What’s on MY mind?
The times in which we are living. It doesn’t take a Doctorate Degree in anything to understand these days are troubling and crazy. The enemy of our soul would have us all hate one another & take offense at any and everything. Intelligent conversation has been replaced by “I am offended” diatribes by some with the proverbial “chip on their shoulder”. Sad. Afraid of offending this one, that one, or anyone causes division.
Here it is. This is me. I love people. I love dogs, cats, orangutans, baby goats, parakeets, and I have rescued a writhing earthworm on a hot sidewalk and placed him back into a shady patch of grass. That’s me. Offenses will come to ALL from all sides. Without the love of God we would all destroy each other because of “offenses”. All of us matter to God. ALL of us. I have been to the hot. putrid dumps of Mexico City where orphaned children live surviving on garbage that was a breeding ground for flies. Their wardrobe was discarded smelly clothing. I have washed their dirty little feet and placed brand new clean socks & shoes on them. Bragging??? A thousand times No. It did not matter their color, breeding, odor, or intellect.
I have been guarding my speech of late due to the cataclysmic gulf between races – all races. Beloved that should not be. Please don’t be so offended – any of us – Beloved, did He not say “offenses will come”? Do not let the enemy of your soul divide and conquer us! I have been to the hot, steamy rain forest in West Africa and held the sweating, feverish babies close to me. This white woman climbed a high hill in Ghana to deliver the Word of The Lord on a certain day to a certain small congregation of believers. First white person to ever go there.
Love MUST overtake hateful prejudice. Do not tell me I am racist because I am a different color from you. There is enough on all sides to cause more division.
Here’s the crux of the entire thing. We have a common enemy – his strategy has always been to “divide & conquer”- read your Bible – his aim is to divide, kill & destroy.
I refuse to hate. I refuse to give in to an enemy that hates me.
I choose to love you.
Have you ever needed help in a hurry? Some of us have prayed that “RIGHT NOW, LORD” emergency prayer. At the time we don’t care how it’s wrapped – we just need that on-time help from an On-Time God. How people get through life without acknowledging the existence of a loving Creator is beyond me.
I read where a lady named Sophia had rushed into the pharmacy to pick up medicine for her sick daughter. When she got back to her car, she found she had locked the keys inside. Seeing an old, rusty coat hanger on the ground, she thought, “I’ve heard this works to open locked cars but I don’t know how to use it!”
She bowed her head and prayed a “Right Now “HELP!” prayer. Within minutes, an old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man wearing an old biker skullcap. He got off his bike and asked if he could help.
Sophie pleaded: “Yes ! My daughter is very sick and I have locked my keys in the car. I need to get home with her medicine. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock it?”
“Sure,” he said. He walked over to the car, and in a few seconds the car was open. The frantic mom hugged the man and cried, “Thank you SO much! You are a very nice man.”
The biker drew back and replied, “Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday. I was in for car theft.
Sophie hugged him again, and looked up to Heaven. “Oh, thank you God ! You sent me a professional!”
Clickety clack, clickety clack – that’s usually the sound of the shopping cart I select every time I shop. Don’t know why I always get that one cart that wobbles and clicks with every rotation of the bumpy wheels. It is a very irritating and distracting noise and people look at you funny when you continue to utilize the thing rather than selecting another. If there’s a crowd behind you waiting for a cart, you tend to seize the first one and get on with your foray into the wonderful world of Wal-Mart. Generally, I try each cart until I find a nice, quiet one, wipe off the handles with the anti-bacterial sheets provided and begin my adventure.
A few days ago I found myself at the usual “get a quiet cart” frame of mind as I entered the hallowed halls of Wal-Mart. Barring the cart line was a small number of residents from the local group home – I love those people and make it a point to speak to them. One gentleman pulled out a cart for me and smiled, “I will pull out your cart – here lady I got your cart for you!” I smiled and thanked him and began my journey. Not only did the cart sound clickety clack so that people stared – it made a clickety, CLANG, clack clack. Loudest cart I ever did hear in my life – it should have been retired. And – not only that – it was rolling crooked at a slight angle. About ten feet away from the generous, kind little gentleman, I decided to return the cart and get another. However, an afterthought came through loud and clear!
