Posts in His Name
ISH: husband


“I will make you my wife forever,

showing you righteousness and justice,

unfailing love and compassion.

I will be faithful to you and make you mine,

And you will finally know Me as LORD.”

Hosea 2:19,20


The Meaning of the Name:

All through out Scripture, God uses the marriage metaphor to give us the sense of the relationship He wants with each of us.

In the book of Ruth, Boaz is a captivating picture of Jesus the Redeemer, coming to rescue us and sweep us away with His love.

In the Song of Solomon, we are invited to peer into the private moments of a couple in love.  The poetry poured onto those pages cannot help but point us to a relationship with God that is far more intimate than anything we have ever before experienced.

Then Hosea is ordered by God to marry an unfaithful, unworthy woman—just so He can demonstrate in tangible story how much He longs for us regardless of our filthy history.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul uses the same symbolism to capture God’s heart for the Church.  He speaks of nourishing and cherishing us, of washing us, of presenting us as lovely brides to the One who waits to draw us close.

Do you know Him in that way? 

Can you shed your stiff image of a God waiting to pounce on you at the slightest provocation?  Do you understand how deep His love runs for you?  That He is crazy for you?

He is the only One who is always faithful.

He is the only One who will never leave you or disappoint you. 

He is really the only One who loves you just the way you are. 

After all, He is… your Husband.

Ephesian 5:25-27

Isaiah 54:5-8


Isaiah 62:4,5


ELOHLM: Mighty Creator God


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

“So God created people in his own image,

God patterned them after Himself;

male and female He created them.”

Genesis 1:1, 27


The meaning of the Name:

In the first hours of time, God took upon Himself the work of creating a world of life.  Out of “a waste and emptiness”[1], He moved and spoke and painted beauty.  With His fingers, the Psalmist tells us, He created sunsets andstorms and hummingbirds and lightning. His creation reflects His very nature, shouting out His “invisible attributes”[2] to a world empty without Him.

And He created us.  Each of us, made in His image, a uniquely faceted aspect of who He is.[3]

Elohim has been creating since He first opened the pages of His story and He is creating still. 

He made you and He is still making you, writing your story as a part of His own. With intricate skill He carves His face into your life, smoothing roughened edges, correcting crooked angles, shaping His beauty into who you are.

Do you sense His artistry?  Are you soft and pliable, yielding to His touch?  Or are you oblivious to His creativity—dashing helter skelter through your days irregardless of His grace?

Pause a moment and think.

God began a good work in you before you were born[4] and He hasn’t quit.  In fact, He is perfecting and polishing His work in you today and every day.[5]Are you impeding His progress?  Resisting His touch?  Dragging your heals at what you know He wants you to do? Could it be that you think you know better than Elohim what your life ought to look like?

Are you trying to control God?

If your soul confirms the conviction that what you really long for is His creative hand in your life and circumstances, then tell Him that right now.  Let Him do what He has been doing since the beginning of time.

After all, He is…Elohim.

From My Heart,


Genesis 1

Philippians 1:6

Isaiah 40:28,29

Isaiah 65:17-66:2

Jeremiah 18:1-6

[1]Genesis 1:2 NASB Open Bible

[2] Romans 1:20

[3] Genesis 2:26,27: 9:6

[4] Psalm 139

[5] Philippians 1:6




The beauty of this name of God is unsurpassed.

Literally rendered, with us is God, the name echoes both the longing of God’s heart towards us and our aching emptiness without Him.

One of Satan’s most effective ploys seems to be to make use feel isolated— like nobody knows what’s going on with us, nobody understands, nobody really cares.


Jacob’s solitary flight from his raging brother took him away from all that was safe and familiar. After several days of traveling along the ridge road through the hill country, watching his back in fear of Esau, Jacob fell exhausted to the ground near the town of Luz. Finding no shelter, he lay down to sleep with a stone for a pillow. There he slept the sleep of one exhausted from anxiety, tormented by regrets and feelings of failure. He had sinned, and that sin left him alone and afraid, his future uncertain.

Sometime during the night, Jacob had a dream. He saw a stairway between heaven and the earth he lay on. Coming up and down through that portal, Jacob saw angels busy about their task of bringing messages to the sons of men and help to the people of God.

And that’s when he heard this astonishing news that God was with him.

“I will be with you and will protect you wherever you go.

I will someday bring you safely back to this land.

I will be with you constantly until

I have finished giving you everything I have promised.”


Jacob woke with a start! Could it be? Had he heard right? Was God really promising to be with him no matter what? In spite of his mistakes, regardless of his failures?

The very idea scared him to death! For him to realize that God was with him changed everything.  “Surely”, Jacob remonstrated, “God is in this place and I wasn’t even aware of it.”

From the beginning of Creation, God has made His presence known to His people.  With Adam and Eve as they strolled together through the garden during the cool morning hours, with Abraham as he dreamed of a better life, even with Paul as he fiercely fought against His plan.

God was with each of them.  And God is with you.

Do you believe that?  Really?  Do you believe that God is with you in the good times and the bad, no matter what?  It’s easy to believe that God is with us when we’re surrounded by raised hands, swaying to the sounds of worship.  But what about when you’re afraid? Or alone?  Or ashamed?

Hold on to the hope of His presence. 

Cling to Him when you’ve sinned and when you’ve failed. 

Run to Him when no one else understands.

He is… God with us.

From My Heart,


Isaiah 7:14

Matthew 1:22,23

Genesis 28:15

Matthew 28:20

Psalm 139

Joshua 1:5

Joshua 1:9

John 14:3

Hebrews 13:5

Isaiah 43:2-5



“— for you shall not worship any other god,

for the Lord, whose name is Jealous,

is a jealous God.”

Exodus 34:14


The Meaning of His Name:

At first glance, this name appears fierce and negative. Jealousy is bad, right? Who wants a jealous boyfriend or a jealous mother? Atrocious damage is done by the possessive jealousy of a relationship gone bad.

But that is not God’s kind of jealous.

God pulled a broken people out of slavery and bondage.

He rescued them and led them to a rich land where they could put down roots and flourish. And as they settled into that land, He hovered over them, protecting them from both predators without and poison within.

He knew then, as He knows today, that other gods will compete for our hearts. He is fully aware of the wiles of the enemy who wants to exploit that unquenchable longing for more.

Eve had everything, yet she was willing to give it all up for the chance of grabbing more. David had more wives than he could ever possibly sleep with, but he just had to add Bathsheba to his harem.

Aren’t you just like them? I certainly am.

God’s jealousy is more about you than about Him. He never forgets that He made you for the express purpose of tight connection with Himself- and He’s not willing to make a threesome of it. What wife is willing to share her husband with another woman? What kind of husband would be okay with his wife gallivanting off on a cruise a couple of times a year with some other guy?

God is jealous for you- all of you. He wants every inch of your heart connected to His. Then He’ll fill you so full of love that you’ll be spilling it all over the people He puts in your life. Leave Him out of the picture and you’ll dry up like a pitted prune.

Is your heart divided? Are you all of His? Is He painstakingly pointing out areas of your life that you keep from Him? Are you sure you want to live that way?

He is, after all… Jealous for you.

