a really random reflection on bridges

being a bridge may be the only job where lying down on the job is actually doing the job    

bridges provide connection,  that is their purpose –  some bridges are life saving connections.

Jesus is the Bridge, the life saving connection between God and me.  Jesus is my living bridge.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ”  (John 14:6)

Jesus laid down in order to fulfill that purpose, His purpose, in coming here.  What He laid down was His life.

“The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from My Father.”  (John 10:17-18)

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13)

If I am to be a bridge for my friends, then I am going to have to learn to lay down my life over and over again, because every time I “stand up for myself” I am no longer providing a connection that someone needs in that moment to walk across on their journey toward Jesus.  Jesus is the ultimate life saving Bridge,  He who provides safe passage for each one who walks across Him, who laid down His life for us all, straight into the arms of our waiting Heavenly Father.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:43)

sincerely,         Grace Day








a hand to hold

it is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul.  well, what about hands? seemingly ordinary, our hands play such extraordinary roles in our everyday lives, that I and maybe you, too dear readers, take for granted.  Our hands are symbols of hard work, of help, of healing, of hope and more.

Hands are in every facet of our vocabulary.  We talk about lending a hand, handing something or someone over, we each have given and have received at one time or another –  a hand me down, a hand out, a hand up or a hand off. (well, okay that last one maybe only if you play football do you receive a “hand off”)  At school the students receive “hand-outs” and are asked to “hand in” their work, which will be “handed back” at a later date.  We say someone “had a hand in it”, (could refer to a good or a bad deed) if they contributed to the outcome of something.  I may ask someone to “hand it over” or to “give me a hand”.

We say someone is “hands on” if they are involved and participate personally. Even a clock has “hands”, maybe that’s why we talk about “the hands of time”? Criminals get “handcuffed” and a person will say their “hands are tied” if they feel there is no action they can take in a particular situation.

Hands have a language all their own.  (both literally and figuratively)  In greeting, we shake hands or high five with our hands or anything in between.  We wave hello and goodbye with our hands.  To show respect there’s the hand in military salute, the hand placed over the heart in pledge or the hand placed on the Bible (with the other hand raised) in promise to tell the truth.

We say someone is “handy” if they are good at something, particularly at fixing things.  We say someone is a “handful” if they are hard to “handle”.  We say someone is “hand picked” if they are personally chosen for some particular position or opportunity.  And “hand made” is now back in vogue; considered special, unique and more valuable than something that is mass produced or “store-bought”.

We take someone by the hand to lead them, place our hand over their hand to guide or teach them.  We extend the hand of friendship, lend a helping hand, raise holy hands to heaven.  We join hands in unity with others, we clap hands in applause, showing our approval and support.  We raise our hand to ask a question, to be heard.  A “show of hands” determines the outcome of a proposal.  If something or someone wins by a large margin, we say they won “hands down”.

Hands even have their own language, sign language, or more correctly, ASL, (American Sign Language) which is a language in its own right, with its own rules of syntax and grammar.  Here the hands do the talking in beautiful, expressive motions which speak as eloquently as any tongue could, if not more so.  And even those of us who don’t know sign language often “talk with our hands.”

Hands reveal a lot about the person they belong to.  Strong, hard, rough, calloused hands reveal someone who works hard with their hands day in and day out. Softer hands may point to a softer kind of work.  Many hands are adorned with rings and fancy nails, while others remain plain and inconspicuous.

Also interesting are the games we play exclusively with our hands.  Think about thumb wrestling, charades, and the classic game of rock, paper, scissors.  All hand games.  We say someone has a “hot hand” if they are shooting well in a basketball game.  (or is that poker where you have a “hot hand”?)

Allstate tells me I am in “good hands” with them.  I would like to believe that and be at peace.  But I wonder   . . .   in whose hands do I really want to rest?  mine? (taking matters into my own hands)  those of some well known leader or celebrity? those of my financial adviser?

