Gentle Revelation

Gentle Revelation

…He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… Ephesians 1:5

I want answers now. I feel like I can handle all of the facts! Do you feel this way about anything in your life? I want to share some thoughts about what I’m learning while searching.

Most people know whom they come from and where they come from. For me, this has been a giant question mark. As a lover of history, genealogies, and an asker of questions, this has been frustrating. I enjoy nothing more than tracing God’s gospel of love and salvation through the Old Testament only to see it fulfilled. This revelation began in Genesis. Over thousands of years this truth unfolded. That is how precious this is to God. Would we believe if He handed us all of the information at once? Would we value it? That said, my two-year search for my birthfather is a short, simple, and unanswered thing. It is a slow revelation. Thanks to all of the DNA testing I’ve done and all of the connections I’ve made to distant relatives, I am finding out about the past that has helped form me into this person. I’ve known things about my secret history that there has been no earthly reason for me to know. God graciously put in my heart hunches that have turned into actual facts on paper. He walks this journey with me. And while I still have moments of frustration with what has not been revealed, this whole process has drawn me closer to Jesus. More importantly, I’ve learned more about my Heavenly Father in a way that I wouldn’t have without the mystery of my origins. This marvelous slow revelation is precious and merciful because only Jesus knows what I can handle.

So if you are frustrated with unanswered questions, just know that I’m with you. But let down your guard because in the meantime, there are wonderful things that God wants to share with you.

Heavenly Father,Oh, God, You are my father! My soul is satisfied in You knowing that I can trust You with my questions. I believe that You will show me the truth in Your way and time., In Jesus Precious Name, Amen


What questions do you need Jesus to answer?

What questions are we as the Bride of Christ waiting to be answered?

What can we do while we wait?

Bitter Delight

When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. Exodus 15:23

Bitterness is a warning to us both physically and spiritually. But can bitterness turn sweet?

I love bitter vegetables. Bring on the kale, cabbage, and radicchio. I wasn’t born that way but developed a taste for them over time. It’s also important to state that I don’t eat them without preparing them in some way. Bitter vegetables turn sweet when they are crushed, grilled, or roasted. Making a kale salad involves sprinkling the leaves with a little salt and crushing the leaves for just under a minute. This tenderizes the leaves and deals with the bitterness.

Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, told her old friends to call her Mara, which means “bitter.” God did not leave her there. He had plans to use her past to redeem her. He did not forget that her name, Naomi, meant “my delight.”

I’ve been bitter. It was my way of dealing with pain. Anger energized me in a way that grief could not. I felt like there were things that God would not require me to forgive. Of course I was wrong. Bitterness led me down the wrong road for a while. Sin has a way of doing that. It distorts our vision and mutes our ears to God’s sweet voice. It takes crushing or a flame to remove the bitterness. That fire comes both out of God’s holiness and His love for us. And while I can attest that the crushing was painful, I feel more loved than ever. Jesus brought back a sweetness to my life that had been missing for a few years. Now I look back and can smile and say to others, God won’t leave you where you are. Let Him crush you because it will heal you. It will put a new sweetness in your heart because like Naomi, you are God’s delight.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for rescuing me from myself. I’ve been one of my worst enemies. You put peace in my heart. In Jesus Name, Amen


What are the traits of a bitter person?

Is Jesus bitter towards us?

What is the opposite of bitter?

In My Face

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? Genesis 50:19

We often talk about how simple forgiveness is. But anyone who has been wounded knows that the place where our feelings enter and meet with the technicalities of theology…well, that’s where things get hairy.

I know that I forgive because Jesus forgave me and died for my sin. His resurrection proves that the Holy Spirit’s presence in my heart is enough to help me let go. On paper, it’s so stinking easy. Oh, but the part where the rubber meets the road, all I see is road kill that looks an awful lot like my heart. Have you been there? I’m sure you have. Sometimes you email me and tell me about it, which is always an honor. The carnage is made out of your feelings, your hopes, and your dreams. We can think we have finished forgiving only to have the wrong be rubbed in our faces the next morning on Facebook or in the foyer at church.

Sometimes the waves we have to wade through aren’t unforgiveness as much as trauma. No all wrong affects us the same. If they tap into childhood abandonment or abuse, forgiveness is clouded. Old memories and feelings attach themselves to the pain like cat hair to a polyester sweater.

