Do Nothing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Nope. This won’t be a blog giving you permission to become a long-term couch potato. (You know me better than that!) I do, however, hope to influence your pace and your motivation. We’re past the holidays, and past those early days of the new year when we thought maybe we’d do a better job of living this year than last. (Why, exactly, do we think a flip of the calendar will empower us to do that?) Now, for many of us, an overwhelming life has returned, or at least it’s creeping up on us. I can’t believe that’s how God means for us to live.

So then what? Let me share a few wise words that are not my own:

“Do nothing in a hurry. There is always time for all that is in the will of God.” (Jessie Penn-Lewis) Do you believe that? I do. So when I say, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day,” I need to realize that God didn’t goof. This means, of course, that I have. I’ve taken on too much.

Now is a good time to evaluate yet again the pace at which we live. If you need a nudge to make sure you are living at a reasonable pace, perhaps these words will help:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (Philippians 2:3). Take a moment to ponder this question: Are the frantic places in your life there because they make you look more spiritual, or valuable, or accomplished? It’s an easy trap, one the Enemy is deft at setting for so many of us.

“Being dependable doesn’t mean it all depends on me.” (Uncredited, but Biblical.) Are you actually doing more to help the human race than you’re meant/called to do? I’ve been there.

And lastly, I’m struck by the words Bonnie Gray wrote on the (in)courage[1] website, “Don’t minimize the things that give you rest and joy. They’re often the first things we start letting go of when we’re stressed, but they may be the very ways we can experience God’s peace in the midst of anxiety.”

Are we leaving time for rest? For joy? I hope so. If not, there’s no better time to start than right now.

[1] (in)courage – a DaySpring community (

I Love Jesus and Naps

My newest grandchild and I have matching t-shirts that say, “I Love Jesus and Naps.” I hope that’s true for our little one from a very early age. It’s certainly true for me!

Just days after I received that appropriate shirt, my pastor, Matt Werner, preached a sermon on the Sabbath. Okay, actually, it was about work and about the wisdom of Ecclesiastes. You can listen to the whole thing here:

The Futility of Work | Dripping Springs Message – YouTube

My favorite part, though starts at the 32 minute mark, and that part is about the Sabbath. Here are the highlights.

The Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, one of the big ten right up there with “Don’t kill people.” In a way, God is saying, “Don’t worship other gods. Also, sleep!”  But, here’s the weird thing about the Sabbath. When we hear a sermon about it (or read a blog about it?) we tend to say, “That’s right. I should try to implement that in my life.”

We never say that about any of the other commandments.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You know, I should really try to implement that in my life,” about the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”?  No one says that.

If you’re not observing the Sabbath, don’t just try to implement it. Repent and obey God.

God created the Sabbath right after creation was finished. That means Adam and Eve began their existence in rest, not in work that led to a need for rest. By the same token, our work is to be birthed out of our rest, not the other way around.

Rest is meant to fuel our work. Furthermore, resting is a way of acknowledging that it’s not all about us.

Many of us neglect rest and ignore the Sabbath because we’re afraid that something important won’t get done, that we somehow won’t be taken care of. Where is God in that fear?

Resting is a call to trust God.

The Israelites were given the command to honor the Sabbath shortly after seeing all sorts of miracles—the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, water from a rock… The Sabbath is a time to trust, a time to remember the work of God’s hand.

If you’ve been ignoring the Sabbath, I hope you’ll take a step of faith and make a change.

This post may have stepped on a few toes. I welcome your comments. Respond! Respond!

And please consider listening to all of that terrific sermon, or at least from minute 32 on. Here’s that link again:

The Futility of Work | Dripping Springs Message – YouTube

Mr. Sagehorn

Photo by Jordan Benton on

When I was in the eighth grade, I had three teachers. One taught science and math. I remember his face, but not his name. One taught language arts. Her name was Mrs. Marsh. She scared the heck out of me on the first day of class, but taught me more about writing than anyone else ever did (except for my parents, but that’s another story). And then there was Mr. Sagehorn. Mr. Sagehorn was also the principal of that little Lutheran school. Here’s what I remember best about him.

Whenever students broke the rules, Mr. Sagehorn would require them to write a sentence over and over, the number varying with the severity of the offense. It was always this sentence:

“Procrastination is an undesirable characteristic.”

