Tell Me a True Story

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ten Pounds Over Night

The Doctor was speaking, “Your daughter will be dead very soon if we don’t get her to a hospital immediately.”

For several months our daughter had not been able to keep much food down. Weight loss and pain in her joints finally sent us to the doctor. He immediately made arrangements for her admittance to the hospital. Without delay, the hospital put her on an IV and assigned a specialist to determine a diagnosis!

Our Pastor was called and a visiting evangelist was asked to go and pray for my daughter. He did not pray - - but rather he walked triumphantly into her room of gloom, as he made several scripture declarations. The minister then wrote each scripture reference on his business card and gave it to her.

Because she was so emaciated, the hospital had weighed our daughter several times a day to document her weight. They were monitoring her very carefully. The following morning as they weighed her, she had, amazingly, gained ten pounds!

Right away the nurse called for a different scale. “This one must be broken,” they surmised. The new scale arrived and unwaveringly revealed that this new weight was correct. Indeed, our daughter had dramatically gained ten pounds overnight! Our daughter did not appear healed, but to us, this remarkable weight gain was a signal that God was at work in her life, and that she would not die!

Soon the specialist made a diagnosis and a treatment was prescribed. She recovered strength, and has been able to live a semi-normal life. Later, she married and was even able to present us with a beautiful granddaughter.

Jesus was not against doctors, because He selected one to be a disciple along with the other eleven. We are thankful for doctors who have wisdom to offer help and assistance to those who suffer. Jesus healed many during His ministry and we know He is the same today and that He is still in the healing business.

At times it is tough to understand why some who are sick, are completely healed whereas others must endure treatment. One of these days, all our questions will be answered, and God will wipe away all our tears. His promise is that; He will never leave us or forsake us!

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Good Book Can Help

Besides the Good Book, (The Bible,) I have enjoyed magazines and books on parenting helps. When my children were just babies, I subscribed to Parent’s Magazine. I gleaned many tips and ideas that were of tremendous help to me in those early years.

As time passed, I found a special book - - probably at a Thrift Store or at a Garage sale; but I discovered it to be a wonderful book on raising children.

Here was an outstanding book that incorporated answers to all sorts of behavior problems. Included were fact-filled chapters covering various ages through the teenage years, along with suggestions on how to cope with different and difficult problems.

During that time, we had five teenagers in our household! Yes, I said five! Disturbing emotional problems plagued one of our daughters!. Some would say she needed therapy. I was prompted to give special attention to her each evening. It was ten minutes with no preaching, but rather just talking and listening. What wonderful therapy there is for others if a person can just be a good listener!

Before entering her room, I reviewed a current chapter in the book, and prayed asking the Lord how this would apply to her. Certain lines from the book seemed to stand out, and were to become the answer for that evening.

Just a sentence or two, and the Lord’s direction on what else to say next, the answer was provided for her need each evening.

Today, with children, and even with friends, using a few moments of quality time, can work wonders! Share an encouraging thought that will bring them confidence and will show your support!

At times, it might be a line from something you have picked up from a book; a magazine or possibly the internet; that will carry enough weight to bless your child or your friend.

Of course do not forget to utilize the Bible!

Ask the Lord, “What do I say next?” He may direct you to a Scripture verse that can complement, and then completely cement the thoughts for you to share.

Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amazon Adventure

My passport was in order and I was enroute to meet my friend in Texas, where I would change planes. She and her grown son were waiting for me. We checked into our plane headed for Lima Peru, where we would, once again, change planes so that we could fly inland to Iquitos.

Located along the Amazon River, the city of Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rain-forest. It cannot be reached by outside roads; only by airplane or boat. We were excited and thrilled at the invitation to participate in a Christian Women’s Conference in this huge city!

Our Sponsor was long time Evangelist, Kitty Hamilton, whose colorful ministry has covered Peru, Germany, the Congo, Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of the world. Being fluent in five languages was a tremendous benefit for Kitty; my friend spoke Spanish. I and one other speaker were the only ones who needed an interpreter!

Honestly, my family was not at all happy about this trip! Their concern was the distance and the possibility that my life could be in jeopardy. My son was extremely upset at the thought of danger, while my youngest daughter thought I was just plain crazy! Then there was my husband. He was also not in agreement with my travels.

Of course, I had prayed and I simply told everyone that this was something that I needed to do! I expected the Lord to protect me and be there with me all the way. Hesitantly and reluctantly, my husband agreed to pray for our safety and to assist me to the airport. Later, during a routine doctor’s visit, upon checking my husband’s blood pressure, his Doctor advised, “Next time, you go with her!”

Our gracious hosts made certain that we were protected and accompanied at all times to the church. One pleasant afternoon, they arranged for us to take a boat trip. Not just any boat trip! We were headed up the Amazon River to visit a Native village. The Indians demonstrated some native dances and gifted us each with a hand made necklaces. In return, at our host’s suggestion, we offered the chief a small gift of money.

Kitty was the fiery main speaker! Not to be left out, during the week, we were each given opportunity, in several sessions, to share what the Lord had placed on our hearts.

One afternoon workshop stood out! As I spoke about how to be released from hurts of the past, it was apparent that the timing was right! My interpreter, a Missionary who lived there in the city, was well acquainted with the “spiritual” problems of the people. Many needed to be released from the bondage of early childhood traumas of abuse, and of occult practices. Throughout the question and answer session my interpreter was of utmost help, assisting with many of the answers needed.

The opportunity to preach at one of the local churches was offered to me. I spoke on the “Names of Jesus,” and how they applied to His ministry and to us today. The pastor followed up with an alter call and several people came forward to receive the Lord. The Holy Spirit was busy!

Traveling home, there was an over night stop in Lima. One of the other speakers and I were traveling back to California together so we shared a hotel and expenses. Warm water for my shower seemed like such a luxury!!

