Category Archives: Easter

When God Is Silent, Look for Yellow Butterflies

I’ve received many messages about this essay since I posted it almost a decade ago. It seems I’m not the only one who has experienced God’s gift of yellow butterflies. Easter is the perfect time to share it again. May you be blessed and find everlasting life with Jesus, our Savior.


mWyqLOUI’ve read about people who accepted the Lord and were instantly saved from catastrophic illness or from a life of sin or from debt. My Christian journey didn’t begin that way. It happened slowly. God led me through baby steps and taught me to listen patiently and with all of my senses.

The first time I heard God’s voice in my heart, on the day I was saved in 1984, I thought it would always be easy to know His will. I thought I could ask Him what I should do and He would immediately tell me. Instead, I found that often He is silent. In the weeks and months following my salvation, I cried out endlessly to Him—but He said nothing. I vowed that I wouldn’t give up hope. Having heard His voice once in my inner self was enough for me to believe that God was real. Surely it wasn’t coincidence that He made the sun shine, just as He said it would, as I stood on the bluff that dreary day when He saved me. These things alone were enough to keep me believing. I decided that if I searched hard enough, I would find the golden secret to hearing His voice whenever I wished.

I bought books about prayer, and I read them as quickly as I could. I read the bible, something I hadn’t done for years. I concentrated on what Jesus taught about prayer. I did everything I could think of to please God, and yet He remained silent. Finally, in desperation, I went back to the bluff. I sat there on the grass looking out at Lake Michigan waiting for something miraculous to happen. Then, completely frustrated and at the edge of doubt, I said, “Okay, God. If you’re not going to talk to me then maybe I was right—maybe I’m just not worth it.”

imgThat thought had only formed inside my head when a small, yellow butterfly landed on my knee. I whisked it away, got up, and walked. As I walked it flew alongside me. At first I thought it was a coincidence. Then it became strange. If I changed direction, so did the butterfly. If I walked faster, she stayed with me. Then, after a few minutes, the most incredible thing happened. A dozen yellow butterflies joined the first. They fluttered about, seemingly interested in nothing but me. At that moment God whispered five simple words in my heart,

“I am with you always.”

For the rest of that summer, yellow butterflies became a symbol of His love. I saw them everywhere: on stationery, greeting cards, posters, and in newspaper ads. They flew in front of my car, and they fluttered outside my windows. But the most remarkable butterfly sighting was yet to come.

I sensed God telling me that it was time to move on. The apartment building I lived in was going condo, and I could choose buying my unit or finding another place to live. God said, “Go.”

I worked with a realtor, but nothing I saw was right—too big, too small, too expensive, too far away. Then, one afternoon, she called to say that she found the perfect house in a neighborhood near my apartment building, one I was familiar with. I knew  I couldn’t afford a house there. “Just check it out,” she said. “It feels right.”

The house was in a subdivision of solid, brick homes with tidy yards and flower gardens on quiet, tree-lined streets. I found the address and parked out front. Everything about the house was perfect—the cream-colored brick, the landscaping, the quaint wooden shutters. I can’t afford this, I thought. But then I saw it—  a yellow butterfly! She was the centerpiece of a large stained-glass sun catcher hanging in the front window. She was big and bold with outstretched wings. “Okay, Lord,” I said. “Show me the way.”

The house was more than I could afford, but I placed a bid anyway. It was rejected. I placed a second bid, and that one was rejected, too. I was ready to give up until, on the very morning I’d planned to call my realtor to tell her to forget it, the Wisconsin State Government issued low-interest financing for first-time homebuyers. I qualified, and my third bid was accepted. That was thirty-three years ago, and I still live in the house God chose for me.

The butterfly sightings have decreased through the years, but once in a while God will send a yellow butterfly in an unlikely time or place as a gentle reminder that He is with me. The butterflies teach me that often our Lord speaks without words.

7c476ebe7f4314619729b20b0069b652Just as in Biblical times there are signs and wonders today, but in our hectic world with all of the noise and confusion, it’s difficult to recognize them. We must be quiet and look for them, and we have to trust God to help us see them. Often they are small and draw little attention. God doesn’t shout to us, “Look!” Instead, He remains silent wanting us to explore beyond His words. He might speak in the wind or in the autumn leaves or in the moonlight. He might speak through a rainbow or a gentle spring shower or through a sleeping kitten nestled in a lap. When God is silent, it doesn’t mean that He’s left us. He’s just asking us to be patient and quiet. He’s asking us to look deeper into His creation to discover the miracles that He sends us every day.



Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post about my books along with daily articles and inspiration for writers.

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.



Filed under Desiring God, Easter, God sightings, Knowing God, Listening to God, Salvation, Uncategorized, Yellow Butterflies

The Story of Jesus—God’s Parable

A parable is an earthly story used to teach some heavenly meaning. If you think about it, you’ll discover that Jesus’ whole life is a parable given to us by God.


God’s parable is a story about a god—the one and only God—sending a part of Himself to earth in a child’s body. The child, known as Jesus, God’s Son, grew up the personification of God, possessing all of His power, love, and wisdom. This part of God, the man Jesus, became an earthly example of a godly life. Then, God allowed Jesus, this part of Himself, to experience every imaginable sin that we humans can commit past, present, and future. God allowed Jesus’ body to be crucified and suffer excruciating pain until, finally, the body died. BUT, the parable doesn’t end there. God, our eternal God in the form of His Son, Jesus, did not die. HE LIVED. Jesus’ body arose from the grave and He ascended into heaven.

There are many lessons in God’s parable, but the most important is this: there is no place for sin in heaven. To claim our place there, we must believe that God loves us so much that He sacrificed Himself to guarantee us eternal life in heaven when our bodies die.

9c6573dfff65de3d68075359d135df31What did sacrifice mean in Jesus’ time?
God commanded His people to perform numerous animal sacrifices according to certain procedures prescribed by Him. Instead of humans suffering eternal death for their own sins, God was willing to accept a substitute.

First, the animal had to be spotless.

Second, the person offering the sacrifice had to need the animal—remember animals were the most important commodity providing food, clothing, and wealth in trade.

Third, the person offering the animal had to kill it. When done in faith, this sacrifice provided a temporary covering of sins.

Sacrifices had to be done multiple times to keep cleansing sin so God’s people might one day have eternal life in heaven.



Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice, the ETERNAL covering of sin, the ONLY way for souls to be guaranteed sin-free when bodies die. God didn’t have to sacrifice Himself multiple times to free us from sin, but only once.

Jesus told us the meaning of God’s parable:

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.”

(Read the rest of what Jesus said in John 3: 1–21.)

If you are a believer, praise God! If you are a non-believer, think about God’s parable and then decide.

Will you believe?
What do you have to lose?


If you are on Facebook, check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!



*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.


Filed under Easter, Good Friday, Salvation, Sin, Uncategorized

Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg?

[I hope you’ll enjoy reading this post from Easter 2010.
I wish all of you, my readers, a very blessed, safe and happy holiday.]

At Easter time, store shelves are stocked with cute little chicks and colorful plastic eggs holding hidden treasures. At Easter time, chickens become like rock stars.

Chickens are everywhere—even in the Bible!
Think about it:

  • Jonah “chickened out” when God wanted him to go to Nineveh,
  • Gideon was “chicken-hearted,” until God showed him his potential,
  • Sarah and Elizabeth were “no spring chickens” when they became pregnant,
  • the foolish man’s “chickens came home to roost” after he built his house on sand,
  • Martha ran around “like a chicken with her head cut off” cleaning and cooking for Jesus instead of spending quality time with Him,
  • the poor widow put “chicken feed” into the temple treasury . . .

Okay, obviously we’re talking about idioms—
expressions with non-literal meanings.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? is the best known chicken idiom and a question that humans have pondered for years. Evolutionists believe that the egg came first. An egg from a non-chicken mutated into an egg that produced a barnyard chicken.

On the other hand, Christians believe that the chicken came first.
Proof is in Genesis 1:20-22.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” (NIV)

Although we know better, we Christians sometimes behave like evolutionists. We put the egg before the chicken, similar to children eager to discover what treasures are hidden in plastic Easter eggs. We think more about God’s gifts than the One who put them there.

This Easter, I encourage you to consider not only God’s gift of salvation through Christ Jesus, but also the character of God Himself. Without His greatness, forgiveness, mercy, and love, there would be no Jesus, no Resurrection Sunday, and no promise of eternal life. There would be no good reason for cute stuffed chicks, plastic eggs, the Easter Bunny—or to ponder that silly question:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?


Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!



*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.


Filed under Easter, Which came first