Thank God!

I am thanking my God today

…that HE is the only one true God.

…that He is the absolute Truth.

…that His goodness is who He is.

…that He exemplifies the very essence of beauty.

…that I am His!!

…that He provided a way for Salvation.

…that Jesus gave His all because He loved us first.

…that in His providence He adopted me when I didn’t deserve any grace or mercy.

…that He gave me work to do in His name, that I am allowed to serve Him.

…that He makes this life worth being alive.

…that He gives me His Word to teach and train me.

…that I am in rich fellowship with God and the Body of Christ.

…that I have a wonderful family to serve and love.

…that I can trust Him fully in all things.

The Lord is more than worthy to be praised and thanked daily by all who claim His name. It is my prayer that in this season of giving thanks that we will all come to Him with gratefulness flowing freely from our entire being.

” It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to to sing praises to thy name, O Most High.”-Psalm 92:1

2020 What A Beautiful Mess

I remember it so very clearly even now. It was a chilly day in March when everything seemed to become surreal to me. The very idea struck my vision blinding me momentarily. I proceeded to do the next thing, which at that point in life, was bus duty at school. I cried quietly as I donned a coat, scarf, and security vest. Wiping my eyes, I ran down steps to the bus entrance. The tenseness in the air could be felt keenly as I traversed the halls. News had now begun to spread about the virus and the implications it would have for all of us. I thought of my own two kids away at college and what might happen to them there. My mind was swirling with a cacophony of “what ifs” . My duty partner and I talked quietly together amidst the students bounding down the steps and out the doors to their busses. We didn’t want them to hear us or the concern in our voices. What was to come in the days ahead would forever change how I perceive life and how it is lived in the context of my life in Christ. This, of which I am convinced, is the overriding purpose of why God would bring a pandemic to the world in 2020.

There are two ideas that are absolutely true. The first being that all people are born with a heart that is dark with sin that needs redeeming. The second truth is that we are all inherently valuable in the sight of God because we are His creation, made in His image, and He has made a way to redeem us through the shed blood of His only Son. As His people we like to believe that we are devoted to having a heart like God’s, yet often we are lacking any strong evidence of possessing His heart for others. Our minds have not fully grasped the fulness of His love, mercy, and compassion for those He puts in our path and also for all whom we will never meet. In essence, we will, at times, not always, seemingly elevate ourselves to the level of God as we decide who exactly is worthy of our love, time, and attention. We simply gauge who to adore or who to cancel and mock Jesus as we confidently proceed in doing so. It is in these moments that we forget why God did redeem our sullied hearts and minds. We have clung to the psychology of the world and held ourselves in esteem when in fact, we are nothing without God and that He is everything. We lose our sight so very easily and our spiritual eyes are dimmed as we fight for survival. We forget that we are here for Him, not ourselves. So, very suddenly, 2020 became a battle ground for all the wrong battles. Even so, the battles, whether personal, or in this messed up world in which we all live, were not ours to fight, but they were the perfect opportunity to which our knees should be bent in reverent prayer to an Almighty God.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

So, 2020 may have been a year in which many chose to justify mocking God by putting themselves on a pedestal from which they then made themselves judge of who is worthy. It is also the year that unequivocally demonstrated how Believers, who live a life devoted to the Father, will choose to treat others with compassion no matter what dire circumstances are swirling around them. Their words and actions will be dictated by His words and actions. They have already learned the nature of Christ through studying His word and He has already prepared and equipped His people by giving them the opportunity to grow through adversity. His Believers are not strangers to the hard lessons that come with following hard after Him. They know that it is only in the looking to their Father that brings comfort and direction when life is just a plain bloody mess. Believers will know that God is still the King who is worthy of all praise no matter what is happening around them. In the middle of the ungodly mess, they know the one who is Beautiful and their hearts are ignited continuously for Him.

