Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Friday, November 8, 2013

The famine is lifted!

I don't know if this should be its own post or linked to the last one, because it is the end result of the widow of Zarepheth's story:

I got the job I was seeking! The famine is lifted!

Only days after I cried out to God and said, "I can't take much more of this, and where is my faith, anyway?" -- God has provided.

And I must ask, where was my faith? If God provided every day, wouldn't He provide the job as well?

But that wasn't really the issue, was it? No, the issue was that His plan was not resembling the one I'd come up with. It wasn't just a lack of faith; it was also a case of discontentment. Lack of faith and Discontentment were dancing, sometimes a slow waltz and sometimes a jitterbug, but always dancing in a circle. Sometimes one led and sometimes the other. But always dancing.

Did I learn the lesson God was teaching? I'm not sure. 

But, anyway, I am grateful.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Widow of Zarephath

Widows figure prominently in the Bible. God always has a soft spot for those who can do nothing for themselves and are therefore completely dependent on Him. Widows in Bible times definitely fit this category: they could not work, and if they had no sons, they had no means of support at all and were often destitute.

The Widow of Zarephath was no exception.

1 Kings 17 tells us she had a son, but he was young. In the midst of a famine, she had only enough oil and flour left for one meal, and then she was prepared to die. God sent Elijah to her, and he promised that God would provide every day until the famine was over.

She believed, she acted, and God supplied.


Since losing my job in June, I feel a little like the widow of Zarephath. For months now, God has supplied through various means; the Church has really come around me to help me through this time, and I am grateful beyond words.

But I realize something true about the widow's story that isn't really talked about in the Bible. God supplied every day, miraculously. The jug always had oil and the basket always had flour. But just like manna in the desert, there was only enough for one day. 

Every morning her little boy looked in the jar and said, "Mom, there's only enough for one meal."

And, I believe, she responded, "Yes. The man of God said there would be." And when the little boy doubted and asked, "But what if He doesn't provide more tomorrow?" The Bible tells us that some time later, the boy got sick and died, Elijah prayed and he regained life, and then she believed. There was some measure of doubt in her heart every day, even though she saw God's miraculous provision every day.

Every morning was the same: on the brink of starvation, their situation as dire as it was yesterday. I think the pressure of it weighed on her as much on day 366 as it did on day 1. Until some time later...


What is my point, here? Honestly, I'm not sure. I feel like that woman: God is providing enough -- every day, enough. But every morning I look in that jar and say, "But there's only enough for one meal. Then what?"

There are two miracles at work in this story. The first is tangible: God provided daily in a miraculous way. The second is not tangible, for it is in her heart: every day she believed tomorrow there will be enough, too.

God is constantly giving me that first miracle. I ask humbly that He would also allow me the second.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


My Tuesday morning Bible study group has been doing a video series called "Soul Shift." I highly recommend it. We are doing the video, as I said, but here is a link to get the book:

Today Steve talked about changing our mindset from consumer to steward. He opened with a story of kayaking down the Colorado River with some friends. The guides told them if they flip, don't try to get back in, just float. Steve, of course, flipped and had the time of his life navigating the rapids on his back, feet first. Some of his friends made it successfully from start to finish in their kayaks. But whether in the kayak or in the water, he said, they were all going the same direction. No one was fighting the current. His point: even when we think we are in control, our culture is taking us for a ride down the river of consumerism. (That's my paraphrase.) 

He said, the problem isn't spending, it's wanting. We have to change our desires. He used Jesus' words in Mark 10:17 ff: 

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him,“Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have keptall these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words [g]he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

(Side note: I am struck by the words in verse 21: Jesus felt a love for him.)

Jesus focuses on our relationship to other people. The five commandments He quotes here are from the second tablet, the six commandments that deal with our relationship with others. (The first tablet have the four commandments dealing with our relationship with God.) This is significant because it is not about POSSESSIONS but about FOLLOWING JESUS WITH OUR POSSESSIONS.

Steve used an illustration of a triangle. On the three corners: God, my possessions, and the state of my soul. Steve said, if you bump one corner, the other two will move. 


Lately I have been researching the Indians of Pennsylvania. Ask me sometime; I could go on for hours. For now, suffice to say, Native Americans have a different way of looking at possessions. They don't have any. Or, at least, they don't own land. They use it. They take what they need from it, always leaving some in reserve so the land can refresh itself, and then move on. Because they know it does not belong to them. The food they eat does not belong to them; always they said a prayer and offered gifts to the hunted animal so the animal would give its life so that the Indian might eat it and live. In terms of home: shared with extended family and easily dismantled or not (in which case it was left behind and a new one built somewhere else). In terms of farming tools and other objects: a man owned his hunting gear, a woman owned the farming equipment and household goods. 

