The famous hymn writer Ira Sankey was once visiting someone living in the slums. When he was done and was on his walk home, he got to talk to a little girl who was sitting on the steps of a dilapidated shack. “Are you living here?” Sankey asked her. “I do,” the girl answered with a happy smile, “It’s not very nice here, but my father is building a new house for us over the hills.”| A new house over the hills? A beautiful thought came to Ira as he realized that on this earth we all live in the slums, spiritually speaking, but soon we too will move to our new house, just over the hills. The conversation served as the inspiration for one of Ira’s famous hymns, “I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop.” “I’m satisfied with just a cottage here below, A little silver and a little gold. But in that city where the ransom will shine, I want a gold one that’s silver lined. I’veContinue reading »

He was kind Handsome Swept me off my feet I fell into his arms Then They came to arrest me Caught in adultery A deed against the law Punishable by Death As people throw stones Dragged into the middle of a crowd Some Man was speaking Interrupted I hid my face from Him Everyone found out what I had done There was nowhere to run My reputation tarnished My life about to be gone The Rabbi said not a word Simply wrote on the ground The crowd stood in anticipation I waited with no defense for myself He gave the command For the first stone to be thrown By the one who had never sinned In their own life before One by one they fled No stone was thrown My Lord stood there alone He saved me from the Law Because I was still alive He let me go Can a person’s life really change For the better He changed mine Because I’d received A Love and Forgiveness I neverContinue reading »

This is the particular season that my heart especially goes out to retail workers, Christian and otherwise. Lord, please grant us the patience to shop with awareness of the stress levels of retail workers. We need to be mindful to flow in love while we stand in lines, browse and search for what suits us. The Bible teaches about gentleness, kindness, and courtesy. Galatians 5:22 – KJV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Colossians 3:12 – KJV, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” Increasingly, some shoppers are inconsiderate and unruly. I’m super grateful for those who have compassion for the long hours, frazzled nerves, sacrifices and challenges faced by the many retail workers, particularly doing the Christmas holiday season. Also, I have a deep appreciation for the services rendered by the retail population and what they have to deal with on a regular basis from all sorts ofContinue reading »

Imagine you are on a rugged mountain path that’s winding its way up, higher and higher. It is snowing, and the cold is stinging your eyes. For a moment you rest, holding on to a sturdy fir tree, but you realize it is not a place where you can wait for too long, as the temperatures have dropped so much that you can hardly feel your fingers. You have to go on, but it is a treacherous journey. You can barely see the road ahead, and the dark abyss is near. You have a map, but what good is a map in weather like this and the markings on the road have disappeared because of the snow. You just have to struggle on and hope your sense of direction won’t let you down. What worries you the most is that this is only the beginning of the journey. The hardest part still has to come. What’s more, daylight is fading, and soon you’ll be surrounded by darkness. But you areContinue reading »

Often repeated have been the account in Matthew 14 about Peter walking on water to Jesus. When his faith wavered, Jesus was there to rescue Peter. We have all had those seasons when we needed to be saved from one thing or another. I so love that Peter had such trust in the Lord that he walked on water, albeit, briefly. Peter faltered, but it is still immensely impressive to me that he even went to the extent that he did to join Jesus on the water. The Lord continues to rescue us from our various circumstances. Gratitude flows. I love reading and hearing reports of rescues done by caring people. Strangers are often participants in rescue situations. Recently, there was a police officer who appeared on the Steve Harvey talk show. He was there to be honored for going above the call of duty. The officer responded to a traffic accident report. The woman involved experienced damage to her car that rendered it inoperable. She needed a vehicle toContinue reading »

