Monday, December 11, 2017

A lick and a promise....

If you are interested in my Monday will find them HERE.

I will give an update about this blog and where it's headed sometime this week.  

Happy Monday!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday's Thoughts....Welcome to a Morning in my Head

Great Smoky Mountains...Clingman's Dome, if I am not mistaken.
Some random thoughts zipping through my brain this a.m.

When you do the wrong thing because it is easier you are choosing a convenience that isn’t always convenient.

The path of least resistance leads to a vast sea.  Resistance builds muscle.  If you’ve done nothing to build muscle, how will you swim the ocean?

Hijacked words don’t mean what they used to…but the rainbow is still God’s promise.

Sometimes your reasonable friends are silent and your unreasonable ones are loud. 

Lawlessness is a scary thing, and too many people are not recognizing it for what it is.  Wake up!  United we stand, divided we fall.

It is easy to forget how fragile life really is, and how so many things beyond our control can dictate our level of comfort…a drought, a tornado, an earthquake, a terrorist attack…can changes lives forever in just a moment.

Sometimes I’m reacting more to the fact that you’re telling me that rather than what you’re actually telling me.

There are days I hurry home so that I can do nothing...something I can do quite well.

Nobody wants to hear what you have to say because too many people are talking…and some of them are so loud!

What better day to start than today?   It’s the only day in which you can actually live and make choices.   Make some wise ones for yourself.

When I look at others and judge them a little because they are different from me, I am forgetting that I am different from them…and different from most people.  I remind myself to stop.  Just stop.  I don't have to answer for them.  I have enough things to answer for my own self.

Would you have ever imagined 20 years ago that everyone’s best buddy would be a hand-held device?

Arguing with strangers about religion or politics…or anything…in social media, forums, chat rooms, etc. accomplishes nothing.   Arguing rarely, if ever, accomplishing anything positive.

Truth makes you mad when it hits you where you live.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

News Day Tuesday

Bowe Bergdahl:
Dishonorable discharge/no jail time. That made a lot of people unhappy…both he and the judge have been the subject of much discussion. I know he suffered at the hands of the Taliban, but it could be said that he asked for it. People were gravely injured and some are still suffering with permanent injuries as the consequences of his actions. Many lives were put in danger because of his choice. 

I know that Bergdahl had no clue of the repercussions of his decision, but to walk away in Afghanistan? Where was he going to go? The judge used Trump’s very public criticisms as a reason for his leniency. He probably should have gotten some prison time, but he will never live this down. It will follow him until the day he dies. And as it is for everything else, God will have the final say.

Donna Brazile:
Interesting allegations you’ve made. I can believe there was plenty of deception in the DNC, and that Hillary did everything you say in order to achieve her goal. But I have no doubt that Donald Trump would have beaten Bernie Sanders, or any other combination of democratic candidates.

I wonder how she will fare in the coming months in years…it has long been rumored that going against the Clintons can be dangerous.

Ashley Judd:
In a recent interview, she detailed how she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein. When asked by Diane Sawyer what she would say to him now, she said she would say, “I love you, and I understand you are sick…”

I didn’t see that coming after her hate speech in January, where she honed in on one “locker room” statement (not action) by Donald Trump some 12 years before. Ms. Judd was much more vulgar than Donald Trump was…very publicly and outside of the locker room. Was it hypocritical of her to keep her silence on Weinstein’s continuing actions while attacking the President’s words from years ago?

George Bush:
I always like the Presidents Bush. I liked the Bush family. I wasn’t one who labeled George W. as “the worst president.” (I have my own opinion on that.) Lately, I’ve lost a lot of respect for the Georges. I can understand their silence during the previous administration…that’s how former presidents should behave. But now…where is their silence? I fully believe it is because candidate Donald Trump was disrespectful to Brother Jeb. No matter what Donald said to/about him, Jeb would not have gotten the nomination. People were tired of the same old story, they wanted to turn the page. And they did just that.

I have to ask…if Jeb got his knickers so twisted over the words of Donald Trump, how would he have handled the likes of Kim Jong-un?