As I was listening/watching the video this morning, I was struck by the contrast. The Delawares, Shawnees, and Susquehannocks (among other Pennsylvania Indians) had little, but they had enough. When Europeans arrived, the Natives they met were "giants" because they ate better than "civilized" man! Several sources I have read say that there was no envy among the Indians -- if one saw something he wanted, the other gave it to him without question, even to their last piece of meat or the clothes off their backs. 

They had little.

But they had enough.

And this reflects what Steve said in episode 5 of "Soul Shift": A steward is generous and content

It's not about what you have or don't have.  (It's not about what I have or don't have!) It's about learning to be content. And that is when we shift from being a consumer, to being a steward.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

geography lesson

My last post was honest. I hope it was also encouraging to someone who continues to struggle with addiction.

I hope today's post is more encouraging still




Today's geography lesson has nothing to do with names of states and capitals. It has nothing to do with reading a map. It has nothing to do with rivers and mountain ranges. Today's lesson is all about direction.

What direction are you headed? Only two choices: toward God or away from God. 

If you are going the wrong direction, how to do you change that? Turn around.

If you are turned around, facing the other direction but you have yet to move, how far are you from the spot you were standing in a minute ago?

As far as the east is from the west.

Two days ago I was willfully and determinedly running in the wrong direction. Yesterday I stopped and turned around. In that moment, I was as far from my sin as east is from west. You can never be in west if you are standing in east. Can't do it. They are polar opposites. Or, rather, directional opposites. 

I still have a road to walk, but I am walking in the right direction, and before I even took that first step: as far as east is from west.

Today's geography lesson. Class dismissed.

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dirty floors

Have you ever mopped the floor, stood back to mop your brow and examine your handy-work, only to have spouse or children or dog run all over it with dirty feet? How did you react? How did you WANT to react?

I have neither spouse nor children. Nor pet, for that matter.

And I am not writing from the exalted position of floor mopper.

I am the dog with dirty paws.




For several years now I have struggled with sexual addiction. For three years now, I have had moments of victory. Some of those moments even extended into months. 

This is not one of those months. Or even one of those moments.

For the past five weeks, I have jumped feet first into the mire of living in a fantasy world, and all that entails. I won't go into detail. Suffice to say, I am at a low point with myself and with God. As I talked with a dear friend about it, she encouraged me to pray, "God, make me willing." Because at this point, I don't want to turn away from what feels good (in the moment).  I am not willing.

I have been putting on a front, and as a Bible college graduate, I know all the expected answers. I go to church and Bible study. I teach children on Sunday mornings. I encourage others with what I know is True from God's word. Even though I haven't opened my Bible in weeks. But it is all fake.

This past week at Bible study, one of the ladies was talking about the throne room of God, and the confidence we have to approach God.

All I could think was, "But I'll get the floor dirty."

I know what the Bible says: I am forgiven, redeemed, washed and clean. I DO have the confidence to approach the throne of GRACE.

But, honestly, this week I'm not feeling it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

kids and tech

I grew up in the age of cassette tapes and Atari and VCRs as the newest big thing. I remember getting Nintendo for Christmas one year -- gray and purple, it came with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. I can still hear the song in my head. Can't you?

Today's generation has i-this and i-that, facebook and twitter, and short snippets of thought have become the communication pattern of the day. Technology is changing so fast, and we adults sometimes feel left out. We marvel at the speed of which their little thumbs can hammer out a message or their young minds can absorb the process of uploading their goofy videos. Some of us marvel...some of us shrug...some of us give up and say, "I'll never get it, so I'll let my kid program the icloud." 

Yesterday I participated in a Bible study that is working through Chip Ingram's video series titled "House or Home?" The series itself is very good (I always enjoy Chip), but yesterday's session was especially challenging. It was on kids and technology. Chip actually had his son Ryan present the information, because Ryan has struggled, in his own life, with the videos and ideas and images that the internet makes so easily accessible to all of us.

So many adults struggle with internet pornography. Why do we think children or young adults, as bundles of hormones with poor impulse control, will not?

That's where the marveling and the shrugging and the giving up are so dangerous. Not to us, but to our kids.