God says “It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”  (Isaiah 45:12)

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.”  “No one can deliver out of My hand.  When I act, who can reverse it?”  (Isaiah 42:6 & 43:13)

If the Creator of the universe says He will hold my hand, I think I will take Him up on that offer.  It’s the best one I’ve received.  (no offense to you, Allstate)  These are the hands I want holding onto mine.  Jesus hands, the hands that healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the five thousand; hands that washed the feet of His disciples and then were nailed to the cross,  these, these are the hands that I want to hold onto.  These are the hands I want holding onto me.

“But he (Thomas) said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were,  . . .  I will not believe it.’  Jesus came and stood among them and said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’ ”  (John 20:25-27)

Thomas saw the nail pierced hands of Jesus and believed.  Jesus’ hands told him everything he needed to know.  The same hands that formed man from the dust of the ground, that formed the woman from the rib of the man, the hands that made Adam and Eve garments of skin to clothe them when they were naked, these are the very hands that were nailed to the cross in my place and in your place.  These are the hands I want holding me.

My Heavenly Father says to me, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  (Isaiah 41:13)

The song says, “He’s got the whole world in His hands”.   John 10:28-30 tells me, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one  can snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”

In my Father’s hands are help, healing, hope and heaven.  No better place to be!

sincerely,          Grace Day








the pursued

I always seem to be in pursuit – of – ?  of what?  well, of so many things actually.  (no wonder I’m so tired)  I confess.  I am now or have been at any given point in my life in pursuit of (in no particular, rather very random order) the perfect job, a specific job, a place to live, the perfect shoes, friendship, the right guy, lasting love, the easiest diet, the best pizza, the secret to success, the best workout routine, the truth (about anything), a good plumber, an honest financial adviser, the best sale/deal on anything, excellence, a college degree, happiness, my lost keys, jeans that fit right, the perfect hair color, the perfect hair cut, the matching sock, my other earring, an affordable airfare, someone who understands me, a reliable car, the best restaurant, love, acceptance, forgiveness, reconciliation, God – and this list is not complete by any means.

Suffice it to say, I am living in pursuit mode.  I spend my time seeking after, yes, searching for and running after –  well, you saw the list.    Whether things tangible or intangible, things to be attained or things lost, needing to be found, my pursuit is in progress.

It is no wonder that I never knew I was being pursued all this time.  How did I not know this?  I guess I’ve always been so busy chasing after, yes pursuing, all these aforementioned things and more, that I never looked back to see who might be pursuing me.  Why would I?  It never occurred to me that I was worth pursuing. Who would go to that kind of trouble on my account?

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”  (Jeremiah 31:3)  God loves me?  God is pursuing me?  God is drawing me to Him?

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”  (Psalm 139:7-10)

There is no place that I can run to where God will not be right there with me.  His pursuit of me knows no boundaries, no limits.  As diligently as I’ve been pursuing all my various “pursuits”, God has been equally diligent in patiently pursuing me even while I pursue the pleasures and the profits of this world.  And all this time I thought I was pursuing God.  Turns out, it’s God who’s been pursuing me all along. I just needed to stop and to be still.

“Be still, and know that I am God;”  (Psalm 46:10)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  . . .  Who of you by worrying (I would add by pursuing) can add a single hour to his life?  . . .  For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matthew 6:25-34)

I would much prefer to be the “pursuee” than the “pursuer”.  Turns out I have been the pursued all along.  But I was much too busy pursuing to let myself be “caught” by the One pursuing me with an everlasting love for me that I cannot fully understand nor explain.

” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ ”  (Isaiah 1:18)

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  (Luke 19:10)  Jesus came to pursue lost people like me and to give me forgiveness and eternal life.

“This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:10)  God is the pursuer!  I am the pursued!  Which means I must have some value in God’s eyes for Him to go to such great lengths to get my attention and to make a way for me to be reconciled to Him. Such great lengths as to send His Son, Jesus to live here with us, then die to pay the price for my sins, then rise from the grave, defeating death once for all. Leaving nothing for me to do but to believe in His name, accept what He did for me and stop trying to earn my own way to God.

