Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The Lord whispered to me Sunday morning, "you need to ask her to forgive you ... ".

He didn't tell me why ... no need to ... my conscience has been wringing its hands and wringing its hands causing much grief and bother.

Words I had spoken had crossed boundaries that were not permissible. I was weary with wrenching of soul.

He did not rant, rave, throw a fit, or even try to hurt my feelings. He just wanted me to get it right.

Lots of sorrow had moved into me. It was stealing my peace ... filling me with regret.

So when He spoke, it moved me to a different path ... the right one ... the one He always treads. Suddenly I wanted her to hear my sorrow and know my regrets. They were a burdensome load. Confession had power to loose their hold on me.

Later that morning, I crossed the threshold of church looking for her face among the followers. Where was she? I couldn't find her so I went through the motions of service, wearing my cloak of heaviness.

There was lots of greeting with happy hugs, worship following, then sitting down with attentive ear, we listened to the message of the morning.

Words ... the message was about words ... about their boundaries ... things that should be spoken ... things that should not.

The Lord's whisper that had exhorted me earlier in the day was being confirmed by the preacher. It was time to right a wrong. Time to humble myself and admit that the bit on my tongue had gotten loose, unnecessary  fires had been started. Fires that needed to die. (James 3:1-12)

I talked to her today. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I needed to be free.

Pent up, anxious words were finally released as she attentively listened to my plea ...

"I am so sorry! My words crossed boundaries. Please, please forgive me!"

"Without hesitation!" she exclaimed, setting this captive girl free.

Then I ran to Him, "Lord, please forgive  me!"

"Without hesitation," He replied.

Oh, the power of words!

"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3

Sunday, November 28, 2010


What may I offer You in this sanctuary of worship? What is it that would please Your heart most? I ask for grace to bring You fruit ... the fruit of Your Spirit ...

                                        love born of sacrifice
                                        joy blooming, full measure, complete
                                        peace of heart, resting in gratitude

                                        patience, stilled soul, full of grace
                                        kindness, giving and forgiving, voiced love
                                        goodness, a standard exalted
                                        gentleness, whispers of mercy, tender touch
                                        faithfulness, anchor of heart
                                        self-control, self bowing to Spirit

Oh, Lord of the heavens, would You but give me this one grace ...
that I may bring You an offering of a Spirit filled vessel, this jar of clay, brimming with fruit to worship You? Will You take it and feed hungry for Spirit nations ... fill and make full and pour ...

"Only that which is born of Spirit is spirit. The flesh can never be converted into spirit,no matter how many church dignitaries work on it. Confirmation, baptism, holy communion, confession of faith ... none of these nor all of them together can turn flesh into spirit nor make a son of Adam a son of God." Tozer

"A sinner cannot grow into repentance. God's power puts him there, and being there, then he grows in grace." Tozer
                                         " ...  be filled with the Spirit ..."    

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Together: Bible Study Fellowship

We quiet our chatter and share praises and needs. We are about to join our hearts in prayer. The Lord is attentive to our cares that we knit into one garment of praise. We hand Him the garment of prayer. Mysteriously, concern is replaced with confidence. Together, we have felt Him hear us. 

We return to place of study. Our Bibles open to a familiar place. We will linger here for now. We are camped at a watering hole. We nurture one another with drink. How can we learn so much from so few words.

"Rejoice always"

Two words, acting as musical schoolmasters, training our soul to sing harmony with Spirit. We lingered here for a measure of time.

"Pray without ceasing"

Three words, a trinity of passion for prayer, exhorting us to meet at table, often, with the One who nourishes soul.  We find a staying place. We will wait while we grow here.

The cloud moves ...

"in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for  you."

Breath of gratefulness defeats a host of fears and doubt. We polish shield of faith while camped at the banks of this drinking spot. A cup runs over and spills into mine as we share the wine of the Word. I am filled ... yet want to return, knowing there is more to be poured from the pitcher. We rest in this place.

Well rested we rise.

