{ Brave Listener }


Like a tightrope walker,

I slide on a narrow line–



Now here’s a quick move:

squeezinginawordortwo — TADAH!

As a chronic listener,

It feels dangerous —

Everyone is waiting

And watching.

Will I utter words that simply fall and crash?

Or will there be

Someone to catch my words

And care?


{ Creatures Shout! }

God has made Himself known

He’s sovereign and sits on the throne

Tiny atoms, bright flowers

Shout out all His powers

Even snowflakes, they haven’t a clone.

~ ~ ~

Are you teenaged…or aged and gray?

Live in Tampa, Tegau, or Taipei?

If you look with your eyes,

And ignore Big Bang lies,

You’ll see God in creation today.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Romans 1:20-23

Photo credits:

Tavin Dotson — flower

Rodion Kutsaev — leaf

Krzysztof Niewolny–moth

James Lee–sea creatures

{ Children & Grownups }


Children cry, laugh, and rage;

Grownups stifle feelings.

Children express thoughts.

Grownups suppress them.

Children dance.

Grownups sit.

Children hug their best friends.

Grownups sip coffee across tables, asking polite questions.

Children love without fear and believe what seems impossible.

Grownups love guardedly, and believe only what they see.

Children embrace life,

And grownups fear death.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3-4

{ The Inscrutable, Intimate God }

“I want to know God’s thoughts — the rest are mere details.” 

–Albert Einstein

People of every generation have loved to learn, invent and explore, but it seems as if there is always more to discover.

Here are some quotes found in the recent news:

  • “The size of the universe is unknown.”
  • “Scientists have discovered 1,451 new species in our oceans this past year.”
  • “Until recently, no one knew that the smaller-than-microscopic pentaquark existed.”

When it comes to knowing God, He is deeper than we can imagine. His ways are inscrutable, meaning impossible to understand or interpret. When we think have God’s ways figured out, Isaiah 55:8 reminds us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

And the paradox is this: the eternal, infinite, inscrutable God wants to be known!

James 4:8 says that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

We discover who God is through the written word He has given; the Holy Bible.

We can never know the depth of God.  But in the search, we are changed forever.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?”
Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever.” 
Romans 11:33-36


photo credit:

unsplash-logoJeremy Bishop

{ Year of the Tooth }


Root canal, anklyose, braces,

The evidence shows on our faces.

Our teeth have been busy,

The bills make us dizzy,

(But we’d rather have teeth than blank spaces.)


I guess it’s worth a few tears

To maintain these choppers for years,

A quality smile

Should last for a while,

Ignore teeth and they’ll disappear.


“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

~Mother Teresa


Photo Credit: unsplash-logoErick Tang

{ Owl Lesson }

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. ~Peter Marshall

Yesterday, a Great Horned Owl found a perch on a dead tree in our backyard.

Hanna discovered his huge, bulky shape at 9:00 a.m. and gasped, “What is that?”


Snow started to fall.  The owl sat there, barely moving.  His wind-puffed feathers ruffled occasionally and once he turned his formidable head our way. But he kept sitting, intently focused on the snowy lawn.

Marco updated us hourly on the owl:

Sitting there.  Still sitting there.

At 2:00 p.m., he was still sitting on the same hefty branch as a gentle snow kept falling.

We speculated about why this rare visitor was there. Was he watching for mice scurrying across the snowflakes? Most likely, he was just resting — or digesting– as owls do.

Scripture tells us to learn from God’s creation.  Job 12:7 says to “…ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you…”

And the owl taught me a lesson today.  He waited on that snowy branch for five hours. We didn’t see him strike prey, or even move much. He was incredibly stoic and calm.

It’s hard to wait — especially in the current fast-paced world. It’s challenging to stand in a long line without feeling antsy.  I talk impatiently to pokey cars in stalled traffic.

These ending verses are a reminder to me.  When I wait on God, I know that He is never slow, distracted or tardy.  His timing is perfect.

  • Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. –Psalm 25:5
  • In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. –Psalm 5:3
  • But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation My God will hear me. –Micah 7:7

Owl photo credit:  unsplash-logoCaroline Ebinger

{ Not a Bucket List }

I was inspired to create the “opposite of a bucket list” by Ordinary Stardust.

Here’s 6 for starters:


Have a daily 9-5 office job.

One summer, I worked inside an office, typing at a desk.  Constantly on the verge of drowsiness, I’d regularly exit for breaks — a strategy to wake myself up.

Sing in a choir.

I am too prone to laughter. I got in trouble in 5th grade for giggling at silly boys, who were trying to make us laugh.  Even now, in church, singing hymns with my funny husband, it can be a problem. Just telling myself, “Don’t laugh, it’s not funny,” can start the giggles bubbling up.

Join the political scene.

I care about the issues, but don’t see a point in the ceremonial, political song- and-dance. It seems like a game, with its rhetoric and rules.  I try to educate myself, and participate when pressed. I vote, attend caucuses and local meetings.  But, I would never want to be up there on the podium.

Travel with tours.

I’m too independent.  I’d rather peek into forgotten hovels and investigate forbidden stairways than be led like a sheep through Rome.

