We don’t always take a close enough glimpse at one person in the Christmas story whom I can relate to the most.

Because like me, Joseph appears to have wondered at the whys of Jesus.

  • Why, Mary?
  • Why Mary?!
  • Why this way, God?
  • Why now?
  • Why me?
  • Why?

‘Why’ is a question we can all see ourselves saying when faced with a new scary or unsettling situation.

At times, we echo what we imagine Joseph’s attitude was when informed about Mary’s pregnancy.

We don’t know actually who told him, for we know Mary was out of town for several months visiting her cousin Elizabeth as she was awaiting her son to come, John. We can hazard a guess that the grapevine may have gotten to Joseph before her parents or Mary did.

Because bad news likes to spread when outsiders begin to ask why.

As her fiancé (in those days called betrothed) Joseph had pledged to marry Mary. To us today, being betrothed is like being married except not living or sleeping together yet. In that time, he had the legal right to accuse her of infidelity, divorce her, see her stoned, and be set free without any blemish on his reputation. (see Matthew 1:18 – 25)

Joseph must have asked why.  For we all want to know the answer to that question when faced with drama or trauma.

He was likely broken-hearted, angry, frustrated and second guessing himself for choosing her as his bride.

We get a critical glimpse into Joseph’s personality with his response to Mary’s news, and the hint of what he must have been thinking, when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. (Notice the angel showed up after he had decided to quietly divorce her.)

His message from God for Joseph?

  1. Son of David: Yes, I know you, and i have the right guy, Joseph. You are part of the promise, the hope for Israel.
  2. Do not fear: I am with you.
  3. Take Mary as your wife: live up to your covenant with her.
  4. She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit: your wife became pregnant through God’s actions, no man’s. She is still your pure fiancée.
  5. She is to bear a son:  So you will know I speak the truth.
  6. Call him Jesus: For this is happening because He is the Messiah..
  7. For He will take away the sins of the world: this is the plan.
  8. And fulfill the prophecies spoken about him: this is the time for him to arrive.

Notice what Joseph did first thing after awakening from that dream.

He went and got married to the girl of his dreams. (With one exception. He didn’t consummate the marriage while she was pregnant with Jesus.)

Despite all the why’s left unanswered, Joseph heard exactly what he needed to in order to obey God, and become the step-father of the most important man in history.

I’d be asking why me too if I were Joseph.

Because I do so often enough in my own life at times.

Here is the thing.  God knows why He chose you and I.

Just because we don’t always know why He chose us, doesn’t mean we were not His intended chosen.

God knew Joseph would be engaged to Mary.  He knew him to be a just man, who loved Mary so much he would show her kindness in a heartbreaking situation.

For Joseph, despite his likely questions, was a man after God’s own heart.

After Jesus was born, Joseph was given another set of instructions in a dream via an angel of the Lord.  He was warned to take Mary and Jesus, and flee to Egypt.  (Matthew 2:13-15)

Then he was told why.

For in that instance, being a devout Jew and being asked to go back to Egypt, the country which kept your people enslaved for generation?  I’d want to know why, just like Joseph would.

The why? For Herod wants to kill Jesus.

God didn’t need to say any more than that, apart from wait for My further instructions.

There are some why’s we already know the answer to, we just need to hear them confirmed.

There are most lessons we can learn from the briefly recorded life of Joseph, step-father to Jesus, husband to Mary.  But why is evident the greatest in this portion of the Word.

Because when God asked Joseph to do something, just like Mary, he did so. Even without all his why’s answered.

There is no question in my mind that Mary and Joseph were real life people like you and I.  God knew the plans He had for them, and look how history was changed through their obedience.

Why Joseph ultimately comes down to this: Jesus needed an earthly father who resembled His heavenly Father. One whose heart was for following the ways of heaven while here on earth. 

The next time you are overwhelmed with the questions on your heart and mind, ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  

For He is the ultimate answer to all our questions: the how’s, the what if’s, the who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the when’s and yes, the why’s!

