I want a happy ending!

It seems to me that there are not many peacemakers today and listening to the news is proof positive of that. When a National leader doesn’t speak to the people in tones of peace and a “let’s all get along” attitude it says to me maybe they want derision and division so that they can charge in and provide a solution down the line, I am thinking that before that happens it will ultimately be too late. Then I wonder how it is that people are quick to remember the faults of people who are close to them and let someone who has made a blatant public error, something like saying, concerning troops that were killed in a protest, “What difference does it make [whether American’s at Benghazi died from a protest or not]?” And when asked if they had died because of a protest the answer was, “So what?” I am very sure that the families of the men that were killed and dragged through the streets would say it mattered quite a lot. Yet people will forget that or dismiss blatant disregard of a law concerning, well anything I will go no further with that, and still laud these people as leaders. Lies go unchallenged, promises revoked, to which I am sure the Armenian population of this country can identify with as the incoming President had promised, in order to get the Armenian vote, a recognition of the Armenian Genocide and then reneged but no one seems to notice or if they do remain silent on the matter.

How will it end? Will the beheading of Christians continue and then suddenly we will look at the people who are doing this with a sudden realization that they are a peace-loving people who didn’t mean to do it after all?

The things happening in our world today were predicted, Luke 21: 25-28 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”

There are wars all around us and not just country against country but citizen against citizen, racial tension, the haves and the have-nots at odds with one another, and worse of all there is so much trouble within the family unit. Wasn’t it Rodney King who said, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

I have said some of these things before and I don’t want to be redundant, however I have seen trouble and I don’t like the look of its face, I want to see the face of Peace and Love, I want to hear my daddy sing, “There will be peace in the valley for me someday, there will be peace in the valley for me, there’ll be no more sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see, There will be peace in the valley for me.”

Hebrews 12:14 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God.

I want to have my five minutes of peace, love and joy and I hope it lasts for a long time so that I get a happy ending here on this earth while I am in the land of the living, but if I do not get it, then so be it because I have seen the other side from up close and personal, I am not afraid, and as it is when a movie is coming to an end I hear the music getting louder, it is signaling, “The End” and I want it to be a happy one !

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Be sure your sin…

Today I walked out onto my back porch, it’s three stories off the ground which gives me a wonderful view into the trees which form a line on the other side of a three car parking space. I was enjoying the feel and fragrance of the fall air and something caught my eye, lying at the bottom of one of the trees was a long forgotten and very sad looking soccer ball.  It made me catch my breath as I imagined I could hear the sounds of the little boys that played in that back yard before it had concrete laid so that everyone would have a parking space, before drivers licenses were needed, a time when soccer and basket balls ruled the yard. I stood there and let my spirit see the boys running while the dog my little boy loved so much chased them and tried to grab the ball, which he did more than once causing major damage and the necessity of buying new balls to kick and throw. This time of year brings back so many memories of going with youth groups to parks and standing around an open fire roasting wieners and marshmallows. While I was feeling very sentimental my “little boy” called and wanted to know what kind of food I had that I could prepare for his lunch, I quickly came back to the present and the boy throwing the ball and running with his dog was on his way to my house from his office to get lunch.  We had good conversation while I cooked a steak then he ate and then went on about his business. The drama queen in me wanted to get back to my reminiscing so I sat down at my computer and began to go through pictures. What I didn’t realize was that my grandchildren had been playing with my computer since I got it, before I realized that I could actually make movies on this machine and there were several very interesting clips and one in particular that caught my attention. I will share the contents a little later just go with me here, remembering that when I was young my mother kept me terrorized to do anything covert with the threat “be sure your sin will find you out”! She didn’t share the story from the Bible, Number 32:23, I just saw a very angry God looking at every thing I did with the determination that if I transgressed even one of my mother’s rules I would be sentenced to hell and every one of my friends would know all about it! Mother’s wrath was far more fearful than the fear of a burning hell!