Live in a big city.

I lived in Hong Kong for a year, and it was fascinating.  But, it had its drawbacks. It’s hard to explain the constant drain of people looking at you and being close to you all the time. Perhaps I will rethink this someday, but for now, I will leave it as is.

Be Cold.

Maybe I’m choosing this one because it’s January and I live in Minnesota.  But, I have been truly cold – it happened just after I had a baby.  Long story short, I lost a lot of blood, was airlifted to the University of Minnesota hospital and was given a few blood transfusions. Warm, dryer-toasted blankets were piled upon me, but still I was shivering.  I thought, “Hell isn’t hot.  It’s cold.”


© Lisa M. Luciano 😊




{ Final Words }

When Ma Ingalls left for a rare outing, she gave a list of instructions to her family.

“Watch Carrie! Don’t forget to churn the butter…and watch out for rattlers in the grass!”

Parents give their “final” speeches just before leaving, hoping to avoid any disaster that would happen during their absence.

Mine would go something like this:

“Don’t use the stove, and watch the little guys. No videos unless all the laundry is folded and put away!”

In 2 Peter 1 there is a passage that also contains Peter’s “final words.” He knew he was about to die, so he gave his beloved brothers and sisters an important “to do” list.

I have heard it before, but overlooked how valuable it is for anyone looking to:

  • know what to do next
  • mature and grow as a Christian
  • find God’s will

2 Peter 1:5-15 is written to believers and assumes that first, they possess faith.  It’s the quality essential to every Christian.  We all are on different places in our walk with God, but the essential is faith. Assuming that starting point, Peter tells us to supplement our faith with the important qualities of:

  • virtue
  • knowledge
  • self-control
  • steadfastness
  • godliness
  • brotherly affection
  • love

“If these qualities are yours and increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)

Do you want to be more effective? Want to know what God wants you to do? Want to grow? Start with this list.  Working toward these qualities doesn’t earn you salvation.  But it gives you a goal.

Peter says if you lack these qualities, you may forget where you came from.  (2 Peter 1:9)

Might that, in turn, make us:

  • ungrateful to God for all He has done?
  • self-righteous, thinking we have made ourselves what we are?
  • puffed up and ready for a fall? (2 Peter 1:10)



What’s on the horizon for you and I in 2018?  We cannot know for sure.  God has it all in His hands.

But, if you are looking for some New Year’s resolutions, powered by God’s never-ending grace, this list in 2 Peter 1:5-15 is a good place to start.

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Photo credit, horizon: unsplash-logoFernando Pereira

{ Marriage Is Like Football? }

The Vikings won yesterday!

  • Will they make it all the way to Super Bowl LII –here in Minneapolis?
  • Will the Vikings break our hearts OR
  • Will they conquer as VIKINGS should do?


On an entirely different note, some family friends are getting married next weekend.

Some of us are involved in the wedding as usher, best man, food server, etc.

Wedding talk and football discussions are mixing it all up around the house.  So, I thought it was time to put them together…

4 Ways a Christian Marriage is Like Football:

You wear your gear.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…

You play your position.

Every team needs players.  Is the offensive lineman better than the kicker?  They both have their important roles to play.

In our marriage, my husband acts as the general manager / head coach. He makes the final calls. But we both give our input.  I have a different perspective on things. He welcomes my input (and wants to make me happy.)  But, I allow him the right to make decisions and remind myself not to pout even if it all doesn’t go my way.

Ephesians 5:33

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Note: Does this sound strange to you?  Do I sound like a doormat?  I am a (fairly) normal, college educated, suburban raised, coffee consuming female.  I am not superwoman. I claim Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

You follow the rules.

It would be easier to study and practice a list of stringent rules than to obey rules of love, given in I Corinthians 13.

It takes nothing less than the Spirit of Christ living in me to be patient, kind and humble when it would be more natural to respond selfishly.

This passage is a perfect marriage playbook:

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 

 It’s great to have lots of people on your team.

Neither my husband nor I grew up in a large family.  But when we got married, we decided we would take as many children as God would give us.

Eleven children later, we are grateful.

They are gifts.  They are tools God uses to refine our character.  We have our good days and bad days.  We are a one income family and work hasn’t always been steady. But we have never regretted this decision.

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.”

 © Lisa M. Luciano



{ Jonny’s Questions }

A brief errand took me into the city with my three youngest children.

We had a wholesome audiobook to entertain us and the January roads were dry. Traffic wasn’t going to stop us from arriving at one of our favorite destinations:


Billboards flashed by and Jonny asked, “What’s Planned Parenthood?”

I was not expecting this. My mind raced with what they know already and what I was willing to say at 8:40 a.m. while weaving through rush hour.

I launched into benign definitions about organizations and what they do.

Then I clumsily ventured into a mini-sermon.  Half of you would agree with my monologue and half wouldn’t, but Jonny seemed satisfied.

A selfish detour took us to Starbucks before anything else.  I felt I deserved it.


After that, Trader Joe’s bags filled the car with goodies and we were on our way home.

Back on the highway that was decorated with billboards, Jonny piped up again.

“What’s Super 8?”

That one was easier.