Saturday, November 9, 2013


It is fitting that I am writing an entry entitled "Camouflage" on a morning started by a very early call from a very excited hunter:  my youngest son. I am not a hunter, so the school-girl-giddy sounds coming through the phone at 6 am would have been more appreciated by the mama a little later on in the day.  (I'll have some fallout from the school-girl comment, but I speak the truth.)

We all know the hunter, as well as the soldier, rely on camouflage to help them remain unseen. Your typical Christian in the 21st Century, on the other hand, loves to be noticed. And herein lies one of our biggest problems.

I grew up in life - and in God - thinking that the better I was, the smarter I was, the funnier I was, the wittier I was, the sharper I was...well, the better people magnet I would be. For the Lord, of course.

Please don't think I'm tapping into false humility or self-depreciation here, I'm just being honest when I say I'm slow when it comes to grasping the true nature of God. Real slow.

We would do well to take our cues form the hunter and the soldier. We would do well to cover ourselves in the best camo we can muster.

You see, when life happens to us...sickness, death of a loved one, betrayal, injury, discouragement, disappointment...we think our edge is blown-up. We can't be any good for Christ now. Who would want to be like us? We're weak. We're done.

As we are prone to do as humans, we habitually ask the wrong questions. "Why, God?" "Did God really say that? "Am I still of any use to God?"

It's not you. It's not me. It's not your favorite Christian singer or TV preacher. It never has been. Never will be.

It's Jesus. Always has been. Always will be. "To them God has chosen to make known...the riches of this mystery...CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY." Colossians 1:27. Those of you who have known me or my writing for a while know that I'm all about this: Christians aren't better. They're not just forgiven (can I say I hate those bumper stickers?!)...they're just like non-Christians, except for the fact that THEY HAVE HOPE. They...we...I...have Christ in me.

So in the woods of this dark and uncharted world, on the battlefields of this life, I need to make sure I can't be seen. That I'm undercover. That the only thing anyone can see when they hear a twig snap in my life, or the enemy firing on me, is Jesus. There may be a frustrated hunter or wounded soldier in their vicinity, but the hope of Christ should be so prevalent that all else fades from view.

I am going to borrow from my favorite of devotionalists today...the late Oswald Chambers:
"When we say, 'What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person, and what wonderful insight!' then what opportunity does the gospel of God have through all of that? It cannot get through, because the attraction is to the messenger and not the message."

Be encouraged to know that it isn't, never has been and never will be you who shines for Christ. It's Christ Who shines for you.

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord..." II Corinthians 4:5. 

Aren't you glad? Camo-up!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Barkers & Biters

Yes, I’m giving a little nod to the age-old saying. Typically referring to a canine friend, we do – on occasion - attach this idiom to human behavior.

And that’s what I’m doing right now. You see, I’m a barker, but I need to be more of a biter.

As Christ-followers, many of us – especially those of us who are somewhat well versed in the Bible – can spout the truth with the best of ’em. We memorize it, quote it, use it to comfort others and to confront others.  We’re like little, super Bible-quizzers ready for a meet. We think.

But, here’s an issue that same “many” of us face: when a big “meet” in life comes…a test, a trial...we’re often all bark and no bite.

We proclaim the promises of God with our mouths, but way less often with our lives.

I love to share with a hurting friend from Lamentations 3:22-24: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions NEVER fail. They are new EVERY morning; great is your faithfulness.” I remind others that, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 

But, when I face something I don’t like? You know what I say? It’s typically not Lamentations 3:22-24, the NIV version. It’s more like this…

“Lord, don’t you love me?! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m being consumed here! Don’t you see how hurt I am? I wake up every morning and feel like I have a little rain cloud hanging over my head.  Where are you?! I’m tired of waiting! I need help NOW!” (This is why my KyV version of the Bible is not flying off the shelves at your local Christian book retailer.)

Oh, human girl with a doubting mind, rebellious bones, a harried heart and…a toothless bite.

I’m not going to get too mystical on anyone…but, there is evil and it has a name. There is a devil. Satan. He hates God, so he hates God’s children. (I personally know some people who do scoff at the idea of God, Heaven, Satan and Hell…but, these are also my same friends who believe that Lady Gaga is truth, the Beatles are bigger than Jesus, and that marijuana magically helps them do their best thinking, so I don’t get too worried about “freak-out fall-out.” And you know I still love you all!)

So, this Satan…he’s been wreaking as much havoc as possible since the Garden of Eden. Where another toothless gal, tried her hand at biting the wrong thing, gummed an apple full of lies, and then wound up getting herself and her hubby kicked out of the most perfect place on earth.

“Did God really say you couldn’t eat the fruit?” We all read the story and bark, “Run, dumb Eve! God DID say that! I just read it! He did! What’s the matter with you?!”

What we really should be saying is…”Not only are you barking up the wrong tree, you’re biting the wrong thing…with no teeth!”

The next time you hear some snake-like hiss, “Did God really say he would be faithful? I mean, in this situation? It’s pretty bad. You may have contributed to it. You may not be worthy of help,” please waste no time munching on that crab apple.