What a tremendous experience this trip was!

Once at home, I penned a story about the trip and the ministry. Along with an album of photos taken on our visit, I took it to my place of work to share. Ministry did not stop in Iquitos! Lives were also touched here in California!

Ultimately, all the results are left up to the Lord. One plus that continues until this day, was the contact made with the Missionary family. We remain in touch through mail and the internet.

I’ll never forget my trip! God is still at work in Peru! Although I am back home, my husband and I still have a part in continuing that work right from where we are!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Haircuts and Healing

Saving money is a priority these days, especially for those on a limited income! Mother always taught my siblings and me to be frugal, even when we felt we still had money to spend! Remembering mother’s wisdom, my brother has always frequented a local Barber College where prices are more reasonable for his haircuts.

On one particular hair-cutting day, the barber happened to be an East Indian lady. Out of the blue, she asked if he knew anyone who hears from God. My brother answered her, “Yes, I do know several people who hear from God!” My brother continued, “Why do you ask?”

She told him a weird, creepy story about spirits or some-thing coming into her bedroom at night and jerking all the covers off her bed. My brother was not surprised, because he has heard of such happenings disturbing people’s sleep.

With a long-standing Evangelistic background, my brother has ministered in the USA, Mexico and South America. He and his wife have a special gift to pray for people who need healing. They have seen and experienced quite a bit. Yes, he often hears from God.

My brother asked the lady barber if she had any images or religious icons in her house, and she told him no. Then he asked if she had any paintings or photos of religious idols or statues. She replied that she had a picture of Buddha in her bedroom. No preaching was done. This was not the time or place, but he did instruct her to dispose of her picture of Buddha and get it out of the house.

Several weeks passed and it was time for another haircut. On this occasion, the same Indian lady barber came to cut his hair. She seemed happy, and appeared glad to see him.

He asked her if she had any more of those bed-cover episodes and she replied, “No, not since I got rid of that picture of Buddha!” By now The Holy Spirit began speaking to my brother. He told the lady, “You have a problem with your arm and shoulder, do you not?”

She acted surprised at his question, but she replied, “That is amazing, how did you know that?”

Now, because this was a public place and my brother was trying to be tactful, he replied, “Well I just thought that you might have a problem.” He paused and then continued, “And I am going to pray that God will heal your arm.” Without touching the Lady, he softly, but in a voice of authority said,” Be healed in Jesus Name.”

The lady jumped as if in shock and yelled out,” I’m healed, I’m healed!”

This sudden outburst absolutely startled my brother, along with all the other customers in the barber shop!

Since things had already gone this far, my brother plunged on ahead. He boldly told her that she needed to ask Jesus into her heart. He explained that if she would follow Christ, He would give her continued peace. He recommended that she attend a certain church he knew of close by and for her to learn more about Jesus.

Healing, happiness and a haircut, all in one visit! This little barber was so excited and thankful that she promised she would do what he said! Not only did my brother save money, but he also had the joy of participating in God’s economy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thrills and Spills of a Trip to Sweden

Sweden was the setting for a great Chiropractic seminar, so our son seized the opportunity and signed up. For companionship, as well as a little skiing, our daughter decided to accompany him.

The snow was lovely and just right for the slopes. Rental equipment was readily available, and our daughter had carefully planned her day, while her brother was at his session. Her excitement abounded! She looked forward to skiing, dinner with her brother, and perhaps some shopping!

“Long distance from Sweden,” the operator said, “Collect call from your son.”

Naturally we accepted the call and anxiously asked, “Is everything alright?”

“Hi Mom,” our son spoke hesitantly, “I just wanted to let you know that I am at the Hospital here. Sis has had an accident and broke her leg while skiing today. It is a spiral break, and she is in surgery because they need to insert a steel rod to hold the bones together.”

I realized I had been inadvertently holding my breath and it suddenly escaped into an unplanned sigh. Abruptly, I announced that I would catch a flight so that I could be with her.

Our son remarked, “That won’t be necessary, Mom, because I have extended my stay and I will remain here and accompany her home when she is released.”

My mind and heart were still racing as I reluctantly agreed to his decision.

Conveniently enough, the hospital was located very near the ski slopes. Wouldn’t you know it? Strategically located, they expected lots of business, and apparently they were getting it regularly!

The airline was gracious to allow flight and date changes to coincide with her release. The trip home was no picnic, but the kind stewardess was generous to arrange special seating so her leg could be extended. The complete recovery was another story and a long drawn-out process.

In life today, there are many who have experienced a plunge on a slippery slope coming to a sudden halt with broken lives. Families and friends suffer the effects of their decent, immediately and, some for years to come. They need a place in which to recover.

Churches have been likened to a spiritual hospital where people can obtain comfort and healing. Many churches today offer recovery programs, AA classes, and serenity support groups. For that I am thankful!

Ultimately, Jesus is the Restorer of the fallen!

I am reminded that He says in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

God Said, “Check Her Pocket!”

Each morning as my children left for school, I gathered them close to me and prayed over each one for their safety. Prayer for alert minds and for a good day at school was also part of the routine.

One particular afternoon my youngest daughter prepared to leave for her kindergarten class. As I prayed over her, the Lord prompted me, “Look in her coat pocket.”

I told my daughter, “God has just told me to look in your pocket!”

She was embarrassed and flustered, as I cautiously and carefully reached into her pocket. Out came an item that she was secretly sneaking to school!

“What is this?” I asked.

She replied, “It is for show and tell.”

The item itself was insignificant. The problem was that she had not asked permission and the item was being hidden from me.

Mother has a direct line to the voice of God!” was the understanding of my young children. In all honestly, that is what I wanted them to believe. I hoped that ‘Mother- knows-all’ might help prevent them from getting into terrible trouble!

