Get out your favorite version of the Holy Scriptures and turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Share with me some of your New Year's resolutions! Anything unusual?

As for me . . . I'm going with the old standbys . . . lose the five pounds I gained during the holidays, spend more time with the grand-children, finish the quilt I started early in 2012, keep my blog current, get more organized, and spend more time in the Word.

But I'm also going to deviate a little from the old standbys. In 2013, and every year thereafter, I resolve to do a better job of keeping the Ten Commandments.

Quite frankly, until recently, I thought I was doing a fine job of keeping them . . . now, anyway . . . I haven't always.

But several Sundays ago, while I was pounding away on my keyboard, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit. A reminder, if you will, that it was Sunday. The day our church celebrates the Sabbath. And I was working. As I had the Sunday before that, and the one before that, and the one before . . . well, you get the picture.

I'd gotten in the habit of Sunday afternoons being my "make up" time. The time I gathered the little tidbits undone during the previous week (and the week before) and attempted to get caught up. (Never quite reaching that lofty goal, I might add.) I didn't consider it "real work." I mean, it was only catch-up, right?

But a trip to my Bible to double-check revealed the third commandment to be pretty clear about things: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God, in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

Well, I plead not guilty regarding making others work . . . but I consistantly (for the last 20 or 30 years) have used the excuse provided by the Lord, Himself. "My ox is in the ditch." Truth be told, my ox stays in the ditch. It's way past time to shoot the poor creature and put it out of it's misery.

I find it hard to relax. In fact, I feel guilty if I take the time to relax. But clearly, the Lord knew what He was doing when He commanded us to relax one day a week. The human body is not designed for unceasing labor (even if it's only sitting at a desk.) Good health demands we have a time of rest.  And isn't it weird that a commandment that requires us to do nothing should be so hard for some to follow?

This is even more weird. In the few short weeks I've been consciously aware of this commandment, I seem to have gotten almost caught up. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. And my list of things to do is getting shorter, instead of longer.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Amazing Grace

I've believed in a Higher Power for as long as I can remember. Although I didn't begin enjoying a relationship with that Power until middle age.

I've believed every word I've read in the Bible since I owned my first one.

But never in a thousand years did I think I'd be here to see Bible prophesy happening right before our eyes. Because until a few years ago, I wasn't able to see the dark side. There was the world, and there was God. I didn't know the spots of darkness I detected in the world from time to time were actually growing. Like a fungus.

We did "naughty" things in high school. Skipped a class. Stayed out past curfew. Perhaps experimented with a bad word or two. But I, for one, suffered tremendous guilt afterward anytime I broke a rule.

A mere two generations ago . . . 

As a young woman I heard in church that Christians were the light in a dark world. It all sounded rather righteous and unnecessary. The world wasn't all that bad. Then.

But look around us now. The world is that bad. Naughty has grown up. And been replaced by evil. And many people in positions of great influence - add fuel to the flame for the sake of wealth and fame. Greed trumps decency.

Doris Day has been replaced by . . . well, I was going to name a name, but I think I'll pass. It doesn't take too much imagination to insert a name. Innocent love stories as portrayed by Doris Day, June Allison, and other actresses of that era have evolved into sordid tales of sex and sin. Except they're presented as "the norm."

You can't go to a movie, or watch a TV show that doesn't give equal time to "alternate life-styles." The world has grown weary of laboring and, one-by-one, is succumbing to the evil one's desires.

Phillippians 2:15 says " . . .  that you may prove yourselves to be blamesless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst  of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world."

I can turn on the TV, walk down the street, or overhear a conversation . . . and realize I AM in the midst of a perverse generation. We've been told it would be like this. Why are we surprised?  Jesus said we'd be hated because we love Him.  Just never thought I'd see the day when Christian were hated. It's kind of sneaked up on us, hasn't it?

Satan is alive and well, and growing stronger. It's up to us to shine a bright light on his deeds. (2 Corinthians 2:11 "in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his scemes.")

The town where I attended high school . . . innocent and safe . . . is now a hotbed of crime and drugs. But for the grace of God, I would be a part of this perverse generation. But as His children, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

When you were in high school, wouldn't it have thrilled you out of your gourd if the captain of the football team (or cheerleading team) told you he/she liked you?" Well, try this on for size . . . The God of all creation, King of kings, Lord or lords, the Lion of Judah, the Prince of Peace loves you!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Safe in the Arms of God

The events of recent weeks have been enough to send a sensitive person off the deep end. It's only by the grace of God I'm able to position my fingers over the keyboard and let thoughts pour forth.

I have in mind a couple of subjects I'd like to broach. But not today. Not while the memory of Friday is still so fresh in my mind. Today, I think I'd like to pay tribute to the fallen students and teachers, by recognizing them by name. As I recorded these, I read each name and let it register in my mind, that this is a real person, mourned by a real family . . . not just some gruesome headline.

The childred,all six or seven years old, were:
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Anna Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockly, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonald, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison Wyatt.

The adults were:
Rachel Davino - 29, Dawn Hochsprung - 47, Anne Marie Murphy - 52, Lauren Rousseau - 30, Mary Sherlock - 56, and Victoria Soto - 27.

I won't belabor it any longer. Lord knows the press has kept it ever on our minds. Perhaps that's good. Perhaps we need to have it drummed into us that Satan does not love any of us. Not even the innocent children.

My grandchildren (five and seven) asked me about it. They didn't seem too traumatized by it, so I simply told them the slain children and teachers were happy in the arms of God. But we needed to pray for their families. Because they were going to miss their loved ones very much.

Faith will pull us all through. For some it will take longer than others.

Do something kind for someone . . . today. And every day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I definitely "over-extended" myself for the month of November. There were simply not enough hours and days to go around. I'll try to do better in December.

Years ago, my husband and son and I used to sing trios in church and at sing-ins. What a great time that was. But time passes. And life takes twists and turns. My son moved too far away, and my voice kinda gave up the ghost. I was never a lead singer . . . not in my wildest imagination. But I could carry a tune to sing back-up. Now my range has narrowed so much, I'd almost have to sing the same note (in my key) throughout. (Isn't there a song called "Johnny One-Note?") That's me.

The song we sang that I loved the best was "Beulahland." I'm kind of homesick for a country, to which I've never been before . . . "

I've always assumed I had Gyspy blood surging through my veins, because I simply love moving from one place to another. New city, new state, just a new location in the same old city. It's exciting to me. Our son claims Dee and I only have "a five-year shelf life." But actually, it's worse than that considering we've lived in (and mostly built) eleven homes in the thirty-three years we've been married. Why that's - on average - a three-year shelf life.

Even when we consider ourselves perfectly content where we are, we can't stop looking at lovely country settings, and saying things like "Ooh, wouldn't that be the perfect place for a country cottage?" And if there happens to be a "for sale" sign on the place . . . we'd better put the pedal to the metal, or we may be putting out signatures on the dotted line!

I've also said for years that "This world is not my home, I'm just passing through."

