Showing posts from 2013

I Choose the Fire

“…it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.”
Leviticus 1:13
Bundled up with coat and scarf, I cross my arms and brace myself against bitter winds that sting my face and whistle through bare tree tops. Steadying my feet as I amble across icy snow, I walk a familiar pathway.
It is Thanksgiving Day, and it feels like full-blown winter. But I’m not thinking of the cold – I’m thinking about fire.
Why is the offering made by fire?
Why is the sacrifice not crushed beneath a stone, or bathed in endless floods of water? Or why not be laid out in the sun’s rays to bake and dry brittle? Why not be left alone in the wilderness to be seen no more, or buried in a plot of heavy soil deep into the ground? Wouldn’t He rather that the offering to be placed in a carefully-wrapped package or jeweled chest to be laid down at the foot of the throne room?
But no. Instead, the offering is to be burned. And in the end, there is nothing left but a pile of ashes and smo…

With Thankfulness

We travel across the interstate at 63 miles per hour through the darkest of nights. Siblings slumber in the backseat, and parents talk quietly in the front as the miles slip by. The moon is shaded by swiftly moving clouds, but I can still see the smiles and hear laughter from a day blessed by what I believe was the very touch of heaven. Thanksgiving wells up from 19 years full of blessings.
I. Life Driving 50 miles per hour and only a few minutes from home, the impact of another vehicle slammed into their car just before the driver cried out, “Help us, Jesus!”  A friend of mine was driving back from a similar day full of blessings and smiles when she found on a backboard en route to the emergency room after a head-on collision. She and the two family members with her could have easily lost their lives that night.  And meanwhile I sit on my bed’s quilt at home, grappling with the fragility of life. How can one moment be all smiles, laughter, and lightheartedness – while the next is b…

And He said, "Follow Me..."

Someday, when I look back on years past and highlight the growth each year brought to my journey with God, I’m sure that I will stop at the summer of 2013 and mark it as one bringing the most change in all of my teenage years.
Strangely enough, as an adult, I was more clueless about life plans than at age five. From a young age, I had my life mapped out, and was sure of God’s specific calling for this life. I pursued high school and then college with determination to complete the “necessaries” paving my way into the wide world beyond that of my home. Life swirled with business – recording music, organizing benefit concerts for my sister’s Youth for Jesus journey, finishing my last college classes, juggling an intense externship at a local family practice, and then switching to the routine of work as a medical assistant at a clinic in town. But as I adjusted to a new schedule and became more independent, I faced young dreams with a new uncertainty.
August sunshine glistened warmly of…

No Flowers

The Creator made us so.

Who of us doesn’t appreciate beauty – whether it is caught in salty, crashing waves on the sandy ocean shore, appreciated in the stillness of the mossy forest haven, traced in the flight of the wild, lofty eagle, or seen tucked in the soft, velvet petals of the deep-colored rose. He has made all things beautiful.
Golden evening shadows fell as my sister’s first day of canvassing with NAPS (National Association for Prevention of Starvation) drew to a close. Young adults line up by a white van, ready to be dismissed from a fully day of door-to-door work in Orlando, Florida.
“Wait, just one more house- ” Amy gestured to one last building on an assigned street.  Her friend and partner in canvassing matched Amy’s eager pace, eyes brightening. “Yes, we want to cover as many houses as we can.” Now out of sight from the white van, the girls approached the house. Two clean-shaven young men stood standing shirtless on their back lawn, but the canvassers bravely proc…

To Know His Heart

As the seconds tick and the hours fly, another day of my life comes to a close and night settles over my Vermont hills. The crisp winds of a fall night whistle and strike chimes just outside of my door. As I recline on my bed the ticking of my clock and typing sounds from my computer keyboard hardly break the silence. I yearn to share a heart that is both an eternity away, and right at hand.
Through two recent and specific experiences, I was led to a place where I could identify with a fraction of this heart, when mine was touched and pierced too.
When small but eternally significant thoughts and ideas come to mind, they are often whispered by a heavenly messenger. The memory of a particular man who had been missing from church attendance for 2 ½ years became a burden on my heart, and with growing excitement I searched for his mailing address, petitioned church members to sign an expression of how much he was still missed and loved, and sent the card with a prayer.

Maybe Dennis woul…

Borrowed Time

July 29, 2013
More than 6,000 in my country die each day –
But one out of these precious six-thousand today strikes closer to home.
Just a few months ago, a chest x-ray revealed a relentless cancer, spreading through his lungs; eating away at his body; and leaving him shocked, frustrated, and desperately fighting for life.
Clinical staff spoke of him in quiet tones, aware that the dying man was not emotionally prepared to breathe his last.
He arrived at the clinic – confined to a wheelchair pushed by a family member. Only his hollow coughs and the pumping of his oxygen tank broke the silence. He waited, face expressionless.
What can you say to a dying man?
“How are you doing, Fred?”
He looked up from his wheelchair with sad eyes as I led the way for the mournful procession into an exam room.
“Okay,” he paused. “I have no appetite. I can hardly taste anything anymore.”
As I took his vital signs, I glanced at his three relatives sitting by the side of the room. They shared quiet whis…

No Conditions

Her attitude was not unapproachable, but neither was it friendly and inviting. The elderly woman slowly rose from the wooden pew, straightening her back and gazing straight ahead. I noticed her short grey hair and gold rings dangling her ears, but more prominent was her aloof and crusty demeanor.
Rising from the piano bench with sheet music nestled under my arm, I approached the pew where the stranger stood. I could see that a visiting non-denominational family friend was eager to introduce us. It had been by her invitation that this new visitor made an appearance at my quaint country church.
"Are you coming to potluck?" I pressed an invitation.
The older lady tugged at the handle of her pocketbook. "Oh, I don't know."
"Are you sure? The food is really good," Mrs. Fontaine, my friend added.
"I really hope you can come," I urged with a smile.
The older woman consented. "Alright."
Church members had slowly wandered downstairs to the…

When God Says No

"May I ask what kind of novels this class requires students to read? Could I have some examples?"

She nodded. "Of course."

Lightly tapping my fingers on the wooden table, my eyes gazed into the cool gray ones of the college advisor. She tucked a stray wisp of curly blond hair behind her ear and leaned back into her office chair.

My mother sat nearby, jotting down book titles on notepaper. My college advisor began listing titles, highlighting storylines that I had never before heard of. Nevertheless, we proceeded to sign up for classes. (This particular class - though it had nothing to do with my degree - was mandatory.)

God's leading seemed so clear and distinct. I had finally decided on what I wanted to do, and a community college had recently established the program I was interested in. The enrolling process had progressed smoothly, and everything apparently fit into place. With excitement I looked forward to learning new things and being a witness in new te…