Massing Shooting:
My prayers are with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. I never know what to say in the face of such evil. Just no words. I pray…I tell God about it…as if He didn’t know. I ask Him to send peace to the friends and family, to surround them with His loving presence, to give them strength.

In my head, I wonder, “How do I pray for something like this? I guess I also wonder how God helps people whose lives will forever be changed…and “changed” does not begin to cover what people who live through these kinds of tragedies face.

It would be great if taking away the gunman’s tool of choice would fix evil. But it can’t. Jesus can.  America can argue until He comes back. Too much proof shows that guns are not the only way to mass murder.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Vacation Woes and Tales

Downtown Helen, Georgia
 Sunday afternoon, we arrived in Helen, Georgia to begin our vacation, only to find out the Baymont didn’t have our reservation!   We had our confirmation from, and the front desk chick (FDC) said they could accommodate us, but not at that price.

That never happened before!   I thought we may have to go on down the road, but Ole Boy called and the guy assured us that indeed we did have reservations, and for that price, as well.   He called the Baymont.   FDC wouldn’t answer the phone.  She pretended like she was helping another customer who came in behind us, as he pretended he wanted a whole wing of rooms for about 25 men, but she couldn’t find his reservation, either.   I don’t know why should couldn’t answer the phone while that was going on!  

Ole Honey Bunny
(But don't tell him I call him that.)
When we finally we got into our room, the toilet had about an inch of water in it, and wasn’t working right.  I called FDC, who sent a lady up right away with a toy plunger.  She flushed it…and it overflowed. 

Eventually, they moved us to another room with two queen beds.    Up to this point, all the bad luck may not necessarily have been Baymont’s fault.  But in the new room's bathroom, the tub looked clean, but strands of brown hair in two different places on the wall of the shower led me to believe they weren’t too diligent in their cleaning.  

Then there was the blood on the sheet that I didn’t see until I was leaving…that’s definitely their fault.

Thankfully, I slept on the other side of the bed.   But I think I slept in a bed that hadn’t been changed from at least the last visitor.  Which could be funny, only it’s not!  Of all people who would hate something like that, I would hate it the most.  :::shudder:::

The one redeeming quality for the Baymont in Helen is Big Daddy’s, right beside the hotel.   We ate there twice.

Downtown Helen, Georgia

Downtown Helen, Georgia

Downtown Helen, Georgia

Ole Boy
The next morning, it was pouring rain.   We explored our surroundings, anyway.  Later that day, the sun came out, and things got better from there on…well, at that time, I was still innocent about the bloodshed and (most likely) dirty bed on which I slept. 

Helen is very decorative.  I really enjoyed the artwork on the stores.

We gave ourselves only three nights in Gatlinburg.  Not enough!   Next time, less time elsewhere, more time in the Smokies!   

Some places had lots of fall color, but there was still plenty of green.
Only one incident in Gatlinburg.  At the candy store, Ole Boy was accosted by…uhm…I want to call her names and tell you about her bleached hair and fake eyelashes…but God wouldn’t like that, so I will call her “the girl” who worked there.  Old Boy wore a cap that simply had an elephant and the number “15” on it.  The girl recognized it as Alabama, and with no warning, got obnoxiously animated about Peyton Manning, quarterbacks, and running backs…and I’m pretty sure she said something about Alabama needing to watch out.  She was pointing her finger and preachin’ it, Sistah!

After Ole Boy left the store, I was still waiting to pay for my taffy (for the children…I promise…well, except for the ones I ate).  I was staring at her in disbelief, and admittedly, I was looking at her obvious fake eyelashes.  She got a little smart with me, I thought, when she asked me if I was “okay” in just the wrong tone of voice to make me mad.  I was too shocked to come up with an appropriate response.   Then she disappeared.  I’d like to think her manager called her to the back and chewed her out.   She probably just went on break, though.

Before I knew it…we were on our way home.   It was one of the fastest vacations I can remember!   Six nights and seven days felt like three days only.   When we left, it was raining, and the color was beautiful, waving goodbye to us.  The Great Smoky Mountains were sad we were leaving, too!

