Friday, January 29, 2010

Ladies in Waiting - part two

My New Testament superheroes of faith!

Elizabeth – (Luke 1) Luke tells us that both she and her husband, Zechariah, were very old, and that they were faithful, obedient and righteous in the eyes of God. Still, even though children are a reward from the Lord (Psalm 127:3), they had none. I can guarantee you that Elizabeth, once or twice in her life, begged the Lord to tell her what she’d done wrong to deserve a barren womb, a terrible stigma in her culture. Of course, the answer is that she’d done nothing wrong. God even says she’d been careful to obey. So, with no apparent reason, she waited. At what age, I wonder, did she stop hoping? The promise of their son didn’t come until she was already old. It wasn’t something she’d been promised early in life. She spent most of her days not knowing that it would ever happen. Oh, man. Put yourself in her sandals. Even if it is not a child you’ve longed for, think of that something really, really important, the deepest desire of your heart, and imagine what it feels like to live with no assurance it will ever come to pass. Heartbreaking. Yet, God had a plan, a really, really important one. Z&E indeed have a son – John the Baptist! The timing of his birth was tied directly to the cosmic plan of salvation for the entire human race. How special! What proof that God knows us before we are knitted together in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). Worth waiting for? I’d say.

Anna – (Luke 2:36-38) Little is said of her, but I believe the depths of her significance fathomless. She was the very old prophet at the temple where Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be dedicated. She’d been widowed after only seven years of marriage, probably a good 70 years before we hear of her in Luke. Like the entire nation of Israel, she’d been waiting for the Messiah, their Deliverer, their (and our) only hope. Because she had devoted herself to God, spent her life fasting and praying (not moping or mourning her plight), she recognized Him even as a child and experienced glorious fulfillment in her life.

Mary and Martha (John 11:1-44)– Honestly, if I’d been one of Lazarus’ sisters, I’d be mad. No, irate. Knowing the friendship between their brother and Jesus, 100% believing Jesus more than capable to heal him, they sent a message, in plenty of time. By all indicators, everything should have turned out fine. And yet, Jesus delays, Lazarus dies, and the ladies are left grieving, questioning, hurting. They did not have the benefit of hearing Jesus tell his disciples that “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (vs.4)[Italics added] All Mary and Martha knew is that their Messiah had not shown up. Hope wasn’t just absent, it’d been pulverized. Did either of them hold out hope that the man they’d seen work miracles had something bigger and better in store? Whether they did or not, Jesus does show up, and He raises Lazarus from the dead. Uh… way cooler than a silly healing. God’s timing proved perfect as well as significant.

Woman with the Issue of Blood – (Matt 9:20-22) Bless her poor, dear heart, twelve years of constant bleeding. That’s a long time. I have to believe that she held out hope for healing because she’d been consulting doctors and submitting to all probable solutions. Desperation can crush hope, but it also can spur it. After all that waiting, and being prodded and poked and experimented on, and when her hope perhaps had been fraying, Jesus comes to town. Hope resurges. What else could have emboldened her to touch His robe secretly? Jesus points her out anyway to champion her faith. She received two precious, priceless gifts that day!

The Bride of Christ – In a sense, we are all “ladies in waiting” if we have been born again into the family of God (meaning, we have accepted and depend on Jesus’ blood sacrifice/death as atonement for our sins, turned from wrong-doing and committed to following His Word). We wait for the hope that is ours as followers of Jesus, the wedding of the Lamb (that’s Jesus) and His bride, the Church (that’s us). Right now, Jesus is in Heaven preparing our eternal home, just like a bridegroom prepares a place to live with his bride, and He’s promised to come back to get us when it’s ready. So we wait, but not with twiddling thumbs. We have preparations of our own to make. (Isa. 61:10 , Rev. 19:6-8) All He asks is that He find us ready, clothed in the righteousness that He’s given us to wear. Another way to look at it is found in Mathew 25:1-13.

Our hope is sure because it is a promise that God made, and He cannot lie.

I know it will be well worth the wait!

Which New Testamenters inspire YOU?

