Peace: Walking Through November

As I continue to read through Mark, I see the simplicity of how Jesus spoke of common, everyday life to shed light on deep truths.  For the moment, I’m stuck on the meaning of bread.  Bread has a very comforting way of fulfilling hunger and the hungry soul.  Jesus had compassion for the multitudes he spoke to.  After meeting their spiritual needs, He fed them bread.

Jesus fed 5000 and then awhile later, another 4000, with the loaves of bread on hand.  I imagine it was a sight to see — God’s plenty rising up in the baskets whenever the bread supply became low. I think about those holding the baskets and serving the bread.  I imagine they felt peace as the problem of hungry was solved.  They probably experienced gratitude for the shift from less to more than enough.  I am certain that I would have flooded with overwhelming joy to be able to give to others.  Peace.  Gratitude.  Joy.  It’s not at all a surprise that we experience peace and joy from carrying the baskets He asks us to.  Whether we have big or little faith, it is all wrapped up in our willingness to carry the basket.

Later, as Jesus and the disciples headed into the boat, Jesus gives them a truth about bread.  He says, Beware of the leaven of bread and the leaven of Herod.  Despite the miracle of feeding many with little, the disciples figure Jesus is making reference to the fact that they forgot to buy bread for their journey in the boat.  As an old friend of mine would say, Really?  Could the disciples really have thought Jesus was concerned about their lack of food or that they forgot to buy it?  Was it really that big of stretch for them to catch the spiritual meaning?

I’m stuck on bread because I think Jesus is saying something very powerful here.  Why do you reason because you have no bread?  Do you not yet perceive or understand?  Having eyes, do you not see?  And having ears, do you not hear?  And do you not remember?  Matthew 16.

I think about challenges in my life.  Struggles.  Times when I don’t understand.  Seasons of less.  Lack.  Pain.  Hurt.  Trembling.  The truth is I’m still here (with enough bread).  He’s always delivered the hurt to healing.  Trembling to peace.  Less to more.  But yet, every time I experience less and not more.  Pain and not ease.  Whenever I go from big picture living to lack of understanding, I crumble on the inside.  I figure there’s no more bread.

So, like the disciples, I sit in the boat with God.  Whose resources are beyond my comprehension.  And, I worry about no bread.  I ponder all of the mistakes I’ve made to contribute or cause the lack of bread.  I get numb to the miracles I’ve seen.  I get dumb to the metaphor of bread.

But, Jesus has compassion for me.  He knows all too well my physical and spiritual needs.  He knows that when He quiets my soul that I can understand.  Jesus wasn’t bothered by the disciples mistakes or what they felt they lacked.  He’s not necessarily trying to teach me about the leavening in bread.  He’s working towards a deeper meaning.  He’s pulling me away from things like the doctrine of hypocrites and false religion.   He’s pulling me towards truths to fill my hungry soul.

Peace: Walking Through November

~ another day of week 1 ~

As I am reading through Mark, I read parable after parable.  God shares a parable with the multitudes and then He shares the meaning with a few.  The parables speak of natural things that can lead to supernatural understanding.  Back then, He spoke about planting seeds and candles under a basket.  Now, I think He would have talked about commuting to work and smart phones.  My mind doesn’t think in the way of parables.  I like the meaning Jesus shared with the few.  I like to skip ahead to the supernatural.  But the supernatural happens in the every day.  The supernatural happens in the every day.

After hours or days of sharing the unknown through messages of what was known, Jesus retreated with His few to the sea.  When I think of retreat, I think of peace.  Jesus often sought His retreat by getting into a boat to rest at sea.  This is also where Jesus revealed the deeper meaning of His parable messages.  At least it seems this was God’s plan.  But, frankly, I am not sure what is worse . . . on the land, Jesus has the multitudes seeking Him and constantly yearning for more.  On the sea (where He is seeking retreat and peace), He’s got Peter sinking, others freaking out every time the boat rocks in a storm and repeated lack of understanding of the deeper meaning of the parables (and everything else) He shares with them.  Peace at sea?

God, however, did keep His peace because He is peace.   He is our peace and He is our brother.  Because He was fully human for a time, we can connect with Him in a personal way.  When I think of Jesus at sea, I imagine that the Creator probably connected with the water, the flow of it, the open space all around Him.  The heavens up above Him.  I think He found His otherworldly community at sea.   I think out on the boat, He experienced the community of the Trinity.  Of course, God doesn’t have to find community or the Trinity because He is both.  But, in the way I understand, being out at sea for Him was what we call a prayer closet or quiet time with God.

The parables may continue to mystify me.  But, following God’s example makes sense to me.  I am Florida grown and when I look out into the blue ocean with lighter blue skies behind, with the warmth all around me, I experience peace.  My life and my circumstances sometimes mystify me, but when I get into a boat or a prayer closet for quiet time, I experience the Trinity.  I know that peace is present.  There is peace on land and peace at sea.  Supernatural peace happens in the every day. 

