Category Archives: Thought for the Day

Faithful Sprite

We were told Sprite and her siblings had been dumped by the side of a busy road. A good samaritan rounded up the 8-week-old puppies and brought them to the animal shelter.

My daughter and I had come to the Shelter to check out the puppies.

And there she was. A fluffy ball of black with bits of tan on her face and her paws. Absolutely adorable. The Shelter worker said she was a mix, but I could tell immediately that she was pure Australian Shepherd.

Sprite was the perfect companion for our other dog, Dudley.

She was the “yes man” to his frequent escape attempts. If Dudley escaped our yard, Sprite was sure to be with the errant Springer Spaniel.

Even though we had adopted Sprite for Kiri, she quickly became my dog. She followed me from room to room as I did chores, did laundry, made meals. And when I went into my office to write, she’d plop down right next to my desk.

When I took a break and sat on the couch to watch TV, Sprite would stand in front of me, as though guarding me from any nasty images or aggressive voices on the morning news.

At dinner, Sprite sat at the foot of my dining chair.

At night, Sprite crawled under our bed and stayed there until I got up in the morning.

One hot summer day, Kiri and I took both dogs to the lake. We swam out to a tiny island, about a hundred yards from the lake beach. Dudley, being a water dog, swam with us. Poor Sprite, though, was a herding dog. No encouragement could induce her to jump into the water. But she ran back and forth along the beach, always keeping an eye on us to make sure we were safe.

And when we swam back to the beach, Oh, how happy our fluffy dog was to be reunited.

Sprite is long gone, but I still miss her. She was the perfect illustration of the saying, “A dog is man’s best friend.”

I often think that our dog’s faithfulness is an illustration of how our heavenly Father is with us. Just like Sprite, He stays close, faithfully guarding and protecting. He loves us, and wants to have a close and intimate relationship. There is no place we could go where  He would not be, also. How comforting!

Additional shots 004


  “For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Psalm 57:10 NIV Bible)

How’s Your Belt Size?

This morning I decided to clear out my closet. I have tons of belts that have been hanging in there for at least two decades

But as I pulled them out to try them on, I noticed something interesting. The old ones marked “medium” felt just right for my small frame. But in the stores nowadays, that same medium would be marked extra small.

Somehow, as our belt sizes have increased, fashion designers have decided to opt for not insulting us by having us all buy Large or Extra Large belts….or jeans, or skirts, too.

So, what is now called a “medium” is now an “extra small.”

When I was married, I weighed in at just a few pounds over 100. I wore a size 5. By today’s standard, that size 5 would probably be a size 0 now.

It got me to thinking about other standards, as well.

What we now think is acceptable behavior would have been frowned on forty years ago.

Like fashion, I think we’ve simply moved the boundaries outward to include formerly taboo actions.

Courtesy is rare on the roads. Now, it seems okay to lots of people to cut others off, give them the finger, harass slow drivers.

Drug use in some states is just fine.

Abortion is a “woman’s right to choose.” (I wish they’d finished that sentence! “Choose” what?)

If I don’t want to work, no problem, the government will hand out food stamps to support my lifestyle.

We may not have been church-goers years ago, but we all had heard of David and his Goliath and Daniel in the lion’s den. We respected the Ten Commandments as Judeo-Christian standards for moral behavior.

How’s our cultural “waist size” now?

Have we simply moved the boundaries for morality outward to fit our changing sense of what is right and wrong?

Older people remember when.

But I feel for younger individuals. They don’t know a time when these wicked things occurring in our society were not the norm.

God doesn’t change. Check out what he says about morality. You may be surprised to find your “waist size” has expanded even if your belt size has stayed the same!

“I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6  NIV Bible)

Pray For Enemies

We are always exhorted to pray for those in trouble, for those who are persecuted, for those who are sick.

We are rarely reminded to pray for our enemies. But that’s what Jesus did, and what He told us to do.

Who knows? The enemy we pray for may one day become our dearest friend.

Consider this account from the ninth chapter of Acts:

“All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to he Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascas so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9 from The Message)

Sound familiar? Do we see things like this occurring in other parts of the world as we speak?