Just a few more photos:

Betty's Country Store...I loved it so much
I went twice!  (Helen)
In Betty's, I found RC and Moon Pies, something
Ole Boy and I talked about on the trip over,
wondering if RC Cola still existed.  It does!

Elk, at least 50 of them, as we were leaving Cherokee, North Carolina, just grazing on the side of the road.
By the way, I shaved this epic post down from over 800 words to under 700.  
You’re welcome. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thoughts for Tuesday

Huntsville Botanical Garden Closeup

It's Halloween.   When I was a child, I loved to Trick or Treat...I loved coming home with a sack of candy is closer to the truth.   Today, I plan to not even eat one piece of candy.   That's the plan!

We rarely get Trick or Treaters at my house...except for those who are kin to us...which means I'll need to have candy on hand.   Not in the mouth.   Got to keep to the plan!


Have you noticed that we live in a world where people love to tell us how to think?   We should see it their way or we are narrow-minded.  Or a hater.   Or racist.   But when you are right, you’re right, and there is just no need to argue with people who refuse to see the truth.   You don't have to prove it when you're right, and you sure won’t change someone’s mind who’s just as convinced as you are that they are right.  Truth is truth, it will come to light without my getting into arguments.  I have to remind myself that with truth, I am in a good place; they are in sinking sand.  No need to get in the mire with those who push falsehoods and fiction.

People seem to have “being bullied” mixed up with “just plain rude.”   They also have “hate” and “I don’t agree with you” mixed up.   Just because someone takes offense to a comment does not mean it is hate.  Don't be name-called into to changing what you know is true or right.  Just don’t give in to it.  Be informed.  Do your research.  Remember it's no crime to think for yourself!

There may a time when you realize that you are so politically/intellectually far apart from a person there will never be a real friendship.  Even if, aside from the political views, you like the person.   

Don't punish a person just for being who they are…but that doesn’t mean they get to invade your space with “who they are.”

Devotional Day Two:   The Weightier Matter

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Musings: The Current Events Edition

I just got back from the Smoky Mountains...hopefully I will have some
photos for you later this week...though admittedly, I didn't take many.   
Musings on Monday....

Dear Tucker Carlson:
I would probably watch your show some, but two people continually talking over each other always did get on my one nerve.

Dear Hollywood:
The LA Times reports that you are suffering your worst-attended summer movie season in 25 years.   Yay!   I hope the trend continues and deepens...and widens...because the money you did make this summer was way-yonder too much.

Dear Hollywood Writers and Producers:
“F bombs” and sex scenes do not make up for a complete lack of creativity.  I wish I was a movie watcher (but thankful I am not) just so I could boycott your trash. 

Dear DNC/Hillary Clinton:

America is watching to see how the rest of the Russia scandal/Trump dossier will play out.  No doubt, it will be interesting.   Things have a way of backfiring.  It is my sincere prayer that Truth will prevail.  

Dear Clinique:
I am ordering some of your product...I sure hope you help my aging skin!   Now if only I could find a way to stop this thinning hair!

Dear Age:
I am not happy with you right now.

After the "music" intrusion, I didn't want a hot dog.

Dear Helen Georgia:
I enjoyed visiting your quaint little alpine village.   But I wish you’d tell the powers that be at Alpine Hot Dogs that folks sitting on the benches outside, minding their own business and enjoying your town, do not want to hear loud, really vulgar rap “music” with language obviously learned from Hollywood, complete with aforementioned F bombs, plus derogatory names for women.   

Dear Dieter:
I believe too much focus on food…what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, etc. sabotages the best-laid plans to lose weight.   I have started a freedom devotional blog (because, as I told a friend…all the world and I need is one more blog!) to help our focus be someone besides the food:  The Weightier Matter.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Racism: Let's Not Talk About It

A battle is raging, and it is fierce…but as long as we continue to think we are fighting flesh and blood, we will never have a resolution.

