Thursday, September 24, 2020

Last Days? Take a Holy Pause...Watch & Wonder....

Fall is just my favorite time of year, and this week, we took a little time away from our home-office to enjoy the beauty of her grand entrance...

I'm always reminded when I step away from the normal, and take a "holy-pause," that the Lord is still governing our world.

He proves Himself all around us.

This is one of the most reassuring notions for me right these this chaos and madness that is 2020.

I need this reminder, and the Lord is whispering His truth into my soul, even as I ponder what is happening in our world...


So, as fall opens her lovely eyes, I've started dipping my toes into a new study on the little book of Habakkuk.

I've waded in that ocean before...

But this time, I want to go out a little further, get in over my head, and maybe even scuba dive a wee bit.

Habakkuk is one of those books that has some terrific verses we love to quote. 

...yet the context for them is sometimes excluded.

I picked Habakkuk, because I have some questions.

This prophet, poet, possible worship-leader-in-the-Jerusalem-temple did, too.

His questions were heavy on his heart...

...and they weighed the man down (the oracle/burden that Habakkuk the prophet saw -v.1).

He bears these questions without shame or apology, and, rather than ignoring them...

...He goes to the Lord with his burden in the form of questions.

He's not arguing...He's not complaining....He simply just wants to know an answer, and I'm guessing he's prayerfully hoping that the Lord will assuage some of his concerns...

We can do this, you know...

God is a safe place for questions...

That's different than arguing...

His questions sound like this (Habakkuk 1:2-3, 13):

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,

and you will not hear?

Or cry to you “Violence!”

and you will not save?

Why do you make me see iniquity,

and why do you idly look at wrong?

...why do you idly look at traitors

and remain silent when the wicked swallows up

the man more righteous than he?

His questions sound a lot like, "Lord, why aren't you doing something? Why are you letting evil win, and bad things happen to good people?"

This book was written somewhere around 690....BC!!....yet the questions sound very 21st century.

So, as I began my journey out into the deep, I figured I better list some of the "burdens of my heart..."

I have many....

They aren't in the form of questions, and yet, like Habakkuk, I wonder why God isn't doing something...

Here are just a few concerns/fears I'm longing to see reversed:

I fear losing the next generation to the god-of-this-world, who is blinding them...

I fear morality is being lost under the heading of "normalization..."

I am burdened over progressive Christianity and the many I dearly love who are buying into this new "philosophy..."

I am heavy hearted over the oh-so-loud-voices of liberalism that negate foundational biblical principles, without thought to what God's Word declares...

I am deeply grieved over the way the Church of Jesus is viewed, and the skewed picture we have given of Jesus' grace, love, and teachings...

Interestingly enough, the Lord God (the Holy One, the One who is from Everlasting, the One who is Habakkuk's God...and MINE!), answered.

It's EXACTLY the answer we need to hear (does this surprise us?) today (1:5).

"Look among the nations, and see;

wonder and be astounded.

For I am doing a work in your days..."

"Open your eyes...

Wonder at what you see...

Be in awe...

I AM at work!!!

Just as summer air succumbs to cooler temps every year...

Just as leaves change to glorious golds, oranges, reds, and yellows...

Just as the squirrels scamper to gather acorns...

Just as fall's splendor arrives expectedly...

I AM at work!!!

You can count on it!

Look behind the scenes...

I am there...

My voice still whispers...

...and, my plans for this world will never be thwarted.

Things may not look as you expect (they didn't for Habakkuk either),

BUT, I have not left this earth-I-created to her own devices."

So, if you are like me, and you are heavy-hearted...

If your burdens are questions...

Join me.....




Maybe, like me, you need to take a "holy pause" - it's always helpful! 

And, the Lord is always faithful!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

In Last Days? If You're a Jesus-Follower You Have a Ministry to Complete!

My last in-person-speaking event was on March 14 of this crazy year. 

Right in the middle of what was to be a week-long series of meetings, the COVID-scare cancelled everything, and rumors of uncertainty soon had us on the road loaded up with extra gas (just in case) and food in the cooler (also, just in case), heading home.

The roads (true, they were mostly country roads we traveled) seemed eerily quiet. 

A few gas stations were open, as were the drive-thru's of fast food restaurants (but the lines of cars stifled any want-to-stop). 

It felt just plain weird. 

As we neared Wolf Creek Pass, we stopped at the last Walmart along the way for a few groceries.