Thanks for visiting Dry Ground! Happy Weekending!

(photos by

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ladies in Waiting - part one

Last week, HOPE seemed to be the theme. I don’t plan these things… I just write what I feel God is talking to me about. This week, looks like WAITING is the topic of choice. I can’t seem to move on… not quite yet.

This might be elementary to state, but funny how HOPE and WAITING kind of go hand in hand, huh?

We all have hopes. We all have some measure of waiting before realizing those hopes. Whether one agonizing moment or years and years of long-suffering, learning to wait for God’s perfect timing is one of life’s most arduous quests.

Thankfully, God doesn’t make us traverse that path alone. For one, He’s always there. Secondly, He brings mentors, counselors, teachers, friends and family alongside for support, encouragement, advice and example.

But He’s also left us a legacy of brilliant giants of the Faith in His Word, real stories of real people who experienced hope and waiting and struggle and heartbreak. Learning about them can empower us to continue in hope, wait with patience, and trust in God’s love, power and perfection.

Here are a couple of Old Testament “ladies in waiting” through whom God speaks volumes to me:

Ruth – I love Ruth because of her selfless decisions and obedience. She also continued to function when her mother-in-law gave in to depression. She worked hard and persevered despite having just become a widow and leaving behind everything she’d ever known in Moab. Also, she was childless. Several women of the Bible had to wait a long time for their children, Sarah and Hannah being the champions there. Of course, much is to be learned of their hope/waiting experiences. But Ruth, too, must have suffered as she waited for a child. She’d been married about ten years to Naomi’s son, yet they had no children. How do you think she survived each of those 3,650 days waiting for the gift that never came? And now that her husband was dead, what hope had she in that regard? Sarah and Hannah at least had their husbands. Did Ruth’s future lie only in serving Naomi the rest of her life? No, not only. God delivered such a beautiful future to Ruth – a kinsman-redeemer, a husband (a loving one at that) and a son, one who shows up in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ. Yeah, I think God had a plan.

Esther – Hers may be my favorite story. She had the courage and inner strength of a lion. A normal Jewish girl taken with other bachelorettes into the King’s palace with the single purpose of maybe being the one he chose as his bride. Sounds like a fairy tale, even a mite bit romantic, but reality makes it terrifying and horrible. This pageant depended on one thing – whether the King was pleased in bed or not. Either way, if he didn’t choose her as Queen, she would become part of his vast harem where she would spend the rest of her life. How many of us would maintain even a semblance of hope with such a prospect? In addition to the frightful situation, she had to wait twelve months to find out her fate as she completed the required beautification process. But because she entrusted herself to God, she endured, and because of the favor and purpose of God, prevailed. Her moments of hope and waiting, however, continued, as they tend to in life. Can you imagine that one dreadful “waiting” moment between approaching the King uninvited, a capitol offence, making the request to save her condemned race and his verdict?

Who else in the Old Testament (male or female) bolsters your hope in our God? Which character’s waiting experience encourages you the most?

Friday I’ll share which New Testament folks inspire me. See you then!

Thanks for visiting Dry Ground!

(photos by

Monday, January 25, 2010


Waiting is hard.

Especially in our high-demand, self-centered, afraid-of-pain society.

Still, even in fast-paced United States of America, some situations require waiting.

Grocery store lines, dentist offices, traffic lights.

And yet, we strive to invent ways to minimize and/or eliminate wait time (bless the DVR for giving us a way not to have to wait through TV commercials!), as if we’ll use that extra time for anything more productive (although I could make an argument for the blessed DVR… oh, and the self-checkout line at WalMart. Love that thing.).

One place you can’t avoid waiting is at the airport. Dropping off, picking up, checking in, taking off, claiming luggage – pretty much the whole process requires waiting. Even if you’re in a hurry, even if you’re late, you’ve got no choice but to wait. (haha, that rhymed. Okay, so I’m easily amused).

Moving on…

The point, though, of all the waiting is to get to your destination. And so we all choose to participate in the waiting because we’ve somewhere to go.

It’s how we wait that is key.

I’ve seen some pretty irate customers.