Reading Hebrews 11 the other night, I finally realized what's wrong with us. We love the beauty of God's handiwork in the woods and fields. Each place looks like it will be better than the last. And each one is - in it's own way - but we'll never find the perfect place. Not until we move out of this world. Because this world is not our home. We're just passing through. What we long for is that country to which we've never been. And, yes, I am homesick for it.

Hebrews 11:13-16 says: "All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

"For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.

"But they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them."

Amen and Amen!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Apple of God's Eye

I can't believe it's been twelve days since I posted.

I apologize. I've been in mourning, folks. The last post I made was the day before election day. I was "high" in the belief Mr. Romney would win, and we'd soon be on the road to recovery.

That didn't happen.

In my heart of hearts, I can't believe more than half of the citizens of our blessed-of-God country want to continue on the path we're on. They say numbers don't lie. I'm not sure I believe that any more.

There I go again. Mulligrubbing. The reason I haven't posted isn't because I haven't tried. I've begun four or five times to write something, anything, to fill the page. But everything came out negative, and I was trying so hard to be positive. Why, I even went so far as to publish one post, only to come back minutes later and delete it.

It's the old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." come back to haunt me after all these years.

Well, today, I'm going to say something nice. It took several tries before it took, but I've been making a stab at looking for a silver lining. And here's the result:

God is still on His throne. And I answer to God. God alone. I will rejoice in the knowledge that He is our soon coming King. And He loves me.

I've turned my passion to Israel. Not that I haven't been passionate about her all along, but she needs our passion and compassion now, more than ever. Are you familiar with the Scripture Zechariah 2:8-9? "8. For thus says the Lord of hosts 'After glory, He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you {Israel} touches the apple of My eye. 9. For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves.'"

I wouldn't want to be among those who wish evil on Israel.

On the other side of the coin, I think we can read "he who touches Israel touches the apple of my eye." another way. If we touch Israel with kindness, pray for her, support her, and love the Jewish people, we are touching the apple of God's eye with kindness.

I've done so many things in my lifetime that I know were displeasing to God.  He's forgiven me for it all. So the thought of doing something kind to Him sends warm shivers down my spine.

Isn't it time we started treating Him kindly? (Seems like He's always on the giving end.) Let's start by loving His chosen people as much as we love ourselves. Join CUFI (Christians United for Israel) or another Christian organization that supports and uplifts the Jewish nation and find out how you can reach out to His people.

You'll make God happy. Whoa! Chew on that for a while.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jehovah Shalom

God is peace.

Jehovah Shalom.

He can speak to a heart that's in turmoil, but He doesn't live in a heart that's full of turmoil.

I turned on the TV this morning to be greeted by a clip of "the opponent." I've been so steeped in politics these last few weeks that I immediately went into "fight mode." But the Scriptures tell me the battle is His. I've done everything I can to support my side, which those who know me know is the conservative, pro-life, pro-God side. I want to see unborn babies saved, school prayer restored, and America turning back to God.

However, the election is upon us. And the time has come to keep my mouth shut and my spirit in prayer. I've joined a group who has pledged to pray and fast until at least Tuesday evening. And I'm determined to not let anything even relatively negative to get in the way of my prayers. God is in control.

Acts 17:30 tells us . . . "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent."

Ignorance? Does that include us, the believers? What do we have to repent of?

For starters, we let the enemy trample on our core beliefs and take away some of our most precious liberties while we were busy doing something else and not paying attention. That's apathy. And that's our greatest sin where America is concerned. True we're getting the picture now . . . but we should have never let the enemy get his toe in the door.

But God is willing to OVERLOOK our times of ignorance. What a mighty God we serve!

Things of the world will try to keep you too busy to pray during this all-important time. And self-pride will tell you that you have absolutely nothing to repent of.

These are Satan's offerings. Don't accept them. The battle is real.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't accept Satan's offering.

A couple of days ago, I read with interest, a FaceBook post by a lady I don't know.

She was informing her FaceBook friends (and I suppose her personal friends) that she no longer wished to talk to anyone interested in dissing their husbands. She said she'd be glad to pray for and try to help anyone who came to her and admitted they had a problem in their marriage, but no more (and she was emphatic) would she discuss spouses in a deragatoty manner. She said she felt obligated to the complainer to join in and diss her own husband . . . or agree that the other's husband deserved  distain.

I mentally filed the post into my "to each his own" file and continued down the long list of news feed posts. Moments later a response popped into my mind. And wouldn't you know . . . FaceBook, as it often does . . . had carried that post off to la-la land . . . never to be seen again.

Well, the more I thought of it, the more I felt the lady's post needed a better response than the "Preach it, sister" and "Count me in." answers she was receiving.

I'm sure she'd hoped to make the offending ladies feel guilty, and thereby stop their unsavory practice. But did it have that effect? Most likely not. I remember thinking, "So you've never needed to vent about your spouse? Aren't you the lucky one?"

To me it seemed a little akin to saying "If you don't love my Jesus, I don't want to talk to you." One would certainly limit their chances to witness if they took that stand. And adding that you're available for prayer and councel doesn't help much. Most people won't come out directly and say "I need help." You must be perceptive in detecting a problem, then you usually have to cajole them into admitting they have one, if you're hoping to help them address it.

A woman who disses her husband is having marital problems,whether she wants to admit it or not. It may only be her problem . . . but there is something wrong, because that isn't the way God meant for our relationships to play out. It should be "you and me against the world, babe."

When a friend comes to you with snide remarks about her spouse . . . this is your chance to help her get to the bottom of her resentment. It could be your chance to save a marriage that is just beginning to crumble. You don't have to throw your own husband under the bus to make her feel okay about herself. (Although I would avoid talking about him in glowing terms at this particular moment.)

But you could point out several things that your friend may not understand.  #1. Men are not born with a romantic spirit. It's learned. Maybe he hasn't had the opportunity to learn yet. Maybe you could help him. #2. Men look at everything differently. No matter how important your purchase of a particular piece of furniture is, it doesn't compare in urgency to the football game that's currently being aired. Say what you will . . . this is life. If that makes you miserable, you're just going to have to get over it. God made men to be what they are . . . not what you wish they were. #3. Last, but not least, I read some time ago a very wise mantra: "If his manner of loving doesn't meet your expectations, remember he's loving you the best way he knows how."

Keep in mind, ladies . . . Satan is always standing by to hand you a wedge to force between yourself and your husband. Don't accept his offering.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Constitutes a "Christian Nation"?

What is a nation but a family brought together by their mutual citizenship?  And their country is their home.

So, let's start with a home. What constitutes a Christian home?

Simple. A man and a woman who determine they and their children will live by Christian standards, and follow through, have founded a Christian home.

If they are deeply caring Christians, they may invite others into their home. Especially those who are in dire need. "Tired, poor, wretched" to quote our great Lady Liberty. They won't turn someone away because they're of a different faith. They'll feed them, clothe them, and help them get on their feet.

It may even come to a point where their "guests" become permanent residents in their home. They may be sheltering a Muslim . . . a Jew . . . or an athiest. At this point, are they required to say "Our home is no longer a Christian home. We are multi-cultural now."?

Absolutely not. It's still a Christian home. A stronger, more evident Christian home by their generous deeds.