This piece of history reminds me to wonder anew at the bigger picture God has in store for us!

Community revisited

Originally posted last spring for my church’s blog, however with the upcoming online Remade Community group kicking off this Monday, I have been revisiting what He has been teaching me about unity, and community. May you too be blessed by seeking greater unity with Him, and entering into deeper community with the Body.

Like the anticipation of the arrival of spring, the Word has been moving, stirring and growing deeper within me in a few areas as of late, but especially His desire for unity.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  Psalm 133:1

God is blessed when we live in community.  Even that very word includes both the requirements for healthy community: “come” into “unity.”  When we unite, God releases a blessing upon us as we come together to seek Him in community, for He draws near.

Community isn’t always pretty, but it is His design for us.  I have learned the hard way that sometimes we wound one another, hold back forgiveness or gossip…because we take our eyes off of the One who binds us together, and forget to love another as He has loved us. No holds barred, with no grievances between us:

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14

When we show love to one another as Jesus did for us, while we listen for His leading, we find the differences between us start to mellow into the background, to fade behind His love as the melody uniting us together:

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as family, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

Living in harmony doesn’t mean we always agree, because we are all uniquely wired and gifted, but it means family is more importance than our differences. We work it out with His help, because He desires it:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:3

As a community, we honor God when we pull together as one. For the One who died for us all is our unifying factor, the commonality which is the basis for our community as a body of believers. When we all use our gifts for His glory, not our own, our unity becomes apparent to those around us. The community at large takes notice when His people live and work together in unity. When peace abounds instead of division and turmoil.  Where we willingly submit to one another out of love, placing the needs of the body above our own.  When we confess to one another our offences and flaws, and find forgiveness, true rest for our souls.

This world is screaming out self-satisfaction, for life to be all about ‘me.’ When we gather in unity to worship God, following His way and not our own, His peace can be sensed in our communities.  Not only in each of us as individuals, but in our collective focus on Him.  As our prayers arise to Him, asking for Him to make us one, He releases a fresh wind of His presence, and community.

May God continue to bind us together, into the One heart at the core of the body, His.


God is…Faithful


We don’t often see faithfulness as a quality to be admired in our culture today.

In our rush to satisfy our own needs, we forget how it honors God when we show honor and put one another first.


In Joshua 2, we see how God proves faithful to His people, and how He is blessed when we are faithful with our words & our actions.

Joshua sent two men into Jericho to spy in enemy territory ….reconnoitring the city & checking out competition before they attacked to take the land God had promised them.

How odd on one hand that these Israelites would have entered the home of a prostitute, but as travellers would always be welcome at such an establishment, it makes sense to enter the city this way. Less noticeable.

Except the king of Jericho also had well positioned spies, and word got back to him there were Israelites in town.

Why such a big deal?

Because word had been spreading, as we learn through Rahab’s conversation with the spies, that Israel’s God was faithful & strong, and terror was striking the inhabitants of the land they had not yet begun to conquer!

Only God could have stirred such a fear!

He not only told His people where to settle, but was causing fear of what had not yet happened to make their enemies quake with fear, before the physical battle had begun!

God was already keeping His promise to give them this land.

Rahab knew He was the real God, and in exchange for protecting the Israelite spies from capture, she wanted her family kept safe in the battle for Jericho.

I noticed the spies response was basically, “If you keep your word to us, we will keep ours to you.”

Put your word on display with a red cord, and we will honor our word to you.

Human faithfulness on display.

God IS faithful in His very core.
And keeps His word, even when we don’t.

This is true faithfulness at its purest.

God honored Rahab, not only for her actions in saving His spies, but for her faith.

She and her household were saved from the fall of Jericho’s walls, and the destruction of the city.

Israel lived up to its word.

Human faithfulness again.

And in Matthew 1:5-6, we get a glimpse of just how faithful God was in how He blessed Rahab for her actions:

…and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

Rahab enters His family!
She becomes the mother of Boaz, one of the most compassionate of men & most honoring of his word,
the mother in law of Ruth,
and the great great grandmother of King David.

