Sunday, March 30, 2014

Our Father

Beloved Dad. That was the clue that did me in. See, earlier this week I put together a game to review what the phrases in the Lord's Prayer mean. The clue for "deliver us from evil" was keep us from bad things. It was a great review for the children and youth of our congregation, as we had been learning the Lord's Prayer this month.

Beloved Dad. The clue was for "Our Father," the very first phrase of the prayer. Jesus told his followers that Almighty God was their dad; that He loved them as a father loves his children.

Amazing. Wonderful.

And hard. Hard for those of us whose earthly fathers aren't so hot. For the children in my classes, churches, and neighborhoods...even in my own home at an ugly point in the past. For the kid whose dad is in jail for killing his mom. For the kid whose dad burned her with cigarettes. For the kid whose dad abandoned him before birth. For the kid whose dad sexually molested her from the age of two until he went to jail when she was 12.

And for me. My relationship with my earthly dad is rocky at best, and I hadn't communicated with him for more than six years when I sent him a Christmas card last December. I sent it because I wanted to open a door. He's the one who (six years ago) told me he didn't want to be my dad anymore. But I thought that a Christmas card, letting him know we'd moved, was a kind gesture.

Not so much. In return, I received a box containing every single picture, card, note, etc. that I (or my children) had ever given him. And a letter saying that he didn't want to communicate. Signed with his name, not "dad."


So how do those of us with these fathers approach a loving Heavenly Father?

I don't know. What I do know is that God loves me completely. Because of Jesus' finished work on the cross, God sees me as righteous. I am wholly acceptable to Him. As I have never been to my biological father.

And I do know that God has comforted me through my earthly father's rejections. He has filled me with peace about my choices to contact and not-contact him. He has given me two fabulous step-dads.

I pray for my biological father. I pray for my dear step-father. I pray for myself, that I can forgive the shortcomings of my earthly father. I pray for all the children I know whose earthly fathers fail them, that they may know their Heavenly Father and His steadfast love.

Because ultimately, the only Father that matters is the eternal one.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


In Dulce, tipis are pretty common. During Go-jii-ya (a festival), many families pitch tipis and camp in them for the four days. If you walk around town, it's usual to see a tipi set up in a yard or two. I've been in several tipis in my life; I've even slept in one on a frigid January night in Iowa!

I had no idea, however, until a couple of weeks ago at Bible Study, that a tipi's foundation is at the knots at the top. Makes sense, once you think of it, but it really surprised me!

So when you look up in tipi, you see the foundation... instead of standing on the foundation, the foundation is above you. And of course, that got me to thinking......

What is my foundation? 1 Corinthians 3:11 says that Christ is the foundation. And in Luke 6:48-49, Jesus describes one who builds his life upon Him as a man building a house on a firm foundation.

I love thinking about these verses in the context of a tipi. Jesus Christ, who is above us, is our foundation. We build our lives upon Him, as a tipi is built around the frame knotted together at the top.

And then, FLASH! I had one of those inspirations for a glass design that comes complete. I immediately started drawing my design. As soon as the drawing was done, I made a copy and began choosing glass. Here is the first version of "Foundation":

Next time I will choose a glass for the tipi that has more contrast from the sky background glass, but I love it! The cross is the foundation for my life; if that is also true for you, please consider ordering "Foundation" for yourself or a gift. It is 10x8 inches, and I will sell it for $60.00. $10.00 of each sale will go to the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church, a mission church serving the Jicarilla Apache Nation.