America was founded, in much the same way as the above Christian home . . . with Christ on the lips of our Forefathers even as they forged our the Constitution of the United States of America. Founded is the noteworthy word in this concept. Christianity is our foundation! You can't strip a home, a house, a building, an organization, or a nation of it's foundation without tearing the whole thing down.

Does anyone have the right to deny - thereby strip - us of our foundation by announcing to the world that we're no longer a Christian nation? Can one man make this determination because he doesn't understand the principles of integrity? Can he throw out what our forefathers built because he desires a different kind of nation? One that's like the rest of the world.

America has never been like the rest of the world. America is exceptional. The reason it's exceptional is because it was founded on Christian beliefs. If we're going to stay exceptional we must adhere to God's principles. How can we expect Him to bless our nation when we continue to deny Him?

I'm not suggesting throwing out everyone who isn't a Christian. Our heart is big enough to make room for every legal immigrant. Even every American-born athiest. But they, and the world, need to understand . . . we cannot exist if we remove our foundation. The freedoms and bountiful blessings we all enjoy will go up in a puff of smoke without God's mercy.

We will be - like a building with it's foundation removed - a pile of rubble. 

Satan would like to see America in ruins.

But our God is greater than Satan.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Better is One Day With the Lord . . .

"For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God,
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalm 84:10 NAS.
A great song-writer and pastor friend of ours, Gary Lanier, wrote a song the week after the death of his adult daughter. "Better is One Day With the Lord." It touched my heart the first time we sang it, and it continues, ten years later, to flit through my mind when I least expect it. Reminding me that  " . . . to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21).
Suddenly my heart is having "old home week". The song "Grave Where is Thy Victory?" (Death, where is thy sting?) popped into my mind. And with it, an evangelist named Sonny Holland. Brother Sonny conducted a revival at the church we attended when my son, Billy, was thirteen. Under Sonny's guidance, my son accepted Jesus as his savior.
Billy's now forty-seven . . . in the living room with my husband, watching "Jeopardy." I hadn't seen Brother Sonny in all the ensuing years, though I'd thought about him many times. (And I'm just now getting in the habit of using Google to find people.) So, I looked him up. There are several videos on U-Tube of him singing. He wrote a song in honor of his granddaughter who's gone to be with the Lord. "For Every Valley, There's a Lilly."
I just put one on and called the boys in from the TV. Sonny's thirty-four years older, remember, but the minute Billy saw and heard him on my PC monitor, he said "That's Sonny Holland!"
He's still ministering . . . in a mighty way. I'm so proud of him. He now has a ministry to the poor in Nicaragua. I'd be honored if you'd look it up at You'll be blessed to see what they're accomplishing. And you may even wish to help.
They're fighting a battle with hunger, homelessness, and disease. And . . . our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness . . ."
And the battle is real.
Welcome to our small but friendly group, Sherree Chmitlin and Jessie Jessy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Holy Nation

A very frightening email regarding politics, which I received the other morning, sent me scurrying to my Bible to seek shelter in His word.  I was simultaneously struck by a profound statement made by my pastor the other evening: "Your body will do what it has been trained to do by your mind."

Somehow this combination sent me straight to Revelation. And I determined for the first time in my Christian life to study Revelation until I understood it. Always before I'd rationalize it was too deep and not meant to be understood by "the masses." At long last I realize, I'm not the masses, I'm a child of God. He wants me to understand His love letter. Not just the four books of the Gospel, or Genesis, or Acts . . . but the whole thing.

In the first chapter of Revelation a word which is seldom used jumped out at me. Nicolaitans. A Nicolaitan was an enemy of God. He specifically said He "hated their deeds." Nicolaitans were (are?) a sect of pseudo Christians. People who introduce Pagan rites and beliefs into their Christian behavior, thereby leading people astray. Because God especially hates Christianity that's defiled by Paganism, He instructed us —according to Revelation—to hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans.

One of the sites I visited while researching asked the question: Do the Nicolaitans still exist?

Likewise, I ask: Are there still those who claim to be Christians, but adhere to the ways of Satan, and admonish you to join them in their "rites?" Have good people been let astray to do things abhorrent to God, by others who profess to be Christians? Perhaps you could name a few laws which allow, and even encourage, U.S. citizens to ignore God's will.

We must learn to recognize the fruit of the Spirit, just as we should recognize the fruit of the evil one. Let the Word teach you to identify the enemy. Because he roams the earth, seeking whom he may devour. (And whom he may separate from the Father.)

Revelation 2:11  " . . . He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."

One of the most important things we should keep in our hearts, especially when the world is pressing in on us, is: GOD IS IN CONTROL. We may not like what's going on. HE may not like what's going on. But He still has the whole world in His hands. 

The Scriptures say "We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." WE are. While we should pray constantly that America turns back to God (and work diligently toward that end) remember as you pray . . . the nation the Scriptures are referring to is us. His people. Those who are called by His name. People of the Way. Christians. Believers. WE are His holy nation. And regardless of what happens in the rest of the world . . . or in the United States . . . WE are in good hands.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Upper Room

Witt Gregory lived in a stone ranch house in Southwest Arkansas. In his house was a hidden inner room, which he used as his prayer closet. He called it "God's room." It was his own personal "Holy of Holies."

A scene from "Handful of Demons":

Something was happening to the atmosphere in that tiny toom. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end. Silently, little by little, God's presence in that small space grew and intensified until it became so overwhelming Witt was compelled to lower his lean body all the way to the floor. It was as though a giant weight was pressing him from above. He was powerless to resist.

Lying on his back, he clamped his eyes shut against the intense and blinding light that filled every crevice of the room.

The door to God's room was closed, and there were no windows. Yet the sweet fragrance of wild clover and honeysuckle wafted in on a gentle breeze, and settled around Witt like a gossamer veil . . .

A prayer room, prayer closet, or upper room designated strictly for quiet time with the Lord is a "luxury" some Christians feel is beyond their finances. But you don't have to have a huge ranch house with a hidden room to experience your own Holy of Holies.

The first house Dee and I built after we married was quite small by American standards. I think it was about 800 square feet with a small loft area over the back half of the house. The loft was first designated as a bedroom for my teenage son. But when he "left the nest" I latched onto it and claimed it for an "upper room."

God was always there waiting for me when I came to call.  And I can't tell you how many times I stayed in that room praying for what seemed hours. Yet when I descended the stairs, there was always plenty of time to finish my chores. It was like He had made time stand still for me.

Thirty-three years, and many houses later, I'm back in a small house. No room for a prayer closet. So, temporarily, I'm using a bedroom for a prayer room. Or the tiny covered back porch off  that bedroom. We live in the East Texas piney woods so, weather permitting,  I often stroll through the woods and pray.

But I like the idea of God  having His own room in my home, so my mind is ever, EVER straining to figure out where I could establish our Holy of Holies. I have an idea I haven't shared with Dee yet, because he's the guy who's going to have to build it.  And he's working so hard just trying to finish the house that I don't like to overload him. :-)

A dear friend, who lives quite a distance from me, converted a simple clothes closet into her prayer room and sent me a picture. It's big enough for a chair, a lamp, and a rug. She's made it so inviting that I can almost see Jesus sitting cross legged on the rug, waiting for me . . . who doesn't do a lot of sitting cross legged. :-) . . . to come sit down in the chair and talk to Him.

