Thursday, September 26, 2019

WHY I WANT THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE (and maybe, you, too)....#takeyourseat

Where I sit matters to me.

Where you sit matters to you.

We ALL want the best seats!

We want to see everything....clearly!

We want to be in-the-know.

We want the best-of-the-best.

Most times we pay dearly for these kinds of seats...


During the years that Bay was playing basketball, I was given tickets to watch him play.

They were great seats.

Right behind the bench.

Not on the floor, but near enough you could see what was happening, smell the sweat, and hear the coach and players in conversation.

By virtue of my seats, I knew what was probably going to happen before it happened.

From time to time, I even had a sense that the coach had everything under control.

I rather felt like I was in the huddle of players, hearing how the life of the game would/should/could unfold.

Family sat in the seats on either side of me, as we were blessed with not just one ticket, but three.

Surrounding me were some of Bay’s biggest cheerleaders (in life and in the game).

As I mentioned, I sat in a great seat.

I didn’t pay for these seats, either.

It was a gift from the Phoenix Suns organization to me, as a player’s wife.

Nevertheless, I paid a costly price to sit there.

“Nerve-racking” - best description.

While I had family next to me, they were not all around me.

All around my seat were “armchair coaches.”

Even though they didn’t know the game as well as they thought they did (even I could tell this was true), they verbally, and as loud as possible, commanded the coaches to make certain decisions.

Then derided them when something went amiss on the floor.

The referees were ignorant, and everyone in the stadium (that seated around 7,000 in those days) could hear what miserable calls occurred down on the floor. Not only were they ignorant, but their eyesight came into question. My community definitely knew better how to call the fouls.

Their verbal barrage didn't just cover coaches and referees, but players, as well.

I remember clearly the night the man behind me yelled at my husband for missing a free throw.

At the top of his lungs, he said, "You'd think for $100,000 a year, you could at least make a free throw!!!!"

I stayed silent, but I wanted to say: "You try making a free throw with people like you in the stands, feeling the pressure of fans, coaches, your teammates, your family, and wanting to please everyone all-the-time."

I just hoped he didn't know who sat in front of him.

Obviously, these people in these seats around me paid the high cost to get this one opportunity...they longed to be heard and this gave them an edge over those seated in the nose-bleed-sections.

Place their pictures next to the word "obnoxious" in the dictionary.


We are like this in life, as well.

We want to control the script.

We want to sit close enough to be heard.

We want to inform the "coach," spur him on to better decisions, give input at the table on how things should unfold here below.

Our thoughts center on just how we can manipulate every situation and keep the "coach" in-the-know as to what is the better play to call...and we judge the rightness and wrongness of all situations.

It's easy to do this as long as we stay seated below...

When we are "seated in the heavenlies," at the King-Table we have the best view, the ear of the "coach," and the KNOW that we don't understand the game of life as well as we thought we did.

We grasp the concept that our heavenly "coach" really is omniscient (all-knowing).

Our eyes are opened to how wrongly we judge Him (as if we have that right).

We comprehend that He's got everything planned out, and nothing will thwart that plan (not even our advice).

We see more clearly that what is happening here-in-the-now will all be sorted out in the there-and-the-then.

His character assures us that, indeed, He, faithfully, watches over and loves His own deeply (our good is always in His heartfelt decisions).

If we fail to "take our seat," we'll live fearful, fretting, anxious, discouraged, and uncertain in the face of life.

If our bodies and souls stay seated in the stadium of life, instead of seating our souls in heavenly places, and seeking the mind of Christ, life will be MISERABLE.

It's why the Lord God gifted us with a new seat right next to Him.

As we sit with Him, we get to know His heart.

As we sit with Him, we get a better view of what He's doing below.

As we sit with Him, we trust Him more.

We may not understand everything He's doing, but because we KNOW HIM BETTER, we grasp the truth that nothing ever touches us that is not a part of a bigger, better plan that will be for our good and, more importantly, HIS GLORY---

As we see how He has dealt with the past, we're assured the present and the future are all under His mighty hand---

Most of all, we catch just how much He loves us, and we know that while being seated in His presence, "no trial can disarm us, no sorrow can ever disturb us, no circumstance will cause us to fret."*

We will rest in the Joy of the Lord. 

(* I don't know who said this, I can't take credit....but it sure is truth!)

Happy fall, y'all!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

You've Been Summoned....#takeyourseat

The past several weeks have somewhat drained me - not overwhelmingly, just a "tinge."

Just enough to sense:
1) the enemy tactically distracting me from my primary focus...
2) joy seeping slowly out of my soul...
3) weariness settling into my physical body...
4) a mental blockage...creativity waning...
5) and, lastly, a notion that I was struggling to be on the "same page" relationally with family and friends...