You need to put your spiritual dentures in.  Chew on God’s promises, please your palate with His peace, savor His comfort…then loaded down with a lunch box full of truth and love that never fails, let your light devour the darkness.

Go, be spiritual Pac Men and Women! Let’s get to chompin’. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

40 Years Should Do It

40 years sounds like a long time. Most of my readers haven't even lived for 40 years, yet. I'm sure all of my readers can't believe that I have. (Cue: eye roll.)

So, not many days ago, I entered my 47th year of life. (Cue: gulp!) I share my birth date with "National Talk Like a Pirate Day." I also teach middle schoolers, which provides a great opportunity to combine the celebrations. It's like "National Talk Like Mrs. Weaver Talking Like a Pirate Day." We eat Chips Ahoy cookies & do pirate-y word games & such. It's the bomb.


My point today...40 years. 40 is a recurring number in the Bible, but I've been thinking a lot about the 40 years those crazy, Hebrew children wandered around in the desert. 

God miraculously leads them out of slavery. They are miraculously led & fed. Yet, they complain. They doubt. They don’t trust.

God miraculously came into my life a little over 40 years ago, at a kids' crusade. A somewhat creepy, but mesmerizing puppet explained to me how the big, Creator of All could actually come live in my heart. Miraculously free me from my slavery to sin. Save me from an eternity in a very scary place. I was in! 

Who says creepy puppets are all bad?

But, since then? Um, well, as long as much of my extremely blessed & smooth sailing life as been all that...I've been awesome! If I hit rough waters? Well, even in the midst of God miraculously caring for me, providing for me, leading me via His Word...I complain. I whine. I worry. I don't trust. 

In essence, I want to "go back" I want "to quit." 

Frankly, I'm exhausted. Not from the battles...but, from battling the wrong way. 

Wait. Maybe from “battling” at all. The wandering Hebrew kids didn’t have to battle for manna…they just had to gather it. They didn’t battle for light to lead their way…they just had to follow it.

Why does trusting a good, loving, faithful Father of a God seem to be more difficult and unappealing to us than going back to a life that didn’t have Him at all? A spiritually fatherless life in slavery?

Well, I’m done. I don’t need no stinkin’ puppet to tell me what I need to do. Especially a creepy one.

40 years is long enough. No more messin' in the desert. God has eliminated all the guess work...the "what if's"...the battling...all of it. 

God has been faithful. In times, both good and bad, He provides.

So, 40 years is long enough.

I’m tired of not trusting God, then going around doing things my own, messed up way. I’m not going back.

Let’s grab our baskets and dig out some manna recipes. Who's with me?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Isn't it Ironic?

Um, actually...

"Ironic" defined:  "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result."

So, can life be ironic? Not with God.

I used to love to reference irony. I'm an English teacher, for crying out loud. Countless times, in both pleasure & pain, I've been the one shaking her head, muttering, "Well, isn't that ironic?"

But, Lesson #521 from the Summer of Suffering (don't feel sad for me, this is how I grow!) is that what God does is never, ever "ironic."

You see, while we may expect or want one thing...& we end up with just the opposite...God knows what He wants & what He will produce, from the word "go."

He is not surprised. He is not taken off guard. He is not amused.  He is most certainly not bemused. He is God. He knows what He wants. He knows what He's doing. He knows what I need.

So, from what I am now able to somewhat, light-heartedly refer to as my "SOS," I am throwing "irony" out of my spiritual vocabulary.

You see, nothing is "incongruent" between what God expects & what actually happens. Do people have free will & still screw up? Yes.  But, even this is not a surprise to God. He knows long before people fail, hurt, hurt others...all with that darned free will. He knows, therefore He plans & produces a way to bring goodness & glory, in spite of the humanness.

So, here I am. Counting God's blessings today...realizing the workings of His hand in the middle of the muddle. Appreciating His might in the mess. Resting in the fact He brings produce from the pain.

Feeling things are turning out far from planned? In-congruent? Ironic?

Remember Who our Father is. His plan & what He produces always correspond...are always congruent.

Today, I purpose to not shake my head back & forth at what human thinking deems "ironic," but rather, nod it up & down at the assurance that nothing ever surprises my Father.

He's got us, friends! So, let the blessed bobble heading begin!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Life is Like a Layover

I've been traveling some this summer and when I'm's just pure, chaotic, catch-up.  But, before I throw another load of clothes in, run to Wal-Mart, and stop by the dry cleaner...I just have a brief thought to share.

Layover. That's the thought.

Seriously, maybe that will be a future book title for me:  "Life is Like a Layover."  It so is.

I looked around the airport the other day and was struck by the fact that so much of life was represented in one place.

People elated and snapping pictures as a loved one walked off the plane.  People with teary eyes, wandering like zombies toward a gate that would lead to a ramp that would lead to a plane that would lead to a funeral.

Life is a layover. Thank God. It is temporary. The tears, the trials, the triumphs. Gone in a flash.