Ryan surveyed the young people he leads regularly, mostly college age students, young people who have passed through the turmoil and identify-forming rebellion of the teen years and successfully come out the other side. Successfully, because they made it, but perhaps not all of them are unscathed. These young people, surprisingly, said they wished their parents had kept a closer eye on their internet use....they wished their families had spent time together without electronics. These young people are eager for mentoring relationships. They know how to download something from the cloud, but what about planning a meal and the budget to go with it? They know how to flash-type a tweet, but they can't communicate with someone across the table.

Teens will balk at that. They will insist they like it that way. Who needs your old-fashioned modes of communication, anyway?

But less than ten years later, those same teens have become young adults and they desire the very things they pushed against before. Isn't that always the way it is? We don't want mom and dad to teach us how to budget...we just want to spend the money...until we get that first credit card and realize the heartache that goes with such behavior. We don't want personal responsibility....we just want to be with our friends...until we are married and have kids ourselves and realize we're clueless.

And the internet, with its pervasive illicit images and easy accessibility is no different. They say they want it, and they know what they're doing, and we should leave them alone...until they realize they have sacrificed something good for something immediate.




After the video, the 8 of us sat and discussed our kids and their tech devices. Someone shared about how her 13 year old daughter was the victim of sexting by a boy on her swim team. She didn't tell her mom; I suspect she was embarrassed and ashamed, even though she had done nothing wrong. Her mother often, randomly, checks her phone and her facebook and her iPad, etc., and has made the rule that mom MUST have every password, and if she tries to check and can't get in, daughter is in trouble. A good policy to have, seeing as how this boy forced a conversation that the daughter over-and-over typed, "Don't say stuff like that." And yet, as tech savvy as this girl is, she didn't have the wisdom or the skills to get away from the situation.

They know technology. That doesn't mean they are wise. 

Proverbs 2 says:

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
 turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding
 indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
 and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

    and find the knowledge of God.
 For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
 He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
 for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.
 Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you. 

This applies perfectly to technology, doesn't it? If our children and our young people are taught God's commands, His Words found in Scripture, and if they are given a godly example to follow, then God will be their shield. As they are cruising around in cyberspace, He will protect their way. X-out, walk away, shut it off. Find an actual human being to talk to about it. He will allow them to follow every good path, and knowledge will be pleasant, not life-shattering or addictive or violating. Discretion will protect them.

But they must be taught. Let them have our wisdom, won through years and experience. Don't let them learn it the hard way if they can help it. If we can help it. 

My challenge to you is this: learn the technology. Stay up on it, for your children's sake. Don't take the easy path, for that way lies destruction.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Faith in Motion

A week or two ago,  I posted about human trafficking, sharing a few sites for your perusal. Here is another:

However, today I want to share a different organization that is just as worthy. We all have a story, experiences and hopes and friends who make us who we are. Some people feel drawn to support political candidates, changing the world that way. Some people feel comfortable serving in organizations such as The Restavek Freedom Foundation or any of the other organizations that fight human trafficking. Some people feel led to serve and support education initiatives around the world.

For those people, here is one option to get you started!

The idea behind the 410 Bridge is that most of the world's population lives within these lines of latitude. Most of these people are destitute. You've heard the statistics. The U.N. has developed a means of categorizing nations. The Least Developed Nations (LCDs) are those which meet the following criteria, according to

1. a low-income estimate of the gross national income per capita
2. weak human assets
3.  high degree of economic vulnerability

(I had to look up "weak human assets": this is based on nutrition, health, education, and adult literacy.)

The U.N. puts 50 countries in this category, and all of them are in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean. This is where 410 Bridge chooses to make its impact.

By teaching and providing the means for the people of a few communities in Uganda, Kenya, and Haiti to take care of themselves, they are hopeful -- and successful -- in showing neighboring communities it can be done. Before 410 Bridge came to Karagota, Kenya, a community which my church supports, few students passed the 8th grade exams, which determine a child's future: school, career, and economic status. Of course, wrapped up in those three, then, are access to health care and clean water, without which the cycle of poverty continues. Since 410 Bridge has come to Karagoto, the residents have access to clean water, women earn money by knitting and selling sweaters, and more students are passing their 8th grade exams.

There are many ways we can help 410 Bridge help these communities. Prayer and supporting a student financially are perhaps the easiest. However, there are also opportunities to go on missions trips, hold fund raising events, or host one of the Partners, specifically the Daraja Children's Choir of Africa. (These children are amazing! Your church or organization will be so blessed to watch these students sing and dance, and the money raised from the tickets of the performance helps 410 Bridge. I don't know the details so go to the website and check it out!) 

But why only Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti? These are only 3 of fifty LCDs! 

