What is in Your Hand?

In one of the most awe-inspiring moments in all of recorded history, out of a burning bush which was not consumed,
                              God said to Moses:

W h a t    i s    t h a t    i n    y o u r    h a n d ?

                                      וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, מזה (מַה-זֶּה) בְיָדֶךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר, מַטֶּה  .
                וַיֹּאמֶר הַשְׁלִיכֵהוּ אַרְצָה, וַיַּשְׁלִכֵהוּ אַרְצָה וַיְהִי לְנָחָשׁ; וַיָּנָס מֹשֶׁה, מִפָּנָיו.


It was the confrontation that transformed a man, and set the course of history.

God, I AM THAT I AM, had prepared the man, Moses over the course of 80 years, for this very moment.

The shepherd was on Mt. Horeb, cowering as he saw the bush flaming with holy fire. He heard the Voice of His Creator coming from this bush and he was afraid.

God began to lay out His strategy to Moses, by which the man would confront Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and obtain the release of the Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. By this time it was four hundred years since Joseph had brought his father, Israel, and his brothers and their households from Canaan to Egypt during the time of famine.

By this time Moses was emptied of the pride and self-righteousness that motivated him earlier in life (growing up as the son of Pharaoh's daughter who adopted him). He knew his own weaknesses well, and he answered his God out of those weaknesses. This was alright with The Almighty, because He will not condone human pride. Humility is the mark of a true servant.

Moses was concerned that the elders of Israel would not believe that the LORD had sent him.

So God said, "What is that in your hand?"

"A staff," answered Moses.

"Throw it on the ground," said the LORD.

Moses threw the staff and it became a snake, causing Moses to recoil from it.

"Stretch out your hand and grasp its tail " said the LORD. Moses did so, and the snake was again a staff.

The staff would later be the instrument to turn the Nile River into blood, and to facilitate the piling up of the waters of the Red Sea to make a dry path for the Children of Israel to cross over to freedom.

Yes, that was quite a staff! But it was still "a thing." The miracle power was not in the staff, it was just a tool in the hand of a mortal man - but that man was a tool in the hand of Almighty God.

Today we still do well to heed the covenant

that God and Moses made with one another:

"Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say."

...he [Moses] said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will."


When in history, God has called a man, a woman or a child, each time the process is much the same. When the little mortal is confronted with the mightiness of its Creator, a shaking and a melting process takes place. Sometimes there is violence, and sometimes the work is more gentle, depending upon the degree of pride, arrogance and self-righteousness in that mortal's soul.

If the call and the called-one's obedience is during childhood, it's much easier for them. We mortals grow thorns on our roses.  Over time, barnacles grow on our ships as we make our way through life. These must be removed before we can become effective instruments in Our Father's Hands.

The Guitar

Music and drama were in the family genes and history. My mother's grandmother was a concert pianist. Both my father and mother were amateur actors and film makers at the University of Minnesota. There were some singers back there somewhere, and that gift was strong in me. The piano training to which I was exposed at an early age was "not my cup of tea," so I had to depend on a good pianist for my infrequent performances. But then - by divine providence -- the guitar came into my life. Since that day I have never been the same!

Guitar 4

My first public appearance with the guitar was two months after my first lesson. Several hours each day had been devoted to practice. Although my playing was rudimentary, it accomplished its purpose in accompanying the songs which I sang in a number of languages. That was fun!  And all the more because it was a miracle of Grace and persistence.

New original songs began to flow through my voice and guitar, and that flow has not stopped in fifty years. At times I was blessed to go into the recording studio to put down tracks which are preserved on tape. In 1980 with some inherited funds, I went to Nashville to record two songs. As the years passed, there were other recording dates. A two-day session with the fine gospel group, GLAD, brought forth an historical, prophetic work calling America back to God.

Some of my work is being prepared for release on CDs and DVDs.

The Tape Recorder

In the late 1960s I read a message on God's question to Moses:

"What is that in your hand?"

After reading, I began to meditate, and to look around my home. I saw some things that could be used for God's service. It was not by my own choice, but I was a single mother of six children, and the youngest was a baby. Home was where I needed to be.

What was in my hand? By gifting and training, there were arts and communication talents, and there was a semi-professional tape recorder. Most importantly, God's Spirit within me would not be silent.

There were good tape recordings already, made with four on-fire high school students who wanted to serve God with their music. One day I heard:

"Get a radio program on WFAX." At the time, this was the only commercial Christian radio station in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. So, a radio program called, "For God and Country" was produced in my home with the help of a former radio engineer. It was broadcast once a week for a period of nine months.