Look around your house to see if you have a space you might be able to dedicate to Him.

It will give you greater joy than I can possibly convey to have a special room in your home just for The Great I Am. No matter how small. Unlike a room used for other activities besides prayer, it will become your very special place of refuge, and He will always have His arms open wide to receive you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heathen or not?

I missed church last night. I stayed home to watch the debate.

A friend called me a "heathen." She was joking. (I think.)

I don't miss Wednesday evening service very often. We have a big dinner at 6:00 . . . praise and worship from 7:00 till 8:00, and some of the best teaching and preaching I've ever sat under until 9:00 or so. I am so happy and so proud of my church, and our pastor.

So it was not a decision I arrived at lightly when I decided to skip church for the debate. It was suggested that I record it if I was so adamant about seeing it. I toyed with that idea for a short time, but rejected it.

I told my husband I'd prayed about it, and asked God if it was alright if I missed church to watch the debate. He asked if I'd received an answer, and I told him God said if it weren't for the fact that He can be both places at once, He'd choose to be in Denver at the debate.

All joking aside, I felt a genuine need to be watching it in real time. Praying as it happened. I lifted both candidates up for safety from any foul play. And I lifted my candidate . . . Mr. Romney . . . up for a clear mind, wisdom, confidence, and that his true nature would shine through.

This is such an important election. The future of our country and our freedom to worship are at stake.

I prayed as it was beginning and periodically throughout. And I praise God because I feel my prayers were answered. I couldn't have "participated" like this had I been watching a recording.

Here's your opportunity to "let me have it" or tell me what I did was okay. I promise to not be out of sorts if every one of you believes I was wrong to stay home from church. But I really, really would like your input!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beneath every rock and around every corner . . .

I've been praying for just the right subject matter for tonight's blog. Thanks Ellen Kennedy for planting the seed with your FB post today.

It seems more and more --- I suppose because of all the evil things happening with alarming frequency around the world --- our spiritual leaders seem bent on warning us of the evil one. This is the crux of my writing. The very thing I think God has called me to do. To warn the unknowing about the powers of evil and to point them to Christ. God has allowed me to answer this call with Christian fiction. 

I write Christian fiction, because Satan is almost as interested in Christians as he is the unsaved. He may not be able to lure them into his kingdom, but he can make them worthless to God's kingdom.

Christians around the world are called to spread the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Thank you, Lord, for the committed people who devote their time and effort  - sometimes their very lives - to promote You. It is, after all, all about You. We sing a song in our church "It's all about You." We are only the joyful recipients of Your grace. And thank you, Lord, that someone cared enough about me to pray for me until I finally reached out to You.

God has an arch enemy. Satan. He's not strong enough to hurt God . . . but he's certainly strong enough to hurt the ones God loves (that would be us) if we're not prepared. And what prepares us for his attack? It's all in God's word. Gotta love the Scriptures!

The danger: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NAS.

More danger:  "Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1st Peter 5:8 NAS.

If you ever find yourself rationalizing a sin, beware! You know the old line we sometimes use . . . "Surely God wouldn't hold it against me if I . . . " Stop right there. If in your heart you know what you're about to do is wrong, you can be assured . . . God does mind. He won't stop loving you, but yes, He minds.

Just as he minded when Eve listened to the words of the serpent: "Surely, you will not die." Evil forces are hiding beneath every rock and around every corner, and Satan will say whatever he needs to say to turn you from God's will.

So, here's the good news: To continue the message in Ephesians 6, Verse 13 says "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." Verses 14 through 17 list the armor of God: truth, righteousness, the Gospel, and salvation.

More good news: Simply put in the 4th chapter of James, Verse 7: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

And that's "a wrap." Four easy-to-remember words to keep you safe from the wiles of the devil:

"Submit therefore to God."

Wow!  We make it so complicated. God makes it so simple!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Forty Days of Prayer

Today was the first day of "Forty Days of Prayer."

If you missed the first day, that's alright. Don't throw out the whole idea because you missed one day. Thirty-nine Days of Prayer will work.

Set your clock or phone to remind yourself to pray, if you're not already in the habit of praying for our country every day. Because forty days from today the fate of our great nation will be decided in the voting booth. Will we remain great? Will we turn back to God . . . restore prayer in our schools . . . restore sanctity of life and sanctity of marriage?

Will we be a beacon of hope as we've always been, or join so many other nations in mediocrity?

It's up to us. I saw a little carton the other day of a child praying. She was asking God to re-bless America. She said "There are more of us who love you than those who don't." I believe that. But we have to stand up and be counted. We have to put forth the effort.
America is worth our effort! God has blessed her in countless ways. Let's thank Him properly by turning her around and never, never allow anyone to say again that America is not a Christian nation.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A terrible storm is coming.


Copyright 2012, Lynne Wells Walding 

            The TV was on low in the next room. Mother was in the kitchen doing household chores, and her many children were outside playing. A shrill siren pierced the air, and Mother ran to the living room to turn up the sound on the TV.

            "To all within hearing range . . . there is a monstrous storm bearing down on us. Winds are beyond our measuring capabilities. It's leaving nothing standing in its path. Take underground cover as quickly as possible. This is an emergency. To all within hearing range . . . there is a monst . . . "

            There was a flash, and  the screen went blank.

            Mother looked out the window at her children, happily at play.

            The wind was picking up.

            She ran to the nursery and snatched up her infant twins. Then out the door, shouting to her children as she ran. "Come quickly. To the storm shelter. There's a terrible storm coming."

            Some of the children ran quickly to her. Others hesitated before reluctantly joining. "But, Mother, we were having fun." 

            By now, the smaller trees were bending over, nearly to the ground.

            "Come, children. Now." she shouted against the wind.

            From high in a large tree. "Not now, Mother. We're having too much fun."

            "You must come down, now. This storm will sweep through and take you with it." She searched the tree tops through tear-drenched eyes. "Please, my children. Come under the ground with me. For just a little while, be buried with me, and I'll keep you safe."

            "We'll be okay, Mother. We don't want to give up our tree fort. It's  so neat. Look, we can see heaven from here."

            "It's not heaven, little ones, it's an illusion. You'll see heaven after you've weathered the storm in my arms."

            The wind was blowing so hard now that Mother could barely move against it toward the shelter. The twins clutched her neck, and the other children clung to her skirt, crying. With great effort she herded them to the entrance of the shelter. Then turned . . .

            "Please, please, my children," she cried. "Please come to me before it's too late."

            "Pretty soon, Mother. Just a few more minutes of fun . . . "

            The storm hit just as Mother let the heavy cellar door slam shut overhead, her obedient children at her feet. Thin lines of light from above forced their way through the tiny cracks between the boards. She sat down on the lone bench and held out her arms. They gathered around her and she comforted them, while the storm raged above them.

            But her heart was breaking for her disobedient children.

            Lost to her forever  . . . so they could have a few more minutes of fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's not your mother's wheat!

I read a startling article the other day. Then saw the same info on TV, which makes me believe there may be some truth to it. Two sources are usually better than one. Not always . . .

It seems that over the years, scientists have changed the molecular structure of wheat in order to increase productivity. Unfortunately, the changes have made the wheat (literally) poison to some of us. The possible long term effects of eating today's wheat are: Crohn's disease, IBS, Diabetes, and even arthritis, to name a few.

How can it be that changes are made to our most basic needs without our permission or knowledge?

The TV anchor asked the doctor being interviewed if it was possible to go back to our "old" wheat, or if it had been lost in the process. The doctor stated that it would be possible, but unlikely, since any farmer going back to the old "stuff" would lose about one-third of his profits.

The doctor went on to say that elimination of all wheat products in their diet is ridding a lot of people of the above named diseases. But, for obvious reasons, this fact is not being made public.

Isn't that special? Farmers are producing wheat that is not good for our overall health. Possibly not even aware that they're doing so. Yet in spite of increased productivity, the price keeps going up. The medical profession is telling us it's an essential part of our nutrition, And a lot of people are getting sick because of it. But the trend cannot be reversed . . . because of greed.

Friends, we are in trouble.

There are a few whistle blowers our there who are willing to put their reputations on the line to make stories like this known. But the sad part is, of the few that listen, most don't believe - and the rest soon forget. I, for one, have cut most wheat from my diet. (I have a love affair with corn tortillas going on . . . until I find out corn, too is effected.) However, the doctor did say wheat was the only grain effected to date - to his knowledge.

I listened to the advice of another whistle-blower - a pharmacist - about six months ago whose advice went against all common knowledge in the field of gastrointestinal expertise. I figured I couldn't do any worse than I was doing under a doctor's care. Guess what! His advice was right on. 

Scientific "discoveries" are taking place right under our noses, without our knowledge. I read a book some twenty years ago, written by a man who was at one time a high muckledy-muck with a major producer of breakfast cereals. It was his job to see if the minute changes in the manufacture of the cereal were noticable to the public. Each subtle change was not. But over a period of fifteen years or so, the product had been changed so much it couldn't be recognized as the same product by those in the know. And with the gradual elimination of nature's pure products, in favor of man-made money-saving products, the health benefits of the cereal were GONE.

Greed. One of Satan's finest inventions. And one of mankind's most easily acquired tastes.

What is the solution to the question of the mutated wheat? The doctor suggested avoiding wheat, and eating REAL foods. Avocado (no argument from me there.), eggs, chicken, lean beef, fruits, and lots of veggies. Substitute other grains (as I have corn), and enjoy wholesome dairy.

He even suggested "full-fat" cheese. In moderation, of course.

Moderation. Some of God's finest advice. And one of mankind's most most easily ignored suggestions.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Here I go, using a friend's material again. Same friend, too. Pastor Gary Lanier.

This blog is named after the title of one of his finest songs (he's a song-writer, among other really serious talents). Now I'm going to quote one of his favorite expressions:

MPCs - Minor personal convictions.

Definition: All those pesky little doctrinal beliefs that separate Christians, and divide God's church into Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Assembly of God, Pentecostals, etc., etc. When all that really matters is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we've taken care of that, all the rest is just MPCs.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I Stand Corrected - A Bonus Post

It's not Sunday, yet, but this is important enough that I must insert a "Friday Post" this week.

In Wednesday's post I said, "Some Christians are pro-choice. DOES NOT COMPUTE."

Then I was reminded via a FaceBook post by a dear friend in the ministry that once we have given our hearts to Jesus, short of turning our backs on Him and renouncing our faith, we are His.

We will reign forever with Him in glory. To paraphrase her statement, "There are consequences here on earth to the sins we commit after accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, but they do not prevent us from being in His presence for eternity."

do stand in my belief that the Bible confirms abortion to be a sin.

However, we all commit sins on a daily basis. Some minute . . . some huge. God still loves us unconditionally. It breaks His heart when a Christian sins . . . but He does not disown us. Anymore than you would disown your child who is sinning. If a mortal parent's love is unconditional. Think how much more the Heavenly Father's love is unconditional.

Let me change my statement to say - I don't understand how a Christian could be pro-choice, given what God has to say about the unborn in the Bible. But some are . . . and it's our duty to pray their eyes will be opened to the truth.

Because we know who it is that wants to hide the truth from them, don't we?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Has Our Prophet Been Aborted?

Some Christians are pro-choice!

Let that sink in.

Now, all together, say it with me . . . DOES NOT COMPUTE!

I'm sure you've heard the pro-life mantra, "Abortion stops a beating heart." That knowledge in itself should be a deterent to taking an unborn baby's life. And I'm sure for some, it is. Praise God for those who realize in time.

But there is an even stronger saying I'd like to hear used: "Would you knowlingly thwart the plans of an Almighty God?"

Would you willingly kill the next Billy Graham? The next Abraham Lincoln? The next Mother Teresa?

Jeremiah 1:5 states: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. And before you were born, I consecrated you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." (NAS)

God doesn't have a problem with the question of when life begins. He said before I formed you in the womb. Yet mankind wants to challenge His word and debate the true beginning of life. The true beginning of life is when you exist in the mind of God.

How many great men and women of God have been aborted? How many souls will perish for lack of someone to lead them to Christ, because that someone was aborted in the womb? And how do we know if the person God designated to lead our nation out of  this mire is alive . . . or aborted?

John Hagee has called on Christians to pray for 40 days beginning September 28. That's the 40 days preceeding the election. Our way of life depends on defeating the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Jewish party and taking our country back.

If God is so kind as to answer this prayer, then we must hit the ground running and abolish all laws that are displeasing to Him. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But it must be our goal. We dare not fall back into complacency. Because if we do . . . He will eventually give us up to our wicked ways.

I got a FaceBook "feel good" today. A beautiful picture with the words, "He loves you, He forgives you." across it. I hate to burst anyone's bubble . . . but that's the trouble with our times. Everyone claims forgiveness . . . without having to ask.

Yes, He does love all of us. Every last, flithy, sinning one of us. And He does forgive us . . . when we repent. People can't go on living like heathens and assume they will be forgiven, just because He loves them. There are consequences for selfish, stubborn disobedience to His word.

President, Congressman, Doctor and Mother-to-be, before you make a decision for abortion, ask yourself, "Would you knowlingly thwart the plans of an Almighty God?"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What a Difference Sixty Years Make

My husband was going through his book collection the other day and discovered an old Dallas High School study course, Circa 1952.

Sixty years ago. What a difference sixty years make. The study course? Old Testament!

Now our teachers aren't allowed to mention God or Christ in our public schools. I guess it wouldn't do for me to be a teacher, because I'd stay awake nights trying to figure out ways to sneak His Holy name into discussions. I'd probably spend more time in the principal's office than the meanest kid in class. (And be looking for a job at McDonald's by the second week.)

Though long since out of high school, I've been studying the book. Pretty interesting stuff. Maybe a little dry compared to what I experience every week in my church, because our pastor obviously spends a great deal of time in the word. As does my husband. (There's nothing that makes a man more manly, or more desirable as a mate, than spending time in the word.) If any of my readers are single ladies . . . I hope you'll take that advice to heart. As I recently read: "Single women should hold God so close to their hearts that a man has to go through Him to get to her."

