Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A few years ago I did a bible study based on Finding Nemo.  I think I may have mentioned it before.  Maybe a few hundred times.  It’s kind of the reason I use the name Sharkbait.

One of the weeks we talked about GOD being like the water in Finding Nemo.  He is all around the fish, even when they can’t see him.  Water is life for the fish, and if they try to break “free” they will die. 

So I guess the idea of GOD as water is often with me, and I have ever done a few posts where I compare him to the ocean, or a bucket of water.

diving_ocean-792387 Well a while ago I was sitting staring at a river while doing my Bible study, and I got to thinking.  I got to thinking about the different “faces” of GOD.  How people will talk about the wrath of our Old Testament GOD, or the love of the New Testament GOD, as if they are different people.  And we find it hard to accept.

But we accept it in water.  Don’t we.

If you go out to the ocean, you see the pounding waves.  They crash and rage, and destroy pretty much anything that dares to get in their way.  You can take a huge rock and throw it in, and the power of the waves will cause it to be pounded to dust eventually.

But it often stops before it crushes it completely.  The rock will be broken, but not destroyed.  Instead, as it is battered under the force of the waves, it will become smooth.  The edges will wear down, and it will be made beautiful. 

Then it will be carried down a river, until it lands on the shore.  The slow, steady wash of the tide will shine that stone until it is more beautiful.  And it will lie in that still water, being made clean.

I thought of this as I picked up smooth stones on the river bank.  Not a single broken or jagged one there.  All smooth, and shiny.  As I sat there, enjoying the peace of the smooth water, I realised this was the same water which had come from the open sea. 

The water which thundered and roared, also lay still and peaceful.   The same water had broken these stones, and was now making them perfect.

Sometimes in my life I try to throw my own strength against GOD, as if I could overcome him.  He takes that, and breaks what is not of him.  But then that same GOD, that same water, will smooth me, and shine me, and allow me to rest in his peace.

GOD is both the ocean, and the river.  The raging water, and the still.  He is what we need HIM to be, and he will do with us what we will. 

We can’t find peace, until we have found our shape.

When we need a mighty GOD, he is there, guiding us in his way, and molding us. 

When we need to find peace, he is there as well.  Infinite and peaceful, able to smooth us and make us shine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Write it out.


I can relate. 

I feel like one of my areas where GOD calls me to serve him is with writing.  I am a part-time writer – which is to say a really bad one.  In addition to my fiction and poetry, I also write bible studies and manuals, and study guides for books and bible-studies that already exist.

I wish I could say that I feel GOD speaking to me, and that I just take dictation.  But for me, sometimes, the process is a little more… painful?  strange?  scary?

I feel like I get images, and pieces.  As if I have had all the ideas shoved into my head all at once, and I have to try and sort them out.  At times, drawing a new manual feels like I am trying to keep sixteen plates spinning at the same time, and if I take my eye off one for more than a second, it will fall, and they will all follow.

So I write, and draw maps, and connect Bible verses with pictures from movies and try to fit it into the theme.  Sometimes I will be working on a study for weeks before I know what it wants to be about.  But when I figure that out: when I find out what the hook, or theme is, suddenly everything falls into place like a jigsaw puzzle.

I think that’s why GOD does it that way.  To remind me that it’s not about me, and also to make me work at it.  To force me to slave over it every day, until it it perfect, rather than just writing down what he says, like a holy typewriter.

But while I am writing, it can be a wild place in my head.  Where I feel like I need to write everything out of my head as fast as possible, before it explodes.

Then, sometimes, I get the whole thing in a flash or explosion.  Where I can see an entire play, or idea, at once.  And I need to write it down quickly.

A few weeks ago I was sitting by the side of a river at 5AM, having my quiet time with GOD, and staring at the water, when he dropped one of his insight bombs on me.  I will be sharing it with you all shortly.  The problem was that I was sitting by the side of a river. 

With a bible, and a pencil, and nothing else.


So here is the rock I chose to write my latest blog post on.  Good luck deciphering the map.  If you can’t read it, I will be posting the normal version tomorrow.

GOD chooses some strange utensils.

I should know, I’m one.


Monday, April 26, 2010

RDM 22 – No hands


It has been a while since I posted one of my own posts for a Rainy Day Monday entry, so here goes. 

cross-traininig-world-changer Christ has no body here but ours
No hands, no feet, here on earth but ours
Ours are the eyes though which he looks
On this world, With Kindness.
Ours are the hands through which he works
Ours are the feet on which he moves
Ours are the voices through which he speaks
To this world, With Kindness

I'm sure you've heard these words, or similar words in the past. Words that remind us that "we are Christ's hands and feet in the world." Quite a heavy burden don't you think? I don't know about you, but I think trying to live up to that day by day would be pretty exhausting. So how do we know where to put our hands and feet? There is so much suffering in the world, from the fighting in Israel and Palestine, to the persecution of Christians in Egypt and Sudan. From genocide in Africa, to starvation and poverty in South America. It just goes on and on. I don't know about you, but I can't go a day without seeing people suffering, either from lack of food, or lack of God, or both.