Again, WEIRD.

Shelves were pretty much empty, but we picked up a few things, and one of the girls I mentor here in town, had already shopped in Pagosa for me, and left the food in our kitchen. 

She was concerned the shelves would be bare by the time I got to go to the local market. #grateful

(It would be May before I found TP on the grocery shelf...a picture-worthy moment)

You understand.

You've lived all this right along with us for the last 7 months. 

The entire trip home carried all the "feelings" not felt since 9/11.

Things in America might not ever be the same.

But, we'd wait for a "new normal" to come....make adjustments....and get after it.

Like us, you're still waiting for a new normal.

(This has been our "theme song" since January, really...not with a sigh of sadness...but with an air of anticipation for whatever it is the Lord has next)

Life seems to shift a little daily.

It didn't take long for us to realize we needed to take a new approach to ministry.

Obviously, churches, conferences, camps (our normal venues) weren't opening any time soon.

But, that didn't change our "calling." 

Bay still has the passion for evangelism and gospel-sharing.

I still feel compelled to teach and disciple women.

So, old dogs began to learn some new tricks.

Bay shifted to producing radio messages that are being sent on the air waves all over Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia (these reach thousands weekly, and we're hearing some fun stories that remind us the Lord uses EVERYTHING!). 

He also began producing Vlogs on YouTube, combining those with a FaceBook presence.

He's video-taping messages being sent to different venues all over the country.

He's studying, researching, and writing some new messages.

(Bay's "office")

He's mentoring several young men in the community.

And, together we are co-teaching a small group that, usually, meets in our home.

I continue to write blogs, and I began podcasting and teach often via the use of Zoom at different women's events for several different organizations. I've video-taped a couple of different retreat series, counsel (most often via Zoom and Face Time) women serving/working overseas, and co-teach our small group with Bay.

(Peg's Zoom Station)

BUT, both of us miss those face-to-face ministry events, the personal connections made, and the meaningful conversations...

SO...all this to say...

One of Paul's last exhortations to Timothy, in the last letter he would ever write, contain three impactful words:


Other than wanting to impress upon Timothy the importance, value, and urgency of the gospel message, Paul wanted his son-in-the-faith to be steadfast and immovable in his service to the Lord.

The word ministry is filled with meaning.

It declares a specific "calling," or purpose.

It reminded Tim that he has been "commanded by the Lord" to do a specific job.

By virtue of the combined two root-Greek-words used, Timothy knows he is God's errand-runner...but not just any errand (!)...this errand is distinctive: To proclaim and promote the LORD GOD!

Earlier in his letter (almost immediately following his greeting), Paul tells Timothy, to fan the flames, get the fire-in-his-belly burning strong, stir up his passion and make use of his spiritual gift.

Timothy's gift(s): pastoring and teaching.

His gift may not be our gifting.

There are numerous gifts of the Spirit.

We all have one.

It's given to us at salvation when we embrace the gospel and Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Each gift is appropriated to us in different measures.

Their purpose? Simple! To build up the body of Christ...assisting one-another on to "maturity of faith"!

Here are just a few (taken from Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4):

Words of Wisdom

Words of Knowledge









"In last days," says the Apostle Paul, "be zealous and generous in the use of your gift!" 

"In these days...we need mature Jesus-followers, who will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (for you know that your labor is NEVER in VAIN!)"

As I read Paul's admonition to bring to completion our ministry, my initial response was the question, "how?"

Every time I put an event on the calendar, within weeks it is cancelled.

The next event to come is DECEMBER! 

Then I remember, the Lord has given me a "now what!" 

It may look a little bit like a "jack-of-all-trades" ministerially speaking, but it is still ministry.

We're still reaching people.

And, I recognize, how I use my gifts may look a little different in these very different times, but it still qualifies as "ministry."

Recently, I highlighted these words in a book I'm reading:

"If you're not dead; you're not done! The Lord still has something important for you to do."

Y'all - we're not dead.

The Lord has something for us to do.

If we are in "last days," lets leave this planet having completed our service of promoting and proclaiming Jesus...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Living In Last Days?....Then Be Sure!

As I've turned the pages of 2 Timothy (where I've been studying the last seven weeks), I get this great sense of urgency from the Apostle Paul.

It doesn't surprise me...

I know he knows...

His death is imminent.

When someone is about to die, they make last words count.

These words in this letter will be Paul's very last.

