Saturday, June 29, 2013


The theme of our VBS this year is to introduce the kids to some of the names of God. It’s a difficult topic and has led to some deep discussions about the nature of God. I have a group of kids who want to know more about Him so they can understand Him better. So far we’ve learned about Elohim – the Creator, El Elyon – the Lord Most High, and Immanuel – God with us (whom we know as Jesus).

The kids asked some hard questions while they were trying to put all these concepts together. One question we struggled with was how God can be everywhere. They looked around the field where we were gathered in groups under tents and tried to picture God standing in each tent. They clearly see Jesus with us, but how can He be with the kids in the other tents at the same time? God, of course, has revealed Himself in His creation and I was able to use air as an example of one thing being everywhere to help them understand. (Yes, one of the boys brought up molecules, but he got the concept.)

Then we went on to talk about God being in Heaven. God is in Heaven sitting on a throne, so is Jesus sitting on the same throne or does He have a different one? How can Jesus be the same as God when God was present as a dove at Jesus’ baptism?

Hard questions with no easy answers, but we all agreed that we can’t expect to completely understand God. After all, He’s God.

The throne question made me curious, so I looked up the verses I could find about the throne of God. Setting aside the imagery ones about the heavens and His people being his throne, I focused on the visions of Isaiah, Daniel and John. I didn’t really find any clarity (did I really expect to?) but one thing has emerged for me.

Jesus is the Son of Man who approaches the Ancient One. He has authority, honor and sovereignty and His rule is eternal.

Only God is sovereign and only God is eternal.

I may not be able to explain this very well to my kids because I don’t understand it very well myself. But I know that Jesus is God.

Jesus made me. He’s Elohim – the Creator.

Jesus is my Lord. He’s El Elyon – the Lord Most High.

And Jesus is with me. He’s Immanuel – God with us.

It makes me want to worship with the ones who lay their crowns before the throne. Jesus is worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wayne and I have reached the age where we have to acknowledge that our parents are aging. We have a lot of mixed emotions we have to work through. For years we've been independent adults with respectful, but equal, relationships with our parents. Now we're finding that they need more support from us and the balance of give and take is shifting.

It makes me ponder how aging changes us in our relationship to God. I'm blessed that my father has shown the way in that, as he has in so many other steps along the Christian walk. A few years ago I wrote this poem about him, but I suspect it could apply to many godly men and women in their older years.


You falter on the terrace, who once grew fruitful gardens.
You shuffle in the hallway, who once trod jungle paths.
You waver in the doorway, who once befriended all.

You who encouraged many, fear you’ve been forgotten.
You who comforted grief, mourn the one who’s gone.
You who inspired hope, despair your failing health.
You who managed people, doubt your usefulness.
You who loved deeply, covet a friendly touch.

You prayed God’s blessing on us all, and still you pray.
You obeyed the Great Commission, and still you tell.
You preached the Word of God, and still you teach.

You remain our comforter, encourager, inspiration.
You remain a preacher, teacher, lover of the Word.
You remain a disciple, servant, child of God.
You remain our father, grandpa, elder.
You remain a builder, leader, friend.

You have fought the fight; run the race.
You await the crown of righteousness.
Well done.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Give Your Father Joy

I’m blessed that my father is still in this world. I don’t get to see him often, but it’s such a comfort to know he’s here loving and praying for me and available when I need his wisdom. But sometimes I forget that I’m here to love him as well. Children are a blessing from God. That’s me, God’s blessing to my father.

So naturally, I should do whatever I can to bring him joy. The wisdom of Proverbs tells me how to do that.

Listen to him. 

Daddy has lived a long life of serving God and he has great stories about his experiences and about the people he’s known. I like his stories, but like many older people, he tends to repeat them. That shouldn’t matter. It brings him joy to share his walk with God. It brings me pleasure to hear about it. 

Get the truth and never sell it.

I learned God’s truth from my parents, but as I began to grow up I encountered different interpretations of the Bible and I explored new ideas. Because I was grounded in the truth I didn’t stray and I have realized that the more I read the Word, the more my father’s understanding of it is confirmed. When Daddy and I talk about the Bible, I can tell this brings him joy.

Get wisdom.

My father is a wise man. I’ve come to him for advice many times and I’m always impressed with his knowledge of scripture and his ability to apply it to my circumstances. I love that I’m the one who’s blessed when I listen to him.

Get discipline.

I remember coming into the dining room when I was a very young child. The breakfast dishes hadn’t been cleared yet but the room was empty. I got caught licking the jam off a piece of leftover toast. My punishment was not being allowed another treat with the rest of my siblings because I had already had mine. I’d like to say I learned from the experience, but I’m afraid I’m sometimes still that little girl indulging herself when no one is looking. But God is at work transforming me through discipline and I know that Daddy is pleased when he sees the evidence.

Get good judgment.

Daddy drives all his kids crazy when he has to make a decision like buying a car. He researches all the options and then talks them over with each one of us many times, telling us what everyone else thinks. His decision making can be agonizing, but in the end he makes good decisions. I’ve learned to slow down and think through my own decisions because of his example.

Be godly.

After walking with God for 75 years, my father is as close to being a godly man as anyone I know. It makes me proud to be his daughter and I hope that he can take joy in watching me grow towards godliness as he has. 

I love Daddy and I hope that these things in me make him happy. As I bring my earthly father joy, I know that my Heavenly Father is also pleased.