Friday, March 30, 2012


I’ve been thinking about this word a lot – MAGNITUDE.

What does it bring to your mind?

Earthquake comes to mine first. It’s how we measure the extent and power of the very earth beneath our feet trembling and shaking and shifting.

But ‘magnitude’ also describes the level of brightness of celestial bodies - stars, for example.

So magnitude in both cases equals POWER.

It seems to me that when we talk about power, though awe-inspiring, we are also talking about destruction. Earthquakes produce mayhem on a scale parallel to their magnitude or power. A star’s brightness reveals to us the explosive nuclear power going on to such an extent that we can see it millions of miles away.

Why, then, while having my quiet time a few mornings ago, did I think of the word ‘magnitude’ in association with Jesus and what He’s done for me?

Hopefully, it’s obvious.

However, in my every-day knowledge and appreciation of salvation, I don’t view it with the proper sense of magnitude.

The magnitude of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave should shake me up like an earthquake, destroying every doubt and worry I entertain when the going gets tough. It should out-shine any problem or barrier I face with the force of a far-away star exploding from the middle of my heart.

It should, but it doesn’t – not on a daily basis. Why?

Because, I don’t let it. I don’t meditate on it for long enough, allowing the events or issues or worries of the day crowd in before I can reach the realization – again – today - the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice and victory.

If I did that, I might just live differently.

Happy Palm Sunday Weekend, Dry Ground Friends! Be abundantly blessed!

(photos by

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sound of Silence

Surprise. It’s me again. I have not fallen off the edge of the universe.

Feeling like I have is probably the main reason for being away so long. I haven’t had the words to explain, and I don’t think I have them even now. Which is why I usually find it wisest to keep my mouth shut altogether.

But sometimes my silence offends. I project the wrong idea by clinging to my own perspective and ignoring all others’. For that, I apologize to you, my faithful Dry Ground readers.

Here’s what I have the courage to share. It’s not much, I warn you. But perhaps enough to encourage somebody else out there wading through their own muddy bog.

It’s approaching one year that my Daniel has been unemployed. This, I hope I do not have to prove, has been very unexpected. For months, we’ve hung our hopes on one job possibility after the other, with nothing coming to fruition. Anyone who has experienced that knows exactly how we feel. I do not have the words to describe it to anyone who hasn’t.

For half of this time, we’ve lived in my mother and her husband’s basement. While outrageously generous of them, it is not my home and I am sick of being there.

Through highs and lows, hopes and disappointments, bad days and good days, my Daniel and I find morsels to sustain us. God has been faithful giving us manna.

But I cannot say that I’ve allowed His joy to be my strength. And I believe that’s why my writer’s passion has been imprisoned deep in my brain for the time being. I’m dormant, waiting, hoping – some days barely.

It’s hard to defend my state, though, when I know so many other people suffer at such a greater intensity. This is another reason for not writing much publicly, because I loathe to appear ungrateful, whiney or of flimsy constitution. Again, my tendency is just to keep my mouth shut.

But here’s what I was thinking lately that sparked me to share with you all once again.

Do you know the story of Joseph? I’m sure I’ve mentioned him once or twice here, but his official story is located in Genesis, beginning with his birth in chapter 30.

Now here’s a fellow who endured some hardships, not entirely of his own making. His brothers despised him to the extent that they plotted to kill him. The oldest, with a mustard seed’s worth of sense, convinced the others to throw Joseph in a well for a little while to reconsider their intentions. Good thing, because they decided selling Joseph to the slave traders headed for Egypt would be a much better solution to the thorn in their sides. So Joseph is sold as a slave to Potipher. That turned out to be an okay gig until Mrs. Potipher decided to throw herself at him, but when Joseph refused to do her bidding he is wrongfully accused of rape. He’s sent to an Egyptian dungeon. I’ll bet that was fun. He met two other dudes in there who happened to be higher ups in Pharaoh’s staff. When one is released and one is put to death, Joseph asked the one released to remember him. Yea, that didn’t happen. The dude forgot about Joseph and the kindness he’d shown him. So Joseph had to wait longer.

Remember he’s never done anything to deserve this. He was wrongfully sold, wrongfully accused, wrongfully imprisoned, and wrongfully forgotten. If anyone in the history of man up to that point had reason to be bitter, I’d say it was Joseph. But he wasn’t. He waited and served, waited and served, waited and served.

And it paid off. Eventually the dude remembered him to Pharaoh, who in turn not only released him from the dungeon but promoted him to second in command of the entire country. Awesome for Joseph, eh?

The question I would like answered is this: on the day before he was remembered and thus released and promoted, how was Joseph feeling? What was he thinking? What was he doing? He wouldn’t have known that the next day was going to change his life for the better. His asking the cupbearer not to forget him showed Joseph’s discontent with his imprisoned circumstances. He didn’t want to be there. So we know he was not apathetic to his dismal position.

Therefore, I’d like to know, what did his conversation with God look like on the day before his rescue?

Because, Joseph, I could sure use some pointers.

Well, I won’t know the answer until I get to pester him in Heaven. In the meantime, for my own sanity, I will imagine that, even if he was crying out to God in desperate pleas, that Joseph ended his prayers that night in a faithful promise to hold on.

Just hold on.

That’s been the encouragement from most of my wonderful, Godly friends lately. And so I offer you the same for whatever you may be going through…

Just hold on.

(photos by

Friday, March 2, 2012

Greenest Grass

Since this winter has been so mild, I have many opportunities to take my mom’s little doggie, Samson, on walks. Sometimes we truck around the neighborhood and other times we drive over to a path that winds around a lake.

Samson may be small, but he can keep quite a pace! I can even jog and he tugs me along.

Like most dogs, he shows great excitement when we are preparing to go outside and takes every canine pleasure in running, sniffing, chasing, digging and just being outside in general.

However, every time we get home, especially if we’ve been walking around the neighborhood and he sees his house from a block’s distance, his gait increases. No matter how much fun he’s had on his walk, he’s always happy to get home. I know this because as soon as we hit the lawn, he plops down and rolls in the grass as if to say, “There’s no better place. I’m home. This is my yard.”

It makes me think of the hope of my Heavenly Home.

As Christians, we have the hope of an eternal, secure, perfect Paradise. No, not a never-ending church service. More like a new and improved (if that’s possible) Garden of Eden in which to spend happily ever after with our Perfect Lover.

It’s a hope that keeps us tugging the leash through both the good and the bad during this ‘walk’ of life. And no matter how much I am enjoying my ‘walk,’ I anticipate spotting that yard from a block’s distance, increasing my gait, plopping down and rolling in the greenest, sweetest, most fragrant and soft grass I’d ever seen or felt or smelt. I will declare at the top of my lungs, “There’s no better place! I’m home! This is my eternal yard!”

Thank You, Jesus, for making this hope a reality!

(photo by Yours Truly)