“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Luke 7:47, HCSB


9711325376_0b003d5867_b-750x500What was she doing there?

Upon invitation, Jesus ate at Simon the Pharisee’s house. A certain someone, known as an immoral woman, heard about Jesus’ visit and decided to crash the party. Bringing a container of valuable perfume, she entered and stood behind the Lord as He stretched out at the table. Weeping, she wiped, kissed, and anointed Jesus’ feet, worshipping Messiah with a full heart.

Everyone–except Jesus–could see her. She didn’t seem to care. She was too overcome.

I wonder why the Pharisee even let her in. I’d think he wouldn’t want such a lowlife to enter his home since he retained a leadership position in the Jewish community. Why didn’t he stop her? Though it appears she worked as a prostitute, he didn’t chase her away. Simon simply watched and thought … and judged.

Maybe this woman had earned money at Simon’s house in the past.

Maybe Simon and this woman knew each other.

Obviously, Simon felt superior.

Yet Jesus saw right through. He read the Pharisee’s thoughts, and though Simon didn’t ask for a response, the Lord answered anyway:

“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answered and said to him…” Lk. 7:39-40, NASB

Jesus communicated truth through a parable about two people unable to repay debt. Graciously, their moneylender forgave each of them–one for 50 denarii and the other for 500 denarii. The Lord then asked Simon who loved the lender more, and Simon correctly understood. Of course, the person forgiven for the greater debt held a greater love.

Just like that woman. That “sort of person.” That “sinner.”

Though she really had nothing to offer, she humbly gave all she could: her tears mingled with perfume, the tresses flowing from her head, the gentle kiss of her lips … all spent on Jesus’ feet.

I don’t believe she’d ever used those parts of her body in such a holy way.

But unlike Simon, this woman grasped in the core of her being that the living God sat before her. A Savior so exquisite, so loving, so welcoming–so forgiving–Who made her new. She’d followed the Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisee’s house, publicly displayed her faith, and worshipped Him unashamedly.

She knew what she was, yet she’d come to know who HE IS.

She’d been forgiven for Every. Horrendous. Sin.

In return, she loved MUCH.

May this be true of us as well. 


God Can Use ANYTHING!: Control

God can and will use ANYTHING to speak to our hearts.  Join me this week as I share one of His creepy crawley visual aids!



For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14 (NASB)

white-flag-3Snake Numero Uno wasn’t too big a deal.  It was in plain sight, and I had been warned.  I was even asked if I wanted it killed or relocated.  I chose the latter.  Looking back, it seems like the ball was in my court, so to speak, and I was reasonably comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

Snake Numero Dos WAS a big deal!  It caught me off guard, invaded my space and I felt helpless.  I was extremely uncomfortable in an uncomfortable situation!  Other than about twelve inches, the culprit was the same: a big black snake.  What was the difference?

Control.  Don’t we believe that life is better when we’re in the driver’s seat?  The enemy knows that, and he stealthily invades our space with the deception that we somehow have it all figured out. We like for things to be what we want, when we want and how we want.  We really think we know best!

I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Ephesians 2:1-10.  O how I pray that God will cement these truths in our hearts so when that “Serpent of Old” comes slithering under our steps – whether we’re blindsided or prepared – we’ll see him for who he is — Satan, the deceiver and murderer from the beginning.

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.     –The Message

From my heart to yours,


Glorious Gumption: Hannah

You don’t hear the word gumption used very often. I like the sound of it. It makes me think of courage. It involves wisdom, discernment, spirit, ability, and judgment, among other things. It also requires good old-fashioned get-up-and go! When gumption is utilized in a godly way, I call it glorious. Join me this week as we look as some women who displayed glorious gumption in their lives and understand how we can do something similar!




And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut. 

1 Samuel 1:11 NLT

Wednesday_Day_Three_Pic-HandsHannah desperately wanted to be a mother, but she had no children for many years. She’d been picked on and looked down on all this time by another wife who had children (Peninnah). Hannah became sad and depressed over her infertility and cried often because of it. Although her husband loved her more than his other wife, and brought her extra portions of food, he didn’t understand her anguish. We read his words in 1 Samuel 1:8, “…Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:1-10).  He might ‘ve meant well but he definitely didn’t get it. He sounded like his focus was really on himself!

Read today’s Dose verse. Hannah looked to God for control of her situation. She conceded her helplessness and confessed her need of God’s power to end her anguish. She faithfully laid her infertility before God and made a conscience commitment to God to relinquish to His service the son He might bless her with. She even planned a sign (his hair would not be cut) to show the Lord her sincerity. Hannah wasn’t making some shallow faithless wish or some spontaneous bargain with God, as we do sometimes. God doesn’t bargain with us.

Can you even imagine how hard it would be to have gone all those years barren and then upon being blessed with a child, surrendering him back to the Lord? Sacrifice and release of control is not my strong suit, nor that of many people I know. Our tendency is to hold on tightly to virtually everything we have.  Hannah showed a tremendous amount of sacrifice, commitment, and faith. This was Hannah’s glorious gumption! God granted her plea and she was faithful to loyally honor her commitment.

Sometimes the realization of our utter lack of control is just what is needed to turn us to the only One truly in control: God. God calls us to hold the earthly things He gives us loosely because He is the giver and taker of them all, including our children. When we understand and accept that without God’s intervention, we’re powerless to extinguish our anguish, sufferings, and unmet needs, we can learn to surrender control and fully rely on God.

Are you hanging onto control today? Why don’t you surrender your control for the Lord’s?

Glorious gumption through surrendering control,


[Read 1 Samuel Chaps 1 & 2 for more of this story]