From whose blood line came Jesus!

God is SO faithful.

What we cannot see ahead is just how much more we will recognize Him as faithful when we look back on our lives, and see His faithfulness interwoven through the story of our lives!

Be encouraged. This same God is still as faithful today as He can be seen through out His Word & history.

For He never changes, and He is still as incredibly faithful towards us, right here and now.

Most often, His faithfulness is even beyond what we comprehend!

May we rise up to be women & men of our words, and live lives as faithful as the God who made us part of His forever family, regardless of what we may have done, just as Rahab!

when to speak up at pointing fingers

There are not a lot of things that cause me to be enraged.

Disrespect is one of them.

As is the season, its time in my area for municipal elections.

And I would say that several of the almost 30 candidates running here are not causing negative waves. They are standing on their platforms, and letting the voters judge them on their merits.

But with any crowd, there are always a few who make the rest look back, and frustrate those who run with integrity and respect.

Hey, I get it that we are all entitled to our opinions.  I don’t like dogs stopping and pooping on my lawn, and their owners not picking up after their pet does their business.

I get that none of us are perfect. We all have flaws and weaknesses.

I get upset when instead of telling me what they have to offer, a candidate publicly uses their platform to bad mouth an opponent.

That reveals more to me about the character of the speaker than the opponent’s.

The Bible talks about this, in no small detail.

Its really judgment.

And pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye instead of taking the time to see the log in our own.

Its also a sign of insecurity.

If you can’t control yourself before you get into a position of authority, how can the voters trust you will once you have the power to make decisions at your fingertips?

As followers of Jesus, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  By publicly speaking badly about your neighbor, you not only disrespect them, you show your lack of compassion and love.

Your weakness comes to the forefront, becoming more obvious than the complaint you have, when it is offered without respect.

Our local government, like yours, has a group of individuals running for council: 28 for 8 spots.

With odds like that, your campaign needs to be based on your ‘can do’s ‘, not your ‘look at their flaw(s)’.

When we fail to honor those around us, we essentially let the enemy run havoc in our neighborhood.

I am tired of unnecessary drama, local or otherwise. We all know that life has enough ups & downs without adding anything into the pile.

Take the time to get to know those running for office in your community.

Better yet, once you know what they stand for, line it up against the Word.

If it isn’t walking with the Word, that candidate likely isn’t either.

May the kindness God has showered on His children overflow onto those who serve in our communities. That His Words would soak deep into our hearts and honor & respect be the visible fruit to the world watching us.

Let’s avoid pointing fingers at others, and ask God to help us root out the log jams we may have, so we can become free and a blessing wherever we go.

No matter the quality of your local candidate, God may have a different plan for some of those running. May God lead us to select the best person(s) for the positions in our home towns, the one (s) whose character reminds us of Jesus.

Who gave His all to serve those He came to bless.


oh where is my hairbrush?

I am a put it back in its spot kinda gal.
Not too OCD about it, but I like to be able to easily find my stuff. My son is a lot like me in this way.

Not so my hubby or daughter. They have the ‘where it lands, there it will stay’ approach when they gets stressed or are working too hard, which is most of the time it seems.

This causes pile ups where open space should be.

I have five must have open/keep it tidy areas in my small cozy home:
My coffee table
My front hall
My kitchen counters & table
My main bathroom counter
The bottom of the stairs

I don’t care about toilet paper or toothpaste unless you leave me without any. Another story for another day!

Nor the computer desk (about a 1-2 min straighten job) which we all share in our living room.

But when movies get randomly placed about the house, stuff is piled right by the front door so its the first thing you see when you come in my home, and there is more stuff in the way so I can’t get into my basement, well I get ticked.


I make sure that I have certain foods in the house for my family members, I make sure I pay the bills, arrange transportation when needed, do the bulk of the laundry, the grocery shopping and meal planning. The taxes. Vacation planning.