Back to the present, as I sat and decided to watch a few of the clips my grandson had made while clowning around and filming himself, the date stamp was 1-01-08. There was laughter as he was making fun of his sister and then suddenly I saw a close-up of his small red mouth as it said two very, very bad words! I was shocked but couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud (don’t judge me)! I called out to his mother and told her I had something very interesting to show her. When she finally came to stand behind me to see what I wanted to show her I told her to go ahead and bring her husband as I was sure he would want to watch it with us! I played the X-rated video for them and they had the same reaction as I had, first shock and awe then laughing at the fact he didn’t even know this video of his dreadful deed even existed! Yes you guessed it we called him to come and see this neat video we had found! Of course he denied ever doing it, never mind we had video proof, of not remembering it and knowing he would have never done such a thing! His mother told him that if his Christian school principal ever saw it he would probably be kicked out of school and his life would be in ruins, never mind the deed took place seven years ago when he was eight, it was punishable right now! As his face drained of color I remembered all the dreadful times I had felt the same way, once for setting the dirty clothes basket on fire, another time for burning the end of my nose with the cigarette lighter in our car (curiosity folks, curiosity!), not to mention telling a group of preacher’s wives that my parents were not really married, or that my mother was in love with someone else… oh my I guess I was going for an X-rated novella way back then, and spilling the orange snow cone on my white ruffled dress. I had to laugh and tell him that none of that was true, no one would ever know, and if you don’t repeat this no one ever will! Just remember next time you want to do a dirty deed, someone is watching and “be sure your sin will find you out”!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Panic

I worked on an article for over an hour, the subject was ‘Strength’ when I decided to take the computer upstairs and finish it. I went up and settled myself in my bed and propped it on my knees to finish writing. I don’t know what happened next maybe I had said something that God didn’t approve of me saying, but as I was getting my last scripture, the one that brought it all together, my computer froze, and I mean I couldn’t make it budge! The little indicator that it was waiting just kept making a circle and I couldn’t change pages, minimize, or anything that would help me get back to the article! I had to force quit so that when I went back to my page the entire article was gone! No way to retrieve it. I could have gotten upset but decided it must have been providence, God’s will, that’s when I realized I would have to do something else! I wanted to panic because but in the past few weeks I have tried to practice a calmer approach to things that are upsetting, and the prayer I prayed will be familiar to a lot of you, it is called the “Serenity Prayer” and begins, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

James 1:2-4 “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. V. 12 Any one who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”

We tend to be fickle in our love lives and also in our friendships, we can think a person is “cool” one day and a “dud” the next, but in Hebrews 13:8 we find out that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

He loved you before you were ever born and still today He reaches through eternity to us. Words from a musical by the Gaithers, “His Love Reaching” come to my mind right now, “His love went on longing, and His love went on reaching; right past the shackles of my mind, And the Word of the Father became Mary’s little boy and His love reached all the way to where we are.”

Let Him reach into your heart and life to make all things new again, and if you reach crisis status the way I done several times lately just remember to say the prayer penned by Reinhold Niebuhr and give God a chance to work serenity, courage, and wisdom!

I will end this with Matthew 6:34 which were Jesus’ own words, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”  And I add, Amen!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Love and Jealousy

I did a little poking around in my dad’s office today. I found some things I didn’t even know existed, which surprised me, and then I came upon a special little box and I carefully opened the lid knowing I would see some precious letters I had placed there for safe keeping. I took them out one by one and began to read, as I did I felt the same emotions I felt so long ago when they were first opened. Then I opened a box that held several copies of a “book” my dad had written, the title of it was “The Greatest Text” and it covers John 3:16. I had Eros love in one hand and Agape love in the other. I stopped and thought about “love”.

Where there is love you will often find jealousy. There is a song on one of my playlists by Dolly Parton that says, “Mine is a Jealous Heart”. Is that something we can read about in the Bible? Song of Solomon 8:6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. The KJV says, “for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave:” It is one emotion that can cause people to do terrible things, even murder. Another question, Is there a good jealousy? I think there is. I believe you have to have a jealousy over your life and your family and keep a close eye on what is happening around you to keep it safe! I think that when a partner shows no jealousy at all it simply appears that they don’t really care. I am not talking about mean spirited jealousy that doesn’t want you to speak to anyone of the opposite sex, and treats you bad because you do, but just letting your partner know that you care too much to let someone interfere in your relationship.

