I’m Gonna Meet Hezekiah


Abruptly transitioning from 33 years of happy marriage to widowhood was indescribably hard and bleak; I felt so very vulnerable in the months after Dan was killed.


I submerged myself in Bible study and scripture reading. Learning about real people who had faced real problems and found real answers from God soothed my soul and stiffened my spine.


One of my favorites, and someone I definitely plan to meet some day, is King Hezekiah of Judah. He was a good ruler sandwiched in between two evil horrors: his own father and son murdered some of their own sons by burning them to death as idol sacrifices.


Hezekiah’s turning out to be decent is in direct proportion to his trust in the LORD, the living God of Israel.


When I was hurting so badly, I loved to read how he, and others, desperately called on God for help; and how God miraculously answered their cries.


Assyria (modern day Iraq) had Jerusalem under siege and the situation was extremely dire for Hezekiah’s kingdom of Judah. But the Assyrian’s attitude, exhibited in their letter of threat, was one of the final straws because…


After Hezekiah received the letter

     from the messengers and read it,

     he went up to the Lord’s Temple

     and spread it out before the Lord.


And Hezekiah prayed this prayer

     before the Lord:


“O Lord, God of Israel,

     you are enthroned

     between the mighty cherubim!


You alone are God

     of all the kingdoms of the earth.

You alone created the heavens

     and the earth.  


Bend down, O Lord, and listen!

Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!

Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance

     against the living God.


“It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria

     have destroyed all these nations.

And they have thrown the gods

     of these nations into the fire

     and burned them.


But of course the Assyrians could destroy them!


They were not gods at all—

     only idols of wood and stone

     shaped by human hands.


Now, O Lord our God,

     rescue us from his power;

     then all the kingdoms of the earth will know

     that you alone, O Lord, are God.”  


2 Kings 19:14-19



I love Hezekiah’s prayer and I especially love God’s response…


“For my own honor

     and for the sake of my servant David,

     I will defend this city and protect it.”


That night the angel of the LORD

     went out to the Assyrian camp

     and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.


2 Kings 19:34-35


Prayer releases God’s power.


Preparing For A Trip


My sister-in-law was packing to move from her new house back to her old house; and had just finished moving from her old job to her new job. Smack in the middle of all that packing and moving, eight of us descended upon her for a mini-family reunion. She’s a great sport and we all enjoyed some wonderfully silly, laughter-filled days together.


I love traveling, but don’t like packing and preparing. I usually take too much stuff because I’m convinced I might need it and not be able to find it wherever I am. That’s actually never happened, but it could. Possibly.


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One time I drove five hours to Mississippi for board meetings and realized, right before arriving, that I’d left all my dress clothes in Texas. I took a lot of ribbing for the new stuff I bought, but it was either that or dress in jeans and pajamas for my board meetings.


I also don’t like dealing with dirty laundry when I return home. Dan made a great suggestion years ago before I went to Germany. He said he knew I’d want to bring home souvenirs, so just leave all my underwear in Germany; and it’s still a great practice for freeing up my suitcase.


I believe it’s awfully good of God to not require me to pack a suitcase for my very last trip. And I have it on good authority that I won’t need to purchase anything when I get there because I won’t be missing a thing.


only God knows

     whether I was in my body

     or outside my body.

But I do know 

     that I was caught up to paradise

     and heard things so astounding

     that they cannot be expressed in words,

     things no human is allowed to tell.

2 Corinthians 12: 3 – 4


…a city designed and built by God.

Hebrews 11:10


…”No eye has seen,

     no ear has heard,

     and no mind has imagined

     what God has prepared

     for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

Faulty Patterns


When I was about 8 yrs old, I decided I wanted to make a quilt. My mother didn’t sew and I’d never seen anyone piece a quilt, but I loved all the different colors in my grandmother’s Around the World quilt.


I started with a little cardboard pattern and cut out my first cloth square. Then I used that cloth square as a pattern for my second square. Then used the second cloth square as a pattern for my third. And then used the third cloth square…and so on.


I vaguely remember Ma Mooney suggesting I should use the original cardboard square as my standard pattern; but it was hard to hold in place and I didn’t want to struggle with it.


When my hands grew tired of cutting, I tried to line out all  my cloth squares into the beautiful quilt design I’d envisioned; and was heartbroken to discover they didn’t fit. All the squares were different sizes because I’d unintentionally used a faulty pattern for every single cut.


And I know it’s the same in this life I’m living.


If I don’t measure my thoughts and decisions against an absolute unchanging standard; I’m eventually going to discover I’ve used faulty patterns.


Fortunately, there’s a absolute pattern available that comes without fault or blemish…


Your word, LORD, is eternal;

it stands firm in the heavens.

Psalm 119:89


When Deliberate Isn’t Good


What do I forfeit if I deliberately sin?


Uncluttered prayer connection to God

God’s answers to prayer

Ability to live guilt free

Peace of heart and mind


What do I gain if I deliberately sin?







 …if we deliberately

     continue sinning

     after we have received

     knowledge of the truth,

     there is no longer any sacrifice

     that will cover these sins.


There is only

     the terrible expectation

     of God’s judgment

     and the raging fire

     that will consume his enemies.


For anyone who refused

     to obey the law of Moses

     was put to death without mercy

     on the testimony of two or three witnesses.


Just think how much worse

     the punishment will be

     for those who have trampled

     on the Son of God,

     and have treated the blood of the covenant,

     which made us holy,

     as if it were common and unholy,

     and have insulted and disdained

     the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.


For we know the one who said,

     “I will take revenge.

       I will pay them back.”

He also said,

     “The Lord will judge his own people.”


It is a terrible thing

     to fall into the hands of the living God.


Hebrews 10: 26-31


Play The Story Out


For the Lord had made a covenant

     with the descendants of Jacob

     and commanded them:

“Do not worship any other gods

     or bow before them

     or serve them

     or offer sacrifices to them.


But worship only the Lord,

     who brought you out of Egypt

     with great strength and a powerful arm.

Bow down to him alone,

     and offer sacrifices only to him.


Be careful at all times to obey the decrees,

     regulations, instructions, and commands

     that he wrote for you.

You must not worship other gods.


Do not forget the covenant

     I made with you,

     and do not worship other gods.  


You must worship only

     the Lord your God.

He is the one who will rescue you

     from all your enemies.”


But the people would not listen…


2 Kings 17:35-40


Everything in me wants to holler STOP! Why won’t you listen? Can’t you see this isn’t going to work out well? Play the story all the way out.


During the years I worked as a mental health professional, I oftentimes helped my clients visualize the probable outcome of their choices; if they continued in the same direction they were going.


If you do that, then…

If you take another drink, then…

If you go there, then…


God does the same thing in Scripture. He tells me things like:


If you…then I will…

If you don’t…then this will happen…

Don’t forget me…and I will…

Obey me because…


Everything he says to me is all wrapped up in his love and grace, and by playing the story out; he’s encouraging me to love him back. My creator knows me best.

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