A Lenten Journey: The Wilderness Trail — Day Six


Ephesians 2:1-10, The Message

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Oh, how I love this!
We don’t do it,

we don’t have to do it,
even though we try hard to do it,
and mess it up thoroughly
when we do.

It’s not about us,
all on our own,
lonesome selves.
It’s about partnership,
it’s about grace,
it’s about living
in the middle of both
those truths.



partners in grace.



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31 Days of Looking for the Little: Creatures

IMG_4008  green frog

This little fella is someone we usually hear but do not see. He has a very basso profundo voice, and his song often accompanies our early evening reflections. 

He (or a very similar friend!) usually resides in the bottom of a large pot we keep on our front patio, but this past summer, we found him in the back yard . . . in our swimming pool!

He was swimming merrily along, but couldn’t find enough traction anywhere to get himself out of the water. So we helped him along a little bit. He sat in the sunlight for a minute, to catch his breath, and then he hopped away. Who knows where he went next?

Small creatures captivate me. Even spiders. IF they’re safely visible in their webs, not if they surprise me in the house. But these little frogs are delightful co-residents with us here in Santa Barbara. We look forward to their summertime music and enjoy their company.

I’m so glad that God made this world with little things as well as big ones. I love watching the recent video of our immense galaxy (featured by Ann Voskamp in one of her weekly collections of good things). But I also like looking deeply into creation to find the smaller things that keep everything going. On that scale, this froggie is not so tiny, I guess. But on my scale? He is tiny, indeed. And I am grateful.

Just Wondering