God Sees in Secret

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In our heads we know that since God is spirit, He sees in a different way from man. We can hide whatever we want to about ourselves from other people. But we cannot hide from God.

Sometimes we don’t like that we cannot hide from God.

Psa. 139: 7-12 describes our feeble attempts to hide.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” 

We know He sees our obvious sins. But He also sees our secret sins. These are the sins even our closest friend does not know. Sin always damages and secret sin damages our own souls. They may not be seen by others, but God wants to free us from their grasp too. We know God knows about them, when His conviction stabs us like a thorn in our shoe. We find mercy when we confess these sins.   (Pro 28:13)


He sees us when we are tempted. Like a skilled manipulator makes us agree to something we had no intention of doing, the enemy of our soul tries to isolate us from support and render us too weak to resist. But Jesus was tempted in every way we are and will not let us be tempted beyond our ability. And he provides a way of escape. We need to ask God to show us the way of escape when we are tempted. (1Co 10:13) 

The Bible shows us very good reasons we want God to see us like no person can see us.

Hagar was very glad God could see her! She was Sarai’s slave and had been harshly treated by Sarai when she became pregnant with Ishmael. Sarai had arranged for her to get pregnant, but then was angry when Hagar looked down on her for her barrenness. Hagar fled into the wilderness. The Lord told her to return to Sarai and submit to her and He promised her that her offspring would be a multitude. And she named Him, The God Who Sees.  (Gen 16:1-13)

He sees our tears and knows our pain. Even if the people closest to us cannot empathize with us, God sees and saves our tears in a bottle. (Psa. 56:8 ) And even if the tears are not stopped in this life, at the end of time there will be no more death, no more grief and no more crying or pain. (Rev_21:4) 

He sees when we are lonely and depressed. He is our Comforter. He will turn our loneliness and depression into a way we can comfort others. He does not waste our sorrows. (2Co 1:3-4) 

He sees us even when we cannot feel his presence. Many of the most sincere believers through the ages had periods when they could not feel His presence. He had never left them and He saw them and provided for them. Mother Teresa is one in our time who spent many years serving the poor and dying and not feeling God’s presence in her own life. But He promises, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” And He keeps His promises! (Heb_13:5)

He saw us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. He has seen us grow and develop. He sees what age and use have done to our bodies. What we don’t like, has never repulsed Him. (Psa 139:13-16)

He sees our thoughts and hopes and dreams. Others may not know what we dream about and our hopes for the future. Many of those God placed in us to give us a future to aim for.  (Eph 2:10) 

He sees our hard work. Some of us are given very tedious, repetitious work to do. We may never see any worth in that work here. But if it is done in obedience to Him, He stores up rewards for us in heaven. (Col 3:23- 24)

He sees where we go. He also sees our attitude as we go. When we are open with God and willing to do what He tells us, He will show us when we have a bad attitude and what we need to do about it. Wanting revenge or holding unforgiveness are just a couple of the bad attitudes we may have. God will not let us keep those and will help us know a better way, if we are open to Him. (Eph 4:21-32)

He sees when others take advantage of us, or persecute us. It is His work to vindicate us. In His time and in His way, He will give everything back to its rightful owner.  (Isa_54:17) 

He sees our needs. Why don’t we pour out to Him what our needs are? He knows them before we ask, but He loves to hear us ask. (Heb_4:16) 

There is nothing that pleases God more than when we take time to be alone with Him. He loves us to tell Him what is going on in our lives, especially when we listen to what He has to say about those things. He does not want us to be afraid to tell Him anything. When we spend time with Him, the troubles of this life seem much smaller and less important. We discover a new way to see when we see how the Father sees.

You may click on the link to have the Bible verses for your reference.

Destination or Journey?

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I recently read and article by a 40 year old written to her 20 year old self. It reminded me of this article I wrote in my mid sixties. I’ve updated it now that I’m 72. It would have been nice if I could have told my younger self to learn all of those lessons well. They were foundational to what God has done with my life since then.

My Twenties
1. I graduated from my three year diploma nursing program, but couldn’t finish my degree.
2. I only attended half a year of Bible School.
3. I just managed to get married before my mythical expiry date of 23 years.
4. I only worked in neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic for 6 months.
5. I miscarried my first baby.
6. We spent 14 months learning we were not cut out to pioneer a church.
7. I went back to working in newborn nursery and was there while it turned into a NICU.
8. My first son was born and I learned how much I still didn’t know about babies.
9. We pioneered another church. (We weren’t slow learners, we just had so much more to learn.)
10. Our second son was born shortly before I turned 30.