Sure, waiting can be tough.

It gets worse when something unexpected crops up.

How irritated do you get when that dreaded word DELAYED shows up next to your flight number? I mean, how dare them? Who cares if visibility’s zero, the plane’s got a screw loose or there were high winds in Des Moines? If my flight’s delayed, my entire schedule flies out the window!

Here’s one for you… on the plane, all buckled in, all personal electronics in the off position, sitting on or taxiing all over the tarmac, like you’re going to drive to your destination instead of fly there.

Ah, the horrors! The horrors!

Most recently for me, I experienced that other dirty phrase in the world of air travel, HOLDING PATTERN. That’s the worst. It implies an indefinite amount of waiting. It is impossible to predict its outcome. Not even a hint.

In my case, I’d already been on the plane for more than two hours, my legs (most of which gives me my 6’1 height) are screaming for a stretch, and the seat belt sign is illuminated which means no getting out of your seat for any reason because at any moment we could be called to land, which would have been okay except I’d planned to use the ladies’ room in the air port after we landed but now that we were in a holding pattern that plan seemed so, SO foolish – I almost had to warn my neighbors they might need to use the seat cushion for a floatation devise. Gives a whole new meaning to holding pattern!

On top of all that, I had a short lay over, and the time of my next flight’s departure loomed near. I had no idea how far apart the gates would be, I hadn’t eaten all day, and of course, there was the pit stop I had to make before doing anything else.

Waiting did not come easy even though I had to accept that icy runways are a reasonable excuse for delay.

Guess what?

It all turned out okay in the end.

I got my pit stop before any embarrassing accidents, I got food before I starved to death, I got a brisk walk in as I went from one end of the airport to the other (no fooling – the gates could not have been further apart) all with ten minutes to spare.

Doesn’t life feel like that sometimes?

Okay, all the time?

Is your plan or goal, your destination in life, further off than when you started?

Has the unexpected cropped up?

Do you feel delayed, like you’re taxing around or sitting on the tarmac, in a holding pattern?

Have you been waiting for something specific for what seems like forever?

Healing? A spouse? Children? Financial stability? Reconciliation? Freedom?

An answer to prayer?

I’m here to tell you, waiting is not always a bad thing. In fact, God uses waiting in our lives to teach us, draw us, protect us, mold us. Waiting shapes character.

I know, I know… when we’re in the midst of waiting, we could give a hoot about character.

But that’s where faith comes in. Trust that God is using the holding pattern to our advantage and, more importantly, to His glory.

God’s the Master Air Flight Controller. He sees things that we don’t (imagine that). He’s had a plan from the beginning of time, let alone the beginning of our lives, and He’s in perfect control.

God always has a reason. Not only a reason, but a good reason for the delays we experience.

Perhaps there’s an internal problem that needs fixed first, or maybe the runways are icy, or maybe He just wants you to learn to trust Him and His timing.

When we do, it always turns out okay in the end.

(photos by

Friday, January 22, 2010

In Others' Words

People express themselves in hundreds of ways.

Artists, especially, are blessed with alternate ways of making thoughts tangible and clothing feelings in flesh. Music, painting, dance, a combination of several talents producing a singular masterpiece such as a movie – we have lots of choices.

My preferred conduit, of course, is the written word. I may not be able to tell you how I feel or what I think, but I sure can write a novel about it.

Sometimes, though, even my pen fails me. It’s not that I’m not thinking or feeling intensely or that I don’t have the need to share with others. Some days, I just can’t connect the dots.

That’s when I rely on others to say it for me.

Following are a couple of poems I stumbled upon that express the concept of HOPE that’s been holding my brain cells captive the past couple of days.

