Binding the Missing Pieces

Originally posted on Coffee with a Shot of Faith:

He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3


It creeps up out of no where. Your day begins just like any other, You get up. You get dressed. Go about your normal routine.

But, then something feels off. Different. Out of place. Out of sync. Your normal routine feels off balance. And, deep down inside something inside of you begins to break. Your heart. The one that is missing a significant piece of that normal routine.

For me all it took was the morning paper. Picked up from outside on a Sunday in which I should have been at church. A Sunday after I dropped my son off for his first year at college. 9 hours away.

A simple newspaper. A routine that was off, A reminder that something was different. That a piece of my daily life was missing. A floodgate of emotions and tears that began…

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“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, ‘Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you have missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram……The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.  What a fool you have been.  From now on you will be at war.’ ”  2 Chronicles 16:7, 9

Chinese Christian Brother Yun, known as the Heavenly Man, tells of this happening in one of the Chinese house churches.  The Chinese believers regularly send off other believers to go into surrounding towns and villages to share the love and life of Christ.  Before each sending, the group would take up a collection for the work.  Many of those who were in attendance had nothing of material or monetary value to give. These believers, with tears streaming down their faces, when the large sack came to them, would literally place themselves in the sack.  Yun said that by doing this, these gentle folk wanted to signify to God that their lives were all they had to give and that they were willing to give all of themselves for His glory.  I’m humbled by this.  Are you?

Here in the west, there are many who are willing to give….up to a point, or as I heard one man put it, up to a tithe.  There are also those who are willing to go…..again, up to a point or a place.  How many of us are really willing to give all of ourselves to all that is Him?  When “the sack” comes to us, are we willing to put many “things” in it, but not all of ourselves?  Is giving, to us, a matter of percentage, or totality?  How many invisible lines have we drawn, and boundaries placed on how much of ourselves we’re really willing to be sacrificial with?  Who are we really more like in Jesus’ story of the rich Pharisee and the poor widow?  Jesus watched the Pharisee give a large amount of money out of his  wealth.
The widow gave two pennies, which was all she had.  The first gave out of his surplus, the widow gave all with nothing held back.  Who are we more like?  When the sack comes our way, to which heart attitude are we really drawn to?  What have we really put in the sack?  Every moment of every day, the sack comes before us.  What’s really going into it.  A percentage or a person?

This is not just a matter of our resources or time.  It’s a matter of the self.  All of the self.  The past, present and future.  They all go into the sack. Our motives.  Our dreams, desires, disappointments.  People.  Both those we love, and those we perhaps do not love so much.  All of it goes into the sack.  When the sack comes to us, we cannot stop with a check or a volunteering for some needed church ministry or job.  We cannot stop with a part or percentage.  It cannot be the part. It must be the whole.  The whole of us.

Asa the king had trusted God with much.  He could not trust Him with all.  “War” was the fruit of that.  For us, this means that all that we hold back from him will be under attack from our enemy satan, and we will spend ourselves on trying to protect in our strength what can only be kept by His.  If this is not so, just think on how much unrest is in our lives as the result of trying to bring about the results we desire by our own efforts, be they relationships, professions, and especially ministries.  Like Asa, we suffer constant “war” and have no peace because of it.

The Lord continues to search the world for hearts fully committed to Him.  As He searches, what does He find in ours? Percentages?  Bits that are His, but pieces that are not?  Asa lived in this way, and the Father called him a fool.  What does He call us?

Pastor O

(A special thanks to my brother in Christ and friend for allowing me to share this devotional message.)



“Instead of being a “worrier”- I want to be a warrior for Him!” JH

How about you? Wouldn’t you enjoy being a warrior instead?!

Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:


Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Luke 12:25

For many years, I thought that worrying was equated with love- and that worrying was a good thing. After all, you don’t worry about something that isn’t important to you- or to someone you love.

It’s been a long, arduous process, but I am learning to drop those worries on His door step, one by one.  But some days I pick them back up.

And that’s what happened to me recently.

Nothing of great importance, but lots and lots of little things creeped into my thoughts and I found myself fretting over everything– and I mean EVERYTHING.

Doesn’t it seem like everything falls apart all at once?  That’s what happened in my home.  I tell my husband all the time that I am not good at being an “adult”.  As crazy as it sounds, even…

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hummingbirds and being still…

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“They were working harder being still and waiting than they were flying around! Being still is an action that takes intentional effort” (JH)
Are you, am I willing to work for the stillness needed to know His presence?

Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:


 fluttering wings 

impressive speed

they hover, they wait

for their turn to feed 


sounds like helicopters

buzz through the sky

is it a bird? a plane?

it’s a hummingbird passing by…


 they give and they take

without worry or care

having faith that their portion 

will always be there 

I had the pleasure of spending a few moments with a dear friend of mine. She’s a kindred spirit and someone I affectionately refer to as one of my “church mommas”.

Having grown up in a big city, bird-watching and gardening were never high priorities for me.  One of the best things about moving out to the country is the ability to slow down just a little and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

My friend happened to call me when I was running here, there, and everywhere- and she asked if I wanted to stop by her…

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late fees…facing the shame of my overdue library books

Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:

FullSizeRender This is how I will remember what we’ve checked out from the library… taking a photo of my fabulous finds :)

My fears

of what “might be”

are far worse than


Only realized in 


so I’m striving to do


and not be such a 


as I take the time for  


I have a little confession to make: I am a procrastinator…and a little forgetful.  So once I have procrastinated- even just a little bit– it’s quite possible that I have completely forgotten to do whatever that thing was in the first place.

Like returning library books.

We went to the library several times last summer, and once the girls were back in school- I simply forgot to return our books.  So, a few weeks past the due date, I dropped our late books off at the library. They were not open at the time, so…

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For I know the plans…

Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  

Jeremiah 29:11

Recently, I received a message from someone that simply said this-

“your words matter.”

A great encouragement to me… and a reminder that our words carry meaning and that we should choose them wisely- and that sometimes our silence can speak volumes.

Whenever I am seeking God and find myself without words, I sit and play the piano.  The video I am sharing here today is of a song I wrote some time ago… at a time when I was desperate to know what His plan was for me.  It is a comforting thought to know that Jesus is interceding for us and knows exactly what we need – even when we can’t put it…

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His Kind of Rest


Do you hear His still small voice? Come and rest…

Originally posted on Coffee with a Shot of Faith:


“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

For weeks now I have been yearning for some type of rest. For time to just be still and be with God. In His presence. Life has been busy, and at times it has been hard to snag a few minutes to catch up with my own thoughts, let alone focus on His.

So, it was with great excitement that today I realized during a long and trying day at work that my afternoon was wide open. No plans after work. No kids at home courtesy of a sleepover. A husband who had a prior obligation of his own. God had just granted me a gift. He had given me what I had been asking for: a little alone time. A time to enjoy His presence. His creation. The day He had made.

Initially, I seized…

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stuff gets in the way

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Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:

FullSizeRender Last night’s sunset peeking through the trees…

all these things

get in the way

blocking my clear vision


stuff that I’ve stuffed

here and there

distracts me from my mission


too much stuff

makes me feel stuffy 

every breath becomes a chore

with all this stuff 

stuffed everywhere

I can’t take it anymore!

I often complain about the view from my house.  I can’t see the sunset very clearly due to all the trees around us. I know-it’s a really insignificant problem to have, but I long to be out in the open air where I can gaze at the stars and see the sky for miles and miles.

Lately I have been feeling the same way about my home. I LONG to see open space in my rooms.  I can’t find anything, and I can’t see anything clearly because of all the STUFF that is stuffed everywhere.  We…

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He Is There…Do You Believe It?

Originally posted on Coffee with a Shot of Faith:


“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This is the message that was posted on the projects that our children worked on this weekend during VBS, and it’s the verse from Matthew 28:20 that was the focus of two short nights. As God prepared my heart each nightly service, I couldn’t help but ask myself this question:

Do I cling to this promise when I am afraid? When I am filled with doubt? When I face the many trials of life?

No. I don’t. I forget that He is always with me. I sometimes forget Him entirely and focus on me, myself, and I.

What? But, you are a Pastor? Right. I am, but I am also a sinner, saved by grace, and I still have my fair share of wrestling matches with the devil.

See, God blessed me with two inspiring weeks in which…

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I am Willing…

Originally posted on I Sing Because I'm Free:


Lord, You’ve given me everything

I ought to raise my hands and shout

And I know I have nothing-

nothing to complain about 

Still I find myself unsatisfied

filled with jealousy and pride

I can’t escape the pain inside 

can’t count how many times I’ve cried

I wish that I was stronger 

that I could hold on longer

And if what it takes is pain

and I have to lose to gain- 

then make me willing 

willing to be made willing

I am willing

willing to be made willing

I don’t want to lose anything

I want to keep it for myself

but I’m looking for something

I can’t find upon a shelf

so when I feel alone and terrified

I don’t have to run away and hide

cause I know Your Son was crucified

and I can live because He died

Lord, You can make me stronger


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