Through a prayer partner an introduction was made to her associate; one of the founders of Christian Broadcasting Network. He had his own television program and I was invited to appear. Also, "For God and Country" was carried on the CBN radio station in Portsmouth, Virginia for six weeks until the lack of funding ended that. I would not ask for donations, believing that God would provide for as long as he wanted me to continue.

A generous couple in local leadership with the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, paid for the bulk of the program's bills on WFAX. The letters which I received from my listeners are still treasured to this day. God's children were being encouraged, and lives were being changed. God had taken what I had in my hand, with the Love and Grace he placed in my heart, then blessed and multiplied it. Some grew in their faith and trust in their Father, and I am grateful.

First the typewriter, then the computer

As wonderful as the musical creativity is, there is something else that became more consuming. I REALLY had to write! [Journalism was my mother's major.]

It has been said that philosophy is what you do when you are thinking about the great questions of life. When you are searching out different methodologies and teachings whether "religious" or metaphysical, you can be a philosopher. But when you have FOUND the answers to your questions, and KNOW in a personal way, the One Who is The Answer to every question and every need, you become a believer in Yeshua, the Son of the Living God, who has accepted you as His child.

That is not philosophy. That is reality!

This reality within me then, had to be expressed in words so that God's love and blessing could reach others within my sphere of existence. So, in addition to songs, there are now many articles, and four book manuscripts in progress. Two musical plays and a film script join the list.

The pencil, charcoal, pen and brush

The visual arts were explored as well. I've enjoyed good photography and drawing as long as I can remember. As I experimented with drawing and would occasionally borrow a camera for  several hours, my "eye" for the visual arts was developed. One night in 1958, while finding it difficult to sleep, I sat down, picked up a piece of paper and pencil, and began to sketch.

To my amazement, a picture of the Virgin and Child developed under my hand as the pencil moved across the page. Later, when considering the addition of a halo above the head of the Christ Child, I decided to use flower petals in brilliant red and yellow. This made for an unusual presentation of the Glory crown. As I considered the framing of the Mother and Child, I knew that the Mother's head was not to be completely within the frame, but cropped. This inspiration therefore did not allow a crown for the Mother.  Now isn't that interesting!


The MacIntosh New Media Lab


Just to see if I could "still do it," I auditioned for the summer musical production of OKLAHOMA! It was the 50th anniversary year of the opening performance of this American classic. Some of my family members were in the audience for a performance as their sixty-two year old mother sang and danced in the chorus. It was the music director for our OKLAHOMA! summer who opened the next door.

When it was my time to learn the technical art of putting words and graphics together on the printed page, the "staff in my hand" became the New Media Lab in the library building at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Here I was blessed to learn with the latest MacIntosh equipment. Tutoring was given as requested, by on-duty staff when no regular classes were in progress.

 My sessions were sometimes intense! One day I could barely walk down the hall and out to the parking lot at the end of a session which lasted for nearly three and a half hours without a break.

Newsletters for two organizations were created. My by-line appeared on the Op/Ed page of the local newspaper several times a month, at the invitation of the Managing Editor. My personal laptop got a lot of use those years as I became computer literate. Since then there have been successive desk top models as well.

Today in the spring of 2009, a MacBook Pro with all its word and graphics capabilities enables the material for the Lindsay House Publishing website. A most capable and friendly Christian webmaster organization, Inspyre (renamed Christian CMS, May, 2011) is my networking host. The traffic stats they provide for me are quite exciting.

The website, www.endureinstrength.org has been visited by people in Australia and New Zealand, New Caledonia, Oman, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, Iran and Egypt; Ivory Coast in Africa, Romania, Germany, France, Poland, Finland, U.K., Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Croatia; Canada [the five lower provinces], Mexico, Brazil, San Salvador and Colombia, and across the U.S.A. Recently added were: Bahamas, Virgin Islands, China, Japan, Thailand, Netherlands, Italy, Vietnam and Ukraine.  Then were added Ghana, Gambia, Greece, Taiwan, Papua, New Guinea, and Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines and Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey, Georgia, and the Czech Republic. Because I continue to learn the intricacies of networking with like-minded and open-hearted people, this website receives referrals from others with powerful and wide-reaching influence.


The Camera!

                                   camera and scarf

My latest tool for joyful service to the King, is a Cannon single lens reflex camera. As I use this picture-capturing tool and the computer softwear, Photoshop Lightroom, a whole new creative adventure happens. In the early morning as I seek the Lord, He often paints His glory in the skies outside my bedroom window. Most of the sky images on the www.endureinstrength.org website are from these wondrous visual blessings. My window faces to the East, and I have a grandstand view of the show!

Grace, Grace, Amazin' Grace!

We live in turbulent, dangerous and wonderful times.

Thankfully in the midst of them, there is Grace to express His Truth and His Glory!

     Now, my friend, what is that in YOUR hand?    

R.T., April 2, 2009







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