1 Degree Matters

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in Blog | 40 comments

  Have you ever noticed when the temperature outside goes up one degree? I don’t, yet the thermometer shows it has. It isn’t until the temperature changes by five or ten degrees that I begin to feel it. I notice the cumulative effects of a bunch of degrees, but the individual degrees themselves, go unnoticed.   “Your eyes [God] saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”  ~Psalm 139:16 ESV On February 2, 2012, I will have been alive for 13,272 days. (Yes, I factored in leap years!) If I live to be 80 years old, I will hit 29,242 days. If God has not written that many days for me, I have less than 15,970 days left on this side of eternity. This is not that many when you consider the whole of human history. It puts each of my days into perspective, doesn’t it? Since God has taken time to write about each of them, then it means each day of my life is indispensable to Him. What I choose to do each day matters. I may not remember what occurred on day 6,808, but I notice the cumulative effects of my days, today. Coincidently, the new year has arrived. We have no idea what the days before us will hold. Some of them will make sense and others will not. On some days our hearts will be joyful, and on others they may be broken. No matter what unfolds, both of us will do one thing: change.   “And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”  ~2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV, emphasis mine In my opinion, the process of becoming more like Jesus Christ can be just as mysterious as the 2 Corinthians verse I just quoted. Sensing our transformation in Him can be challenging at times. We who have received Jesus Christ as Savior need encouragement as the change happens. This is why I am here. I am writing to you because I believe each day you encounter provides a chance for freedom to be found, change to be embraced, and glory to be seen. I don’t want you to miss out! I believe what you choose to do with your individual days matters.   “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,our inner self is  being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen…”  ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18a ESV I welcome you to One Degree! My prayer for this blog is that it will help you grow in your faith and that it will be a source of encouragement to you. Some of my blog entries will focus on a particular verse or chapter of the Bible. Others will challenge you to stop and worship. Some will…well, you’ll see.   I would love to meet you! Drop me a note below that includes your first name and what the current “temperature” of your relationship with God feels like. Is it cold, lukewarm, or hot? Why do...

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Why I’ve been silent in the midst of all the shootings

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Blog | 4 comments

      Observation #1: I didn’t plan on going into a bookstore. It wasn’t on my list of errands. As I loaded my groceries into the back seat of my car, I remembered I needed to buy a friend a gift, so off to the bookstore I went. Finding the perfect thing for her, I approach the cash register to pay. This is when I first notice him. His shirt is half untucked, and his shoes are covered with the dust that covers everything here in the desert. He speaks Spanish. He is shifting his weight from foot to foot, waiting by the cash register for someone or something to arrive. I wonder about this man’s life story. The store clerk interrupts my wonderings by asking me to step forward and pay for my purchase. I step beside the man and hand the clerk my money. As I was doing so, another store clerk walked behind the counter and presented the man beside me with a closed box. He stopped moving, smiled at her, and opened it. I want to grasp what he is saying because he is speaking Spanish quickly and with great excitement. The look on his weary face changes. I’ve seen the same expression on my son’s face as he took his first steps, or when we surprised him with a trip to Disneyland. My son’s excitement was evident when he saw the peak of the fake Matterhorn from Harbor Boulevard. This man exhibited the same look on his face. But why? I glance into the shallow box; understanding at once. The man carefully lifted a black leather Bible out of the box as if it were made of bone china. The cover was newly engraved with what I assume to be his name. From no name, to a name engraved in gold. I can barely keep my emotions in check. This mama is familiar with the power of the Bible he is holding. We lock eyes and I muster a huge grin while holding back tears that want to fall. No words are needed between us. We possess different skin colors and speak in different languages. But in our spirits, we are united. And we both realize it. For many years I denied Jesus access to my heart. And yet, He loves me and forgives me though I am still far from perfect. What breaks my heart is that countless names around me are not written in gold. There are many people who continue to deny the deity of Jesus, the only One who unifies people of different colors and backgrounds. To them I write with kindness and in love: Jesus is the Messiah. Names are being engraved in gold. I want yours to be too.   Observation #2: Let’s talk about my car. My wonderful husband works hard at vacuuming and scrubbing the thing. Bless. You can hop into my car and conclude from a casual observation that nothing moldy is growing on the seat in which you are sitting. But, I direct your attention to this:       Yep, gross. In the nooks and crannies of our car, invisible to everyone, is a plethora of crumbs, stale potato chips and fossilized french fries. Our car is not clean is it? It...

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Why Your Kids Are Never Too Old for Bedtime Stories

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Blog, Guest Posts | 0 comments

  Hi friends! I pray that your summer is off to a fabulous start. I want to introduce you to a new writer friend of mine, Janet Thompson. I recently purchased Forsaken God?, her newest book, and I cannot wait to dive into its pages. I know you will be blessed by her words. Here is Janet: “Grammie, who are the people in that picture frame?” my ten year-old granddaughter, Katelyn, asked as she and her seven year-old sister climbed into sleeping bags to spend the night in the loft at our house. Katelyn was pointing to black and white pictures of my grandparents and my parents, all who died before she and her sister were born. As I tucked the girls in and explained who each person was in the picture, Katelyn whispered in my ear, “Wasn’t your dad murdered?” Katelyn’s mother, my daughter, never knew her grandfather—my dad. My father was a California highway patrolman shot in the line of duty when I was ten-years old—the same age as Katelyn. I had told my daughter the story of her grandfather’s bravery, and she told the story to her daughter, and that’s how family stories stay alive long after the heroes of the stories are gone. I’m sure my granddaughters will want to hear the story of their great-grandfather many more times, and their mom and I will eagerly tell them about their family history. No matter how old we get, we still enjoy hearing stories of things we did as kids, or about funny stories on family trips, or some of the stories of hardships and joys our family has encountered over the years. These stories bond us together with camaraderie and shared history. We tell these stories repeatedly at family reunions, around campfires, during celebrations, reminiscing at funerals and memorials, and at bedtime as the activities of the day quiet down to a peaceful reminiscent time before the enveloping of sweet sleep. But it only takes one generation neglecting to pass down a heritage to the next generation for a way of life, family history, or a belief system to vanish. That chilling fact underlines the magnitude of our responsibility as parents and grandparents to share family, and Bible stories with our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and for them to do the same: “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). God made sure the Israelites freed from Egypt had a whale-of-a-tale and bedtime story to tell to future generations, of all ages. Before freeing the Israelites, God provided a platform to display his miraculous acts and wonders for a story too incredible not to share . . . and we still tell the story today . . . or at least we should: Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.” —Exod. 10:1-2 God specifically and repeatedly tells his people to pass down to future generations all the awesome wonders they saw him do...

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