We need to guard our spiritual life as jealously as we guard our loved ones. When we let things slip in that take our attention away from serving God with our whole heart, HE gets jealous of us! Proof is found in ten different places in the Bible, I will give you two: Exodus 34:14 Don’t worship any other god. GOD—his name is The-Jealous-One—is a jealous God. Be careful that you don’t make a covenant with the people who live in the land and take up with their sex-and-religion life, join them in meals at their altars, marry your sons to their women, women who take up with any convenient god or goddess and will get your sons to do the same thing. Deuteronomy 4:24 The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God. How do you think He feels about people who are trying to make His Son Jesus only one of several ways to get to “Paradise”, Heaven! The same way that you are jealous over your partner or family, God is jealous over you! He loved you so much that He sent Jesus as our personal savior. 1John 3:1 What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it–we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who He is or what He’s up to. He loves us, so what do we do for Him? Simply return that love to Him! Having nothing more important than worshipping Him, not letting things stop us or divert our attention to other “ways“, and then we have to love each other, because God IS love and if we are to be like Him, then we have to love each other, whether we want to or not!

Accept the love of this wonderful and Jealous God!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s a Boomerang?

A boomerang is a wooden instrument designed so that when hurled it returns to the thrower. Another meaning for the word boomerang is, “To have the opposite effect from the one intended; backfire.”

Now that you have read the definition of a boomerang, you probably wonder what was my point, right?

Matthew 7:1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.  Matthew 7:12  “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

I hope you read those scriptures very carefully because encapsulated within them you will find that, Jesus speaking here, life is literally a boomerang, what you throw out comes back to you again. My dad used to paraphrase the scripture Ecclesiastes 1:11 Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days, saying, “Cast your bread upon the waters for after many days it will return unto you pound cake!” He lived by that rule and I could honestly tell you that the acts of charity he did toward everyone, and I am not just talking about feeding the poor I am talking about the mercy he showed to people who treated him badly or slighted him by forgiving them completely and praying for their wellbeing. I asked him about it more than once and he would answer by telling me that God loved those people as much as He loved him or me. That was very hard for me to swallow as a young person but as I matured I knew he was telling the truth.

I’m still not to my point.

I was holding something in my heart, a bitterness about something that had been done to me, I never understood it, and I don’t believe I wanted to understand it; I would rather feel slighted so I could lick my wounds and use it as an excuse to be unhappy about the way my life turned out. I am not proud of that I am just being totally honest here. This week I got hit square in the heart by the boomerang of life as I sat and listened to someone say the very things to me about the way I had reacted in a similar situation that I had taken such offense about. My first reaction was that my feelings were hurt and I wanted to cry but was too proud to show it. It wasn’t until I was alone in my trusty old red van later driving down the road that the boomerang effect happened, I remembered what had happened to me and realized that it didn’t look any different on me than it had on someone else many years before. I had had all the right intentions and really thought I was acting in the best interest of all concerned, that wasn’t the way it was perceived.

Jesus gave us the best advice, better than anything I could say here by telling us to “do unto others as we would have them to do unto us”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pay Attention to Me!

There is a little emoji that shows my mini-me with two big symbols in her hand and the caption says, “Pay attention to me!” That’s what this blog is about!

I saw a mom and dad crying over their son pictured kneeling by the side of the man who was just before cutting his head from his shoulders, they were crying…so was I. Children being used as human shields, but then that is nothing new is it? Remember the stories that came out of Viet Nam? Not only were they used as human shields they were handed guns and equipped with bombs and sent into the midst of our troops to wreck havoc. Israel is fighting to keep their homeland and others are fighting to take it away from them. War, war, rumors of war, does that sound like something you may have read in the Bible? Luke 21:25-28 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.  “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”

That is a very small thumbnail of what is going on in the world, I didn’t mention the sex-slave trade which is rampant, drugs on our streets and the drug-lords who are making their money on the misery of people who need their merchandise, I want to get a little closer to home.