But to get back to the study course, if I may qutoe: "The book of Job is generally considered one of the great literary masterpieces of the world. Tennyson pronounced it 'the greatest poem whether of ancient or modern time.' Carlyle said of it, 'There is nothing written in the Bible or out of it of equal literary merit.'"

I'd never looked at Job through such eyes. Perhaps it's time I go back to read the book again. Join me, and see if you agree with these literary greats. We'll talk about Job more later.

Until then, take this piece of advice from Brother Lee. Fall asleep at night with Jesus on your mind, and you'll wake up in the morning singing to Him. I can vouch for that!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Submit therefore to God.

"This time he had her, dead-to-rights. He bounded down the hallway, ready to drag the truth out of her. His fists were clenched. His stomach in knots.

Headlights flashed in the foyer mirror. Ron and Indi were here. And Edward was primed for battle.

"Where are you?" His anger undisguised. "They're here, woman."

He steeled himself against the sight of this wanton woman he'd married, as she hurried out of the kitchen. Of course she looked sweet and innocent. Didn't she always? One would never know, to look at her, what kind of a woman she really was.

Casey breezed into the foyer and glanced at her reflection.

Edward's heart was pounding. His face was flushed. The sight of Casey sickened him.

Why did I invite these people over? Tonight of all nights. I'll have to handle her later, when they're gone. She'll be so sorry when I get through with her.

He pasted on his best smile, smoothed his trousers, and cleared his throat. He looked terrific. His head was splitting."

Does this scene from Handful of Demons sound familiar? Has Satan ever played tricks with your imagination, filled your head with lies, primed you for battle, only to put you on hold? It's his way of chipping away at your peace. Your very sanity.

The battle is so real, friends. It is not your imagination. It is not a coincidence.

So, what can you do when he attacks your most precious relationships, in your most vulnerable moments?

James 4:7 - Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Global Warming

I'm not worried about global warming.

You see, I believe every word that comes out of the mouth of the Lord. And Genesis 8:22 tells me: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

It's the promise God made after the flood. Verse 21 says: " . . . I will never again curse the ground on account of man . . . "

To back up a little bit . . . I don't deny the reality of global warming, just as I 'm aware of global cooling. It's been going on since creation. First one and then the other. I don't pretend to know why. I only know it's a part of God's design for the earth. And that's good enough for me.

I also believe His word in Peter 5:8: "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

But He doesn't leave us without hope. Check out Ephesians 6:10-12. "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces  (italics mine) of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Two facts jump off this page. #1. God says to be on the alert. Well, first we have to be aware there really is an enemy out there seeking to devour us. Get our heads out of the sand. #2. Our struggle is not againt flesh and blood, but against spiritul forces of wickedness.

That's God telling us the Battle is real.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Roller Coaster Day

Here it is, Friday morning, and I just realized I didn't post on Wednesday evening. Wednesday was a roller coaster day for me, and by the time we got home from church at almost ten . . . the only thing on my mind was dropping into my wonderful pillow-top bed and covering my head.

Satan and his imps were on my case all day long. "Handful of Demons" is out in paperback form, but it seems that everything that can go wrong is going wrong in getting out the hardcover edition. I've promised copies to several people who were important in the production of "Demons." And I'm feeling so guilty that I have paperback copies to sell (and give away in some instances) but I have no hardcovers to offer. Also, I have some people who are waiting to buy hardcovers. I don't think Satan wants this book to get out.

Then, my granddaughter called me during church to tell me that someone had tagged me in a lewd photo on FaceBook. I gave her the necessary info to login and get it off for me, and to unfriend the brand-new "friend" who did it. (Of course, he may have been hacked, who knows?) But it threw me for quite a loop. Threw me into a depression, truth be known. The presence of evil does that to me. (Until I come to my senses and call on God.)

I'd planned to give a copy of "Demons" to my pastor that evening after church. He didn't even know I was an author. But last Sunday - not knowing how it would impact us -  he spoke a word over Dee and me: " . . . The words you have to say will be heard by many . . . " That was exciting.

So, I decided Wednesday evening was a good time to let him know I'd been published, and his words over us were an encouragement and confirmation. But then Satan popped his ugly head into the picture with the FaceBook situation, and I was once again deflated. Decided to give the book to him another time, when I was feeling more chipper.

However, Brother Lee brought a message that sounded like perhaps he'd studied for it out of my book . . . fiction, though it is, it is chock-a-block full of Scriptural happenings. So, it was back on for giving him a copy. I didn't know how he'd receive it, since it's fiction, and he obviously spends a great deal of time in the Word. Some Christians don't "waste time" on fiction.

My, oh my. He was so excited. He held it up. Prayed for it. Called others over. Prayed for me and my book. Told me he wanted me to be on the church TV program. They had to pull me down from the cathedral ceiling to send me home.

I decided to get off FaceBook because it really causes me much consternation. So many things are posted that are not God honoring. I was spending hours a day sifting through it, gleaning out the good stuff. But invariably came away under a dark cloud.

Thursday morning I woke up with terrific back and shoulder pain, and Satan told me that I was too old and tired to be doing what I'm doing. Of course he did. He doesn't want me, or anyone else, exposing him for what he is. I did get off of FaceBook. Those hours will be better spent writing, or in the Word.

This morning the devil's still bouncing up and down on my shoulders. And he's telling me that getting off FaceBook was a terrible "career move".  But you know, God didn't put these stories on my heart in order to put me in bondage to the world (via FaceBook). Most people on my friend list were trying to sell their own books. They were not potential readers. God is going to lead me to my readers.

I'm looking for the people whose hearts are open to what God wants them to hear through me . . . that Satan roams the earth, seeking whom he may devour.

A warning that the battle is real.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Personal Miracle, Part 2

If you've not read My Personal Miracle, Part 1, then Part 2 isn't going to make a lot of sense. I'll give you a very quick synopsis, but I really wish you'd go to the last posted entry and read it first.

~My first husband vehemently hated creamed corn. (I'll not go into how one manages to hate an innocent can of vegetables.) My six-year-old  son loved it. To keep the peace, I didn't buy it. My mother was incensed that my son had to do without. She sneaked it into my shopping cart and fed it to him when she baby-sat.~

One Saturday my mother's doctor called me and after establishing he had the right person on the phone, he said "I'm sorry to tell you this, but your mother's dead." Ten words, blurted out with all the compassion of an answering machine.

Had the doctor been a little kinder, I'm not sure it would have helped in the long run. Mother and I were close, and I never felt like I'd done enough for her. She was young . . . 69 . . . and I always thought I'd have time to do some great things for her.

It never happened.

She was the first loved one I'd ever lost. And I didn't handle it well. I was a new Christian, and I'd tried to witness to her in a very clumsy manner. I didn't handle that well either.

About two weeks after her death I was shopping at eleven p.m. at an all-night grocery store in what was not the most savory section of Houston. It was dim and dingy in the store. The shelves were sagging and the floor boards were buckled. Running the cart over them was like navigating a wash board.

I was, and had been for two weeks, a guilt-ridden, bawling, unkempt mess. I should have been there with her. It wouldn't have happened.

I struggled with the shopping cart, tears flowing down my cheeks, taking my mascara with it. And I prayed. I begged Jesus to "give me a sign." I didn't know enough about the Word to know I wasn't supposed to ask for a sign. "Please let me know she's with You." I cried under my breath, over and over. "Please let me know she's with You."

I don't think I really expected Him to give me an answer. Frankly, I don't know what I expected of Him. But what He gave me was beyond anything I could have hoped for in my wildest dreams. New ignorant Christian or seasoned Bible scholar, Jesus meets us where we are.

A couple of customers came and went while I stumbled up and down the aisles. I think I was wishing someone would ask me what was wrong and hug me until my tears subsided. But no one did. The cashier eyed me suspiciously.

Finally, the only customer left in the store, I approached the check out counter. The cashier greeted me in broken english and began ringing up my purchases. Two full large paper sacks later I paid him, pocketed my change, lifted one heavy bag in each arm, and headed for the door.


I swung around. The cashier was motioning for me to come back.

Apprehension gripped me. It was late. There was no one else in the store. "What do you want?"

"I forget something."

Thinking he'd given me the wrong change, I walked back to the register. He reached under the counter and pulled something out, which he immediately dropped into the top of one of the bags I was carrying.

"What is this?" I couldn't see in the bag, and both my arms were full. "I didn't pay for it."

"Just go!" He motioned me out of the store, hurriedly.

A little worried about leaving the store with something I hadn't paid for, I left at his urgent request.

It wasn't until I'd struggled to get the groceries in the back of my station wagon that I was able to examine what he had put in the top of my bag.

A can of creamed corn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Personal Miracle, Part 1

It's Wednesday evening, August 15 . . . my husband's birthday. My pastor husband of almost 33 years.

I haven't always been the wife of a pastor. Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, I lived another life. Sometimes it's hard to fathom, and painful to remember, but there was a time when I lived a life that didn't include the Lord.

It was shortly after making a committment to Him that I received a spectacular miracle. There are those who say miracles aren't for today. And they reason away all miracles as coincidences. Well, my personal miracle can't be reasoned away. It can't be explained away. And no amount of manipulating can morph it into a coincidence.

It was a full-fledged Jesus-Is-In-The-House miracle.

I've only shared this story with the public one time, in a small church Dee and I attended a few years ago. And I've been saving it for a bigger blog audience. I only have eleven followers (whom I prefer to call friends.) But my "page view totals" indicate I'm getting quite a few other readers. And from the urging I'm getting to share my story again . . . this must be the right time.

                                                                 *  *  *

My six-year-old son loved creamed corn. My first husband hated it. So much, in fact, he vehemently forbid me to serve it at a meal. Avoiding putting creamed corn on the dinner table seemed like a small enough thing to do to preserve the peace, so I never bought it. Of course that wasn't sufficient to keep the peace, but one must learn to "pick one's battles" and creamed corn didn't seem worthy to fight over. However, my mother - not knowing the gravity of the situation - was quite unhappy that her precious grandson was being denied one of his favorite foods.

Mother went grocery shopping with me every opportunity she got. Probably a couple times a month. We had a terrific relationship. Laughing, joking, singing. She was a joy to be around. And she was, unknowingly, my anchor on earth when times were rough. I say unknowingly because I never told her how rough times were.

One day as I was checking out I was suprised to see the cashier ringing up a can of creamed corn. "Where did that come from?"

My oh-so-innocent mother began whistling a little tune and looking anywhere but in my eyes. "Mother, did you put that in the basket?"

This cute, little, curly-headed person I called "Mother" looked up at me and blinked her big blue eyes, and I began laughing. Nothing further was said. I paid for the corn, took it home, and hid it in the pantry.

The next time she baby-sat for us I checked the pantry when I got home. The can was gone. It was in the trash, empty. Billy had eaten creamed corn for supper.

This became a regular routine that went on for a couple of years - until Mother's death. Sometime during every shopping trip, while I wasn't looking, Mother would sneak a can of creamed corn into the shopping cart. I'd pay for it without saying a word. And each time when I got home, I'd hide it in the pantry. But not so well she'd have trouble finding it.

We never discussed it, not even with each other. It was our little secret tradition.

                                                                  *  *  *

Be sure to visit again on Monday, after I've written Sunday evening's blog. You don't want to miss the second half of this story. It's so awesome that if it hadn't happened to me . . . I'm not sure I'd believe it myself.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

God doesn't take sides!

Assuming the guest speaker in our church this morning had his facts straight . . . I found out a few things that should make us all sit up and take notice.

According to the Quran, Allah has never forgiven Eve for her sin. And women are the essence of evil, which is why they must walk ten steps behind their husbands. The only way a woman can make it to Heaven is if her husband will vouch for her and tell Allah she's been a good and faithful wife, and the husband would like for her to be accepted into Heaven.

And the word "Love" is found only one time.

Compare this with the teachings of our Holy Bible. Our God is a forgiving, loving Creator. And He certainly doesn't need us to tell Him how another individual has behaved. He is omnipotent and omnipresent.

And He is Love personified.

Keep your eyes on Jesus. If the things you see and hear don't line up to His word. they have no place in your life. And don't ever ask if God is on your side. God doesn't take sides. Just be sure you're on His side.

You need his never-failing protection. Because the battle is real.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beauty and the Book

Ooops! Messed up and missed my Wednesday post. Boo Hoo! And I was doing so well . . .

But I do have a wonderful excuse. Had a fabulous time at church last night and got home late. Will that do?

Hope so, because we got there at 6:00 p.m. and ate for an hour. Well, not the whole time. There was a lot of cameraderie and hugging going on, also. Then we sang praise and worship for another hour. Yep! And it was so good I could have gone on and on.

A little time for some beautiful testimonies and good stuff straight from the Word from Brother Lee. First thing we knew it was after 9:00 p.m. A little more hugging and the drive home made for a long and beautiful night.

And maybe . . . just maybe . . . I was supposed to wait until this evening to post. So I could talk about my day today.

Drove to Jefferson, Texas to visit with Kathy Patrick of Beauty and the Book. What a ball of fire she is. She has so many things going on I couldn't keep up with her. Beauty Shop, Book club with over 500 world-wide chapters, Author, organizer of amazing events like "Girlfriend Weekend" . . . But her main goal in life is helping new authors make their mark. And she's outdone herself there.

Thanks, Kathy for a sweet visit.

Than I went on to meet Ms. Willa Bose, Director of Waskom Public Library in Waskom, Texas. What a delight. We sat and had a cup of coffee in one of the many rooms of the library. And it was like "coming home." Thanks, Ms. Willa for your hospitality.

Got home to find my beautiful friend, Valleta Lanier (The Lanier Company . . . check out their FB page) has posted the announcement of the release of Handful of Demons everywhere except on her husband Gary's  forehead. And I'm not too sure it's not there, too. I love you, Valleta.

Got an order for six books from one sweet lady, whose name I won't mention right now on the outside chance it would spoil a surprise. But when I'm sure the books are all delivered, I'll tell you who she is, and how much I appreciate her!