I thought I was pursuing God.  But God’s been pursuing me since before time began.  “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”  (Psalm 139:16)

And God is still pursuing me today.  Even now He calls to me, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Yes, my Heavenly Father is pursuing me.  That means I can cease and desist, I can take a break from all my earthly pursuits and rest secure and satisfied in Him.  I may never find the perfect pair of shoes or of jeans.  That pursuit is elusive and unsatisfying.  I can give up all my personal pursuits.

I AM THE PURSUED!  (which means I am valued, I am loved and I am cherished by my Creator)  I am the pursued and I have been found!  You too, dear readers, are THE PURSUED!  I pray that you are found as well.

“Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.”  (hymn – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

sincerely,            Grace Day











waiting well

earth is heaven’s waiting room, or more accurately eternity’s waiting room and we are all in it.  We are all waiting.  “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  . . .  in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  . . .  we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”  (Romans 8:19-23)

Since I am waiting, along with the rest of creation, for Christ’s return, that time when He will make all things new and right; I feel like I need to be prepared to meet my Maker. I want to wait well, to get really good at it.  why? because my eternal destiny depends on the decisions I make in this waiting room we call earth.

I used to think of waiting as being idle, but now I realize waiting can be whatever I choose to make of it.  I want my time in this waiting room to be purposeful, productive preparation for what is to come.  When my number or name is finally called, I want to be ready, fully prepared.

I want to hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant” not “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”.  To that end I take to heart Paul’s advice to Timothy when he said, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  (2 Timothy 2:15)

What better way to spend my “waiting” time here than to be about my Heavenly Father’s business?  “And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8)  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  (James 1:27)

What better way to spend my time here, than to spend it getting to know my Creator?  “Be still, and know that I am God;”  (Psalm 46:10)  “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matthew 11:29)

Jesus modeled this “preparing while waiting” as He lived His life here on earth, preparing Himself and His disciples for His death and resurrection in everything He did.  As a young boy Jesus said to His parents, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  (Luke 2:49)

That’s how I will spend my “waiting room” time –  being about my Heavenly Father’s business.

sincerely,     Grace Day


standing firm

I thought I was . . .  my feet were on the yellow footprints, my arms raised above my head in the pose of surrender, as if I had been a fugitive on the run and now was giving up the chase.  How long was I going to have to stand here like this?  My bags would be through the conveyor belt by now and waiting for me to retrieve them. Still I stood as voices swirled around me but no one was talking to me, telling me it was okay to move on.  How long were they going to keep me in here?

I thought I heard someone say “okay” as the clear cylinder door slid around me.  I turned my head in that direction, the door opened and I exited.  I didn’t get very far.  A couple of steps and a female guard blocked my path.  She was telling me that she was going to search me and explaining how it would be done.  I was hearing her words but they weren’t yet registering with me.  Why?  What was the problem?  No beepers had gone off.  Why did she need to search me?

I worried about my bags and my boots that I needed to find.  I had left them on the conveyor belt to go through security.  Who knew where they were by now?  This place was packed with people trying to get where they wanted to go.  I was one of them.  I didn’t have time for this unexpected experience and the delay it was causing me.

I had to spread my legs and hold my arms out at my sides.  Then she began her search of me, her slow, methodical search.  I was so uncomfortable.  I felt so exposed even though fully clothed.  This was a perfect stranger coming in closer contact with me than friends and family members do.  Something about this just isn’t right.  And yet here I was.  As the search continued I grew more uneasy, felt more vulnerable, more unprotected, more exposed than ever.  There was nothing I could do but submit to this search made necessary by  . . . ?

By what?  The past harmful actions of others, in other times, at other airports? Yes, this was for the greater good, I reassured myself; all the while wanting desperately for this to be over.  I felt like I had done something wrong, I felt like a criminal.  I felt like they didn’t trust me,  . . .  and it wasn’t over yet.

