All posts by Jude



This week a very good friend of mine shared her “heavy heart” with me. So much pain and suffering all around her, she felt overwhlemed.  I understand how she feels. Too many marriages crumbling, children emotionally devastated by circumstances beyond their control.  There are so many who are suffering with cancer.  I wonder “why doesn’t God just wipe this disease out with a single word?”   We see a world, cities, communities torn apart by violence or unemployment, or homelessness.  We often ask the question, “Will  this ever stop?”  Then one of you steps up to the plate, picks up her armor, and swings the bat. Hope for the hopeless. Food for the hungry.  A shoulder for the weary.  You answer the call of trial and sufferings with your available heart, your spiritual gifts, and your compassion.  By coming together and giving up your time, your resources, your money, your talents-by being generous with what God has given you, in this way, we make a glorious difference in the world around us, and in the lives of others. 

We don’t have to look far to see pain and suffering, discontent, crisis, and struggling families. Do we? While we know as Christ followers, we can have the assurance that God is so much greater than our trials (1 John 4), still yet, the suffering that surrounds us can be overwhelming

Yet, isn’t this a call to arms for us as Christ followers? If ever there was any question of what God is calling us to do, or if He is indeed calling us to do anything at all, you have only to look around you and see this, people in emotional turmoil, marriages on the brink, children impacted by our economy and family crisis, and then you must truly be compelled to say, “Here am I God, Send me!” How can we respond any other way? 

Isaiah said this in a scripture familiar to all of us in chapter 6, when with a totally contrite heart he recognized who he was in relation to who God was, and he was compelled to say “Here am I send me,”  to the question that God asked “Who will go for us?”  ( Special Note on “us-” God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.)  God asked the question “who will go?”  and then raised the stakes when He added “for us?”    Isaiah responded with a resounding yes. We should all be so sensitive to His call. One commentary I read on the prophet Isaiah said “Isaiah’s account of God’s call on his life, leaves no doubt about what motivated the prophet for the next half century.  His vision of God was unforgettable.”   Wow. 

If we do not individually and personally have a vision for missions, simply a burden for reaching out to others in need, then I would humbly submit perhaps we need to revisit our own “vision of God.”  Like Isaiah did, we should recognize who God is and who we are, and respond accordingly.  We will leave that place compelled to serve shoulder to shoulder.

Word of God Speak

Word of God Speak

Sometimes you just feel helpless, and as frustrating as those moments are, they are moments that bring us closer to God.  My oldest daughter went on her first youth group trip away from us for a week.  Prior to her departure, I went through all the emails from the youth director with a fine tooth comb-as is my “custom.” One piece of advice for parents-“please send a “few” 50 cent euro coins with your child for bathroom stops on the autobahn along the way.”  This was an 8-hour drive into Italy.   Well, far be it from me to send my child unprepared into the great unknown alone. So of course, I scraped together practically all the 50-cent euro coins to be had in the Tri-border area of Germany. Proudly I zipped them up into her change purse, and smugly sent her on her way. She used one of them!  And that wasn’t even for a bathroom stop. One of my friends was making fun of me because she only sent 5 coins with her son, which proved to be more than enough.  I was determined to control as much of this situation as I could, but yet ultimately when she left, there was nothing in my control. I had to hand her over to God, and what’s more I had to trust Him with the outcome. (In the words of our youth director, “remember no news is good news.”)  

I have dear friends in the states who are going through very difficult times right now with serious health issues, and ensuing emotional trials.  I feel so helpless.  I have to trust God for the outcome.  I want to be there to take them a meal, offer them my time, and help them any way I can. But I can’t do what my human mind thinks is neccessary to help them. I am 2000 miles away, over the “pond.” Essentially, I am helpless.  But God is not helpless. He is never unavailable, and He is always near. 

When Shelby left for Beach Break, I wrote only a scripture down on paper for her for each day that she was gone from home. I sealed them in envelopes and simply put the day of the week on the outside.  When I unpacked her suitcase I noticed that all the verses had been opened and read.  Today I “unpacked” some more scriptures from my favorite book again, only this time for my sweet friends. Sometimes when I share scripture, I rarely add any dialogue. Scripture stands alone. It is timeless, relevant, and accurate (John 1:1; 2 Tim. 3:16).  It is healing (Psalm 103:1-4), comforting (2 Cor. 1:3-7), teaching and rebuking (2 Timothy 3:16-17), hopeful (Hebrews6: 18-20), overflowing with God’s message of forgiveness (Psalms 103:10-13), and relentless in pursuing us (Psalm 147-15; Jeremiah 20:9;) It speaks for us when we cannot. It intercedes and stands in the gap for us when we don’t know which path to take on this journey. I am grateful for Christ who is the Word, who is my voice and who speaks to me from the pages of my bible. I am only an extension of His mighty hand. I cannot act alone. God give me the strength and the desire to read your Word, to apply it personally, and to hold it out to others as the “Words of life.” (Philippians 2:15-16) 

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.