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What Makes a Saint?

What Makes a Saint?

Saints have seen the burning heart of the universe at Calvary. That’s where love first fills their hearts. Do you agree that God transforms His own beloveds into saints? Theologians call this sanctification. I think most people would agree that saints have hearts on fire for God. Being in love with God is being a saint. Sanctification without being in love with our beautiful Savior looks like duty, drudgery, deadness, diligent dedication; it’s a desperately burdensome existence. Jesus invites us into the duty of delight, pure and simple. Our everyday vernacular uses the word “saint” in a lighthearted way to point out a person who has exceptional patience or some other virtue. We’d do well to know what God says about saints. In the Bible, the term...

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Beauty Cheers the Heart

Beauty Cheers the Heart

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” White scenes of winter soothe me because I grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed a wonderful childhood full of love, play, and no worries. These days, I grieve for children who do not have the benefit of a fearless childhood. I wept watching the news of the school shooting in Florida. So, so tragic! More loss of innocent lives, so full of promise.  And when ordinary people become heroes and pay the ultimate price . . . we feel sympathy for their families and friends.  We see the funerals on the news. I pray for those who mourn everyone lost and injured. And what about the survivors? They’ll never be the same . . but for God’s grace and help. Below is a photograph...

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Hope

Hope

It’s Sunday today. One week after the senseless, violent murders that took place in a small Christian church family in Texas. What a horrible, tragic thing!—and to happen in a place of worship. Our country is still mourning the deaths of too many innocents taken in Las Vegas. What is happening to our society? Why is there so much hatred everywhere? We are worried about the evil in the hearts of the leader of North Korea and in ISIS terrorists, but evil is lurking in countless, lost souls worldwide. And it is everywhere. Nowhere is safe. The cliché “What is this world coming to?” is a resounding cry that echoes from our hearts in our everyday thoughts. Lord, God of heaven and earth, save us! A generation shows how fast things are becoming evil. When I...

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The “Last Days” are These Days

The “Last Days” are These Days

When our daily news sounds like The Tribulation spoken about in Revelation, as well as what Jesus foretold in Matthew 24, we have to realize these are the biblical Last Days we are living in. We might be tempted to focus on all the terrible and horrifying events happening but I don’t think the Lord would want His own to be dwelling on that.  We need to be about His kingdom work as never before.  And, most important, we need to give the Lord our  hearts and ears these days to draw close to Him. He loves us so much and is longing for us. Think of all He has done to have us. In our world, the dark grows darker; the Light becomes brighter. Jesus is returning soon for His Beloved (we are His Bride).  That’s where our focus should be. We need to be...

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Why I Love Poppies

Why I Love Poppies

Poppies became my favorite flower about twenty years ago while I was in Israel, on a Galilean hillside to be exact.  The memory of them found its way into my first novel God in Sandals when I described the lovely, divine scene of Jesus and His listeners as they heard the first Kingdom principles and promises we named The Sermon on the Mount. Ever since then the flower has been a symbol of God’s beauty, majesty, and intimate love to me. He delights to delight His beloveds with flowers. Extravagant, diverse, creatively glorious; and yet common.  He’s so romantic. I noticed a bed of tall poppies in Minnesota this month when I walked to my car in my sister’s front yard. Her next door neighbor’s waving poppies beckoned me to come and...

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Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

My new writing project is stretching me out of my comfort zone but that’s good.  I think because the topic of my book is about deep devotion to Christ and the creative pursuit of God, which is the highest form of art that arises from our soul. My main problem is that an overwhelming amount of content wants a place in my book. It is like a tsunami of living water that I’m trying to tame into a peaceful brook. Yeah! Anyway, here’s a single quote that rose to the surface today:  “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer. While doing some research, I came across this artist, Paul Smith. He brings to life the meaning of this Scripture: “Therefore I take pleasure in...

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