Since, before the mother-daughter retreat in New York, my schedule has been rather chaotic.

I've enjoyed every single minute of this full schedule:
* Exciting speaking opportunities
* Encouraging company
* Spirit-Present life-group meetings
* Intimate, vulnerable conversations over coffee with friends
* God-ordained counseling "sessions" (most of which happen over FaceTime or Skype)
* Prep time for upcoming retreats
*Normal day-to-day-routine

As with most husbands, mine noticed I've seemed a bit "off."

So, very early yesterday morning, on a spontaneous whim, Bay parked the truck in the front of the house with my paddle board loaded in the back, and simply said, "I think you need a morning on the lake."


It's been colder.

It's been rainy.

It's fall...doing what fall does best...preparing to let go of summer and move into winter.

There aren't many days left to be on the lake...if any!

So, even though my full day loomed ahead of me with a to-do-list that looked a bit like a grocery store receipt after I've shopped for our family of 25 coming to stay for a week (no they haven't come lately, it's just a comparison), I jumped at the chance to spend a peace-filled hour on the water.

The morning didn't exactly start as I'd hoped.

Half-way to my usual parking space, a truck hauling a road-grater pulled out in front of me. His eyes fixed on five elk grazing on the hill across from him, I don't think he even saw me. Fortunately, my eyes saw him. I course corrected to move to the side so he wouldn't hit me, and give him plenty of passing room. However, my truck slid on the wet grass as I slowly braked, pulling to the side.


Not even four-wheel-drive placed my vehicle back on the road.

I texted the husband.

Non-plussed, Bay jumped in the jeep, came, and rescued me.

I was ready to head home, thinking no way my shaky legs could stand on the water at this point.

However, I pressed forward.

After getting my SUP in the water and my dry bag on its tip, the board, paddle, and I shoved off into the crisp fall morning.

It was gorgeous - the lake still and quiet as could be ---- the mountains surrounding me stark and grand ---- just me, the fish jumping and the ducks bobbing.

About thirty-minutes into my glide across the lake, I heard a voice in my spirit whisper, "Sit still. Know me." 

Tempted to argue, I thought, "I'll just sit down on the inside if that is OK?"

No. It wasn't.

"Sit still."

"Be quiet."

"Cease working."


I sat.

Then this: "Look and see what the Lord has done..."

These words are God-words that He has spoken to me often in the midst of life-chaos.

Undoubtedly, they are as familiar as breathing to you, as well.

We find both mandates in the midst of Psalm 46 among other wonderful God-words.

I grabbed the devotional book in my dry bag and read the next psalm that followed Psalm 46:10.

Psalm 47 begins like this:

Clap your hands, all people!
Shout to God with cries of joy!
For the Lord Most High is awesome, 
A great King over all....

Joy is what I needed most, so as I sat, I began pondering all of God's mighty, creative hand in nature around me.


He is a GREAT KING...a good God...ever present with me...and, His creation is a reminder of it all.

Instantly, praise and adoration filled my heart that a God so vast, so mysterious, so compassionate and full of steadfast love...would honor ME (small, insignificant ME) with such gifts...

...and, sporadically my soul began to fill with renewed joy.

These thoughts struck powerfully, and this is what I leave you with:

When we sit in God's Presence, no matter the place, and look closely, we will see Him all about us.

When we see Him, we can't help but sit in adoration -
there is no more proper response.

As we adore Him, He fills up what is lacking with JOY full and overflowing.

So full, we can't help but cry out (or just simply cry)!

Here's the end of it all....



Feeling your joy seeping away?

Maybe it's completely depleted?

Maybe all is good and status-quo?

No matter, I'm here to remind you, it's always a good time to pull up your seat across from Jesus at the King-Table and get filled up, re-filled, or topped off.


P.S. Thanks again to all who have contributed "sit-spaces." It is my prayer all of you find your own perfect place for your body here on earth, even though you are already "raised up and seated in the heavenliness with Christ."

Thursday, September 12, 2019


(Thanks to all who contributed your favorite "sit-places." You'll find many of  them sprinkled within this post...and more to come in later ones! While our souls may be in heaven with Jesus, we all need silent sit-places here on earth! Find'll never regret it!)


I think all of us were a little nervous when grand-treasure, Ethan, transitioned from elementary school to middle school.

"E" doesn't make friends easily, but he had a great little friend that he hung with all through those elementary school years.

They played together at recess.

Ate lunch together at the same table every day.

Even the few times I got to bring E lunch, his friend joined us.

There was always at seat at the table for this little gal if Ethan was present.

Sadly, when he started at Villago Middle School, this little friend went to a different school.