From my heart,


Exodus 34:10-24

Hebrews 12:28,29

Song of Songs 8:6,7

Deuteronomy 4:23,24

Isaiah 33:14,15

repost 2.2011 

ADONAY: master


repost from 2.2014

“And now the Sovereign Lord (Master) and His Spirit have sent me with this message:

The LORD (Yahweh), your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the LORD (Yahweh) your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to My commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling like waves.”

Isaiah 48:16-18


“Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything He has done.”

Psalm 22:30-31


Meaning of His Name:

I didn’t much like my first boss. He was an ex-marine kinda guy- complete with blond crew cut and lace up boots.

He was so mean. I mean he made me clock in on time- to the minute! Didn’t he understand how far I had to drive to get to there? Then I had to find a place in the shade to park my 1972 VW Bug. Its black interior and lack of air conditioning needed a little pampering.

And he made me work. Once when he caught me next door licking the left-overs from the cotton candy shop, he even yelled at me. “Wadda ya think you’re doin? Get back to the grill and flip burgers! Can’t you see there’s a line outside?”

Gosh, give a girl a break.

Along with all the rest of the teenagers who worked at Frontier Village Amusement Park, I made faces and grumbled behind his back. We had more derogatory names for that man than I could keep track of.

My next job gave me a little perspective. This time I could shed my ridiculous uniform and wear lovely, sophisticated clothes. I parked right out front and walked into an air conditioned bank. The first time I overheard another teller getting fired for being late, I thanked my old boss for his early intimidation. As sloppy mistakes kept me at my window way past closing, I determined to put to use some of those lessons he’d taught me about exactness and details. For all his bluster, he’d trained me well, knowing that Frontier Village was just one short stop on my path to adulthood.

Jesus is Adonai, Master. We hear it said, we spout it sincerely, we even write it down. But do we get what it means? Lord, Master, the Boss of not only the entire universe, but of me as well!

As my boss, and yours, He has certain rights and responsibilities. He’s training us for the next job- something far more meaningful and impactive than we realize. He cares that we do well- even at the expense of our personal comfort. Sometimes He demands attention to detail- like when He compares calling a brother an idiot to murder.[2] At other moments, this Master requires more of us than we want to give. He even fires us from jobs we mess up on. And He can ‘cuz He’s the boss, girls!

While we love the idea of Abba, Father, and the Rock, and the One Who Heals, this idea of a boss is a little hard to swallow sometimes. Yet, like it or not, He is.

Are you honoring Him as Master of every area of your life and relationships? Are you loving Him by loving on everyone He puts in your path? Like your husband? Or your sister-who-annoys-you? Or your first boss?

Are you fully embracing your Savior for who He is?

After all, He is… Adonay- your Master.


From my heart,



Exodus 15

Genesis 18:16-33[3]

Job 28:28

Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14; 8:10; 10:29

Psalm 38:9


[1] Frequently translated Lord in the Old Testament

[2] Matthew 5:21,22

[3] notice that Abraham addresses the LORD (Yahweh) as Lord (Adonay) or Master



repost: 02.2011

“You are a God who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13


“…every moment You know where I am.”

Psalm 139:3


The Meaning of His Name:

Only one woman in the Bible ever called God, El Roi. No men clung to that name- ever!

Hagar was Abraham’s mistress, though she started out innocently enough as Sarah’s servant. Her days rolled by in a monotone of mindless work. No hope of getting ahead, no chance for marriage or family. She had traveled far away from home for this position and had no intention of jeopardizing her job by messing up.

But Sarah was not a nice woman. She wielded her sharp tongue with empirical power. As Sarah grew more and more frustrated with what she saw as her husband’s passive response to God’s promise, her bitter attitude spilled all over Hagar.

Go ahead and read Hagar’s story in Genesis chapter sixteen— it’s a story well worth mulling over. Ultimately, Hagar ran as far from Sarah’s meanness as she could get. With little but her shattered dignity to keep her company, she sat in the middle of the desert road and wept. All alone—no family, no friends, no children to call her own.

That’s when she saw God. Actually, that’s when Hagar realized that God saw her.

Do you really realize yet that God sees you? The one you hide from everyone else. The you under all the make up and pretty clothes and pretend piety. The you no one else sees.

That’s the you He saw hanging from the cross.

That’s the you He longs to come close to every day.

The real you.

After all, He is…the God Who Sees Me.

From my heart,


Psalm 33:13-22

Psalm 32

Luke 23:34

Matthew 5:8

Job 42:5,6


You cannot imagine the joy that I have experienced as I have studied and written about these names of God. When I first started, my days were being invaded by the heartbroken sadness of far reaching sin that had attacked my extended family on multiple fronts. The consequences of unmitigated selfishness had left people I love devastated.

None of us were spared.

How could people do this?  Why would God allow it?

I ran between everyone trying to fix it, exhausting myself in the process. My soul carried their burden with every breath.  Sadness stalked me.  Fun and laughter and rest seemed like mockery of their pain.

Every morning I brought all that sorrow to the Father, pleading with Him to take it away from these people I loved.  I carried with me a long list of souls too confused to walk alone. And every day I spent hours on the phone, pouring out every tidbit of comfort and wisdom I had acquired in my own quest for answers.

Then I hit the wall. Nothing was working, no one was getting fixed as fast as I thought they should, and I no longer had the strength to run alongside them. Like a marathoner at mile 19, I wanted to quit.

That very morning I started this study of His Name.

Elohim was first- the Creator.  My burden began to lift just a little at the realization that His fingertips made the Alps and the oceans and the hummingbird outside my window.  Then I studied Child. What’s this?  God as a kid?  Running and giggling and reveling in wonder?

Maybe He would handle this catastrophe after all.  Maybe I ought to let Him instead of bossing Him around every morning as I brought my burdens to His attention.

Maybe He had a plan.

As I moved on to Immanuel, with us is God, and Strong Tower, He began to fill me up with His Presence.  The beauty of who He is overrode the ugliness of this part of my loved ones’ stories.

I began to hope again, though this time that hope took on a different definition.

The truth is, this life we live is sometimes awful.  When sin invaded human history, it brought with it horrors too horrific to handle. Sin and disease and brokenness are normal now. But that sin did not delete God.  Not by a long shot.  He is still who He ever was- the same God He was in the ancient stories of Abraham and Joshua and Abigail and Sarah.  And He’s just as unchanging today.  To me and to my family and to every human being whose world has been rocked by treachery.

But here’s the best part- He’s never going to change.

He will always be El Roi- the God who sees me.  He will forever be the Word- that continuous stream of talking to us that we are just beginning to catch on to.

And He will be who He is to us—to you, and to that circle of people you call your own.

That, my dear girls, is where hope lies... and joy, and rest, and reality.

Not that everything is going to get better.  Not even that He is working in our lives to fix us, but that He is who He is and He will be who He is to us- forever.

I hope that this study of His names has filled you as He has filled me. And if it has, would you please do something for me? Would you let all of us know what has been your favorite Name? And why?

From my heart,


His NameIntentional Parents
bread of life

Then Jesus went up into the hills and sat down…Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for Him. Turning to Philip, He asked,

Philip, where can we buy break to feed all these people?

There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?

Tell everyone to sit down, Jesus ordered.

And they all ate until they were full.

John 6:3,5,9,10,11

I am the bread of life.

No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry again.

John 6:35

The Meaning of the Name:

The people who were drawn to Jesus on the hillsides of around the Sea of Galilee were not wealthy folk. They didn’t have a lot of extra stashed away in a bank account to help them through the lean times. For these men and women to take a day off of work in order to listen to Jesus meant almost certain deprivation. It cost them something.