Of course, in His mercy throughout the years, God did not reveal every action that my children concealed from me. If He had done so, I probably could not have handled it!

We often suppress the fact that God knows everything that we plan and do. The truth is that nothing is hidden from the Lord. Just because we don’t get ‘caught” every time we have something in ‘our pocket’ doesn’t mean we received a free pass or that God forgot!

We make decisions and judgments based on what we see on outside information, but God considers the heart. He knows our very thoughts . . . and motives.

God can’t be outsmarted! We can’t sneak anything by Him! It is best to be open with God and to ask His permission and His assistance as we make our plans in life. He is readily available and He can be called on at any moment for any occasion.

The Lord is a very present help at all times - - not just in times of trouble.

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear . . .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Angry Pastor and the Girls Club

My daughter’s frantic voice quivered over the phone as she poured out her sad story. She exclaimed, “The Pastor is terribly angry with me and wants to remove me from the Girls Club leadership.” I was thinking as she continued to speak!

Our church sponsored a club for girls, and my daughter was leading a group of pre-teen young ladies. Many of the girls, who were from a near by housing project, also attended our Sunday school.

In previous meetings, it became obvious that there was a need for a careful handling of a certain topic of discussion.

This particular evening the class was also attended by our Pastor’s young daughter who had brought along a friend from school.

Two dozen cartoon-type booklets, tastefully illustrated the growth of a fetus. The age-appropriate, Christian-based booklet showed each stage of fetal development through several months.

The cartoon “baby” was talking about how happy she would be, to soon see her mother. Wait - - something was wrong! The baby began to cry out and plead with her mother to help her. The end of the story; the baby was dead! An abortion had been performed.

That evening, the story was discussed and each girl received a booklet. My daughter also taught on abstinence and suggested that the girls should never get into such a situation to warrant an unwanted pregnancy.

We return back now to my daughter and her phone call to me. I told my daughter not to worry and that everything would be alright, and our conversation ended.

Immediately, my phone rang and it was the Pastor. He told me that he and his wife were coming to our home because they needed to speak to us face to face. I quickly told my husband what was happening and about that time the door bell rang. Pastor’s face was flushed as he entered and he and his wife quickly found a seat in our living room.

We listened respectfully as the story spewed! I could tell that he was very angry! It seems that he was mostly concerned because his daughter had brought a visitor whose father happened to be a doctor!

Finally, it was our turn. I asked Pastor if my daughter had told him where she had obtained the cartoon booklets. He replied, “No I didn’t ask her!” “Well Pastor,” I began, “You need to know that I was the person who gave them to her and the lesson she gave tonight was a timely one.”

At this point my Pastor was confounded, and could only sputter out a reply; stumbling over his words as he spoke! I believe he was saying something about how this would probably all work out. I assured him it would.

The unfortunate outcome of the tirade was that my daughter withdrew from helping out, and there was no one to step up and take her place.

I have often wondered who was really hurt here. We never saw many of those young girls in our church again. The club had been the draw to other church functions.

After all these years, the cartoon booklet is probably out of print, but there is an interesting Video sponsored by; http://www.prolife.com/ that you can view. See it at; http://www.massmediamail.com/durarealidad/

Or check out this book for yourself or someone you know:
Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers (Today's Critical Concerns) (Hardcover) by Randy Alcorn

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you - - -

Monday, April 19, 2010

Senior Moments

For most shopping trips, my husband usually does the driving. His shoulder had been bothering him, so I was elected to take the wheel on one recent outing

Just a simple trip to Wal-Mart and then a stop at the grocery store for a few items and that was about it. My husband was thinking about the important things: food and more food! He suggested that we get a burger because they were still on special at the local fast-food.

Now you must understand that when I am the driver, although my husband occupies the front seat, he is the “Back seat driver.”

“Pull in here, there is a good parking place right in front, watch it!” along with other remarks, were some of my driving instructions.

I must admit to feeling a little frazzled, but we hopped out of the car and entered the restaurant. I was looking forward to the break!

All too soon our pleasant opportunity to relax and enjoy our food disappeared and it was time to leave. I reached in my purse for my car keys. They were not in the usual place! Oh-oh! Searching diligently through my entire purse, I came up empty handed.

“Could it be that they are still in the car?” I queried my husband.

A bit frantic, we both exited the restaurant and opened the car door. There they were still in the ignition. My husband settled into his seat and put on his seat belt. Well, that was a relief!

A little embarrassed, I reached for the keys and turned on the ignition. A loud ‘sca-reech!’ resounded!

“Your motor is already running!” my husband remarked to me.

Now, I was really embarrassed, yet, at the same time, thankfully relieved that no one had stolen our still running car.

My hubby was calm and he said, “Okay, let’s go home now!”

That very moment I took time to thank the Lord for sending his angels to guard my poor neglected and un-cared-for car.

Now-a-days it seems “Senior moments” happen more often, especially when I am anxious. My husband’s answer, “Just make sure that, ‘Senior Moments’ do not become a life style.” I’m working on it!

I am reminded that God is always watching out for us and that His mercies are new every morning.

Psalms 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

You may enjoy this book about teaching children to be thankful:
Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places (Hearts at Home Books) by Susie Larson

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mom Made Me Hitch-Hike!

Summer School was to begin in just a few days, and there was one big problem! My summer school was clear across town, too far to walk, and the bus workers were on strike!

With no busses running, and no settlement anywhere in sight, my mother sat me down for a serious discussion.

Mother said, “You are 15 years old and smart enough to make wise choices, so this is what you can do.” She continued to lay out a plan whereby I would arrive at my destination in plenty of time.

