Saturday's Blog

Welcome to the POG Blog! Today is Saturday which means YOU get to start the discussion on today’s scripture!  What is it saying to you today?  How does it relate to your life right now?  How does it relate to the message from Sunday?  Enjoy reading, meditating, and sharing your thoughts with others today!

Today’s Scripture is:    Psalm 95:1-6

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;


Ephesians 3:16-19 New International Version (NIV) 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Wow!  GOD and our pastor really have a sense of humor!  I happened by the church office last week as pastor was working on the sermon.  He told me it was a hard one to talk about-INTIMACY.  Then I realized that I was supposed to do the blog this week on intimacy. If it was hard for him…

I told pastor maybe I needed to get Cindy to write about this subject.  Intimacy & Jerry don’t really belong in the same sentence together.  I feel like I have several strengths, but intimacy is definitely not one of them.  I was raised to be strong and not show weaknesses.  Kind of like the film clip pastor showed-family, friends, GOD all should know that I love them-I don’t need to actually say or use that L word.

WRONG!  I think that is why I have this blog.  I think that is why GOD and pastor (intentionally or unintentionally) had me write this blog.   I admit that I keep my feelings to myself.  But that does not mean I can’t change.  I have a hole in my heart that I need GOD to fill.  As Paul prays-I also pray that I may be strengthened with the power through HIS Spirit in my inner being and that I fully realize the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge.

Once I truly let GOD fill my heart, then I can really enjoy GOD’s intimacy and intimacy with my wife, family and friends.  Once the foundation is laid in my heart, then the love, intimacy and closer relationships will follow.  Any activity that does not originate from the foundation of GOD’S incredible love for me and the understanding that HE has a plan for me, will never bear the kind of fruit that GOD desires from me.

It is hard to undo 61 years of “being strong and not showing weakness.”  But I am trying and vow to keep trying to comprehend the completeness of GOD’S love for me.  I also will try to show and express my feelings and love for others.



Dear Lord, please completely fill my heart with Your Love.  Please help me to be closer to You and to not hold back my feelings for You!  Please help me to express my true feelings for YOU, my wife, my family, my friends and all that I come into contact with each and every day.  Please fill me with the “love that surpasses knowledge”.  I LOVE YOU! Amen


10.08.15 "Intimate Relationships: The Vine and the Branches"

Hunched over no more!

“Intimacy”. As I read today’s Scripture verses, I am going to try to apply this week’s theme at Point of Grace of “Intimacy” as I read them.  I am going to try to think of the perfect image of “Father” – not my own experiences of my earthly father, nor what I have heard about of other people’s earthly fathers.  I am going to imagine the relationship of a father that God dreamed of for families.  I am going to imagine the relationship God yearns to have with me on a daily basis.  I am going to allow the Holy Spirit to talk to me through these verses, and ask Him to paint a picture of God the Father loving me.  That is the filter.  I am going to mix the NIV with the Message version.  Let’s see what the Holy Spirit does this morning! Let's imagine an intimate conversation with a very Good Father!

Romans 8:15-17 & 11

“Dawn, (fill in your name) _________, you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption)!  This Resurrection Life you received from Me – God, is not a timid, grave-tending life! It’s adventurously expectant, greeting Me - God, with a childlike, ‘Abba, Father’ or  ‘What’s next, Papa?’  My Spirit touches your spirit and confirms who you really are.  You know Who I am, and you know who you are:  Father and child. And if you are My child – then you are an heir – heir of Mine and co-heir of Christ!  And you can know that you are going to receive an unbelievable inheritance!  If you go through the hard times with Christ, then you will certainly go through the good times with Him!”

“Dawn, ______, when I, God your Father, live and breathe in you, you are delivered from that old, dead life!”

We all have our own childhood story of what kind of father we had.  For some, it is a story of security, trust, and confident that we would be loved and cared for forever, with an appropriate kind of intimacy from our father.  For some, it was a time of insecurity, a lack of trust, fearful if anyone really loved us, unsure of daily love, or future love from our father.

Whatever kind of childhood we all experienced is why I love verse 11 that says we are delivered from that old, dead life.  No matter what our earthly fathers may have been like – and none of them were perfect – we are delivered from that and are adopted by God as our perfect Father.

