Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."( Mark 1:35)

Hope you're not getting weary of this prayer blog. It's just that all (and I do mean all) of our life as a Believer is about staying connected to our God and Savior.

Remember those great passages in the book of John where Jesus is comforting His disciples and telling them about what it means to follow Him?

He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in Him he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

Selfishness, apathy, lack of love, avoiding self-examination.
These are all other reasons why I do not pray.
These are all reasons why I can do nothing. My natural self cares only for me, cares little for others, lacks love for God and for others, doesn't want to see anything negative about myself.

I hate that I'm this way. I want so much to be like Jesus.

What's the antidote?

God's amazing GRACE.

I am spiritually bankrupt.
So He provides all.
Through His Spirit
He supplies the power to obey,
the desire to obey,
the wisdom and love needed to obey.

"If you love Me you will obey what I command." (John 14:15)

Not grudging prayer, not seeking Brownie points, not mindless liturgical prayers.
But. . .
Drawing near, abiding, seeking, remaining in, cuddling, nestling, enjoying

Dear Father, may we obediently seek, cuddle, nestle, enjoy Your presence. Amen

(all scriptures quoted from the NIV, 1985, Zondervan Corporation)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You Lie!

I'd said that I believe pride is the number one reason I don't seek God in prayer.

But another reason is. . .
It sounds like this:

This is too small a request, too insignificant.
This is too big a request.
I'm not sure I have the right to ask God for this.
God is busy; He really doesn't want to spend time with me.
God really doesn't love me.
God doesn't answer prayer.
The Scriptures are not truthful about God answering prayer.

I'm sure you can come up with some other "unbeliefs."

So what's the antidote to unbelief?

Here are some suggestions to open your spiritual eyes to God's mysterious and wondrous activity all around you:

First, READ the Word daily and feast on God's assurances of His never-ending love and concern for His children.
PRAY. . . and see what God does. You'll see how He answer your prayers for yourself and for others. You'll draw nearer to Him and gain a stronger sense of His presence.
SPEND TIME with other believers. Listen to their testimonies of how God answered their prayer.
WORSHIP God. Draw near to him in praise and adoration and He will draw near to you.
Read BIOGRAPHIES of missionaries, preachers, and others who faced tremendous adversity and how God sustained them.
Keep a prayer JOURNAL to help you keep track of how God has answered your prayers. Write your prayers. Include your doubts, fears, concerns, grievances; also write down your thoughts about God and about your meditations from scripture.

Just writing these words has already encouraged me to press on in prayer. I hope this blog on prayer blesses you as well.

Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this is mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints.")

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You're Not the Boss of Me

I think I don't think that I'm more capable than God.

After all, He is the Allmighty: Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. He is the Ancient of Days, existing before time began. He was, is and ever shall be.

I'm. . . well, my life began in 1953 in San Francisco, California. Born to a school teacher father and a stay-at-home mother, youngest of five children, raised to be a good girl, conservatory-trained musician, graduate degrees in music and education, turned writer. My life a little blip in eternity, a bit of knowlege and wisdom gained that can be gained in fifty-five years.

I taught my children "actions speak louder than words." And if I am brutually honest I will admit that, yes, I really do think I know more than God. I know that because my lack of prayer says I am capable of directing my affairs without consulting God.
Here are some variations of the "I know better" attitude:
"Dena do it" 18 months old
"Me do it myself" 2+ years
"You're not the boss of me" 4 years
"Who made you the president? 4th grade
"Oh, yeah?" 13
"Leave me alone" 16
"I'll call you if I need anything" college age
"I did it my way" Frank Sinatra and me

Seems kind of funny when you look at it through the brief timeline from toddlerhood to adulthood. We recognize those attempts at independence as stages that the child must pass through in order to establish him/herself as an autonomous individual with the desire to direct his own thoughts, actions and destiny.