My mother instructed me to walk the three blocks to the bus-stop and sit on the bench located at the traffic signals. When a car stopped for the red light and a woman was in the car, I was to approach the vehicle and ask if they were traveling down town. The next step was tricky because that would be my transfer spot. At that point, I was to ask if the person was going up Telegraph.

In almost every case, I received a ride all the way to down-town Broadway. Miraculously, I was taken, daily, right to the door of my school. Again, on the way back home, the reverse plan worked every time! Each day the Lord provided me with just the right circumstances and proper vehicles to escort me to and from school.

Two weeks went by and the strike was finally settled. In a way I was relieved, but riding the bus system was so slow! I had made better time as a hitch-hiker than riding the bus ever afforded!

In the Bible, I am reminded of people who found themselves in difficult circumstances where there appeared to be no way out of the situation. Yet, God provided Manna in the desert, and water to drink when there was none. God caused enemies to fight each other, and at other times, the enemies of God’s people heard and saw the spiritual army of the Lord and ran in terror.

Today we face challenges and dilemmas that may appear as if there is a no way out! The actual fact is that God has not changed. Our part is to expect Him to bring to pass just what we need for each hour of our day.

No, we are not to sit on the top of the mountain and blissfully do nothing. We have a role to play. When God furnishes us with instructions that may seem strange or out of place, our part is to consider acting upon them. It is not a time to make excuses or to question “Why”. He has given each of us His wisdom to make those wise, sensible and correct choices. That is what He expects us to do.

God often reveals our future to us, one step at a time. I’ve noticed that He won’t go much further, until we have obeyed the instructions He has already given us.

Is God asking you to trust Him? Then that is what you need to do! Step out and trust Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.

Psalms 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Physical Therapy Aide

With several hundred hours of volunteer service in the hospital Physical Therapy unit under my belt, I concluded my health course training! I passed! - - - At last, the hospital hired me and I became a full time physical therapy aide!

Treating the patients with gentle exercise, applying heating and massage, or wrapping wounds was only part of my job. My REAL job was “agent-in-disguise” on assignment by direction of my boss, The Lord God.

One particular day, I was assigned to do mild stretching exercises for the patients in one of the wards. As I walked by one of the rooms, I peeked in. A woman lay with her eyes closed. She was emaciated with her face drawn. There were barely any apparent signs of life. The Male nurse in charge, said, “No exercise for this woman, because she is in a coma and may not last the night. “

The Lord spoke to me and let me know that this woman was my assignment.

I asked the nurse what her name was and he told me, “Her name is Mary.” “May I have a few minutes alone with Mary, if it is alright?” I asked the nurse. “Certainly was his reply.”

I pulled the curtain around Mary. I knew that persons in a coma can hear and understand what you are saying. So softly, but with a voice of authority, I spoke, “Mary, I know that you have had a hard life and have done many sinful acts against your body and against God. (Pause) - - - Mary, I have good news for you, and that is that Jesus loves you. (Pause) - - - I know you cannot speak to me, but in your heart you can tell Jesus that you are sorry for all the bad things you have done. (Pause) - - - Now, Mary, tell Jesus that you want Him to come into your heart and take all your sins away. (Pause)- - - Mary, Jesus loves you and wants to take you to be with Him in Heaven. (Pause)- - - Tell Jesus, ‘Yes, I want to be with you.’ “(Pause) - - -

I patiently and pleasurably watched as the frown on Mary’s brow softened and the downward curl of her lips moved to a slight smile. The head nurse entered at that time, and asked me to leave.

Exactly what happened in that room on that day? The answer is that a woman became a “lady” and she was clothed in a white robe as she entered heaven to be with Jesus.

The next day, I re-entered the ward. The room where Mary had been was now empty, Mary was not there. She had passed on during the night to a better place and had gone to be with Jesus.

There may be a Mary or a Bill, who needs a word from you. Opportunities are all around. Watch for them! Leap to catch them as they reveal themselves to you!

Stay tuned in to hear that still small inward voice. Obey when the Holy Spirit speaks to you. God is still speaking today….

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Red-Neck-Wedding

A bit of unexpected rain called for an umbrella as we dashed for the gazebo in our local park! The wedding was for 5:00 pm and I was ready!

My friend from work had arranged the services for her relative’s son and soon to be daughter-in-law and got me involved too! Never having met the bride and groom, I only knew that they had come from a Southern state to California so that his Mother and other relatives and friends could be included in their celebration.

The lovely Bride was dressed in blue jeans, and was wearing her fiancés warm jacket. The groom sported blue jeans, a plaid shirt and a cowboy hat as he laughed and enjoyed some nervous conversation with his buddies. It appeared that perhaps he was also enjoying a little nip or two of something to bolster his confidence!

The groom and I were introduced. By way of explanation for his “condition,” he informed me that he worked very hard at his job, so he also wanted to have fun. I told him,” I like people who love to have fun! “He eyed me, skeptically at first, but determined I was not judging him for being slightly tipsy.

I explained how the service would proceed, and they understood what they were to do. That’s generally the job of the wedding coordinator, right? No I was not the coordinator. I was the minister who would perform the ceremony!

Things progressed without music; this was a simple outdoor event between friends. I asked the bride and groom to hold hands and in one portion of the ceremony, I asked them to repeat the words “I love you” to each other. My wedding ceremony is unique and is full of challenges, promises and vows between each other and to God.

Things were proceeding nicely until it was time for the rings. Big pause…..where were they? Seems they could not be found. Without warning, the groom declared in a booming voice, “Where are the F - - - - - rings? Silence!!

