Identity Crisis

Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6  New Living Translation


girl-517559_1920“I want what you have,” a friend confessed. After years of being involved in each other’s lives, she had noticed a difference in mine. I was confident and at peace. She said she knew it was the result of having Jesus in my life.

She went on to say it was not organized religion she was seeking. Its flaws had long turned her away from that. There was nothing that was appealing about it to her. It was the relationship she craved. The one I had with Jesus had caught her attention and she wished she could have it too.

Confident and peaceful did not happen overnight. I fought against God for my own agenda. I reasoned with Him about His standards. I doubted. I rebelled. I quit. And through it, God waited patiently for that moment when I would eventually stop struggling and turn to Him. It was then that my life began to transform.

Although the average onlooker could not see that my life was all that bad—I had resources, a family, and even happiness—but, I also knew that it was not the life God desired. I had Jesus in my pocket like a trump card to cheat hell, but my mind and heart lacked His presence. I was tired of living a life shamed by the sin I carried.

What I was missing was Jesus had taken my sin to the grave when He died. I didn’t ask Him to. He just did it. It was a gift I was told. Out of love and desire, He died for me. I was rescued from the fate sin had placed on me. Once I accepted that, Sinner was no longer my identity. A completely new list of names to go by became available to me through my relationship with Him.

Some may wonder then, did I magically quit sinning? Even on my best days, I do not get it right every time. I struggle with doing the right thing like every other human, but because I am now a child of God as John 1:12 says, I can go to my Father for advice and correction without fear of being condemned [Romans 8:1]. I am at peace with God because I have developed a connection that is honest and real with Him, not based on fear or ritual.

Working in women’s ministry, I often see how much women struggle with their identity. Their pasts haunt them, making them feel undesirable and powerless to be anything but what their thoughts whisper. Their lives reflect their attitudes about themselves, and the relationship they should be enjoying with God is distanced and impersonal. Who would want to be involved with someone who couldn’t pull it together anyway? They listen to the lies and punish themselves, forgetting what Jesus did on the cross.

The truth is if we have decided to accept God’s gift of salvation, we are no longer the same. I agree that it takes time to change our minds about things we have thought true, but not impossible. A transformation can take place but it will involve doing some throwing out of the old thoughts and replacing them with some new.

Over the next few weeks and months, I plan to take a look into what God’s own words say about us and our identity in Jesus. My hope is to replace some of the negative self-talk with words taken from Scripture. I’m in this with you. Transformation takes time but is so worth it. In the end, you too will have a peaceful confidence that will draw attention to Jesus.

. . .you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,  

for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 New Living Translation

Journaling Activity

I am big about writing out scripture. There is something soothing about it to me. It makes me slow down, helping me notice the words and the thoughts behind them. I encourage you to find a journal if you don’t have one already and give it a try. I use a plain old composition book that you can find in the school supplies for a dollar. I also use colored pens because it seems to enliven the text for me.

  • Take the scriptures from this post and write them.
  • Look them up in other translations.
  • Spend time pondering them.
  • Jot down your thoughts.
  • Look up the word treasured.

Is there something that keeps you from believing God treasures you?

Start a conversation by leaving a comment or talking with a friend.

I am praying that each women realizes that she is treasured by God.


Wild Fire

fire-175966_1280The smell of smoke lingers in the air this morning. Summertime in California. Of all the threats of natural disasters we face in our state, wild fire is one of the worst. At the moment, there are several burning. Destroyer of landscape, property and lives, it is a reminder of how precarious life can be.

A few years back, while traveling one of the wilderness parks in our area, I saw firsthand the destruction forest fire can have. One moment we were enjoying the views of a lush green vegetation and then, just around a bend in the road, the stark reality of a devastating inferno came into view. Where there had been life now only barrenness remained. What took decades or perhaps even centuries to create, fire had taken its toll in just minutes.

As I gazed out over the terrain, I was struck by the form of the bare land. Its structure had been revealed because the vegetation had been burned away. All the hills and valleys were in full view. The large rocks and the solid earth which could not be destroyed by the flames remained sound.