Discussing racism is dangerous territory.  Emotions run high, and most everyone feels as if they have been just as mistreated as the next person.  Disagreement comes early in the conversation, and not long after, the name-calling begins.   Neither side agrees on exactly what racism is.  But it is rampant, and it affects everyone.  So many Christians don’t talk about it, at least not for very long.

Gatlinburg Overpass
Racism is much more complex than just the way people are treated, and people want to keep the problem white vs black.  While it is true that both sides have room to grow, to change, to understand, to concede, and to forgive, those things do not come from a behavior change, but a heart change.  The tactic of the devil in this thing called racism is to get our eyes on each other instead of God because he knows the only way to conquer the misconceptions about what is truly going on is by the revelation of Christ in the hearts of His people.  A lack of knowledge will kill us. 

The need is so very great for Christians to focus on Jesus and not be so attuned to the world around them.  We cannot afford to keep looking to the left and to the right.  Now, more than ever, we need to seek His face. 

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Psalm 27:8

When we come together seeking His face and not outside acceptance, we will find that vengeance really is His and the battle belongs to Him.  Justice poured out from a righteous God is infinitely better than any worldly imitation of justice.   Counterfeit justice is all the world can give.   When we come together as one body, putting God first in our lives, the blessings that follow are far beyond social justice…it is supernatural justice!  And believe me, once mercy and grace is received, we want justice!

If we heed Jesus’s commandment to love one another as He loves us, lives will be transformed.  We can’t continue to let how we feel drown out the voice of the Father who is no respecter of persons.  
  • If there is hate and mistrust against a brother or sister in Christ, skin color is not the issue, the heart is.
  • If feelings are hurt, skin color is not the issue, the heart is.
  • If unforgiveness is in the heart, skin color is not the issue…it’s the heart.
  • If lies are believed about who you are, or who someone else is, skin color is not the issue! 
Who can change hearts?   God.  

Unfair is unfair.
A hurt is a hurt.
Discrimination is wrong.
An injustice is an injustice;
It doesn’t matter what body God placed you in. 
And rest assured, God does not like injustice. 

Until God’s people realize the origin of racism, we will never put out the spreading flames or stop the destruction.  It is a tactic of the one who kills, steals, and destroys, and when we try to fix the issue by keeping it in the ugly box of flesh and blood, we are helping him.

If we really want to stamp out racism for good, we must start with PRAYER.  Then we must continue with PRAYER; and more PRAYER.

You know what happens with much prayer?  Repentant hearts.   What comes from repentant hearts?  Relationship with our Heavenly Father.   When we have true relationship with the Father, it will spill over into the rest of our lives and our relationships with our brothers and sisters.  Then it will spill out of the church and into the world.  A coming together of the Children of God!   The church should have always shown the world how to love each other.  But we aren't.  We're showing the world more of what they have.

The only way to stand up to racism is on our knees.  Our altars need to full of people without labels calling out for Truth so that we see each other as God sees us, not as how some other human being is telling us we should see each other.  I wish churches would begin having old fashioned prayer meetings, with people who are willing to fast and pray the price for victory.  A meeting of people who have the sole purpose of praying God's will, a change in hearts, unity, love, and change in the body of Christ.  A meeting for prayer, not discussion, without loud music, but with scripture reading.  Sadly, too people do not like to attend prayer meetings, but they do like to talk, and the devil really likes that in us.  

Discussions about racism = argument.
God's Truth in any situation = healing, light, love, peace.
The choice is ours:  Talk about it or pray about it.

So let’s not talk about racism.  
Well, not until we’ve come together for much prayer.

Gatlinburg Overpass

If you've never watched Wintley Phipps talk about the old black spirituals and sing
Amazing must see this!    Grab a tissue, you'll need it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finding Faith in a Weary World

Huntsville Botanical Garden
What does a Christian do when faith is hard to find? World injustices or the evil days in which we live can make it harder to believe Christ is on the throne and in control. Maybe your pain is much closer to home, a divorce, a financial disaster, the death of a loved one for whom you diligently prayed over.

