Month: August 2021

What Do You Need to Get Going?

Sunday Sermon 8.28.21

I feel many have been in a perpetual holding pattern for the past fifteen months. So many things have been placed on hold, deferred, declined, shied away from or just plain canceled. This has affected all areas of life, personal, professional and most seriously spiritual. Many have put off things that are now time to get going.

There is merit in addressing lost jobs, vacations, and the like, but I’d like to focus on lost spiritual ground, spiritual assignments and spiritual standings. What in that arena do you need to get going?

Can you visualize an ox goad?

That wooden tool, about 8 feet long, with an iron spike at one end. It was used by the herder to goad or spur the oxen as they carried the cart. When the ox was poked, it’s response was to sometimes kick against it in resistance. This of course was not only futile but also painful for the ox.

Ox goad

The dictionary tells us that a goad is:

” an agent or means of prodding or urging; a stimuls. Anything that acts to stir or incite.”

Cambridge dictionary says this:

” to make a person or animal react or do something by continuously annoying or upsetting them”

It is my strong, personal sense that we are being urged, prodded, poked and perhaps even annoyed or upset by the sharp end of the goad. We are being encouraged and stirred to do something, change course, and redirect. The prod and poke of the Spirit is urging us to get going.

Let me suggest to you the following acronym that came to me as I considered the goal of the goads.

The Goal of the G.O.A.D.S.

G – get us going (in the power of the Gospel): stirring us to act, move and speak in line with the gospel and it’s truth, light and power

O – optimize the oxen’s strength (our stength!) : the oxen has strength to carry a heavy load and yet it often chose to rest, sit, and stay put. The goad poked him to action and to utilize the strength that he has. We are that oxen oftimes.

A – assess the actual progress : weight bearing oxen had to advance and make progress each day, there was a job to be done and his progress was vital. No forward motion led to a poke or a prod to get them to gain ground an move forward. Progress was expected everyday!

D – direct away from danger, to deter certain actions: the goad often guided and directed that ox away from predators, or any other dangers in the road ahead. That nagging, sharp, annoying voice (goad) was protecting and redirecting

S – spur us on: as annoying or upsetting as the goad can be, it was only intended to spur the ox in the right direction, on the right path, pulling the load is was meant to with the strength it has been given.

I have trouble visualizing an ox kicking against that ox goad. How could its hoof and leg actually manage to hit that pointy, poking, prod? Really?? It’s kinda funny.

But isn’t that what we do? We kick back at those subtle pokes of the Spirit because we know that He is calling us to get moving and get with it. We are being encouraged to do something that what we are not comfortable with and our stubborn as an ox spirit oftimes resists.

But God said, to the soon to be Apostle Paul:

“It is hard for you to kick against the goads”

Acts 26:14 NIV

“You are only hurting yourself when you resist your calling.”

Acts 26:14 TPT

Dear reader, when we resist the pokings of the Holy Spirit goad, we are only hurting ourselves. We are resisting the very calling He has placed on our lives.

Remember, those promptings and pokings are intended to get us going with optimal strength on a path forward, actually making progress and guarded from danger. That goad is spurring us on and stirring us up.

Geesh, if we were walking fully submitted to the GOAD (voice of the Spirit), we could be doing the same as Shamgar, who is said to have killed 600 with an ox goad. Or perhaps even be as the wise one in Ecclestiates, of whom it is said their wise words were like ox goads.

All I know folks, is it is time for all believers in Jesus to get going! You cannot be doing now, the same things you were doing fifteen months ago! If nothing has changed in your spirit, then you have not responded to the goadding of the Spirit in your life. If you are stuck, it is time to yield to the goad and get going. If you are resisting that goad, you are only hurting yourself. There will be futility and pain.

The world needs you, and the time for ignition is short. The call of the Spirit is strong and is indeed urging you to get going. What are you waiting for?

The goal of the goads it to get us going.

Go with God,


I’ve Seen Alot Change

I have to laugh when I’m told by a “young” person that there is “nothing on TV”.