Chuckling to myself, I realized that this could be considered a sort of “Red-Neck-Wedding”. Red-neck or not, expletives uttered during the ceremony were simply out of place. What to do? Honestly, I don’t remember exactly how I handled it, but my comments were accepted with grace and things were okay. We were able to continue without ado, to the end of the service.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the authority invested in me by the State of California, I finally pronounced them man-and-wife! The ceremony over, I provided the bride and groom with a folder containing a printed copy of the entire observance. Included were instructions for them to read it over again on each of their wedding anniversary dates.

The groom insisted on walking me to my car along with my friend from work. He graciously handed me a gratuity, and as he did so he gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me that he loved me! Another friend of the groom who followed along remarked that when he married, he would like me to perform the ceremony. Go figure!

I guess I scored some points that day. Perhaps there will be another ‘red-neck’ wedding in my future! It still makes me smile! I guarantee you one thing that couple will not soon forget the lady preacher who entered their lives for a moment!!

How do we witness and let our light shine? The most direct and simple answer I can give; is to live daily as an example and allow Jesus to shine through you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Rescue Mission

In the old, run-down part of our city’s downtown area, a mission opened. A store front dressed part of the building, and a decision was made to open a thrift store in order to offset the rent on the property.

Our District Women’s Ministries Leader called a meeting of representatives from each church in the area. Volunteers were solicited and commissioned to work on assigned days. I became a volunteer.

I took this commitment seriously. Of all the days to work, one of my volunteer days fell on my Birthday. I went just the same. My sister came all the way downtown to give me a gift, and remarked teasingly, “What a way to celebrate your birthday!” We all laughed.

That same day, the director of the mission planned to load up a lot of the furniture from the upstairs rooms and take it to the dump. His assessment was that it was very old and needed to be replaced with new furniture for the live-in workers. My mind raced! No, I couldn’t let that happen! I told him, “Wait a minute. That is not a good idea. That furniture could be worth a lot of money!”

I immediately asked to view the furniture in question. He took me on a tour. Even through the dirt and grime, I could see several pieces that would go well in my home. I gave him a nice offer and he was ecstatic. What a find! I, too, was delighted with my special Birthday present – almost antique furniture. Ultimately, these pieces were refinished and gorgeous. They were set in places of honor in our home.

With the rest of the furniture, I suggested that we should be wise to advertise. The result was that most of the furniture was sold at a nice profit leaving the director very happy.

Some things we might picture as junk, whereas another person will take that same item and place a tremendous value on it. The eye of the beholder will determine its worth.

Often, we may judge a person who has had a difficult life, as worthless and simply lost. Even as we look at ourselves, we may feel unworthy and unlovable, but that is not the way God sees us.

When God considers any of us, He places remarkable value on each individual. In His analysis of mankind, we were all worthy of death, but He could not allow that to happen - - with out giving us a choice. God loved His creation and determined that man was worth saving. That is the reason Jesus volunteered to go on a “Mission” of redemption. His death on the Cross was extremely costly in order to pay for our sin, and His resurrection was to insure us of Eternal Life.

Neither you nor I are an object to discard and send to the dump! In God’s eye, we are something worthy to redeem, to refinish and make beautiful, and then to be set in a place of honor!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Part-Time Pastor Wanted

Pastor needed; Part-time only, because we can’t afford a full time position.” That is the sad state of affairs at my church!

For many months now, I have been attending a Congregational church with a medium size group of worshippers. Their full time Pastor was laid off, because of a lack of funds.

An interim pastor was hired. He was engaged part-time, and only for a certain duration. After his arrival, things slowly but surely changed – not necessarily for the better.

One example of negative change surrounds the time that had usually been set aside for the congregation to share their “Joys and Concerns.” People looked forward to this! No longer allowed a voice, people must write on slips of paper which are then sent to the front. The Pastor mechanically reads them aloud and includes them in his prayer.

Limited to just once a month, a testimony time is permitted where members may express something for which they are thankful. On that particular Sunday of the month, I have been allowed to share something from my recent blog posting. Otherwise, things are much regulated and congregation participation has been reduced!

Sunday featured a guest minister with a Lutheran background. He had been interviewed for the Part-time position and the congregation would soon decide the next steps. His ministry included a wonderful gospel message with plenty of scripture to back up his preaching. At the fellowship time, he was asked to give the congregation a summary of his years as a pastor prior to his retiring.

One gentleman inquired about what church he attends where he now lives. His interesting response equaled my own observations.

He stated that since he has retired and moved to a new city, he and his wife decided to visit various denominational churches. Their visits included; Episcopal, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Baptist, CMA, Catholic and even a Pentecostal service among others. He went on to say that they were shocked at what they discovered. One common problem was apparent however. It seems that in most churches reverence and respect for God is lacking. Some churches were there to entertain rather than to teach and instruct the congregation to practice sound Biblical principles!

Amazingly enough he said, “Your church has a lot going for it. The building is beautiful, the people are friendly, the music is first class, the service is nicely structured, and the fellowship time is excellent. If you add to that a good Gospel message with Jesus in the forefront and begin to bring in friends, neighbors and family, this church will grow!”

One of the council members approached me and asked my opinion of the ministry today. Unreservedly, I told her that I admired his spirituality and his presentation of the Gospel message. The fact that his voice was easy to listen to was also a plus.

Perhaps, this church needs this man! Time will tell soon enough. His assessment was spot-on. Of course the Lord knows who would fit in best with this congregation.

If I had a vote, he would certainly get my approval !

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mr. Bim

Her bubbling laughter caused us to celebrate along with our 3-year-old toddler! In her exuberance, she danced with delight while twirling her new stuffed animal. Nothing more than a toy monkey, Mr. Bim became a daily favorite companion of our youngest daughter. She skipped; jumped for joy, ran, sang and played continually with this new found friend. No matter how badly she treated him as she dragged him through the house, he continued to sport that sly, savvy smile on his sweet little face. He almost seemed to take pleasure in her happiness.

