Penny Conversations

I love walking early in the morning with my Great Dane Thor. A few times a week we get to head out into the open fields and quiet woods for much-needed exercise.

Several weeks ago, on one of those beautiful walks, I found myself in a conversation with a stranger which I have never seen and strangely with whom I have never exchanged a word…

Thor and I regularly come by a bench in the middle of a prairie. On this particular morning, I sat down for a few minutes, closed my eyes and let the early morning winter sun warm my face. When I open my eyes, I noticed on the ground in front of me, in the melting snow, something shiny. I dug around with my feet and found a bunch of pennies. Without thinking much, I picked them up and arranged them in the shape of a cross on the bench’s armrest. Then I got up and headed back on my walk.

The other day I passed by the same bench and to my surprise found the cross still on the armrest. However, when I looked closer I noticed that it wasn’t exactly the way I had left it. Two pennies had been added to the center. Without hesitation, I grabbed one more penny and placed it on the two in middle and kept on walking. I smiled knowing that I was “conversing” with someone.

Yesterday morning I headed out again. This time determined for the bench and the cross. I wasn’t disappointed and found it rearranged. The pennies in the center were gone. Someone was trying to communicate with me. I thought for a moment how I could make my presence known. Quickly I turned all the pennies face up, with the exception of the center; I kept it heads-down. I headed for the rest of my walk – thinking for a long time about my Heavenly Father and the way He communicates with me.

Though I have not seen my Heavenly Father nor heard Him audibly say words to me, He leaves me messages everywhere. He communicates clearly through many different ways. The Bible speaks most clearly about God, who He is, what His intentions and plans are for humanity and even for my life. God also uses other people who know Him to speak truth into my life. They see things I can’t and relay messages from my Father to my heart. While I walk I often experience God’s messages for me in nature. He shows me His immeasurable power in stars and in the tiniest plant. He shows me how He cares for the birds and assures me He sees me, too.
However, the greatest message of God to humanity is the message of the cross, the Gospel. Here God showed His love for us in the most unexpected way. His flawless character mingled together with His loving intentions for us. His perfection painfully displayed our imperfections. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross was the most costly provision God had to offer to fallen people and their sins.

Maybe my cross is worth less than 20 cents, but I am eternally grateful it still speaks the most valuable message to people everywhere. I have a strange feeling the stranger knows this, too. 

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


(pictures and devotional, Heidi Viars, 2018)

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Dear Jesus

“Dear Jesus,

My heart is overwhelmed with the glimpses of your kindness toward me. 
My soul cannot comprehend your deep, abiding love.

Even though I mocked your Word of Truth, you loved me despite my foolishness.
Even though I drove those nails into your hands, you touched me and healed my brokenness.
Even though I spat on your face, you turned your countenance toward me and drew me with endless love and understanding. 
Even though I pressed a crown into your beautiful head, the Head over all Creation, you overlooked my ignorance and lifted mine in my shame. 
Even though I valued fading, earthly possessions, you showed me eternal blessings and riches in you. 
Even though I despised your leading, you gently called my name and drew me into your presence.

Son of God and Spirit of Life, Light of the World and Good Shepherd, how can I show you my love?

Wisdom of God and LORD of Lords, King of Ages and Lamb of God, what can I give you, that you don’t already own?

Ransom for all Men and God’s own Son, Lord of the Harvest and of Peace, teach me to surrender my all to you.

Lord of our Righteousness and Word of God, Faithful and True One, unveil my eyes to see you in the Light of Truth.

Peace of God and Master, Blessed Hope and only Ruler, you set your throne aside for my sake.

Jesus, my sure Foundation, and Savior of the World allow me to serve you with my all my heart and soul. 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister
Colossians 1:15-23 

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Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th, 2018)

Trains filled with tears.
On one way tracks,
Pulled by invisible evil – passing gates that lie about freedom –
Drawn by vile forces into hell.

Fires, fueled by God’s own image.
Ovens can’t burn hot enough to consume the guilt.
Mass graves, bottomless pits, fed by famished frames.
Their depth covered with ignorance.
Time can’t silence their voices.

Guilt’s smoke rises upward.
Waiting – Stinging in the eyes of God on the last day …
Will testify to wickedness and evil.

Perceived imperfection perfectly sewn into garments and stamped into passports.
Imperfections tattooed by the imperfect.
The perfect image discarded by perfectly placed rounds.
Time doesn’t silence these sounds.

Too evil for eyes and ears to conceive.
No words can describe the vile and depth of wickedness.
Human depravity, pits – much deeper and larger than mass graves.
Humanity’s disease –
No fire fueled in man-made ovens is hot enough to destroy the shouting ashes.
No flames hot enough to eradicate faulty ideas.

Pointing bloody fingers toward God? A perversion from hell!
No, this is humanity without God.
This is Satan letting glimpses of hell spill onto earth!

Don’t look away!
Don’t look away!
Be vigilant Church, draw back the curtain of your comfort.
Come out from your beds of ease!
Find the injustice, before the graves of “the imperfect” find you and condemn
Your silence before God!


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Spirit Centered

Here is another square “poem” (maybe more prose).



“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,
to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.
You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
John 14:15-17

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The Center of a Square

Today read about a “square poem”.  I loved it and tried it myself
Made me think about my theology. I felt like playing Sudoku with Jesus!
Here it goes … (it doesn’t quite rhyme … will work on that)
You can read it line by line. The columns repeat the lines.

In             the       beginning   Jesus    created-     with      God.
The    surrendered  faith           is         what       Christ   holds. 

Beginning faith      draws         the       grace       inside    all. 
Jesus           is           the           Center    within      all      Creation!
Created-  what       grace        
within    draws    hearts  together. 
With       Christ     inside,          all           hearts     draw      in. 
God          holds        all          Creation   together   in        Jesus.


Revelation 22:13 
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the first and the last,

the beginning and the end.


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What Kind of Hate …

I know that none, not one, would come
To God, without belief
In Jesus Christ, His only Son.
But yet, I rarely grieve.

I know that no sincerity
In faulty spun ideas
Will bring lost souls prosperity
But yet, I will not speak.

It’s funny how my mouth will move
To talk about the vain,
But when it comes to Gospel-proof
My tongue is mute – in pain.

Not to share God’s Gift to man –
So set His love aside,
Must surely be an evil plan
A peculiar kind of pride.

Oh God, please free me from this sin!
Keep me from Satan’s bate,
That feeds my fearful heart within;
Expel this kind of hate!

“Father, teach my heart to live in the power of the Holy Spirit
and speak with boldness of your truths and Jesus Christ,
who rescues us out of darkness!”
“Go therefore and make disciples …”
Matthew 28:19

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Amazing Grace

Awake the grace that you have shown –
Though all my sins from birth you’ve known –
The grace that showed my dire need
For heart and soul to be set free.  

Awake the grace that knows the law,
Looks to myself to find the flaw,
That knows the price for sin is death –
Knows grace cost Jesus His last breath.

Awake the grace that brings the peace
That makes the selfish quarrels cease.
For grace is pay for what’s not earned.
It’s love despite – it’s undeserved.

Awake the grace that moves my feet,
That goes into the city street,
That prays with vigor and with might
For Light to break through desperate nights. 

Awake the grace that knows by faith,
That not by might but by your grace
The world will change and soon will sing
“Amazing Grace” to Christ the King. 

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God,
not a result of works,
so that no one may boast.

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