A humorous look at our present time “Your contumacious attitude will get you into deep trouble son. Why are you so feckless?” My mother’s eyes were angry and dark as she spat out the words, which is why I knew, as a nine-year-old boy, that I was in trouble. But what did she mean? I knew I had been disrespectful and I hadn’t been doing my chores and I had even lied. That part I understood. But I didn’t understand the words she was using. Was I contumacious? And feckless? It sounded like a disease. Where did I pick it up? My mother, being an old English schoolteacher, was fond of using difficult words. It confused me. My father, who had left my mother when I was three, raised me in the Netherlands and therefore English wasn’t my first language. “Sorry Mom,” I answered timidly. “But what do these words mean?” “Go to the library and find out!” My mother was clearly not in the teaching mood. “Your father’s truculentContinue reading »

Wondrous delights surface as we dwell on the abundant lessons of Master Teacher, Jesus – Yes, he’s much more but this focus is Lord as teacher The good book is packed with accounts of his teaching excellence on manifold levels vast beyond our comprehension On the mount, Jesus taught In the garden, Jesus taught At the wedding, Jesus taught Inside the boat, Jesus taught In the temple, Jesus taught He had/has rapt audiences along with dissenters yet, Jesus taught/teaches profoundly with unmatched skill How fortunate that we have the teachings of Christ to guide and to help us navigate our varied spiritual journeys The splendor is awesome to live and behold . . .

How inspiring it is to read, in the Bible, assorted accounts of courage. Great reading indeed. Of course, one of the all time favorites is what we read about the showdown between David and Goliath. From a natural standpoint, the odds were against David. Goliath disdained him. Yes, he underestimated the small in stature young man. Obviously, Goliath had more in height and in his experience as a warrior. David, though, had power from Almighty God, who no foe can defeat. David was confident that he’d gain victory over his giant foe. The lad, David, was certain that he had, in his spiritual arsenal, the ultimate reinforcement. How impressive is it that he hasted and ran toward his enemy – 1 Samuel 17:48- KJV? David didn’t hesitate, cower or retreat. He went full throttle to handle the business of his God. Goliath uttered threatening declarations about his perceived triumphant posture. Yes, he talked the talk, but the Lord saw to it that he didn’t “deliver the goods.” David was theContinue reading »

In Part One of this, I expressed about pastors who were drug addicted. Those struggles can take tolls not only on the addicted but on their family members, as well. Drugs involved aren’t always illegal ones. Scores of folks are hooked on prescription drugs, some of which are sold on the black market. I recall learning about Christian parents with adult children who are/were addicted to drugs. The accounts are steeped in sorrow. There are parents who do the best that they know how while being faithful to gospel truths. Treatment centers certainly do help. Often, though, years of yo-yo actions occur with numerous relapses. Many prayers and works go into measures of help. It’s wonderful news to know that addictions are conquered. Families are elated to overcome the enormous hurdles in addictive circumstances. Of course, we know that addictive behaviors aren’t limited to drugs and alcohol. There’s a reality based cable program dedicated to situations relative to hoarders. Extreme cases boggle the minds of some folks. I’ve seen onlyContinue reading »

Sorrow came to visit, and grief sought to consume him – It was challenging to escape the inner turmoil – Remedy? He helped his neighbor – Reaching out to help eased his sorrow Widowed and lonely What did she do? She wallowed awhile then unselfishly, she “kissed” her self-pity goodbye – In she went to soothe neglected elderly folks who welcomed her in earnest – She adds the Lord’s light whenever she visits the assisted living home – Truly, helping others helps her Retired and bored – Bingo and golf aren’t enough to fulfill – Seeking, seeking more to complete his mundane life – Ah ha! He found more to satisfy – How so? He’s now a volunteer for the church bus ministry Yes, giving transpo drives folks and fuels his inner “engine” Yes, indeed, helping others gives plenty joyous gains. Certainly, helping others helps us.