"Do not quench the Spirit"

Our listening ear is quickened, to follow Him we must hear Him ... then obey Him. Living faith follows the footsteps of Jesus ... in His shadow you follow where He leads You. We repent here. We don't make a scene, but we have all experienced moments of hesitation,  times of resistance. Rod and Staff persuade us to return to the path. Willingly we make our way.

"Do not despise prophecies"

It is here we stop for now. It will take a few days to unlock the meaning of these few words. I listen to my brothers and sisters, their words filling my wisdom cellar. They have moved the tent pegs of my heart with new meanings. It is here we will return next week.

Knowledge puffs the proud, I sit among the humble. They speak truth with grace. The room is full with love for the Savior, His Word, and each other.

English lace veils windows, ceiling to floor, in the front room of our home. I pass by the lacy veils at midday when rays of sun flirt with patterns of ivy and roses. I return at sunset when sun blazes through. Orange of sky brings depth to beauty, adding more to much.

It also happens to us. Our little group of friends linger on passages, verses with few words, that have beautiful meanings. As we wait,  depth is added to beauty, much becomes more and it changes the glow of our souls. We regather to study, full of rejoicing, prayerful,with grateful hearts, full of the Spirit, willing ... (well, hopefully) because we have lingered, allowing ourselves to be changed by a few powerful words. Together.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Thanksgiving is coming soon. It will be the first year that all of our children will be away. There will be three of us ... four ... maybe if my younger brother decides to join Scotty, mom and I. We are trying not to be sad and count every reason to    be thankful. We have 10 million reasons to be grateful, we know this. 
Our youngest left for the navy yesterday. I glance across the kitchen and there is his cap hanging on the  back of the chair. My heart aches with missing him. 
I am selfish in my sadness. Selfish and silly, I guess. I turn my thoughts to those who have told their children goodbye and they will not see them again until heaven. 
Caleb's best friend, Brock, died last year on Thanksgiving Day. My heart hurts for his momma. She is missing her sweet boy.
 My friend, Carla, lost her little girl, Asya, a 6 year old, eleven months ago today. Eleven months ago at this moment I was standing over Asya's little body telling her that I loved her ... telling her goodbye. This morning my heart is breaking for her momma. 
Would you please join me in praying for these momma's who are missing their children? Their sorrow is great. Please pray that they will feel the Lord's embrace.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Priestly Garment/Part Three

I decided to skip part two of this trilogy and share part three with you, my favorite part. I hope it blesses you.  Compose

Dialogue with Aaron continues:

"Of blue, purple, and scarlet thread they made the garments of ministry, for ministering in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses." Exodus 39:1

Aaron, you are going to be the one called into the holy place. God has commanded your brothers to fashion a garment for you. It is beautiful, woven with royal colors. You will be given a title, High Priest. You will see God again. He will meet with you there. He is going to make you look good.

He will even, once again, trust you with gold. 

Verse 2: "He made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen. And they beat the gold into thin sheets  and cut it into threads, to work it in with with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, into artistic designs."

Threads of gold, Aaron, do you believe it? Were those golden threads supposed to remind you of something from your past? Were they to remind everyone else? Or were they purely a demonstration of mercy. I wonder what the craftsmen were thinking when they were hammering that gold into thread for the garment that you would be wearing. Did they think about you and that cow?

Was God saying, "I know you misused gold before, but I am going to weave it into the garment that you wear, because I want you to know that I am merciful. I am going to trust with it, again. I want you to come before me with it on. I am going to make you look good. I am going to redeem your past and use the very thing you meant for evil to make you shine!"

As I read through the description of the priestly garments, I was moved to tears with awe! The Lord is a redeemer. He dressed you in the finest of the finest. You did not deserve that honor! You offended the Lord with a huge offense, and yet he called you beyond your past. He covered your shame with His glory. He put you in a position of honor. He brought honor to His name by redeeming yours. 

How great is our God, Aaron! Mighty to save! Full of mercy! 

What was it like for you the first time you went into that holy place as a representative for the people of God? I just wonder your thoughts? Did you once think, "I am not worthy of this honor!" 