And yet they came in droves— thousands filled the grassy slopes. Gathered in clusters of friends and family, they soaked in the words of this man whose audacious claims earned him enemy-of-state status.

I wonder sometimes what it would have been like to be in that crowd. To be jostled by neighbors trying to get closer, to sit in the relentless heat with sweat pouring down my back.

What must it have been like to feel the hunger and sense the thirst of those thousands? To hope like they must have, when all other hope was gone? Was the place crazy with excitement? Were they scared? What drew them there? And, I wonder,

Did they walk away with what they wanted?

The story tells us that the very next morning some of these same people came clamoring for more. With visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads (or maybe it was barley loaves), they gathered for a second helping. Just think of it, no more work, no more striving for every little scrap, here was a man who’d just hand it to them, no questions asked!

Only this time, instead of baskets of bread, they got an earful of honesty.

…you shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.

Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you…

I am the bread of life.

No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry again.

Those who believe in Me will never thirst…

But you haven’t believed even though you have seen Me.

John 6

They knew exactly what He was saying— that if they wanted to have hold of this bread that filled the gnawing hunger of 5000 people in the wilderness, they were going to have to get off their passive pattucies and go after Him in risk-taking trust. He wasn’t going to prove Himself one more time in order to help them off their wavering picket fence.

If they wanted that bread— that magical, mystical, richly satisfying-to-their-toes kind of life they were hoping for, they were going to have to fully and irrevocably entrust every aspect of their lives to Him. And He wasn’t giving any guarantee that He would cooperate with their wishes.

Jesus wasn’t about to make it easy. And He still doesn’t.

Instead he says,

This is the way it is. You want bread?

You want what will keep you fully alive and strong?

Above those soul-crushing waves, out of your endless wilderness of worry?

It’s Me you want!

Not Ten Steps to the Happy Life, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. There aren’t ten steps, there’s only one: Me.

To get at that bread you crave you’re going to have to let go of everything else

that makes you pretend you’re safe.

Your family, your inflexible this-is-the-way-we-do-things approach to life,

your pitiful attempts at control.

And some days you’re going to be faced with impossibilities

like feeding 5000 men out of your sack lunch.

Or loving someone who betrays you.

Or shutting up when everything in you screams for justice.

Or giving thanks for deafness when straining to hear leaves you limp with exhaustion— left out and alone.

When Jesus held that loaf of barley bread in His hands, He wasn’t offering peace-filled platitudes. He was issuing a challenge.

Will you trust Me?

Even when you’re hungry and the cupboards are bare

and all you have is all I am?

Because that’s when I’ll be the Bread of Life to you.

That’s when you will know that deep-down soul-saturating fullness that only I can give.

When you’re absolutely starving and you choose Me and only Me.

Not your friends, not your family, not another seminar or counselor or guarantee. Just Me.

I don’t know if you’ve been to that place of nothingness. I do think that everyone of us gets there at some point in our lives. Maybe some of us arrive a little more hallow eyed and gaunt-cheeked than others, but if you’ve been there you know exactly what I’m saying.

And I know this: once you’ve eaten deeply of who He is- the Bread of Life- you’ll never hunger for anything else again.

From my heart,


RABBI: teacher

I will teach you and instruct you in the way in which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Psalm 32:8

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,

To the house of the God of Jacob,

That He may teach us concerning His ways,

And that we may walk in His paths.

Isaiah 2:3

The Meaning of His Name:

I have always been terribly forgetful. I forget where I put my keys, what I did with my jacket, where I parked my car. When I was a little girl I forgot my homework, my library book, my gym clothes, my lunch.

My mom (who forgets nothing) used to say, If your head wasn’t attached you’d forget that too! My big brother nicknamed me Dingbat-Di for all the times I got in trouble for forgetting again.

All that forgetfulness made school, to say the least, challenging. I was always borrowing pencils and lunch money. I don’t know how many times I stared at my teacher in horror and proclaimed total and complete ignorance of an assignment due that day.

It’s not that I didn’t want to do well; I loved the order of the classroom, the smell of the textbooks, the discovery of something new and unknown. It’s just that there was so much to remember and nothing seemed to stick in my head for long enough to grab hold and stay there.

Of all my teachers, Mrs. Brown was my favorite. Tall and slim with softly waving hair, she wore long flowing skirts cinched at the waist and funny half glasses with a chain around her neck.  Every day after lunch, she’d wait for us all to settle into our seats and quiet down.  Perched on her stool with all the poise of royalty, Mrs. Brown would quietly open a book and read us into new worlds.

Secret animal kingdoms with Wind in the Willows, Victorian England with Black Beauty, back country farms with Charlotte’s Web. I lost myself in her stories, relishing every detail, remembering every character, laughing and crying and hanging onto every word.

After school I’d run home and recount every detail to my mom over a plate of homemade cookies and milk. Names and places and descriptions and who said what to whom.

I forgot nothing.

And mom noticed. Maybe her little girl wasn’t so hopelessly forgetful after all.

Pretty soon my mom (ever the organized scheduler) had settled us into the routine of stopping by the library every week. She helped me find the books Mrs. Brown read to us and then she’d take me home and cuddle up with me on the couch and gently coach me through the words. While at school I painfully pushed myself to memorize flash cards of words (this was way before phonics), at home Mom slid her finger under sentences as she enveloped me in the stories.

At school I learned to read, but it was at home that I fell in love with learning.

(my mom and me)

There was a kindness in the way my mom taught me. As if she had all the time in the world to read it again and again. I remember the cadence of her voice, the feel of her crisply ironed blouse, the scent of her perfume, the press of her cheek against my head. Time slowed down to my pace and all the things I could never remember filled up and made sense and stuck tight.

And I think that’s how Jesus teaches too.

Slow and soft and gentle and easy. He pulls us up tight against His heart and runs His finger under what we’re supposed to know. Lets us linger a little so we can get it down deep. Listens while we say it back. Leads us to the edge of wonder and makes us feel safe there.

When Jesus taught His disciples He said the same things over and over again. He used stories from real life and asked strangely probing questions and let silence get comfortable. He compared people to sheep and mixed mud into medicine and made sure everyone saw everything He ever did.

Kinda like my mom.

And is it any wonder those guys followed Him right down to their deaths? Peter upside down on a cross, John all alone on an island, James with his head on a block.

Those men knew all about the Teacher. His truth slid past their ears right into their brains and on down into the very fabric of their lives.

His truth changed everything.

Sometimes I get mad at myself because, once I again I forget. I forget to be gentle, I forget to forgive, I forget to talk nice, I forget to trust. Over and over, it seems, I have to learn the same lessons.

And I keep waiting for Him to get frustrated with me, to slam down His fist and shout, enough!

And all He does is lift me onto His lap and hold me close and open the pages again.

As if He has all the time in the world to wait for me to get it right.

As if He knows I will

because He knows I want to

because He knows I can

as long as I stay all curled up close in His arms.

From a heart that is learning in the lap of the Rabbi,


Make me to know Thy ways, O LORD;

Teach me Thy paths.

Lead me in truth and teach me.

