Let Them See Jesus

Have you ever been put off by a fellow Christian’s behavior?  Maybe someone who teases past your comfort point or one who is just a bit too sarcastic that it makes you feel uneasy? When that happens, sometimes we might not stay around them long enough to see the heart of the person, to see Jesus in them.  

Recently I met someone whose teasing sense of humor was relentless, and I noticed that I steered clear of him every time we were in the same room. Not until he spoke to the whole group and shared his love and compassion for people through Scripture did his true heart shine through. Then, no matter how much teasing followed, the truth in his heart could not be overshadowed. He didn’t change, but my attitude toward him certainly did.

It was like those hidden picture pages in the children’s magazines. You know, the ones that have you looking for hours for a silly toothbrush in a drawing of a library, and you cannot find it until you do. Then, you can’t not see it. Once I saw Jesus in this gentleman, I couldn’t not see it, no matter how silly his jokes or how endless his teasing, Jesus shined through.

I hope people can see Jesus in me. I wouldn’t want the way I act or the things I say to get in the way. I’m afraid there have been times that my sarcasm has come through much louder than my Jesus. Hopefully, as I’ve gotten older and maybe a bit wiser, that happens far less often. A quick review of James, Chapter 3 is always a good idea! That tongue can certainly get out of control sometimes.

What do you think? Do people see Jesus in you clearly or do they have to get passed your humor, sarcasm, or something else to see Him?


Fallin In-Love

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Ps 18:1-3.

I’ve loved the Lord for a very long time.  He has been my rock, the one I turn to for help and guidance. He has been there every time I have ever called on Him for – anything.  He has answered my prayers through Scripture, through my friends, and even through people I didn’t know. He was there when I hit rock bottom.  He picked me up, dusted me off, and sent me back out restored and refreshed once again. I love the Lord. But, I never understood when people would say that they were ‘in love’ with the Lord.  I just didn’t get it. I could tell there was a difference in the way I loved Him by the way they said it.

Then, my life changed. I got a knock on the door from two soldiers in full dress uniform. There is only one reason for a visit such as this when you have a child serving in the military.

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” Ps. 116:1-2.   My cries were loud, seemed endless, and He heard each one. He caught my tears and wiped them away with His hands of mercy. He saved me from my enemies, those who live in the slimy pit of mud and mire; bitterness, never-ending sorrow, and resentment.  He waited for me to get a foothold onto my new “firm place to stand”. Ps 40:1-2.

God has never left my side through this season of intense grief, most of the time, I believe, He’s had carry me.  I am now totally in-love with the Lord and forever will be. Perhaps before it was a puppy love of sorts, a young immature love.  Now it is a stalwart love, one that my crushed heart offers willingly to the One who constantly mends and cares for it.

My prayer for you today is that you fall in-love with the Lord and experience the difference. Be sure to share your ‘new song’ so “Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord”. Ps 40:3

Wait, Please Wait

I’m not very good at waiting. Maybe you are, but I’m not. I know there are lessons to be learned, wisdom to be gained, good reasons why the Lord has me wait, I just don’t want to but, I’m going to wait. Experience tells me that waiting on Him is always worth it. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one that is not too keen on waiting.

Lately, I’ve been praying for His will in a certain situation in my life. It’s a very exciting possibility which makes me want to interfere all the more. My prayer these days is, “Lord please hold my hand and don’t let me run ahead of You and help me keep my mouth shut so I don’t mess things up.”  Proverbs 18:13 even tell us what will happen, “He who answers before listening — that is his folly and his shame.” While I wait, I need to be listening for Him to speak. John 8:47a “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” I’m listening, Lord, and I know I’ll hear You.

Waiting for God to move and show me His way is what I want more than anything, and I know when I wait for Him to put things into place, it is always the best.  So, while I wait I will continue working toward the goal.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  See, if the Word says you’ll need strength to wait on Him! Take heart and don’t give up.  Psalm 130:5 encourages us to put our hope in Him while I wait. Oh and look how sweet God is in Isaiah 30:18, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”  He want to be gracious and compassionate to me and He’ll bless me for waiting! He is so good.


Maybe you are having to wait on the Lord for something big in your life too.  While we wait on the Lord and try to stay out of His way, please share with me what you do to help you in the wait time.  Thanks and may you be blessed in the waiting!


Search Me, Lord

Lined up on my back fence was a male cardinal and three fledglings. He was busy feeding them one by one as he’d fly off to find food and return to continue his meal time duties. The whole scene was lovely except for one glaring abnormality – one of his babies was obviously not a cardinal. Continue reading “Search Me, Lord”

Time for a New Song

Psalm 40:3a “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

For ten years now, I have mourned the loss of my son, my first-born, my army boy.  I have shared our story, helped others with their losses, and given testimony through song of the amazing healing power of Jesus’ name.

Today, there seems to be a new song on the music stand of my life.  As if the Lord has scored a third movement in the symphony called Patti, a new and joyful one.  

