Monthly Archives: November 2013

God’s Glue Stick

Choosing birthday gifts for my husband has been a challenge over the years because Howard set the bar high with surprises he created for me.   One year I asked our family and friends to send new names for Howard on 4 by 6 inch cards.  I put all those notecards in a flip photo album and surprised him with it on his birthday.

One of the cards is titled: Howard – “God’s Glue Stick”.  The card says, “You have held to God’s word and have stuck to his principles, preaching profound sermons from a small church in Minnesota.  Those messages have not gone unheeded, but have been part of the glue which held a young couple together long enough for them to become a more mature couple in the Lord and to raise a family which is now serving Him, as well.”

This morning, as I meditated on my Lord’s goodness, I remembered the words from Colossians 1:17.   “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”    I thanked Jesus for being God’s Glue Stick for me.    In this season of standing beside my husband as he fights his battle with lymphoma,  I have had moments of feeling like I was about to fall apart with fear and anxiety.   I would have come undone, if Jesus wasn’t holding me together.   My husband would have fallen apart as well, if the Lord wasn’t holding him together with courage and power.

In the Season of Thanksgiving I rejoice that Howard has been a glue stick to other people and that Jesus has been THE GLUE STICK of all glue sticks for both of us.

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Good Enough


The old man both welcomed and feared death.   As he became further debilitated with pneumonia, he knew he had no will to live.  He told our mutual neighbor, his  friend of thirty years,  “I just hope, I’ve been good enough for heaven.”

The prophet Isaiah  declares that all our righteous acts are like filty rags.  ( Isaiah 64:6).   The apostle Paul tells us, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)   After delivering the bad news, Paul gives us the good news that Jesus, the Son of God, died to justify us.  He concludes in Romans 5: 1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God.”

My husband Howard is staring down death in his fight with lymphoma.   He is confident that he has a ticket to the everlasting party in heaven, not because he is good enough, but because he believes Jesus is good enough and died and rose again to purchase his ticket.  This confidence gives us sweet peace and hope as we face the unknown.   I write this blog because I long for all to know this sweet peace and hope in the midst of their sufferings.

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Navigating The Waters To Heaven



“Sailors have always had a special need for light; the hazards of navigation are formidable….The lighthouse provided early warning of submerged rocks, reefs, and sandbars; sheer cliffs; rip tides; shallows in which ships could run aground; and other costal hazards.” *

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)   As our light, he gave many warnings to help us navigate the dangers on our journey from this world to the next.

Perhaps of all the dangers and warnings, he gives, I find the most sobering one to be this:  “But if you do not forgive men their sins, the Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:15)   To be forgiven is to be forgiving.  A forgiving spirit is  the test of one’s salvation – the fruit and the work that identifies us as belonging to Father God, the evidence that our faith is alive and well.  No wonder the Apostle Paul told us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the World, shed your light into my heart and reveal any bays or inlets of harbored bitterness, any refusals to forgive.  Give me a heart to forgive as you have forgiven me – for the safety of my own soul and for your Glory.  Amen

*The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses by Samuel Willard Crompton and Michael J. Rhein

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My Heart An Altar


One warm and sunny August day, I sat by the lake and talked with one of my dearest friends.  The conversation progressed to altars.  She had heard a man with a prophetic gift talk of having the word altar embedded in his thoughts. He was seeking God to know the know the meaning.  Shortly after that day, I learned that my husband has lymphoma.   I have continued to ponder altars during these months of helping him cope with his illness and treatment.

In the Old Testament we learn of Moses who was instructed by God to build a tabernacle for the children of Israel.  We learn that God met with his people in that dwelling place.  We read that inside the tabernacle was an altar on which sacrifices were offered to cover the sins of the people.   In the New Testament we learn of Jesus who came to be the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.  We learn that that those who trust in his sacrifice for them become tabernacles for the dwelling of his Spirit.

I am a tabernacle, and my heart is an altar.   My passion, my love for Jesus is the fire that burns on my altar.  Paul exhorts us in Romans 12 to be living sacrifices.  He tells us that this is our only reasonable worship.   I am called to worship the One who gave his life for me by the sacrifice of myself.  In the flames of my love for him, my pride, my rights, my agenda die that Christ might live in me, might fulfill his purposes in and through me.  These are fine words, lofty purposes, but what do they look like when applied to my life as I walk with my husband through the valley of the shadow of death?  I ask the Holy Spirit to show me.  I ask him to make these words a reality in my life by his power at work in me.

The words of an old hymn play over and over in my mind, as a prayer:

“Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love, One holy passion filling all my frame.  The baptism of the heav’n-descended Dove, My heart an altar, and Thy love the Flame.”*

* Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart, verse 5, music by Fredrick C. Atkinson and lyrics by George Croly from The New Church Hymnal

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