Be mindful of those around you in the "airport."  Humanity...happy, hurting, hopeful, hopeless. We should share the joys and the tears. Come alongside one another, no matter what the circumstances. Offer to carry that extra heavy suitcase.

I Corinthians 5:1-6:  "5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord."
Okay, maybe camping would have been a better analogy here, with the mention of tents and all. But, I think we all get it...we are in our temporary home. We are not in our true home, yet. We're experiencing a layover.
It's easy to walk through life's airports, thinking only of ourselves. We're in a hurry to catch the next "flight," escape a crisis, embrace a thrill, take a vacation. While we're running from concourse to concourse, we have to remember that it's all temporary...and the only thing we get to take on the final trip home is those around us.  

Look around the gate you're at today...who can you rejoice with? Who can you cry with? Who needs some help with their life's luggage? As long as you've got're experiencing a layover. May we all take out the headphones, get off the laptop, get out of the coffee line...and look around us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dog Days

I sure hope Florence and her Machine know what they're talking about. Anyone else feel stagnant? Lethargic? I'm blaming it on the "dog days."

Typically, we reserve that title for the sultry, uncomfortably warm days from early July to sometime in September...well, at least in the part of the US in which I currently live. But, the term also lends itself to "a period marked by inactivity."

I'm going to go with two thoughts here today.  And trust me...they're hot.

First, I have been doggin' it this summer. Or, maybe - more appropriately -  "dodgin''" it. Allowing anything uncomfortable to often deter me from doing what I need to be doing.  From being productive. Definitely inactive. A couple of summers ago, God allowed skunks to take residence under my house to remind me of all of the things we become distracted by in life.  So, you'd think I would remember that stench...and know better.

We are so "feelings-driven."  "I don't feel like doing it." "I don't like that."  "I don't love them."  "I'm too angry to forgive."  "I'm too hurt to move on." "I'm too tired to do the laundry." (I use that last one a lot.) And tired is not just an emotion...I am aware it can absolutely be a physical state. But, still...

Darned emotions. Dirty dogs. Grrr.

Second, I hate the heat.  Physically and spiritually.  Even though I grew up and have lived in more than one geographical location where temps and humidity often soar...I hate it.  When people talk beaches...I chime in about how much I love them. But, not the kind most adore. I wistfully long for a beach on the Oregon Coast with its gray skies and cold waves crashing up against the rocks.  Me on a blanket, wearing a fleece jacket...sipping on cocoa.  I've tried to talk my husband into moving to Alaska on more than one occasion during our 26 years together.  I'm that girl.

Anyway...I also dislike spiritual heat.  I mean, we all hate the thought of hell...but, that's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the heat that refines us.  The heat that causes the impurities to rise to the top.

As much as it makes me want to lethargic...take a much as it makes me uncomfortable...I need the heat.  The "dog days" are the proving ground of my faith.

God uses heat - or fire - to speak to His people all throughout the Old Testament.  For real. Here's just one example:

"You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire." Deuteronomy 4:35-36.

God uses heat - or fire - to speak to His people in the New Testament. Here's just one example:

"If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward."  I Corinthians 3:12-14.

Wow.  That's like the perfect Dog Days' verse.  The "day" will bring it to light...the fire will reveal...the quality of each person's work. What I really believe. How strong my faith in Christ truly is. And survival equals reward.

And the the biggest hope in these warm days...

"But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:' Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,'"  Isaiah 43:1-3

It gets uncomfortable at times.  A little heated.  But, He is with us.  
And if we trust that He is...when these doggish days are over...we will shine.  Who knows? Maybe others will see us shining just a little bit, right in the middle of 'em.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christian Wart Club

You may not have heard of this organization...but, it's huge.  And at times, I'm pretty sure I've been Member-of-the-Year.  Maybe of the Century.

I worry. I confess.  I say, "No, I'm just concerned,"  or "No, I'm just being realistic."  That's what I say.  I say a lot of junk.

Thank God that I most often read His Word before I try to pass anything along to you.  This so keeps you from getting the brunt of my junk.

So, this morning...I'm praying. Well, I'm whining to God. I'm worried. I'm all, "God, if You don't show up in this situation or that situation...well, what will people think?  They won't see Your glory.  They won't see that Christians win...or are successful...or are amazing."

I don't know what your Bible weighs, but mine feels like 182 pounds when it lands up side of my head.

This is what God said to me today. Clearly.

"You worry about what people think. I worry about people."

Make that 382 pounds.

Okay, let's really put "concern" where we have "worry." We know God doesn't worry and doesn't approve of worry.  But, He is loving and compassionate and concerned.

We can either walk around being concerned about people's thoughts or actions or words...or we can walk around being concerned about people.  We can continue to be concerned about how other people can hurt, abuse, slander or use us...or we can begin to just be concerned about people.

If I'm really all about my spreading the Good News of the cool hope one can have in Christ...I probably should stop being such a wart. Who wants those? What purpose do they serve?  And, side note, they're gross.

If I am concerned about the things God is concerned about...I will stop worrying altogether.  I will see everything in an opportunity to somehow love people and reconcile them to the Father.

I'm cutting up my CWC card right now.

Who's with me?