Oh, Aaron, how I can relate to you! I have been chosen by a holy God, delivered from a horrible pit of destruction, set upon a firm Rock, and I am  treated by God as if I had never sinned. He pours mercy on my life every day I breath. He speaks to me as if I had never wronged Him, shamed Him, or despised Him. That isn't fair to Him! He calls me to a destiny that will bring Him glory, a position of servanthood for His kingdom, a doorkeeper for His house. What an amazing God to be so kind to me. 

I know you are relating to my thoughts, Aaron. Probably even more now, since you continually abide in His presence these days. 

I need to remember these things. I can get pretty discouraged with myself. And the past, whoa, how it loves to haunt! 

Oh, but your testimony gives power to my heart! It encourages me so! I am so thankful that your time of blowing it, big time, was written in the Bible. I needed to see it. I needed read about my redeeming God, who not only forgives, but forgets. Who uses something in my horrible past, for a wonderful future. That gives strength to me, brother. That encourages me, friend. I have learned something about my God and His willingness to forgive through you! 

Your priestly attire astounds me. The Lord commanded that pure gold be used over and over for you to wear. But this really got my heart. The Lord had them make you a crown of gold.

Verse 30-31: "Then they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And they tied to it a blue cord, to fasten it above the turban, as the Lord had commanded Moses."

You were called into a holy priesthood even though you once created an idol that caused others to stumble. He put a title upon you that declared His holiness. Then He crowned you with it. 

And you know what? You couldn't see the words that the Lord put above your head, but others could see. The Lord would continue to remind everyone around you of your redemption with that crown.

Exodus 40:12-"Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest."

The Lord called you to minister to Him, Aaron. That had to be amazing. Just amazing! What an honor! Could you barely breathe when you went in to behold Him? I wonder. Did you marvel at the mercy seat, the place where He rested. Did you thank Him for saving you, being patient with you, and then placing you in such a place of honor? I imagine you must have. How could you not?

When you formed that golden calf, the priestly garments were far from your imagination, far, far out of reach. But when you put the garments on, there were golden threads to remind you that you were redeemed from your past mistakes. 

This is something to think on today. I am going to meditate on the Lord's covering. How lovely. How beautiful. Even glorious! How forgiving. 

I would not have chosen you, Aaron, but the Lord did. That is His way. 

1 Peter 2:9 says: "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His  marvelous light......"

He is talking about me in that scripture, Aaron, can you believe it? I can't either...not in the natural, but by faith I am reaching for it! I am so thankful that He doesn't leave us behind with our golden calves, but calls us into a future where there is truth and light. And He does it without shame, covering us in His authority, calling us into His dignity, His integrity, and creating a new heart in us with His mercy. Oh, the greatness of our God! How this moves me! 

My heart just wants to bow in His presence and give Him praise for He is the One who lifts the lowly. He is the one who is worthy! 

We have so much in common, Aaron. We have both been redeemed, forgiven,  chosen, called to be ministers unto the Lord, crowned with holiness, dressed in righteousness, and blessed with His presence. How great is our God! 

I wouldn't have chosen you, but I wouldn't have chosen me either, but the Lord has. The Lord has!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Priestly Garment/Part One

This is a three part series that I posted before. I needed to hear it again and thought it might bless you as well. I will be posting the next two parts in a few days.  You might want to reference the chapters in Exodus 24-29. If you follow through to part three I believe you will be blessed. Oh, for the love of His great mercy! How great is our God! Blessings, Cheri

Talking with Aaron:

I can hardly believe it, Aaron! God is so merciful, I wouldn't have chosen you to be priest. Oh, perhaps in the beginning but you blew it! You really did! You destroyed my trust when you got impatient waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain! The people  that were in your  charge were impatient and you fell into the trap of trying to please them. It can be difficult to stand alone when there is a multitude persuading you, can't it? I can hear you saying:

"I know, I have an idea! A revelation! Let's make something!" 

Soon you had gathered gold objects in every form, placed them over a heated fire, and crafted a cow..........to worship. 

Aaron, what were you thinking? Did you not see God in Exodus 24:9-18? Do you not recall the moment of parting? Even before that wasn't there something special to recall?

"Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity."

Aaron, YOU SAW GOD! The real God. The LIVING GOD! How could you blow it so bad just forty days later? How could you forget the wondrous experience of seeing God?  