But Jesus said you must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Not childish. But childlike. A child recognizes that Mommy or Daddy is bigger, stronger, more capable. He looks to his parent to supply his need, to protect him, shelter him, nurture him.
May I continue to realize that I am very small and God is very, very big.

Therefore, I come to him in prayer seeking mercy, justice, help, counsel, fellowship. And if I'm a wise child, I'll do it daily.
But there are more reasons why I don't pray. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why I Don't Pray

I had a dry spell last month. A spiritual desert. Even when I was in the midst of it, I knew exactly why it was dry. Did that help me turn around and re-enter God's presence?
I clearly saw the stream of refreshment, glistening and flowing, gurgling and rushing, clear, cool, able to slake my thirst.

Now, I've heard many a testimony of some poor Christian who went through a mysterious period of spiritual nothingness in which he/she earnestly sought God, prayed, confessed, read Scripture, memorized, served, sang. All to no avail. The malady persisted until, quite without explanation, the curtains were one day drawn back and sunshine poured through the window again.

But that was not my experience. My dryness came as a result of intentional neglect of prayer.
And I suffered.
When I couldn't stand it anymore, I ran back to Abba and clung to Him. He always welcomes me back and it is always wonderful to be close again.

After my dry spell ended I asked myself why I do it? It was totally my choice. Why do I ignore my Father for a day, even a week? He never, ever does that to me.

Have you thought about it, too? Do you "run away" ocassionally?

In the next two weeks I'll be sharing what I believe makes me avoid prayer. I'll also be sharing solutions. I hope these encourage your heart to keep seeking His face.
Have a great day.

Monday, October 12, 2009


My friends, I'm going through a grand funk about my writing. Did God really call me to write? I used to think so. Was I wrong? Did I mistake God's direction? Am I wasting my time doing something that will have no lasting value in other people's lives?

I know I'm not alone. Even if you're not a writer you, doubtless, have struggled with discouragement in your area of mninistry.
Let me encourage you, just as I am attempting to encourage myself. Please read on.

"Problems are God-allowed to prove (or develop) your character." (from a sermon by Pastor Les Darrow)

Luke 8:15: "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a good crop."

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil.3:13-14)

"We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

To those of you who strive to do something excellent, something which you used to know God called you to do, remember:
Your LONG-TERM GOALS (do you have them?) will carry you through short-term disappointments.
God is the Great Comforter and the Great Counselor. If He has called you to do some work for His Kingdom, look to Him and His Word and He will bring you encouragement.

  • Read the Word. Let it fill your mind.
  • Ask God to work His will in your life.
  • Sing songs of praise to Him.
  • Commit your work to God.
  • Trust Him for the outcome, even if it will be different than you envision.
There, I feel better already.

"Now to Him is who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Eph. 3:20,21)

God bless you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lining Up With God

"Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him away." Gen. 5:23

In the geneology between Adam and Noah, we read - and many times miss - the little phrase, "Enoch walked with God."

Today, as I was trying to outline a brief talk I would give at my writer's group, that little verse came to mind.

"Enoch walked with God."

What would that have looked like in antediluvian days? Did Enoch see some pre-incarnate manisfestation of Christ? Did he walk (literally) with Him and have conversations?

Does the word, "walk" mean that Enoch was so in-tune with God that his daily activities and speech reflected this intimate relationship?

I love that phrase. "Walk with God."

Notice it doesn't say, "God walked with Enoch." No, twice (verse 22 and 23) the scriptures say that Enoch did the walking.

I tried to share with my writer's group how sometimes we try to get God to sign on to our agenda. Or, we somehow fool ourselves into merely thinking we're following God's lead.

What would it look like if every day I simply opened my hands and released the coming day to whatever God wants? "For it is God who works in you to will and to work according to His good purpose." (Phil. 2:13)

May I remember that each day lived is a gift from our Heavenly Father, to be lived for Him and His holy purposes.

May I "walk" with God each day, just like Enoch.