Not to brag, but I don’t think Mr. Sagehorn ever made me write sentences. (Honestly, I was too intimidated by the rigors of junior high to even consider breaking the rules.) But that line, driven deeply into my impressionable psyche, has remained with me until this day. And until this day, I think I always considered it to be the gospel truth.

Silly me.

Today, I sipped my morning tea while considering my long “to do” list. We’ve had a few very full weeks of travel and houseguests. Yesterday, in honor of our wedding anniversary, Steve and I vowed to spend the day resting together. I felt I could procrastinate no longer! Then my phone rang. Would I like to join my grandchildren on a trip to the neighborhood pool?

At that moment, a light went on in my head. Procrastination can be a VERY desirable characteristic. Without it, we become slaves to our lists and routines. We miss the special moments God and loved ones drop into our lives, often at unexpected times.

I went to the pool. I had a blast. I gave my dirty house a quick once-over instead of the thorough cleaning it may have deserved. The laundry stayed in the basket. Only the most urgent slips of paper were handled and discarded from my desk. It will all be there tomorrow, as will the memory of laughing and splashing and soaking up sunshine with three precious little kids.

Sure, there are things that can’t wait. Yes, prolonged procrastination can lead to trouble. But (sorry, Mr. Sagehorn) I now understand that a little bit of procrastination can be good for the soul.

If your “to do” list is keeping you from a blessing—one you need, or one you need to share—take a moment to prioritize, and PROCRASTINATE!

Just the Facts

I’m a big fan of moleskin notebooks. I’ve used them as journals for years. Last week, I came to the last page of my current edition and decided to flip through it for a few moments before shelving it and unwrapping a fresh volume. Those scribbled pages reminded me of old challenges, answered prayers, new discoveries, and fun times of weeks gone by. I also found five Bible passages copied into the front cover. ‘Can’t remember when I did that, but I’ll be copying them into my new journal. I hope you’ll find them encouraging as well. While I’m sharing them without commentary—just the facts as God has given them to us—I’d love to hear how they strike you.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15a).

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18).

“Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12).

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people” (Psalm 3:3-8).

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:11-12).

COMMENT HERE by clicking the balloon at the top right corner of this page.

Photo by Claire Morgan on

Goose Down

Photo by Frank Cone on

A little boy of particular importance said this to me last week.

“Mommy got me a new pillow. It’s made of eagle wings!”

Hmmm. Eagle wings. I had to think about that for a moment. Ahhh. He  wasn’t familiar with the term “goose down,” so his brain simply morphed those words into something more familiar. Goose = Eagle. Down = Wings.

A down pillow can be comfortable indeed. But imagine if we could all sleep on eagle wings. ‘Sounds delightful. Empowering. Full of rest, of soaring and trusting.

Come to think of it, doesn’t God offer us all of those things? Aren’t we able to go to him as the source of our power? Doesn’t he promise us rest when we trust? He even tells us about soaring on wings of eagles. And so, why don’t we, in a sense, sleep on eagle wings? I think, far too often, we all miss out.

We can rest every night in keen awareness of the delightful love of our Lord. We can begin every morning with a whispered prayer, “Lord, thank you for this day. Be in charge. Cause me to hear your voice, to know it, to trust, to obey. Empower me to do your bidding, and bring peace to my heart.”

Tonight, when you call it a day, whether your pillow be foam or down, I hope some part of you will imagine yourself cushioned by, or soaring on, eagle wings. The Lord loves you! So close your eyes and sleep on that!

I Am Relieved

Yes, I am a bit of a Star Trek fan. I’ve also developed the somewhat odd habit of looking for spiritual lessons in very secular places. Here’s a good example: In one of the movies (‘sorry, I’m not a big enough fan to know which one) Admiral Pike gives up command of the Enterprise to Captain Kirk. The dialog goes something like this:

Kirk: I relieve you, sir.

Pike: I am relieved.

Pike was then relieved of his duty. And, at the same time, his face showed relief. When we say we are relieved, we generally mean we no longer feel anxious or worried. In another sense, though, being relieved means we have given up control.

And in a spiritual sense, the two are inextricably linked!

If we want to experience relief, to give up our worries and anxieties, then we must allow ourselves to be relieved of our control. We’re called to relinquish our need to be in charge to the only One who actually is in charge—and fully able to do a perfect job of it at that.

If you are looking for relief today, look no further than the words of Star Trek and of our Lord. You are relieved! God has relieved you of any ill-conceived notion that you are in control. He loves you. He will carry you through all things. And at the end, heaven awaits. Today and every day, may you experience great relief!