My husband made the observation that I have often had a difficult time forgiving even though I choose to wrestle with it out of love and obedience to Jesus. He thinks it is because our Christian culture can usher commands to forgive ~ like it’s something instantaneous. They don’t endorse letting it happen organically. My husband, Todd, has a good point. We can make the mistake of trying to forgive while bypassing certain steps, ignoring the messy beginnings. We have to be willing to dive into every part of it. God will take care of the rest.

Today, I endeavor yet again to plant both feet on that road of forgiveness. It is a daily decision and it is a lifestyle. My passage might not end until Heaven but, until then, I will choose to obey.

Heavenly Father, Forgive me for not being quicker to present to you all of the ugliness of times when I’ve been hurt. I know you forgave me first, swimming in the depths of my sin on the cross. Give me the strength to not get ahead of myself because the process is so hard. In Jesus Name, Amen


What has been the most difficult thing for you to forgive?

What have you been taught about forgiveness throughout your life?

Is it accurate?

Mocked For Dreams

Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Genesis 50:17

Have you ever been mocked for your dreams? Maybe they were even God’s dreams. His favor made you a target.

Joseph couldn’t catch a break with his brothers. He was Jacob’s obviously favorite son. Jacob clothed his boy with a bright robe of favor. In case anyone had missed it, Joseph wore his status on his back and shoulders. Then there were those dreams. They, not so subtly, prophesied that the brothers would bow before this younger brother. I stand by my belief that Joseph wasn’t trying to brag. There is absolutely no evidence in scripture that he was trying to rub it in. Most of us know what it’s like to have our good news or our dreams mocked and scoffed. It puts a damper on our joy. I believe that those who think Joseph was speaking with pride are only revealing their own struggle with pride. Dreams are supposed to be safe with those who are close to us.

This theme comes back later after Joseph’s reconciliation with his brothers in Egypt. After Jacob dies, his sons send Joseph a message reminding him (as if he needed it) of his promise to forgive them (which he already had) and not take revenge. Joseph wept. It is awful to be accused of revenge when your heart is filled with forgiveness. The brothers hadn’t changed as much as he hoped. They let their own inner strongholds interpret the intentions of their brother.

I want to leave you with two thoughts from this. First, God will protect the blessings and dreams that He has put in us. Most of us learn the hard way to be careful with whom we share. Secondly, we need to examine our hearts with the Holy Spirit before we study scripture because it can skew our understanding.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the plans that You have for me. Show me with whom I can confide. And cleanse my heart so that I don’t put my own personal spin on Your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen


Has God put dreams in you that He wants to bring to life?

What do you need to do to play your part?

What scriptures have you misinterpreted (we all have) in the past and why?



The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name. Exodus 15:3

I hate war. I detest it even more than politics. But I am reminded every day when I put on my spiritual armor that there is no getting away from it.

As much as our Western culture tries to avoid war, we still get dragged into it. It’s interesting to me that anyone being interviewed in a beauty pageant is supposed to say that they want world peace. Think about it. Besides the jihadists, the only other people I can think of that want us to enter into armed conflict are contractors that provide weapons or soldiers for hire. In this case, it is love of money and power that kills and destroys.

Furthermore, I am very aware of the irony that the last part of the spiritual armor that we put on are the shoes of the gospel of peace; the shoes of the good news of peace. Jesus is our Prince of Peace, the peace that passes all understanding. The last commandment that Jesus gave us before His ascension was to ‘go and make disciples’ but each of us needs to prepare ourselves ~ knowing that we will come under fire, sometimes literally. This good news angers people. Most people either want to work their way to Heaven (which is impossible) or are offended that they would even need a savior. Both types of reasoning come down to pride of a very Luciferian nature.

Our good news of peace often ends in the messenger’s death. But if we were to change any part of it, it wouldn’t be the truth. It wouldn’t be able to save. It wouldn’t have any power. I don’t mind too much when people don’t like me, but I’m not crazy about the thought of people hating me. Nonetheless, I am called to speak the truth in love even if it leads to martyrdom. The good news about Jesus making peace between the Father and mankind often brings about war of the spiritual kind. Are you ready?