After she was done with me she sent me to another person who searched my backpack.  Finding some granola bars, raisins and tangerines among the books and a jacket that were in there, I was admonished that I should have taken the food snacks out of the backpack.  Then finally, I was cleared to fly.  I found my boots (which I had taken off to go through security) and was on my way.

I did not like this experience of being searched, of being treated with suspicion and mistrust.  Although no fault had been found in me (or on me) I did not feel vindicated; I felt diminished, I felt humiliated, I felt exposed.

Then I thought of King David and his request of God in Psalm 139:23-24)  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  other translations say, “And see if there be any wicked way in me,” and other translations simply say “know my thoughts” (not just the anxious ones).  But you get the picture, King David wasn’t afraid of a search, not if God was doing the searching.

In fact, based on his words, David invited God to search him, he welcomed this opportunity with God.  Why?  Maybe because David knew these truths; “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.”  (Proverbs 3:11-12)

David realized, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man; He knows that they are futile.  Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, the man You teach from Your law;”  (Psalm 94:11-12)  David also knew that, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  (Hebrews 4:13)

So God didn’t really need David’s invitation to search him.  God sees all and knows all anyway.  “O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts,” David acknowledged in Psalm 7:9, that God does search our minds and our hearts.  God doesn’t need our invitation or our consent to do so, it is simply a function of His Omnipresence and of His Omniscience.  He is an all seeing, an all knowing God.

And yet David invited God, he actually summoned God, seemingly entreated God to search him, to test him, to know him and to see or to find any wickedness or offensiveness in him that did not please God and then he asked God to root it out, to correct it; so that he could be “led in the way of life everlasting.”  (Psalm 139:23-24)

I did everything possible to avoid being searched at the airport, I followed all the rules, hoping that would be enough to spare me from being searched.  But David literally cried out to God, “Search me . . .  test me . . . “.  Mine was an external search made by men; my mind and heart were not exposed for all to see and judge.  David was seeking out the search of his inmost self, but he was entrusting himself to God not to men.

In fact David said in 1 Chronicles 21:13, ” . . . I am in deep distress.  Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”  Maybe that’s why I was so nervous, I was in the hands of men. (well, a woman, but you know what I mean)

I did not like being searched.  It’s nobody else’s business what’s in my backpack. But like David, I need my Heavenly Father to be continually searching my mind and my heart so that He can bring to light all that is hurting, hindering and harming me in my relationship with Him and in my relationships with others. Only God can find and remove from me that which offends Him, thereby making my load lighter and my spirit freer.  I want to say with David, “Search me, O God, see if there be any wicked way in me.”

And unlike the airport search, with God searching me, I have nothing to fear.  His mercy and forgiveness are great as is His compassion toward me.  His searching of me is for my own good, to train me and to teach me.  God’s search of me will reveal the contraband I am carrying in my mind/thoughts and in my heart, that He will take from me so that I am free to continue on my journey to eternity with Him unencumbered by the contraband I carried without need.

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”  (Jeremiah 17:10)

yes, search me Lord.  and not only that but, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)

sincerely,     Grace Day










my clock doesn’t know what time it is

this is a problem because that is its’ sole purpose, its’ only function – to keep the time, to display the time, to tell me what the correct time is.  a very simple, single minded job description.  no other job responsibilities involved – just tell me the time, the correct time.  but my clock doesn’t know what time it is, and hasn’t for the last four weeks!

Now there is a reason for this.  It’s called daylight savings time.  yes, my state falls back and springs forward, giving us an extra hour in the fall then, changing its’ mind and taking that hour back from us in the spring.  and not only that, but they have changed the weekend that this happens over time, it has not stayed the same.  This further confuses my clock which hangs on the wall in my family room, faithfully keeping the time or more truthfully sporadically losing track of the time.