I am reminded of how the Lord rejoices over us in as He observes our day by day activities. He is not offended if we dance and leap before Him with an artless, spontaneous dance of praise.

This might be news for some, but God is not insulted if we don’t always kneel when we pray. Yes, if we had to wait until we had time to kneel, not much prayin’ would get done. In fact if we were to actually practice “praying with-out ceasing”, we would just go about our daily duties while keeping an attitude of praise on our lips. Who knows, we might even find that there’s newly added pep in our step!

Consider this - - - if leaping is too much for you, how about just doing some steps in place as you worship the Lord? At least it’s a place to start! I hope you will dance before the Lord as a leap of faith! And if not a leap, at least a hop once in a while!

The Scriptures remind us to be happy and glad no matter what our circumstances.

Luke 6:23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over you with singing.

Jeremiah 32:41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

You might enjoy Lee Ann Womack on U-Tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sad News – Glad News

A few days ago, we received some shocking and sad news about a dear friend in the final stages of cancer. Our hearts were broken as we learned of this hit on a woman in her early mid-life years.

Sad news-Glad news! Each day reports bad or good reach our perception. The good news we heartily welcome, but the sad news is not so happily received. The news may be widespread or local, or it may be nearer to home, involving our loved ones, friends, relatives or our close family.

Glad news! A new baby arrives! There’s a wedding, a birthday, someone who landed a terrific job or received a nice pay raise, or even won the lottery!! Yes, those are happy times. Not to discount those occasions however, the best news yet is when someone without Jesus receives Him into their heart and becomes Born-Again, made new!

Sad news abounds in this broken world. Ultimately, the sad news for us all includes the realization that we are as the grass that withers. Our days on earth are numbered. We are reminded that we are not to proclaim, “Tomorrow I will do such and such”, for we do not know what a day will bring forth.

This is why it is so important to be prepared to meet the Lord! What if TODAY is the day He calls us home to his arms?

The extremely sad news is that there is a place of torment for those who pass on out of this life without Jesus as their eternal Savior. To avoid that place of torment is simple enough. God made a way for us to plan ahead.

Here’s the Plan:
Simply believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross for YOU, and that He rose from the dead. Say with your mouth that you receive Him into your life. God will hear that prayer and He will “save” you and abide with you forever. The Bible declares that if we accept Christ, our old life will pass away and we will become a new creation in Him.

Glad News! It is a relief to know that your Redeemer lives and that He lives within your heart. So, no matter what happens to us here on this earth, we are only here for a certain length of time and then we will join our Savior in heaven. All our tears will be wiped away, and the sad news of our life-times will be no more.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Note:
While referencing the word ‘grass’ in the Bible, I discovered too many verses to list them all. As you think about it, these really demonstrate the weakness of our flesh. Here are only a few:

Psalms: My days are like a shadow that declines; and I am withered like grass. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

1Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away:

Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, and your house.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clean Straw

There’s just something about a Blue Tick Hound Dog that my husband loves! I think it must be that baying bawl that they let out when they have a varmint “treed”. It is definitely not for their odor, as the Blue Tick unquestionably, has a distinct, pungent aroma.

We have an area in our home with a specific rug where we allow our hound dogs to share some quality time with us. At the close of the evening they are sent to their boxes which had been neatly lined with straw to help keep them warm.

One morning, my husband reached his toleration level for our pooches’ lovely smell. That was it! Time for baths! Since he was on his way out, he passed that task on to me. Wonderful!

Shower ‘n suds - scrub-a-dub-dub! In rotation, I led each hound into the shower, me in a swim suit trying to hold them still and then suds, scrubbing and rubbing until they glistened! Two hours later - - - they looked good enough for a dog show!

With that chore behind me, I hurried around the house to catch on some other things. My husband was extremely pleased when he arrived home that evening. As for me, I was ready for an early bedtime.

The next morning, our babies greeted us eagerly! Phew! What was that smell? Each dog reeked! There was that unmistakable hound-dog odor again!

Oops! I had forgotten one minor detail! I neglected to change the old straw in their boxes! How could I forget that? The dogs had wallowed in it all night, undoing all my hard work! They stunk!

Isn’t that often the way it is with a new Christian? He is born-again and cleaned up as he kneels at Jesus feet, but because of a lack of knowledge or desire, he doesn’t make the changes necessary to keep smelling like a newborn. Instead, he returns to his “old bed of straw” – those worldly habits that make him stink!

The Bible speaks about those who turn back to their old ways and referrers to them in rather descriptive language.

2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Let us, as mature Christians, make it a practice to begin each day to start out brand new, ourselves. If our “straw” has become affected by the world, we have the knowledge that we can always exchange it for God’s fresh touch. No need to smell anything but sweet in His presence.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bewitched

Running into the house after school, my youngest daughter was both excited and angry all at the same time!

She exclaimed breathlessly, “Mom, you won’t believe what happened today at school! Someone brought in a real witch, for show and tell, and she told us how to leave our body and sit at the top of a telephone pole!”

I could tell that my daughter was very upset, so I deliberated a moment and then asked, “Well, what do you want me to do about it? Would you like for me to go to school and speak to the class?”

With a sigh of relief she replied, “Could you do that Mom? Would you do it?”

Not so sure I wanted to do this, but ready for most anything, I answered, “Yes, I will go with you to school in the morning.”

“Oh, Lord, what have I gotten myself into now,” I prayed. Almost immediately the Holy Spirit brought to mind some examples to use. Energized, I set about gathering some “in your face” gospel booklets I had on hand.

The next day, I requested the school office to notify the homeroom teacher that I was there in rebuttal to the witch that visited yesterday. After being given permission to attend the class, I sat in the back until it was sharing time. The teacher introduced me and asked the students to give me their best attention.