Heavenly Father, Thank you for not leaving us helpless. I put on all of the armor that You have provided. Make me ready for the warfare ahead. In Jesus Name, Amen


What do you hate the most about war?

What scares you the most about spiritual warfare?

The Bible says that God is a Mighty Warrior who is mighty in battle. What does that mean to you?

He Won’t Let You Go

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18

It hurts to see a friend lose everything. It’s even worse when most of the calamity is because they are running away from a loving God.

I’m watching a girlfriend go through, what she will say down the road, is the worst time of her life. Things have gotten so bad that she believes she has had bad luck. Even her friends say, “She ends up in the worst place at the worst time. Trouble follows her everywhere she goes.” It’s terrible to see the pain in her eyes every time she gets new bad news.

Like me, she grew up in legalism…the strict church, schools, and the culturally irrelevant rules. And like so many people with our background, she chucked it all and then went off the rails. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore. But God does.

Jesus spent His time between His death and resurrection setting the captives free. He led the willing from Abraham’s bosom into Heaven. Job knew that “My redeemer lives.” I bet that he was one of the first people to stand up and follow.

My friend believes shat she is losing everything. But I see it differently. Jesus loves her so much. He remembers the time that she accepted Him. He knows that she is a daughter of promise even though she has forgotten. Her name is written on the palms of His hands next to the nail scars.

If Jesus sees every sparrow that falls, then He certainly sees her. Jesus died so that, even in her wandering, she would never be lost. My friend thinks that she has a gypsy soul but as her sister in Christ, I know that her heart has a home in Heaven.

It kills me to pray for her return only to see her life get worse but I realize that even this is God’s mercy. Dear friend, He will not let you go. I may forget, but He will not.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for never letting me wander too far. I know you will pursue my friend because You care about her even more than I do. In Jesus Name, Amen



-In what ways have you wandered? Where are you now?

-How did God pull you back?

-Write out a prayer for someone that is wandering. If you can’t picture someone to write it for, then please write it for my friend’s return.


God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Exodus 3:14

Have you ever been scammed? I just got a phone call from someone who tried to scam me yesterday. Let me tell you about it.

I’m a notorious for screening calls. There are few daily activities that I dread more than talking on the phone. I’m an introvert, even to people that I like. I would rather meet in person or communicate by email. So when I don’t recognize the number, chances are that I’m not going to answer it. Good thing I didn’t answer this particular call yesterday! The scamming company called my parents and even my in-laws trying to obtain my phone number.

Hopefully, we all notice those little clues when someone is lying and attempting to manipulate us.  Their offer are usually too good to be true. So in a world of some good people, but also some pretenders and liars, how are we supposed to know that people are who they say they are? Or even worse, how will skeptical people believe us when we come bearing amazing news? It is a horrible feeling to not be believed.

God told Moses to go back to his people, whom he hadn’t seen in forty years, after having left on bad terms. He was to tell them that they were about to be delivered from slavery in Egypt. Terrified, Moses asked God, “But how will they know that You sent me?” God responded, “Tell them that I AM has sent you.” Moses didn’t think that this was enough so God eventually equipped him to display signs and wonder. He also give him his brother, Aaron, to speak for him. All Moses needed as credentials was the Name. His people knew that name. It is the name that declares who God is. And think about this ~ some day God will write His name on our foreheads. So in a world that is often full of pretenders, God is our endorsement. I AM is all that we need.

Heavenly Father, There is no other name before Your name. Envelope me in all that You are, empower me to do Your work, and keep me safe. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen


Look up the instances when God’s name, I AM, is used. What do they have in common?

What does your name mean? Do you like it? Why or why not?

Why Choose Leah?

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. There choose life, that you and your offspring may live… Deuteronomy 30:19

Rachel was Joseph’s beautiful mother. She was so lovely that Jacob worked many years for the privilege of marrying her. But what about Leah?

I know many women from both Christian and Jewish families who are named Rachel or Rebekah. They were renowned for being lovely in both face and form. And of course, we cannot forget Sarah. She attracted the attention of kings. But what about Leah? She could not see well or was not easy to see, depending on the translation. For whatever reason, God wanted us to know about how these women looked because their appearance played a part in their destinies.