While there is a comfort knowing that in Heaven we will “finally” have the perfect Father, these verses tell me that I don’t have to continue walking around here on earth, cloaked in whatever dysfunctional family junk I had strapped to my back, hunched over, like I am tending a grave.  I no longer have to carry the burdens or consequences around, as if I am still that child.  It says “I am delivered from that old, dead life”.  The enemy would like to keep me trapped inside those memories and scars as if I were still that child – but I NO LONGER HAVE TO!  I am turning 53 this week!  Why in the world do I still walk around like that old child?  No more!  And I encourage you to say, “No More!”  No more grave tending!

Instead of waiting around to die and go to heaven to finally be free – what if we truly believe we have been delivered now, and start living that free life HERE on earth now?  Of course, we will continue to have trials and problems, but we don’t have to walk around timid, or hunched over like we are tending a grave!

“This Resurrection Life you received from Me - God, is not a timid, grave-tending life! It’s adventurously expectant, greeting Me, God, with a childlike, ‘Abba, Father’ or  ‘What’s next, Papa?’”

Nearly every morning I keep a journal as part of my special time with God.  After I have written down a list of thanks, worries, struggles, prayers for others, etc. before I look up the Scripture for that day, I write out the words in the margin, “What today, Papa?”  I am not sure how I got started doing that – but perhaps it was from this verse in Romans.  Then I pause, and say it out loud, “What today, Papa?”  And as I begin to read that day’s Scripture, my mind is already expecting my Good, Heavenly Father to show up and talk to me about whatever He wants to bring to my attention this day.  I expect Him to be there!   He always shows up!  He’s a Good Father – He always shows up to spend time visiting with me!

So, using today’s Scripture from Romans 8 as my daily conversation piece from Him to me, what did He share with me today?  A reminder that “Today, Dawn, ______I don’t want you to walk around trapped by any junk from your childhood.  Don’t walk around hunched over like you are timidly tending a grave.  Stand up!  No fear today!  All in your past is in your past!  It no longer holds you down!  I adopted you!  I am your Father, and I have an adventurous day planned for us today – together!”

Give it a try!  Expect Him to show up every day as He spends time visiting with you.What adventures will you have today with your Heavenly Father?

No more grave-tending today!


10.05.15 "The Breath of God Breathes LIFE into Us!"

Dear God, Creator of heaven and earth, In the book of James it is written, "Come near to God and he will come near to you".  Lord, for this very reason I am intentionally taking time away from my busy life so that I can spend time with you.  I love you, Jesus!  I love you, Jesus!  I love you, Jesus!  I want to be with you, wherever you are and wherever you are moving.  I want to walk with you and to hear your voice.  Heavenly Father, please help me set aside every other concern and care right now so that I can focus on you, your Word, and what you are saying to me.  I love you, Jesus.  Amen!

Genesis 2:7, 21 - 25

Then the Lord God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[a] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[b] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Intimacy.  Talk about intimacy; you can't get much more intimate than this!  We have a God who is not content with being merely close to us or near us.  Our God gets INSIDE of us.  His breath came into Adam's nostrils and filled his lungs.  God's breath inside of Adam gave him life.  That's the picture we get of God creating Adam and Eve.

But God's intimacy with mankind did not stop at Creation; it has continued throughout the generations to this very day.  God's Spirit moves in us and through us, and it gives us LIFE today, just like it did with Adam and Eve when the world was created.

As you go through the rhythms of your day, think about the fact that God's Spirit is in you.  He fills your mind, your heart, your soul, and your lungs.  Remember that God is always waiting for us, ready to listen, ready to act, and ready to love.

May you feel the Spirit of God dwelling in you richly today!


Saturday's Blog

Welcome to the POG Blog! Today is Saturday which means YOU get to start the discussion on today’s scripture!  What is it saying to you today?  How does it relate to your life right now?  How does it relate to the message from Sunday?  Enjoy reading, meditating, and sharing your thoughts with others today!

Today’s Scripture is:    Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

10.1.15 "God's Wardrobe"

The Scripture for today is Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)  12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

I spent 21 years of my life in the U.S. Navy.  During those years, my wardrobe was selected for me.  My uniform was worn in a specific manner, the garments that I wore to train for physical fitness were subject to regulations and as a matter of fact, there were standards for how to dress when I wore “civilian” clothing.  I must admit that figuring out what to wear and how to look was really easy during those years.  When I retired from the Navy 14 years ago, I found that I have no real gift for putting together a great looking, properly accessorized outfit.  I am a gal that is more likely to end up on “What Not to Wear” than the “Red Carpet” at the Oscars.  As I read this verse from The Message, I was struck by the phrase “and regardless of what else you put on, wear love.  It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it.”