All eyes were on me. I knew had to make this count. I broke the silence. “I’m not against education, and I am not here to preach, but I am here because of the witch who visited here yesterday. It is important to alert you that there are some real dangers in dabbling in the occult,” I announced, while selecting my words carefully.

My illustrations began, “If you were in the infectious ward of a hospital with very ill patients, would you enter without special clothes, a mask, gloves and protection? The answer is obvious if you are concerned about your own health. The infectious disease could get on you, and then in you, becoming very difficult to get rid of.”

The next example painted a picture of someone going deep sea diving. I demonstrated the foolishness of jumping into the water without first donning diving gear, and using the proper equipment.

I explained that, in the same, way each person must protect his spirit. Otherwise it is possible to open-up ones self to receive spiritual forces that can lead to disaster. I knew I could not preach, so I did the next best thing the Lord had prepared me to do: I shared a scripture:

"There shall not be found among you any one ... that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord..." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

As I finished speaking, there wasn’t a sound. Anticipation mounted as I carefully placed 50 gospel booklets on the desk in front of me.

I cheerfully invited, “I cannot pass out these booklets, but as you leave class today you are free to take one or more with you. I wish I had more of the booklet, ‘Bewitched,’ because it tells of dangers of dabbling with witches. However, I do have quite a few similar booklets so please help your self. “

As the High School students filed by my table, most of them shyly took one or two of the books.

One sweet girl smiled at me and said, “Mrs. Moon, I am so glad you came to school today. My mother wanted to, but she was too scared.”

Dear friend if you have ever dabbled in fortune telling, used an Ouija board, read books of incantations, or anything similar, there is hope and freedom available for you. A simple confession will not do. You must reject anything in which you have been involved in. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Immediately, begin to replace all the old webs of Satan with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Allow your spirit to be filled with His peace.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusts in Thee.

You may enjoy these books.

Deliver Us from Evil by Cindy Jacobs

Experiencing the Holy Spirit by Andrew Murray

Monday, April 5, 2010

Betrayal Can Make you Mad

The morning was bright and it was a good day for installing new roofs. The trucks were loaded and only one more detail needed attending. My husband left the yard and ran up the stairs planning to enter the office for a quick note.

Almost in mid-air, he stopped his stride, as he heard the voice of the Lord speak so clearly, “Go back to the yard and fire your cousin Jock.”

WOW, he thought to himself, “What is that all about?”

Without hesitation, he ceased his flight into the office and returned to the yard. In a voice quick and unwavering he requested Jock to step out of the truck.

“Jock, I do not know what this is all about, but the Lord just spoke to me and said to let you go, so take you tools and leave; you are fired.”

No questions were asked by Jock, it was as if he already knew and we were to soon discover.

Within a few days we received a telephone call from a lady telling us that the roof we had recently installed for her was leaking. We had no record of this installation! It appeared that on the week ends, our trusted cousin was using his access to our yard and working on the side for his own profit. He was using our truck, our contracts, our materials, collecting the payments, and all without our knowledge. The Lord was kind to us and put a stop to it!

In life there are many forms of betrayal. Perhaps the worse kind is that of a beloved relative or friend. Wounded souls strive to recover from the effect of damage from unfaithful spouses, cheating fiancées, abusive parents, rape, drug and alcohol abuse and a list too numerous to name. The effects of betrayal ripple through the entire family as they are all injured in the holocaust.

Disloyalty from a person who was admired, idolized and loved is so very difficult to fathom. Where is relief for those aching from such treachery? Where is there a solace for the deeply hurt?

In his final hours prior to the crucifixion, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by one of his closest disciples, Judas. A short time later, his beloved Peter, denied knowing Jesus and to prove his rejection, cursed Jesus. Then at last all the disciples fled in terror, leaving Jesus alone, abandoned and betrayed. About that time, Jesus took on himself all the sins of the world on his body, including your sins and mine. His Heavenly father could not bear to look at Jesus and darkness covered the earth. To have His Heavenly Father turn His back on our Lord, intensified Jesus’ anguish and suffering. It was simply too much.

In our human aching, we may desire to blame God for the failures of our loved ones. We may even end up cursing God because we hurt so horribly. We might even say, “Oh yes, they knew perfectly well what they were doing and I will pay them back by punishing them in my own way.”

What was the reaction of Jesus to all this mental, emotional and physical rejection? Finally His words rang out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Forgiveness may not change the circumstances, but forgiveness frees up the forgiver. It begins a healing process that may have been long needed.
The persons who have done the wrong deeds will do doubt suffer a lengthy and lingering regret. Ultimately, they will experience the consequences of their actions.

If you are hurting and angry today from betrayal, kneel at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to take you in his arms. He understands it all, and He loves you very much!! Then, permit the gentle Jesus to show you His love and forgiveness for your own rebellion and betrayal.

This post is linked to Peter Pollocks One Word Carnival

The word is Mad: http://peterpollock.com/

Please check out my new Blog Party "Tuesdays Tell Me a True Story"
http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/ 


Cleansing Solution

Public Transportation was excellent in our city, so a group of us teenagers decided to take the bus to the swimming pool in a nearby town.

The gorgeous indoor pool was heated so we could swim almost anytime! There were no worries about getting sun burned either. After an enjoyable day, the group of us headed for home - - another bus ride.

The next day, I noticed that my head was itching terribly, causing extreme discomfort. When I complained to my mother, she told me it probably was the chlorine in the water and to shampoo my hair. When shampooing did not relieve the itch, I combed and brushed. Lo-and-behold, there was something strange wiggling around on my towel. My mother immediately called the nurse!