So, in others’ words…

A Rainbow of Hope

by Raymond A. Foss

An urgent call

a race down the dark stairs

a flicker of color as I ran outside

an arc, His bow, His promise

shown down on us

standing in awe and wonder

the rich color muted in the city

It curves over the alley

above the tenements, the wires

the clutter, the stresses of life

a timely reminder

in good times and bad

of your faithfulness,

your covenant with your people

a beautiful arc, a shimmering bow

a pleasure to behold

a piece of hope placed

for a moment, a few seconds

unnoticed by so many,

lost in the push and pull

of daily living

shared with those lucky few

who stopped for a moment or two

and looked up

Lively Hope and Gracious Fear

by William Cowper

I was a grovelling creature once,

And basely cleaved to earth:

I wanted spirit to renounce

The clod that gave me birth.

But God hath breathed upon a worm,

And sent me from above

Wings such as clothe an angel's form,

The wings of joy and love.

With these to Pisgah's top I fly

And there delighted stand,

To view, beneath a shining sky,

The spacious promised land.

The Lord of all the vast domain

Has promised it to me,

The length and breadth of all the plain

As far as faith can see.

How glorious is my privilege!

To Thee for help I call;

I stand upon a mountain's edge,

O save me, lest I fall!

Though much exalted in the Lord,

My strength is not my own;

Then let me tremble at His word,

And none shall cast me down.

Thanks for visiting Dry Ground! Have a blessed weekend!

(photo by

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Hope Heist

There’re a lot of hurting people out there.

Maybe you’re one of them.

Sure, your problems may not be the worst, compared to some, but you can’t shake the heavies, the doldrums, that wet-blanket burden. Maybe you feel empty or like you’re going through the motions or that, come to think of it, you haven’t been excited about anything in a really, really long time.

You hate to complain because, hey, look at Haiti, or that sick friend you know, the as-far-as-you-knew rock solid marriage that’s now falling apart, or those parents grieving for a dead child. Compared to them, you should be clicking your heals together, sliding down rainbows, tipping your hat with a “top ‘o the mornin’ to ya” aimed at everyone you meet.

Yeah. Maybe. Probably.


You try to pick yourself up by your bootstraps (Bootstrap’s bootstraps…), tell yourself over and over to count your blessings…

And yet…

Something is missing. More accurately, something’s been stolen.

I believe that something is HOPE.

Ah, hope. It’s risky. Terrifying even.

But without it… we die.

The assassination of HOPE can be brutally obvious, but it can also be stealthy, sneaky, subtle and sinister. We can wake up one day and wonder, perhaps like King Solomon did in Ecclesiastes, what’s the point?

Oh, danger, Will Robinson, danger!

If we fail to be on guard in this regard, we may just get our throats slit.

Gruesome image to paint there. Sorry. But this is serious. Life threatening.

How can we guard this precious treasure called HOPE?

I’m no expert. In fact, I’ve struggled with this off and on throughout my life. It makes me so mad. For one, it keeps cropping up, a weed I’ve pulled a thousand times only for it to pop right back up. And then, too, I’ve been a Christian for a long time. I shouldn’t succumb to fighting this battle over and over, should I? I’m more than a conqueror, right?

Actually, I think Christians are the prime target when it comes to the war on HOPE.

If Christians lose HOPE, than what HOPE is there for the world?

This has been on my mind a lot, oh, since about Christmas. I’ve been feeling kind of sorry for myself, crying over things I’ve been waiting a long time for, wondering what life is about, what I’m about, banging my head against a wall (figuratively… this time) because I can’t expel just one chapter from my brain on to paper to write any of my billion story ideas. I’ve even been to the Caribbean and back with absolutely no spark. That’s when I start feeling guilty. What’s my problem? I should be counting my blessings! And there starts another round of Bootstrap’s bootstraps.

But a few things happened in the past couple of days that cleared up my vision a little, first of which was realizing I’d allowed the enemy to swipe my treasure leaving hopelessness to suck me dry.

So, in order to keep HOPE alive, I plan to concentrate on three things.

First, the source of my HOPE or that which I HOPE in must be reliable. Hoping in anything outside of God is a waste of time, futile, disappointing, doomed to fail, insecure. The only 100% sure we have is Jesus. Yes, all my doubting friends, HOPE in Jesus takes FAITH. “Now FAITH is being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Sometimes in a world such as ours and with experiences such as ours, that’s asking a lot. We could look at all the facts, evidence and proof – the apologetics if you will, but right now all I want to say is… what do you have to lose? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I already feel crappy. I miss much more not taking the leap than taking it.

