My heart is wounded to know of the folks who battle with addictive behaviors. There are gambling addicts, shopping addicts, food addicts, drug addicts, alcohol addicts, social media addicts, and addicts in other addictive categories. A percentage of Christians are in those numbers, as are their loved ones. In August of 2011, a well-known pastor was found deceased in a New York City hotel. Despite his mother’s efforts to keep the cause of death from public disclosure, a court ruling allowed the results to be publicly released in 2013. The subject pastor had shared about his past struggles with drug addiction. Many folks didn’t know that those struggles for him weren’t in the past. I can only imagine how he wrestled with his destructive habit. Likely, he was torn about the double life he was living. Was he ashamed to seek professional help? Perhaps he did . . . . Was he seized with fear relative to being exposed, and thus, kept suffering “in the closet”? My guess is thatContinue 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.

There is an inspiring anecdote about two men who were boating on a foaming river. The two, however, were not very experienced and somehow they did not steer their boat properly. At one point, they took a few wrong turns and landed on a tributary and lost complete control. They were now being swept to a roaring waterfall and were in danger of losing their lives. But, there was hope. A man on the shore saw their desperate plight and got out a rope and threw it to the struggling friends. The first one grabbed the rope and was pulled to safety. But, just as the second man was about to grab the rope, a tree trunk floated by and that seemed to provide more security than the rope that was attached to the shore. The man made his decision. He jumped to the tree trunk, but he had made a deadly mistake. Only minutes later the screaming man disappeared with his tree trunk over the edge of the waterfallContinue reading »

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.

“What does it mean to respect God?” the young man asked his father. The older man looked thoughtfully at his son for a moment, and then replied, “Somebody who respects God involves God in every little thing that he does. What God thinks matters and such a person seeks to follow what God wants. Such a person is wise and respects God. But a man who has too much confidence in his own abilities does not consider the mind of God. What God thinks doesn’t matter to him and he seeks to follow his own ideas. Such a person, in effect, disrespects the God of creation and is not wise.” The advice of the father to his child sounds so easy, and yet it is not always so easy to put it into practice. A short search online about the definition of wisdom leads us to an interesting quote. It states: “Wisdom: The art to judge and act in the proper way in all circumstances in life.” To judge andContinue reading »

Once, a scientist was searching for the eggs of a very rare bird. He had heard this particular bird could be found in the highlands of Scotland and if he would search in a special, mountaineous area, chances were he would stumble upon a nest and the needed eggs. He carefully scanned the rocks and with good success. His heart skipped a beat, for there, far below and pressed against the side of a deep cliff was such a nest and he spotted three eggs. He jumped for joy, but how could he get to the eggs without falling into the ravine? As he pondered the predicament he spotted a young shepherd boy who was taking care of some goats. “Hey boy,” the scientist shouted to the boy, “Do you want to earn a bit of pocket money?” The boy looked up and shouted back, “Sure, Mister. What do you want me to do?” Excitedly, the scientist ran over to the boy and told him he would lower the boyContinue reading »

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 »