I've heard it described this way: 410 Bridge chooses to go deeper instead of wider. They take the resources they have and invest deeply in all aspects of a community, instead of sending little bits here and there and there and here, until lots of communities are barely helped at all. A farmer's crops need their roots to go deep in order for the plant to survive and make it to a time of harvest. Perhaps helping the Kingdom of God grow is like that, too. In fact, didn't Jesus teach that? 

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13: 1-9

Let's invest deeply.

Monday, July 8, 2013


We just spent a weekend remembering and celebrating our freedom as Americans. We ate BBQ and too much cake. We put our hands on our hearts as the flag passed during the parade. We oohed and aahed at the colorful fireworks.

We are free to express our gratitude.

We are free to express our displeasure.

And we are all aware that some people do not have this freedom. Many do not. But I do not want to talk about people under oppressive governments. 

I want to make you aware of the many -- far too many -- millions of children and young adults who are caught in the web of human trafficking. 

I was surprised to see, on, that the countries of destination -- the place where these children are sent -- includes the United States. The country that celebrates freedom perpetuates this evil. (Yes, that's some strong language, but I'm not backing down.) Statistics show that 21 million people are enslaved worldwide. That is more people than at any other time in history. In the U.S. girls as young as 12 are forced or coerced into prostitution. Many of these girls -- and boys, too -- are runaways. They have run from a bad situation and get caught up in a worse one.

But there are a growing number of groups that are fighting human trafficking, around the world and here at home. One of these is Abolition International. I appreciate this ministry's work because they not only fight for freedom but provide aftercare for the survivors. 

There is HOPE and HEALING available through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Psalm 27:10 says, Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.

God promises restoration; in Jeremiah 31:13 He is talking about the sinful Israelites and how He will bring them back. But I believe it is a promise for these children as well:

Then young women will dance and be glad,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
    I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

Please take some time to read about the work of Abolition International, and other organizations like it:

International Justice Mission:
Women's Resource Center: (This one is in Northeast PA, but they have many offices.)
Truth For Women:

Let's work as hard to abolish this slavery as our ancestors worked to abolish African slavery a century and a half ago.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Walking with God is a Spiral

Last week I met with a friend for lunch. Joan is a wonderful, wise woman of God. She shared something that I have heard before but had forgotten:

Walking with God is a spiral. He teaches us a lesson about, say, His faithfulness. Five years down the road, we come across the topic again in a new, more  in-depth way. A few years later, He teaches even more about His faithfulness. 

He does this when He teaches us about our character as well. Many years ago, in Bible college, I had a class devoted to the book of James. It is a wonderfully practical book. My project group created a skit to illustrate its teachings. It was actually a series of interconnected skits. For each chapter, two or three people acted out what we always do -- complain about trials and tribulations, show favoritism, criticize others, etc. One of the group then pointed a remote control and "paused" the action. The players froze. Then  the remote control player explained what James taught, hit "rewind" -- and the actors moved backwards and invariably got a laugh from the class -- and hit "play". The actors went through the act a second time, showing the godly way to act in each situation. I learned a lot from that class, even if I don't quite remember the details of the skit.

Now my church is spending the summer studying the book of James. This week's sermon was about chapter 3: 13-18, dealing with conflict.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

God helped me to look into my own heart. Usually that is something I avoid when I can help it. No one likes to look into a pit as dark as that. (I told Joan that sometimes I look at my life -- having been saved nearly 20 years ago -- and I wonder how much I have actually changed.) 

Pastor's main memory stick -- what I call that snappy little phrase that gives you an easy way to remember the teaching as a whole -- was "A wise person is a peacemaker, not just a point-maker". Looking into that dark pit I had to acknowledge that too often I am a point-maker. I want my own way. I know I am right and expect you to act accordingly. 

And then I wonder why I have conflict.

But, James says, wisdom that comes from heaven is sincere, impartial, merciful, submissive, considerate, peaceable, and pure.  You can be right, but the way you assert that isn't always. A friend of mine in college put it this way: "Do you want to be right or righteous?" Meaning, of course, that I can be right but if I pound you over the head with it, I'm not acting righteously.

So, God and I are on another level of the spiral. I guess as long as I am moving up instead of down, I'm moving in the right direction. God has promised that He will finish the work he has begun.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I lost my job in May. I would consider this a trial, wouldn't you?

In the beginning of June, my church started a weekend series in the book of James. It starts with how to react to trials and temptations: endure.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2-4

That in itself is encouraging, because endurance leads to perfection, completeness. There is a point to this struggle. And that brings hope. Hope does not disappoint (New American Standard), or put us to shame (New International). Why not? Becuase of the Holy Spirit in us.

