Gentle Reader,

This afternoon I attended a memorial service for one of the former occupants of the shelter where I volunteer. While admittedly not having been to very many of these types of gatherings, the ones I have been to in the past have been rather somber affairs, full of tears. Though I cried today with the sense of loss that comes from all partings, I came away feeling like I’d been to a great party. Totally blessed. Full of joy.

She knew Jesus. She really knew Him. And she got to see Him face to face on Sunday evening.

To listen to an auditorium full of women sing praises to God; to watch as tattooed arms reached out to proclaim His amazing grace; to see faces marked with drug use and abuse shining with the imagining of Heaven…

Blows me away.

These women aren’t kidding around when they praise Him. Their chains really are gone. They really have been set free.

And she was among them.

Grace and peace along the way.


Connection #3

Please know that the words I’m choosing to highlight in this post are not the only words that can be translated as “fear” or “afraid,” but they are the common terms. Also know that I am not using every word found in each definition; that would take up a lot of space and you might get bored. If you want to pursue this further (and I hope you do!) check out the “original language tools” at StudyLight).

Gentle Reader,

Do you ever have moments when you learn something about yourself and it just makes you angry?

Today is one of those days.

I decided to examine the words for “fear” and “afraid” in the Hebrew and Greek. What I found is startling:

Morah: reverence, terror

Yare: revere, afraid, in awe of, respect

Yirah: awesome or terrifying, dreadful

Phobos: fear, dread, terror, reverence

Phobeo: put to flight, scare away, flee, startle, amaze, reverence, deference

Did you catch the thread running through each of those definitions?

A feeling of profound awe and respect and often love.


And that just makes me so mad. Profound awe? Respect? Love? Those emotions, in that combination, are to be felt toward the Lord alone. They are elements of worship, folks. Worship.

Before you object, I am with you in agreeing that certain types of fear are good. We shouldn’t take walks down the middle of the freeway. We shouldn’t pick up rattlesnakes. We shouldn’t play Russian Roulette. Our lives quite literally depend upon us recognizing dangerous situations and proceeding with common sense and caution. But none of us can escape the connection the inspired authors of Scripture made between fear and worship.

It’s a perverse thing, this worship. When using caution in driving pushes us to drive as little as possible, or not at all. When an encounter with a mean dog pushes us to avoid all dogs. When a bad grade pushes us to drop out of college. When a panicked moment in a mall pushes us to never leave the house.

We hold that thing in awe.

We put that thing up on a pedestal and we bow down to its power.

Bravery pushes the pedestal over.

Grace and peace along the way.



Gentle Reader,

I wasn’t able to go to church yesterday, thanks to the monster living in my sinuses. (TMI, I know).

From my nest of blankets and Kleenex, I looked out at the window and sighed with contentment as the beauty of a sunny, crisp fall morning graced my eyes. Despite being sick, I felt stirred. Excited, even. I might be stuck in the house with a drippy nose and a cough, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t worship the Lord. I could have church on my own. I could join, in spirit, with all of my brothers and sisters around the world in exalting and enjoying the Savior.

Then I spied my empty juice glass.

Better rinse that out.

And I’d better take a shower.

And I’d better put the muffins in a container, so they don’t go stale.


Don’t You know, Jesus, that the dishwasher needs to be unloaded? Don’t You know that the laundry needs to be put away? Don’t You know that the house needs to be tidied up? Don’t You know?

Marie, Marie! Worried about so many things.

What was I afraid of? Why did I have to get those tasks done before I could sit down and simply be with my Lord? Am I really still connecting my worth as a person to how much I accomplish in a day? Even when I’m sick?

Grace and peace along the way.