Veteran’s Day is approaching. It’s upon us on November 11th. Major salutes extend to the many veterans who contributed to the causes of our nation’s interests. We sure do need military personnel to aid in the advancement of our united matters. My uncle is a veteran as is my father. Love and honor flow for their service to our country. We who haven’t experienced armed forces actions can never fully understand the experiences and the camaraderie that soldiers hold dear. They invested blood, sweat and tears in the varied activities. Certainly, it isn’t an easy living being subjected to constant uncertainties, threats, and sacrifices. Also, military family members endure through the variables of their loved ones in the branches of service living. Of course, there are joys and triumphs included in the mixes. Lifelong friendships occur, celebrations happen, and great connections result. Also, the bonuses of being exposed to unfamiliar cultures and locales prove advantageous. Yes, it’s beneficial spiritually, socially and professionally to engage with various classes and culture. InContinue reading »

The Bible has not much good to say about human pride. Of course, not all forms of pride are bad. There’s nothing wrong with a painter taking ‘pride in his work,’ or a father who is proud of his son when the child accomplishes a difficult job. But the selfish kind of pride, the pride that wants to elevate itself above others and believes it is better than the person next door, is a formidable enemy we should not underestimate. It’s the disease that transformed the archangel into the devil, and it has caused many a good man to fall. And in truth, we all have a touch of the disease. Therefore, we would do well to be on guard. There is a funny story that illustrates the senselessness of pride. The story tells of two ducks and their dear friend the frog living in a delightful pond in the lush garden. However, the land was hit by a terrible drought, and soon the water in the pond dried up.Continue reading »

Thanksgiving Day is ahead Once again, we prepare to gather, to eat heartily to reminisce, to relax — Ah, joy is in the air The Lord delights in hearts of thanksgiving – Gratitude flows in abundance We have so much to be grateful for – daily We live, we breathe we work, we play – Truly, thanksgiving is in motion on the regular Prayers of gratefulness – Food spreads – full bellies, shared memories, status catch ups – Yes, joy is in the air Love manifests in amplified doses – Robust laughter rings out in households Warmth is spread in abundance – Kisses, hugs, and smiles make cherished appearances – Joy is indeed the air Precious moments are once again revealed on the celebrated day of Thanksgiving Above all – daily — to God be the glory.

The other day I read a touching anecdote which deserves to be shared. A father and his daughter were no longer on speaking terms. Things had happened and as a result, they both had locked away the love they had once felt for each other in the dungeons of their hearts. One day the daughter heard that the father was dying and she decided to at least see the old man one last time before he would pass on to the next world. When she sat at his bedside both of them were still. What could they say? At last, the dying man broke the silence and whispered, “My dear child, do you know that I have always loved you? I am so very sorry for the things I did wrong.” The daughter looked at him, and the bitterness welled up in her heart. “You said, you would always be there for me… But you weren’t. You hurt me that way.” The old man raised his bushy eyebrows. “How, child?Continue reading »

One of the most heartwarming accounts in the Bible is of the good Samaritan. Many other folks and I adore that story. It reveals that the man in need was rejected by a priest and a Levite, but helped by a good Samaritan. Luke 10:33-35 – KJV But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Beautiful feelings rise within when I recall the numerous occasions when good Samaritans have assisted in emergencies, and with different needs and desires. Reminders such as those bolsters hope in humanity.Continue reading »

International aid stretches to many regions. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, has a ministry, “Samaritan’s Purse.” They give abundant outreach to provide for the needs of people in war-torn, economically deficient and weather damaged areas. Samaritan’s Purse provides evangelistic training, medical, education/literacy, construction and feeding programs. They also have a program called, “Operation Christmas Child.” Joyce Meyer World Missions has an international ministry outreach called, “Hand of Hope.” It provides free medical and dental care among other vital services. Haiti is once again in dire need of aid due to Hurricane Matthew. Disaster relief is in motion for that area and others affected by Matthew. Rebuilding is an enormous task. International help is essential to restore stability to the subject regions. It is deeply heartening to know that caring, skilled and qualified folks are willing to assist and follow through with performances that considerably impact in meaningful ways. Global helpers fill critical needs, and much gratitude flows for what they do to spread care through multiple actions on behalf of needyContinue reading »