A testimony It was almost dark when I saw the haystack silhouetted against the edge of a forest, barely visible through the steady rain. Maybe I could sleep there. I was cold, hungry and soaked, and in need of rest. I had heard of people sleeping in haystacks, so I figured it was my best option. I cautiously approached the dark mountain of hay, and after I made sure it was safe, I carefully hoisted myself into the musty fodder. At first, I was relieved, but soon the loneliness that had been my constant companion raised its ugly head again and reminded me of my desperate plight. “There’s little hope for you, buddy. You are on a dead-end street.” I knew, loneliness was right. I was safe for tonight. But what about the next night, or the night after that? How long could I go on like this? I shivered and rolled out my sleeping bag. It was damp, despite the plastic bag I had been carrying it in. NeverContinue reading »

How long are You going to allow the violence to go on? Look at us. Look at what we’re becoming. Is this the reason why the floods came, the Earth opened up, releasing the waters of the deep as the rain came down? Was the Earth so violent, so unforgiving, so malicious, that You had no choice, but to end the carnage that had spread to every corner of the world? Was there no escape from one killing another? Had crime spread so far, been so prevalent, that no one was safe in their homes? Children no longer went outside to play? No one traveled across the countryside to spend time away? Fear replaced the joy that was supposed to blanket the Earth You made? This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t the plan at all. Time to start all over again. But there was a glimmer of hope. There were the families of Noah and his children and their families. You kept them alive. You had mercy, You had graceContinue reading »

“Why did you steal from me, son,” said the father to the son. “Have I not given you enough?” “I don’t know,” the son shrugged. “I just needed money, and you’ve got plenty anyway.” The father felt the anger rising in his heart, but he pressed his lips together and controlled himself. He had quarreled before, but quarreling did not help. “What did you need the money for?” he asked at last. The son answered him without even blinking his eyes, “For a party with my friends. We needed drinks.” The father shook his head. His son was only 14 years old. Where would this lead to? A month later something else happened. The boy did not come home that night and only returned the following evening. He clearly had too much to drink as he stumbled inside and there faced his father, who looked at him with an ashen face. “Something the matter?” the son asked. The father nodded. “Yes son… where were you last night?” The boy shruggedContinue reading »

Once upon a time an Indian and a rich businessman were both listening to a moving sermon. The Spirit was knocking on their hearts and both felt the desire to open their hearts to Jesus. The Indian did so at once, but the rich man couldn’t quite take the step. In fact, it took him months before he finally surrendered. Later the man asked the Indian rather puzzled,”Tell me Wanakatou, how come you were able to give your heart to Jesus so easily, while it took me months before I could make that decision?” “That very simple,” the Indian answered. “Imagine there is a prince who wants to give us beautiful new clothes. I only had a pair of ripped pants and smudgy blanket to wrap around body to keep warm. You not like me. You already think you have fine clothes. I hated my dirty blanket but not you. You like your clothes. I had nothing to be proud of, but you did. So, I very happy to hearContinue reading »

What is it? What does it look like? Can you see it? Your life…where you want it to be. It’s right there. You can almost touch it. Yet, sadly, you can’t. You won’t. You refuse to step forward. You refuse to reach for it. You refuse to turn the knob and pull back the door, stepping into the way your life is supposed to be. But why? The fear of failing. The fear of falling. The fear of making crucial mistakes and becoming the laughing stock of the entire world. This fear cripples you. It controls you. It haunts you. And it defeats you because you’re still standing here looking at it. What are you going to do? Nothing. Impossible. There must be a way to defeat yourself. To no longer hide behind the curtain on the stage as the audience murmurs and gripes over the ten-year delay. When will the show begin? When will you step out into the spotlight? When will a smile replace the dread that hasContinue reading »

The Rock of ages lives eternally. The Rock of ages pours forth love in abundance. The Rock of ages surrounds us with care. The Rock of ages teaches us with solid lessons. The Rock of ages sees all with awesome eyes of glory. The Rock of ages heals, delivers, and rescues. The Rock of ages is a strong hold. The Rock of ages does expansively beyond what we can ask or think. High and grateful praises to the Rock of Ages, the King of glory – Psalm 24:7. Psalm 28:1 – KJV Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; . . .

Maggie’s daughter, Lydia, has been spending more time out with her friends than at home with Maggie and her five-year-old brother, Justin. Husband and father, Michael, is on a military tour of duty. This Saturday, Maggie has decided that Lydia needs to spend family time so she’s not allowing her to go out tonight with her friends. Lydia is livid. Oh, the episodes of the teenage years. Maggie has a much admired lasagna recipe that she’s assigned Lydia to prepare for this evening’s dinner. Lydia is pouting and sure doesn’t want to cook, but she has no choice. Mom has spoken. Lydia’s in the kitchen slamming utensils and muttering angrily. She does, though, follow the recipe precisely. Her attitude is sullen throughout her culinary exercise. Maggie chooses calmness in the midst of her daughter’s mini meltdown. Despite her demeanor, Lydia looks forward to eating the lasagna because Maggie’s recipe for it results in super delicious. The three of them sit down at the table, Maggie thanks God for the food,Continue reading »

“He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.” Isaiah 53:3-6 (MSG) Although this is the prophecy in Isaiah that speaks of Jesus, it is somehow at odds with what we see and hear about Jesus during His ministry. It is plain to see in the gospels that everywhere He went people were drawn to Him. His magnetism was such that when He called his disciples they immediately dropped what they were doing and left with Him. In Luke chapter 5 Luke includesContinue reading »

Amber and her family have moved to Evergreen Lane in Tampa, Florida. Geographically, they love it but emotionally their hearts are deeply attached to the east coast where extended family remains. Job duties called Trent, Amber’s father, to Tampa; responsibly, he answered the workplace need. In the laundry room, pony-tailed Monica, clothed in a red and white polka dot sundress, hums along with the low playing classical music on the radio. She taps her flip flop clad narrow foot to the tune of the soothing music. Smiling as she folds Trent’s assorted basketball uniform shorts, Monica thinks of his passion for the game. “That husband of mine loves his basketball nights.” Dressed snappily in her blue denim capris and tie-died tee shirt, lithe Amber enters the laundry room. “What’d you say, Mom?” She rests her three-fingered hand on the warm dryer. How’d that hand matter come to be? Amber was born minus her pinky and index fingers. Monica cheerfully answers, “Oh, I was absorbed about your dad and his basketballContinue reading »

Hearts are emboldened with the knowledge that God is ever present and help in times of peace and war. Every season is the season for the presence of the Lord. History is replete with accounts of laudable and heroic actions by brave soldiers at all levels of military service. Their numerous sacrifices shouldn’t ever be lightly esteemed for they give for the good of nations. Countless lives were lost in war; scores of men and women returned without limbs; with little hope, mental instabilities and major uncertainties. Our love swells for what the soldiers gave and for what military personnel continue to give of themselves for common and beneficial causes. I remember, with deep admiration, former NFL player Pat Tillman. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America, he forsook a $3.6 million contract to become an Army Ranger. Do we not marvel at Tillman’s patriotism and dedication to a worthier pursuit than money?! Resources inform us of the various soldiers who greatly contributed to warContinue reading »