Some might say my clock is broken or is haunted or is trying to trick me; but I know the truth – my clock is confused.  All this switching of the time back and forth and this switching the weekends that we switch the time, leaves my clock behind or ahead until it can figure out how to once again display the correct time. Usually this takes about four to five weeks, depending on when the change used to occur and when it took place this time.

If you are wondering why I don’t just set my clock straight by resetting it myself (which I have tried numerous times in the past) it is one of those self-regulating clocks that thinks it knows the time better than I do.  So no matter what time I set it to, it will revert to whatever time it thinks best.  My clock doesn’t care what I think, what I know, or what I want.

So what good is a clock that doesn’t tell the correct time?  (not much if you ask me, just taking up space on my wall)  Jesus asked a similar question when He said, “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”  Jesus continued saying, “You are the light of the world.  . . . Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”  (Matthew 5:13-15)

Then I read these words in James, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but had no deeds?  . . .   You see that his  (Abraham’s) faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  . . .   As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”  (James 2:14, 22, 26)

Unsalty salt, hidden light, faith without actions;  these are like a clock that can’t tell time; like my crazy, confused clock.  Unable to fulfill their intended purpose; unsalty salt, hidden light and an inactive, unpracticed faith are of no use to anyone.  I may not always feel salty, shiny or faithful but that is my calling in Christ, even if I don’t always know what time it is.  (but that is my confused clock’s fault, not mine)  I am told to be salt, to let God’s light shine out and to live out my faith on a daily basis.

For me, faith must be a verb, not a noun.  Faith is expressed in acts of obedience and service to God and to others.  “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  (James 2:17)

I don’t want to live life like my confused clock, not fulfilling my purpose for being. I find my identity and my purpose, not in who I am but in Who I belong to.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

My clock may be confused, but I am not. My mandate is clear.  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

sincerely,       Grace Day




life in the furnace

do you feel like you are in life’s furnace right now?  it can get pretty hot in there. trials are just that, very trying.  And sometimes the heat is really turned up.  there are references like “out of the fire and into the frying pan”, perhaps meaning sometimes there is no escape from what we are experiencing, we just have to get through it.  or that often we go from one trial to another trial, from one furnace to another furnace, each hotter than the one before.

In the Old Testament, Daniel’s three friends had their own firsthand experience with an extremely hot, fiery furnace, prepared just for them as a punishment because they worshiped and obeyed God rather than the current king, Nebuchadnezzar.

Here’s how it went down, “Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed.  He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual . . . .”  (as if a furnace isn’t hot enough already?  talk about your basic overkill)  But there’s more, the king is taking no chances in his punishment of these three dissenters, he intends to make an example of them for everyone to witness.

So our story continues, “and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.”  I think at this point in the story we can agree, dear readers, that these circumstances appear too hot and too hopeless for us to even consider an outcome other than what the king intended, the certain death of these three dissenters.

But the story is not over yet, dear readers.  Let’s read on!  “Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’  They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’  He said, ‘Look!  I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’ ”

I love that last verse because it tells me so many things about the time I spend in the furnaces of this present life.  First of all, I am not alone!  Jesus is right here with me, just as He was with the three in the king’s furnace.  They were not spared from the furnace but God was right there with them in their furnace.

Now here’s something really amazing.  Are you ready?  While in the furnace, the three men were UNBOUND and UNHARMED!  That’s right.  I had to read that again for myself.  I would naturally assume that the furnace is a place of bondage and damage.  And it is.  BUT,  Jesus’ presence in the furnace with me changes all that, His presence changes everything!

So even though I am not free from the furnace, I am free even in the furnace.  And so are you.  We are free in the furnace, unbound and unharmed, just as Daniel’s three friends were.  Why did it take me so long to learn this truth?  The furnace is not pleasant, the furnace is not fun, the furnace is unbearably hot and harsh BUT the furnace is where I experience my Savior’s comforting, sustaining, uplifting, empowering, loving, healing, redeeming, reconciling, delivering, freeing, forgiving, protecting, providing, peace-granting presence as in no other place or circumstance in my life.

