Satan’s Secret Weapon

I secretly loved being scared when I was a kid.  We’d watch the old monster movies – Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Werewolf – they were awesome, and provided just enough fear to give you a thrill.  When I got a little older, the movies got a little scarier.  To get to my best friend Julie’s house, I had to travel down a stretch of road where some large, old trees hovered over the street.  There were very few street lights in this part of town, and it was pretty eerie.  Julie and I were always a bit apprehensive about traversing this stretch to reach the house at the end of our destination – if it was dark.  At some point, we convinced ourselves that we were perfectly safe…as long as we didn’t hear the theme music from Friday the 13th.  You know…the dreaded, “Che che che che che.  Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.”  Seeings how real killers don’t play theme music before they attack, we were never going to hear that music.  It was all perfectly logical to us and kept us safe for years as we went back and forth to each others homes.  Sometimes, just for fun, one of us would start mimicking the music as we rode our bikes under those smothering trees.  We’d laugh and peddle faster.  That little jolt of adrenaline was fun and we had no real fear of anything.

Fear.  A very wise man once said, There is nothing to fear but fear itself.  Now, unless you’re lost…he’s right.  If you are lost, you better be in great fear of the flames of Hell that await you.  More than that, you better do something about your condition…right NOW.  But, for my Christian friend, you have nothing to fear.  As David tells us in Psalm 23Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.  David didn’t say while I’m riding my bike to my friend’s house, while I’m fishing at Grand Lake, while I’m shopping at the mall, while I’m taking this test.  He said, I’m walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is nothing, no place, no circumstance, no event that tops “the valley of the shadow of death”.

Nada.

I’m walking right into this valley where death itself casts a dark shadow, and it’s waiting to consume me.

Who’s not afraid of that?

David most beautifully explained that we don’t have to be.  His valley is preceded by two very powerful words…”Yea, though.”  David meant, even though.  

Even though.

Even though I’m doing the scariest thing anyone can do…I fear no evil.

Why?

Was David some superhero?  Bullet proof?  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?

No!  He was not.  He was just a shepherd boy.  What made David so powerful wasn’t some other-worldly strength or magic or the blood of a Greek god.  David loved God so much he had total and utter faith in Him.  David’s faith in God is what made him so powerful.  He believed with his very bones that God was with him.  That is why he could so boldly announce, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  So, David said, I’m not afraid of anything – giants, jealous kings, enemies, conquering nations – because God is with me.

If God is for us, who is against us?  Romans 8:31

Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?  Hebrews 13:6

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.  Isaiah 41:13

Brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t let fear overwhelm you.  Don’t let fear cripple you.  Look fear right in it’s ugly face and recognize who it is.  Fear is Satan.  Satan wants to keep you from fulfilling God’s plan.  Satan wants to derail you.  He most certainly does not want you to be a witness to your neighbor who plays his music too loud and cusses at his kids.  He wants you to worry about losing your job if you listen to a Christian radio station in your office or mention God to your co-workers.  He wants you to never ask your alcoholic uncle if he knows Jesus.  He is so happy when you worry that your adult child won’t come around or might be mad at you if you invite them to church.  Satan delights in making you believe that you don’t know enough about the bible to lead a bible study.  And, he is absolutely joyous when you feel there is no way you could ever go all the way to such-n-so place and share the Gospel.

The ultimate tactic Satan uses in dimming the light within Christians is…fear.  Fear is his secret weapon.  It’s outer shell is made of doubt, worry, anxiety.  If he can get you to buy into his lies, he has succeeded in getting you to hide your light.  By hiding your light, Satan is keeping you from fulfilling the Great Commission.

At the heart of most of this fear is the idea that you might lose something.  Your job.  Your house.  A friend.  Some money.

So?

Who cares?

If you are that tied down to those kinds of things, let me gently remind you that this world is not your home.  Now, maybe you don’t fully understand what that means.  Let me say it again.  This world is not your home.  THIS WORLD IS NOT YOUR HOME!  When you realize that and fully accept it, you will be free.  FREE.  Free from fear.  You can’t fear what lays no hold over you.  Your inheritance awaits you in heaven.  Your family land is in heaven.  Your father is in heaven.  Your mansion is in heaven.  Your home is in heaven.  Don’t be so attached to the things of this world.  Just laugh and peddle faster.

Children of God should have no fear.  David knew this.  God is with us.  As we go forth boldly into the world and proclaim His great name, He is with us.