You see, I vividly remember the nights when the TV would turn to static at midnight, then change to color bars until 6:00 AM the next morning. THOSE were the days of nothing on TV. Ha Ha Those were also the days (nights) of making it nearly impossible to stay awake while babysitting. Oh, and getting paid a whopping .75 cents an hour!

I remember this well.

I’ve seen alot change.

This week, I proudly boast that I trun 67! So, allow me if you will, to recall some of those changes.

This is the city I was born in, in the early 1950’s, and it’s famous bridge that we frequented.

In those days schools taught memorization, discipline, and the 3 R’s. Books were read and used in the classroom and in homes and we all walked to school each day.

Those days, too, were powerful years for religion. Remember, this was the generation coming out of WWII and their desie to return to roots, family and community were driving forces. 97% of people those days had some type of religious affiliation, whereas today, 77% do.

The role of women has changed, too. In those days most women were housewives, today, 60% of women work outside of the home.

Families then were larger. My husband comes from a family where his mother had 12 siblings, and his father 13 (or was it the opposite, I dont remember). I have 3 siblings, so we were a smaller family in comparision.

Within the home, things have changed as well.

There was one telephone, and it was in what was considered a central location. Everyone in the family used it, although the children had absolutely no reason to (and usually no permission). When those teenage, long and dramatic calls came in, it was not without shouting, and recalls, and call backs – because your parent actually NEEDED the phone. Sometimes even the dreaded “party line” was picked up or listened in to. Now, those were the days!

Communication has changed alot.

Talking on the phone has been replaced by texting. People don’t sit face to face for hours to talk, plan or do much of anything else. Now it is sceen to screen, swipping, scrolling, or blocking. Letter writting is antiquated, and handwriting as a form (pennmanship, when I was going to school) is not really taught anymore. Keyboarding skills and shortcuts are emphasized instead.

Then, there’s the internet, where we literally have the knowledge of good and evil at our fingertips. It is the tree or web that connects us to anything we want whenever we want it. Oh my goodness!

Nightly news has become the daily news cycle. A repetited loop of partisan, talking points with very little informational value and no nutritional benefit. Twenty-four hour news with virtually nothing new reported.

Cars drive themselves now, and that cool Dick Tracy watch you talked to is on my wrist today. Very Cool!

TV has evolved.

Gone are the days of The Lone Ranger, I Love Lucy and Abbot and Costello. They have morphed through Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, The Partridge Family, MASH, The Walton’s, Cheers, Growing Pains, The Wonder Years, and Magnum PI.

In the early 1990’s in marched the world of witches and vampires with Sabrina, Buffy and others. Then Harry Potter exploded in 2001.

I remember seeing for the very first time on a screen in my living roon scenes that just 10 years ago were unacceptable and morally repudiated.

I’ve seen alot change.

Selfies, fewer smokers, eating healthy, going green and even what it looks like to grow old.

CBS News even declared that 60 is the new 40! So how ’bout that? It simply means people are living longer today and they are healthier. And for alot of them, looking good at 60, too. Life expectancy today is 78.6 years.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

John Maxwell

You too, I’m sure have seen your share of changes. It is inevitable. But John Maxwell has such a solid point here, growing through and along with the change is optional. Growth is a choice only I can control.

The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is one that I have single handedly set out to disprove in my life. Seriously. Whether it’s learning a new skill (like sailing), a new program (like Final Draft), a new vocation (like retail), I am choosing to keep growing and keep up with the changes.

Change is inevitable, often sad, and sometimes infuriating. We have seen alot of it.

Learning which changes to adjust to and grow with and which changes to buck requires wise evaluation. Somethings ought NOT to change and that too is optional and up to us.

I’ve seen alot change and I hope to continue to be wise in my growth through even more, and buck what is unacceptable. Won’t you join me?



Amazingly wrong, while thinking we’re right

Sunday Sermon 8.21.21

It seems like in every arena of life we see people seized with passionate resolve to walk a path they are conviced is right, and yet, somehow, in the broader picture with added light and insight that path was horribly wrong.