Would Ethan make new friends at his new school?

Who would he hang with now?

More importantly, with whom would he eat lunch?

The first day of school came.

After school, came the typical question: How was your first day?


Then came the all-important one: "Who did you eat lunch with?"

The real questions under that one were: "Where did you sit? Were you all alone? Did you find a friend to sit with today?"

"Did you find a place to belong?"

"Oh," replied Ethan casually, "I ate with the Spanish."

My little blue-eyed, blond-haired grand-treasure didn't necessarily fit at the "Spanish table," but I was certainly thankful they welcomed him.


When you are in middle school, where you sit is all important.

That's when it really matters with whom you get to sit!!!!

I remember.

We were all desperate to find a place to belong.

I fought hard to sit at a lot of different tables, not just in middle school, but all throughout my life.

I would have loved to have sat with the athletes, but couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time.

I wanted to sit at the smart table, but even though my grades were top, I knew better...I could fake smart, study hard to attain a grade, but didn't REALLY KNOW the material. I was a sham.

I wanted to sit at the popular girls table, but was nerdy-enough that I knew I didn't belong.

As I "matured," there were other tables: the mom-enough table, the wife-who-could-do-it-all-table, the accomplished writer table, the higher-education-staff table, the sacrificial-have-it-all-together-missionary-table, the passionate-speaker-table....and, this list could go on for a long time.

I don't think I'm alone.

At what tables were your hearts longing to sit?

I always knew I could do a little bit of a lot of things - I just couldn't do those things well enough to fit with those who truly belonged...and, I felt (wow, that next word is hard to find) "reject-able."

When we feel this way, we fight even harder.

We power up.

We work longer, strive greater, and fret more...

...and we constantly live to compare.

Oh, we know what Theodore Roosevelt said about comparison - it is the chief thief of our joy!

So, most of my life, I lived allowing the culture where I dwelt to rob me blind!

Yes, there is an "until" to follow.

UNTIL, someone invited me to sit at the King-Table as ROYALTY.

I didn't have to fake my position.

It was given to me...

...My place prepared from the beginning of time...and, RESERVED.

...My seat saved...until the day I finally discovered salvation in Jesus.

No more did I fight to belong.

I belonged. Fully. Wholeheartedly.

I no longer had to work hard, power up, strive, or fret.

I was seated! With the King of Kings! In the heavenly places!

Comparison thrown in the trash like so much other waste!

Those seated with me came to the table the very same way with the very same skill set - #NOTTATHING.

All undeserving, we FIT at the table, because all of us were adopted into the Kingdom as children with the very same rights as Jesus the Son.

The best news, I don't have to work hard to keep my seat, either.

I once thought I did....then, one day I realized that was ridiculous.

As I received that seat, I kept the seat.

By faith alone.

In grace alone.

After the gospel of the cross, this is the next best news:

"The Christian life is not a do, it is a done!"

Take your seat...Sit! Stay! Enjoy!

Cease comparing!

Cease striving!


Who are you inviting to the King-table?

Welcome all who would come...just as Ethan was welcomed that first day of Middle School.

Set an extra place....and another...and another.

Show those who will receive their striving-to-belong can cease, as well.

(1 Cor 3.23)

"It is finished!" 
-Jesus, while on the cross-

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Upgraded - #takeyourseat

(The pictures sprinkled throughout this blog are places I've found myself "seated" over the last few months...Think about where you've been seated.)


In June, Bay and I traveled to Uganda for some wonderful ministry opportunities.

On the flights over, we experienced a "trip-from-down-under" with numerous problems, delays, cancellations, a missed flight (even though it was still sitting at the gate when we got to the counter), and a few bumpy spots over some air currents that wanted us to know they were PRESENT...and, as is common when I travel with Bay, I always take the middle seat, which means I'm generally, somewhat squished upon arrival.

The trip could have been worse.

I really had no reason to complain.

The way home, however, was a totally different story.

Swiss Air upgraded us to first class.

(seated in first class on Swiss Air)

Not on just one leg of our flight, but two.

Not because we whined.

Not because we paid.

Not because we did anything to deserve it.

Simply, just because...

It was GRACE (well, grace, and the fact that Bay and I are both Star Alliance Premier Gold Members - but ignore this piece of information)!

(my view from heavenly places)

It's not like I hadn't been upgraded before.

I have.

All the way from Durango, CO to Denver, CO.

The benefits are slim.

I am offered a drink of choice prior to take off.

Listen, being seated in first class on an international flight is a totally different story.

(on a ministry van...minus our translators)

It begins with a gift bag filled with goodies, including a tooth-brush, toothpaste, gel-filled-eye-pillows, mints, slippers, lip balm, aromatherapy...all in a fancy little leather travel bag.

