Being a light sleeper, I use a white noise machine to help keep disturbances at bay. Occasionally radio frequencies disrupt the machine, and broadcasters or music infiltrate the white noise. The interruptions wake me, and I turn off the one thing that helps me rest.

My ambition is to love and serve The Risen King, and to share him with anyone who will listen. I’m a human with many flaws, but he loves me. He sees me. He knows me. He knew me when he created me in my mother’s womb! I want to be so in tune with him that when storms come, I’m at peace. Yet we live in a world filled with turmoil, misinformation, lies, distractions, rumors of wars. How do we find peace with all of that noise competing for our attention?

I made a decision to focus on the ‘white noise’ of the Holy Spirit, shutting down the frequencies that come to steal peace. If you are struggling with turmoil, I encourage you to seek the peace that can only come from knowing Jesus.

I leave the gift of peace with you––my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, by my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts––instead be courageous! John 14:27

The photo below was taken in the autumn at one of my favorite places, Ester Dome, Alaska. As a child, I picked berries there with my mom and her friend. I took my children there when they were young to pick berries, and when they were grown we went with the grandchildren. I did the Equinox Marathon there twice. Sometimes I’d go up there alone to soak in the beauty and feel the presence of God in the peace of his creation.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

My husband built several bird feeders and birdhouses to attract the birds we enjoy in Kansas. Two years ago, starlings moved into one house. They weren’t the birds we hoped to attract, but we concluded they needed homes too, so we let them be. 

We noticed that they tried to invade the other birdhouses to steal eggs and would wreak havoc on the nests of other birds. This weekend we noticed sparrows building a nest in a house they’d occupied last year, and the Starlings bullied them out. My husband made a new entry for the house that wouldn’t allow the starlings in. We saw the sparrows return, but they couldn’t get into the house. 

As I watched the birds investigate the house, I prayed; Lord, you are our shelter from the storm, an ever present help in the time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) People all around us need you. Melt their hearts, call them into your presence, into your sheltering arms. Let them seek safety in you.

My husband’s attention was on something else when I told him, “They can’t get in.” 

He said, “They’ll figure it out.” 

But they didn’t. They kept trying, first one then the other to no avail. I don’t cry often, but tears came as I witnessed the birds trying, but not being able to enter the nest. They could not enter the place of shelter without someone creating an entry. I thought of so many people I love who don’t know Jesus. They think they don’t need help, or they can do it on their own. I’ve been told, “Jesus is fine for those who need that.”

The fact is, we all need Jesus. It is only through Jesus that we can enter that eternal place of shelter. As much effort as we might exert, it is only through his blood that we enter hope and salvation. In his own words: “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

Missing Jesus

Over the years I’ve read stories and seen Christmas movies in which they inevitably find a missing baby Jesus. (One year in my own home Jesus was missing from the nativity set. We eventually located Him in bubble wrap.)

One morning as my husband and I snuggled on the love-seat reading the Bible together, I got to thinking about that missing Jesus.

“You know that’s not the first time Jesus has gone missing,” I said, totally off the topic we were reading. “Jesus went missing as a child and his frantic parents retraced their steps to find him — in his Father’s house. Where else?” (Luke 2:42-46.) I must note that I find it interesting that he’d been missing for three days.

Jesus went missing after healing a man on the Sabbath. (John 5:1-13)

Jesus also went missing when an angry crowd intended to do him harm. (Luke 4:28)

And let’s not forget the big one when Jesus went missing again — from the tomb. (Where he had been for three days.) (Luke 20:2)

It seems Jesus has a record of missing, yet He said if we want to find Him, all we have to do is seek Him. (Luke 11:9)

My pondering and the discussion with my husband about Jesus missing brought me to a question. Can people find Jesus in me? In how I speak, in how I conduct myself, in how I love others? Or would they say Jesus has gone missing again? I prayed that Jesus’ presence would always be clear in my life and that it would draw others to Him through me.

This fall my husband had a surgery that went well, but nine days later he ended up in the hospital with complications. In two months they hospitalized him three times, ran many scans, tests, procedures, and he ended up with a raging infection. Through this period our prayer was that we would walk with grace and glorify God — no matter what. At one point we both thought he might not have another day on the earth, but he pulled through. The big thing we had to focus on — we know God is with us no matter our circumstances. We know He has a plan for us. And we know He loves us.

We desire to live in a way that examples that love, and to share it with those He sends into our lives, whether it be a neighbor or even a medical care provider. We want to point people to Jesus.