Whether we look to politics, or the heated issues of the day involving what our children are being taught, or the traditions within our religious communities, or across the seas to a nation under seige by a violent sect of extremists, we cannot help but be gripped with the zealous threatenings and assaults on what is right by that which is wrong.

I am reminded of a man who’s zeal for his God put him on a path with authorization to capture and imprison all believers of The Way. He is described this way –

“____________, (his name) full of angry threats and rage wanted to murder the disciples of the Lord.”

Acts 9:1

This man, was zealous for his God, and had lived a pretty blameless life, according to his religious beliefs. He was a Roman citizen, raised in the strictest Hebrew teachings, and was well respected within his community of religious adherents.

He was on a manhunt for believers and followers of The Way. He believed what he was doing was pleasing to his God. He was firecely passionate, so much so, his passion turned to rage. His anger boiled over and in it he believed He was doing the right things.

But he was oh, so wrong.

The Passion Translation notes in Acts 9, where his story is told:

“The conversion of Saul the legalist into Paul the grace preacher has a significant lesson for us. We can be amazingly wrong while thinking we are doing right.”

Acts 9:11-12 TPT notes

So, what’s the lesson?

This man Saul, was a passionate persecutor of believers. This man Saul, was the one who was in agreement with the stonning of Stephen and watched it happen as he guarded the murders’ clothes. This man Saul, was on a mission that he thought was right. And this man Saul, gets knocked off of his high horse by a blinding light and booming voice.

A voice from heaven spoke to him, as his entourage listened, and told him his passion was misdirected, his efforts off course, and his beliefs out of whack. So, for three days, he blindly waited without eating, for more clarity and direction. He had heard the voice of The Lord, and he would wait for further instruction from that powerful voice.

It came via a messenger, sent by God. Ananias went to find this blind, angry man, and delivered God’s message to him.

” Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me to pray for you so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately he got up and was baptized… and within the hour he was in the synagogues, preaching Jesus is the Son of God. Those who heard him were astonished, saying, “Isn’t this the Saul who furiously persecuted those who called on the name of Jesus?”

Acts 9:17-21

Saul was amazingly wrong but God spoke to him redirecting his passion, re-charting his course, and realigning his beliefs. Giving him light, inspiration, revelation and boldness, God took this man who was so passionately off course and set him straight. There on Straight street, Saul was shown the right, true way.

Friends, this account gives me such hope!

God sees our heart. If that heart is desirous of pleasing Him, faith-filled, and honestly willing to change, He will show up in that life/heart. He will speak and knock us off our high horse, to realign us with what is right in His eyes.

There is hope!

Whether in the political arena, educational, international, or personal, God is able to reveal what is truly right in His eyes to those who are so amazingly wrong today.

Within an hour God can open blind eyes, change the passions of a man, and the course of history.

Let’s not give up hope on any situation or person.

If God did this for Saul, who was so amazingly wrong, there is no one beyond His reach.

Go with God,


When You’re Squeezed, What Comes Out?

Years ago I was asked to speak to a gathering of young people, so, after thoughtful consideration, I settled on the topic, “When you’re squeezed, what comes out?”.

That title has come back to ME hundreds of times since then, and so it has again for this particular blog today.

It’s relevance is timeless, and ageless, and it’s pertinence for us today.

Working in retail and interacting with other workers, managers and owners, all have spoken of how high strung, uptight and stressed people today are.

Customers are exploding in anger at the server over the smallest hiccup in their order, sending the server to recompose from tears in the restroom.

Or in my case, berating and accusing me because an item wasn’t made in the USA.

I recently spoke with a dear friend who spoke of their short fuse with their child; a family member “so over all the crap” with another family member; and have dealt myself with the short length of my patience.

What’s happening here?

The last year and a half has taken a toll on all of us. It has put pressure on us that is unbelievable and unexpected. We must accept that. No matter the level of success or failure we have had with the pressure, let’s recognize that we are being squeezed.

The truth is, what comes out of us, our responses comes only from what is inside us. And that’s the humbling part because often what comes out is anger, bitterness, accusations, and blame.