There is a scripture in Isaiah that in context is speaking to His people concerning things that are going to happen and we see all of those things coming to pass as I speak…yes we are all affected by it, the whole globe, the community of the earth, we are all in trouble…but I am seeing this scripture as true up close and personal. First read the scripture, Isaiah 42:17-20 Pay attention! Are you deaf? 
 Open your eyes! Are you blind? 
 You’re my servant, and you’re not looking! 
 You’re my messenger, and you’re not listening! 
The very people I depended upon, servants of God, 
 blind as a bat—willfully blind! 
You’ve seen a lot, but looked at nothing. 
 You’ve heard everything, but listened to nothing. 
God intended, out of the goodness of his heart, 
 to be lavish in his revelation. 
 But this is a people battered and cowed, 
 shut up in attics and closets, 
Victims licking their wounds, 
 feeling ignored, abandoned. 
But is anyone out there listening? 
 Is anyone paying attention to what’s coming?”

If I were going to tell you in a short statement what I get from that verse it would be, “There are none so blind as he who will not see and none so deaf as he who will not hear.”

We are promised everything that we need in Psalm 23 and I am putting it here for you to read without having to look it up, if you don’t already know it from memory. As you read it don’t be like those who are willingly blind and folk who are deaf by choice, look at God’s promise and hear Him as He says, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, I will be with you until the end of time”.

God, my shepherd! 
 I don’t need a thing. 
You have bedded me down in lush meadows, 
you find me quiet pools to drink from. 
True to your word, 
 you let me catch my breath
 and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through
 Death Valley, 
I’m not afraid
 when you walk at my side. 
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
 makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner
 right in front of my enemies. 
You revive my drooping head; 
 my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me
 every day of my life. 
I’m back home in the house of God
 for the rest of my life.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When you don’t know how to pray

Today I was praying and since Jesus told the disciples not to use “vain repetitions” I carefully think through what I am saying. There are a few people that I have promised to call their name out every day and I always do that and then I pray for anyone who needs someone to agree with them. Matthew 18: 18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

Back to the point, after I had finished praying for everyone else and had dropped my grandson off at school, I was alone and started talking to God about myself. What came out of my mouth was as strange to me as if I were speaking in an unknown-tongue, as it was not in my brain, therefore I feel I need to share it with you, it might just be the prayer that will help you! You probably know by now that when I don’t know how to pray I always just ask for a solution, but as I was praying today it was more than a solution I needed, I wanted direction, out-loud-no-doubt-God-spoken-direction! I heard myself saying, “God, when Jonah didn’t go where you wanted him to go you put him in the belly of a great fish and when he prayed to you and asked for mercy and offered the sacrifice of praise you let the fish spit him out right where you wanted him, I’m just asking you to spit me out in the place you want me to be!”

I would never have thought of that on my own, I do believe the Holy Spirit was trying to teach a little lesson to me, “Be willing to do what God wants you to do, to be spit out where He wants you to be without complaining and don’t forget to offer Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving!” Yeah, that one’s hard for me too, offering praise when you are going through the fire isn’t easy in the spirit or in the flesh. Sunday morning as I was cooking the toe of my sandal got caught under the Telfa pad in front of my stove and I landed palm down on the eye where I had been sautéing onions, yes my fingers were grilled and I didn’t feel like praising then either.

Whether you are going through the fire or flood in the spirit or burning your fingers on the stove, remember the prayer that Jonah prayed in chapter 2 verse 7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What do I do next?