“No. keep the cart. If the man sees you he will be hurt that you returned it.”
I argued with myself and said to me, “Well, surely he will understand.”
I replied to me, “No he won’t. Keep this cart. He will consider it a rebuke. Keep the cart.” I kept the cart.
clickety, CLANG, clack clack
With every amused stare from the general public, I stood up straight and tall, held my head high and smiled sweetly knowing a sweet little guy from the group home felt good about giving his shopping cart away. I also sensed a little nudge of ENcouragement from the Lord that gave enough courage to endure the remainder of my loud, clickety, CLANG, clack, clack, sidewinder cart adventure. Jesus probably had a little laugh about this one.
When I was a kid, I would take a salt shaker to the garden and pick the reddest tomato I could find, stand in the tomato patch and eat the first fruit of the season. Helping Daddy plant, weed, and water the garden every summer was not work to us. To me, the work came after the harvest with all the cutting, chopping, boiling jars & lids, and being confined to the kitchen. Listening for all those lids to pop as the jars cooled meant good eating when winter came. Planting meant getting our hands dirty, but anticipating the harvest kept us working!
As we continue to plant the Word of God, till the ground where it was planted, and weed out things that choke spiritual growth, we anticipate the greatest Harvest of all ! I can hear those lids popping now.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20 NKJV
I decided years ago to do something that demonstrates faith- for faith with no effort is no faith at all for me.
The Creator’s love compels us to do what we never thought we could do, and accomplish what we never dreamed of doing. He has taken me to places I never thought I would go and meet people I never dreamed I would meet.
I have humbly found myself seated me at the same table with professors, doctors and scientists & dined at the table of a humble family in the rainforest of Africa.
He has taken me through danger in foreign countries and seen me through trials in the wear & tear of everyday living.
If you think being a Christian is boring, you should sit & listen to a few of the “seasoned Believers” . I have lived an incredible life and not one day with HIM has been boring. I am so thankful for His mercy and grace bestowed upon me – for I am not perfect. On the quiet days & years, I take the time to rest up & prepare for the next adventure.
Life is never boring when you’re walking with a King.
Sometimes we are plagued with “If only”…If only I hadn’t done that…If only I hadn’t said that….If only I hadn’t eaten that much…If only they would behave..If only I had more money…and the list goes on & on. Contentment IS a difficult virtue. Why? We think if we get what we want, when we want & how we want, we will be content. Some of the most unhappy people I know are blessed with abundance but still not satisfied. When we are children, we say, “If only I were older…” As an adult, “If only I were married” Then…when we finally are older, we go back to “If only I were younger” That “If only” list never seems to end.
We are not satisfied. In each human there seems to be a missing piece of the puzzle – that is the God-shaped part – the one & only Jesus part that will fit & complete each of us. Nothing nor anyone else on earth can fit and satisfy that part of us.
We long to see God & the pages of life are turning & rustling with the rumor that we will…and we won’t be satisfied until we do. Max Lucado put it very aptly..”Father, keep us from being so blinded by possessions we cannot keep, that we fail to see the eternal treasure we cannot lose.” I HAVE to stay in touch with Him. How can I not? He’s as close as my next heartbeat.
National Geographic was filming the day our group was at the Jordan River. Some of our group chose to be re-baptized in the Jordan & I was no exception. Why would someone travel to Israel & not have that experience???
I’ve never liked being IN water – around it, by it, looking at it – but not IN it. I’m sure this all stems from listening to my daddy describe his childhood ordeal of being thrown off a bridge by some older kids. My pastor had baptized me & after doing so, he said I was the “hardest person to baptize he’d ever seen”…
But, there I was at the Jordan River & I knew I would regret it forever if I didn’t take the opportunity. I was dressed in the white baptismal robe provided & slowly wading in with the rest.