That’s a rabbit trail. Point is – HOPE must have a reliable source. Jesus is that source.

Second, God asks us to have HOPE and FAITH in Him, but He doesn’t leave us completely blind. His Word is full of encouraging promises from Him that are like an extra set of hands holding us up when we feel like falling, a set of dumb bells for us to lift in order to strengthen our spiritual muscles, a soft place to land when we fail. Reading God’s Word and holding fast to His promises is as good as being Rambo-ready against the devil’s attacks of hopelessness. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…” (Hebrews 4:12)

Third, fellowship is key. The devil’s tactics are divide and conquer. When we feel alone, isolated, offended, ignored, like we’re the only ones to suffer like this or that no one would understand if we shared, we are sitting ducks! We need each other to survive! Strength in numbers! Band of brothers (and sisters, of course)! We need to encourage and to be encouraged. We need to remind each other of God’s promises. We need to hug each other and forgive each other and listen to each other. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)

So here’s the battle plan for all of us feeling low for any reason, big or small…

#1 - HOPE only in God. He is reliable!

#2 – Read God’s Word and clothe your spirit with His promises like a warrior clothes himself for war.

#3 - Fellowship with your brothers and sisters. Encourage each other. Stand together.


Thank you for visiting Dry Ground!

(photos by

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh, to be Your symphony,

A beautiful blend of melodies and harmonies

Decorating the air.

You are the Conductor, holding me together

Moving me to heights unknown

Instructing, cohesing, keeping time.

You are the Violinist, the Tympani player

The Flutist, the Harpist

Applying Your expertise, producing the best possible sound.

You are the Composer – Creator – Passionate One

Pouring Your heart into Your masterpiece.

You are the Audience

The One to Whom all pleasure goes

For Whom the performance is given

The One Who stands to applaud.

Oh, to be Your symphony.

by Lori Lundquist

(photos by

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be Careful Little Eyes, Little Ears, Little Mouth

When awful things like the earthquake in Haiti happen, people near and far reveal their theology. Like saturated sponges being squeezed, whatever has filled it up will pour out. Through word and deed, or lack thereof, we discover what people really think about God.

Some shake fists at the Creator, some resign apathetically to His will, some applaud the so-called “wrath of God,” others ignore His hand, and still others remain ignorant of His role.

We live in a culture that allows and encourages the individual to define God, which too often leads to the disregard of Truths He tells us about Himself in His Word. When shame sends us running and rationalizing, God is love. When something unexplainable and harmful happens, God is heartless and harsh.

I am an advocate of “working out your own salvation” (Phil. 2:12-13). I 100% believe in a personal relationship with God and that entails a lot of freedom. However, Truth is still Truth, and my freedom should be interpreted on the basis of God’s Word, a freedom through Christ, not apart from or in spite of the gift He offers. (Rom. 6:1-2)

That’s why, at the risk of sounding preachy, I implore you with this thought.

Shortly after the earthquake, President Obama made a statement in which he described the event as “cruel.”

I’m sorry, but I must object.

In fact, I must strenuously object.

Of course, the devastation in Haiti is a lot of things: horrendous, heartbreaking, staggering, unspeakable, catastrophic.

But one thing it isn’t - cruel.

Cruel implies deliberate and remorseless intent, Someone or Something that is capable of controlling cosmic-sized land masses intentionally destroying Port au Prince for the exclusive purpose of causing pain and anguish.

Imagine the consequences if #1 – we really believed that, and/or #2 – that were true.

I heard a sermon recently that highlighted the simple prayer many of us learned as children.

God is Great, God is Good.

If God is great but not good, He’s a tyrant, subject to cruelty.

If God is good but not great, He’s a pansy, powerless, that nice old man in the sky.

But the prayer holds true to God’s Word – He is both great and good.

He is never a pansy.

He is never cruel.

I don’t have an explanation for the earthquake, or the tsunami, or 9/11, or the cancer death of a four-year-old son of some people I know, or why bad things happen to good people… Of course, I have my theories and understandings and opinions.