Embarrassed to tears, my mother shared with the nurse that somehow I had contacted lice! The nurse comforted my mother and related that this was not an uncommon occurrence; there was special treatment available at the local drug store. The nurse assured my mother that it could have been picked up on the bus by resting my head on the seat back, or even at the swimming pool.

How or when some things manage to attach themselves to us is anybody’s guess. This miserable occurrence was neither expected nor planned.

Now I could understand a little bit about how an outcast leper might feel, because I felt dirty and unclean. I was just happy to know that my distressing situation was quickly and easily treatable! All I had to do was apply the proper cleansing solution!

In a similar manner, we all have, from time to time, stepped outside of the boundaries that God has set up for us. Somehow we ended up with unwanted guilt and condemnation; the way out is easily obtained with the proper cleansing solution.

The blood of Jesus is the cleansing agent! His Blood is always available to swiftly do away with unwanted vermin that may have attached itself to our souls.

1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Commit your way to Jesus and trust Him to keep you each day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blood Donor

“Sorry, but we can’t use your blood, it is just not acceptable,” were the words I heard on the other end of the telephone line.

The news was on and I had just heard an appeal for blood. Seriously injured, a young motor cycle rider had lost a great deal of blood. The news continued with a telephone number to call to become a volunteer. Hastily I phoned the number and was ready to offer my blood for this young man.

The lady at the call center told me that first she needed to ask me some questions. She inquired if I had ever had a life threatening ailment and I answered,” Yes”.

I told her that when I was 12 years old I suffered a very bad case of jaundice. Her concern was that it might have been a form of hepatitis which would eliminate me from being a donor. She thanked me for calling but told me that they just could not use my blood because it was not suitable.

I felt rebuffed and rejected when I realized that NO one wanted my blood!

A short letter to the boy was quickly composed. I conveyed my earnest desire to help, and that I was so sorry that I could not, because the fact was my blood was not good enough. Then I told him how the blood of Jesus was also not wanted by so many. Briefly, I explained how Jesus was rejected but that we can choose to accept Him. The blood of Jesus will wash away our sins and we can become a believer in Christ.

There are religious organizations today that do not want the Blood of Jesus mentioned in their sermons, their songs, or in their literature. They are repulsed by the suggestion that a blood sacrifice was necessary to pay for our salvation. It is sad, but true, that His blood is still being rejected today by some.

Each time we receive communion, let us always remember that His body was broken for us, and that His blood was shed for our salvation.

The total sum of human blood on earth would not be enough to reconcile us to God. Only His precious blood will do - - - ours isn’t good enough!

Jesus spoke in the book of; Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Suggested Books you might be interested in:

The Power of the Blood (paperback) by H.A. Whyte
The Hidden Power of the Blood of Jesus (Paperback) by Mahesh Chavda
The Power of The Blood of Christ by Andrew Murray

Friday, April 2, 2010

Glad Glorious Day

Easter is a fun time for children as they hunt eggs and receive gifts in their Easter Baskets. Spring time, flowers and fun are all in order this time of the year!

The days prior to the original Easter was NOT a fun day for Jesus.

Jesus suffered and died for us, but Glad Easter Morning, Jesus arose from the dead and He lives for ever more. Not only is he alive, but after 40 days he was escorted by Angels back to heaven leaving us with a promise that he would return some day to receive us unto himself. He did not leave us comfortless. He sent His Holy Spirit to be our helper. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can know that He is IN us and will be with us always! He says, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

So let this Easter be a Fun day! Let it be a Glorious Day! Let it be a day of Hope! It is Resurrection Sunday!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Daddy’s Watch

Happily engrossed in playing with my dolls on the front room floor, I was oblivious to my Dad entering the room and placing his watch on the mantle. Sharply, he called my attention to it.

He declared, “I am leaving the room for a few minutes, and I do not want you to touch this watch, because the glass face is broken.” He continued, punctuating each word, “Do… not… take… your… finger …and… move… the… hands, …because… they… will …fall …off …if… you… shift… them!”

Dad worked for the railroad and his watch was a valued possession. Each month he took it to a special jewelers to be cleaned and checked in order to be certain that the time was absolutely accurate.

The stage had been set!! Here was a typical a five-year-old who, up to that precise moment, could care less about Daddy’s watch. Next was a father giving explicit directions of what NOT to do as he was leaving the room. - - - Enter the devil.

The devil speaks so subtly to our minds, that we believe it to be our own thoughts. This particular day he was very active! He suggested that I just take a tiny peek at the watch.

My curiosity heightened! Carefully pulling a chair up to the mantle I could now touch the watch. Ever so gently, I moved the hands to see if they would fall off. They did!! ”Oh no!” I thought to myself, “Now I am in for it!”

What could I do? Softly re-placing the chair, I quietly tippy-toed back to the rug and set about playing with my dolls. I tried not to think about what might happen when my dad took notice.

My parents believed in corporal punishment for lying and for stealing, but most especially for direct disobedience. No matter how much I declared my innocence, my dad did not believe me, so the switch was applied.

This instance of my life reminds me of Adam and Eve in the garden. They were given only one ‘Thou Shalt Not,” and they could not keep it! Just one tiny bite was all it took. Their punishment was to leave the beautiful garden, doomed to toil and labor with the sweat of their brow in order to provide for themselves.

Unfortunately, we have inherited the results of their disobedience: a nature that needs redemption, curiosity about sin, and hard work to care for our families.

When we hear the words, “Thou Shall Not”, we must understand that whatever the directive is, it is for our protection and in our best interest to heed the warning and stay away.

Jesus gave us a very simple commandment. Mark 12:28 says it this way, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength;”

Yes - - and because He knows we are but flesh, He has given us the Holy Spirit to be our helper as follow Jesus and seek to obey His commandment of Love.

Thank you for allowing me to make a Joyful Noise today!