Verse 11: "But on the noble of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank." 

Okay, Aaron, the Lord not only let you see Him but He also fed you in His presence!!! He let you eat and drink from His table? Oh, will you please tell me what He served? I imagine it to be unforgettable! Heavenly! Beyond any picture I have seen in the best of cookbooks! Beyond the taste of the best of foods available to man! You ate from heaven's  table..........WITH THE LIVING GOD!

Is it because the Lord did not choose you to come into His presence? You were not invited into the glory cloud with the Lord like Moses was, tell me, did that bother you?

Verse 12: "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.' "

I am thinking it might have been different if you had been called into that presence for forty days and nights, Aaron. I don't think Moses would have blown it. Not that he never blew it, but he knew his God and he was faithful to Him. Surely, he would not have formed a calf for the purpose of worship.

Perhaps you all thought Moses was gone forever, taken into heaven, like Enoch. Where did he go? The Word says that your thoughts were that your leader had gone on. Who knew where! And he might never come back. Time for a new leader.

Okay, I get that part! BUT time for a new God? When you just ate with Him at His table! And it wasn't potluck! He provided everything you ate and drank! And it must have been very nourishing because Moses did not eat again for forty days and nights! 

The people were restless, weren't they? You needed a solution, didn't you? Think of something fast! "Well, God took our leader, so I will be the leader! Take off your gold and I will make you a new god." 

Whoa! And they didn't argue with you! And after you molded and fashioned that calf, they worshiped it, with singing and dancing. Where were the seventy who shared that meal with you? Did even one of them try to persuade you to stop? Think about it? Be patient? Challenge you to consider what you are doing?

Oh, I hope if I had been there I would have. I hope so! But I don't know! I really don't! I don't do well in the wilderness! It challenges me and I sometimes succumb to weakness and temptations that are not normally a problem for me. Perhaps, if I had been you, I would have been persuaded! Oh, but I know the rest of the story and I sure hope not!

I wonder if I would have tossed you my gold and begged you for a god, willingly handing over my earthly treasure entrusting you with it. 

The thought rattles me. My flesh can be so weak! That is the scary part. It can forget the wonder of eating at the table of God so quickly! All too soon I can find myself at the feast of my enemy, a god who poses as real! How can I loose sight of truth so quickly? 

Aaron, there is hope for you! Moses will intercede for you! Plead your case! Beg for mercy! Many will pay the consequences, but you will live! And the Lord will bless! 

You will die in the wilderness, eventually, but not before God trains you and raises you up as an example and calls you to pass on the priesthood. 

Tomorrow, I will expose the wonder of your God, Aaron. I am in awe of Him, for many reasons, and I marvel at His way with you.  

You fouled up so much and yet He used you! He did not thrust you aside and banish the idea of you being His chosen leader! I would have. I am sorry! I would have trouble trusting you with my people. I would find someone else.

But I am thankful that the Lord worked His way with you and not mine because that means there is hope for me. When I fail Him He is willing to forgive me. He listens to my intercessor, who is His Son, my advocate, who pleads my case and He chooses to trust me again. Praise the Lord! He lets me work for Him though He knows I am human frailty and I can mess up. I can form a false god with my words or opinions and cause the Lord's children to stumble. And yet, He knows that my mistakes can draw me closer to Him. It makes me realize my incredible need for Him. My mistakes make me grateful for my intercessor, Jesus! Grateful for the Holy Spirit! And so, so grateful for my Father God who loves the voice of my advocate! Praise Him!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Estate Sale

Ashli came home from New York City for the weekend. She gave us reason to pause from our busyness and hang out together. We went to an estate sale. We never do this. It was her first time to get a number at an auction. It was my third.

I am not very good at bidding. Ashli laughed at my attempts and gave me a big hug in front of everyone. She warmed my heart with her patience.

A collector of many years left behind a lot of stuff. It was fun to rummage through and find unique treasures. Together.We had a wonderful day.

Can you guess which one of these articles I brought home?