” I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

I believe that this past year and even now, as we continue to endure this pandemic, is a test for every Believer. God lovingly tests us to show where our hearts stand with Him. He does this so that we can continue to mature in Him and become more like Him. He shines the light on what is not so wonderful within us, so that we will desire to see ourselves transformed by Him. These tests are for our benefit. Let’s be real…He already knows our hearts, He just needs for us to see our real selves and where we need Him infused into us even more. It was probably September before I allowed myself a good cry. When you are too busy holding it together with doing two jobs remotely and caring for a family, there just isn’t time for falling apart. I had held a stiff upper lip for my sons as they finished school at home and didn’t have the opportunity for closure by walking the stage and receiving their college diploma. One of them didn’t get to do the senior recital for which he had so diligently prepared. Educational trips and internships were forfeited due to COVID. Personally, the ministries I was a part of had to be put on hold. There were just so many things that had been seemingly lost to this virus. On that day, God reset my mind as He replayed all He has done for me and for my family during this challenging time and since I am not one to swim too long in the pool of “what should have been”, I quickly rebounded and thanked God for His extreme goodness. In His mercy, He was ready to meet all needs in so many ways as the pandemic became a reality in our daily lives. Here are just a few of the ways that He did this for me and for those I serve whether in my home or outside of it:

  • Becoming a virtual teacher for school and for my violin studio ( Google Meet and Zoom are good friends of mine! ) My school went back face-to-face in August, so I am thankful for this!
  • Our home became a school, a place for making teaching videos, a violin studio, and the place where we do life, all at once.
  • We learned to embrace picking up our groceries that we had so carefully selected on a website.
  • Hunting for the necessities online became a hobby that we didn’t really want. Think $$$ for toilet paper and soap.
  • Doing relationships with friends and family via social media became the norm that didn’t seem all that normal and still doesn’t. There are people who I can’t wait to sit across from and talk to as we sip coffee or tea. You know who you are!
  • Bible Study via Zoom. Grateful for it, but hoping for more face-to-face in 2021.
  • Worshipping via livestream with the Body of Christ on Sunday mornings. Both Rick and I have conditions that make it difficult to meet in very large groups due to COVID. We are still the Body worshipping together, praying together. and learning God’s word together. The Holy Spirit is among us and at this time, I am quite sure that He is not offended that we are not all in the same room because we have Him as the same Spirit among us! He unites us into one Body… the Body of Christ, HIS CHURCH, during a pandemic!

2020 Exposed much about the condition of our hearts and minds. As I examine my own self, these were some of the things that the Lord brought to my attention. I am sure that you will be able to relate to these, as well:

* The state of our relationship to God was and still is being revealed.

*The idols in our lives were revealed. (All the things we thought we couldn’t possibly live without physically and emotionally.)

* Our impatience. Think…when will this be over? When will that package arrive? When will school resume as normal? You know what I mean.

* Our ability to live out of our comfort zone and in a completely new one.

* How we deal with adversity.

*Where our real treasure is.

*What our entitlement issues are.

*Showed us the lengths we are willing to go in order to continue to serve God.

On the flipside of this coin, God has definitely been using this year to sanctify His people for His glory in so many ways. This is so exciting to me! This is His economy. He wastes nothing!! Look at all the TIME he gave us and how He brought our lives to a halt for Himself!! What a gift this is, truly. We can choose to be upset or we can choose to embrace His gift. Grumble or Honor. He came at a much needed time to use a pandemic to focus our attention and our affection back onto Himself. I in no way want to romanticize this difficult time. We lost friends. We watched families and friends of young and old devastated because of the deaths of their loved ones. Our own faces were wet with tears of grief . We watched God care lovingly for their families and we saw Him comfort them in their extreme grief. Weep with those who weep.

So, in 2021, we can make choices about how we approach whatever may come. May we sit at His feet throughout it all and rejoice that He is the King over it all. It is my prayer that we will all have our hearts and minds shaped by Him in a deeper way so that we resemble His character more closely. Also, I pray to that sin and pride are eclipsed by mercy and love. Most of all, I pray that we would seek His truth, goodness and beauty in the middle of what appears to be unlovely and to praise Him for making all things beautiful in His own time. Blessings to all of you as you navigate this new year with our Lord and Savior.