Not whining, coz I love my family, and want to serve. Just saying.

All of the above, like many other moms, on top of working outside the home.

And I am tired of feeling it is ALL on my plate, ALL of the time.

So today, after a cool down period offsite, I came home and spoke up.

My son is taking on a few more weekly chores, which he can choose to do whenever, as long as they get done.

My daughter has a major project she needs to get done on time or a new needed item she wants will not be purchased next weekend.

My hubby has agreed to do a few of the smaller weekly jobs I cannot do easily due to allergies/physical challenges.

The laundry and cooking schedule is going up later tonight. You are on unless you arrange a trade!

After a frustrating inconvenient hour trying to locate MY hairbrush, the final straw for me today, I realized that part of the problem was me.

You see, NOT speaking up and trying to do it all yourself is not only crazy for its superhero mentality, it is overwhelmingly not realistic.

It is okay to say you can’t, or you need help.

Its okay to say no, you are not meeting my needs (not wants in this case).

In fact, its healthier than keeping it in and brooding over situations like this, which can lead to a sudden storm of anger over a smaller irritation yet to come….potentially damaging relationships in the burst of emotions.

So I have accepted that it is okay that I like things mostly in their place. That I want to be tidy, not an obsessive neat freak- but comfortable to have any friend (mine, hubby’s or the kids’) stop by and visit last minute without being embarrassed by the state of my home.

I want to feel welcome in my home.
Free to be me, but also teach and demonstrate to the rest of my family the art of consideration for those we live with- whether family, friends, roommates or pets.

The crisis is over.
I found my hairbrush.
The stairs have been cleared of the items that tried to trip me last night.
I also discovered a few new boundaries going into place in the process.

Family is a team, not full of solo participants. All working together for the good of the whole.

Its about we, not just me’s.


All of us are looking for something.

A great deal.
To be cared for.
A new start.

Did you know all of those can be found at One Source?

A great deal: you didn’t have to pay the price to be reunited with God, whether you ever knew it needed to be paid or not. We all know we do things we shouldn’t, don’t do things we should, from a very young age. This stains our souls with a soil that can only be washed away with blood. Jesus willingly let Himself be held on that cross because He knew that cost could only be paid for, once and for all, by God. So He, as the Son of God, became the required lamb to be offered up to wash those stains, the slate clean. For us. You didn’t have to pay the cost. You just need to accept He has done so for you. A pretty awesome bargain when you realize eternity in heaven is part of the package being offered.

Companionship: you are never alone when you walk with God. He is always with you. Talking with, listening to you. He values your company enough to die to make sure you understood just how much.

Love: love that never ends. Wants the best for you, all the time. Love that is patient, kind, endures all things. Love that is not just spoken but demonstrated, lived out. Love that isn’t just warm fuzzy feelings, but in for the long haul, no matter what.

Respect: God decided to set things up, before His first people were made in the garden, so we could make our own choices. He respects us enough to not make us robots who couldn’t say no but had to follow all commands. Instead, He equipped us with the ability to say yes or no, and respects our right to do so, honoring the decisions even if He doesn’t like them.

Hope: God gives us a future. Knowing we are not alone, we are loved and valued by God gives us hope on the days when we feel everything is unraveling. Better things are to come, hope whispers into our soul.

To be cared for: Never being alone, having God with us all the time gives us the knowledge that Gods love is also practical. He knows you need food, a roof over your head, clothing. He gives us gifts and talents, and puts people around us to help develop them or provide for us as we need.

A new start: God is able to take what the world sees as not worth investing in, and gives us a new lease on life. The Bible is full of such real life people: Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Ruth, Rahab, Peter, Matthew, Paul. They all had God give them a new start- one that changes their lives forever and influenced those around them & generations yet to come.

Not all roads lead to heaven.
Only one door opens that path, and Jesus hold the key.
If You seek Him, you will find Him.
Your search will not be in vain if you are seeking Him with all you are.