Psalm 25

SHAR SHALOM: prince of peace

“He Himself is our peace.” Ephesians 2:14

The meaning of His name:

I just got one of those missives that made my blood boil. You know the kind... all couched in sweet sounding spiritual platitudes with an underlying ugliness meant to hurt deep.


The more I read the madder I got. I wanted to rave, to bite back, to form a sarcastic reply and disseminate the paragraphs of sugar coated half-truths. And I wanted to show the message around to others who’d agree with me and do a little ranting of their own.

But as I got up to make myself some breakfast, I passed a pile of writing I’d intended to do. A stack of reference books about the Names of God, a book about Shalom and its biblical roots, a couple of Bibles ready to open and dig deep.

Gulp. In this frame of mind I could hardly be expected to write niceties. I was way to mad for that. Indignant, righteous anger.

Or maybe just mad.

After filling my empty belly with oatmeal I decided I’d better fill my angry soul with something better than the sour grapes I’d swallowed whole.

And that’s when I discovered the beauty of this name- Sar Shalom. Prince of Peace.

You see, I thought this title to be a sort of grand name all lit up in lights on a marquee. For some strange reason no one seems to be able to trace, it’s a name we take out and shine all up at Christmastime. We like this name. We like the royal loveliness of the way it sounds as we sing it.

But do we really grasp what it means when we wake up to find a nasty note in our mailbox?

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It is a word dripping with meaning.  While most of us interpret peace as the absence of conflict, this word encompasses much, much more. It conveys a sense of tranquility and wholeness and completion. Shalom includes such benefits as health, satisfaction, success, safety, and prosperity.

It is everything we want in life, and everything we want for those we love.

But don’t forget the prince part. That’s important. A prince in ancient days was not merely a handsome figurehead waiting for his chance to snatch the throne. A prince was a man of power, a man with authority over his subjects.

A man to be feared and obeyed.

Uh oh, all those mean replies I’d been making up in my head were suddenly starting to look a little petty… and maybe a whole lot wrong.

Prince of peace.

I think this prince had a few things to say about not-so-nice messages and how He wants me to deal with them. Things like…

God blesses those who work for peace, and they will be called the children of God. (Mt 5:9)

God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are My followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too. (Mt 5:11,12)

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and He will bless you for it! (I Peter 3:9)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! This Prince of Peace talked about working hard at peace (I Peter 3:11), about doing good to those who are downright nasty (Mt 5:47). When people spit in His face and made fun of Him, He chose to stay silent and pray for them (Mt 26:63). Then He let Himself be led to the Cross and nailed there— just so He could offer His enemies that irrevocable peace they so desperately needed.

Will I ever learn?

My heart response this morning showed me some real blackness still buried down deep. I was so ready to bury someone in sludge who’d slung a little mud my way. So quick to bite back. So slow to follow in the footsteps of the One I call my King… the Prince of Peace.

I’m all confessed now… and repentant… and ready to do what He says… so that I can have what He offers… and relish the peace in His wake.

And I’ve told you all this so that you and I can do this together, this living in the kingdom of the Prince of Peace. So that you know that I struggle because I know that you struggle too. This is no easy task. It requires a daily determination to die to all my own ugliness and to follow hard after the One who knows the way.

Are you with me?

From my heart,

Diane  Comer

For more on Jesus’ response when being mistreated, read I Peter 2 and 3… and John 18-19:30. And for more on peace, read Philippians 4:6-9 and John 14:27

JEHOVAH SABAOTH: the Lord of hosts

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… The LORD of Hosts is with us.

Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth…

The Lord of hosts is with us.

The Meaning of His Name:

I might have mentioned a time or two how fear-prone I have always been. (read more about that here)

Cautious is my middle name; careful defines how I live my life.

I think I have thought of every possible scenario that could happen to one of my kids and warned them in somber tones about this story I just read in the newspaper…

Just letting them know, of course that danger lurks at the seaside and on the highway to the beach and in raw eggs and in crazy-macho-boy-man-showing-off moments of foolishness.

Just in case they hadn’t thought of that.

But I had an airhead moment many years ago where I forgot all my cautionary advice for just a few seconds and did the unthinkable- I opened my door to a stranger.

As I remember it, the day was a typically lovely day where we lived in Santa Cruz, California. The fog had burnt off around noon and now my kids were playing in the backyard with friends while their mother and I chatted on the sofa. Barbara was a doll-sized woman with a personality as big and bold as a warrior. Mostly when Barbara talked, I laughed- her hilarious recounting of everyday life situations, which she seemed to regularly encounter made my safe life sound tediously boring.

In the midst of our talking someone started pounding on the front door. And I do mean pounding. Like a sledgehammer on steel, the sound had me jumping off the sofa and rushing to investigate before I had a chance to think.

Instead of peeping through the hole to see who was on the other side (a safety precaution I’d insisted my husband install just in case…), I flung the door open to see who dared interrupt my day. And what I saw nearly took my breath away.

A man. A BIG man. A VERY BIG man with a very big black dog by his side.

Rooted to the spot, I could only stare as this VERY BIG man began to swing his arms in angry gestures and rant through tight clenched teeth,

Where’s Diane? They told me Diane was here… where’s Diane?

In the strangest voice, he mumbled and shouted all at once, pointing to his dog, demanding an answer, insisting he see DIANE. Meanwhile his big black dog swirled in agitated circles as if searching for a hidden enemy, barking, jumping, and moaning with the man.

I stood frozen with fear, my front door wide open, oblivious to caution and carefulness and common sense.

At just the moment the VERY BIG man stepped towards me, my tiny friend, Barbara came to the rescue. Leaping off the sofa a few feet away, Barbara ran to the door, shoved me unceremoniously aside, and slammed that door shut with a bang that could be heard miles away- all the while shouting, There’s no Diane here! Go away!

Still trembling, we snuck to a window to see where the man and his dog had gone. He stood there, shaking his unkempt black hair, muttering, looking up from time to time, as if arguing with someone by the front door. A great debate raged for several seconds between the man, his frothing dog, and some invisible adversary.

When he finally left, both of us crumpled to the floor in a uniquely female mixture of hysteria-laced hilarity. We were laughing and crying and shaking and completely beside ourselves with the ridiculous horror of it all.

I never did find out who that man was. I did discover that he’d gone from door to door in my neighborhood inquiring incoherently about Diane. My brother-in-law, Jack (who lived next door), politely pointed him to my house and then wondered what in the world his pip-squeak of a sister-in-law would have to do with a man like that… thanks Jack!

I believe that God sent His angels to protect me that day.

Me, who’d always been so careful to protect myself, needed His help. I think the invisible adversary the man was arguing with was a guard placed by God beside my door to stop the man from whatever havoc he intended to wreck.

He kept me safe when I didn’t know how.

And that’s what this Name is all about. Yahweh Sabaoth. LORD of Hosts.

The first one to discover this Name of God was a suffering woman who lived in the midst of fear-filled times. Her name was Hannah and she wanted a son more than anything else in the world. Hannah’s inability to conceive left her not only lonely and heartbroken— it also left her at the mercy of her husband’s nasty second wife. More than that, however, was the uncertainty of her future. In the absence of social security, a son was charged with the care of his parents in their old age. To be barren meant to die destitute.

Hannah, “greatly distressed”, “wept and would not eat”. She prayed to the Lord as she “wept bitterly” at the alter in the Temple… and “the Lord remembered her and it came about in due time… that she gave birth to a son; and named him Samuel.” (see her story in I Samuel 1,2)

LORD Sabaoth answered.

