There is a lake near my home and it is my favourite place to walk.  I have walked around it dozens and dozens of times, in hot sunshine and in rain.  I have been around it so many times that I know the path like the back of my hand.

But sometimes I like to take my camera and try and find views and scenes that I have never noticed before.  I like to explore the smaller paths that wind between the rhododendrons and camellias and look for something new to photograph.

It is the same lake, of course, but there is always a fresh angle or a new perspective waiting to be discovered.  And, the more I discover, the more I love it.



I think knowing God is like that.

If I am going to live carefully and wisely, as described in Ephesians 5.15-17, if I am going to understand and grasp God’s will, I have to always remember that I don’t know everything.  There is always more.

God is bigger than my particular political persuasion or my preferred church denomination.  He is bigger than my own personal view of the world.

That is one of the reasons that we need each other.

In Romans chapter 12, we see that we are all gifted in different ways and in verse 5 it says, ‘we being many are one in Christ and individually members of one another.’  The New Living Translation says, ‘we are all different but we depend on each other.’

One of the ways in which Christians depend on each other is for the different perspectives we each bring. 


It is so easy to read things we already know and to only spend time with people who are just like us. When we do that, we are missing out because we often learn the most from those who are different from us.

This doesn’t come naturally though.  It can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.  It involves listening more and never being so set in our ways that we can’t learn something new about God from someone else.

If you are a bit of a bookworm like me, someone who is always reading and writing and thinking, it might be time to hang out with a Christian who serves the needy in more practical ways.  Watch and learn as they get their hands dirty and love others with actions, not just words.

If your natural inclination is towards serving other Christians in church, you could dare to spend the day with an evangelist.  Their love for the lost will infuse you and challenge you and change you.

If prayer isn’t your thing, find a friend who is a committed intercessor.  Listen to the passion they have for prayer and let them lift your faith with their tales of God’s supernatural answers.

If you have been a Christian for a long time, nothing will refresh and revive you like the energy of a new believer.  It is so sincere and pure and totally contagious.  If you are newer to the faith, find a mature Christian and just watch them.  See how they live life, make decisions and raise a family.  Ask them anything you don’t understand.  Follow them as they follow Christ.

Don’t read the same authors or go to the same conferences all the time.  Try something a little different.  As long as it is Biblical, learn from someone with a new perspective. It really is life-changing.

Don’t spend your life just re-enforcing what you already know and believe.  Look to learn every day.  This is how we grow.



We must always remind ourselves that there are things about God we do not know or understand yet, however long we have been Christians.  God has so much truth to reveal to you and so much new beauty for you to enjoy.  There is treasure you haven’t found in the Bible yet and ways of praying you have never thought of.

This Creator God we call Father is indescribable and uncontainable and it takes a lifetime to scratch the surface of His goodness and love. 

There is so much to seek, to chase and to discover in God.

And God promises that whenever we seek more of Him, we find more of Him.  










I spent the day yesterday glued to all things Royal as I watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot.  While this eclectic, British/American wedding unfolded, I couldn’t help but think about nationality and culture.

I have now lived in the UK for over 30 years and in many ways, I feel quite British.  I understand their dry sense of humour now and know the affectionate place it comes from.  I have been completely infected by the British love of gardens and pubs and roast lunches.   I have even come to enjoy rainy day walks as long as I get the obligatory cup of tea afterwards.  I have learned to talk less and listen more and to drop everything when the sun is shining and enjoy it.

But whether I like it or not, my nationality always shows itself eventually.

I like tea, but I LIVE for coffee and I drink it out of a Cowgirl mug.  My laugh is way too loud and please do not take me to a restaurant that does not have a burger on the menu or we cannot be friends.



I am way too optimistic to be passed off a local.  I hate English mustard and fish and chips.  And don’t take away my visa, but am pretty indifferent about nature programs.  Sorry.

Nachos still are, and always will be my love language.

That is because I am a native-born American and where I spent the first 17 years of my life still affects what I like and what I don’t.

In Ephesians 5.8, before Paul encourages us to live carefully, He explains why.

Because we are children of light, or as the Amplified version says, ‘native-born to the light.’

In the next verse, Paul tells us a life of light consists of every form of kindly-goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.  

As Christians, this is our culture and it should colour who we are.

In this harsh, critical, hateful world we show where we are from when we choose kindness.  This kindness will stop others in their gossiping tracks and it can change the atmosphere in our place of work and our homes.

Those of us native-born to light should be immediately uncomfortable with all hypocrisy and any kind of posturing or posing.  Instead, we can be known for our sincerity and integrity, both of which are in very short supply in 2018.

We shouldn’t be surprised if we have no taste for things that are tasteless or off-colour because we love what He loves and hate what He hates.

Our natural desire should always be for justice, mercy and humility, (Micah 6.8b).  Unforgiveness, vengeance, bitterness and pride should feel very uncomfortable to us.  Followers of Jesus love like He loves or they are not followers.

And, our natural habitat should always be with those in need, not the cool group

After 33 years in this country, I have to fight hard to keep my American identity.  That is because I want to fit in here. I want to understand others and to be understood.  But I have to be careful not to lose who I am.  It is the same with Kingdom culture.

We have to find a way to live here, love our neighbours, listen, understand and be involved.  But we cannot afford to lose who we are because it is our distinctiveness that makes us useful, not our blending in.


Don’t be afraid to be different, to show where you come from and who you are.  Don’t be afraid to be the kind one, the generous one, the forgiving one.

Live the set-apart, laid-down life you are made for.

Stand up and stand out.  Stand alone if you have too.

Love the world you live in enough to change it.  

‘Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.’  Romans 12.2 The Message.


Slowing Down


Redeeming the time, because the days are evil  Ephesians 5.16

There is just no getting away from it.

Whether it fits my personality and my routine or not, if I want an Ephesians 5  lifestyle, I will just have to slow down a bit sometimes.

The words used in Ephesians 5.16, ‘redeem’ and ‘time’, are translated from the Greek words ‘exagorazo’ and ‘kairos’.

‘Exagorazo’ means ‘to purchase’.  ‘Kairos’ means ‘an important or opportune time’, which is why the NIV translates this phrase as ‘making the most of every opportunity’.

Sounds good, but how can I do that?  How can I make the most of every divine moment I am given?  How can I capitalize on these chances to do life-changing, Kingdom work?

Well, first of all, I have to recognize them.

Living carefully is a lot like driving carefully.  If I drive too fast I can miss things. I can miss dangers, like obstacles on the road.  Or I might miss my turning and have to make a frustrating detour.

If I live frantically I can miss things too.  I can miss opportunities.

I love the story of the Samaritan women in John chapter 4.  Here we find Jesus walking from Judea to Galilee.  He’s been busy in Jerusalem.  He’s been flipping tables in the temple, teaching truth and baptizing His followers.

Then we read in John chapter 4.4, ‘But He needed to go through Samaria.

This was the way to go from Judea to Galilee.  It was the road that took Jesus from his ministry in Jerusalem to more ministry in Cana where many miracles would take place.  But for our Lord, it was more than this.  The road through Samaria was an opportunity.  There was a person to love, a life to transform and a village to impact.

So Jesus stopped at this well and purchased the moment for good.

Every day you and I are going from place to place, task to task, from busy to more busy. In the middle of all that travelling are all kinds of ‘kairos’ opportunities.   Some are really obvious but others can be missed.  If our schedules, our minds or our hearts are too full, it is easy to overlook these Kingdom events in our lives.

You and I pass by wells every day as we live our lives.  If we slow down a little, we can recognise these places as the holy ground that they are.