughters who will never see another one. Many will watch others set off black cats or bottle rockets because they can no longer run when the fuse is lit. More more will hang back as the parades they once marched in go by because their new prosthesis is still a bit strange and it can't seem to count. Some will remember buddies they can no longer call or email. Some will grieve for limbs lost and at the same time thank God they have a lap where a tiny child sits and says, "Daddy, make your chair go faster...Faster!" Every day sacrifice is added to sacrifice and we are reminded of how not free freedom is.

Soldiers have so many different reasons for enlisting. John David had about an even dozen. Some I bought. Some not. Our President had many reasons for going to war in Iraq. Some I bought. Some not. There are things I do not understand and things I have come to know too well.

This I do know, that the men and women on foreign soil are our men and women and once there, the thing they think of, and dream of, and speak of most, is home. No calling card ever has enough minutes, no letter is long enough. There can never be enough packages. There is never enough sleep or enough food or water or clean underwear but there is an abundance of prayer and hope and courage and talk about home.

There are pictures taped in Humvees, prayer cards and love letters slipped into Kevlar vests and there are always thoughts of home. "When I get back, you can make me Pancake Mountain and all the Tater Tots you can find." When I get back, I'm going to get in the shower and stay there three days." "When this is over, I'm going to curl up with my dog, my wife,...I'm going to surf, hike, bike...I'm going to smell good when I get home and I will never go to another memorial service ever again." "I'm going to sleep without a helmet!" " We'll go for tea." Every soldier I have talked to has his or her own version but home is always the essential ingredient.

Whatever the reason they went to war it is all about home now. For some of them it is not just about their home but about providing a safe home for the citizens of the countries they serve in. No matter how awful the news is about renegade soldiers there are those gentle warriors who vaccinate children, bring widows food after dark so the neighbors don't see who is giving it, give their own clothes to warm someone who is cold, make the roads safe for an old woman to vote or shop or go to prayers, find good homes for stray puppies. Home is peach trees in Georgia or cherry trees in Washington State but there are soldiers who know the palm trees in Baghdad are also someones home. Home is the best part of each of us and home is always worth fighting for.

May God Bless America, the home to so many different kinds of people. May the things we treasure not be things at all. May we always give as it has been given to us. May we always hold dear those who have given so much. May we always recognize that "every good and perfect gift" really does come from God's hand. May we keep a light in the window and in our hearts until all our troops are "home."

I found this poem and thought it said it well:

The Things That Make a Soldier Great

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die
To face the flaming cannon's mouth and never question why
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red
The peonies and pansies too, the old petunia bed
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall
Tis these that make a soldier great, he's fighting for them all.

Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave
Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees
The little garden far away, the budding apple trees
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot where'er it be - the humble spot called home

And now the lilacs bloom again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call
And only death can stop him now he's fighting for them all

~ by Steve Vaus ~


God Bless our troops. Let them know home remembers them on this their eighth Thanksgiving on foreign soil. I am attaching this link to pictures from Afghanistan. They are graphic. One needs more clothes. They will all give you an idea of where our soldiers are and why they, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, need our prayers. God be God for us. We will not cease to pray because the war grows overlong. If the light in the window burns low we will replace it until all are "Home."

(Copy and paste into your browser. Use J and K keys to move up or down)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gennesaret-Garden of Riches

There is an area of land, a valley, unique in all the earth. Some of Christ's most beloved teachings were given from this very spot. Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Mustard Seed and Parable of the Leaven to name a few.

The place I’m referring to is Gennesaret. Ancient Gennesaret was not that large being only two miles wide, four miles long and harp shaped. Its richness and fertility caused it to be known as the “Garden of God”, the "Garden of Riches" and the "Prince's Garden."

The land in Christ's day was so fertile that there was not a plant its soil refused to produce. The walnut, which is a tree that delights in a most wintry climate grew along side the palm tree, which thrives in heat. At the same time there were figs and olives, which required a milder atmosphere, ripening deliciously everywhere among their brother plants.

Plants that would normally compete and drive one another out also flourished side by side giving us a picture of the non-competitive environment God would have in the Church. So here in this place we find any number of different species normally requiring different climates and atmospheres all happily thriving.

