Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Nothing results in such hot feedback as the topic of judging others. Is there confusion over what scriptures say about it? Are we asserting our thoughts on the subject? Are we desiring to restore the believing ones we love who seem to be sinning? Both...?

  • "So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God." ~1 Cor. 4:1-5 NIV
  • "As for my attitude... I have already decided and passed judgment...in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, on the man who has committed such a deed. You are to deliver this man over to Satan for physical discipline." ~1 Cor. 5:3-5 Amp.
  • "What business of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside the church upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside." ~1 Cor. 5:12-13 Amp.

Admittedly, I am offering my own interpretation on these scriptures. Prayerfully, that is our responsibility and privilege.

Operate from a clear conscience. If someone judges you unjustly, suffer it with joy, deeming it a blessed thing if it launches you into His arms and gives Him pleasure.

"Judge nothing before the appointed time." Don't be the last word on a person's motives, intentions, purposes, or condition of heart. There is a discerning we do when we witness a person's fruit. That is not judging. Judgment is a condemnation and a sentence. Paul passed judgment on a man committing a blatant sin, and the Corinthian church was proud of their "tolerance." Paul addressed BOTH conditions.

Leave the judgment of unbelievers to Another. They are under a whole different law, and we can't expect Life from one not Reborn.

To judge or not to judge... proceed with caution... falling rocks ahead, some pitched by the judged, some by the judge... May the motives of your heart be pure, servant-minded, and fragranced of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kathy California

I have this friend. I can tell her anything, and I don't get a crooked, pointy finger in my chest or a head wag. Sometimes she pokes fun at me, but it only endears her to me. She sends me birthday and Christmas presents, and sometimes chocolate "just 'cause." She's been through the wringer in matters of the heart, and I'm honored to have been there as much as I can for her. She's strong spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Her heart is generous, vulnerable, and bottomless in its ability to love despite obstacles. I am inspired, encouraged, and strengthened by her friendship. She is the sister I never had, and I owe her my life.

And we've never even met.

Every time I mentioned her, my family would ask, "Kathy who?"
She lives in California, ergo the name. It's stuck ever since, and I think we're going on around 12 years now.

I found her through a Christian penpal site, which I cannot find to save my life. I got about three penpals through them, but no one stuck like Kathy. We just clicked from the very beginning. Her writing made me laugh, touched my heart where I live, and gave me some camaraderie. When she first asked for my address, I wouldn't send it by email because back then, I was super careful about anything I sent into cyberspace. [Yes, I've changed a lot since then.] She gave me hers, so I wrote a snail mail letter and gave it to her that way. She was completely understanding, and I was relieved. She never makes me feel small or stupid. Beginning of a wonderful friendship!

Now she's newly remarried. After cleaning up the fragments of her broken life after skunkpoophubs left her, she met and married a man whose first words to her were, "You look like Easter morning." Isn't that beautiful?!

Kath, I wish you a heartload of deepest satisfaction, sweetest moments, brilliant sunrises, and love that surpasses what you wouldn't dare to dream possible. I want all that for you--and whatever other wonderfulness He would offer. I love you. God bless you both richly, profoundly, eternally.

Monday, May 07, 2007

running the race

A friend related this revelation to us during a Bible study. It's based on Hebrews 12:1, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." These are not her quoted words, but the picture as I received it.


If we take this verse to mean that there is a great congregation of believers here rooting for us, cheering us on, I can see that they would be like the throng of people who cheer for runners in a race. They live out a godly life before us in humility and courage as well as clap and yell and encourage and generally make a ruckus to inspire us to keep going and to run well.

I saw myself running, running this race of life. I'm doing the best I can, but honestly, I'm tired. I'm getting weary of the ugliness, evil, and horror on every single front page and newscast. My pace is slowing. My head feels heavy and is starting to slump. Feet are pounding. It's getting hard to breathe.

Now I hear the sound of voices. I look up and see this tremendous throng. Cheers erupt as I near. A sea of faces beaming... As one, their chief aim is to inspire me onward so that I might run in victory.

While their love and joy is encouraging, I am truly wearied. I do not want to faint, but my entire body aches, and all I want to do is quit. I am in dire need of something more than what they can give. I recall Hebrews 12:1, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." I search those masses for that One face who promises to be with me constantly. I'm looking, but I don't see Him.

This is totally deflating. This is just the thing that could undo me. I feel myself slowing involuntarily. One more scan of the crowds... He is not there. I don't want to quit. There's so much more to do, so much at stake.

Suddenly, I hear a smaller voice, different from all the rest. He is not in the crowd--He is right next to me, running alongside me stride for stride, cheering me on, THe ultimate coach!
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." *

I'm still in it.

I am SO still in it. †


* Deuteronomy 31:6


I am so tiny in this gynormous plan for eternity. I am the smallest fraction of it.

I am a fraction, but 1 over 1 = whole...

You are the wholeness in this plan. You are the main character, not me. Please help me to embrace and fulfill the fraction that my life plays. You waste nothing, and every single atom and second in Your economy you use for Good. I am whole when you are my foundation, when I let You do what you died to be.

We are me, and I'm good with that. †

I am both thieves

Both thieves live inside my head. As I listen to David Crowder Band's song "O Praise Him", my head bows in reverence and humility. I don't know why He doesn't just strike me dead...

The song continues, "O, praise Him. O, praise Him. He is holy."

A second voice pipes up in reply. I'm not that bad. I don't deserve--

SHUT UP! Don't you know that you ARE that bad?! He owes you nothing. You deserve nothing but pain and death! Say nothing... He is holy.

O, praise Him.
O, praise Him.
He is holy.
He is holy.

How infinite and sweet,
this love so rescuing.
O, how infinitely sweet,
this great love that has redeemed.
As one, we sing

He is holy.
He is holy.

O, praise Him.
O, praise Him.
He is holy.
He is holy. †