Jesus told his disciples that they would be persecuted for his name’s sake. And those who do the persecuting will think they are offering a great service to God in killing them. Sound familiar?

I have been praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt, in Sudan, In China, and everywhere the name of Jesus is reviled.

But let’s never forget to pray for those who do the persecuting. Their ultimate fate is way more horrible than the death these dear Christians are suffering.

Let’s pray that they, too, like Saul of Tarsus will experience Jesus, that their eyes will be opened, that they will repent and worship the One who made them and died to secure their eternal peace and security in heaven with the eternal and indescribably loving and holy I Am.

Let’s pray that the light of Jesus will penetrate their souls. As lovers and worshipers of Jesus, His Holy Spirit works in us to be in alignment with God. And God’s will is that none should perish.

Hell was created for the devil and his angels. Not for people.

Think about this: someone prayed for you before you came to Jesus. I know that many people were praying for me before I surrendered my life to Him. There are probably lots of future Christ disciples who are currently persecuting the Church. Let’s pray for their salvation.

The Message puts it this way: “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.” ( Luke  6:35 The Message)

Is this in your marriage?

When my husband and I were in Seattle to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary recently, we took a “duck” tour of the city. In case you’ve never heard of these, they were built during World War two, mostly by Rosie-the-Riveter women. The ducks are oddly shaped trucks that can go into the water and behave just like a slow-moving boat.

Near the end of the tour, the guide proudly declared that he had been married twenty years and that he had learned the most essential thing to keep a marriage healthy: forgiveness.

Now, I’ll admit, that forgiveness is a pretty important element of a healthy marriage. But if I were to name the number one quality that keeps marriages going into the third, fourth, fifth decade, I’d have to say it’s not forgiveness. It’s commitment. That decision to stick together no matter what, through hard times, through economic downturns, through serious or chronic illness, through crisis and tragedy.

Our former pastor preached a short message at a wedding recently. He’d discovered a Hebrew term for this kind of commitment: “Chesed.” The English translation of the Hebrew word literally means: covenant loyalty.

I love that. It’s a term used many, many times in the Bible. Most of the time it refers to the kind of loving kindness that God shows us. And that is the kind of loving loyalty we are to show to our spouse.

God has promised us, as believers, covenant loyalty. He cannot break His word. He will always be loyal to us, He will never leave us. He would not be God if He broke His word.

So even when you are in the midst of crisis and you feel completely alone, rest assured that God’s presence surrounds you. As a loving husband promises his bride faithfulness, So God promises His Bride, the Church—and each believer is part of the Body of the Church—covenant loyalty.

No matter if we have just celebrated our first or our fifty-first wedding anniversary, the daily recognition of God’s consistent presence and loyalty helps us to reaffirm our own commitment to our husband or wife.

Covenant loyalty.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with kindness.” (Jer. 31:3 NIV Bible)




My Husband’s God-pillows

Every morning, after breakfast and before I get to the day’s computer work, I roam about the house straightening up.

I wash the breakfast dishes and put a load of clothes in the washing machine. I fluff the pillows on the couch and smile. The rumpled pillows are a sure sign that Bruce has been there that very morning.

IMG_0137He uses the pillows to support his back while He reads his Bible and prays each morning.

Bruce gets up very early. About 3:30 in the morning.

He takes his shower, dresses, then tiptoes downstairs to make his protein drink. Then, he settles himself on the living room couch for his morning with God.

It gives me great comfort to know that, just as I’m praying for him, I know that part of his morning prayer is about me, too.

But the most wonderful thing about the rumpled pillows is that my husband starts his day seeking God.

Bruce has gone through some challenging times recently. But that hasn’t stopped him from rumpling the couch cushions each morning. He knows where his strength lies: not in his effervescent personality, not in the accumulated wisdom and skills from 35 years in the business, not from awards and citations and bonuses at work, not from luck, or even—he’s recently learned to his chagrin—loyalty and a proven track record at work.

Bruce knows that God is in charge of his moments, his days, his seasons.

His security may wax or wane. His position at work may change. Friends come and go. Health may fail.

But he agrees that:

“My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 26 NIV Bible)