It's everywhere. So where should we be?

When Jesus called us to be his hands and feet, he also called us to have his heart. To feel his heart beat with ours, and feel what he feels. To let our heart break for what breaks his heart. To let our heart long for what his heart longs for.

I think when we choose to join our heart with his, he will break our heart in small ways. As I draw closer to him, I feel my heart breaking for the plight of mentally disabled people, so I have a ministry to Disabled Adults where I go out to a local support centre for a church service once a month. I feel his heart break for the youth to know Christ before they start turning from their childhood teaching, so I am involved with preparing teenagers for confirmation. I feel his heart beat for the community of the small group I am involved with, where I pray constantly for them and their protection, so I am a small group leader.

I know these are areas where God wants me, because when I work here, I feel his heart. Whether I am 'enjoying' myself or not in a particular circumstance, I feel my heart beat with love, and occasionally break with sadness. This I hope is God's heart beating with mine, and letting me know where I am needed.

Sounds simple?

It is; But it's not easy.

It involves seeking God's heart all the time. Which I have shared before is very hard for me. I am good at "working for the kingdom", but find it harder to 'be still, and know that I am GOD". To know, I mean really know, that GOD is all I need, and that everything else is just extra. To know that I am reaching out to these people, not because it is the right thing to do, or because it makes me feel good about myself, but because I am really valuing what GOD values.

When HE calls out, in the words of the song:

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.

I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my words to them.
Whom shall I send?

Will I be able to answer...

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.


If you are taking part in Rainy Day Monday, then snag the button on the sidebar, and put a link to your post in the Mister Linky widget below.

Monday, April 19, 2010

RDM 21 – Close, but no cigar


My featured blogger for this week’s Rainy Day Monday is Sherri from Matter of Fact.

100_4219I am using one of her first posts, called Close, but no cigar.  Despite being an early blog post, I think it got more comments than any of my blog posts have ever got.  However I believe it deserves another look.  So here, for your Rainy Day Monday amusement, I give you….

Close, but no cigar...

* This is one of the very first posts I wrote on MySpace a couple of months ago. I wanted to share it with you.

I attended my niece's coronation ceremony for Homecoming recently. She was not crowned Queen, but was in the Queen's court, a huge accomplishment as she is from a rather large high school in our area.

I almost was in the queen's court my senior year (26 years ago) . My mother almost became queen over 50 years ago.

I go to church with a guy than runs for Rend Lake College, made the Olympic Track Team for his home Country, Kenya, Africa! He almost made the finals!

I watched my middle son fight in a CAGE FIGHT,( I know, I know) only his second time, where he was boxing and really whipping his opponent for most of the match. He almost won!

Another son had an oil painting win first prize at a college art fair! He almost won Best of Show!

What I realize is, these were all remarkable accomplishments by ordinary people but so often if we don't reach the tip top, #1, Champion, it seems to lessen the experience. How very sad.

Did you know that a guy from Rend Lake College in Southern Illinois ran against Olympic Champions? His name is BOAZ.

Did you know that my son won his very first "cage fight" with just minimal training?

(You'd have to watch these cage fights/mixed martial arts fights on TV to really appreciate this- although I use the term "watch" loosely. I only peeked through my fingers a couple of times!)

Did you know my son's painting hung in the Halls at John A. Logan College?

Yes, a beautiful oil painting of Muhammad Ali (what's with my kids and their fascination with violence?)

Did you know my mother was dirt poor back in the fifties, a daughter of an alcoholic, and she actually made it into the Marion High School's Queen Court?

These accomplishments in and of themselves are deserving of applause.

I often live in a world of "almosts"....
I almost closed the deal and sold that big ad,
I almost lost enough weight,
I almost got the whole house cleaned....

Ya' know what? I've learned valuable lessons from being "almost great"!

I'm humble, I'm very flexible, not easily discouraged, and I have a great sense of humor.

I've learned to strive for excellence but I'm Okay with the fact that even at MY best, someone else just might be better.

More than once I've had someone say to me, "Close, but no cigar!".

I'm Okay with that--- What would I do with a cigar? I don't even smoke!

If you’re taking part, you know what to do.  Fill in the Mister Linky Widget, and snatch my button.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


If all goes well, I will be home in about 12 hours.  Maybe more.

See you all tomorrow.  (Or the next day, I might be sleeping for a while.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Biblios Hokku - Ephesians

The book of Ephesians has a lot to say about salvation through grace alone, and how we are all being built into a body for Christ, a dwelling for him.


By grace we are saved,
built to become his body -
A house for our Lord

Friday, April 16, 2010

Biblios Hokku - Galatians


Walk in the Spirit.
Don’t give in to earthly lust.
and you will bear fruit.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

National High Five day?

Yes.  The third Tuesday in April is always National High Five Day.

So who am I to argue?


So who are you hai5ing today?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Off again

By now you have hopefully realised that my past two weeks ago about moving to a foreign country was an April Fools Day joke.  If not…. well I’m not giving the donations back, so don’t even ask.