When we walk through life seasons that are heartbreakingly painful, we have to make the conscious choice to believe what the Word of God says. In the bad times, clinging to the scriptures is crucial. It is just as important in the good times, but when we are brokenhearted, often the last thing we want to do is pray.  We may open the Bible only to find the words bouncing off our eyeballs and into the abyss.  Find one scripture that speaks to you and believe it, hold on to it; it is your lifeline.

Fear plays a big part in our moods and emotions. Fear doesn’t always creep in, often it walks up and slap us, stopping us dead in our tracks. We can’t let these days filled with divisiveness, threats of North Korea bombs, war, or people doing unspeakable evil to each other cause us to forget that God already knew about such things. He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, famines and earthquakes in various places, and he warned us that because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But He also told us not to be afraid.

Not being afraid isn’t easy, but the more we learn to put our trust in Him, the clearer things become. When we are clearly thinking, we can see things for what they are. We aren’t fighting people…flesh and blood…we are fighting satan and his evil crew, and they use people as tools to kill, steal, and destroy.


I saw this on Facebook: 
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.

The Bible tells us repeatedly, “Don’t fear.” But how do we do that when faith is slipping, and there are real threats surrounding us? How do we trust Him?

The answer is relationship. When we draw near to Him, he draws near to us. The closer we are to our Source of life, the more we trust Him. The more we trust Him, the less fear we have, and we are able to love Him with our whole hearts. The more love and less fear we have, the more we are willing to do the things we are commanded to do for the kingdom of God:

Love our neighbor as ourselves
Feed the hungry
Care for the orphans and widows
Proclaim the good news of Christ


We know life isn't easy, and we don't always understand our heartaches. But God promised to save us, to be our peace, to comfort us, and to hold us in His hand.   We have to not only read the words written in the pages of the Bible, we must believe them with our entire being.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and His ears are attentive to their cry

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all
(Psalm 34)

Don’t focus on the problem. 
Focus on the Solution. 
His name is Jesus.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stolen Identity...

Who are you?

Too many of God’s children are in the middle of an identity crisis.  It’s not that people have forgotten who they are in Christ…many have never known.  There is a famine of God’s word all across the land, and it is not because it isn’t available, it’s because people are not partaking of the bread of life.  Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35), and John 1 tells us that Jesus is the word, and has been since the beginning.

But we have to read it to truly know who we are! 

Do you know what happens when people don’t know who they are?   They take on a persona that is not who God says they are.  Why do you think there is such an epidemic of men who think they are women and women who think they are men, or why we are having an explosion of homosexuality? 

It’s because satan himself hones in humanity’s self-will and convinces people (even at very early ages) into believing that they are the exact opposite of who God has called them to be and who He says they are.  It’s a complicated case of mistaken identity; complicated because people truly believe lies about themselves.  They grasp those lies with all their might until they totally accept the deception.  It then becomes a case of identity theft. 

To put it as plainly as I can:  The devil twists God’s truths and convinces people that they are who he (satan) says they are instead of who God says they are.   They are perishing from lack of knowledge…the lack of knowledge of who they truly are! 

And it’s not just happening in the world.  It’s going on in the church, in our youth, and even in our own lives.  We (or maybe I should just say “I”) believe we are not worthy to do what God called us to do because of the way we look, or not able to do God’s will in our lives because of our current circumstances or situation.   God has a plan for each and every one of us, and the thing holding us back is a lie…or more specifically when we believe the lie. 

Read God’s word about who you are, and get in your rightful place.  If you have accepted Christ as your savior, you are a legitimate child of the One True God.

John 1:12
…to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

On Calvary’s hill of sorrow
Where sin’s demands were paid,
And rays of hope for tomorrow
Across our path were laid.

I see a crimson stream of blood,
It flows from Calvary,
Its waves which reach the throne of God,
Are sweeping over me.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Confessions of a Reluctant Church-goer

I’ve been doing a lot of confessing lately.

I really don’t know how people will perceive me after I say this:  I don’t get excited about going to church, and there are times I just don’t want to go.

::::There, I said it::::

I go because I know I should.  I don’t want to forsake the assembling together, but if I miss a service, I don’t feel guilty.