How like our Father to turn things upside down.  In a world that dictates how we dress, how we look, what designer labels we should buy and focuses on our outer appearance, we have a hard time “measuring up”.  There is incredible pressure to conform.  The world teaches us to strive for the most current fashionable clothing, the “cool” shoes, the perfect accessories, and the sexiest makeup.  Just as soon as we get it all together – everything changes.  Out with the old, in with the new!  God says to dress in compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.  Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.  How refreshing!  God’s wardrobe doesn’t require shopping, spending and striving - just LOVE.  We can turn to him for help in getting dressed each day!

Just imagine how different a runway show would be if we all dressed in the wardrobe God chose for us.  Can you just picture a woman radiating compassion to the people all around her, a man clothed with quiet strength, a teenager wrapped in humility or a little child cloaked with kindness?  It’s highly unlikely that the paparazzi would be snapping photos and the editors of Vogue would be clamoring to publish the photos in their next spread.  The world doesn’t recognize beauty in these "garments" but God does.  We can, too.  Today as you go about your daily routine, take some time to look for these children of God clothed in the wardrobe that he picked out for them - LOVE.  As appropriate, recognize and encourage these brothers and sisters in Christ.  Maybe, just maybe, someone will compliment you on your “outfit” today.

Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us how to dress in our God-designed wardrobes.  Help us to don compassion, kindness, humility and quiet strength.  We want to wear LOVE! Give us eyes to see your beauty shining in the people all around us.  We love you, Lord Jesus.  Amen.


09.30.15 "Ramblings of a Reconciling Sinner"

2 Corinthians 5:16-21  NIV So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 

We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

This past week we watched some of Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. The world looks at the Pope and sees an old man dressed in a white robe, being broadcast for four days over the news stations and disrupting the usual routines of our government and the cities that he visited.   Some heard his message and others ignored it.

I listened to some of the messages that he shared and was inspired.  I was listening as a follower and ambassador for Christ and believed that God was speaking through him as he shared messages of wisdom, hope and encouragement.  I watched as he traveled to Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia, and greeted all the people along the way and touched the children.  I prayed that the world would stop and listen, and receive the message that God loved them and was calling them to come to him through Jesus and be reconciled to him, and live for him.

Over 2000 years ago, Christ came and disrupted the lives of the people of that time.  For a short time he walked on the earth and taught them about God.   His teaching was fresh and new, different from what the Pharisees and teachers of the law had been teaching.  He came to reconcile us to God and he changed forever the way in which all mankind could through his death and resurrection, be made right with God. 

Only through Christ Jesus can we receive the gift of reconciliation.  All we have to do is Give and Receive Forgiveness!   No longer would the people have to sacrifice an animal to be forgiven of their sins from God.  Jesus was sacrificed on our behalf.  He took our place on the cross and took all the blame for all of our sins,  even though he was without sin.

Jesus did the hard part, now it’s our turn to believe that what he did for each of us matters and really counts with God.   All that he asks us to do is confess our sins and receive his gift of Forgiveness and go then and forgive others.  It is quite simple really!

Why, then, is it so difficult for us to do?   Why is an Authentic “I’m sorry for…” so difficult to say?  Why is a heartfelt “I forgive you” so hard to express?

I can only speak for myself, but suspect it is probably the same for each of us. My Self centered PRIDE, gets in the way.  It makes excuses.  I have gotten comfortable in my sin.  Fear is an old friend that keeps me company and soothes my anxious heart as I consider taking a bold step and actually admit my wrong to the person that I have hurt.   It may have been unintentional, but I still hurt them either by saying or doing the wrong thing or by not saying anything to help them or the situation.  Sharing the thoughts and feelings that I have held in for so long and have covered up to avoid feeling uncomfortable.  Not knowing if the person I ask forgiveness from will accept my apology and give their forgiveness to me in return.

The other part is confronting someone who hurt us,  especially if it was long ago and probably forgotten.  I was hurt by some girls long ago who pretended to be my friends, but really were not.  It took me a very long time to get over their rejection.  I nursed my internal wounds for years.  Finally I grew tired of the anger, and bitterness that had taken up residence in my heart.  It was keeping me from opening up and trusting anyone ever again.  I built a wall around myself that only Jesus could break down.   I received Jesus as my savior, but I could not see that my holding onto my hurt and protecting myself from future hurts was sin.   Like a child letting go of their security blanket or stuffed animal, I had to let go of my pent up feelings.  As Jesus pierced my heart with his love and forgiveness, he helped me to let go of my hurt and of my pride and let the healing process begin.   Over the years I have accumulated a mountain of hurt that I needed to let go of.   I needed to forgive those who hurt me, not for them, but for me.  I had to do this so that I could move on and live the life that Christ intended for me to live.   As I look back over my life I can see how my pride and fears have ruled my life.   I let them be my master instead of Jesus.

Now I see how necessary it is to be reconciled and renewed through Christ!

I no longer fear facing the truth and taking responsibility for my sins.   Long ago I was at crossroad in my life.   I couldn’t see my own sinful heart.   I asked God to reveal to me what I couldn’t see for myself.   He began showing me and is still showing me.

It all comes down to this one question that I have to ask myself.  Am I living for Me or for God?  That question opens up many more difficult questions that I need to answer for myself.  I need to be honest with myself, because God already knows the truth and wants me to see it for myself.

Am I the most important thing in my life or is God?  Am I willing to do what God is asking me to do for my own glory or for God’s?  Do I believe that God is real and that he loves me?   Do I receive his love and forgiveness? Have I truly repented of my deep dark sins?  Have I completely let go of all my fears?

All I can say is “Jesus, Help me!”  I am trapped in a prison cell of my own making.  Jesus opened the door and has given me permission to leave my little cell that has limited me and kept me from being all that God has planned for me to be.

I got too comfortable and looked out at the world and retreated in fear.

Christ says,”Come follow me”,  and “Don’t be afraid, I am with you!”

I am ready Jesus, help me take the next step.

Ok, so I am rambling here and it’s time to stop, but Jesus has helped me in this message to make a break through for myself.   I see that I must go and be reconciled to those I have hurt, and those who have hurt me.  I must do this for me, in order to be right with God.  It is preventing me from truly being free in Christ.

This summer I had a chance to climb a mountain, I chickened out.  I gave into my fears and stayed where I felt safe and I missed out on a great experience and beautiful view.  Now I am ready to face my mountain of fears again and to let Jesus help me wipe it completely away.

I hope and pray that this blog post helps you who read it.  I hope you can make some sense out of it.  My prayer is that God would help you to face your own fears and go be reconciled through Christ to God and others today.

Lord Jesus, thank you for being the sacrificial lamb for me!  I can never repay you.  All I can do is to go and make things right with those that you have put in my life and put things right with God.   I definitely need your help with all this task;  To face the giant of fears in myself and  To take what I have,  along what all God’s power and strength to defeat my enemy!  I’m ready Lord.  Let’s do this!



9.29.15 "Christ's Love Controls Us!"

2 Corinthians 5:11-15 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

Some years back when we lived in Dallas we attended a church that had a well know Senior Pastor that had been pastoring for years and had spent many years at the church we attended.  He was a gifted teacher and I recall always trying to make time to attend any bible study sessions he led.  It was in one such class that he made a statement that caught me off guard.    He was speaking of things that challenged him and mentioned that there were indeed times that he had doubts.  This sort of shook me.  Here was the Pastor of a very large church, who had spent years in school and in ministry devoting his very life to CHRIST telling us that there were times when he had doubts.  I thought if this man, whom I deeply respected, had moments of doubt where does that leave me?

As he continued for the first time I saw him as human, a man, not a Pastor.  In response to the anxious questions the entire class had about how he dealt with the doubt, his face broke into a warm smile and he teared up as he explained he didn’t do anything.  He shared that always when those feelings would come something would happen to remind him of all that he had seen and experienced as a servant of CHRIST and the doubt would quickly be replaced by joy and a sense of peace.

The Pope’s visit garnered lots of attention this past week not all of it positive.  There were plenty of those that made unkind comments about the ridiculousness of the idea of a virgin birth, GOD in the flesh, and resurrections.  To them believing in such things is crazy especially now, more than 2000 years later.   For me the fact that we are still talking about it 2000 years later makes it not so crazy.  For me seeing that Pastor transformed, his eyes filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, his face beaming as he explained what faith was and where it came from, that’s not so crazy.   For me when I consider the alternative and the source of the alternative, now that’s crazy.

Heavenly FATHER thank you so much for this day and the opportunity to boldly share the truth no matter how crazy it may sound to some.  Help us LORD to remember what we have seen YOU do for us and for those we love.  Let YOUR HOLY SPIRIT shine through us LORD like crazy!  Amen.

9.28.2015 "Keep Us Forgiven"

Matthew 6:9-15 The Message (MSG) 7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. 14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

Good morning brothers and sisters! I decided to read the Message version of today’s passage and with the Message you sometimes are unable to decipher what the exact verses you are trying to read. Today’s verses (Matthew 6:9-15) in the Message version begin with verse 7. Before I read I prayed for God to speak to me and to guide me in what I typed.

The first sentence is so humbling, I’m still laughing! I know when I rely on myself I’m always “prayerignorant”. Amen? As I read on, I agree… He knows better than me what I need. So, there is no need to pray like I think I should, like someone who has all their words and thoughts together. I can not only pray simply, but Jesus gave us the words to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus told us how to pray, I don’t have any excuses not knowing how to pray.

Delton preached on Reconciliation on Sunday with God and others (focusing on family). What I heard from God was so powerful. (Thank You Father) And what I’m hearing from God as I write this blog is equally freeing. In this Message version, I first address who He is - My Father in heaven. Then I connect with Him and ask Him to revel/tell me who He is, giving Him the control, not me! This is HUGE! As I pray, if I don’t connect and rest at His Throne it ends up being me praying/taking control. Hmmmm, wanting to take control, a daily occurrence with me. Asking HIS Kingdom to come is even a bigger way to say I surrender to You Father, You and only You know what’s best.

Then I would like to skip to the line that hit me hardest, the issue that Delton preached reconciliation comes through - FORGIVENESS. I love the way it is written here, “Keep us forgiven with You”. Keep me forgiven with You, Father! It’s hard for me to put on paper how powerful, how humbling, how connected I feel as I pray that one line. I linger here, I want to fall on my knees.

And I cannot begin to be reconciled with others, forgive others until I am reconciled with, forgiven by, my Father in heaven. I could go on and on with the things God spoke to me through Delton and worship Sunday, but my job is not to preach and I feel I’ve said what God spoke to me right now for this blog. I would love for you to listen to the Message from Sunday if you missed it and would so enjoy reading how God spoke to you as you read these verses. Have a truly Blessed Monday in constant communication with our Father in heaven. Love in Christ, cindy

Saturday's Blog

Welcome to the POG Blog! Today is Saturday which means YOU get to start the discussion on today’s scripture!  What is it saying to you today?  How does it relate to your life right now?  How does it relate to the message from Sunday?  Enjoy reading, meditating, and sharing your thoughts with others today!

Today’s Scripture is:    Psalm 1

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

09.25.15 "What's Your Point of View?"

Please pray: Dear God in heaven,

This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.  I love you, Jesus!  I love you, Jesus!  I love you, Jesus!  Please help me to listen to you and to follow you, no matter where you lead me.  I dedicate these next few minutes to the study and meditation of your Holy Word.  Thank you for hearing me and speaking to me.


2 Corinthians 5:14-19

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Our message last Sunday was entitled "Family Matters…Honor!"  There is so much that could be written about how what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians supports this notion of Honor.  My attention is focused on the sentence, "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view."  Paul could have gone on to say that, from this point forward, we will regard people from a heavenly point of view, from a perspective that looks at each person on earth as a child of the living God.  After all, haven't we all been created in the image and likeness of God?

Looking at people in this way changes everything.  We now have the opportunity to truly honor people because they are God's people.  We get to pour value into them by the way we speak to them, the way we treat them, and by the way we speak about them "behind their backs".  The phrase in the song "make my heart break for what breaks yours" comes to mind.  Refusing to look at people from a worldly point of view means we get to look at them the way God looks at them.  He loves them and therefore we get to love them, too!

As Delton has been known to say, you will not lock eyes on one person today whom God does not love.  I encourage you to think about people in that way today.  Regard no one you meet with or speak to today from a worldly point of view…they are God's children.

May God bless you and may YOU be a blessing today to the people around you!


9.24.15 "The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Christ"

Heavenly Father, thank you for a new day in which to thank, love and serve you. Quiet our minds as we consider these amazing words given by the Holy Spirit to the apostle Paul for our blessing. As you value and honor us today, help us by your Spirit to value and honor everyone we encounter.  Amen Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV)

8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

In this passage, the apostle Paul looks on all the things that have given his life meaning and value, and considers all of it ‘garbage’ compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and being found in Him. His righteousness before God and his value as a person is not dependant on what he has accomplished but on the righteousness that comes from faith in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.

What the apostle Paul discovers about his value as a person has little to do with the work of his hands but on the gift that God has freely provided in Jesus Christ through faith. It is a reality that each of us must acknowledge.

Today God has reminded me that if my value is caught up in the fact that I am on the clergy roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, I have it all wrong. While being a pastor is a noble endeavor, in a few short years when I see the Lord face to face, He’s not going to ask for my ordination certificate.

Being found in Christ through faith in Him is the essence of the Christian life. I rejoice today because my life has value, not because of anything I have done but because of what God has done in and through me by His Spirit.  I am honored today and valued as a child of the King. The same is true for every one of you who know Jesus and are found in him.

Lord, thank you for giving our lives value and for honoring us through the gift of your son.  Help us to be alert to the ways you want to use us to share the good news of salvation with others and to honor them by showing that in Jesus, their lives will have value and meaning. Amen.


"Needing Help!"

We have a great story to read today! When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus grabs my attention.  He notices people!  People matter to Him that seem to have fallen through the cracks of mattering much to anyone else!  This is good news for me!  When I am sensing my insignificance I can be confident that I am not insignificant to Him - and His opinion matters most!

There is something more for me here though!  I think Jesus is talking more deeply to me about the topic of "honoring" or "pouring value into others" which we spoke of this past Sunday!  I am caught in this moment by His first words, "Will you give me a drink?"!  Jesus pours significance into this "untouchable" lady (Samaritan, multiple marriages, sexually promiscuous) by noticing her and ...... asking her to do something for Him.  "Give me a drink?"  When He did that He noticed her and trusted her at the same time... she could do something for Him.  This builds value in a person - a sense of self worth.

As I think about it the application is rich for family life.  We get to notice people... even the ones we see everyday ... perhaps those we do life with regularly and really don't notice.  We get to also ask them to help us.  We get to trust someone else with our need.  I think of all the things I did when my kids were young that I should have asked them to help me with but I ended up doing it myself.  It usually took more time, was a little messier when I asked the kids to help but was probably better for them.  It took more time for Jesus to ask for a drink from the woman and certainly turned out to be messier........ but then the drink was never what the encounter was about at all... was it?

Jesus honoring the women by "noticing" her and "needing help" from her opened up a life giving encounter for her!

Wow!  Something to think about!



John 9:1-12 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

As I read these verses, I couldn’t figure out who really was blind.  Or for that matter who was the blindest?  It appears that the only person not blind in this scripture is Jesus.  The disciples were blinded of the true value of the blind man.  They wanted to figure out whose fault it was that this man was blind.  They could not see that this man was a person that mattered to Jesus and had value to GOD.  They thought the man was “damaged” and had no value.

The blind man was blind physically, but not spiritually.  He allowed Jesus to smear mud over his eyes.  I am sure that the blind man had been physically and verbally abused his entire life.  However, he allowed Jesus to put mud in his eyes and then did exactly as Jesus told him.  He went and washed in the Pool of Siloam.  He could just as easily wiped his eyes clean with a rag or found water elsewhere to clean his face.  But he “blindly” faithfully followed Jesus’ instructions and his sight was restored.

Then the neighbors instead of witnessing God’s Grace, decided that this was not “the same man who used to beg.”  They were blinded and could not see the miracle that Jesus had performed.  If you continue to read the rest of the chapter, you learn that the neighbors took the blind man to the Pharisees.  The Pharisees were also blinded and decided the man and Jesus were both sinners.

So I ask, Who is the blindest?  Was the blind man really blind?  He saw Jesus for who He was and faithfully did as he was told.  Jesus saw the value in the blind man and the value in each of us.

Jesus tells us to follow Him and allow the “works of God” to be displayed in us.  He is the light and He asks us to be His light in the world.  He asks us to faithfully follow Him, to see His Light and to shine that Light on all that we come into contact with today and every day until we sit at the throne of Jesus.

Dear Lord thank you for shining your light on me.  Help me not to be blinded by the beauty of this world that you have created for me.  Help me to see all of the grace that you have bestowed on me.  Use me as your light to shine on each person that I come into contact with today and everyday.  Amen!


9.21.15 "Light and Dark"

The Scripture for today is Matthew 4:13-17 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Every morning, one of the first things that I do when I wake is to turn on the lamp at my bedside. When I go downstairs, I open the blinds and let in the light.  I love to see the shadows disappear and the light illuminate the day.  For me – light is energy.  My mood is lifted as the sun peeks over the horizon.  Light is also safety – the shadows of the night no longer hiding secrets and lurking danger.  Light is warmth – the sun warming my skin, a glowing fire taking the chill out of the air.  Darkness is the opposite for me.  When darkness comes, I close the blinds in order to feel less exposed in the privacy of my home.  I tend to have less energy and more of a desire to rest.  Darkness feels less safe – things that might hurt me are hidden under the cover of darkness.  Darkness feels cold and sometimes lonely.

Light and dark are meaningful words for me in my faith walk.  When I came to a renewed faith twenty one years ago – light entered my soul in the presence of Jesus.  As the Holy Spirit has continued to lead me – dark and secret hurts have been brought into the healing light of Jesus.  As I lift my face up to Him, his countenance smiles down upon me; warming me with his presence.  When I walk through dark times, He is my light, my hope, my safety.  I don’t have to fear the darkness – the hidden dangers.  I know that he is with me and will work all things for my good.

Light and dark are meaningful words for my family.  For my husband and children, who are believers, how do I reflect the light of Christ living in me onto them?  How do I honor and value them as Jesus would have me honor and value them?  How do I encourage them to cling fast to him in times of darkness and trouble?  For my extended family members who don’t have a strong faith in Christ, who live in darkness – how do I encourage them to let the light of Christ shine onto them?  How can I honor them and the family relationships that we have without compromising my faith – a faith that they don’t necessarily share?

Lord Jesus, thank you for being light in a sin-dark world.  Thank you for loving us and valuing us so much that you gave your life for us.  Teach us to be your light and radiate that light to those all around us.  Teach us to hold fast to you in the midst of darkness.   We love you, Jesus!  Amen!


Saturday's Blog

Welcome to the POG Blog! Today is Saturday which means YOU get to start the discussion on today’s scripture!  What is it saying to you today?  How does it relate to your life right now?  How does it relate to the message from Sunday?  Enjoy reading, meditating, and sharing your thoughts with others today!

Today’s Scripture is:    Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


9.16.15 "Taming the Tongue"

Taming the Tongue My Lord Jesus Christ, I surrender my self, my mind, anxiety, anger and bitterness, my rebelliousness, arrogance, and self-condemnation, my fear, brokenness and sinfulness…all to You!  Please forgive me… I receive your complete and total forgiveness.  Holy Spirit…. I receive You, as pure gift into the deep center of my being.  I truly desire your fruit to flow out of me as I communicate…I trust You and will act like it.  In Jesus name I come against Satan and all my conversations!   Deliver us from the evil one, Father!  I receive You and all You have for me and will live like you are living through me in every communication I have this day! In Jesus Name.  Amen!

James 3: 3-8 NIV

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but makes great boasts.  

Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

 I truly do not know what to write here.   I have made several attempts all day, but haven’t been able to come up with anything!   Here is my final attempt.

What this says to me is that I; we all, need Jesus to help us with this!  This is why we need to be in constant prayer and be sensitive to the Holy Sprit that lives within each of us!

I for one have a difficult time communicating my thoughts and am often feel that I am misunderstood or not taken seriously.   If I don’t know what to say, I don’t say anything.  I really try to use my voice to encourage and help others to hear the truth about God to share what the Lord is saying through me.  I try not to let my emotions guide me or take it personally if what I am saying is not received in the way I intended.

This passage really drives it home that we need to be so careful in what we say and in how we say it!  And to also be ready to clarify when the listeners are not getting what we are saying.  Sometimes when it’s during a heated moment when emotions are very high and maybe interfering with the communication between two people.  The person who is speaking, maybe speaking the truth but saying it with a tone that isn’t loving or kind.  The person listening may not be really listening, but thinking about what they want to say next.

In the book Love and Respect,  by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  He describes this as the “Crazy Cycle” that we tend to go through in our attempts to communicate our thoughts and feelings, but not quite able to because one or neither of those involved in the conversation are really listening or hearing what the other is saying.

That’s the time as Pastor Delton talked about on Sunday, to step back for a time to cool down, pray, and listen to what God wants to say to us and through us.

I searched the word tongue on my Bible App., there are more than I have space here to list out, but here are a few,

Proverbs 15:4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

Psalm 34: 13  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.

Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Psalm 39:1 I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”

Psalm 66:17  I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

Psalm 139:4  Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

So as we surrender our whole selves, and especially our tongues to the Lord, let us commit to using our voices to praise God and uplift others with encouraging words.  If we must speak the truth that may hurt another,  speak it in love not anger or with a tone that is caring not condescending.   This is also a good place for GRACE!   Tangible Grace with one another, as we connect with others and share God’s love with them.

Thank you Jesus!  For coming and demonstrating how to communicate with God and others in a loving, caring way.   Please help each of us Lord as we speak with others, that we allow your love and Holy Spirit to flow through us.  Help us not to get in the way or prevent those that you bring into our lives from hearing the truth about you and their need for you.  Help us to trust you Lord, and step out in faith each day as your Ambassadors to the world, and to those right within our own homes. And share your love in ways that others will hear and receive it and you.   Amen.