But the thing I know for sure, the one thing I can announce with confidence, without a doubting bone in my body is that God is Good, ALL the time, He is FAITHFUL (there’s that F-word again!), and that circumstances DO NOT define God.

Obama didn’t outright say “God is cruel,” but I find his rhetoric dangerous because it puts that idea out there. What else could he mean? That Mother Nature is cruel? Well, that is just as dangerous of a belief - both set-ups for the anti-Christ. I know – bold statement – but the Faithful must keep their eyes and ears open and hearts tuned to God.

God is never the bad guy.

With reckless abandon and tenacious faith, resist the temptation to think so, even during photomontages on the evening news.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The "F" Word

I don’t mean that one.

Or all the other foul ones like…



Fatty Food

Frowny Face





…just to name a few.

But the one I’m thinking of is one of the worst, the most debilitating, one that has the power to fracture a life… that word is…


Many definitions and connotations bubble up in the brain at the mention of this four-letter filth. One of the better explanations I’ve heard is an acronym:





So I recently returned to literal dry ground after vacationing on a 7-day cruise.

No, this isn’t a post on the fear of water.

Or the fear of small spaces or gigantic gatherings or intoxicated Baby Boomers doing the Macarena.

Admittedly, I’m not a crowd kind of female, but I learn a lot listening and fraternizing with people. And one thing I found out while spending time with so many strangers, which I already knew but it really hit me this time – everyone is afraid of something.

Sometimes they aren’t even aware of it.

Hey… clap me in irons. Guilty.

No matter how many verses I memorize, resolutions I make, sermons I listen to, books I read, worry and fear creep in, blind side me, paralyze and hold my thoughts and feelings captive.

It makes me furious! Why can’t I put up a better fight against this all-too-fatal weapon of the devil? Why can’t I remember that he’s feeding me false information, that I’m being lied to, that I’m listening to the wrong voice. Why? Why? Why?

I think it’s because I’m too concerned with my abilities and faults and not focused enough on God’s flawlessness.

In other words…

God is the “F” word I need to remember and believe…


He isn’t going to be faithful.

He is faithful, right now, no matter what we’re facing.

That’s the hard part.

When we’re going through something that hurts or costs us something or is impossible to comprehend, we have a choice. Too often, I make the wrong one - I “lean on my own understanding” and question God’s faithfulness.

Question God’s faithfulness????

Me? Fallible, Frail, Fickle me?

What am I thinking?

I hope this year my speech and thoughts and actions and reactions will be full of the “F” word.


Not in myself or my ability to exercise faith.

But in God’s FAITHfulness.

Click here for a story about a few guys who really embraced the Truth about God's faithfulness!

(photos by

Monday, January 11, 2010

Clean Slate

A new year gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. We examine ourselves and the past year, we make resolutions, many Christians take communion on New Year’s Eve as an act of remembering that Jesus wipes our slate clean when we surrender to Him.

Forgiving ourselves and accepting forgiveness has a lot to do with our outlook on the prospects for the coming year. We all like to start off with a clean slate.

My question today is… are you doing all you can to offer the same fresh start to those in your life needing your forgiveness. Is there someone in your life you need to extend the same forgiveness you have received from others and from God in order for their slate to be wiped free of wrong-doing toward you?

Really, our slates can’t be completely clean without doing that very thing.

Occasionally, my inner switch turns from writer to reader, and I absorb a wealth of new words from new authors as well as old favorites. Recently, I have read two books in a row with a similar theme: forgiveness.

I chose them at random and had never heard of either of the authors.

Both deal with gritty and emotional issues, but resonate truth and triumph too. No sugar coating, but no drama acrobatics either. Just real pain and real solutions.

The first is If I Gained the World written by Linda Nichols. It’s about a young, single lady abandoned by the father of her son. The second is Healing Stones written by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn. It’s about a Christian college professor caught in adultery. Both books illustrate a stark contrast between whitewashed religion and true Christianity, full of lessons we all could stand to learn. At least, I know I could and hope I do.