I saw a Facebook post asking, “What do you like about your church?” I didn’t have an answer.  I mean, I don’t dislike anything about my church.  The preacher has a good word for us each service, the singing is fine…I don’t know most of the songs, but that’s not so important because I was never very demonstrative in public worship. Although if there’s a song sung that touches me, I may get a little teary.  Everyone is pleasant, though most of the folks with whom I was friendly left when our former pastor retired.

Are you thinking I need to find a different church? Nah. I think it has always been this way. It is not a phase I’m going through. My walk with Christ isn’t determined by where I go to church, and my lack of passion for attending a service doesn’t affect my salvation. I talk to the Lord all through the day. I spend most of my lunch breaks in my car praying and reading the Bible through. (I probably won’t make it to 100% because after Leviticus, I’m thinking seriously of completely skipping Numbers, Deuteronomy, and 1 & 2 Chronicles.) I listen to sermons online during the week.

But I’m just not enthusiastic about church. 
Am I alone in feeling this way? 
::::raised eyebrow:::: 
Would you admit it if you aren’t always enthralled with the experience? 
And maybe you are. 
I hope you are.

When I was a child, if there was a church service, we were in attendance. If there was a revival, we were there every night…even if it was a six-week revival in the summertime. Every service. For some reason, I still remember that evangelist’s name: Jerry Ramsey.

Preaching was different then. My pastor preached salvation hot and Hell hotter. He could tell you in excruciating detail the agony leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, until you could almost feel the pain yourself. There were nights when everyone, saint and sinner alike, was on their knees at altar call.

This morning I am missing the old hymns and a 
good old-fashioned Hellfire and brimstone sermon. 

I am also missing my childhood preacher and his family…people to this day I consider my own family, though they live many miles away. I am missing the little church on Tuscaloosa Street that was such a huge part of my youth.

I wasn’t excited about going to church then, either. 
I never knew there would be days I would really miss it.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Did God do That?

Nate is headed to North Alabama…or what will be left of him by the time he gets here.

Have you ever noticed when someone suggests that earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc., could be God’s judgment, some folks lose their minds.   They indignantly say things like “God doesn’t do things like that!” and “That’s not the God I serve!”

I don’t argue with them because truthfully, I don’t know.  

But I do wonder why they think that’s not the God they serve.  Reading through the Old Testament, we find stories of God commanding complete and utter destruction of people…men, women, and children, too.   At times, livestock as well.   Then there’s the time He told Joshua to hamstring the horses…

Sending earthquakes and hurricanes?   It could be the God we serve.   
  • He hardened hearts then made them pay for being hard.
  • He allowed kingdoms to defeat the Children of Israel for their sin, then punished those kingdoms for doing so. 
  • Nehemiah called Him a great and terrible God.   
  • Then there’s Job…

But did He purposely destroy Puerto Rico, flood Houston, or send earthquakes to Mexico?   I don’t know.   But I do know He allowed it.  The Bible tells us the wind and the sea obey Him (Matthew 8), He makes lightning for the rain (Jeremiah 10), He rained down hail more than one time to kill people (Exodus 9, Joshua 10), and plans to do it again (Revelation 16). 
It’s kind of hard to think about, isn’t it?
But He loves me...and I love Him, even
when I don't fully understand.
The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the Heavens
and on the Earth, in the seas and all their depths.
(Psalm 135:6)

And I will serve Him.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
(Joshua 24:15

Praying for protection for all from the coming storm.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How are you sleeping?

After waking up to the news about Las Vegas on Monday, I found myself doing my normal functions, performing my duties so that other people could do theirs. Every time I heard something about Las Vegas, I shut my eyes tightly so that I only teared up a little. Oddly, I noticed an irritability with others that normally isn’t there.

I am thankful to be alive; thankful my family and friends are fine…yet my heart still breaks for a place I’ve never desired to visit, and for people I don’t know.