Decades later, Hannah’s baby boy would grow up to be the prophet-priest who anointed David king over all God’s people. And King David sang song after song about this LORD of Hosts whose protection defined logic.

Then came the pleas of Isaiah and Jeremiah and Zechariah and Hosea and Amos and Micah and Naham and Habakkuk and Zephaniah and Haggai and Zechariah and Malachi.

Men who saw where God’s people were headed and after warning, begging, pleading, urging them back to His heart, finally just placed them in His hands… the hands of the LORD of Hosts.

This is a Name for those long nights of waiting for someone you love to step back into the circle of His love and your care.

This is a Name for when you are unable to protect even yourself. For those moments when you open the door… and this One steps in to rescue you from your own foolishness.

This is a Name for those times when all your warnings and cautionary tactics fail.  When the one you love doesn’t listen. When all you can do is leave her in His hands.

This is the Name for when that VERY BIG man comes too close and you don’t know what to do.

Yahweh Sabaoth. The LORD of Hosts.

Hiding safe in this Name,


Do you have any real life stories of when God stepped in to rescue you without explanation?

Would you share those stories with us to strengthen our fear-prone tendencies to think we’ve got to be so very, very careful?

I’d love to hear.

YAHWEH TSIDQENU: the Lord our righteousness

There is no one righteous, not even one. Romans 3:10


This is the name by which He will be called: The LORD our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:6


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6


Meaning of His Name:

I used to think that being righteous meant being a good girl. So I set out to obey the rules, to tow the line, to behave the way I thought I was supposed to.

And I failed.

Again and again I tried. And again and again I failed.

After a while I stopped trying so hard and started pretending. I pretended to be better than I was. Pretended to be nicer, sweeter, more loving, less obstinate.

But then I had kids... lots of kids. And I couldn’t pretend when surrounded by fussy babies and needy toddlers and mess-making pre-schoolers. And I didn’t much like this woman I knew I was, so I started to pray- really pray, for a rescue from Me.

Then God, in His grace, let all my behavior-modifying, performance-oriented faith collapse like that proverbial house on the sand.

And I sank deep.

I saw my own depths of darkness and I cowered at the sight.

Yet in all that mess I had made, Jesus bent down low and rescued me. He picked me out of that muddy pit, cleaned me up, and set my feet solidly on Himself. The Rock.

And I’ve been singing about Him as loudly as I can ever since. (read more about that here) Because…

He did what I couldn’t and He didn’t have to.

He just did.

And that, my dear friends, is the barest bones of this thing we call the Gospel. The good news.

That I couldn’t be good, let alone righteous. And neither could you. And neither can your kids or your friends or your husband or anyone else you expect to be better than they are.

And that’s why Jesus came to rescue us and why He’s rescuing us still and why someday He’s going to bring us so fully into His presence that we become who we were meant to be.

Who He is. Yahweh Tsidqenu. The Lord our Righteousness.

For an all-too-often hypocritical, not-good woman like me, that’s not just Good News. It is the best news!

Because now its not about me and how well I do as a woman or as a mother or wife or friend or Jesus follower. It’s not about following the latest techniques and reading all the books and going to that seminar guaranteed to turn us into shining paragons of perfection.

It’s about Jesus.

The Rescuer. The Redeemer. The Messiah. The Savior.

My righteousness.

From my heart,


Want more?

Read straight through what some have named, “The Romans Road” :

Romans 3:33

Romans 6:33

Romans 5:8

Romans 10:9

YAWEH ROI: the Lord is my shepherd


I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep and they know Me.

I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

My sheep recognize My voice and I know them and they follow Me.

John 10


The Meaning of His Name:

When I was in the third grade, my family was invited by a neighbor to go to a small new church started in a refurbished prune shed. It was a lovely, cool place with dark wood walls and scarlet carpet on the raised dais.  Tiny pails hung under holes in the ceiling, singing a rhythmic song when the rain beat against the aluminum roof.

The first Sunday we were there I sat surrounded by other nine-years olds in what had been the tiny kitchen of an old farmhouse. An older woman (she was probably all of 30!) read poetry or a song- or something lyrical- from a beautiful white and gold bound book.

I was enraptured by all of it.

When the class was over, the teacher handed each of us a mimeographed copy of what she had been reading and challenged us to memorize it. The prize, she promised, would be the appealingly feminine book of Psalms she held in her hands.

I had to have that book!

All week I worked to cram that poem into my head. By the next Sunday I had it down, word perfect, ready to hold in my hands the coveted beauty of those pages.

And so began by love affair with these words written by a boy-shepherd roaming the hills of a far away land—

The Lord is my Shepherd;

I have everything I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

He leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk

through the dark valley of death,

I will not be afraid,

for You are close beside me.

Your rod and Your staff

protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You welcome me as a guest,

anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely Your goodness and unfailing love

will pursue me

all the days of my life,

And I will live in the house of the LORD


Now, all these years later, I know why my heart longed for that little gold-bound book. This Shepherd was wooing me, inviting me into a relationship with Himself, offering to be my Shepherd.

Let’s take a look at what He offers…

Rest from all that striving.

Peace in the midst of turmoil.

Strength to face reality.

Guidance through impossibilities.

Safety while surrounded by loss.

His presence when loneliness overwhelms.

Protection when threatened.

Comfort when afraid.

Satisfaction instead of restlessness.

Blessings instead of barrenness.

Hope forever.

Is it any wonder I fell in love with Him?

This Shepherd reaches out His hands to you and to me offering a life that is the antithesis of our reality. In the midst of the darkness and the loneliness and our hair-pulling anxiousness, He promises to lead us into this place of purest pleasure.

Will you follow Him there? Let Him lead instead of holding on to every fretful possibility that holds you stuck?

Dare you trust Him to be your Shepherd?

From my heart,


If you want to know more about all the enticing imagery of this Name, pick up the classic book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

MIQWEH YISRAEL: hope of israel

O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble! … You are right here among us, LORD. Jeremiah 14:8

I wait quietly before God,

For my hope is in Him.

Psalm 62:5

We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that…

hope does not disappoint us.

Romans 5:3-5

The Meaning of the Name:

Perhaps the best way to understand hope is to define its opposite—


Desperate… incapable of solution,

Impossible… having no expectation of good or success,

Despairing…not susceptible to remedy or cure,

Incapable of redemption.


I have been in that place of hopelessness, teetered on the edge of the dark.  My cries echoing, mocking, falling far on the rocks below. I know the fear there, that terror-filled sense of slipping with no one to grab onto.

The acrid stench of failing faith.

My story isn’t pretty…

Nurtured in a fairytale-perfect childhood, I danced into my twenties with all the arrogance of one born to royalty.

Daddy’s little princess, Mama’s pretty doll.

The dainty little do-good girl all wrapped in adoration.

Life was good. It should be good, after all, I was good!

In my good life no one ever got really sick, no one died, and no one dared do naughty things. Because we were good.

And I put a whole lot of hope in all that good.

But the day the doctor told me he couldn’t give me a pill to fix my muffled ears… and all those faith-filled prayers came crashing back… and the D-word invaded my good little world— that’s when the dark crept in.

Deafness is definitely not good.

