"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

March 23, 2016

Happy Easter


There is a saying, "Silence is golden," but honestly we don't often handle periods of silence very well. I'm not speaking about the perceived silence of God right now, but silence as a whole. We "think" we like silence, but we really don't like it for very long.

Silence is defined as "the complete absence of sound". That often makes us uncomfortable. We enjoy it for a few seconds, then will find something to do or listen to.

If you are with friends or a group of people and things get too quiet, it will make someone uncomfortable and they will invariably start talking or asking questions to break the silence. If someone stands up at church to give a testimony or to speak and stands quietly for a few seconds, people start looking at them and wondering, "Are they getting emotional? Are they having a hard time finding the right words? Are they nervous? Is something wrong?"

When Jon and I are at home, we almost always have the TV on. Jon may be working on a science lesson, or proofing the weekly newsletter, or playing a game on his iPad or laptop..... I may be on Facebook, or reading, or coloring, or playing a game..... but we generally always have the TV on in the background. A few nights ago it was almost time for us to go to bed, so I went ahead and turned it off. Jon asked why I had done so. I wanted to finish a chapter in my book, and he was playing a game, so I saw no reason to have it on.

The truth is, our lives are surrounded by almost constant noise of some kind; whether it be voices, TV, radio, traffic, dogs barking, or any number of things. When those things are quiet and everything is completely silent, we don't like it for very long. We will get up and do something, turn music or the TV on, talk on the phone, have a conversation with someone, or do something to break the silence.

Perhaps this is why we have such a difficult time dealing with what we perceive as the silence of God. We start thinking that He's not doing anything, or that He must not have heard our petition, or that He must want us to take care of it by ourself. We get really antsy and nervous and frustrated when we feel that God isn't doing anything about the various situations that we face.

Sometimes it may not necessarily be that we have a particular problem that we're dealing with, but during our prayer life, it seems as if God is being silent. We feel as if we're going through a desert, and God isn't speaking to us. What have we done wrong? Are we not spiritual enough or good enough? How come God seems to be speaking to others, but not us? It can become discouraging and frustrating when we feel as if God is giving us the silent treatment.

But is God ever really totally silent, or is that we perceive that God is being silent?

Let me give an example: When Jon and I go to our family property in Missouri, we will often set outside and comment, "Ahh.... silence!" Our interpretation of silence is no noise of traffic, which we continually hear driving by our house; and no firetruck sirens. The street that runs in front of our home in Oklahoma has become very, very busy and we can hear the sound of vehicles almost continually. There is a fire station three doors down from us. So what we perceive as silence in the country is the absence of those sounds.

When we sit out in the yard at Lampe, we do have the absence of all the different sounds that we have at our home. But when we listen, we hear birds singing, tree frogs and cicadas chirping, dogs barking.... which can be rather noisy at times. There is noise, but it's different from what we're used to. It's really not very silent after all; but it's comfortable and relaxing to us.

Aha!! So possibly when we think that God is being silent, perhaps it's just a different sound from heaven than what we're accustomed to. Perhaps it's not so much as Him being hushed, as Him doing something different from the norm.

God may be doing something behind the scene or working something out in our lives that we can't see or hear. He may be doing something that we never truly know about, because He's working quietly.

There are a couple times that come to mind regarding Jesus being silent, during His years of ministry here on earth.

The first incident I think of is found in John 8:1-11. Jesus was at the Temple early in the morning and a crowd soon gathered. As He was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger, without saying a word. They kept demanding an answer, so Jesus stood up and all He said was, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone." Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. He stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No Lord," she said. Jesus answered, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

The second occasion that comes to mind is in Matthew chapter 27 where we read about Jesus' trial before Pilate. The governor asked, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "You have said it." Then the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, and Jesus remained silent. "Don't you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?" Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor's surprise. (verses 11-14 NLT)

In both of these incidences, was Jesus really silent? Was He ignoring those who were questioning Him and demanding answers? Did He not answer because He had nothing to say, or didn't know what to say? When the accusers were demanding the adulterous woman be stoned, why did Jesus not stand up and defend her and preach a sermon on sin and forgiveness? Was it because He thought the woman was guilty and deserved this humility and being made a public example in front of this huge crowd of people?

When the leading priests and elders showed up at Jesus' trial making accusations against Him, why didn't He speak out and declare who He was? Why didn't He proclaim His holiness and that He was Heaven sent by His Father, God? Why was He silent?

Just because Jesus didn't speak in either of these stories, doesn't mean that He wasn't fulfilling a purpose and accomplishing something big. When the religious teachers and Pharisees came dragging this adulterous woman before Jesus, did He not accomplish more by saying less than He would have by saying much? All He had to say was, "If you've never sinned, cast the first stone," to get His point across. Other than that, He stooped down and silently wrote in the dirt. This simple act on His part had huge results! The accusers slipped away, and the women received forgiveness and mercy from Jesus.

When Jesus was silent against His personal accusers during His trial, He could have defended Himself... He could have called down a legion of angels to come and save Him.... He could have even called fire down from Heaven to consume those accusers; but that wasn't His purpose for coming to earth. Jesus knew that God had sent Him to come and live on earth, with the main purpose of being crucified. He knew that He had to face the torture and pain and even death, in order to redeem mankind and be their Savior. He knew that it was impossible for men and women to save themselves, so He had to pay the price and be their ultimate sacrifice. He was silent; but was fulfilling prophecy and fulfilling His Father's plan by doing so. I daresay, the silence and humility of Jesus had more impact during those moments than many words would have had.

When we feel like God is being silent and not working on our behalf or not speaking to us, perhaps it's because He has a bigger plan than what our minds can comprehend. Perhaps He is doing more in His silence than what can be done through speaking. God never slumbers, never sleeps, but is always listening to our cries. He knows our every thought, feels our every pain, hears our every prayer, and is touched by our every heartache. Be encouraged today that God is never really silent, but is always working on our behalf.


Psalm 46:10 says (in part), "Be still, and know that I am God." We talked about this verse in Sunday School, this week, and it fits very well today. A more modern translation might be "Hey. Chill. I got this."

There are times we need to quit all our busyness, quit trying to solve everything, quit trying to make everyone else be happy, and just take some time to remember that God is not just an impartial observer; He is God. We don't just have to do that on Sunday, we can do it any day.


Fruit Pizza


1 roll Pillsbury sugar cookie dough

Spread this on a cookie sheet or large pizza pan. Bake at 350 until light golden brown.

2nd Layer:

2 packages cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Soften cream cheese. Mix all ingredients together and spread on the cookie crust. This will be easier to do while the crust is still slightly warm.

3rd Layer:

1 can pineapple tidbits (drain, but save juice)

1 can sliced peaches, drained

Bananas, sliced

Strawberries, sliced

Kiwi, sliced


Arrange fruit on top of the cream cheese mixture.


1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Mix ingredients together in a saucepan and cook until clear and thick. (If you don't have have enough pineapple juice from what you drained off the tidbits.) Pour evenly over the top of the fruit. Chill and serve.


Easter is coming up on Sunday!! I love Easter and all that it represents: celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus being first and foremost the most important. It's amazing when you think about all that Jesus endured for our benefit. Now that is true love!!

I also love other things that are often associated with Easter Sunday: everyone coming to church dressed in their Sunday best; family dinners; egg hunts for the kids......

This Sunday, however you choose to celebrate Easter, may your day be blessed and filled with much joy. Take a few moments to spend with Jesus, thanking Him for giving us a reason to celebrate!


Most Christians don't hear God's voice

because we've already decided we aren't going to do what He says. - A.W. Tozer


We love you!

Loretta & Jon