Those three men were thrown into the furnace bound BUT they left the furnace unbound.  Why?  Because in the furnace they were set free.  Christ’s presence in their furnace with them set them free and kept them from harm.

While in the furnace, I am refined – I leave behind what is unnecessary, it is burned away.  I leave behind what weighs me down, the flames graciously rob me of my burdens, which I mistakenly thought were treasures.  I leave behind my self will and take up my Savior’s will and purpose.  I come out of the furnace as gold.  ” . . . when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (Job 23:10)

So let’s see how this story ends, shall we?  “Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out!  Come here!’  So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,  . . .   They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”   (Daniel 3:19-27)

God leaves no doubt!  He is able to deliver me from whatever furnace I find myself currently in.  And God is able to deliver you, too.  But while I wait to be delivered from the furnace, I can walk unbound and unharmed with Jesus.  I will take courage from these words in Isaiah 43:1-2; ” . . . this is what the Lord says – . . .  I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Life in the furnace is hot and harsh and hard BUT  the flames will not set me ablaze.  That’s God’s promise, I have His word on it!

sincerely,       Grace Day







What would you do for . . . ?

I’m thinking the question was “what would you do for a kit-kat bar?”  but then I remember it was “what would you do for a Klondike bar?”  (probably a lot, I love ice cream)  But today I found out just how far I would go for a coupon to save some money on my groceries.  It all started out innocently enough.  I was making good time in the store, my cart had everything on my list and I was in the checkout line.

It was then I realized that my coupons for today’s purchases were still in my car. In my hurry, I had forgotten to bring them in with me.  Well, the line was long and the carts were full, so –  you guessed it.  I gambled and ran, no sprinted out to the parking lot, to my car, to retrieve my oh so valuable coupons.  I was back with time to spare.  As I sorted my coupons, I noticed the one for the yogurt I had purchased said, “good with the purchase of six.”  Now wouldn’t you know,  you guessed it.  I had five in my cart.  (always read the fine print before purchasing)  I eyed the line and calculated my chances of getting to the back of the store, where the yogurt was, and back to the checkout line in time.  I gambled and ran, again!

I sprinted and arrived back with my most important, sixth yogurt in hand, in time to start putting my items on the belt.  As I did this, I looked again at my handfull of coupons and (I am not making this up)  the yogurt coupon was now missing!  Only one explanation was possible.  I had dropped it somewhere between checkout and the refrigerated foods at the back of the store during my mad sprint.  This was too much.  I had come too far to admit defeat now!

So back I sprinted, retracing my steps.  As my groceries were moving at breakneck speed down the cashier’s conveyor belt, I was moving at what I hoped was an equally breakneck speed through the aisles of the store.  Who would win this race?  I was determined it would be me!  And fate stepped in to help me out in this moment.  I found my prized coupon on the floor about midway through the store.  I didn’t have to go all the way back to the yogurt section for a third time.

Proudly presenting my one dollar and fifty cents off (the purchase of six) coupon to the cashier, I congratulated myself on overcoming all odds and obstacles that stood between me and my saving some money.  (look for a movie to be made about this victory in the near future)

So this got me to thinking  . . .  I did all this to save one dollar and fifty cents.  Am I as intentional, as persistent, as determined when it comes to my relationship with my Heavenly Father?  Do I pursue Him with anything like the determination with which I pursued redeeming that coupon?  What would I do for  . . .  a chance to know Him more fully?  a chance to walk with Him more closely?  a chance to hear His voice more clearly?  What would I do for the opportunity to serve Him more completely?

Am I as determined to redeem my time as I was to redeem my coupon today?  Both have an expiration date!  But one has eternal consequences – the other is inconsequential.  And yet which one did I passionately pursue today in the grocery store?  I need to pursue my God with the persistence and single-mindedness with which I pursued redeeming a simple coupon this morning!