The overall theme of forgiveness, that pesky thing we long for but have trouble dispensing to others, made me wonder about this coming year. Am I starting out with a truly clean slate? Have I done all I can do to help clean the slates of others?

In other words, have I forgiven everything?

I’ll be talking to God about that for me. I challenge you to do the same for you.

Start 2010 out with a clean slate!

(photos by

Friday, January 8, 2010

Take Aim

Picture a bull’s eye. Even if you’re not a sharp shooter, you have a good chance of placing an arrow within the three inner circles, don’t you think? If you were shooting an arrow called 2010 at a target, what would the three inner rings be titled? What would you aim for? New Year’s question number three…

If you had to describe your hopes for the coming year in three words, what would they be?

My answer: #1 – life, #2 – depth, #3 – strength.

May God abundantly bless you in 2010!

(photos by

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Take Aim

Unless you’re into abstract or eclectic photography, an unfocused picture can be quite upsetting. An unfocused future is also disturbing. On one hand, we can’t do anything about it… we must have faith. On the other hand, we can employ our wills to make decisions and act on those decisions that inevitably have an impact on our future.

The second question for the New Year to help us put our future more into focus is…

Name three ways you plan to serve or minister to other people this year.

My answer: #1 – Volunteer at crisis pregnancy center, #2 – write Dry Ground devotionals, #3 – listen better, give the benefit of the doubt.

Question three on Friday… thanks for spending time with me on Dry Ground!

(click here for Take Aim part 3)

(photos by

Monday, January 4, 2010

Take Aim

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14

Many make New Year’s resolutions, but they usually sound something like this… go on a diet, be kind to others, make more money, smile all the time…

These are decent goals, however they are also a mite vague. Easily said, easily forgotten or excused with Oh, well, I tried.

What would happen if we focused our energy into a piercing beam, like light concentrated into a powerful laser, that accomplishes tangible results – specifics, details, obtainable commitments?

I’ve pondered some questions at the beginning of this New Year that I’d like to ask you this week. One question each Dry Ground day (M-W-F) so there’s plenty of time to think it over, dig deeper, pray, obey.

So here’s the first one! Happy New Year!

What one action will you take this year that you’ve always wanted to do, know you should do but never have? And why?

My answer: enter writing contests, because I believe writing is one of my gifts from God given to glorify Him and I’ve kept it hidden way too long out of fear, pride, ignorance and lack of confidence.

Question two on Wednesday… thanks for visiting Dry Ground!

(click here for Take Aim part 2)

(photos by

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Year's Best

I noticed a lot of entertainment web sites and magazines all published their “Best of 2009” lists as well as “Best of the Decade” lists before the year wrapped up. Although those lists don’t mean much to me since they are all different, “best” is so subjective it’s nearly impossible to determine, and a top-10 list rarely has enough room to do justice to the many wonderful movies, books, performances, songs, etc. out there.

But I like lists. I maintain several “best” lists of my own. Lists are essential for packing, planning, goal-setting, and task-accomplishing.

As I thought about my bests of 2009, however, a different thought occurred to me…

What does my list for “Doing My Best” look like for 2010? I jotted some things down.

1. Love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. (Mark 12:30)

2. Love my neighbor as myself. (Mark 12:31)

3. Do unto others as I would want them to do unto me. (Luke 6:31-32)

4. Speak the Truth in Love. (Eph. 4:15)

5. Remember and act on the fact that Love never fails. (I Cor. 13:8)

6. Stop complaining. (Phil. 2:14-15)

7. Trust God is who He says He is. (Heb. 11:6)

8. He who started a work in me will complete it. (Phil. 1:6)

9. Give thanks in all things. (Eph. 5:20)

10. Forgive. Pressed down and shaken together... (Luke 6:37-38)

I know this looks like a New Year’s resolution list. Sure, it’s goal related. Goals are good. But I’d like to think of it more as an encouragement – that no matter what God asks me to do this year, I’ll give it my best. In doing so, maybe 2010 will turn out to be my best ever.

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

Happy New Year!

(photos by