Weeds were unwelcome in Gennesaret and seldom found. The good plantings so occupied the ground that there was little opportunity for a thorn or thistle to take root.

The fertility of Gennesaret was capable of supplying grapes and figs through ten months of the year. The growing season was so long that if you were delayed in planting early, even a seed planted late could still become part of the harvest. A good word for those of us who may have missed an opportunity or came to Christ later in life. He has given us seed and the promise of fruitfulness. There is time. I believe this delightful land is a territory God would like to place under cultivation in each one of us.

The fruits of Gennesaret were of such high repute among the people of the day that the Rabbis would ban them from Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, so that the worshipers would not be tempted to come just to enjoy the fruit. Shame on those Rabbis. One bite and you could not help but praise the God who created such lusciousness.

History made many changes in the Holy Land and Gennesaret fell upon hard times. Centuries of neglect made sad changes in this area. It became largely overgrown with thorn-bushes and thistles and no longer yielded the fruit for which it had become so famous. It became instead famous for the largest crop of thistles known to man.

The good news is that between recent purchases by German Catholics and the fact that a considerable portion of the land has passed back into the hands of the Jews, the Garden of Riches is almost entirely cleared of thorns and thistles and is on the road to once again yielding its ancient generosity of fruits.

There are three modern territories in our lives that need the soil of ancient Gennesaret to be cultivated there. Our church life, our home life and our thought life.

In any given church there are competing interests; so many different personalities, so many different points of view, so many differing approaches to life in general. Have you ever noticed how easy it becomes to get on one another’s nerves if we’re not careful. (Fruits and nuts growing side by side-remember?)

In the early church we see in the book of Acts that they had all things common. These brothers and sisters were working together with a common good in mind. The spirit of Gennesaret in our church life today promotes the development of a rich diversity and proficiency of spiritual gifts without envy or competition. All are encouraged and nourished toward developing their gifts. It is not reserved for a sacred few. All are trusting the Master Gardener to shape and direct. All are recognized as essential be they palm or walnut, grape or fig.

That non-competative Gennesaret spirit within a family causes the husband to prefer the wife and the wife to prefer the husband. What causes the wife to flourish causes the husband to flourish, and vice versa. My wife is a talented person and she has lately mined a rich vein of creativity. My heart is thrilled! The good that is happening to her might as well be happening to me, because in effect it is.

Where children are concerned there are no favorite sons or daughters. All are heirs. Such is how God wants His Church to be. When was the last time you heard God the Father ask, "Why can't you be more like your brother?" NEVER!

Finally, within our own thoughts, when we discover competing wants and desires, God will help us sort it all out. He will help us find the way for all of it to grow together if it is of Him, side by side, just as He arranged for the ground in Gennesaret to support the plant life that one would never have expected. It is God who knows how to blend our talents for the Kindgdom. Thoughts contrary to life and fruitfulness (fears and failures) are crowded out as the garden yields its goodness. Thoughts not rooted in the Kingdom, He prunes to inspire growth.

Ancient Gennesaret was about abundance and delightful fruit that nourished and satisfied, and grew in a cooperative atmosphere. Gennesaret today is a Kingdom place. It is the rich soil God has prepared in the very heart of us to produce the fruit this world is crying out for. Repentant fruit, joyously juicy, satisfying fruit. Fruit that smells like Heaven. Fruit that believes. Fruit that sustains. Fruit that heals. Fruit that remembers. Fruit that remains.

The next time you find yourself in prayer, quiet your thoughts, place your hand over your heart and breathe out the word "Gennesaret." Then walk out into that land and claim it for Christ. Smell its sweetness.

“Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the LORD,
until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
(Hosea 10:12)


Presented to
Abundant Life Assembly
Sterling, Alaska
By Rev. John LaMantia 11/7/10

With Honor

It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect...He teaches my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms. Lord, you have also given me the shield of your salvation, your right hand upholds me and your own gentleness has made me great. (Psalm 18)

"Mom, I enlisted today." I cried in secret for days after hearing that from my only child. I was proud and terrified. After Basic and Advanced Infantry he was headed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne.

His father and I took him to the airport and watched him walk away from us into his destiny. We sat in the car in the parking garage and cried so hard I do not know how we didn't set off the car alarms.