With the hurting people not far from my mind, life went on. I ate, I talked with others, I did what I was supposed to do. Something was different, though. As the hours went by, when Monday turned into Tuesday, and now Wednesday, people are thinking of Las Vegas less and less. But I am mindful that while today I am exempt from the heartache others are suffering, tomorrow is not promised.

We are bombarded with information every day, and precious little of it is good news. Story after story of destruction and evil, people bickering, hurting each other, killing each other. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Hate. My mother said people are desensitized. I believe she is right. We watch TV and scroll through social media, blasted with the evil deeds of the day, and then as a new story develops, we forget about the last one.

Is it any wonder so few of us are sleeping and so many 
of us are on sleeping pills and/or anti-depressants?

I don’t know if this post could get any more bleak, so I will put this out there for us to dwell on instead of bad news:

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant
of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

…The peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:7

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you…
do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

I came across this video on Facebook. If you haven't watched it, it is well worth 8 minutes and 39 seconds of your time:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Confessions of a Tired Christian in the Face of a Tool

People are weary.  Distracted.  Over-exposed, overwhelmed, and over football. 

Let me go ahead and get my snark out of the way.   Here are some "Margafesto" definitions you may find useful for this post:

Tool:  to͞ol 
noun:    a person, especially one used by the enemy, blindly carrying out the carefully laid 
plans of the evil one. 

Toolery:  to͞olərē 
noun:   the behavior of a tool.

Tooligan:  to͞oləɡən
noun:   the more obnoxious tool. 

Funny thing happened on the way to a football game…all of America got distracted!

Good grief.  
How much attention can we give tools in uniforms? 

Tooligans who are so dissatisfied with America that they allow themselves to be used as tools of divisiveness should take a mission trip to Haiti, Equatorial Guinea, or Zimbabwe.   Or simply do some in depth research on how people are treated in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or Sudan.  Knowing what goes on in oppressed countries will make the hardest heart realize that America, even with her problems, is a great place to live. 

Freedom of speech, though.  I get it, and I get tired...I get tired of the one-sidedness of it.  My first inclination is to respond to supporters of knee-takers with pointed comments and a bit of sarcasm.   I refrained from tossing too many comments into the vast abyss we call the internet, but I did give in and slap out a few rebuttals on Facebook.

The thing is, adding my two cents worth doesn’t do any good…in fact, it only adds to the fray.  Just like they won’t convince me that they are doing a good thing somehow making a positive statement, I will not convince them that they are being disrespectful, divisive, and…well, a tool. 

When friction is coming from both sides, we only get chaos and disorder.  Someone must be willing to rise above the toolery.   I say it should be Christians.

The reminder here is that we aren’t fighting flesh and blood.  (Ephesians 6:12)  

While we are focused on the NFL, the enemy is blatantly walking in, gearing up, and taking their places for battle.  But we are ungirded. 

We. Are. Not. Ready. For. Battle
We are sidetracked by the actions of others.

We know who God is, but we are ignoring Him and giving our attention to carefully laid distractions.  God aches to bless us because He loves us…but when we remain focused on devil's deeds and his tools, getting involved with the bickering, we miss out on the great plans our Father has for us. 

Here’s how we gird ourselves:  PRAYER...God’s children praying, all of us, together, and each of us individually...without ceasing.  There's a lot of disagreement between brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are often known for that more than we are known for our love for one another.  Let's stop worrying about who is wearing what, who is playing or not playing music, who is too loud, who prays too softly, or :::gasp::: who is speaking in tongues.   Christians must unite and learn to love one another despite our differences, and maybe even because of them.  Jesus tells us that people will know we are His disciples by our love for one another.  (John 13:34-35)  Outside of our own church, are we there yet?  A house (country) divided can't stand.  (Matthew 12:25)

Christians in heavily persecuted countries aren't debating theology.  They are praying!  We cannot afford to remain separated by walls of denominations.  It’s time to come together corporately and pay the sacrifice of prayer to the ONLY ONE who can turn this country around!  

Stop worrying about that the NFL is doing.   Look up!   Seek His face!  He can handle a few over-pampered, over-paid, over-bearing, spoiled football players.   Pay attention to the real issue:   satan is moving in and setting up house in our own front yard.   

