Here’s a thought for the day worth pondering…


Got a lot going on today?  Things you can’t seem to handle?  Call out to Jesus in prayer, and let Him take care of everything.  Then, sit back and to quote Bob Marley….  “Don’t worry ’bout a thing!  Every little thing’s gonna be alright!”


“… ask the birds of the sky…”

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind. -Job 12:7-10

When I read the above passage this morning, it brought to remembrance a poem I wrote back in 2008 called, The Starlings Song.  Take a look…

Oh bird of black

And midnight blue,

This song you sing…

Who is it to?


This sweet refrain,

In boughs a swaying…

What are the words?

What are you saying?


At times, I’m sure

It’s to your kin,

To let them know

Just how you’ve been;


But when I see 

You all alone…

Your mighty voice,

Raised up in tone,


And singing, though

Your heart would burst

To One, unseen…

A glorious verse;


It’s like a prayer…

More than a song

When in duet,

Dove coos along;


And both,  with voices

Raised divine,

God bends His ear

And for a time,


Turns His attention…

His full gaze,

And hears Creation 

Sing in praise!

Anita Mondragon -April 2008






The Gathering Journal

A couple of months back, we were on our way to church.  Traffic was horrible…almost bumper to bumper, so it was easy for me to read the bumper stickers on the  cars in front of us.  One was plastered with New Age messages, urging its readers to “Worship the Goddess.”  As we finally were able to pass this car, I noticed that the driver was a lady much older than myself.  I was thinking…and as is often the case, my mouth went into gear before assessing the weight of my words.   I said aloud, “That lady’s older than I am!  You’d think she’d have some sense by now!  What a stupid lady!”

My eight year old son was sitting in the back seat, taking it all in.  I believe God must have tapped him on the shoulder, for suddenly, he became a knowledgeable orator. He only spoke fifteen words in his sermonette to…

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Trust in Him at all times,,,,  God is a refuge for us. – Psalm 62:8


“Oh the rest of simply trusting;

Yielding to my Father’s will,

In His loving arms enfolded,

Just to trust Him and be still! -Unknown


Are you having a tough time today?  A serious problem you can’t fix?  Does everything seem to be beyond your control?…..   TRUST GOD TO TAKE CARE OF IT!


What’s in your alabaster box?

 Cast all your care upon him; for he cares for you. -1Peter 5:7


Remember the story of Mary Magdalene in the Bible?  ….

Jesus was invited to the home of Simon the Pharisee for dinner.  He no doubt wanted to show Jesus how religious and ‘pure’ he was.  He didn’t invite Jesus to his home because he wanted His presence…it was so that he could later boast to his friends that Jesus had been his guest for dinner.

Then an unheard of thing happened…a prostitute showed up…uninvited!  Most of us know the rest of the story….

Mary is so overwhelmed by the presence of Jesus, she lets down her hair, washes His feet with her tears, and dries them with her hair.  Then, she breaks her alabaster box full of precious ointment, and anoints His feet.  Women in that day would save a whole lifetime so they could afford the ointment in the alabaster box.  It was very costly!  We all own an alabaster box.  Our boxes are full of things from the past that we can’t seem to let go of…anger, hurt, resentments….

This action by her causes quite a stir among the prominent men at the party.  Why?  Because in that culture, when a prostitute let her hair down, it was a sign of seduction.  All the men in the room including Simon believed they hadn’t sinned as bad as her…so she was judged by them.  How many of us do the same thing?  We see a drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute, murder…etc, and believe they are worse sinners than us.  God disagrees with this view.  He said “there is NONE righteous…NO…not one!”-Romans 3:10

My question is this:  What’s in your alabaster box?  How many hurts have you stored up over the years?  How many regrets?  How many secrets?  How much hatred?  How much unforgiveness towards those who have hurt you?

When will you stop being concerned about WHO is watching you at altar call time?  When will you unashamedly run into the arms of Jesus and cast all your cares upon Him?

Take a moment, and investigate the inventory of your alabaster box.  Do you need to break it at the feet of Jesus?

Mary Magdalene walked away from the party that day, FORGIVEN OF ALL HER SINS!  You can do the same!  Run into His presence…



Here’s one from Lee.  It’s really good! -anita




I read an article recently that brought a reminder rushing back to my mind. The article dealt with the scars in our lives and related our scars to the scars that our Lord Jesus has, even in heaven.


The article author, Rebecca Vandoodewaard, emphasizes that “Scars are beautiful things. God made our bodies to heal, so scars are a triumph of health over injury.” I was pleased that she further explains what she means by “beautiful” here: “While we don’t need to pretend that scars are beautiful in themselves, we can treasure the lessons that they give us. They remind us to be humble.”


I was particularly moved by this article because I have worn a scar from the top of my breastbone down to my belly for some 22 years now, the result of emergency open-heart surgery. After surgery, the first time I stood before a mirror and looked at that scar, I was completely appalled and ashamed of how my body looked. In God’s wonderful care and grace, however, He quickly changed my thinking. Sometime after the surgery, a new thought came to me: the fact that the scar was there – and I could see it and appreciate it – meant that I was still alive. That God had brought me through that dreadful experience. I then wrote a song that I titled Scars Mean There’s Healing.


So I was immediately in tune with the point that Ms. Vandoodewaard was making, upon reading this article. In some sense, yes, a scar is beautiful. And the existence of a scar means that God is at work and is teaching us something: maybe humility, as the author above notes, or maybe patience, self-denial, or contentment. Of course, it might be some time later before these lessons are learned.


My song was based on a passage in Deuteronomy, verse 32:39, which I came upon as God worked to open my eyes concerning the surgery and resulting scar. The passage reads, in part: “…It is I (God) who put to death and give life; I have wounded, and it is I who heal….” This passage totally reformed my thoughts about the surgery and my scar—I learned that all of this was in God’s hands. In some way, I felt that God had taken a personal interest in my life and that it was He who touched me and brought healing. Instead of feeling sorry and ashamed for myself, I became thankful for my scar.


Ms. Vandoodewaard also reminds us that, in heaven, we will have no scars (Eph 5:27). But many people believe that Jesus does have scars still evident, even in heaven.   “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  (Luke 26:39)  “[Jesus] showed them (the disciples) both His hands and His side.” (John 20:20) It completely makes sense to me that our Lord would still bear the evidence of His great work on the cross; and why shouldn’t He? The cross and the wounds He received are the symbols of His victory over sin and death. The very basis for our justification.


My thinking on this hasn’t changed one bit from when I wrote my song 22 years ago. There’s a line in the song that says, “Jesus has scars and they’re all mine, too.” The lyrical conclusion I reached in that song was this: “I’ve learned that my scars have a beauty you see…For they’re the result of God’s saving me!” My scars constantly remind me of God, while Jesus’ scars remind me of His great love for me and for you. To my mind, that’s a beautiful thought!

Lee Pierce