Please share with me your favorite verse about overcoming fear.

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The Most Important Thing My Mother Ever Taught Me

Not every lesson my mother tried to teach me went the way she planned.  One such time happened when I was about 15 years old.  Mom called my little sister, Mary (who was 12 at the time), and I into the room and told us to sit down…she wanted to have a talk with us.  I remember vividly, my mind racing back and forth, wondering what in the world she wanted to talk to us about.  Had something happened?  Was someone sick?  What is going on?  It was a bit odd to say the least.  She began to talk about how ladies should behave, and went on to say that she never wanted to hear about either one of us ever using “the finger” in public.  Now, let me paint this scene for you accurately, my mother was a very strait-laced woman.  We did not have talks about sex or menstrual cycles or anything that might cause discomfort on her part.  For her to want to discuss “the finger” with us was ludicrous.  Immediately, I thought, “Oh, some girl has flipped her off while she was driving.”  My mind was in shock AND…I was 15.  A 15 year old smart-ass, full of sarcasm, and way too quick on the draw.  Every mother’s dream.  I was not alone in my abilities.  Oh no!  My siblings had also been graced with such powers, and my little sister was no exception.

While Mary and I were both confused and surprised by this impromptu conversation, we sat quietly and listened to mom as she heralded the virtues of a “lady” she desired – demanded – to see us exhibit.  As she ended her lecture on “the finger,” she nonchalantly added, “And how do they know that’s what that means anyway…it could mean HELLO!”  My sister and I could hold ourselves no longer, we turned and looked at each other at the same time, and I blurted out, “Hello Mother!” while I gleefully flipped her the bird.  Mary had struck the same pose and repeated after me.  We both jumped up from our seats and ran through the house, middle-fingers held high, yelling…”HELLO!”  Trust me…this is not the way my mother had intended this conversation to go.  “No! No! No!” she protested, but there was no going back from this.  “You said,” I most happily pointed out…”it just means HELLO!”

We tortured our mother with this for quite some time in the years that followed.  We flipped off our brothers (who had not been privy to this conversation originally), and if we were in the car with her, sometimes we flipped off other cars.  She really wanted to kill us, I’m sure, but we would always say, “It just means HELLO, mother.”  As we got older, we stopped tormenting her with it as much.  Yet, we never forgot, and every now and again, one of us would bring it up.  She always seemed to smile about it and was able to see the humor in it (after the fact, of course).

My mother taught me many things, as all mothers do.  Some lessons were learned at the end of a belt, and some came much more easily.  Some things I learned through direct instruction from her, but a wealth more came by less direct methods.  She modeled perfect morals – not a word could be spoken against her character by anyone.  She was a bit judgmental and could hold her own with the most hateful…but…I’ll not hold that against her.  I learned from her by just watching her and being around her.  I picked up on her love and compassion for others, her desire to be with family and the importance she placed on it, the happiness movies brought to her, and so many other things.  Most importantly, I knew how much Christ meant to her.  The power of her faith is the most important thing my mother ever taught me.  It made me want to have Jesus in my life – the way she did.  I wanted to have faith like that, and if it ever be possible, more.

Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.  Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her:   “Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!”  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.  Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Thank you dear Lord for giving me a mother who loved You, served You, worshiped You, and feared You.  I am happy to know she has received the rewards of her labor.  I will always praise her as my mother and as a follower of You.  Bless me with being able to show how much You mean to me to my own children.  Help me, that my children may ever see You in me.  Amen.

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This Little Light of Mine

One of my favorite times in church as a child, is when we would sing songs in our Sunday school.  Often, we would perform one as a special for the congregation before the preaching service began.  These children’s church songs usually had hand gestures or other body movements to go along with the words, signifying the ideas in the verses.  I particularly loved, This Little Light of Mine.  The version we sang went like this:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

When we sang the second verse, Hide it under a bushel, we held the index finger of one hand straight up (our light) and we’d cup our other hand over our light.  Then, as soon as we got to, NO, we quickly removed our cupped hand to expose our light.   In the third verse, we never used the word blow – yes, you’re right – we would blow fiercely on our finger.   It was all very serious.  Our movements were deliberate and well timed.  We were very professional.

Hide It Under A Bushel

It pains me to tell you that I was hitting the backside of 40 before I truly understood the depth of the words I sang with joy thousands of times in my childhood.

To my great dismay, I have spent most of my Christian life with my hand cupped over my light.