Life also has a way of catching fire. We strive to create an environment of beauty, happiness and success. All is going well, then flames seem to engulf everything. They storm across the landscape of our comfortable lifestyles taking with them the security we thought we possessed. Destruction and barrenness, disappointment and grief come. Breathing is difficult until the air clears. But it’s then, we see all is not lost. In fact, something has endured the flames.

The day my fire broke out didn’t actually come as a surprise. There had been signs that something was smoldering long before the flames came. I was having such a great time singing Kumbaya and roasting marshmallows, I just chose to ignore it. When the blaze finally erupted, it did its work quickly, destroying dreams and relationships in its path. The devastation seared my soul and left me choking on the smoke for months to come.

But what seemed complete destruction was not so. As I came out of the haze, I could see the foundation that God had built into the relationship He and I shared. He had laid the groundwork far in advance, so when disaster struck, there would be something left that was permanent and steady to stand on.

And that’s what I did. As I stood looking out over what had occurred, I realized the fire had given me a new vantage point. My perspective was changed. The things I believed to be a permanent landscape in my life were burned away but a truly constant and firm Presence remained. I could clearly see God’s unbelievable strength and compassion working in my situation.

As with all burn areas, things started to grow again. Life resumed. I recovered. It was during this time that I really turned to God’s word for strength. It watered the new growth that was occurring in my spirit. After a while, it was hard to tell a wild fire had ever burned through. The scars have slowly disappeared from sight as time has repaired the damage. But more importantly, my roots have grown deeper into God’s indestructible foundation.

I imagine there will come a day fire will burn through my life once again. It’s inevitable as the smell of smoke in summer in my part of the country. However, this time when it happens, I will understand its value.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” 

Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭28-29‬ HCSB

August 17, 2016 My husband and I and 82,000 others are currently evacuated from our homes due to the Blue Cut Fire in California. We have been notified all is well in our neighborhood and we are just in waiting mode for the all clear to return to our house. Our grandchildren were very concerned about the house, as you can imagine. They did not want us to have to build a new one. They said we would not be able to make a new one seem old and they like the old. Sweet babies. I think it is the memories the old invokes in them. I would have to agree.

Something to Ponder

Colassians 23

Accepting Christ as your Savior is only the beginning of a adventure of a lifetime. Don’t hesitate. You won’t want to miss a thing Jesus has to offer. Don’t know where to begin? Look here.


Open Hands

Bear Our Burdens.jpg

Sometimes I feel like I am my own worst enemy.

Well, maybe more specifically it’s my hand that is the trouble. You see, it has difficultly when it comes to surrendering my burdens. My heart may know that I need to allow God total access to my troubles but my hand keeps them tightly held in its grip. They’re my responsibly after all. If only I had made better choices. If only I had acted it differently. If only I had seen things more clearly. If only, If Only, IF ONLY… And as the if only’s resonate in my head, I hang on to my burdens and continue to carry them along, firmly grasped in my hand.

Fortunately, this is not how God intended any of us to live. There is a way out and it’s literally at our fingertips. In Psalm 81:6 (NLT) it says,

“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands

from their heavy tasks.”

The Psalmist is speaking of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in this passage. We, too, have been delivered from a similar tyranny when we made the decision to follow Christ. We’ve been set free. Jesus unloaded that burden of sin from our shoulders and removed from us the heavy task of carrying our shame. He rescued us out of bondage to live in freedom. Galatians 5:1 tells us–

“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

This verse urges us to stand firm, to persevere, to persist in living free and never be burdened again by our fear, our shame, or our shortcomings.

One of my friends pointed out this week that if our hands are full of burdens there will be no room in them to receive blessing. I think this is something to consider. In the New International version of the Bible Psalm 68:19 tells us “God our Savior… daily bears our burdens.” but in the American King James it’s translated in a slightly different way—

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits…”

Daily, He carries our burdens while daily loading us with His benefits. Empty your hands. Pry those fingers open if you need to. Let God take your burdens and get ready to receive all the blessings He’ll put in their place.

Make it personal—

What is that burdensome thing in your life you keep lugging around? Why are you still carrying it? Whether you think you deserve to carry it, or you just don’t know who you would be without it, let God take a turn  and see what happens. Maybe the two of you can have a little chat and get to know one another a little better as He helps you out.

 ” . . .know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

God’s Word in My Heart? Check!

God's Word My Heart


You want me to do what? Memorize? Ugh!

Whether it is scripture, stories, or ideas found in the Bible, we need a good supply of them in our minds and hearts to live the life God has for us. There is evidence that the best way to maintain the memory of something is to talk about it. It is not enough to merely hear or read it. You must engage in it. When you hear something, you retain about twenty percent, but when you discuss it, you raise that to over three-fold at seventy percent. When you personally experience it you can add another ten percent to bring you up to eighty percent. But here is the exciting thing. When you teach something you remember ninety-five percent. Amazing! Who knew sharing knowledge would be such a benefit to the teacher as well.

God did. In His instructions given to the Israelites on how to maintain a good life, He built it right in. Here’s what He says in Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Fix these words of mine into your mind and being, and tie them as a reminder on your hands and let them be symbols on your forehead. Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates so that your days and those of your descendants may be extended in the land which the LORD promised to give to your ancestors, like the days of heaven itself.

 In this little piece of scripture, there is found a whole memorization plan for your faith. If you like checklists, these verses form a very nice one.

  •  Fix these words of mine into your mind and being. . .

The Hebrew word of fix is suwn. It means to put, place, set, appoint or make. The English dictionary describes fix in much the same with an additional idea—to direct the eyes, attention, etc. steadily. What the verse is saying: our minds as well as our hearts should be set in God’s words, not our own. Our attention should be on what He has to say, so that we are familiar with His voice.

  • and tie them as a reminder on your hands and let them be symbols on your forehead. . .

We must allow God’s words to direct our thoughts and actions. The word tie in the Hebrew literally means to tie or bind, but it also has the idea of conspiring or forming an alliance. I love that idea. Now, we take those words your attention is fixed on and put them to action. This will form a good team. James tells us to be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it. . . [James 1:22] James even knew God’s words were not going to stick with us unless we experienced them first hand. Our activity makes an imprint on us that just reading and hearing do not. It makes it personal, thus we remember. Jesus Himself says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” [Matthew 7:24] Taking God’s word and putting it into action creates something that lasts.

  • Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.

This is the biggie. This is where we get to retain ninety-five percent of what we hear and read. The word teach is lamad in Hebrew means to learn, teach, and exercise in.

I spent about fifteen years educating my own girls, plus a fair of amount of time teaching other children as well as adults. I have to say out of all the students I’ve taught over the years, I have learned the most. Teaching requires the teacher to absorb the subject. Time is spent mulling over information and ideas, strengthening the knowledge they already possess. Teaching also places value on the possessed information. The more value assigned to the knowledge, the more we will treasure it in our hearts.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NET

  • Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

Plaques and pictures loaded with Christian images and sayings are not what I think God is talking about here. Although they can enhance the beauty of our homes and serve as reminders of what we believe, it will be what’s written on our hearts that will tell the world who we are. If we have taken time to store up God’s word, the people we encounter will see it all over our faces and in the works of our hands. They will hear it in our speech. It will spill out into the way we live life.

The payback? Your days and those of your descendants may be . . .like the days of heaven itself. It is saying that if you do these things living a life according to God’s plan can be maintained on into eternity. It will last forever if we just put into practice these simple instructions that will maintain our focus on God while writing His words in our hearts.

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for they will provide a long and full life, and they will add well-being to you.

Proverbs 3:1-2 NET

Counting the Days

Number Our Days Meme

An end to another decade.

The birthday that is on the horizon will be my sixtieth. It seemed so old when I was younger. Yet now, at this perspective not old at all. Life has been long and short at the same time. I raised adults, buried parents, and greeted grandchildren. I have enjoyed celebrations and grieved disasters side-by-side. The years have brought with them a knowing that life is too short to hold all its lessons in a simple annual counting. We must number our days.

On my birthday, I will have lived 21,900 days. If I live to the age of the last three generations of women before me, I have a mere 7,300 days left. That’s it. What I do with these days invokes within me a feeling of urgency. I want them to count.

So here’s the thing I have learned from the other 21,900—I cannot live well without God’s influence in my life. In fact, if each of us embraced God and lived well, encouraging others to do the same, much if not all that is wrong in the world would simply disappear. The world would be changed for the good. But it will take all of us.

This is where the moans of, “I can never make enough of a difference,” begin to be heard and precious moments are lost on self-focus and chants of “Woe is me”.

Stop with the excuses.

Make your days count.


I know that embracing God for yourself is easy, but when it comes to telling others about how they can do the same, well. . .it can be a bit intimidating. Don’t let that stop you. This is really good news and you need to share it. Here, let me go first—

With all the crappiness going on in the world around us, I think there is a solution that maybe we have overlooked. It’s Jesus. You know the guy. He lived and died to give us the option of living life a better way. He is not only the answer to improving our lives and our family’s lives, but the whole world as well.

You may be thinking (at least that’s my hope), “This is really good news, but how can I get in on this better way?”

It’s a simple shift of direction—away from the path you are on to one that follows Jesus. Let me tell you how it has changed my life. . .

So that’s it. It’s all you have to share when called upon to influence others. Not too intimidating and very doable. Use your own words and stories.

If your friends want more, point them to the Bible. That’s where you find Jesus’ story and how people were affected by His life and teaching. We can know why He came, how He lived, and what He valued. And we will read how He died to make things right between us and God, and how He has gone on to prepare a place for us in heaven. The Bible reveals these things and more, like how He did it all out of love for us.

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us. . .”

1 John 3:16 ESV

World change will come from each of us living each day in a way that celebrates the life and death of Jesus. The people around us will see, and hopefully hear from us how our lives are better because we follow Jesus. Why wouldn’t they want in on something that will change the world?

Make your days count.

Tell others about Jesus.

(I just did. You can to.)


Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. … Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us;  yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:14, 16-17


Downsize the Party? Never!


“Meatloaf!” My friend exclaimed in amazement. “How did you bake this?”

It was a bit of surprise at our dinner party, I suppose. You see over the Christmas holidays, my stove along with its oven broke. Yep, it just gave up. Surrendered. It had cooked many a good meal not only for my family, but also for pot lucks, large parties, even catering for conferences. It always delivered until the day after Christmas. Good timing. Life was slowing. Cookies had been baked and celebration dinners were past. The thing is, I haven’t purchased a new one.

My cooking now is done on a hot plate. Yes, I know, many months have passed since December, but at the moment things are going fine. Call it an experiment in downsizing, BIG time. [Tiny house living is all the rage after all.] One burner, a crock pot, and a microwave. Well, a couple of other things you might find interesting. The aforementioned meatloaf was actually baked in the BBQ. It worked great.

A few weeks ago, I decided to do cupcakes with my special Browned Butter Frosting. Not wanting to borrow an oven somewhere, I recalled a time when I used a turkey roaster to do baking in my daughter’s kindergarten class. You know the kind. A black enameled, plug in, standalone oven of sorts. A friend had given me one that had belonged to her grandmother. It came complete with the original book copyrighted 1940. Anyway, I dug the roaster out of the storage closet, plugged it in, and voila, cupcakes were baked!

I guess my point in telling you all this is life can still go on without some of the conveniences we think necessary. In fact, many places I have traveled to around the world have had far less than my ‘down-sized’ kitchen and they still manage hospitality just fine. It’s not how the food arrived at the table, but rather who you have around the table that really matters.

I will get a new stove eventually, but for now, things are OK. I haven’t slowed down at all in the hospitality department. If anything, it has made me more creative, broadening the methods that bring good flavors to the supper table.

I love spending time with my friends and family. The simplest things in life give me the most pleasure: cooking a good meal, enjoying my friends.

~Cindy Morgan


Beautiful table setting for afternoon coffee with friends while visiting in Germany, 2014.


Italian Meatloaf

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

½ chopped onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

¾ cup Italian bread crumbs

½ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic salt

¾ cup pasta sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven [or BBQ] to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Press into a 9×5 inch loaf pan [must be metal for BBQ], and cover loosely with foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). If using the BBQ, turn pan from time-to-time to achieve even cooking.