Sometimes it feels that even when we are trying our best to do good things and get the best we can out of life, something happens that hinders it. I believe that if you have placed your entire life in the hands of God and trust in Him completely, then when someone slams a door in your face, look for the open window, or perhaps another door! I heard a quote: “Sometimes when there is a closed door and God opens another one, there is Hell in the hall.” OK, I’ll bite, does that mean that because God is giving us something good we have to walk through Hell to get it? I don’t know the complete-all-the-time answer for that, but I do remember the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers! One thing led to another and eventually he ended up being the ruler who was second in command only to the Pharaoh! After he had helped his brothers and showed them forgiveness he said to them, “You meant this for evil but God turned it for good!

So we see that in Joseph’s case he walked through a lot of Hell before he got to the best door. It may be that you are going through a tough time right now and need to know exactly which door to go through so I am going to tell you what I do, I pray that the wrong doors will all be slammed in my face so that I don’t have to make a decision. Does that always work? No, if it did we would never gain wisdom, knowledge or understanding.

James 1:5-8 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

I believe there are times that God wants to see how we react to certain situations and I hope He never gets disappointed when He watches me!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just Breathe

We pass by many, many people every day, whether it is in your car as you go down the road, at work, eating lunch or in a grocery store. I am a people watcher, always have been and sometimes I do find that I judge a person’s personality by the shape of their face. I won’t go into detail here but I will say that I am not often wrong, whether it really is physiognomy or the Spirit of discernment, well we will leave that for another discussion. I am the person that someone will stop and ask what aisle something is on I don’t know why maybe I look like a professional shopper? Maybe it’s that I actually look at a person that is approaching and smile and if someone comes up behind me in line that has considerably less than I do I will always let them go in front of me. It always surprises them and I like that. Today as I was rolling my cart out of the store (after looking at the receipt and seeing that I had saved $22.95) and saw a lady coming toward me walking fast, she looked so very stressed and I saw her lips move, she was saying, “Just breathe”. I was even with her at that point and quickly said, “You’re going to be alright”. She turned toward me and said, “Do you really think so?” She kept walking and so did I, in the opposite direction. As I walked away I said a prayer for her. I don’t know what her problem was, what could have possibly happened that had her so distraught but I sent a prayer with her and she knew that at least one person, even though I was a stranger, cared enough to stop and give her an encouraging word.

Hebrews 13: 2-3 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.

Maybe you should pray for the person who doesn’t take off from the light as soon as you think they should instead of honking your horn at them, yes?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone

I was in the kitchen cooking, not paying much attention to the TV, which was on the classic movie channel when suddenly a phrase caught my attention and clutched at my heart. I turned around to see what was going on, it was a dad talking to his son about dying and I heard him saying, “Son, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

Let me share the backstory of why that statement stopped me in the midst of my cooking. It happened a few years ago now, I went into my parent’s room to take some things and as usual I was in a hurry. My daddy said, “Haro, sit with us for a while and talk to me.” I stopped and looked at him leaning forward in his recliner looking up at me and said, “Daddy I would love to but I need to go back downstairs right now.” He smiled as he looked up at me and said, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

I can’t tell you the times I have heard that phrase over and over inside of my head and every time I hear it I do exactly what I am doing this minute as I write, I cry. I look back and try to remember what was so pressing that I couldn’t stop and sit for a few minutes when it seemed so important to him and for the life of me I don’t know what it was, it couldn’t have been that important.

There is nothing I can do to bring that moment back and change it, so why dwell on it or let it niggle at my mind? I think the importance of remembering things that we have done that we aren’t happy about is so that while we know we cannot change the past, but we can change our future.

We used to sing a song that said, “Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow never comes, what will you do my friend with your today?”

It’s not that one day, such as New Year’s Eve going into January 1 of a new year makes any more difference than yesterday did to today, but it is a marker, a starting point, like the next day after your birthday which starts the beginning of a new year in your life, no startling revelation, no bells or whistles, but it is a new day, and a new year for real. Maybe today can be that day for you, a time to make some realizations about our lives and what it is that we want from it, what we want to give to it. I am giving you the gift of taking something that I greatly regret and learning a lesson from it for yourself.

Is there something that you greatly regret? You don’t think you can do it? Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.

Maybe it’s time to make a change so that today won’t be the yesterday you regret tomorrow.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment