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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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Entries in Wait on God (32)


genuine: 40 words in 40 days

Two times this week I’ve had the pleasure of sitting with new-ish friends and telling my story. I am reminded of the power of our testimony! The Word says that we will overcome our Enemy by the power of the blood and the word of our testimony. 

My story involves a rupturing of a false identity that I pieced together. I learned about Jesus and His Power of Forgiveness when I was ten years old. Then in college, some kind and devoted young women taught me what it meant to walk out life with Christ. 

I began to read the Word and hunger for it. Fruit showed up in my life. And I began to hide. In my pride, I patched together an external version of what I thought it looked like to be a Christian. I adorned myself with fig leaves. 

My God would not allow me to stay covered in ridiculous leaves when a robe of righteousness awaited. In an amazing show of grace, he outed me in my early twenties. I took off the mask and began to walk in brokenness. 

From time to time, I try to hide again. In performance or in self-righteousness, but God is gently forming me inside out. He is teaching what it means to take up the cross and follow Him. 

He is refining my faith to be genuine.

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 1 Peter 1:7


unexpected: 40 words in 40 days

We sat around a bouquet of tulips each plate adorned with hearts. Matthew returned home for the night to get his car tags renewed. Rarely are we together, all five of us, around the table.

Someone suggested we make a video like the ones we had been watching on YouTube. The song Harlem Shake has become a video viral craze. All kinds of folks claim 30 second stardom by uploading their version. The template 15 seconds of calm followed by 15 seconds of bedlam.

How would we film it? What would we wear? How would we dance? All these and more became the topic of our Valentine’s dinner. Our family is not prone to performance - at least not on camera. And so it began and grew in momentum - this crazy idea to do something we have never done before.

We sketched out a rough picture board. Everyone found costumes. Sam found a fake cigar. And we were up and running. Twenty minutes later our debut is posted on Facebook. I dug out my YouTube passwords. Voila! We are on the air.

What makes this so amusing is the level of surprise. Never in 22 years of marriage have I seen Matt McMurray dance on camera. Never. He has danced - just plain danced - maybe 20 times. Why did he acquiesce to this strange phenomena? I have no idea.

Control freaks everywhere shriek at the mention of “unexpected.” Yet we humans crave it. This blows my mind about God: you can never predict what He’s going to do. Unless He’s promised it in His Word, you cannot know what He will do. Now if He has promised it, it’s as good as done.

Delight flows from the unexpected. What will God do next that will blow my mind? What areas in your life need His touch of the unexpected?



If Advent means anything in my life, it means to offer space for God to work.

As I understand it, the gospel means that God saved me in my sin and nothing I can do will increase His love for me nor diminish it. As I grow in my faith (sanctification), I can offer ground to Him or in other words offer my life.

This attitude is beautifully demonstrated by Mary the Mother of Jesus. Mary's words show a heart willing to bend to God's plan and a will deeply trusting of God's goodness. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. May it be as you have said." Luke 1:38.

I want more than anything for my life to reflect that sentiment. Sometimes I look around and I cannot see my way clear of the refuse of this fallen world. I don't see a way back to grace. I cannot find a path to peace.

My past (faith) reminds me that God has provided for me and has never left me. He has come through at the last minute or He has acted in surprising ways. This is the soil of my faith. My future (hope) is built on trusting His character. I want to live with that kind of memory and vision and let it shape my present.

These past few days at the beach have given me the space to prepare for Advent. As I wait, I offer the God of the Universe space in my heart to work.

Mary offered her womb - a space for miracles. I want to offer space and wait to see what God will do. This is what Advent means to me.


game plan

I posted this on my front door today. Romans 13:1Joshua dribbled the soccer ball toward mid-field, but his lackadaisical gait grabbed my attention. And like any good soccer-mom, I yelled out to him from my lawn chair: “Joshua! Hustle!” 

Only problem with this scenario: the ball wasn’t live. The other team had just scored. Joshua dribbled the ball to mid-field for the kick-off (is that the correct term?). Matt swiftly brought me up to date. I dug a small hole on the sideline and spent the rest of the game in it. Well, I wish I could have. 

I know very little about soccer as demonstrated in the story above, a story that will live in the annals of McMurray history for eternity. My ignorance, unfortunately, did not stop me from commenting. I learned from that experience to keep a lid on my mouth until I could comment with a little education. I’m still learning about soccer. The lid goes on and off according to my self-control. 

On this election day, Matt and I began our day in prayer before we got out of bed. We serve a Sovereign God. He will choose our president today. In fact, He’s chosen him. I pondered what it will be like at the end of the day today. How will I behave in front of my children? Will I communicate to them that I trust God? 

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staff or snake

Moses is having a conversation with a burning bush. God spoke to Moses, or more accurately, “the angel of the LORD.” From what I understand this refers to a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. 

Exodus 3 says that Moses was out tending the sheep of Jethro his father-in-law. He saw a bush on fire but never burning up. Curiosity got the best of him and he went over to check it out. Verse 4 says “When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’”

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