So . . . I've had a grand day. I sang praises all day long. I guess that's why the Enemy couldn't get his talons on me!

But he's out there. Keep him at bay by praising the Lord. Because the battle is real!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Nike Message

Those of you who know me well know my husband is a career pastor. He surrendered to serve when he was sixteen. That's sixty years ago this month. And his first "congregation" was comprised of the patients at a local home for the mentally challenged. I'm not making light of that. It was a wonderful place for a very green, young "pastor" to learn the ropes. His audience was made up of grown people. But their attention span, for the most part, was that of a group of children.

He ministered to them and loved them. And they loved him in return.

There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. He'd already been in the pastorate for almost thirty years when I married him. His messages were always well-studied and just lively enough to keep the congregants' interest piqued, without losing the spirit of reverence that should prevail in a church sanctuary. I was always very proud to be "the pastor's wife."

But . . . there were some messages that stood out from the others. Ones that stay with me to this day because of their pertinence to our daily walk with the Lord.

"The Nike Message" was just such a teaching.

I'll not try to pass it on to you. I couldn't do it justice. (Perhaps someday I'll talk him into writing a guest blog for me and share the message.) But the main gist was "If the Holy Spirit tell you to do something . . . Just do it!" (Hence the title, The Nike Message.)

And just this morning, I had a reminder of how current that lesson is. It's as unchanging as Jesus Himself. I got up about 7:30 and had my coffee. Dee had to work this morning, so I was going to church alone. As I sat there drinking coffee and contemplating how much time I had to shower and dress, a thought popped into my mind. (Or should I say the Holy Spirit dropped a thought into my head.)

"Ask her to go to church with you." Her being a friend who's very much on my mind these days, having lost her husband recently.

I knew she and her husband had been looking for a church home, but didn't know if they'd found one yet. Their denominational preferences were different from ours. So I wondered how wise it would be to even ask her . . . knowing that in the past they hadn't really enjoyed the services we'd invited them to.

So, I more or less decided against inviting her. She'd never been to the church we're attending now, because we're fairly new there ourselves. But the style, the music, and the doctrine were our preference. Not hers.

However, if they hadn't found a church home, that meant she was alone on this Sunday morning. All alone. So the Lord tapped me on the shoulder again.

"It's too early to call." I argued.

"Not any more. You've already stalled for a good thirty minutes."

"Okay, I'll try. But she's not going to want to come."

"Try Me and see."

I called. She readily accepted, and we made a date to meet in town and drive in together.

You probably already figured out the end of this story.

The music, the service, the message, and a testimony given by a young lady were tailor-made to minister to my friend. She was loved on, hugged, prayed for, and made to feel welcome by some of the sweetest folks I've ever met.

And she's coming back!

When the Holy Spirit tells you to do something, don't make excuses . . .  just do it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Think I've Learned My Lesson

 . . . Well, maybe not.

Arguing is an exercise in futility. Today I waited for an hour and fifteen minutes in line at Chick-fil-A. Enjoyed a good meal, and came away feeling like a million bucks. Such beautiful camaraderie among like-thinking people, all out in support of either freedom of speech, Biblical traditional marriage, or both.

How can you say anything bad about such an occasion? Well, upon arriving home, I soon found out . . .  when I participated in what I thought was going to be an uplifting discussion about Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

A fellow Christian said - in so many words - that "voting" for our traditional values by eating a chicken sandwich was a waste of time. Time that should be spent seeking out the lost and leading them to the Lord. He pretty well labeled us all as wannabe Christians. Sure took the shine off my wonderful afternoon.

I pointed out that it's possible to show your support for something you believe in, and still be a worker in "God's harvest field." We have no idea how many of those who participated in what he termed the "demonstration" are very zealous soul-seeking Christians. But my opinions cut no ice with him. He said we did more harm than good, by convincing homosexuals we hate them.

And Christians care more about the Constitution than they do the salvation of individuals.

Am I to gather we must lie down and be trampled upon in order to not hurt anyone's feelings by disagreeing with them? Or be labeled "uncaring Christians?" Woe is me.

I exited that post and took a few minutes to reflect on what had just taken place. I had argued fervently for what I believe in and he had adamantly refused to budge from his position. And this is two Christians arguing. Supposedly on the same side.

But isn't this what all arguing amounts to?

No argument that anyone could present could ever convince me to try the Muslim religion, to become a lesbian, to move to the left side of the aisle, to support freedom of choice, to deny Christ, to hate any race of people, to trash the constitution, to defile the American flag, or to shed innocent blood.

I happen to think this is a good thing. But, sadly, I'm beginning to realize that everyone feels their beliefs are a good thing. And no matter how eloquently I put my argument to them, I can never change that which is embedded in their hearts.

Only God can change a heart.

So, here's what I learned today. Argue less and pray more.

The battle is real.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Two Things I Hate

Recently, (since Dave Cathey took a stand), I'm getting involved in arguments about same-sex marriage. And I find myself getting angry. My pastor said from the pulpit this morning there is no room in a spirit-filled life for anger. I don't know if I agree with him on that. Even Jesus got angry at the money-changers and merchants, because they were defiling the temple.

A popular saying is: "God is Love." That He is. But even the most well-meaning people tend to get confused and begin spouting a "Love is god" doctrine. There's a tremendous difference in meaning when you switch those two words around.

One lady asked "What difference does it make what gender people are if they love one another?" It makes a big difference, because my God called homosexuality an abomination.

However, when I quote from God's word to bring home a point to the "Love is god" team, they drop out, never to be heard from again. They're willing to accept man's explanation of what Christianity should be, but not the word of our Holy Father. Or they waffle off into some pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo and it becomes like arguing with a two year old.

Political correctness should not be confused with kindness. Kindness comes from the heart. PC is a manipulative tool of the Devil. And it's here that I get into trouble every time. It seems I have no right to quote the Creator if what He said is not politically correct. News flash! God doesn't give a hoot about political correctness. He cares about truth. And I don't give a hoot about political correctness. I care about pleasing Him.

To please Him, I'm required to love.That's right . . . love . . . sinners. No problem, in my lifetime I've known and loved quite a few people who were sinners. I'd hope others feel the same about me when I'm out of God's will.

But He does not require me to love the sin. Quite the contrary, I am to pray for the sinner but hate the sin. How could I ever hope to escape Satan's clutches if I didn't learn to hate sin.

And there's that word. The one with which we are being blugeoned by the media on a daily basis. Hate. If we don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle, according to the media, we hate the homosexuals. How did this happen? To quote my friend Ellen Kennedy, when did the word "hate" replace the word "disagree?"

I hate only two things in life . . . sin (not the sinner) and the perpetrator of all sin, known as Satan. I cry for the misinformed, the ignorant, and the brain-washed who consider me a hater because I try to live by God's Holy word. And please note . . . I said I try.

Who do you think is stirring up the misunderstanding and hatred the has beset our people? Who came up with the idea of political correctness in place of honesty? Who laughes his ugly head off when one of God's people decides that the world leaders know more than the Heavenly Father?

 Three quesses.

The battle is real!