9.15.15 "Turning Down My Song to Listen To Yours"

James 1:19-20 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

I believe that listening is an art form.  I should clarify.  I believe that the listening James is speaking of is the ability to listen to other people, not our favorite song.  It is so very difficult to master.  The primary reason listening it is so difficult is because we constantly hear one voice virtually non-stop, our own.  In order to truly listen we have to turn down the volume of our own voice and that takes practice.   Truly listening, as Pastor has said, requires us to use not only our ears, but our eyes, and heart.   Choosing to listen may not only provide us with a learning opportunity but it may also keep us out of trouble.

This passage reminds me of a heated discussion I had with my Dad when I was sixteen.  I worked after school and earned enough to by a little car.  Cool right?  But there was a catch, one that I knew about going in but so wanted that car and so wanted to drive that I agreed to it.  The catch was I would be placed on the family auto insurance plan, which was much less expensive than if I bought it on my own, but still pretty high because of my age.  My Dad agreed to absorb half of my insurance premium as long as I dutifully did my part.  I did not.  I hated paying that insurance.  It seemed like such a waste to me.  Time and time again my Dad and I would have a heated discussion because I was delinquent on my part of the insurance.  No matter how much my Dad tried to explain and teach me responsibility and accountability I rejected it as unfair and mean.

The process came to a head when I came home from work one payday and found the insurance bill taped to the door of my room.  Dad had written my portion of the bill out in red ink and also put a note saying if I couldn’t afford the insurance I couldn’t afford the car.  I was furious.  In a rage I pulled the money from my wallet and found my father eating diner.  I slammed the money on the kitchen table causing everything on it to jump up a couple of inches and crash back down.  In a huff I jumped into my car and pealed out of the driveway headed for a friend’s house to cool off.  I didn’t make.  Less than a mile from my house a fifteen year old with a learner’s permit, being taught to drive by her grandfather, T-boned me at a busy intersection.

Everyone was Ok except for a few cuts and scrapes but my car was a complete mess.  Since it was a busy intersection a small crowd gathered.  A friend of mine stopped and offered to be a witness for me if I needed one.  The police came out and took statements and in the midst of all this commotion I noticed a familiar face in the small crowd, my Dad.  When our eyes met in an instant I understood everything and felt so ashamed for how I had acted and treated him.  He smiled that little crook smile of his and said don’t worry son, your insured.

Heavenly FATHER thank you so much for providing us with the coverage we need each and every day of our lives.  Teach us LORD how to shut up and listen, learn, love.  In CHRIST name we pray. Amen

9.14.15 "Speaking the Truth in Love"

Speaking the Truth in Love Ephesians 4:14-16

The Message (MSG)

14-16 No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

Something Pastor said in his message this morning really stuck with me.  He said “speaking the truth in love is something mature Christians do.  Speaking the truth without love is immature, and loving people without truth is immature.”

It’s that second one I have trouble with.  I was blessed to grow up in a loving, Christian family.  Angry cursing and yelling when there was conflict just wasn’t ever a part of my life.  I thought everyone lived that way.  In fact, there just wasn’t very much conflict at all.  “Say something nice, or don’t say anything at all” was the order of the day.  I didn’t feel stifled, “being nice” was what we were all supposed to do.

Looking back, it hindered my ability to argue for a good cause, to speak up when I felt passionate about something, and even now, confounds people close to me.  I “flee” when there is conflict.  Putting the best construction on everything is a no-brainer for me.  I don’t like to argue, even when it’s a “healthy” time to do so.  I can literally love and enable the people close to me into making decisions (or no decision at all) or ignoring an important topic to their detriment!  Ack!  I see that this is wrong, and only have to be reminded of Jesus throwing out the salesmen in the temple in his RIGHTEOUS anger.  This was an example of “loving people with truth”.

I think we can all be better about speaking truth to people in a loving way.  This is the mature kind of relationship that Christ wants us to have with each other.  To “love each other as Christ loves us”, but also speak truth to each other when necessary.  However, in order to do this, we first need to listen, really hear where the other person is coming from.  As the Message version above says, we need to “take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”  We can call on him through prayer when we are confronted by conflict, or when someone needs to hear truth in their lives.

Father God, please remind me to be “Jesusy” when I’m faced with a friend or loved one who needs to hear your wisdom.  Please guard the words that come from my mouth, so that they will be Your words, spoken with the kind of love only you can give us.  I thank you for this love and grace that you ask us to share with others.  Make me bold to speak Your truth!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.