Something has to be in you to get squeezed out. Right?

Consider that lemon, or orange… it can only give the juice of what lies within it.

Psychologists tells us that our auto responses go into effect with stress. Yep, I agree, I’ve seen it in my life. They also tell us that those responses are programmed from our youth, when we are unaware and unable to change them. They are actually hardwired into us by the age of 3! (according to Dr. Christine Bradstreet)

Geesh…. That means your auto response at ______ years old ( your age now) is actually your 3 year old reaction! (Unless you have spent intentional time working on changing it.) Those reactions are as familiar as your face and seem to just be who you are.

Imagine that 3 year old learning responses. Poison and nutrition both have been fed those responses. The poison comes from the wounds, low self esteem, etc. nutrition comes from love, acceptance, boundaries, etc.

So are we stuck there, with our 3 year old responses? You know the answer…. NO.

Our responses can be changed. If you don’t like what you see when you’re squeezed, choose what you want to see instead. The next time the pressure is on, you get to choose your response. It will be awkward and difficult and maybe even silent for a while, but it is possible.

I told you a while back that I have been working on a response of mine, and I am pleased to report, that it has improved greatly! But it took a conscious choice and regular practice to build a new response, one that I was proud of. Like a muscle it grew stronger with persistent practice.

There will be setbacks and screw ups, and in those times we see just how serious we are about reprogramming our auto pilot responses.

We can change our life by changing what’s inside of us. It is totally our choice.

Remember, something has to be in you in order to get squeezed out.

Are you looking for courage, leadership, peacemaking, honesty to come out of you, they have to be in you first.

As you face the pressure of these days, try selecting just one response that you want to change. Focus on it by choosing a different response you want to display. Work on it, practice, exercise that new response muscle, let it become strong and replace your 3 year old response.

You can do it. We can do it. We can become the people we want to be with responses to pressure that we can be proud of.

It all starts with answering the question, “when you’re squeezed what comes out?”.

So happy to be journeying with you in this process of becoming our best self.

Cheers to you,


Return and Enter

Sunday Sermon 8.14.21

On our computer keyboards return and enter are synonymous. The return key moves the cursor to the beginning of the next line, yes, but it also returns control to whatever program is currently running.

Additionally, the return key activates whatever is highlighted or selected.

Our computers are even designed to insert a “hard return”. And did you know that hitting return and 1 tells the main brain that the program has not executed successfully and there is some error?

Keeping with this theme of return, August 7 began the Hebrew month of Elul, the month that preceeds Rosh Hashanah, and is a month of self-examination, repentance and returning to God. During this time, in preparation for the Day of Atonement, we reflect on the previous year and look forward to the next year. It is a month of returning to God and receiving a clean slate, receiving forgiveness.

The Jewish sages tell us that the relationship between God and man during this time is pictured as between two beloveds with a yearning to connect. God is actually yearning for man to return to him to connect with Him.

During this month of returning, in Jewish families and synagogues the shofar is blown each day as an invitation to wake up and seek a deeper connection with God.

Could it be that in your life it is time to hit the return button and return control to God’s program? Could your brain be signaling return 1… notifying you there is an error somewhere that needs addressing?

I truly believe that we are living in a season of return.

Return is a call to all people and all nations. We here in America have turned away from God, we have removed God. Yet those who return to Him will find forgivenenss, will find a new faith activated, sin deleted, and a hard return inserted into our main drive. It is time to seek the Lord and return to Him.

Hear Him calling you, urging you to come close and connect with Him:

Zech. 1:3 – return to me and I will return to you

2 Chron. 30:9 – the Lord is gracious and compassionate, He will not turn His face from you if you return to Him

Joel 2:12 – return to me with all your heart with fasting, weeping and mourning

Hosea 14:1-2; 9 – Return to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall. Take words and return to the Lord. Say to Him, forgive our sin, receive us graciously. Who is wise, he will understand this. The ways of the Lord are right. The righteous walk in them but the rebellious stumble in them.

We cannot be certain how long this season of returning will last, judgment will follow, but we can be certain that He is calling us now to return. As a beloved spouse, He yearns to reconnect deeply with you, to highlight and activate you in His program of life, peace and joy.

Let’s hear the shofar blowing, alerting us to wake up! Let’s diligently enter this month of self examination and repentance and let us return to God who is gracious and compassionate. Let us use our words to highlight our sin, ask for forgiveness and return to walk in God’s ways.

Return and enter into all God has for you. He loves you so.

And I ask Him to remind you to return and enter every time you see a computer keyboard. May the visual on that keyboard serve as a constant reminder to return and enter.

Go with God,


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No, It’s an Accident

It’s not a star and it’s not a planet, but it is so bright it is confusing the border between the two. So, what exactly is it?

It was moving so fast, faster in fact than anything ever before seen, and it was illuminating the sky as it went, which made it really weird to astronomers.

Blazing through the sky, 50 light years away at 200 KM per second was what was soon to receive the name WISE 1534-1043. After more close study of its characteristics and the fact that it was discovered “on accident”, it has since been renamed “the Accident”.

What astronomers believed they discovered was a brown dwarf – a failed star, because it is lacking size to begin nuclear fusion within it, but “the Accident’s” size, speed and temperatire has blurred the lines between star and planet, and has left the brotherhood of astronomy shaking it’s head in puzzlement. In fact, even the name, brown dwarf is inaccurate, for in fact it is more of a orange or red in color.

brown dwarf

According to Nolan Grieves of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, “we don’t know the true nature of these objects.”

Science facinates me. In all of its fields I marvel that so much is still unknown. Man is doing his very best to figure out the things that surround us, and technology is helping in this endeavor, but let’s face it, we really don’t understand what is going on either.

So much of what comes into our lives seems to be accidental or unintended. doesn’t it? It impacts our little world, lights it up if you will, and then quickly leaves a heated trail behind, leaving us shaking our heads saying, “What just happened?” or “What was that?”.

We quickly attempt to identify it and place a label on it. Yet, before long, after closer examination, we see the defining lines blurring and our understanding more and more obscured, as we have to admit we really don’t know the true nature of the object.

My heart today, is not to talk to you in veiled images, but to encourage you to keep looking deeper into “the Accidents” in your life. I believe they are not without meaning, purpose and signifigance to you. You may not fully understand that brilliant flare up whizzing through your orbit, but it is more than an accident, and is meant to show you something, teach you something and help you discover more about what it all means.

There is revelation available to those who seek it as to the true nature of these “accidental” objects in our little world.

Let’s seek it out.

Cheers to yu,


How to Live in Peace and not Anxiety

Living in peace in these days, is a skill and life choice not only worth pursuing but vital to your all round health.

Alot is being said about mental health and praise is offered in support of those who take steps they deem needed to ensure their own mental health.With or without athletic competition in your life, how to live in peace and not anxiety is important.

So, how’s YOUR peace? What’s your anxiety level? How can you manage to live in peace? Let me offer my own suggestions, that I have lived by and found able to keep me in the peace zone.

  1. Slow down – does it ALL really have to be done NOW? Be realistic and objective.
  2. Don’t over schedule – is it really needed and if so, when is the best time for it?
  3. Don’t over think – spending too much time considering every little option along with every related possibility will sabotage and paralyze you
  4. Don’t make mountains out of molehills – is it really that big of a deal?
  5. Get to the root – remove all of the layers and see what the root cause is
  6. Be present in each moment – enjoy the moments, share the laughter and pain
  7. Set filters and boundaries – take active control of what influences you and distracts you
  8. Be thankful – show gratitude with your words and self talk

I have lived what I consider to be a pretty peaceful life and am not driven by anxiety or stress very often. I don’t always get these right, and when I do get them wrong, I am very aware of what I am missing and needing. It is then “easy” for me to focus on what I need to do.

My freind, do what it takes, focus the effort and energy needed for you to live in peace and not anxiety.

Cheers to you,