Journey Through October: Conquering Fear

~week one~day three~

The Reason to Keep Breathing

There are reasons to read on though.  His kindness leads us to repentance.  Romans 2:4.  There is no greater love than He who lays down his life for His friends. John 15:13.  He didn’t take you this far to leave you.  Philippians 1:6.

There are also reasons to keep breathing when you are suffering.  None of us fully knows the kindness of God until our need supersedes our abilities.  Somehow when the impossible flows into our reality, we finally recognize that our human efforts can only take us so far.  We can’t change people.  We can’t alter circumstances with our influence or smarts.  We can’t carve out a way when there is no way.  We can’t work all things together for good on our own.

We can, however, choose to keep breathing.  As we breathe, He shows us that there is no distance He will not go to prove His love.  There is no width He won’t go to put our pieces back in order.  There is no depth He won’t go to show us how very much He loves us.  He is interceding for us; placing in us His strength, so that we can in fact breathe through our pain.

It is worth it to keep on breathing.  He did not take you this far to leave you.  He has plans to give you a hope and a future.

I remember looking into my dad’s eyes as He crossed over to heaven.  As I said goodbye with my eyes staring into his eyes, I distinctly remember knowing that His love was greater than the heartbreak of goodbye.  His wisdom was higher than my thoughts of keeping my dad here.  At that time, I did not know the true depth that would result from continuing to breathe.  I would not know for quite some time the value of breathing as we suffer.  But it is for the same reason I picked up again those two books on Fear.  He has a message for us at all times.  But especially when we suffer.

My Friend Matthew

Matthew is a friend that pulls me close.  He helps me see the grand imperfection in God’s beloved followers throughout time.  Matthew pulls me into the deep irony and connection taking place between unlikely pairs impacting the course of history.  Judah and Tamar.  Salmon and Rahab.  Ruth and Boaz.  Bathsheba and Uriah, and then David.  Joseph and Mary.  All of this intended imperfection points us to our perfect Savior Jesus.

What I am learning as a person:  I am learning that God uses our humanness to work out His godliness.    As we see the time and care He has taken to call us and know us, we fall deeper in love with Him.  His friendship brings out the miracles in us.

Verse:  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.  Psalm 32:1-2.

Deep Thought: Think about the reason we know that a man or woman can be after God’s own heart.  There once was a woman named Ruth who had an idea to travel to an unknown land.  She had the thought to cling to a God who she understood to be connected to a people and a place.  In this new place, she found herself in need of a way to make ends meet, so she started working.  While she was faithfully working, she didn’t expect to cross paths with Boaz.  After some time and a chance to fall in love, she had the idea to propose to him in the darkness of early morning light.  And, as the story is often told, she eventually becomes the great, great grandmother of King David, a man after God’s own heart.  Every single day, God gives us thoughts and ideas.  Every single day, we have the chance to intentionally move with Him, cling to Him, exercise faithfulness, fall in love and become a man or woman after God’s own heart.    

Quote: Embrace the mysterious, invisible work of Christ even when it seems like nothing is happening.  You are an image bearer and you have a job to do –  whether you see the results or whether you don’t.  A Million Little Ways By Emily P. Freeman

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: The Book of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, is shaping me again, after many years.  It is the truth told after 400 years of biblical silence.  Most likely by Matthew, a disciple of Jesus.  He wrote to the Jewish people with the intention for them to catch that Jesus was in fact Messiah.  He writes to me refreshing my belief in healing. Matthew reminds me that my life can be marked by His ability to do miracles in and around me.  And, he softens my soul as I remember how very imperfect I will need to be for Him to shine brightly in my life.

My Prayer to You: My prayers to you and for you are unending.  I ache for us to have more of Him.  I desire nothing more than for us to be used in our imperfection to bless others and to glorify Him.  He does not fight nor shout; He does not raise His voice. He does not crush the weak, or quench the smallest hope. But His name is the hope of all the world.


Epiphany is a moment of sudden revelation or insight.  Epiphanies, for the most part, can’t happen without a relationship or a foundation with Jesus.  He’s the one who works with us and in us and brings us to place where insight takes place.  Where revelation comes.  I am so grateful that He speaks. That He breathes life into us.  That His knowledge, understanding, wisdom and love is never-ending.  That He cares deeply, desires to know us and shares His very heart with us.  Epiphanies . . .

What I Learned as a Parent: Sometimes I just don’t know how to bring down a mountain, but He does.

What I Learned as a Partner: I can remember what love does.