Now at 72

This is what happened with each of those early steps.
1. A degree in nursing was not going to be important to where I was going.
2. That half year of Bible School began my lifelong love of Bible study. It was a great foundation.
3. After almost 50 years of loving, learning, and companionship, the date we married really was not important.
4. Neurosurgery was not my life’s calling and I’m glad.
5. Though I lost that baby, God has given me so many sons and daughters over the years.
6. That first church pioneering experience was our first classroom in the real world.
7. My NICU work was the end of my career as a nurse, but then I began using my medical knowledge for my family’s health and helping my friends. Because of that background many trust me with their personal concerns.
8. Our first son married and gave us two wonderful grandchildren. He is a very involved dad and valuable employee.
9. In the last church we built strong foundations and learned lessons we still teach today. This church launched us into our almost 40 years in the nations.
10. Our second son is well respected in his field for his knowledge and skills.

I had no idea in my twenties where I would go, what I would love to do, or how important those trials and failures would be to me and all those I’ve shared with over these last 50 years.

Life will not be as you imagine it. There will be surprises, a few bad ones, but mostly good. Live life to the full. Pay attention and learn from your experiences. You will have plenty of opportunities to use what you know with people God sends your way.

Our twenties really are just a starting point, not the destination! Actually, we can say that about each decade. Each one builds on the last, so build well!

Resisting Change

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I’ve wondered often, “What causes people to resist making changes that would improve their life dramatically?”

Marital problems

We listen to couples tell long tales of conflict in their marriage. The original offense may have happened on their honeymoon. After years of fighting  they are ready to divorce. They don’t really want to know what would improve their marriage. They just want out! Others don’t want to divorce, but they want us to tell their spouse how bad they are. Some come to unload their garbage because it is overflowing, but don’t want to know how to stop collecting it.

We have friends and colleagues who keep repeating self-destructive behaviors. We know how much better their lives would be if they would make a small adjustment. Sometimes if they set a boundary they would not be so used up and fall sick so often. Sometimes making an agenda would mean they could get everything completed without staying up late, night after night.

We have a strong human penchant for resisting change.  We believe what we see. What we see may be an illusion, but we are convinced we are seeing reality. We justify ourselves and blame others. Jealousy and shame, guilt and vengeance all live in our sinful, stubborn human hearts.

It is far easier to continue as we are than to make a change. If a doctor tells us two or three changes in our way of life that will reduce our risks of serious illness, we find it hard to make those changes. We would far rather he prescribe a pill we could take once a day to repair the damage it’s taken us years to cause.

I don’t have answers to everyone’s troubles. I can’t change anyone else’s mind. I can only change myself. Do I want to change things in my own life that would make my life more fruitful or more pleasant?

If I’m going to see change in my life, there are a few basic things I must believe.

  • I must believe God knows all about me and knows what would make my life better.
  • I must believe He has my best interests at heart. When He says something is dangerous for me, I must believe Him.
  • He gave me His Spirit to teach me and guide me, comfort and help me. I don’t have to do it all alone.

The big changes in my life all came as a result of God opening my eyes to what was wrong in my own life. He then showed me what to do, like repent or forgive or trust. I need to believe that if he tells me to do something, it is possible for me to do it. He is willing to help, but He wants me to choose to do it.

Those are all fundamental to changing our attitude about change.  We also have people in our lives to help us change.

When an enemy points out a fault, it is easy to discount what they say. But when a close friend points out something, we should take it to heart. I think there are a few ways to respond to a friend’s comments.

  • Do I really do that? Often?
  • Why is it wrong or bad (if we really don’t know)?
  • What is a better or right way to do it?
  • I’ve never done it any other way. How do I even start to change?

We don’t often talk like that, even to our best friends. But if these attitudes and questions are stirred in our heart, we will begin to see how change is possible.

Take a moment to consider:

Psalm 16:11 says, “ You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  God doesn’t leave us on our own to figure out life, He will instruct us either through His Word or through people He sends our way.

Is there a change in your life that you are resistant to change? Has God been nudging you to change something in your life? Has a friend pointed out a change they would like to see in your life? Why not ask God to help you make the change? Why not ask your friend to walk with you as you change in this area of your life.

There is freedom and joy in letting go.

Counting My Blessings

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I am 72 years old today. I don’t feel any different today than I did yesterday. You know the feeling. You kind of expect sometime you will feel different when you have a birthday. But that never seems to happen.

There are things about my body I wish were like they were when I was 35 or even 55. But like those days, this body will never be like that again.

There is much that I’m very grateful for. I’d like to share some of those.

