Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I’m a writer. In my stories, I work toward writing captivating scenes. A scene that captures my imagination will hopefully catch the reader’s imagination as well. (If it doesn’t, my critique group will likely let me know!) ;-)

This time of year in the United States, you see a lot of evidence of Halloween celebration going on. Walk into the party supply store and you’re surrounded by echoes of screams and hanging skulls with fake spider webs. Turn on the television and see all the “spooky movies” out there to watch on several channels. Or investigations of darkness, specters, the paranormal.

I believe we were created to desire the supernatural. And I believe if we don’t turn to the Lord for that experience, we will look for it elsewhere.

~The chance to feel goose bumps during a horror movie.

~That feeling of fear as you share your latest nightmare in the evening with your siblings.

People go looking for the supernatural. From the lighter approach (Ghostbusters) to the extreme approach (horror films).

God is all-powerful. Those aren’t just words. He can do anything. Move a person from here to there, without causing them to travel by natural means. Look at this passage from Acts 8:

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.

God can suspend the natural realm and rules to make something supernatural happen:

~Heal the leper.

~Mend broken or malformed bones in an instant.

~Remove cancer from someone’s body.

~Raise the dead.

~Appear in a locked room without using the door.

~Hold the universe together by the Word of His power.

~Redeem lives.

~Heal a broken heart.

~Erase a sinful past.

You can experience another Presence in the room. A good, beautiful Presence. And yes, there’s fear involved, but not the kind of fear that brings torment. The Holy Spirit can and will meet you in a supernatural way. I believe God Himself wants to satisfy that natural craving in our spirits for the supernatural.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Safe in the Center

My daughter and I sat down to watch a nature documentary last night. On the screen, a school of silvery fish maneuvered as one through the ocean’s waters, trying to avoid predators. The safest place? The center of the school—the center of that moving mass of fish. Any fish on the outskirts ran the risk of being lunch for the marlins and yellow-finned tuna. They were easily picked off.

As a believer, when hardships come, sometimes it’s natural to isolate ourselves. We think no one can relate. Or we’re ashamed of the hard times we’re struggling through. We stop going to church because we think God obviously isn’t hearing our prayers. (If He heard us our circumstances would change, we reason.)

The enemy of our souls wants us to isolate ourselves. Then, he can torment us with doubts, fears, loneliness.

But if we stay in fellowship, if we reach out to a friend for help, if we humble ourselves and continue to seek God, we are safe. The best place to be when you’re struggling is right up front during worship at church. Right up front at the altar during prayer. Right there on your knees, crying out to God—trusting His heart is good even when you can’t see the answers before you.

Don’t isolate. Get right into the middle of the family of believers where it’s safe. Worship. Pray. Fellowship. Live in the center of the group of believers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do What You Know to Do

It's not even the New Year, and I'm thinking about goals and change.

There's something in my life I want to be different. And doing the usual isn't accomplishing it. Doing what used to work isn't working. Time for a change.

Sound familiar?

So, here's what I ask myself:

Do I know what to do? (hint: something I should be doing but I'm not)
Answer: absolutely!

Am I doing it?
Answer: sporadically or never

Do I really want this change?
Answer: Yes!

Solution: Do what you know to do. Then, if you don't see changes, reevaluate. But I imagine you'll see changes.

Maybe I should take my own advice.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The creature is huge! Hanging there, suspended on a massive web which clings to our sliding door frame. Happy October in the Northwest!

I grabbed the bag of birdseed to refill the feeder last week but stopped short at the sight of the polka-dotted, fat, long-legged web dweller. I slid the door back to its secured and locked position and repositioned the bag of seeds on the shelf. “Perhaps I’ll go around the other way.”

But I haven’t done it. Instead I’ve allowed a spider the size of a quarter to keep me from stepping out into the backyard via the slider. Sounds silly doesn’t it?

How often do I let a slight obstacle keep me back? That rejection letter in my in-box could stifle my writing for a day. But really, a week? Nope. I need to get back at it. Writer’s block shouldn’t instigate a month-long cleaning spree (I’m exaggerating, of course), but if I let it, it can derail my writing schedule. Some days I do anything to avoid my writing desk.

So, what’s the deal? That spider is small—not a real obstacle. A broom could swipe away the web and help Spidey find a new home in the grass (if I let him get that far, heh heh heh ;-} ). Then I could tend to the feeder, deadhead the begonia, clean up under the fading rose bush. I need to face the obstacles—they’re often so small. I don’t want to turn back at the hint of trouble. I want to be someone who blazes through webs to victory on the other side. Unintimidated. Brave!

Excuse me, there’s a web I need to demolish. Watch out, Spidey, it’s moving day!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Up or Down?

I love birds. The other day I dreamed of a yellow and black bird visiting our yard, and I pointed it out to my children. One of my kids’ friends said “Oh, that’s a such-and-such bird.” He seemed pretty sure of himself.

This afternoon as I sat at my writing desk, a Stellar’s jay visited the yard. They’re big, gorgeous blue and black birds (see picture) which frequent our neighborhood. Sometimes you hear them before you see them; their loud squawky cries are unmistakable.

We’ve recently added a fence to our side yard and at this moment there is a small gap under the fence. Squirrels can chose to go under the fence or scamper up and over. Cats can squeeze under or leap up to the top to come into the yard. We plan on filling it in at some point, but aren’t too worried since we don’t have dogs we’re trying to keep in.

Back to our Stellar’s jay friend. He was searching for lunch near the gap under the fence. I watched him working, pecking away at the ground, working on his prey. When he finished, would he go under the fence through the gap (which is about the right size for him) or would he fly up to land on the fence and launch from there?

Being a skyward creature, he flew.

I wanna be a skyward creature.

When faced with a situation where I could go under to get through, I want to go up—even if it’s the less convenient route (integrity is a given; I'm talking about taking the easy way out).

I want to get so skyward minded I no longer cling to the ground.

We have a choice in our thinking, too. I want to think in terms of up, rather than down—optimism.

For that jay, I think “up” was the only option. “Down” never occurred to him.

That’s the way I wanna be.