I am however going away for a few days this week.  You might remember that last year about this time I took a trip to a Men’s Conference in my home country called Mighty Men.  Well, I am going again.  This year will be the last conference of its kind, and we are counting on nearly 500,000 men going.  It should be fun.

I am scheduling some posts for the rest of the week, so you won’t even notice I am gone, but if you leave me any comments or messages, I won’t be seeing them until next week.

Have fun, and I’ll see you soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

RDM 19 – Bless My Socks Off

rdmthumbIf you are very good at counting, you will notice that last week’s Rainy Day Monday post was number 20, and the week before was 18.  So it only makes sense that this week should be 19, because that’s how I roll.  Deal with it!
Family pics 011Rainy Day Monday’s are a day to take a post out of the archives, and expose it to a fresh audience.  Many of you probably know Annie K over at Buzz by Annie’s.  She takes some pretty awesome pictures of the sun (yeah, really) and blogs some pretty awesome insights.  One of these that she blogged in January 2009 was called Bless My Socks Off, and she has kindly agreed to let me post it again.

Bless My Socks Off
May planting 011 Lately, I've been feeling a wee bit down. I think that probably all working wives/moms feel that way, kind of like an episode of The Neglected Housewives. So, this morning, I threw down a dare to God (in a 'nice' way). I get these little devotions emailed each morning from Turning Point Ministries. That is Dr. David Jeremiah's ministry and if you have never heard him speak, you should find a radio station that plays his messages and do so. I have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for the man because he knows his stuff. Anyway, back to the 'dare'. I told God, "I dare you to bless me this morning." And He did. (Now I don't know if God likes it when we do that, but somehow, I have a feeling that after I read my little devotion and said 'wow, that blessed me' he probably blew the smoke from the barrel of the gun and walked away to the sound of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly playing in the background.) Because I love you all so much, I wanted to share my blessing with you.

Irrevocable Promises

For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you.
Deuteronomy 15:6
Some days are harder than others, and perhaps this is one of them for you. Life is full of frustrations, and we can grow mighty weary with financial pressures, family problems, church misunderstandings, and workplace conflicts. It sometimes seems like we’re losing our minds.

But God is not losing His! Remember that nothing revokes His faithfulness. His promises to us are irreversible, unalterable, firm, and fixed. There are conditions to be met, of course; but outer circumstances must bend, in His time, to the purposes and promises of God for our lives.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfil His promises… leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” The Lord your God will bless you just as He has promised in His Word.

His promises are sure, His blessings are great, His grace is sufficient, His presence is near, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Cheer up! It’s not as bad as it seems.

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.
Corrie ten Boom

Oh, and as God was walking into the sunset, I thought I heard him say 'touche'.

So pop over to Annie’s Blog and say “Hi”, and then do your own Rainy Day Monday Post.  You know you want to.  We have Mr Linky, and buttons.  What more could you ask?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Biblios Hokku – 2 Corinthians

It has been a while, but I have not forgotten my Biblios Hokku Project


We walk by our faith.
Strength made perfect in weakness.
Created anew.

Monday, April 5, 2010

RDM 20 - Hope


Well, in a strange turn of fate, today actually is a Rainy Day Monday, because it is cold and wet.  It had to happen some time.

Rainy Day Mondays is a meme I host where you choose an old post of your own, (or someone else's), that didn’t get as much attention as it deserved when it was posted, and so you save it for a Rainy Day Monday.  Today was supposed to be a RMD post from a friend, but I decided today will probably be something of a low day in blogging.  After the long weekend, many are on holiday, and probably won’t be checking their computers.  (Come to think of it, what are you doing here?)

So I am posting a short post I did many months ago called Hope  The “poem” seemed appropriate, given the season we are in, as it talks all about hope and faith.  It was originally part of a larger poem, but, as often happens, the one line was the best part. 



Hope comes in the morning,
But faith gets you through the night.

Sorry, that's all I got for you today. If you want something a little more profound...


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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It is official people.  I will be leaving you for a while, possibly a long time.

My friend Jacques Beit of the Van Dingnimmo foundation called me last night, and told me that they wanted to offer me a position on their ministry team.  Full time preparation of teaching material and Christian manuals, and an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God. 

The catch?

The position is in a foreign country.  A very foreign one.

There is a small French/Arab protectorate in West Africa called Fein D' ingni Mo, and their leader Shah Kebat has recently given permission for "Western Missionaries" to come into their country.  The Van Dingnimmo foundation has been trying to get literature into the country for a long time, and now they think if they can set up a publishing house locally they might have sucess.  They also think that using Africans will make us seem less 'foreign' and allow us to be accepted more easily.  So I have been asked to sign on for an eighteen month contract to head up their new materials division.  A wonderful opportunity.

The problem is that religious tolerance in Fein D'ingni Mo is a bit of a joke, and they are doing this mainly as a publicity stunt.  E-mails and internet access is very limited, and heavily monitored by the government.  All blog sites are restricted, ever since local student reported in the Hew Ha-Hah rebellion of 2008, and so I don't think I will be able to get an outside line for my blog.

So you might not be hearing from me for a while, but know that you are all in my thoughts.  Please start praying for me.