I can relate to some extent. Many of my closet friends were tall and blond and usually a couple years older. They attracted attention wherever they went. When we put on our childish plays, they would be Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. So who was I? Deep, dark, and adopted, I was always the wicked witch or the evil stepmother. Looking back, I ask myself, why did we never play Snow White…

Anyways, I can relate to Leah. But God chose her to establish the line that would bring us Jesus. Why Leah and not ravishing Rachel? I think we can come up with many reasons but I want to focus on a not so obvious one.

Rachel stole her father’s idols and hid them by sitting on top of them. She stole and then lied about it. I have no idea if she worshiped them or was angry with her father. Maybe she just saw them as heirlooms. Even though this was before the Ten Commandments, God’s people knew that idols were wrong. Leah did not steal the idols when they fled her father. So in a way, she chose God first. God looks at the heart so let’s choose today what God we will serve. From Leah, she of weak eyes, came the “Light that was the Life of all men.”

Heavenly Father, You chose me before I chose You. I revel in Your acceptance and love today. Sometimes I feel like the ugly duckling. But I know that when You look at me, You see a daughter of promise who glows with the righteousness of Your Son. Amen


What do people judge about you?

What do you judge about other people?

Look up adoption in the New Testament and write about how God sees you, according to Scripture.

Our Undiscovered Country

By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose designer and builder is God. Hebrews 11:9-10

Everything that exists and everything that happens is supposed to bring glory to God. We know this. But there is another reason as well.

From earth to sky our purpose is to bring glory to God. Our lives are praise personified. But what about our relationship from sky to earth? Every light, every sparkle, every glimmer gives us hope for the future. While our lives point to the Author of life, all good things show us the beautiful setting that is our future.

God showed Himself to Abraham back when he was still Abram and then showed him his future. Abraham would become the father of a people more numerous than the stars and they would settle in the land of Canaan. But at the time, Abraham’s wife was infertile and other people lived in their promised land. It was a glimpse of hope and a challenge. Abraham’s new name and Sarah’s new name spoke reminders of God’s promises whenever someone called them. Hebrews 11:9-10 says, “By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose designer and builder is God.”

Maybe like me, you are waiting on God to fulfill a promise. He keeps allowing us to see rays shining from the edges of the clouds so that we remember that He remembers. And while it is a small thing for God to perform these miracles, we are no small things to Him. We may be specks on our planet but our names are engraved upon His hands along with the nail scars. His track record is perfect, unlike ours.

Heavenly Father, You see what I cannot. You are truth and security so I will not falter in my heart. Keep me.  In Jesus Name Amen



Look up references to hope in the Bible and note similarities.

Why do we need hope?

What do you hope?

High Places


Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places.  1 Kings 3:3

Have you ever wondered about how churches and nations get led astray?  Have you ever read the term “high places” in the Bible and wondered what it meant?  Maybe you have wondered how all of this relates to you.

We see the term “high places” first in Leviticus 26:30, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.   God specifically told His people not to build high places in order to worship idols. One of the violations I think of is Solomon and his many wives.  He did what God told him not to do.  He married, not only outside his own faith, but also he married many women who did not follow the God of Israel.  These women built high places where they could worship their false gods.  He caved into their pressure and made sacrifices along with them.

This set precedence for the kingdoms of Israel and Judah for many generations to come.  After the kingdom split between Rehoboam, Solomon’s heir, and Jeroboam, an employee of Solomon, Jeroboam lived in fear.  He was terrified that when the people in his part of the kingdom went to Jerusalem to worship, that they would be influenced and would turn on him.  So he made high places, all set with golden calves, for his people to worship.  Only they weren’t really worshiping God.  They were worshiping idols.

People are lead astray for a number of reasons.  As Christians, we have to stay obedient, listening to God’s voice above all others.  Then we won’t be sheep to the slaughter.  Instead, we will be watchmen on the wall.

Heavenly Father,Forgive me for the times I haven’t been discerning.  I didn’t listen to Your voice and reaped the consequences.  Help me to boldly speak the truth in love when I see my people falling into idolatry remembering that I have been guilty and forgiven of the same thing.In Jesus Name, Amen

Journal:  How have you been led astray?In what ways have you seen your community led astray?What can you do to be a part of the solution?  What does a nation have to do, according to scripture, to get back on track?