And so I wailed and cried and raved and fussed and fought against the not good thing—

And it got worse, much worse. Until my soul was surrounded by the dark.

Smothering despair. Nothing.

And that’s when He came, this Miqweh Yisrael.

The Hope of Israel.

The hope of me.

On a blustery Sunday night in the backroom of a little church in Santa Cruz, a half dozen or so of my friends— elders, wise men— dabbed the tips of their fingers with a bit of grocery store olive oil, placed their hands on my head, and began to pray. Oh how these men prayed! They laughed out loud and cried without shame and entreated God to touch my ears. To heal me. To make it all good again.

And God said no.

And in God’s no I heard all the hope of forever.

It’s okay, Di, it’s okay.

And in that moment and every moment of twenty years since, it’s been okay.

Even good.

Somehow, in a way I cannot understand or explain or describe, this Miqweh Yisrael has opened my ears to hear His voice.

To hear Him.

Everyday for years and years, as my hearing faded into deafness, He has welcomed me— the not-good-girl who raged and rebelled and failed. And everyday for years and years I have listened. And laughed. And I sing my tuneless song and I think He laughs a little too. A deaf girl singing is definitely not good!

And you?

Do you sing a tuneless song of hope to the One who makes a bad thing good?

Are you waiting to see?

To hear?

Will you let Him be who He is to you- will you let Him be your hope?

From my heart,


Some favorites of mine…

Isaiah 40:31

Hebrews 6:19

Job 13:15

Psalm 31:24; 33:17; 38:15; 42:5,11; 62:5; 71:5

PHILOS: friend

Never abandon a friend…[1] faithful are the wounds of a friend…[2]

the heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense…[3]

a friend loves at all times…[4]

there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother…[5]

I say to you My friends… Luke 12:4

The Meaning of the Name:

Perhaps the most astounding name Jesus pinned on His chest is this one: friend.

Creator we can admire.

Holy One we can revere.

The Provider we can appreciate.

But friend? This is a name that calls us close.

In the Greek, this name has its roots in one of the most commonly used words for love in the New Testament. It refers to the kind of love that does rather than feels. A friend does certain things, which then identify him or her as a friend- a real friend.

I am not very good at friendship. All that calling and lunch-going and being involved in another’s life wears hard on me. A raging introvert, I love being alone to think and ponder and study and putter through life. It is the rare day that I wake up wanting to go do something fun with a friend.

Needless to say, anyone who wants to be my friend (and why in the world would they?!) has got to be thick skinned and diligently determined. Yet in spite of all my friendship failures, through the years God has gifted me with a handful of women willing to brave my reticence. They are true treasures— pictures of the Father’s undeserved grace for me to witness first hand.

By demonstrating friendship towards a reluctant friend, these brave few have shown me four specific aspects of Jesus’ friendship towards us in the everyday-ness of life.

First of all, my friends…

Not only accept me as I am, but value the uniqueness of how God made me.

As does He. He is the One who formed me while I was still a mass of cells in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). He gets me and He likes me even when I’m not so sure what it is He sees to like.

On the other hand, these faithful women…

Gently push me to be more.

They’ve not allowed me to excuse myself or settle into a worn out rut. They actively manipulate and cajole me to get out and play a little. Browsing vintage shops and dusty bookstores—places I relish but rarely treat myself to.

…pray for me and let me know it.

One of my friends, Becky, has this uncanny knowing—sort of a mystical mental telepathy that lets her know just when I need her prayers. And so she’ll text and tweet and leave me notes on Facebook to try to hunt me out of my reclusive cave in order to let me know she knows…

…don’t demand a lot of attention from me.

Instead, they really do understand that my life is pulled in a million different directions and that I’m doing the best I can to juggle all the hats I’m supposed to wear. I feel enough with them.

Are you beginning to see what I mean? How these rare treasures demonstrate in real time the friendship God offers?

Then there’s this almost-but-not-quite funny story found in John chapter 21…

Peter was depressed and grouchy , no doubt racked with guilt for his failure to follow Jesus through the worst moments of His life. So he did that macho-man thing and declared, “I’m going fishing!” (John 21:3) Despite his moodiness, a few of the other former followers of Jesus decided to go too. They were a motley crew: Thomas (we know him as the beligerant doubter of the rumors of the resurrection), Nathaniel (the guy “without guile”- sort of an outspoken-no-niceties sort), the sons of Zebedee (otherwise nicknamed “sons of thunder” for their volatile tempers), and a couple of unnamed fellows. Not exactly a bunch of happy campers!

None-the-less, they all jumped in the boat to try their luck at a night of fishing. And they caught… nothing.

Can you imagine the mood in the boat that night?

As their spirits sagged and the sun came up, they noticed a familiar figure standing on the beach. Could it be? Squinting to see in the dim dawn light, each man holding his breath in fear of having their hopes dashed once again…

“Friends, have you caught any fish?”

Friends? Was He serious? These guys make my half-hearted attempts at friendship look heroic. Yet Jesus chose to gather those guys close to His heart and be their friend.

How astounding is that?

Are you feeling rotten about yourself? Inadequate, unlovable, rejected too many times to show the real you?

Performing and pretending, trying to play nice but knowing it’s not enough?

Try opening your heart and mind to the friendship Jesus offers.

He relishes the way you’re wired up. Raging introvert, bouncing extrovert, ponderous thinker or rushing do-er, He likes you!

What’s more, He thinks you can be more of who you were meant to be and He’ll lend you a hand to get there. He’s got adventures planned beyond your own self-limiting fears.

And He’ll pour all of Himself into you, filling you with all His goodness and kindness and patience and a whole list of qualities you’ll never attain on your own. Just being with this Friend rubs holiness off on you!

But there’s more, right off my list— Jesus is sitting right this moment all cozied up to the Father and the Spirit, praying for you. Always. Whether you’re being good or sneaking around in sin, He’s watching and praying. He was praying for the grumpy guys on the boat who had abandoned Him when things got too hard, and He is praying for you too. Always.

And that, my friends, is the God who dares to call Himself PHILOS.

From my heart,


For another astounding story that highlights this Name, read Luke 11:5-11

[1] Proverbs 27:10

[2] Proverbs 27:6

[3] Proverbs 27:9

[4] Proverbs 17:17

[5] Proverbs 18:24

QEDOSH YISRAEL: holy one of Israel

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.

When you go through deep waters and great trouble,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown!

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

You will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT

The meaning of His name:

Just a few days ago I got that phone call no one wants.

Someone I love is dying.

As my knees buckled beneath me and I sank into a kitchen chair, all the weight of the world seemed bent to crush my heart. NO! Not yet, I need him.

I want him to live forever!

And even though I know he will, I want him here- with me, just a phone call away. I want his strength and the years of stories and his wisdom and all that balance he brings. I want him.

And so I asked questions… and I wanted to pretend… and I hoped the doctors got it wrong… and I looked up every little tidbit of information to be sure— and it is.

I am going to lose this one I love way sooner than I’d ever dreamed.

And nothing takes away the pain.

Except Someone. This One who calls Himself the Holy One of Israel.

A strange name, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve ever grasped it until now, the meaning of this name. Always before, Holy One, sounded sort of far off and distant— and more than a little frightening.

In the midst of this beautiful soliloquy about His ransoming us and rescuing us and being with us and calling us His own, He highlights this name as if somehow I’d be not frightened, but assured by it.

