The Sniff Test

I have never had a guest writer before, but my friend Lynne Gintzig, a sister on this journey of faith, is sharp and witty, amazing and humble. She doesn’t mince words, but after she steps on my toes, I somehow always leave with a smile. Lindy has the ability to combine profound spiritual wisdom with things she pulls out of the junk drawer of our everyday lives. Enjoy…

                    Porkchops, The “Sniff Test” and a Metaphor for Life.

I have added this to my daily prayer…and I really pray it with SINCERITY. But do I really listen?? “Most Holy Spirit of God, inspire my thinking, pervade my imagination, suggest my decisions and order my doings.”

So WHAT would possess me to fry up some thin cut pork chops when I almost gagged upon opening the package?? (Well, the date was good, I just purchased them and stored them properly was my rationale). Even during the brief flash in the pan they smelled “off”…. So, WHAT possessed me to eat one? I ignored the “red flags”. And believe you me, I suffered consequences all night.

So, why – in our daily lives- when something doesn’t pass the “sniff test” do we ignore the warning signs and our conscience and proceed full steam ahead? Our egos? Our love of something else besides wisdom ($?), comfort (I don’t want to have to go back to store), our lust (I REALLY like a pan fried porkchop), or just plain lazy stupidity (duh).

I say, if you want God to bless your life, then LISTEN to Him… And then obey Him. If something about that relationship with that cute guy (the porkchops LOOKED just fine) smells off, pay attention, GIRLS (and guys). If you jump in the frying pan with those questionable chops, trust me… there WILL be consequences.

Moral of this bedtime story….If your “porkchop” isn’t passing the sniff test, there are other porkchops out there! I’m not giving up porkchops because of a bit of misery, however…it just may take me a few weeks before I can look at one and not gag.



To The Next Generation

Even when I’m old and gray…let me proclaim your power to the next generation, your mighty miracles to all who came after me (Ps 71:18).

One of our most important jobs in this life is to pass on HIS story, the message of truth of the mighty power and saving grace of Christ Jesus, to the next generation.

When my children left home for college, marriage, or life on their own, I gave much thought as to whether or not we had prepared them enough—would they eat too many fast foods because they couldn’t cook, or mix whites with their jeans, or balance a checkbook, or, or, or.

Really they could survive in the world without knowing all these skills as long as they know who to go to. What better go-to person than the Creator, the One who designed the world, and the One who formed each unique person. He is there for the major hurdles, and He is there for the little things too.

In the Old Testament, God’s people built altars so that when their children inquired about them, they could tell the story of how God worked in their lives. I have seen Him work miraculously in my own life, especially in regard to His perfect timing, and I have never met a believer who doesn’t have a personal story.

Sharing our own stories of God’s miracles is really giving the next generation a gift much better than the heftiest trust fund—it’s sharing hope.

The Father’s Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). 

A short time ago, the message at our church impacted me so much that even though I may not do it justice in these few words, I would be remiss for not sharing and will prayerfully try.

Although God’s word never goes out and returns void, I chose a verse that even non-believers can quote. John 3:16 is so commonly used, the depths of its meaning has been lost.

How many of us as loving parents would choose to suffer pain, emotional hurt, or even death rather than see our child experience it? The anguish suffered by that parent is often more excruciating than the physical pain.

Our loving Father gave us His most precious, precious gift. His only be-loved Son was sent from a heavenly paradise to live on earth for the sole purpose of assuming our sins on His perfect humanity in order to pay the penalty for what we did. As a parent, the depths of His pain would have to be immeasurably greater than if the Father could do it Himself.

And then, because God cannot be in the presence of sin, the already grieving Father had to turn away from the Son. Many parents cannot even leave a child’s hospital bed to eat or sleep, but the Father, who is the very definition of love, had to for a time abandon the Son. He could not complete His purpose if “the cup passed” from Him.

Can there be any greater love than to give His Son–His dearly loved child?

The depths of this love story can only be matched by the joyous ending. Sin and eternal death are defeated. We are redeemed by the most costly price imaginable—the Father’s love.

His Perfect Work

Before the cock crows twice, you will deny Me thrice (Mark14:30).

 Each time I hear the story of Peter’s denial I always surmise that I would never do that! But think about it—it seemed like everyone turned against Jesus. Talk about peer pressure. And speaking of peers, where were all the people that Jesus healed? And where were the other eleven? And who am I kidding?!

It’s easy to credit God in the midst of blessings or when I’m surrounded by other believers.

But when things aren’t going the way I think they should, or when it seems like other believers have scattered and are doing their own thing, or when I’m alone, am I still trusting? Or do I find myself in Peter’s situation asking, “Where is God? This isn’t the way this should play out.”

Do I still acknowledge that He loves me and is working on a “bigger picture”? I really don’t need to see further than my next step because even though I can’t grasp the whole picture, I can trust Him. And even when I deny Him, He is still faithful to complete His perfect work…even in me.

Go and Sin No More

Go and sin no more (John 8:11).

At present I attend two ladies’ Bible studies, both different in a number of ways, but in both the word “judge” came up. In one, the focus was on a person; in the other, as an action. In a well-known scriptural passage, the adulterous woman was brought before Jesus and He was asked, “What do you say?”

The goal of these religious leaders was to trap Him, but His response neither dismissed her sin, nor condemned her. He turned to the accusers and said, “Let the one who never sinned throw the first stone.”

Whenever we point the finger of judgment (accusation) at someone, three fingers are pointing back to us. The ONLY sinless person, the ONLY one who has the right to judge said, “I do not condemn you.” The woman hadn’t even asked for forgiveness!

God’s character is one of both love and justice. Aren’t you glad!? He doesn’t dismiss our unrighteousness (justice); but He doesn’t use it to condemn us (love). Rather His motive is to draw us into an even closer relationship with Him.

So where do I fit into this scenario? Here is my role as a judge—DON’T. And as an unrighteous woman—Go (without condemnation) and sin no more.


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship (Rom 12:1).

The Gennesareth Gospel Team listed the resumes of the following biblical saints: Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk. Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zacheus was too short, Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead.

Their premise was that God doesn’t just call the qualified. The fact is that those who have the highest qualifications, the most talents, and the greatest intelligence are actually harder for God to use. What we have to offer God is minus-a-billion compared to what He can do with us if allow Him to use us. Our intelligence, our motivations, our logic, even our passions often get in the way of His perfect work.

I often have to remind myself when it seems like God is nudging me to do something uncomfortable, that it is His work, not mine. And He certainly meets all requirements to do the task perfectly.

He doesn’t just call the qualified. He qualifies the called!


Twice Born

Therefore if anyone belongs to Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold new things have come (2 Cor 5:17).

The term “born again” has been used so flippantly that the depth of these words has been blurred. When we choose a spiritual rebirth through accepting Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as a personal gift from God, the old person has passed away. We become a new creation with new spiritual DNA.

There is a renewal of the mind that urges us to live in accordance with God’s word and will, doing or avoiding things we may have never before even considered. If we choose to disobey, an inner conflict signals a warning.

For some, the change is dramatic. I would think for most the changes are gradual, but in hindsight we can look back and recognize spiritual growth. We can look back even as older believers, and see the gentle guiding hand of our loving Father whose mercy is new every morning.