I’m grateful to be alive and well. Too many friends and family deal with constant pain or threats of dire illnesses. My own mom died 22 years younger than I am! I have had only minor and transient health problems.

I am thankful that I can sleep well. Only on rare nights do I have trouble falling asleep. Usually I know what the cause is and try not to repeat that again. With regular rest, I have the strength and endurance I need for the next day.

I am grateful I can exercise. I’ve been exercising regularly for 15 years. I’ve been able to keep osteoporosis at bay, something so many of my female relatives have had to suffer with. I’m flexible for my age and have even been able to improve my balance over the last months.

I am grateful I can eat what I want to, within reason. Again, I know too many my age who suffer with diabetes or heart or kidney illness and need to limit their diet severely.

Beyond those obvious things, I’m grateful God has opened the opportunity for me to develop my art talent. That was a gift I didn’t know I had. It is late in life to begin, but now I have the time to practice, at least a little, every day. God blessing me with good eyesight and steady hands makes this a great hobby that can last long into my old age.

I am so thankful for God’s gift of a wonderful husband. Mike really loves me! He cares about what happens to me. He has made opportunities for me to grow and develop and serve others in whatever way I seem led. He is not selfish or bull headed. We have learned together how to care for each other on good days and bad. I am grateful that I can be proud of my husband and the way he treats others. Mike is God’s greatest gift to me.

I am grateful that God gave me two sons. They are very different and they have had very different lives than ours. But they are good men and I am proud of them.

I am a happy Grammy to two great kids! They are treasures and I pray much for them!

I am truly grateful for my friends (including my siblings). Each one has added to my life and my joy. I have friends I can share everything with. I have friends who share some of my interests and encourage me. I have young friends who keep stretching me and who want to hear what I have to share (a blessing many older people do not have). I have older friends who understand what I’m feeling without me having to use too many words. I have friends who won’t let me harbor hurt or anger or unforgiveness. They challenge me and pray for me and help me grow in compassion, graciousness and forgiveness. What a treasure they each are to me! I wouldn’t be the kind of person I am today without them.

Finally, and over all of these gifts, is God’s great love for me. He chose me and has kept me all these years. He has opened doors I never could have imagined. He has provided all I needed and plenty to share with others. He has been my dearest friend.

This is a short list, but the ones that seem most important today. Thank you, God, for 72 years!


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I’ve had legacy on my mind a lot lately. When we think of legacy, we usually think about wealth or property that is passed on to the next generation. But the legacy I’m thinking about is the imprint we leave on others’ lives.

I was not so aware of the changes in my dad when he met Jesus. He had never been a drinker or gambler. He had never been an angry man or selfish or proud. But he would have said God had done a good work in his life.

With my Dad’s birthday and Memorial Day being so recent, I’ve been pondering my dad’s legacy. My dad didn’t have an easy life. His father was an alcoholic, he lived through the Great Depression and then served in the army in Asia during WWII. He went to art school after the war and worked in commercial art for more than 50 years.

The legacy from my dad was a good example of faithfulness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness of others. A tender heart and listening ear. My dad took the lessons he learned from the Bible and lived them before us all. Everyone who knew my dad was blessed because of his touch on their life.

So, how do we leave a good legacy? That’s been the point of my pondering.

Our beginning doesn’t have to determine our ending. God wants to make every life a masterpiece of His redemption. We all have messy backgrounds. We are all born sinners and are raised by sinners. Whether our sin was outward and hurtful to others or inward and self-serving, sin always damages. No matter how badly we were treated or how badly we behaved, God can change our legacy.

Before we were even conceived, God had a plan for our lives. He had good works planned for us to do. He didn’t expect us to figure them out on our own or do them on our own. He began over-seeing our lives and drawing us to Himself from our birth.

He brings us to the point of salvation and gives us the gift of eternal life. It is a gift, but it is a gift that is meant to be developed.

The Message Bible helps us see what Paul was saying to the Philippians and what God is saying to us.

Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.
Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.

Philippians 2:13-16 —-The Message Bible

We cannot positively influence others for Jesus when we are full of ourselves and bent on pride and selfishness. We only spread God’s love and mercy as we allow Him to change us and give us a heart for the hurting.

His work in our lives is on-going. We will never be completely clean and polished in this life. We will always need to open our lives to God and allow Him to make something beautiful of our lives.

The legacy we want to leave behind is a story of a life yielded to God. We want our attitudes, decisions, and desires to match His will and plan for our life. We want to be willing to give our all and trust God with the outcome. Others see the way we live before them, the way we treat them, and what we teach them. May this legacy draw them closer to Christ and His will and purpose for them.