Verse:   If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5

Deep Thought: God has big plans for us to run with Him.  Into the battles He has already won.  I embrace the idea of fighting the good fight in floods where waters rise even though I sometimes gasp for air.  In earthquakes where I sometimes loose the ground I am used to walking on.  In lightning storms where I sometimes loose my sight.  For in these battles, we can learn that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Quote: Horses are faster than people, but eagles are faster than horses.  Pastor Levi Lusko’s Message Running with Horses, Jeremiah 12:5

 Book(s)/Blog(s) that Shape Me: Lynn Donovan’s Blog and Site Spiritually Unequal Marriage

My Prayer to You: God, give us your epiphanies.  Lead us to mountains so we can witness your power.  Help us remember to love one another, especially those that are closest to us.  Give us the passion to run with you into battle.  Help us fight our tendency to be weary and lead us to find our strength in You.  Help us to count our losses as opportunities to gain in your Kingdom.  Help us to run hard with horses in battle, but call on the Eagle to bring us to victory.  In Your Holy Name, Amen.

What’s on your mind at 6am on Saturday ?

It is not that often that I wake up before 6am on Saturday morning.  The first few hours of Saturday morning are usually my sanctuary.  Today, there is just a whole lot on my mind.

On the spiritual side, I am thinking about my friend SZ who has that tint in her eye, that hue on her heart, that life is burdening her right now.  I’m thinking about CK and K and their good fight against depression.  I am telling God about the very big number of prayer requests that have bubbled up from my dear sisters this week.  I am also thinking about my friend MB and how she reminded me last night how much we need each other.  In the midst of prayers, battles and claiming of victory, she wisely says . . .  Why don’t we all just hang out at the pool and have some fun this weekend?  (That happens in South Florida in October.)

The only thing you and I need today is Jesus.  He is really the only thing that we need everyday.  But, it is refreshing to breathe that in.  Refreshing to know that wherever your mind is, He is all you need.  He is all you need to think, meditate and pray through whatever is on your mind today.

Drink your coffee or tea, clear your mind and do exactly what God calls you to do this weekend.  That’s my plan.  What is on your mind at 6am on Saturday?

FF Oct 11


I have a crack in my heart because forgiveness just made new sense to me.  I don’t mean to say that my heart is broken.  The hardness in our hearts, that we all have to one degree or another, just got a crack. The crack is in one of pillars that holds up the hardness.

It’s not easy to scan your heart for hardness.  We tend to be numb to our hard spots.  Especially when the love of Jesus resides in us.  In our efforts to be like Him, we move and we grow, sometimes right around the hard spots.  Because God is so good, He loves us as we mature and is pleased by the hope that expands in our hearts.  But somewhere in the growth of God in us, we run out of space.  The hard spots finally show themselves.  They have to go so that we can grow.

I’ve been thinking about this concept of forgiveness.  I’ve been thinking about what it means.  The thing that keeps coming to mind is treating the person you have forgiven as if the offense or pain never took place.  I’ve reached a quagmire at this point.  In my heart, I think about the sheer freedom of forgiveness and the idea of treating someone you love like the #$%#^#@& never happened.  I literally feel the wings take off in my heart when I think about what that would feel like in real life.

Oh, but real life#$%#^#@& did happen.  And, for some of us, #$%#^#@&  happened often or for a long time or maybe even right now.  My thoughts consist of 1) how do I make the habit of forgetting the past, 2) how do I transcend to the point that I can trust God whether or not I trust the other person, and 3) how do I, in the right pace, build my trust in the other person?  I have a few more what ifs swimming in mind, but I don’t want to give you anymore ideas to freak you out in your own relationships.  I am going to take a leap of faith and believe that some of you do a really good job with trust and forgiveness.  From friend to friend, ride this one out with me.

For me, part of my ride stopped with the good kind of crack in my heart.  Philemon is a little tiny book of the bible.  I am not even sure if I could have told you Philemon was a book in the bible until God put the name in my head about a month ago.  The whole thing is probably less than 500 words, but the Lord just keeps showing me bits and pieces of it each time He leads me back to it.

I think this is God’s idea of forgiveness: If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me.  But if he has wronged you or owes you anything put that on my account.  Philemon 1:17. It’s Paul talking, but the Holy Spirit delivers it to me this way – – Sasha, if you count me as your partner, receive the him as you would Me.  But if he has wronged you and owes you, put that on My account.  I then think about the Savior of the world, who gladly took my sin, who knows that my heart doesn’t have the power or strength to forget the wrong against me or what is owed to me.  He just offers me to put it on His account.  That is power of a living God whose love travels down to the deepest parts of our souls and back to the heavens.

I am all about asking for favors lately.  Favors to friends for other friends.  Favors from you so we can learn from one another.  Today’s favor is that you ask God to find some hard spots in your life, in your heart of hearts.  Ask Him to make some cracks.