As he pens them, and as the Lord whispers into his ear what to write, we know just how thought-full every! single! word! is!; and, so, we should lean in, and listen closely (though Paul doesn't know it, we know that they are for us, too). 

Here is what the Lord breathes into Paul's pen:

Do the work of an evangelist!

I read these words, and I hesitate. 

This is most definitely NOT my spiritual strength.

It IS MOST CERTAINLY my husband's gift.

If Bay couldn't share the gospel, he'd just as soon die. 

Evangelism is his heart beat.

From the top of his 6'10" head to the bottom of his size 16's...his beautiful feet (um...this is debatable, actually) are set on a path to share the good news!

But, me....

I'm a teacher. 

Discipleship and mentoring - these bring me the GREATEST JOY in ministry.

And, yet, God writes to me through Paul's pen:

Be a herald of salvation!

Talk about the "good tidings" 

(that's what is at the root of Paul's exhortation).

And, ringing in my ears are the words of the angel to shepherds on a star-lit hillside many years ago:

"Look and listen for I bring you






This was the first time in Scripture, we see the work of an "evangelist" performed (is it any mistake that part of the word "evangelist" is "angel"?).

We're never more "angelic" than when we share the Good Tidings of Great Joy!

Not everyone is gifted to be an evangelist.

But everyone is asked to do the work of one.

For how will "they know to call on the Lord," the Scriptures ask us, "unless they hear?"

"And how will they believe, unless someone speaks the gospel story?" (this is my loose translation of Romans 10:14)

So, here I sit this morning with the words of a 12-year-old-Jesus ringing in my ears, when He tells His parents (after three days of looking for their "lost" son, and finding Him in the temple), 

"I must be about my Father's business."

With that, I dive right into Paul's challenge; and Jesus' reminder to do the work of the Father...

Like Paul, I'm feeling a deep sense of urgency.

The more I have studied Scripture regarding "last days," the more I think the Lord's return could be imminent.

Many of the favorite pastor's on my Sunday-morning-listen-to-list must also think so, because many of them are discussing it, as well.

If you're watching the news in the Middle East, then you know there are some pretty amazing things happening. 

Things that are critical to end-times-prophecy.

With all of this swirling around me, like leaves at my feet, I'm seeing signs of a coming new season.

And, while the thought of Jesus coming back as He promised (and, as the angels promised at His ascension,) is EXCITING, there is a side of me that feels a heaviness.

I know far too many who have put off making a commitment of their lives to Jesus as Savior.

So, as Paul reminds Timothy of the necessity of sharing the gospel, he reminds him again, of why...

Jesus is coming back.

Our hearts need to prepare for Him.

We need to make sure we are READY when He does.

As, there was no room in Bethlehem the first time He came...

Will we have made room for Him in our hearts the next time He appears?

It may not be my spiritual "gift" to be an evangelist, but I must be about the business of doing the work of one.

To say to you can say to they can pass it on as well...

The Lord loves His creation.

He longs to be in relationship with them.

He wants nothing more than an intimate friendship with us, and to call us His child.


Sin keeps us from relationship with Him.

Sin that misses the mark and falls short of God's glory.

Our sin; our simple desire to be in control of our own lives; to "do life" our own way, on our own terms; to be our own god...

...All of this simply pushes the Lord away, and prevents us from being in His presence.

And, we can't be good enough, go to church enough, read our bibles enough, give enough money, serve in His name enough, do anything enough to earn our way into heaven...

To be His child, we must believe and receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior.

To be His child, we must understand the price He paid for us on Calvary, by dying in our place.

To see clearly that He took our deserved punishment upon Himself as a sacrificial Lamb, to pay the price of our sin (the only thing that would appease a Holy God and allow us to escape judgment)...

This is the gospel of GRACE.

Our part is simple...

We can do nothing.

Nothing, but fall on our faces, before Him...

Thank Jesus for His death on our behalf.

Confess our sinfulness.

Receive the forgiveness He offers.

And, simply let Him know, we desire Him to take charge.

We surrender.

Surrender all.

Receive the new life He offers...

Then, follow after Him...

Seeking His will for our lives...

All the way to heaven (either at our death, or if so blessed, be caught up together with Him when He returns for His own). 

Just don't miss out...

Don't miss out by 6"...the distance from your head to your heart...

Having a head knowledge is not enough, we must give Him full access to our hearts and lives.

Because my husband is gifted in evangelism, I'm posting two links under his photo below.

