Comfort in the Midst of Waiting

Mum with service dog

I continue to sit by my mother’s bedside. Thank you for your prayers and supportiveness. Particularly appreciate this poem sent to me by Heather Jephcott

You Lord are my place of safety
Since finding you I need no other
Having experienced your shelter
I knew I need look no further

You keep me secure
locked in Your vastness

You are my maker, creator of all
the one whose giant hands
hold this entire magnificent universe

You not only made me
but gave to me a place of safety
a place where I am secure,
locked in this sanctuary
a place of peace, hope, love and joy
you not only hold the keys
but are this place

You save me from the onslaught of the dark
helping me to cope with times of sadness, difficulty
You are the rock on which I build my life
no shifting sand that varies with the days
but solid, safe, secure

You save me from the worst in me
keeping my brokenness for your use
within your kingdom
to remould it into something of beauty
where you are king and I am not alone

You fill me with hope
calmly expressing that you are
all the security I need now and
throughout the eternal ages
this hope glows bright now
becoming stronger, more dazzling
each passing day



The Other Face of Faith by Theresa Froehlich

Some of you may remember my friend Steve Ruetschle who had a motorcycle accident last year that left him a quadriplegic.  Steve’s recovery has been incredible.  He and his wife Michelle and their three kids plan to return to the Philippines in August.  Their journey over the months since the accident has profoundly impacted thousands around the world.

The following reflection was written by  Theresa Froehlich after she heard Steve share at church last week.  His sermon was entitled Friends of a Paralytic


Theresa Froehlich

Faith is not intellectual assent to a system of doctrines. Faith is not mere participation in religion. Faith is not having positive feelings about a deity. Faith is not just membership in a religious institution.

I had known all these disclaimers of faith from the day I began a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. At least I thought I knew these disclaimers well. But the missing piece of the puzzle – a rather big piece – was that while I knew what faith was not, I had not understood what personal faith was until I came face to face with losses.

I came to faith in Christ as a young adult in my 20’s, still guided by my old values – the compulsion for control, the attraction to achievements, and the search for security. I had been convinced of my total commitment to God, my correct understanding of faith, and my good grasp of Christian discipleship.

This prideful and self-congratulatory attitude toward my faith was shattered to pieces when I began to experience heart-breaking challenges in the launching of our children in the mid- to late teen years. After a very forceful and traumatic launch of our two children, I was then confronted with brick walls when I tried to return to my professional life. The veneers of achievements and success which had been hiding my superficial faith were being stripped from me. I felt naked before God.

Stripped of those things that used to give me confidence and identity, I am now driven to run to and depend on God. Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul really meant when he said, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).

Last week at Sunday worship, I once again came face to face with this new understanding of Romans 13:14 as I listened to our guest preacher Steve Ruetschle.

Steve is a gifted and young pastor serving at an international church in the Philippines. A catastrophic motor cycle accident in June 2010 paralyzed him from the neck down. The doctor gave him a 10% chance of ever being able to move again. Ten months later, as he walked up – yes, he walked – to the pulpit to preach the message on the healing of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12), the congregation immediately applauded.

For a moment, I asked myself: “What are we applauding for?”

We were applauding for more than just Steve’s accomplishments in recovery or the resiliency of the human spirit. We were applauding for the hope we could find in Christ, the grace God repeatedly lavishes upon us, and the new and much more profound understanding of what it means to personally trust in Jesus Christ. As I looked around through my own moist eyes, I noticed many, women as well as men, wiping off the tears from their eyes.

Our tears were the tears of knowing and understanding – knowing what it was like to suffer losses, understanding how this pain can bring prosperity to our souls, and embracing God’s mercy as the sole conduit for our salvation and survival.

In the same way that God lovingly made garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:21), God continues to clothe Steve, me, and many who invite Jesus Christ to cover our nakedness.

If you were to write a paragraph to describe your faith in Jesus Christ, how would you describe it? How has your faith evolved over time and as a result of your life experiences? What have you learned about God and about yourself through all of this?

Please leave me a comment and feel free to ask me a question by clicking on the button “Ask Me A Question” in the sidebar.

Jesus In Japan (Libya & Bahrain): I was Hungry & Thirsty… and You Fought Rob Bell on Twitter

This article is excerpted from a post last week by Jarrod McKenna on Red Letter Christians. I recommend reading the entire article here.  This section spoke to me so powerfully when I read it yesterday that I felt I needed to share it.


Over 10,000 people are excepted to die as a result of the earthquake in Japan while smug prideful tweets from both camps fly back and forward.

10,000 will only be number until we allow ourselves to lament.

In sharing in God’s grief this number is transformed into precious lives.

Maybe it’s easier to argue online that it is to get on our knees and experience the blessing of mourning for a world so broken.

Maybe we secretly hope our arguments will protect us from taking up our cross and following Jesus into the pain of our world.

Maybe the numbness we think protects us from overwhelming grief in fact just keeps us from God’s empowering compassion. The word compassion comes from the latin, meaning; to suffer with. Our God is a God that is not far off but in Jesus has suffered with us, and for us, so we, by grace, can be compassionate as the Triune God is compassionate and enter into the suffering of our world.

Unlike the cheap speculations and accusations on twitter, to love those suffering in Japan, in Libya, in New Zealand, in Haiti, in Bahrain, in Yemen, in Australia, in Pakistan, and those sufferings elsewhere and everywhere (including not far from us in our own cities) will costs us. Grace is free yet it cost God everything. And to witness to God’s grace always means denying ourselves and taking up our cross. As our community said together tonight in evening prayer, “Lord set our hearts to sing your praise and our bodies to do your will.” Theology is not only about what we think, it’s about how we live. And by grace, God’s Holy Spirit empowers us to live Christ’s Calvary-shaped love to our broken world.

I haven’t had a chance to read Love Wins yet, I still want to hold out hope that Rob Bell will creatively, movingly and lovingly defend with strong exegesis a biblical understanding of “the New Heavens and New Earth” in the light of God’s very nature and glory being revealed scandalously in the crucified and risen Christ. (Yes, I’m increasingly aware this might not be the book I’m looking for… I’ll stick with N.T. Wright). I did catch one journalist ask Rob Bell regarding Japan “Which of these are true, either God is all powerful but does not care about the people of Japan and therefore they are suffering, or He does care about the about the people of Japan but he’s not all powerful?”