In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon writes of a season for all things, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. The old tune, the  second movement of my symphony, has a somber melody, a slow yet steady rhythm. This new tune that I hear in the distance has a much livelier tempo, possibly offering me the chance to dance. Though I don’t believe anyone else has heard it, confirmation that it is coming keep showing up; in conversations with people I’ve only just met, in my Sunday school lessons, even when I simply flip my Bible open for a quick read, there it is.

Those of us whose usual melody is one of grief and sorrow, might be wise to listen in earnest for the song God promises as He ‘lifts us out of the mud and mire’.  I believe I’m ready to turn up the volume and sing this new song of praise to the Lord, are you? Then let’s pray that those who hear us ‘will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord’ (Ps 40:3b).


Please share your new song with me and pass this on to a friend who is ready as well.

Listen for the Real Thing

I walked outside one morning to find a beautiful bird gleaning the foliage of our backyard bottle brush tree. Since I’d never seen this bird before, I quickly ran back inside for my bird book and phone. Continue reading “Listen for the Real Thing”

God Really Does Know Your Name

A beautiful sunrise was filling the eastern sky so I decided to go out on the front porch to enjoy my coffee, my Bible, and my quiet time. I was listening to the birds and savoring each sip of my coffee when this thought came to mind.  Somewhere I had read or heard in a sermon perhaps, that God enjoyed hearing his Holy Word read back to him.

So I opened up to Psalms and began with the 46th.  I stood there reading to him and tears began to run down my cheeks. I went on with the 47th Psalm and the tears kept coming. There was something so special about reading to God.  It just filled my soul in a way I’d not experienced before.

I stopped reading after that and continue offering  Him my praise and thanksgiving for such an awesome time together. As I was looking up in the sky and relishing the moment, I saw something amazing.  There at the bottom edge of the clouds, just where the sky comes up to the clouds, there it was, my name.     Patti, clear as it could be and spelled the way I spell my name… Patti, with an i.  There were no jets in the sky leaving a trail.  There were very few clouds that day and they were huge.  This was not a time of staring at a cloud long enough to imagine it looking like an elephant or something.

God had written my name in the sky, right there where I could see it.

Of course I didn’t have my phone to snap a picture and I knew if I left it would be gone by the time I returned.  So, I just stared in wonder, in thanksgiving, in awe.

Since that time whenever I start to doubt Him or doubt that He knows that I exist, I remember.  I remember that He indeed, knows where I am.  Matthew 10:30 says that even the hairs on my head are numbered.  He knows who I am.   This is an awesome Scripture from Psalm 139 in the Message:

  1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

Such an amazing God that He would care enough about me, care about each one of us to know  every detail of who we are.  We never need to wonder if He knows us.

He even knows the way I spell my name.  Patti, with an i

Get it Handled

Years ago, I had the privilege of teaching the Lydia Class in Sunday School.  This was a lovely group of senior women whose ages ranged from 75 to 85 and beyond.  I remember being very excited to teach them but at the same time a bit anxious about just what I could possibly teach them, after all, I was in my thirties! When I received the material to use for the class, I was surprised to read the topic for the first lesson, adultery.  Really? For the Lydia class?!  

Sunday came, we all got settled into our little classroom, opened with prayer and as soon as I got the word amen out of my mouth, one of the sweet little ladies spoke up.  “Patti” she began, “we thought we would set your mind at ease about today’s lesson and let you know that we all agree that we’ve pretty much handled the adultery thing!” We all laughed and I quickly responded, “I am so happy to hear that you don’t have a problem with sexual immorality now that you are 80, but y’all there’s a second part to the lesson, how are you with… murmuring?”  Suddenly, it was very quiet.

Sometimes we get to a point in our lives where we have conquered a certain sin or two but then there are other sins that are a bit harder to give up.  The murmuring, complaining, and grumbling that we all are guilty of from time to time, that one, is a bit harder to stop. The Israelites were known throughout Scripture as a people who murmured and complained and God dealt with them sternly.  Grumbling was one of the sins they committed which caused them to wander the desert. Complaining may not sound like a serious sin to us but God takes it very seriously.

In Philippians 2:14-15, Paul implores the people, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation…” He wrote this around the year 61 AD, the world was crooked and depraved then, too.  It was no harder for them to stop complaining than it is for us now, but He still wants us to stop, He still wants us blameless and pure.

Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  We need to cut out the murmuring and complaining and take responsibility for our conversations, because they do ‘depend on us’ in order to have a peaceful outcome.  I know, we can only be responsible for our part of a conversation, but I’m guessing we all could work a bit harder at removing the complaining and griping that is so very easy to fall into.  


Join me in a challenge.  Let’s pray that God will show each of us when we are about to murmur and complain, and ask Him to help us stop before we start.  Before long it may very well  be a sin we get to call ‘handled’.

All Birdys Welcome

A friend of mine, who knows I love birds, gave this cute bird sign to me for my birthday this year.  Of course, as an English teacher, the first thing I saw was the misspelled word. Continue reading “All Birdys Welcome”