Thursday, December 27, 2018


Hurricane strength Taku winds on Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska, January 2017.

When I was in third grade walking home one day, the Taku winds picked me up and set me down in a driveway that sloped down from the street. It was full of drifted snow that came above my waist. I struggled to get out and continued walking about four more blocks to my house.

In Alaska where I grew up, we often said, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." It might snow in May as it did the day we graduated from the University of Alaska. Or the Chinook wind might bring warm temperatures in the middle of January. As one old Tlingit man said to my grandparents, "If he don't rain, he snows." But the sun might break through at any moment.

Many people are like the weather--changeable, fickle, unpredictable. Even the most stable person changes.

Change is inevitable in this life, and we welcome it! Who of us would want to eat the same meal, no matter how delicious, every day?  Who would want to make the same mistake over and over? Thank God, we can learn and mature and become more and more like Christ.

As we approach a new year, one thing we can count on is change. We live in a world that is constantly changing. The America I knew as a child is gone. Sometimes I don't even recognize what we've become.

Some changes have been good. When I first started out writing church school curriculum on assignment in the seventies, I had to write to a strict line count with each line containing a required number of characters. I had to type and retype to get it right. And we had to use carbon paper to make copies. Now, I type once on the computer, edit, and print as many copies as I need. Twenty years ago, I didn't even know how to turn on a computer. Now, I use it, as well as the Internet and social media, with ease.

Cooking and cleaning is much simplified now, but life has become even more complex.

Morality is turned upside down. What I was taught is wrong, society now calls right, and right is now called wrong.

Unlike us, however, God, our Heavenly Father, the One who created the universe, including the stars and the planets and the vast galaxies, does not change. He is not fickle.

And His Word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what He intends.

The Psalmist often declared that God was his rock and his refuge. Sometimes, we may feel anxious when we think about the future and the inevitable changes it will bring, but our God is a Rock that never changes.

People are afraid of the future. Many Americans dabble in astrology and spend millions of dollars on personal horoscopes each year to try to figure out their future.  But Christians need not be afraid. We know Who holds tomorrow.

 A line in one of my favorite hymns, Abide with Me, says, "Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me."

Is our trust in the God who never changes, or in the ever changing, unreliable culture of this present age?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Heaven's Grocery Store

This week, I received a Christmas card from a friend who included a poem she'd discovered among old family photos. Who wrote it she did not know. I thought you might enjoy it too.


I was walking down life's highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read, Heaven's Grocery Store.

As I got a little closer, the door came open wide,
And when I came to myself, I was standing inside.

I saw a host of angels--they were standing everywhere;
One handed me a basket and said, "My child, shop with care."

First, I got some PATIENCE. LOVE was in the same row.
Farther down was UNDERSTANDING; you need that everywhere you go.

I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH;
I just couldn't miss the HOLY SPIRIT for He was all over the place.

I stopped to get some STRENGTH and COURAGE to help me run this race;
By then, my basket was getting full, but I remembered I needed GRACE.

I didn't forget SALVATION, for salvation, that was free;
So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.

Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything to do my Master's will.

As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER, and I just had to put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.

PEACE and JOY were plentiful; they were on the last shelf.
SONGS and PRAISES were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the Angel, "Now, just how much do I owe?"
He just smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you go."

Again, I smiled at him and said, "Really, how much do I owe?"
He smiled again and said, "My child, Jesus paid your bill a long time ago."


As you do your Christmas shopping, think of the Great Gift of His Son God gave on that first Christmas so long ago and be sure to receive all He offers you. He paid the bill in full on Calvary.


Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Christmas I Learned About My Heavenly Father

Instead of writing a new post this week, I'm sharing the guest blog post I wrote that went live Tuesday. Here is the link: 

Hope you enjoy it!

Looking for Christmas presents? For inspirational reads, take a look at my books at

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Costliest Christmas Gift Is Free

Recently, I came across this photo of my son opening a gift on his second Christmas. I love how this snapshot captures how much  he enjoyed the unwrapping perhaps even more than the gift itself.

The next year, his Christmas gift came in a big box. After opening it, he ignored the gift and  played contentedly for hours crawling through that box, pushing it around, and sitting in it until he exhausted himself and fell asleep in it. In those early years, an empty box would have been gift enough.

Now, he has five children of his own. His two youngest will graduate from high in the spring. I don't think any of them would appreciate an empty box this year! They've grown up.

As we approach Christmas, we often get so caught up with decorating the tree, baking goodies for our Christmas celebrations, and the difficult task of finding just the right gifts for friends and family that we forget the real reason for  the season--God's Gift to us of His Son, Jesus. Emmanuel, God with us!

God's Gift didn't come in any fancy wrapping paper. No, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger where spotless, newborn lambs were prepared for the Temple sacrifices.

God couldn't go to a mall to find just the right gift. He gave Himself that we might have everlasting life.  

God's Gift didn't come in any fancy wrapping paper. No, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger where spotless, newborn lambs were prepared for the Temple sacrifices.

God couldn't go to a mall to find just the right gift. He gave Himself that we might have everlasting life. All the money in the world couldn't pay for such a costly Gift as the one God freely gives to us.

The only caroling that Christmas was the angels singing to the shepherds out on a cold hillside watching sheep at night under the stars, inviting them to come and worship.

And the only traveling that Christmas was not in jetliners or cars, but on camels' backs as the Wise Men followed a star  to come and worship the Christ Child.

There was no gaily decorated tree--only a shadow of a rugged cross, for He came to die to save His people from their sins.

No bells rang out the joyful news, but in the streets of Bethlehem, the shepherds proclaimed His birth to all who would listen.

The only baby shower was Herod's slaughter of all the innocent babies in Bethlehem, but God warned Joseph to  take the young child and his mother and flee before the soldiers arrived.


How sad God's heart must feel to see His children more enthralled with the wrappings and traditions of the season than with His most precious Gift itself! This Christmas, let's not be like toddlers who are more interested in the wrappings of a gift. Instead, let's keep our focus on the Gift--Jesus. Let's  give ourselves to Him in worship and be His hands and His feet in this sorrowful world.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).