Romans 5: 3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Those  verses have been flitting through my mind these past weeks, like the gentle touch of a butterfly landing on a flower. A butterfly never lands but it trades pollen and consumes nectar.  As God's Word lands gently on my spirit, I am left with something valuable, something that will be used in the creation of more beauty, for God's glory.

And then this morning I was typing notes for a gentleman in my church who will be teaching on the book of Revelation this fall. In chapter 2, Jesus speaks to the church at Ephesus and Smyna, telling both groups of believers to endure the trials they face. The gentleman's notes cross reference to Acts, and so I looked it up.

Acts 14:22 tells us we MUST go through trials, not just that we WILL.
"...strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,' they said."

And Hebrews 12:1-3:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I must not grow weary or lose heart. Christ Himself suffered for my salvation.  

So I can endure this for His glory.

And I wait with eager anticipation to see the flower -- or a whole garden! -- that will come from these gentle words of hope.

If you would like to hear the sermons on James (I think we are coming up on week 4), use the link below.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Heraclitus said, "Nothing is permanent except change."

(In case you have never heard of him, he was a Greek philosopher who lived circa 535-475 BC. His belief system was based on the idea that everything changes. The quote above is one of his more famous, although most people who quote it probably don't know who said it. Another famous one is: "A man never steps over the same river twice. It is not the same river. He is not the same man.")


I lost my job a few weeks ago. The school year came to an end, and the school board of the small Christian school where I taught for six years announced we would be closing. No one was surprised, really. And I think, although we are sad to say good-bye, no one on the staff or board is devastated by the news. God has been privately preparing all of us for whatever comes next.

For one of the teachers, that looks like it will be building a women's ministry, booking speaking engagements, perhaps writing a book. For another, it may include substitute teaching and tutoring. The business manager of the school wants to start her own business. I have put out some resumes, at the church I attend and in other schools.

But for two years now, as my arthritis has worsened, I have prayed about the wisdom of continuing to teach. Am I good at my job? Yes. Do my students learn content and godly character from me? Yes. Yet I cannot help but think, with me as a teacher, they are also missing out. Field trips are difficult for me. I am often tired, and that makes me irritable. They learn compassion as they interact with me and my disability, but does that counteract the other? I don't know. But having lost my teaching job, I am taking that as a signal that perhaps it is time to do something else.

But what? 

The position at my church is for a "care coordinator." In the large, multi-site church I attend, it is a full-time job to keep track of who is in the hospital, or home bound, or in crisis. Lining up people to make meals, clean house, etc. I'm sure there is more to the job than that. Encouraging people is one of my hallmark traits, and as a disabled person myself, I can empathize with those situations, maybe think of things that person needs that an able-bodied person would not think of.

But I have yet to hear from the church. And for the past six months, God has been pushing me to write more.  I was speaking to a dear friend yesterday, a woman who happens to be a marketing exec, and she had some ideas about how to promote my writing on-line. The more we talked, and as I thought more on it today, it sounds like a full time job: blogs and ads and social media of all stripes. Perhaps there will be no "job" forthcoming but God will open the doors for me to start a "business" with my writing.

But I don't know. 

I just don't know.

And that can be a scary place. No paycheck. No prospects. It almost sounds like a Jane Austen novel. 

And yet I am not afraid. 

"I know who I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day." 2 Timothy 1:12

How can I know that it is going to be OK? Whatever that ends up looking like?

Because Mr. Heraclitus is wrong.  There is something, other than change itself, that is permanent. His name is God, the Lord eternal, Jehovah Jireh and 

The Alpha and Omega --

The Beginning and the End.

God does not change. There are two songs that come to mind, one by Kristian Stanfill called "The Lord Our God," and the other by Casting Crowns called "Already There."

Stanfill's chorus:

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness
You will lead us 
And forever we will say 
You're the Lord our God 

 The first verse calls God a promise maker and a promise keeper: God cannot break His promises. 2 Timothy 2:13 says God is faithful, "for He cannot deny Himself." God cannot do something "out of character." His character IS faithful, therefore He WILL keep His promises.

Casting Crown's song,too, is a beautiful picture of God -- the same yesterday, today, and forever -- standing at the end of my life and already knowing where this little blip on the screen will lead me. I do not need to fear the fact that I can't see around the bend (like the mixed metaphors?), because God is already at the finish line. A little mind-blowing, really.

And yet there is peace.

Nothing permanent except change? Nope, God is as constant and permanent as the very change Mr. Heraclitus is talking about.