We have the authority to stop him…in the name that is above all other names, the name to which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, in the name of the One who saves, who delivers, who heals, and He who is coming back again, in the name of Jesus Christ…that’s how we do battle. 

Are you ready to take our country back? 
Let’s do some kneeling of our own!

Pray that eyes will be opened...
so they see,
(and that we see).
That ears will be opened...
so they hear,
(and that we hear).
That hearts will be opened...
so they understand
(and that we understand).

PS:  It's not just the NFL.   There are many well-placed, divisive stumbling blocks being rolled into our paths every day.  Be ever mindful of the hour in which we carefully so that you don't trip.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Problem With Preachers...

For preachers (teachers, apostles, bishops, pastors…whatever the chosen title), James makes it clear that when one steps into this office, they are held to higher standards and will be judged more strictly. I am not sure if James was including the fact that people will judge leaders more harshly as well, or if he is just cautioning people who are thinking of going into ministry of God’s decrees. But people watch, and they can be quite critical. 

It is not just preachers…when we call ourselves “Christian,” we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and rise above what the world has to offer. More plainly, we should strive to act according to that Scripture dictates.

Do you have problems with that? 
The Good Lord knows I do.

I am not very good at turning the other cheek. When someone insults me, my first inclination is to pull out the sword of sarcasm and snark. And even if I don’t say anything directly to my offender, we can be pretty sure I told them off in my head. I’ll have to work on my fleshly humanity…it is a daily battle.

Preachers/teachers live in a body of flesh as well, so like the rest of us mortals, they aren’t going to be perfect. Invariably, however, there will be people who expect them to be, just as they expect perfection out of anyone who says “I am a Christian.” And they will expect the preacher to live up to higher standards… standards they do not live up to themselves.

In a previous post, I mentioned a local (unnamed) pastor and his choices in music. I may have been wrong to write about it. When I found myself even more bothered by one of his subsequent posts, I decided it was time to unfollow him (and pray for him) instead of fighting my feelings and wondering if I am judging him. Pastors do not have an easy job…much is expected of them (often too much) with criticisms that are fast and harsh, but approval and encouragement are often not given.

I said all of the above to get to this point: The world around us is watching. We need to be light to them and not add to the darkness. We can’t lead while we are sitting on the fence wondering what this world is coming to; we must get off the fence and on the path of righteousness! All Christians are called to be leaders, whether or not we hold the official title of teacher.

It is impossible to be light when we become as polluted as our environment. We have to renew our minds daily through scripture and prayer. We cannot renew our minds when we fill up on rated R movies, or television shows and music that promote, glamorize, and glorify sin. If you sit down to pray or read your Bible after the pollution of Hollywood, you’ll find that Hollywood is foremost in your mind, and it will be hard to put those things out of your mind.  Chances are that when you’ve spent hours contaminating yourself, you won’t be spending much time in God’s word. 

We alone must make the decision as to what is more important to us.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

...About the Father's Business...

It's a new day dawning... 
Not everyone wants to hear this, but Jesus really is coming back, and judging from the world in which we now live, His return may be sooner than we realize. The signs the Bible tells us that indicate we are living in the last days are all around us, every day, but we are not following His commandments.  We aren't loving our neighbor as ourselves...we aren't even loving each other so that the world knows who we are (in Him).

Don't you think it's time to put religion aside and make relationship our priority?  Love.  We must learn to love...and Jesus tells us to love even our enemies, and to pray for those who spitefully use us.  Matthew 5:43-48

We can no longer slumber and sleep in a day when we need to be awake and alert to that we are not deceived.

Pray for mercy for the coming days. He is ready and waiting to pour out His spirit on His people in these last hours. In such a busy, clamorous, noisy world, we cannot allow ourselves to be sidetracked from the things He has called us to do.

Pray, brothers and sisters!  Seek His face – listen to His voice and heed His word. (And in order to heed His word, you must read it!)

Are you ready for His return? 
If not, you can talk to Him right now.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Psalm 51:1-11

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