In the Bible, we read of how Jesus went about helping others. He healed, ministered, fed, encouraged, and taught. He exhibited love, patience, and wisdom throughout his engagement with all sorts of folks. Even when Jesus wasn’t shown love, respect and appreciation, he remained loyal to God and gospel truths. We marvel at how the Lord solidly stood strong in the midst of various sentiments, expressions and spiritual postures. The Bible shares that Jesus helped by raising the dead, healing the sick, lifting spirits, and rebuking unwise choices. He cast out demons, as well as restored sight and hearing. He multiplied and fed fish and bread to thousands of folks, and at a wedding, Jesus turned water into wine. Yes, he abundantly helped. The Bible also shares that Jesus gave his life for folks to live lives more abundantly — John 10:10 – KJV — The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they mightContinue reading »

We have God to thank For our independence – Thank you, Lord For love, courage and hope – We’re blessed to have freedom To practice religion – Thank you for such precious and joyous liberties We’re grateful for the symbolism of the red, white and blue, including our flag with stars representing of our union We thank you, Lord for the soldiers who serve to add to the continued protection of our great nation We’re thankful for the assorted ways to enjoy our families and other loved ones because the precious gift of freedom was granted us those many years ago We appreciate the fun, food and fireworks displays that annually occur in honor of our independence Yes, dear Lord, thank you for another Fourth of July and for all of the bountiful things that you’ve lovingly and generously bestowed upon us.

The joys of birth are astounding – How wondrous the accounts of elated parents upon arrival of their precious newborn treasures – Immense happiness abounds Multiple births bring joy in plurals Twins, triplets, quads, and quints – Pleasures upon pleasures upon pleasures . . . Oh my! Butterflies appear in splendid beauty from their cocoon spaces fluttering as we gaze in delight – They are gorgeous in their transformed states – Isn’t it great that thanks to our Lord we are transformed by the renewal of our minds? The bliss and freedom of new births transcend all others – Renewed we are – born again to truly thrive We learn to live more abundantly with mental, spiritual and physical contentment, Love flows, and peace rests within us as we embrace how God so graciously ushered us into pure horizons through gospel messages where we learned to be born again and fulfilled in truths – Ah, such utter delight!

Ah! The joy of mornings – Freshness in place New expectations arrive – The treasures of alertness reward Sunrise splendor invites our gazes Once again, it shines vibrantly providing warmth, vitamin aid and more Farmers rise early to work what they’ve sown – They’re out and about feeding and tending their livestock – Roosters crow announcing the approaching of daybreak – It’s morning again, y’all — whoopee Birds fly, chirp and sing as they soar in the open fresh air They play and inspire up in the morning sky Ah! New beginnings in the mornings – What new adventures await us? What new things do we have to be thankful for? What new ways shall our Lord manifest? Ah! Morning expectations indeed Numerous times in the bible we read where folks rose early in the morning – At places, it mentions very early in the morning We read in Psalm 139:9 that the morning has wings – Psalm 90:6 says, “In the morning it flourisheth and growth up” – PsalmContinue reading »

Lives are formed in the darkness of wombs protected in those safe places pending their precious arrivals Darkness has its beautiful aspects – We gaze upward at the starry displays – The moon hangs surrounded by planets and the solar system delights – We marvel and enjoy the views of darkness Nocturnal animals surface to do their movements in the night hours – Noises of life are heard in the nighttime arrangements Owls hoot from their wise perches – Lions prowl in the hours absent of daylight seizing advantages from the covers of darkness Night worker folks busy themselves doing essential tasks adding to the well-being of our valuable lives Yes, we’re grateful for the benefits of darkness – It was here before the light God greatly designed the days and the nights – There’s no greater architect than our Lord Almighty who laid out the best creation plans to include the beauty of darkness and light. Thank you!

Millions of folks marveled at the strength of character demonstrated by Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for twenty-seven years as a political prisoner. In 1985, he was offered a conditional release, which, on grounds of principle, he refused. His unconditional release was announced in 1990. It was indeed a grand view to see Mandela humbly but confidently walk outside to freedom for the first time in twenty-seven years! Globally, we profoundly admired the African man who went from prisoner to president. Mandela didn’t re-enter society with bitterness as an emotional attachment. He was firmly for reconciliation in his region, a region that had long been one of racial and economic turmoil and unrest. Worldwide, Mandela spread his message of the need for reconciliation. Yes, certainly, he made an international impact. Millions of folks hold deep love, respect and gratitude for the man, Mandela and the love, humility, respect, wisdom, and knowledge that he shared and demonstrated. Folks who haven’t lived through such circumstances have no in depth awareness of whatContinue reading »