Hidden under a bushel.

Where few could see even the faintest glow.

And this pleased that great dragon, Satan.  I have brought him much happiness with my ill-spent life, for it is his only purpose to remove those he cannot have in eternity – Christians – as far away from God as he can possibly get them.  My archaic beliefs about Christianity made it very easy for Satan to do his job.  I was very private about my Christianity.  I shared it with very few.  I kept it deep down inside where I thought it was safe from a wicked world full of lost souls.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a horrible person with a reprobate mind, but I wasn’t the person God meant for me to be.

The love of Jesus that was shed abroad in my heart was crying to get out.  My light desperately wanted to shine.

Just How Far Can You See?

You know, the human eye is a powerful, powerful organ.  It can detect the flame from just one candle at 30 miles away.  30 miles!  That seems unbelievable, but it’s true.  Google it!  30 miles.  One Christian, just one, all alone, fearlessly letting their light shine can effect tens of thousands of people within that 30 mile radius.  Think of it!

Now ponder this…how far your eye can see depends on how many particles of light the object you are looking at emits.  (Those particles of light are called photons for all our smarty-pants out there!)  The farthest object from earth that is visible to the naked eye is the Andromeda Galaxy.  It’s only 2.6 million light years away!  Let me put that in miles for all my American friends…that equals 15 quadrillion 34 trillion miles.  In case that doesn’t make any sense to you, I’ll write it out: 15,340,000,000,000,000.  And yes…you can see it with your own two eyeballs, no telescope needed.  To put that in perspective for you – the moon is only 238,900 miles from earth.

So, if that one lone Christian can be seen from 30 miles away, think how far away a group of Christians can be seen.  What about a whole herd of Christians?

The Light of the World

The Bible uses the word “LIGHT”, 272 times (KJV).  Compare that to the word “BELIEVE”, 143 times (KJV), and “HELL”, 54 times (KJV).  Jesus Himself said He was the light of the world in John 8:12:

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Look how He tells us to live our lives in Matthew 5:14-16:

You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
You see my friends, without the light…there is only darkness.  Darkness is only a condition void of light.  We cannot see darkness.  We know that it is dark, because we do not perceive any light.  We only see light.

We only SEE light.

Let me say that one more time for the people in the back…

We.  Only.  SEE.  LIGHT!

Still, as a people, darkness envelopes us.  It oppresses us.  It smothers us.  We find ourselves lost in it, afraid, apprehensive about what secrets it holds.  Yet, with the tiniest flicker from the smallest flame, the darkness recoils.  It flees to the corner of the room, attempting to hold its ground.  Having no choice, with nowhere else to hide, it must surrender to the power of the light.  Hope enters through light.

No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand.  We are to let our light shine for the whole world to see, because so much of the world believes they only see darkness!  Christians must show them the truth…we only see light.  This reality is what helped me understand that I couldn’t keep my light hidden any more.  I want the whole world to see the light within me is Jesus Christ.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, show the world your light!  Do NOT let Satan blow it out.

Never doubt the power of the light that is within you.  Light wants to shine.  It wants to radiate across the terrain and invade every nook and cranny.  It wants to fill the world with joy.  It wants to bring hope.

Light knows the way to eternal life…it’s through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Show this to the world!  Let us unite, lights shining bright, and may our illumination radiate to the Andromeda Galaxy and beyond.

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He Will Come to Us Like the Rain

I was raised near the South Canadian River in a small town in Oklahoma.  My family spent a lot of time on that river, noodling and swimming and searching for morels.  I have always understood the power of its raging waters after the spring floods.  A fact that was made all too clear to me when my brother, Robin, took me with him one day to hunt for arrowheads.  There had just been a heavy rain, and he knew this was a great time to find them.  Farmers had just plowed their fields for the spring planting, and the rain would help expose any treasure we sought.

We walked to the river from our house.  It was just a couple of miles.  Robin was too young to drive at the time, which meant that I was only about 10 years old at the most.  You should be aware that my brother was pretty much fearless, and I greatly admired and looked up to him.  I would never want to expose any weakness I had to him.  The field he wanted to hunt in lay just off the banks of the river.  To get to it, we had to cross a little branch that ran into the river.  Little, most of the time, but not after a deluge of rain.  As we came upon it, I was shocked at how big it was, and the water was raging to reach its mouth and converge into the South Canadian.  It was very scary looking.  There seemed to be no way to cross.  It looked as though we would have to backtrack several miles or end our adventure for the day.