One is a four-minute video on our website (right under the initial welcome on our ministry's home page); the other is a seven-minute video on his You Tube channel. Both will give you a clear explanation of what it means to find salvation.

First, examine yourself to see if you are "in faith."

Second, share with others who may need to do the same.

Message on FOCUS Website

How to Know...

Jesus is coming again!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

How Then Do We Live in Last Days? Keep a Routine!

Routine is everything to me. 

Especially a morning routine.

When my morning regime goes missing, so does settledness of soul. 

I need the rhythm of the everyday. 


A good long walk.

But, first (and before anything else) coffee...

(photo credit to my friend, Tammie Mitchell)

I've always said that not even Jesus wants to talk to me before coffee.

But, incredibly, astoundingly, unbelievably, implausibly (and whatever other adverb you can think of that is synonymous with "miraculously"), He does!

That opening verse up-top is certainly true for me.

It's a gift of grace.

One of my favorite gifts (not counting my salvation gift, of course)!

The Lord seems to "awaken my ear" and "instruct me."

God's word is my life-breath. 

His truth gives me direction.

He whispers to my soul, and "It is well..."when He does.


Surprisingly enough, it is the walking that cements God's spoken truths into my heart.

The Word of God may be my oxygen, but the walk is like having a fire ignited inside.

This little routine has been a part of my spiritual journey since moving to Africa in 1987...

It's a lot of years of walking...and, sometimes, I wonder the number of miles these feet have covered as I walk with the Lord in the cool of the morning. 

(Maybe the Lord is keeping count and will tell me one day in heaven. After all, if He knows the number of hairs on my head...)


I think the Apostle Paul may have felt the same way.

His feet, too, did a lot of walking.

Way more than I have done.

It was his primary means of travel.


God-whispers to his heart seemed to be his life-blood, as well.

As, he prepares to depart from this world, his last letter to Timothy reminds this young man to treat the Scriptures with care.

He uses pretty urgent and emphatic words as he exhorts Timothy to grab hold of the mantle he will soon inherit.

Here are some of Paul's Words about Scripture in 2 Timothy:

Don't be ashamed of God's Testimony

Entrust what has been given

Commit yourself to it

Know it

Hold it firmly and faithfully

Conscientiously deliver it to others

Keep it

Guard it

Live it out

Teach it

Entrust it to others

Preach it

Proclaim it

Publish it

Handle it accurately

Correct others using it, gently and patiently (with kindness)

Continue to learn it

Be trained by it

Be strengthened by it


Why this big emphasis; this huge push; this urgent appeal at the end of his life? He reminds Timothy....

Many have turned away from the sincere truths of the Word of God, deserted Paul, and the faith.

Paul's heart-break over the churches he founded, his concerns over the converts, and the myths being taught to "tickle the ears of the hearers" run deep.

Reading 2 Timothy, one gets a sense of his brokenness.

The Word, he knows from experience (and Paul only had the Old Testament...he had no clue his letters would become "the word" for all of us), sustains the soul and produces a deeper work of God within believers!

The Word is the power of God unto salvation

The Lord uses it to "fan into flame" our spiritual gifting

It will help us endure persecution

It is a treasure above none other

The Word keeps us steadfast and faithful

The Truth refreshes our souls

No matter what (in spite of us), the Word of God is never bound - it will endure to the end and beyond...

It is filled with faithful sayings

God uses His Word to bring people to their senses... it, in these last days, some will escape from the snare of the devil...

Mostly, these God-breathed whispers:

Are profitable for teaching, rebuking and correcting....

They train us for righteousness...

And, they bring us to maturity,

Equipping us for EVERY GOOD WORK!

As the Apostle Paul awaits his departure from this earth to a heavenly one, he asks for four things (for certain we know as one gets closer to death, that which is most important rises to the surface of the heart).

He wants Timothy to come to him - he is all the "family" Paul has left.

He wants his heavy coat - oh, the humanity of Paul! He's cold in that damp, miserable cell. 

He wants his scrolls - undoubtedly his copy of God's Word!

And, he asks for his parchments - so, he can write out his thoughts.

Oh, Paul...I'm right there with ya.

If I'm ever imprisoned for my faith, please (you - my family in Christ) bring me a bible, some paper and a pen!

After all, His Word is MY OXYGEN!

And, today, if you don't have one, let me encourage you to find a sweet and sacred rhythm of routine for your own life that it may be well with your soul!