That was difficult enough the first time. When he had to return a second time it was almost more than we could stand. I felt like the universe was playing Russian Roulette with someone irreplaceable to us. As if John David's returning to Iraq was not bad enough, we learned he would be going to one of the most awful and dangerous places in Iraq. The Triangle of Death.

When he called to tell us this he said an amazing and insightful thing. He said, "Mom," don't worry." (Like I was going to take that advice. It reminded me of all the Mom don't worries of his high octane childhood) "I told God to cut my orders and to send me wherever He would be able to keep me. So if I am going to that terrible place then that is the place where His grace will be found and He can keep me. Not everything that feels good is a blessing and not everything that feels bad is a curse." He was right. He had the situation squarely illuminated by his spiritual high-beams. When had he become so wise?

God kept our son and our son kept God. My son knows a lot of scripture but in JD's Bible the only verse he has underlined is "Thy gentleness hath made me great." It is his testimony. My son is a warrior but there remain gentle places in his soul. He is loyal and loving and best of all he is home. God did in fact keep him just as JD said He would. John David can now teach that confidence to his own son.

There are many sons and daughters who "Gave their last full measure of devotion" in Iraq and Afghanistan these past years and even more in all of our other wars. May those who returned and those who remember them honor their memory today.

May all of our military who serve and our veterans who have served, be made to feel the grateful embrace of this nation under God. May they know we are thankful for their service in confusing times. May they possess the assurance that even though those of us who were left behind cannot fully, experientially grasp what they have endured and often suffered; nevertheless our hearts are knit with theirs. That we pray God's soothing, Almighty love into their souls and lives.

May God continue to gird them with strength and make their way perfect. May He heal them and reward their faithfulness. May God continue to be God for America.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved home and the war's desolation,
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
(National Anthem)

Thank you to all who did not, do not, bear the sword in vain.

John David, your parents love you, thank you and honor you. You are our best day and a good man. God has my heartfelt gratitude for sending His Angels to the battlefield to bringing you home. Mom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us...Romans 12

I am so happy! I recently visited the home of a friend who is an artist. For the past several years, however, rather than working in pen or paint, she has been sculpting. She has been fashioning two little boys into sons of God. As all mothers will testify (especially mothers blessed with boys) this can be rewarding but exhausting work.

My friend is part of a small circle of spiritually like minded friends who have been encouraging one another to "BE!" as in "Light, Be!" or "Glory, Be!" Encouraging one another to study, paint, write, heal, and practice fierce belief. "Iron has been sharpening iron," if you will, as we have been praying to become river producing clouds.

Last weekend our talented friend rained upon our fields. She painted this picture of my words about our Beloved Lord traveling around the world. (Just as this blog hit everywhere but the South Pole.) I added it to the site with gratitude.

She also painted a picture of fire and water issuing forth from John's sax. John said her prophetic image was upper most in his mind a day later when he played belief and healing over a congregation.

Second Timothy 1:6 mentions stirring up or fanning into a flame the gifts within us. How much it helps if we have friends with matches and a love of seeing God's work light up our lives through our giftings.

John recently preached about the land of Gennesaret where plants that would be in competition with each other anywhere else on the planet all thrive together, produce together and create abundance. Non competitive, juicy, fruitfulness was a hallmark of this ancient Valley and "Garden of Riches."

The Church should be Gennesaret. Some of us have found our way there to our delight. This is a fruitful place with good soil and lots of encouragement. A place where thistles are unwelcome and find no nourishment. This is a garden true Holy Spirit friendship has planted. I encourage you to take your gifts and your friends in hand and find your way there.

Kim, many deep and sincere thanks for your gifts, your inspiration and your friendship. I can hear Christ saying, "Well done!" I love my Word-Seeds and the seven stars in my hair and how wise of you to have made me look younger!

You are a rare find. "A woman who surpasses them all."

To all of you reading this with gifts hidden away in side of you
I say, "Ephphatha-Be opened."
It is a prayer true friends pray over one another.
It is a prayer Heaven will answer.


To Kim Lorentzen, wife, mother, friend, daughter, artist. Don't let your paint brush dry out!


Been thinking about how the world would be better off with out you?

Self murder looking like a better option than having to wake up in the morning?