On the river, there were the remnants of a large cable system.  I believe it was in some way connected to the oil fields that were there.  I’m not 100% sure what it had been used for, but they were high above the river and there were even some old cars still attached.  Along the system were tributary cables for stabilization that were lower.  One of these cables ran across that branch.  Robin assessed the situation.  He realized there was no way to safely cross the swollen branch…by land.  He announced, “We’ll have to shimmy across.  You go first.  I’ll follow right behind you.”  Before I could protest or debate, he lifted me up to reach the cable.  I was quite scared; we could see the mouth of the branch and the rapidly flowing waters of the South Canadian.  The river was in no condition for noodling or swimming.  I knew if I fell in it wouldn’t end well.  “You can do it.  Don’t worry.  Don’t look down – just slide across.  I’m right behind you,” he said as I wrapped my legs up and began to move along the thick cable.  I never said a word.  I just kept going.  If he believed I could do it – I could do it.  I totally trusted him.  When we touched ground on the other side, I was so relieved!  But I soon realized, we would have to do this again on the way back home.  It was hard to enjoy the hunt – even though I found my first arrowhead – the dread of crossing that cable again had me by the throat.

The return trip was worse.  The first time, the water was scary but I hadn’t known what we were going to do.  This time I had plenty of time to dwell on it.  All aspects of it.  What if my arm suddenly broke?  How cold was the water?  Could I swim good enough?  How long could I hold my breath?  Would I crash into some rocks?  Could I keep my head above water?  What does it feel like to drown?  Yet I said nothing.  Once again we crossed – me first with Robin right behind.  This time when we reached ground on the other side, my relief was most evident.  I bent over and let out a huge sigh.  I just hung there a minute as Robin reached the ground.  Then I popped up and asked, “What would you of done if I fell?”  Without hesitation he answered, “I’d of jumped in after you.”  A wave of pride and love swept over me.  I felt in that moment he loved me so much, as I loved him.  I inquired, “You would…really?”  “Yeah,” he said, “mom and dad would kill me anyway!”  Then he grabbed me by the arm and we started the journey home.

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My relationship with Jesus is a lot like this.  When I am afraid, or think I can’t do something, He is right there with me.  Believing in me.  Encouraging me.  Supporting me.  You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you, John 15:16.  I totally trust Him.  He chose me.  When I find myself struggling with something I believe He is leading me to do, I just remember how much I trust Him.  I may not understand the particular circumstances at the time, but I trust Him.  So…I don’t need to understand the circumstances.  I just need to understand Him, and He did die for me.  If you can’t trust someone who died for you, literally…who can you trust?  I can’t doubt that He loves me.  He does.  He proved that love on the cross.  No matter what life throws my way, I don’t doubt the love of Jesus.  Ever.

One of my favorite verses recently is Hosea 6:3

 Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.

“He will come to us like the rain,” I love the symbolism of that.  “Like the spring showers that water the land,” just think of it.  The rain falls down upon you.  Covers you from head to toe until you are soaking with it.  Drenched.  And it does this to bring forth life.  Sustenance.  For you.  For me.  I crave that feeling.  More than anything.  God’s love to envelope me.  Let me drown in it, Lord!  That is the Holy Spirit within us.

To access that Spirit, you must have a relationship with God.  Relationships are built on trust.  Believe, my fellow Christian, God trusts you already.  You, nor the whole world would even still be here if He did not.  He trusted us enough to send His Son here to die for us.  All you need to do is show that trust in return.  Believe He loves you at all times, but especially when things are bad.  Talk to Him.  Worship Him and learn about Him.  When you build a relationship with Him, you will be able to feel Him all around you.  He’s everywhere.  He’s in the rain, even when it becomes a flood.  And He’s on that cable you are crossing over life’s raging waters.  He’s right behind you, believing in you, and encouraging you to make it to the other side.

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How Much Does it Cost to Save the Whole World?

Roman Cruelty

The word “passion,” as most people know it today, comes from a French word associated with a state or outburst of intense feelings.  However, the word is also associated with the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth.  That “passion” stems from Latin and means suffering or enduring.  It is most definitely what Christ did.  He suffered more than we care to imagine.  The passion of Christ begins with His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He began to really feel the heavy burden of what He must do, through His death on the cross.  Jesus suffered so many things in those last hours: the betrayal of Judas, abandonment and denial by His disciples, arrest, trials, mockery, shame, and torture.  These things He endured voluntarily.