There's elbow room....I can move my elbows without putting them in someone else's side!

There's extra leg room...and the ability to lay my seat all the way down into a bed to sleep in the prone position, even with room to curl up on my side!

The meals were hot, healthy, and yummy...and served on china, with crystal, real silverware, and cloth napkins...

The restrooms were cleaner, because only those in first class cabins can use them.

My personal TV/Movie Screen actually worked, as did my USB ports for charging my phone and iPad.

(seated in the national forest above our home on my birthday)

In front of me was a well furnished mini-bar where I could get a drink, cookies, fruit, snacks, and chocolates at any time during the flight.

Then, on landing, each first class passenger received ANOTHER gift bag with a big box of Swiss Chocolates.

Being seated in first class is THE BEST!

Being seated there made me feel "different" ---- "special."

I arrived rested and ready to go; but, as we deplaned, Bay leaned close and whispered, "Don't get used to this..."

Bubble popped.

I couldn't count on having a seat in first class in the near future, or, probably any future.


As I've meditated on Ephesians 2:5b-7 throughout this week; being seated in first class was the closest thing I could compare to being seated with Christ, in Christ.

Life before Jesus was a lot like the trip to Uganda.

I was on a "trip-from-down-under," and headed directly to that very place.

The journey I was taking was miserable, uncertain, dissatisfying, disheartening, and at times, downright painful.

A friend noticed.

Friends do.

This friend had an answer, and held in her possession, a free upgrade.

I didn't whine to get it.

I didn't pay for it.

I couldn't do enough, give money enough, pray enough, serve enough, go to church enough to earn the ticket.

(seated on a boat on the Sea of Galilee)

She offered me the gift of Jesus; and, I readily accepted the gift.

His entrance to my life was grace-charged! NOTHING MORE!

I gave my life to Jesus, and when I did, my seat was "upgraded."

I now sat in a new seat; and, I was seated at the same table as King-Jesus.

Life's journey took a whole new change for the better.

Seated with Christ at the King-Table, I now had peace that was unexplainable; my heart was full --- full of joy, satisfaction, certainty...and I knew that I was a new creation without anyone even telling me.

I instantly ticked off the benefits.

(seated at a table overlooking Lake Victoria)

From one minute to the next, as I took my seat in the heavenlies, I felt different...special...included.

And, I've been seated there ever since.

My position can't be taken away.


Transition with me from a seat on an airplane, to another seat at another table.

This story is found in 2 Samuel 9 (verses 1-13).

The table belongs to King David.

David has taken the seat of King Saul.

Rightfully, the seat should have stayed in the lineage of Saul, but upon the death of the King, and his son, Jonathan (David's dearest friend), the seat at the King-Table fell into David's lap.

(seated on my paddle board in the middle of Echo Lake - listening for whispers from Jesus)

David didn't earn his seat at the table, but by grace it was given to him.

Grace, and a seat at a table we don't deserve, changes the way we see and do things.

Instead of wiping out the memory of King Saul, who had made life miserable for David for years, David chose to extend similar grace.

He called for one of Saul's former servants, and asked if there was anyone in Saul's line who remained alive.

Ziba, the servant, accounted for just one.


(seated on an olive press, Israel)
Son of Jonathan.


Lame in both feet, when under a nurse's care, he fell as they fled David's army after the news of Saul and Jonathan reached them.

When David received the crown, Mephibosheth settled in Lo-debar.

Lo-debar, the place of nothingness.

The place where God does not speak.

Lo-debar. The place where God is absent (rather similar to the "place-from-down-under....")

Mephibosheth dwelt in a city that signified all he had lost under the new King.

(seated at a ministry table awaiting my turn to speak)


...Not unlike God in this instance...

Invited the undeserving to the King-Table.


Now seated at the King-Table, all that was within David's power came to Mephibosheth.

Though fatherless, Mephibosheth sat as family at the King-Table.

So Mephibosheth ate at David's table, like one of the king's sons.
2 Samuel 9:11b

The Benefits?
Land restored.
Servants restored.
Position granted.
Authority granted.
Riches returned.

(seated on the Southern Steps, Temple Mount in Israel)

Mephibosheth sat in a place of honor.

So do I.

So do you, if Jesus is your Savior!

It's a done deal.

It's forever.

(No bubble popped.)

being at the King-Table changes how we do things here on earth...

(seated on a bench awaiting my next ministry meeting in PA)

We become grace-givers.

We invite others to the upgrade.

Just like my friend.

Once received, it can't be taken away.

And David said to Mephibosheth, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”
2 Samuel 9:7

(seated in prayer in Bayamo, Cuba)