Why in the world would He tag Himself with such a title here? Am I missing something?

Am I missing who He is?

Opening my study books in order to search for that missing something that fogs my understanding, I discover more. For one thing, the prophet Isaiah loved this particular title for God. He used this name over and over again as he wrote to warn his people about the perils of turning in their time of need to other gods.

He didn’t camp out on how nice God is or how much compassion He shows— instead, he warned them away from their default sins by calling attention to God’s extreme holiness.

He urges us to listen carefully in the midst of the thunderous cacophony of suffering. To pay close attention when that phone call comes. I hear Him warning me to turn away from anything and everyone who might distract me from His beauty.

In the midst of my pain He wants me to absorb myself in who He is.

Just a few paragraphs later, Isaiah wrote:

“The LORD,

your Redeemer,

the Holy One of Israel, says:

I am the LORD your God,

who teaches you what is good and

leads you along the paths you should follow.

Oh that you had listened to my commands!

Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and

righteousness rolling like waves.”

Is 48:17

And so I find that …

I have stumbled onto the only path to peace in the midst of turmoil.

This peace has nothing to do with pretending away the pain, nor is it found in a prescription meant to make me not feel so much. It does not involve 5 steps to pull myself out of awfulness. In fact, this way I have found has nothing to do with escape.

And it has everything to do with who God is.

Quedosh Yisrael… Holy One of Israel… and of me… and of you.

It is the holiness of the God I have given my life to that makes me not afraid of all that life throws my way.

In those deep waters and great troubles He will be with me. When difficulties overwhelm and oppression rages and people die before we’re ready— He promises His presence.

And because He is holy He will speak to me and lead me and whisper my name in the dark.

I am still grieving—still wishing this one I love would linger longer than it seems he will.

Everyday I weep for what will not be.

But the peace that holds my heart still is all wrapped up in this One who knows and weeps along with me.

And that’s enough.

From my heart,


SHOPHET: judge

Rise up, O Judge of the earth! Psalm 94:2


Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,

And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.

For the LORD is a God of justice;

How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Isaiah 30:18


The Meaning of His Name:

This is not God’s most popular name. Not by a long shot. In fact, this is a name that sends shudders up our backs— we cringe a little every time we’re faced with this aspect of who He is.

After all, who likes a judge? He’s that stern visaged man behind the dias who wears a black robe. His pronouncements are permanent. He holds in his hands the power to alter the course of your life, to lock you away from all you long for, to forfeit your freedom.

Not exactly someone you’d want to cozy up to.

But I have a friend who is a judge, and he’s not like that at all. In fact, he’s been called the Crying Judge because his heart weeps with sorrow every time he stares a defendant in the face. Tom spends his days designing discipline for men and women who stand before him convicted of substance abuse. And it breaks his heart.

You see, Tom’s own daughter once struggled and lost against the pull of the dark powers of drugs. And in every face, Tom glimpses his little girl, once so full of future hopes, now lying in a coffin under the earth, the victim of her own mistakes.

No wonder this judge cries.

And God cries too. Longing to give to you and to me a life full of joys, a life living in close connection with His heart, but we push away like Tom’s daughter did.

We want what we want and we want it right now… and sometimes we’ll do whatever we want to get it.

And He weeps for us.

But God does more than weep. He acts. This Hebrew word shophet holds rich and varied meaning. In the verb form, shapat means to decide, to defend, to deliver, and to discipline.

That’s the kind of judge God is.

He decides… “judgement will again be founded on righteousness and all the upright in heart will follow it.” Psalm 94:15

Are you, am I, one of those “upright in heart” who will follow His ways? Will you give Him the right to decide how your story is written? Or will you fight Him all the way, wrestling willfully out of His grasp?  His will or yours? Which will it be?

He defends… “ There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Can you feel the strength of His love? He knows your heart, He sees your struggles. While others may sum you up as a colossal failure, He cheers you on. Just like Judge Tom turns his entire courtroom into a platform for encouraging and applauding anyone who takes the tiniest step towards progress, God puts His arms around you and protects you from condemnation.

He delivers… “Thou doest hide them in the secret place from the conspiracies of man; Thou doest keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 32:20

David cried out to God when his heart blistered in the heat of people’s hatred for him. And God heard, tucking him “secretly in a shelter” where he would find rest to recover.

He disciplines… “Those whom the LORD loves, He disciplines…” Hebrews 12:6

Out of His intense love for you, God is willing to do whatever it takes to protect you from yourself. Like a loving father, He corrects us in order to bring us close, where the joy is— where we belong.

Do you get it now?

How His being Shophet flows out of a heart so full of love that He will not let us go?

Why He pushes you to stay with His story rather than try to make up one of your own?

Can you sense His tears when you pull away?

From my heart,


Psalm 94- read the whole story

Hebrews 12- this is your Father

Psalm 96:10-13- why we worship

Isaiah 30:18- His longing for you

Matthew 18: 21-35 see how seriously the Judge takes forgiveness

EL-OLAM: the everlasting God

Thou hast been our dwelling place for all generations. Before the mountains were born,

Or Thou didst give birth to earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting,

Thou art God.

Psalm 90:1,2

The Meaning of His Name:

I first heard the story of Jesus and His redeeming plan for me when I was fifteen years old. Though my family had gone to church from time to time, somehow I’d missed all this. When we stumbled upon a church meeting in a remodeled electrical warehouse, the preacher there made sure no one who walked through those doors missed a thing.  With his big black Bible open, he taught through the Scriptures as if everyone knew there were treasures contained in that ancient book. Choirs sang and people worshiped and one day I walked forward to embrace everything I’d heard.  One by one, my family followed into a whole new world of faith.

It took a while to figure out what exactly I’d stepped into. Though I’m sure I must have heard the stories, I didn’t have a clue who Abraham was or where Moses fit in. And who was David? Ah… he was the one who penned those poems I’d loved even before I knew the Savior. I identified with that one. Somehow he’d managed to put a voice to all my emerging emotions, capturing my heart in the process. When I found his name listed in that intimidating genealogy of Jesus recorded in the beginnings of the story, I wondered.

Had I had any relatives of faith?

Sifting through sepia toned pictures of stern European ancestors, it didn’t take long to figure out that none of them had left any hint behind of a love for Jesus. Not a story, nor a Bible, not so much as one line indicating a living faith lingered to indicate that anyone in my lineage placed their hope in God. And somehow I felt robbed. Had no one ever told them? Or had the pursuit of wealth and adventure that filled the family history dulled their ears to what had opened mine?

When I held my firstborn son in my arms, I vowed to write a different story for this family of mine. A story of faith. A story of God’s faithfulness to pass on to generations of Comers to come.

About that time I picked up a dusty, out of print biography of Jonathan Edwards. It was the title that intrigued me first, Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elizabeth D. Dodds. But what ignited my imagination and held me there was the list at the back of the book of all the descendants of Jonathon and Sarah Edwards.

By 1900 AE Winthrop collected this study of the Edwards family:

13 college presidents

65 professors

100 lawyers

a dean of an outstanding law school

30 judges

66 physicians

a dean of a medical school

80 holders of public office

including 3 United States senators

mayors of three major cities

governors of three states

a controller of the United States Treasury

a Vice-President of the United States.

Theirs was a heritage to be proud of!