Ashli is like a fresh wind. She stretches us into new places when she comes home, leading us to places of adventure, forcing us out of our rut, challenging what is familiar. After spending a day among another's left behind treasures, I realized that I could have left it all behind and still brought home  treasure. Memories were born in the moments we shared and you can't put a price on that.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:20-21

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



I am old enough to know better.
I should have realized it a ton of years ago, but I had a revelation this weekend that was very helpful.
The thing is, I think everyone else already knows this about me and I am just figuring it out. I feel like I have been standing on a platform in front of a whole Bunch of people with my pants unzipped and everyone can see things that they shouldn't! It is an awful feeling.

I am an expresser.

That is who I am and it makes me cry to think about it.
I think I am probably a leader/expresser which is even more potent.

There are good things about expressers ... it isn't all bad ... but it is much more vulnerable to be one.

I probably make more mistakes with my tongue than most people.

I know that I do. And I don't like that part about being an expresser.

My heart is an open book. I tell about it. What I feel, what I like, what I see ... what is on my heart finds its way to my tongue.

When I don't feel that I  have freedom to share I feel all locked up inside. It is a prison of sorts and I feel miserable.

Sometimes I don't know who to trust. If I show others those precious things that are in my heart they have the ability to stomp all over them. And they do ... sometimes ... so I close up and I get all miserable again. It is a painful cycle.

The analytical can pounce on everything said. I have learned that my heart needs a shield from them. I must be wise with the buffer I choose.

Being an expresser doesn't mean that I can't keep a secret. I can and do. I want to be trusted because I want to be able to trust. My own life is the open book.

This is helping me to understand myself a lot better and I am understanding others as well.

Have you ever taken an LEAD test? (Leader/Expresser/Analytical/Dependable) Do you know what you are? How do you feel about it?

The thing is, the Lord made me to be an expresser. What a responsibility! Did He know what He was getting into? The tongue is hard to tame ... for anyone! Oh, but how difficult for an expresser! He and I are going to talk about it this morning. I will let you know what He says!

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,  I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1

" ... be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath ..."

"For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body."

"Look upon me and be merciful to me, as your custom is toward those who love Your name." Psalm 119:132

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I found a diamond on the sidewalk the other day. It was lying among broken glass but it out-glimmered the many shattered pieces, catching my eye. I am not positive it is a diamond, but it is cut very nicely and is very pretty. It is not a piece of broken glass. It is a gem.
I need to take it to a jeweler so that he might declare it a genuine stone. However, I do not want to be disappointed so I hesitate. It has been a delight to think that I found a diamond on the sidewalk.
I found it in another town that houses multitudes of people. It would be impossible to find the owner, therefore my conscience is clear. I am very sorry for the one who lost it. She must be very sad about losing something precious. I have lost precious stones before and it is very disappointing.
But finding one ... now that is a different story.
When I found this tiny little gem glittering in the sunshine I smiled all over inside. Not because it was going to make me rich. Nor will it make me happy. It was just fun to find something of value on the ground, just there, seemingly waiting to bless me.
I have reveled in the thought of it being real.
I have loved the reaction of my family when I nonchalantly tell them of my find. Their response is worth a million joys. I wish I had each reaction on video. Oh, what fun! Gonna keep enjoying this for awhile.

"I have not departed from  the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:12

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Handmaid of the Lord

I met her the other day, the one I want to be like.

She is beautiful! No, absolutely gorgeous!

Her eyes are so beautiful that you would never notice if she forgot to wear make-up.

She has a radiant smile that makes you feel good all over.

She is a handmaid of the Lord. Genuine. Real through and through.

Not the look of a Hollywood girl.

She really, really loves Jesus. Deeply!

When you look at her, you see something of Him all over her.

As a result, she loves others well.

She doesn't know what I think of her. My deep admiration is tucked away.

How did she get to such a beautiful place in Him?

That amazing place of oozing the Holy Spirit of God everywhere she goes?

When I am with her I am a witness to genuine joy. Peace is present. Love embraces. Gentleness, kindness, goodness ... it is all there. The tasty fruit that nourishes a parched and hollow soul.

Our meeting was life inspiring. Feel like hanging out with her and those she hangs out with forever.

Hoping for a makeover.