” He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”- Psalm 91:1

Power in His Blood

In recent days as I talk brisk walks through the never-ending lands of Facebook and Twitter, one thing has gripped my mind. So, now I find myself writing about it and thinking that something is amiss in the Land of Evangelicals. This one thing I speak of is the radical conversion of a man who has lived a life so blatantly anti-God. Not really being a big fan or follower, I didn’t think too much or too hard about the whole thing. I still am not thinking very hard about it to tell the truth because I am not here to judge his heart. I will leave that solely up to our Sovereign God to judge him rightly. 

My thought is this…why do we automatically think that his conversion is false? I believe that so very many of us who claim Christ have not seen a conversion, nonetheless a radical one, in SO long that we can’t imagine it really happening. We read our Bibles and readily accept that Saul was met by the Lord on the road to Damascus and that He transformed the mind of this man who was ripping whole families out of their homes and murdering them all in the name of God, but we an’t quite wrap our minds around a modern-day radical conversion, can we? Paul calls himself the “Chief of Sinners” and recognizes that he was formerly an enemy of the cross, an enemy of God. This once enemy of God now became ” a chosen instrument of the Lord”. The disciples in Jerusalem didn’t believe that Paul’s conversion was real and didn’t want anything to do with him until Barnabas explained Paul’s conversion to them. 

We just don’t think that the Spirit moves on others this way now. Of course, we are seriously wrong, but because we aren’t seeing it, we think it isn’t happening. 

So, go with me on this. When was the last time you saw anyone accept the Lord as their Savior? When was the last time you introduced someone to Jesus and showed them how to become a Believer? I am sure that you are very well-intentioned and want to do these things, but life just keeps us so busy, right? The Spirit is working on many, many hearts and minds every single moment and we are commissioned to go and speak the truth of the cross to those who are perishing without God. Do we even think about them? Are we that callous to their situation because we don’t like their choices or think them to be stupid? That may sound a bit rough, but I do know of people who think that most everyone is beneath them. 

There is tremendous power in His blood. He died for every person and He chose us to tell others about Him. It seems like such a simple task, doesn’t it? I mean, we say we love Him and desire to please Him, so what is the problem? Maybe we don’t really think He desires for all to be saved, or maybe we think that there are people who don’t deserved to be saved? You know, because they are so awful and all? 

That is the beauty of the Cross. It is for all who will come and kneel before Him and confess their sin. It is for the rich, the poor, the weak, the powerful, the forgotten one, the prodigal one, the one who least expects to meet Jesus on their own road in life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the very same power that brings us into a right relationship with our God. We can choose to recognize that supernatural power, or we can blaspheme and say it is of the Evil One. Personally, I don’t want to ever go that direction. Why is it so hard for us to believe in His redemptive work and that He, alone, can take the worst sinner and make them whole again? We are supposed to rejoice when another is saved from their iniquities. Instead, we question that someone can ever really change. That is really questioning the  Spirit of God who makes us new creations in Christ Jesus. Again, that is not a road I want to be on, ever. Maybe some really sound theology classes would help most of us to understand these things that we constantly get wrong because we listen to bad theology or no theology at all. 

It is time for us to believe in and to know the power of God in our lives and in the lives of the people who surround us. No longer should we ignore or question the power of the Spirit who is God. We can traverse all roads by clinging to the Helper and watching His power invade our lives. He desires to teach us and to do great and wonderful things in our lives, but most of the time we are just bad at knowing Him and how He works. What if we understood the work of the Spirit? What if we actually read our Bibles daily? Just think of how much more we could understand about His power and what His blood actually accomplished on our behalf. It would be so amazing! 

A Tale of Two Teachers

What an extraordinary point of view given here. It has long since been a question in my mind as to why we would give so much attention to celebrity and ignore the teacher who chooses to be shaped by the hand of God and teach His truth. I decided to reblog this post because I truly believe that we need to decide that we are Christ-followers and not celebrity-followers.


A while ago I went to a women’s conference in another state with some of my relatives. We heard two different Bible teachers speak. Both of these women had written books. Both were well known. That is where the similarities ended. One women was older. In fact, she was in her eighties. She spoke first. She shared her heart for us younger women. She shared from the Word. She spoke of women to whom she had ministered in countries where believers are being persecuted. Her voice broke as she spoke of her sisters in Christ, living under the constant threat of imprisonment and death. You could see the love she carried for them. She spoke of Christ and the gospel. Her knowledge of the Word was so evident, and her talk was so full of scripture that she just seemed to breathe it out. I left her session with a…

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A Sweet Balm for My Soul


Motherhood. I really didn’t have it all figured out. I was mom to one very wonderful red-headed sweet boy already, and life kept me spinning in every direction. It seemed crazy to be talking baby #2 so soon after the first one came along, but there we were in the most romantic restaurant in our area on our anniversary discussing trying for another baby. It had taken us a year and a half to become pregnant the first time, so we thought we had better get started on the second one now…as in now…and we did. Guess what? That’s right. Nine months later, another cute as anything baby boy came bounding into our world.

Life at this time was a strange turn of events and mostly those events were soul-ripping. Ministry is never for the faint at heart, but there we were, pregnant again and swimming in the deep-end of that ministry pool. Some days I swallowed too much water as I tread my way through it all. It felt like I was drowning at times, but the Lord was merciful. God graciously sent women, along with my family members,  to surround me and to make sure that me, my little, and Rick were all cared for very well. I was content to let go of the past and to move ahead with the blessing of having another child to love, teach and disciple. Life was changing rapidly for us now and frankly, I was ready for it to go in a different direction.

I look back now, and what I didn’t know then, was that God was providing me with a sweet balm for my soul through this child. Every day seemed sweeter than the one before it as I glided through this pregnancy. I seriously thought that it would take a long, long time to become pregnant again, but it didn’t. God in His infinite wisdom brought us this baby boy only seventeen and a half months after our first one. He so knew exactly what I needed, what Rick needed and what baby Richard needed in bringing another little so soon.

The months crept by and then came July. My children have this uncanny way of being born on their due dates, so the arrival of Nicholas was right on time! We barely made it to the hospital that morning. Rick later told me that he was going about 75 mph on the expressway trying to get us to Flower Hospital. I am guessing that means he was going at the very least about 80 mph. It was a hot, sunny day when Nicholas arrived and he was born in a triage room, due to the fact that all the birthing suites were occupied, about twenty minutes after we flew into the hospital. He could not wait to be born! He still has that same personality…always looking for an adventure and being quick!

All throughout his life, Nicholas has been a sweet balm to me. The Lord has used him so many times to bring me joy in the midst of great sorrow. He brightens my day. I thank God for who He made Nick to be, but most of all, I rejoice in how He will use him to minister and be a balm to so many others in the future. I know that the Lord will show him how to point others, not to himself, but to God, because this is exactly how the Lord so beautifully uses this child in my life.

Be the balm, Nicholas. Be everything that the Lord intended uniquely for you to be. Sing with your whole heart His praises. Burn with a holy passion for our living God. Never let anyone or anything rip apart your soul, your purpose, your service to God. Never give up and never give in. He who created you is far greater than any evil force that will slither your way. Oh, baby boy, there are so many things I want to tell you, but the most important thing is to love the Lord with your whole heart, soul and mind…forever and ever. Be the balm He created you to be. I love you.


Overall, it has been a very interesting week here. My words have failed me and my emotions were a bit of a train wreck. Those same emotions wrought from fear (ugh! you would think I would know better by now) became a searing flame that I sought out forgiveness from the Scorched and from my Lord. Evil One so wants to destroy us…our lives, our ministries, our godly influence, our families, our marriages, our friendships, and the list just never ends, does it?

So, I sit and I pray. Repentence. I ask the Giver of Life to make me a more generous and faithful servant. Sudden realization comes to me and I then know  that I have not been seeing myself, more recently, as belonging to Jesus. I mean really being His as in “He can do with my life whatever He wants” kind of His. I beg God to show me what it truly looks like to be His vessel…used for whatever purpose He commands, for His glory, for the furthering of His Kingdom.  I am not my own, but bought with the highest price…the precious blood of the Lamb slain on the cross. He dictates how He will use me to bring glory to Himself.

I also see the Lord telling me that I am forgiven, and that when I stumble, it doesn’t mean that He would ever stop loving me. There is no place of trouble that would keep Him from claiming me as His very own. 

It is by His still waters that I come to rest and know that my Shepherd sees me and instills peace into me. I feel released from the burden that the Evil One used to shame me. I give it no more credence, but fully rely on the truth I know that Jesus makes all things new again. 

This becoming…this transformation, it brings me to the point of understanding that in true change, there is strength in the harnessing of learning to let go of sin, perceived control and fear. I gain wisdom when I allow myself to be fully aligned with His will for my life. Fighting, resisting and an all-out tug of war will only result in fear, shame and consequences that make life look like a war zone. 

Now, as I face the future, I hope that my life will be one that is continuously poured-out for the One who always holds me and shows me His great grace. There is no other like Him and I would ask that this little life He gave me be something He will use to make His name great. I am nobody great and never will be. That isn’t even my end-game. He is great, though, and what He decides to do with my life is every bit His business. I just want my life to always point to His greatness. 

The Destroyer can maim, but He cannot take me from my Lord or take my Lord from me. He uses his resources wisely and in a very simply devious manner. I know his unmistakable signature. Where there is shame and fear, he has been busy.

I thank God for His irrefutable love for me, His daughter, and seek to understand more fully this way of allowing God to do just as He will in my life so that others can see Him and be amazed over Him. I want them to be drawn to Him, to see intimacy with our Creator as something attainable. I continue to pray knowing that He will show me all I am asking when I am ready. It is in the being “made ready” that I enter into His sanctuary to worship and adore the very One who made me. The process will most likely be one of pain combined with more letting go. Undoubtedly, He will ask me to shed all that does not reflect Him and rightly so. I have no reason to not trust Him with me as He has never, ever shown Himself to be the unfaithful one. 

As I move into this coming week, I feel a sense of being filled with more of who He is and what He is asking of me in this idea of “letting go“. Becoming is never an easy process. There are slips and stumbles along the way, but forgiveness and grace show us just how amazing our God really is. My earthly father used to tell me that I needed to forgive myself if I had already asked God and the offended to forgive me. I am still working on this, but know that this week brought me further along in this process of becoming.

Sadness All the Way Around

Sadness All the Way Around

it is inconceivable to me that a person would be asked to leave a position in which they are very proficient because of their stand for the things of Christ, because of wanting to uphold the words from God in His book to us. But, this is exactly the age in which we are now living and that was exactly what happened. Sadness all the way around.

Conform to the current line of outrageous thinking or be cut and removed as if you were the growing cancer. 

I had a conversation with a very godly leader recently who works in the public sector at a high profile company in our area.  He expressed his outrage over things in our city that he is subject to just as he drives to his job downtown and that is before he even gets inside the building.  He says that it is all over the place and that if anyone dare speak their own thoughts about any of it, they are probably going to get that pink-slip coming their way. Ah….the pink slip. Christian, this is now our world and we must decide daily where are hearts are and with whom we will align ourselves.

Many of us will enjoy speaking freely about our faith because we are working from our homes, own our own companies, or work in a Christian atmosphere. This is our opportunity to make our light into a conflagration for all the world around us to see. We can teach God’s word and pray openly and at will in these environments…for now. In this ever-changing societal climate, it begs the question of for how long we will freely and legally be able to do these things.

You know what I love? I love it that Jesus doesn’t give us pink slips and show us the door. 

Here is a quote from an article I recently read that I found to be very interesting:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
― Theodore Dalrymple

It is interesting that now we are all expected to  bow a knee to the god of “self-definition” even when it defies the god of “science”. Ridiculous, I know, especially since God is the Creator of all and the “god of science” is no god at all and that The Maker made us in His divine image. Male and female He made us.

The world will attempt with all its might to redefine everything in existence, but know this…our God is a mighty, all-powerful God who is the author of it all. Nothing will be able to redefine Him. That is reality.

So, when marked and marred by the world system, stand. Stand still. Still stand. He will make a way. He will protect and provide. He will make right all that is backward and upside-down and inside-out. 

It brings fall-out when you are  targeted and dropped to the ground for living a life that speaks truth, His truth. I am keenly aware that this is happening all around and that it is not a few isolated instances. Do I like it? Do I respect it? Would I like to talk loudly and correct the one who does the bidding of the Evil One? Oh, yes. Yes, I would, but I don’t need to. See, I know that My Father holds our lives in His hands and that He takes care of His people in abundant ways. He controls our lives. It is only people who think they have the power to squash you who are arrogant enough to reside in the lies they expect you to believe and speak. They truly have no idea that one day they will answer for their actions. They can wrestle with God, or not. They can think that what they claim will be upheld, but sadly, they just do not understand our God. Yes, sadness all the way around.

The Truth will prevail no matter how much man attempts to change it or distort it. 


Making Waves


LF_Wave_ThinkstockPhotos-466871480I admit it. I am a wave-maker. It seems like a really strange thing to admit, right? Those waves seem to pulsate on and on for just about forever sometimes. That’s the thing about waves, they keep right on rolling one after another and crashing into someone’s shore.

There have been those times when I wished that the water would be clear as glass and oh, so calm. 

I think that I have seen the glassy sea and the water with barely a ripple at times. It seemed as though I could see straight through to the bottom of it all. Safe water, safe traversing, safe all around me. My little boat barely moves in that calm. I do hear a call, though. I recognize the voice. Time for the wave-making to begin.

I’m safe…I promise, the voice says. No wave overwhelms me. I know how to hold you. 

So, enter the waves. I take a step and the water gives under me. Another step, and another. More waves take their shape with each motion I take. Making waves….so very uncomfortable at times. I just want the safety of my little boat on the calm waters. Is that so wrong? At times this has been my mantra. I speak the words because I fail to understand  that the waves propel me toward the shore.

I may tumble head-over-heel toward that shore, landing without much grace on the dismount, but it doesn’t matter because He is there to catch me.

I have had this becoming. He not so quietly pushes me into His waters where my feet learn to walk on the waves. I hear the constant lapping of their arrival all around me. Learning to embrace the waves takes my heart time and He gently and not so quietly makes the waves ever so slightly larger than they were previously. I rest in not my ability to walk the waves, but in His, because they are of His making. He made them for me. They are His gift to me.

Come…take my hand. I’m safe…I promise, His voice says. No wave will ever overwhelm me. I know how to hold you forever. 

I am learning to love these waves. I find joy, grief, regret, peace and goodness with every cresting wave. He brings me closer and closer to all I am meant to be with each wave. When there is movement, wave-making, there is emotion and action. My whole being finds itself being thrust toward the shore of Him. I can only express gratitude to Him for these waves. He carries me over and through the pain of the waves slapping me hard. I get to be with Him. He lovingly cares for me and takes the sting from me as I hold fast to His comforting hands. Those hands will hold me forever.

Wave-making comes with a price…but the pearl that I receive is much greater than any of the discomfort I will ever feel. 

So, yes, I am a wave-maker. I choose to step out and get wet, messy and tossed around. This becoming brings joy after the waves crash to the shore. This is where I know beyond anything else that He untangles my limbs and makes sense of my world. This is where He shows me true intimacy and fellowship with Him. How could I not step out?



HOLY BOOK (Sonnet to the Word of God)

God’s word remains forever an ever. Thank you to my friend Marie for this poem that shows us how remarkable, amazing and holy our God is.

pictured words


A book of books; a letter to mankind
God-breathed to men of many walks of life –
And yet this faultless work is undermined.
Some say its very Author causes strife.

Translated into fourteen hundred tongues,
No other book approaches such renown
As this, which is as breath to failing lungs.
Throughout, God’s living hallowed voice resounds.

Amazing in enduring relevance
Astonishing consistency of thought
Unparalleled in unbound eminence –
Deny its holiness? No, I cannot.

Though there are those who disregard His word,
My God will not be silenced, nor unheard.

© 2013, Marie Elena Good

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