The Deliberate Life of Jesus Christ

I came across a little chart recently, that had a break-down of about 9 well-known religious leaders in the world today.  I won’t name any names here.  It doesn’t really matter the who…it’s the what that I’m more concerned with.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  The chart showed the amount of money each of these leaders and their ministries earned in a year.  Let’s just say it was quite a bit more than the teacher’s salary I earn in Missouri.  I can’t adequately assess these leaders solely based on how much they earn because I have no information as to how much of that money they give to God – and there is the what.

Life Lessons from The Wizard of Oz

I saw The Wizard of Oz for the first time when I was about 3 years old.  The movie had a powerful impact on me.  I was mesmerized by it.  I loved the singing, adventure, and friendships.  So many scenes captivated me.  I remember being very upset when Dorothy was trapped in the witch’s castle and the hour glass was almost empty.  I was crying from fear she was going to die.  I also cried, a time after this, when I watched The Cowboys and John Wayne was killed.  I thought he was really dead.  It was a relief to learn we don’t really kill people in movies; they’re just acting.  So many things about The Wizard of Oz impacted my life, including the overarching theme:  there’s no place like home.

A Divine Choice

One of my favorite stories to share with my history students in class has always been that of the Prussian ruler, Frederick the Great.  Frederick ruled in the 1700s.  He didn’t have a good relationship with his father.  I like to tell this story because a lot of teenagers can relate to difficult times in their relationships with their own fathers.  It also helps me connect with them the fact that they cannot blame their behavior on their past.  Regardless of the circumstances in which they were raised, or of any event they may have experienced, the decision is theirs, and theirs alone, how they behave.  They are 100% responsible for their actions.  End. Of. Story.

My Dream Home

For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:1

I’ve seen a lot of houses in my life.  There are even shows on TV celebrating everything from the most over-the-top luxurious to the latest craze…tiny houses.  My own experience ranged from the stately 3-story home of my grandparents (dad’s side) to the little more than a shack that my Mamaw & Papaw (mom’s side) lived in.  My grandparents house is something I still dream about.  It was so big!  There were so many things to do and see.  Visiting there was like a wonderland adventure.  

41 Hours to the Cross

More than 15 years ago now, I spent many days in a hospital room taking care of my mother when her time on earth was coming to an end.  I slept in the bed beside her, fed her, bathed her, washed her hair, helped her brush her teeth, massaged her neck, talked to her, watched over her, and tried to comfort her during her pain and confusion.  The emotions we all experienced during this time ran the gamut.  My mother had not gone into this hospital to die.  It was just another step in the process of getting her better, or so we thought.  None of us, me or my three siblings, misunderstood the severity of the cancer that ravaged her body.  Yet we were slow to accept the truth about how little time she had left.  The reality of that fact would weigh heavier on me than anything I had ever faced before.  So heavy, I all but crumbled beneath it.

The Labyrinth of Life

This past summer, my husband and I went on a little vacation, and by that I mean I went with him to work for a few days.  He travels a lot with his job.  We spent a couple of those days in Kansas City and were able to attend a Royals baseball game.  We hadn’t been anywhere in quite a while, and even though it was a “working holiday”, I was pretty excited about getting to spend time with my husband and laying out at the hotel pool while he worked.  The day we departed, he asked if there was anything particular I wanted to do while we were in Kansas City.  I had been wanting to go to the IKEA that had opened there for a while so I told him about that.  He didn’t really know what IKEA was and thought this was a questionable request.  No more was said about IKEA for the next two days, and I figured by his dismissive response earlier that we would not be making a visit.

When It’s Just Jesus & You

Several years ago, I had a profound experience with a young lady who was a student of mine at the time.  I have known this girl since she was in kindergarten.  She is the same age as my youngest daughter, Autumn, and they have always been friends.  Her mother is also a dear friend of mine.  Through the years, I’ve watched her grow and face all the challenges that many young people face, including the loss of her father while still in elementary school.  Almost anyone looking at her from the outside would never know things in her life have ever been anything but rose petals and sunshine.  She was always cute and bubbly, and had a million dollar smile.  That just speaks to the power of her Faith, and is part of her testimony for the Lord.