That is how I want to spend my days – overcoming all odds and obstacles that stand between me and the purposeful pursuit of my Heavenly Father and all that He stands ready to reveal to me or to anyone who would seek His face.  What would I do for  . . .  my Heavenly Father?  run, sprint, return again, and again – as many times as it takes .

Today, I let nothing stop me from redeeming my coupon.  Everyday, I want to live in such a way that no obstacle will stop me from redeeming my time with God, nor from using my time for God’s purposes.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  (Ephesians 5:15-16)

“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it – the Lord is His name:  ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ”  (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

sincerely,         Grace Day



the rest of the rant – pondering persists

taxes are taking their toll on me, both literally and figuratively.  It is time to pay the piper, which begs the question, “just who is the piper and why should I pay him (or her) anything?”  Caesar is long gone and a huge bureaucracy has taken his place.  and they want my money.  for a good cause they say. . . .  but do I have a say in how they spend my money?  I think not.  I think I should.

I was closer than I knew when I referred to taxes as a toll just now.  The word toll is traceable to the Greek word, “telones”  which means, are you ready?  – tax collector!  Yes, taxes are taking their toll on me, and taxes are the toll on me.  So I continue to fight the good fight, filling out forms to be filed with other forms, until fully filled out forms are filed, filling full the file cabinets that are stored in the secret places everywhere, or until forms fill all the clouds in cyberspace, leaving no room for anything else in the cloud.  Then what will we do?

Can you run out of cloud space?  will there be no music, no photos, no art?  only forms, fully filled and filed, finding themselves filling the clouds of cyberspace.  I know space is infinite, but is cyberspace infinite? or will we eventually run out of room for all this information, taxing as it may be?  inquiring minds want to know –

well, all this pondering is allowing me to procrastinate, thus avoiding the taxing work of doing my taxes, which continue to take their toll on me at present, which is mainly my time and attention, which I would prefer to spend elsewhere.  But then, who wouldn’t?  (well maybe CPA’s? – but that’s another post all together)

so, dear readers, I will continue to rant and to rail against, well perhaps not taxes themselves, our government does do some things we need done, but more against the convoluted and crazy process of forms and figures that we must navigate in order to comply correctly with current tax law.  Tax forms are exhausting and confusing and they defy all laws of logic.

I will continue to “render unto Caesar” no matter how difficult the process; which at the moment involves multiplying line 4 by 7.5%, entering that amount on another line, subtracting that from the amount on line 10 and then entering that amount on line 17 of a completely different form, and then adding it to the amount on line 16 and then entering that amount or whichever is the lesser of that or amount “x” on yet another line of yet a different form and then . . .  well, the end is nowhere in sight but you get the idea . . .

rendering is going to take some time . . .

sincerely,        Grace Day




part ponder – rest rant

I find that doing my taxes is extremely taxing!  (pun intended)  this definitely qualifies as a cruel and unusual “form” of punishment.  (or punishment by multiple, menacing, meandering forms)  I am wondering, “who thinks up these forms anyway?”  They don’t make any sense and the rules keep changing.  I thought taxes was one of the two “certain” things, but there is nothing certain about tax laws and by extension, tax forms, except that they are ever changing and always confusing.

Accountants are supposed to be straight laced and straight forward.  But there is nothing straight forward about these forms!  If there were, would we need the hefty instruction manuals that accompany each form?  (now there’s an entertaining and relaxing read if you are looking for something both fun and informative)

And there are taxes for everything. There is income tax and property tax and sales tax and state tax and local tax and gas tax and capital gains tax and tax on interest income and tax on IRA distributions, etc. etc.  If the government can name it, they will claim (tax) it.

What to do?

“Jesus said, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.’ ”  (Matthew 22:21)

okay, but I’m still taxed to the max, (and I have not been lax)  just trying to figure out my tax!

sincerely,     Grace Day