Sunday, July 03, 2016


Submission. Some find that an ugly word. Especially if you are being forced to submit by a dictator or abuser. I think we can agree: it all depends on who or what you are submitting to.

On website forms, there is a submit button. This sends the information you provided to the webmaster of the site.

Writers must submit their manuscripts to editors before a book is published.

A potential blue ribbon cook or baker must submit their best recipe to the county fair judge.

Submission can be a good thing.

When you have something physically wrong inside of you, one must submit to a surgeon. I find that the most vulnerable of acts.

You literally put your life into the hands of someone else.

They don't bully you into the operating room. They don't hold you hostage until they remove your tonsils. Usually you see a couple doctors before the surgery. You might get a second opinion. You do your homework and find that one doctor you trust.

And then you lay yourself on a table and trust that doctor will make things right after a few cuts, removal and stitches.

It's all who you believe you are submitting to.

When it comes to God, people have a hard time with the word submission.

I think it's because they have a distorted view of who God is. They may believe He is a dictator and abuser. They might consider Him an untrustworthy father. I don't blame them, I wouldn't trust a god who was unpredictable, mean or a joy stealer.

I think they just haven't done their homework.

Just who is my God?

He is personable, not some virtual webmaster waiting for me to press a button on my prayer form. He listens to me and answers me with scripture or through others.

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. Psalm 120:1

He is helpful. He's not an editor who rubber stamps a manuscript "rejected" just because he doesn't have patience to wade through my life. He takes time with me and helps me edit my life story.

For I, the Lord your god, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:13

He is a fair judge. He doesn't look at my outside, and He certainly doesn't take any bribery or deals just to let me slide.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. Psalm 73:1

Most of all, he is a Good Physician. Submission to God is all about the trust. He has the power to make me nothing and yet He loves me as if I'm the only one on the planet. Can I trust that He has my best interest in mind when I need spiritual heart surgery? Yes.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

I need to be willing to be willing...which is my definition of submission. If I am willing to be willing, that's all He needs to work with...a living sacrifice. What have I got to lose? Just my fear and that hard heart that's been knocking around in my ribcage for years.

I appear to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Thursday, March 03, 2016


I love art. I love realism as well as some abstract. I also love to hear stories of someone finding an old painting in a garage sale or in their attic and after a little clean up, the beauty is obvious to all.

Art restoration is an art in itself. The technician works very slowly, sometimes with a qtip or a damp cloth and gently removes the years of dust and sometimes residue from smokers. Canvas tears are mended, and even small areas are sometimes repainted. They take every detail into consideration, even the pigments used in the era the artist created the work.

The end result is a far cry from what the world thought was trash...the work reveals what the artist intended with their masterpiece.

We are God's masterpiece. And some find they have been locked away in the cellar of life and discover damage, soot and painful rips in their heart's canvas.

Galatians 6:1a says:  "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness."

Did you know that it is up to us to gently restore a fellow believer back to their intended purpose? That doesn't mean judging or labeling them. It also doesn't mean making them over into someone completely different either. The world says they are done and useless. But we have an idea of what the Artist intended with a person. We see the possibility under the struggle.

You take into consideration the person's life history, their "voice" and their dreams. It means taking the time to wash away with gentle words the clouds of shame, and revealing the true beauty of their faith hidden under years of neglect. The application of scripture cleanses and renews their spirit. Challenge them to study it with you. Encourage dark days with music and uplifting conversation.

Help them to reframe their life with positive steps of restoration. And when the work is done, they find the beauty of the masterpiece that they have always been. They just needed a little restoration.

For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (Voice)