The Best Friend I Ever Had

Forrest & Jenny, Woody & Buzz, Sherlock & Watson, and Thelma & Louise.  These are some of the most famous best friends of all time.  But how does one acquire a best friend?  Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life.  They are born as your sister or cousin, or made from complete strangers.  My sister, Mary, and I are very close, and true friends.  Aside from my sister, I have a dear friend who is also my sister-in-Christ and we go to the same church.  But growing up, my best friend was a little girl with blonde hair.  She was sweet and kind, and she had a little sister about the same age as mine.  I remember the first time I saw her.  It was the first day of kindergarten.  I was already in the classroom.  I looked up, and she was coming through the doorway with her mother.  Her hair was up in doggy ears, and I knew immediately that we would be best friends.

Date With An Angel

In 1987, a little movie called, Date With An Angel, came out.  It was a silly romantic comedy starring Michael E. Knight (of All My Children fame), Phoebe Cates (of Fast Times at Ridgemont High fame), and the not-quite-as-famous, Emmanuelle Beart as the angel.  It was no huge hit.  It only gets 5.8 stars out of 10 on IMDB.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It’s funny and sweet, and oddly enough, one of my favorite movies.  I can quote many lines from this movie even though I haven’t seen it for years.  (After writing this, I am going to find it and watch it again though!)  For all the movies silly little antics and scenarios, there is a scene at the end of the movie that I just love.  The angel comes to escort Michael E. Knight’s character to heaven when he dies.  It’s actually a beautifully depicted scene.  I will never forget the first time I saw it.  I got tears in my eyes.  It was quite a surprise to have such a poignant moment in this funny little movie, and it was pretty close to how I had always imagined that moment to be like.

If I Only Had A Brain

Mrs. Jones, my kindergarten teacher, had just explained to us what “Show & Tell Day” was.  This was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing, and I was very excited about it.  All the students were going to get to bring things from home, show them off, and tell about the item.  Such a great way to get to know my classmates a little better, and a great way to let them know more about myself.  We were all, pretty much, new to each other.  I quickly began to look around the room and wonder, “What will Julie bring?  Ooh, what will Tammy bring?  Shane, what will Shane bring?”  It was very exciting, and then I focused back on myself.  What would I bring?  How would I decide what was the best item to bring?  This provided endless possibilities for me.  I really wanted to “wow” the crowd.  So, I decided on the best, most amazing, most interesting thing I had in my house…the brain.

Biblical Lessons From Three Dog Night

I was just three years old the day my Sunday school class was combined with the older kids’ class.  There weren’t enough little kids at church that day to have a separate class.  I was a bit apprehensive about going in with the bigger kids.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  In the little kids class we would color, maybe get to cut something out of construction paper, learn a bible story, and sing.  This big kids class had a totally different teacher.  Her name was Betty Pollard.  I was unsure of her knowledge of us little kids and our specific needs.  I worried that we wouldn’t fit in, or that it might just be a waste of time for me.  Betty got everybody arranged in their seats and quieted down for the day’s lesson.

Sewing Stitches and Sowing Seeds of God

I had my sigmoid colon removed after suffering with chronic diverticulitis in August of 2014.  The nine months prior had been filled with numerous trips to the emergency room, CT scans, antibiotics, painkillers, and a five-day hospital stay.  While my time in the hospital was about as lovely as it could be, it was my second hospital stay since I had been diagnosed with diverticulitis three years earlier.  I was tired of being sick and tired.   The sigmoidectomy had been done through a laparoscopic procedure and I was recovering quite nicely at home.  About eight days after the surgery, I began to notice some discomfort in my upper abdomen.  The pain became unbearable just after midnight on August 31st.  I had developed a blood clot in my portal vein.  

Christ Revealed

Christ was sent from God to Earth

A plan, a prophesy, a promise from birth

He bridged a gap from old to new

He brought a covenant from God that’s true

A promise to all who would believe

The Son of God should be received

Eternal life, a life to serve

Straight and narrow is what God deserves

The blind to see, a leper healed

Forgiveness, Love, is Christ revealed

A sacrifice, no other way

Nailed to the cross, my sin is paid

Darryl Hanks

Praying for Godly Wisdom

Dear Lord,

I pray to have Your wisdom to guide my life in all things.  I seek to be ever closer to You, and to have Your council in all that I do.  Be with me, and let me feel Your Holy Spirit as You draw me closer to You.

In Jesus Holy Name I ask these things,

Amen

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord help me to stay focused on who the real enemy is.  Help me to never lose sight of this, and always remember that You have all the power to destroy him.  He is weak and feeble, and You are the King of kings!

Amen