Could the same God who led Jonathon and Sarah to radically pursue a life and lineage of faith, create a similar kind of longevity for our family?

And so began my quest, my ongoing prayer, that God would establish in the Comer Clan a heritage of passionate, purposeful followers of Jesus. My heart’s pulsing desire is that Phil and I would be the patriarch and matriarch of men and women who pursue God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.

This name, El Olam, is the foundation of that prayer.

Eternal, everlasting, never-ending, so full and so rich that He encompasses everything and everyone in His shadow.

That’s the One whose path I place my feet on every morning. He’s the One my husband and I cleared the center space for in our family. The One we’ve turned to over and over again when life wears out and nothing lasts.

How about you?

Will someone someday search the archives of your family’s history for some glimpse of real faith? Are you making sure she’ll find it?

After all, He is El Olam… and He’ll take you through eternity.

From my heart,


Some Scriptures to delve into:

Psalm 71:14-18- is marked all up in my Bible with names of my own heritage… the beginning of the Comer Jesus followers

Psalm 145- This is what to tell the generations

Genesis 18:19- Why God singled Abraham out to be the father of His people

Matthew 1, Luke 3- Want a fabulous Bible study? Look up every person in Jesus’ lineage. Study the stories that remain to pattern your own journey of faith.

EL ELYON: most high God


I grew up camping and hiking in the High Sierras. Some of my earliest memories involve wading through rock-strewn streams in my keds; sliding down ledges, and clambering up hot granite boulders to keep up with my dad. My brother ambushed us with pinecone grenades launched from strategic hiding places within massive Sequoias. I remember collecting moss and pretty rocks for our outdoor dinner table and screaming hysterically at lizards and snakes.

The heavy scent of sun-warmed pine needles awakens memories of worry-free days of a childhood kissed with laughter and freedom. There is just something so safe about a canvas tent tucked in amongst towering trees. My father’s gentle snoring just inches away made all the darkness magical, while my mother’s pancakes on metal plates and bubbling hot cocoa with melted marshmallows welcomed us every morning.

Yet childhoods fade and life grows up and memories are replaced with the jarring voices of real life.





And some days are just overwhelming.

That’s where God steps in, instructing us through His real-life, poetry producing servant, David, how to keep from sinking into the mud and mire of real life.

I took my troubles to the LORD;

I cried out to Him…

Rescue me…

How I suffer among these scoundrels…

It pains me to live with these people…

I am tired of living here…

I look up to the mountains—

Does my help come from there?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made the heaven and the earth!

He will not let you stumble and fall;

The One who watches over you will not sleep

Indeed, He who watches over Israel

Never tires and never sleeps.

The Lord Himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not hurt you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The Lord keeps you from all evil

And preserves your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

Both now and forever.

Psalm 120,121 NLT

Way too often, I find myself scurrying haphazardly from problem to problem, slapping band-aids on all the scratches that leave me poked and bleeding. I try involving others, talking to friends. I follow steps to untangle my messes. I read books and listen to Dr’s and Oprah’s and still the real stuff sinks me.

And then, suddenly, my eye catches on that glint from way up there. The Most High One. Way up at the tippy-top of those great mountain peaks, David discovered the enormity of his God. Hovering high above all these troubles is One who watches with love filled eyes.

He helps.

In fact, just looking up to find Him helps.

High above all that troubles me, He sees and knows and catches me when I stumble.

He knows what’s just around the bend.

He knows about those criticisms that leave me stinging.

He’s followed all my failures and inadequacies.

He sees my list and knows I’ll never get it done.

The apostle Paul knew this way to hope too. In his letter to the Colossians, he wrote,

…keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not the things that are on earth.

In other words, look up. Way up. Wrestle your mind away from all those worries. Set your vision on the One who is so high above them that He knows what to do. It all looks different up there—clearer.

And when I do, my heart soars! He brings me back to that place where all feels safe. Back into His shelter where I can hear Him breathe those words of hope. Way up there, seated beside Him I know peace.

And rest.

And even joy.

For He is my God. The Most High God. El Elyon.

And He’s yours too.

From my heart,


Some more Scriptures to hold on to:

Luke 1:30-32 (the words He gave to help Mary through her reality)

Hebrews 1:3-4

Psalm 57:2

Psalm 91

Isaiah 55:8,9 Psalm 107

And every story of rescue He included in His Word… just so you’ll know He’ll do the same for you: Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Mary Magdalene- read them all and remember to look up!

GAAL: redeemer

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And that He will stand upon the earth at last.

And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!

I will see Him for myself.

Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes.

I am overwhelmed with the thought!

Job 19:25,26 NLT

The Meaning of His Name:

Matthew was 12 when he finally convinced us to get him a dog of his own. He’d been working on us for a long time, but we’d been reluctant to start that whole messy training-of-a-puppy process once again. The chewing, the peeing, the figuring out how to get the beast to obey—we’d been there too many times before. And we knew by now exactly how the “I’ll do all the work myself!” pleas ended up. So we drug out heals, hoping maybe he’d lose interest over time.

Not a chance.

Matt kept after us relentlessly.

Finally, while on vacation in the Sierras we let down our guard and decided to just take a look at the local animal shelter. We warned him all the way up the dusty driveway that we weren’t making any promises and probably wouldn’t be choosing a dog that day.

Instead, a dog chose us.

A big brown patch over one eye and a long tear-like streak down the other, gave Jackson a jovial, pleading look. And he smiled at us, I swear! One look and our hearts were captured by this abandoned mutt in remote Jackson County, California.

But they wouldn’t let us take him home. Rules reined the sweltering office of that little pound. Rules that could not be bent or broken, even for a family attempting to save the life of a dog destined for death. We pushed and pleaded with the man, telling him we had to drive all the way back to our home in Oregon. Couldn’t we have him neutered there?

Not a chance.

But we had to have that dog. He was meant for us and we knew it, and no amount of hard-hearted bureaucracy was going to stop us!

So we concocted a plan.

Since we had to leave for home the next day to get back to work, we’d ask my brother who lived nearby to pick up the dog as soon as the pound would release him. He’d take him to the approved vet to have him neutered and keep Jackson until we could drive back 700 miles to pick him up.

A lot of work, but Dave did it for us.

And so, just a few days after getting home, my husband and son hopped back in the car and drove the 1400 miles round trip back to bring our dog home.

And I think Jackson knows exactly what it cost us to have him in our family. He is the most delightful, grateful, smiling dog we’ve ever had. And the most obedient. Its almost as if he knows we saved him from certain death. This dog waits for us to tell him something, anything to do! Every morning he fetches the newspaper and brings it, tail wagging, to the foot of the bed. Once, we’d forgotten to let him back in the house after a day of working in the yard. Rushing off to a Saturday evening church service, we didn’t realize that Jackson was still outside until we drove into our driveway several hours later. There sat Jackson, waiting for us to come back home.

Jackson’s sole purpose in life is to please his masters, the ones who redeemed him from the pound all those years ago.

Do you see it?

You and I have been rescued.

Redeemed from certain destruction.

He chose you, selected me. And He paid an unbelievably high price to bring us back. Back where we belong.

…do you not know that you are not your own?

For you have been bought with a price:

Therefore glorify God with your body…

I Corinthians 6:19,20

After all, He really is your Redeemer…

From my heart,


Romans 12:1-2

Revelation 5

Isaiah 41:14

Ephesians 4:29