Then the most amazing thing happened. A young Russian man had stripped down to his underwear & shouted in broken English as he ran into the water “I want to be saved! Please baptize me!” Up to that point, the photographers were appearing a trifle bored – but that all changed. They began to run into the water – clothes & all – and snapped numerous photos of us & the young man in his nearly nude body – quite a stark contrast against the rest of us in our prim & proper white robes! We were very happy & applauding his decision as Pastor McGregor spoke quietly with him before immersing him in the Jordan River.
Did I appear in the NatGeo magazine? No, but I was privileged to witness a very animated, happy, saved, young Russian man who did. You can find him on the cover photo in the NatGeo archives – the photo captures the moment he rose up out of the water. Serving God is far from boring. I love Him.
Have you asked Jesus into your life? If not, it is really simple. Just pray and ask Him to forgive you of your sins, state that you believe in Him, and make Him the master of your life. If you’d like someone to talk to about it, feel free to contact us. We’d be glad to help.
On July 19, I will be reminded of my baby sister, Janie Carol. That’s her birthday and every July 19, Mama made her birthday cake with baby blue coconut icing. Mama said it was because Janie’s eyes were so blue.
Janie had cerebral palsy & was mentally challenged but she knew what love was. She loved me & I loved her dearly – she loved to pull things from my hand – and I let her. She thought that was so funny.
We lost her at the age of 5 due to measles complicated with pneumonia. Safe in the hands of Jesus, she now romps through Heaven freely – I think she must peek through the Gate with those beautiful blue eyes from time to time, watching for me. One day, some glad day, from earth set free, I will see to it that we run through Heaven & I will marvel at her perfect little body & those beautiful blue eyes again.
Funny how certain dates bring back precious memories.
Yeah…that was me – sliding all the way across the ice arena on my belly in front of a crowd of onlookers at the ice rink about 10 years ago in Gatlinburg.
Oh, I had skates on but that’s beside the point.
Earlier in the evening my sister and I were in an elevator when a crowd of teens on a senior class trip got on with us. They were going to ice skate for the first time. They were so excited & asked us if we were going to skate. (Perish the thought !)
However….in my innate, oft misunderstood wit, I told them my sister was in the Olympics in the ice skating competition & she could teach them how to stay up on the ice. They were impressed. My sister was not – I could tell from the panic-stricken side glance she gave me. We could roller skate with the best of them so how hard could it be?
As the elevator door opened, they followed us to the arena (where our spouses were waiting in the dining area along with other couples from church). We tried to split off from our young cohorts, but they insisted we skate & skate we did. (My husband just shook his head & laughed nervously.)
It was fun for a bit, then the younguns decided to join hands and do a “crack the whip!
Guess who ended up at the end of the whip?
Thus explaining the opening sentence to this narrative. I was sore for a few days, but you know – that’s one of the best memories I had on that trip. My sister?… well, she got me back. She didn’t fall once & got the last laugh. Thank you Lord for protecting me from Me !
My little boy, J.R. was five when he knocked over the big Christmas tree.
I was in the kitchen when I heard the crash & knew immediately what happened. Knowing I would have a mess to clean up, broken decorations & a sick looking tree, I made my way toward the destruction.
On the way, I heard a mumbling noise & the cat scampered by in retreat as I rounded the corner to inspect the rubble. There, in the farthest corner of the couch, with his head under a pillow was my little boy – both hands raised in the air, praying loudly & fervently for God to forgive him and help him not get a “whippin’.
What can you do after seeing your little boy doing what you taught him? When you do something wrong – repent quickly. He did. Quickly and loudly. He knew what was coming though. No, I did not spank him, but we did have a long talk right before he helped me clear away the mess.
I think God is so merciful to us – right in the middle of our mess – when we need a whippin’ – He gives us mercy when we genuinely repent. He’ll even clean up the mess if needed – that’s how much He loves you.