I heard a doctor once say to a suicidal patient, "You're right. Something needs to die-IT JUST ISN'T YOU!"

What needs to get killed off is our false self. The self that believes all the unfruitful and unbeautiful stories about who we are. God sees us so differently, so hopefully. He called us by name before He ever made an atom.

He made us from dust but it was stardust and from stars He loved enough to name. (He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. Psalm 147)

So look up. The stars are singing about His love for you. Your deep heart can learn the words. "In the beginning" He sang them to you. On Calvary He wrote them down. From the empty tomb His music spilled out into the world. You are part of something here. Don't ever forget it.

Jesus: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24

I do not know who you are but God spoke to me to speak this to you and put it on my blog. I have a good friend who struggles with depression and she makes a pact with herself each day to live one more day in the grace given for that day as she grows toward her complete healing.

God loves this old Universe and He loves you.
He really does.
So don't go.

Talitha Cumi

Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi--which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise. Instantly the girl got up and started walking around. Mark 5 35:43

Jesus has just worked several miracles in a row. Now He calls a girl back to life and commands her to be fed. First He is mocked for suggesting that she is not lost. He removes the unbelievers from her presence and calls her to Him. She responds.

I think there are things we have all wanted to do, persons we have wanted to be, juicy lives we have all longed to live. We each have dreams that never made it past the daydream stage for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons may have to do with family of origin issues, or disappointments in love or its absence, life demands or obligations, a perceived lack of resources or giftedness or even disobedience. Many circumstances could have put our dreams on life support.

" 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word..."

One of these mornings, Jesus will walk into our room, put everyone else out, still all the other voices in our lives (past and present) and He will call to that part of us that sleeps, "Talitha cumi. I say little girl, arise." The stone will be rolled away and it will be Easter Sunday morning with all its bright promise. We will walk out into the daylight and leave the burial clothes folded neatly behind us and know who it is that Christ has called us to be. His grace has redeemed all of us long ago but this calling is to really live in this moment the life His love purchased. This is a call to our heart life and our hearts will respond. His grace will sustain.

Talitha, cumi, Bride of Christ!

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
just from sin and self to cease;
just from Jesus simply taking
life and rest, and joy and peace.

Listen! Can you hear His foot steps?
The table has been set for you.
The first meal of a new day waits.

Put out all unbelief.

Talitha cumi!

Wake up!

Today is as good a day as any to let Christ's Resurrection power stand you on your feet!

Dedicated to Lisa Canfield for her birthday. You are always up to try something new. I am blessed by your friendship.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Age to Age and Heart to Heart

"Age to age and heart to heart
Bound by grace and peace
Child of wonder, Child of God
I'll remember you
Remember Me." (Schultz)

"Do this in remembrance." Remembering was important to Jesus. The human side of Him wanted to remain connected to loved ones. The God side knew we needed that connection. That vine and branches communion.

There is a part of us that lives in the memories of friends and family we are far away from. There are also shared memories we have of departed loved ones we had in common. They live yet even though they are gone. There are funny shared stories we tell of them and they are in the room with us at that moment. I have a friend I have had long enough to have buried people we mutually loved. An "old" friend.

That friend is having a birthday today. She is a friend from way back and she has some good dirt on me. She knew me when my speech was considerably more colorful than it is now. She has know me long enough to have watched my son, who was cast as a donkey, meow like a cat throughout the Children's Nativity. She remembers that same son eating a bug for money in the Youth Group. She was the one who told on him.

I remember lots of things about her too. I remember her spotless kitchen and clean kids. (Mine never were.) Her lovely wardrobe from Dillards. (I put things in Lay-A-Way at K-mart). She sang like a professional and I sang like...well, not a professional. We both love men named John. Mostly I remember that she is my friend and always will be no matter near or far or how opposite we are. There is a connectedness in Christ that ignores time and distance and difference and makes us sisters. I have her heart and she has mine in that great loving heart that is Christ's heart. That "Love one another as I have loved you," heart of grace.

Age to age and heart to heart you are my friend, Pris. I wish you the best and most blessed of birthdays. A year of Glory, Glory, Glory and Holy, Holy, Holy!

Give the maid the day off, Sis!

May God be Glorified in both of our lives.