Years ago in the Olympic Games, there was a woman swimmer who gained a gold medal. Afterwards, she was interviewed by a reporter. The swimmer shared about her journey in the sport of swimming and how, as a youngster, some people teased and taunted her when she trained. Those taunts didn’t stop the swimmer’s forward progress. She steadfastly persisted in her practices. I imagine that, at the time, she didn’t know that her persistence would lead to a gold medal in the Olympics. The reporter asked what she had to say to those who, years earlier, had teased and taunted her. I will never forget the composure and class that she exhibited in her response. She didn’t display even a hint of arrogance. Calmly and simply, her answer was, “Thank you.” I so love how that was handled. Yes! In the 1992 Olympic Games, runner, Derek Redmond, tore his hamstring, which took him out of the competition for a medal opportunity. Derek, though, made a choice to finish the race,Continue reading »

September 13th, 2015, Dateline NBC ran a story about four teenagers all suffering from the effects of bullying. Two girls, two boys, each had issues with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. They all became quite reserved and self-conscious about their physical appearance. Their parents could not talk them out of this gloomy world. A solution needed to be found. The solution became the main topic of the program. An organization in New York City offers young people the opportunity to have cosmetic surgery to repair facial aberrations. Parents send in an application for their child to be chosen to have a surgery they could not otherwise afford. Doctors and consultants look over each application, which includes a personal letter and photographs of the applicant. If chosen for the program, the applicant is flown out to NYC to have the surgery at no cost to them. The main focus of the program was not solving the problem of bullying, but how those who are bullied handle the problem. DoesContinue reading »

I suffer from a chronic health condition that causes many physical symptoms including pain (moderate to severe), fatigue (mild to debilitating), as well as cognitive problems. Due to the progression and severity of my symptoms I left my job five months ago and have applied for Social Security Disability. Naturally they denied my original application, which is the norm for the majority of first-time applicants, and I am now working with an attorney to appeal the decision, and may have to ultimately go so far as to have my case heard by a judge. The Social Security Administration sent me to an evaluation as part of this process. The exam was administered by a lady from an outside company; most of the things she asked me to do had little or nothing to do with my condition and she asked very few questions that pertained to my condition as well. But I was expecting denial anyway because I knew the stats were not in my favor. Now I am notContinue reading »

You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep My faith will stand And I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine Your grace abounds in deepest waters Your sovereign hand Will be my guide Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me You’ve never failed and You won’t start now Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior This song by Hillsong United has exploded on the Christian music scene across the world. It describes exactly how I feel; it touches a place deep inside my heart where a fountain of tears resides, ready to flowContinue reading »

Doubts and fear you can do without. They are not your friends. Their advice is never valid. They tell you to run and hide. You are no longer cared for and protected. And that can be a terrifying feeling. It has been said that the power of the devil is rooted in fear. But we have nothing to fear because we have Jesus, who called the devil the father of lies. But the One who cannot lie has promised to look after you. God will not leave you alone in times of darkness. Once a group of laborers was ordered to cut down all the trees in a certain section of a city park and started their work with zeal and enthusiasm. However, soon they came to a certain tree that was housing a robin’s nest. The mother bird, sitting on her eggs, appeared to be terrified. “We can first cut down the other trees,” said the foreman, who had a soft heart. Two days later, still busy cutting downContinue reading »

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Elemental Gifts from God — Fire and Earth

Fire elements come
compliments of the consuming fire
God, the SOURCE of power
and all elements
air, fire, water and earth —
Yes, the fire of God
blazes eternally
in unsurpassed glory and magnificence

Fire ignites
It glows
It burns
Fire spreads
It warms and
generates essentials that aid
in manifold ways

The Bible tells us
the earth is the Lord’s
and the fulness thereof —
What a precious gift from God
that we get to inhabit
this great planet earth
Grounded we are
on its soil
walking, running
dancing, skipping
on the surfaces of earth space —

We live here in gratitude and joy
we meet and conquer
our challenges on this
rich earth —
We plant and water
aware that God
provides the increases —
What a wondrous place
we get to plant our feet on
and live in love, joy and contentment

Earth grows our food,
roots our history,
provides our present,
plans our future —
Earth replenishes —
It recovers and regroups
Ah, the splendor of its gifts
all from the hands of God —
Yes, the earth is the Lord’s
and the fulness thereof.

Thankful, we are to be
earth dwellers and
to be recipients of its
vast wonders.

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Elemental Gifts from God — Part One

Air circulates
and feeds us vital sustenance —
Wind whistles,
and breezes are generated
by the air distribution from God —
I sit here now observing
the air movements on tree leaves —
Birds land in the safety of the branches —
Oh, what a view

Water properties
provide countless benefits —
Our thirsts are quenched
Our food is cooked —
Rivers, streams, oceans and seas vibrate
with the abundant gift of water

Ah! The tranquility that’s resident
in water views, touches and sensations —
It puts out fires
It pours, rains, drips and floods —
Water ebbs and flows
Tides in, tides out

We play in water and
breathe the splendor of air —
We refresh in water and
frolic in the wind-filled air movements —
Gentle air breezes caress our beings
Ah, the pleasures of such company

Water drops from the sky
in drizzles, and torrents —
Yes, raindrops speak to
and contribute much that sustains us.

Air and water live together
They jointly thrive and move —
Dual gifts that give us vital flavor
and additions to our varied journeys

Appreciation swells and goes forth
bountifully to God — the Creator and Generator
of the elements — air and water.
Yes, those cherished gifts to us, indeed.

Thank you!

This is a promise of complete restoration from complete agricultural devastation from locusts, originally made to the Israelites by God through the prophet Joel. The words above are only part of the verse; here is he rest: I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. Joel 2:25 Although this message has a near physical application in the promise of God to His people Israel to restore the land and all the crops lost by the locust plague, it also has a spiritual application. This is what I love about the Bible. It is personal and private; it heals and restores. If you seek out commentaries regarding this passage, you will undoubtedly find those who denounce that this is anything other than what it appears on the surface, but your heart, and mine knows better. In the words of Mark Hall of Casting Crowns: The word is alive And it cutsContinue reading »

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Comfort in Certainty

It is oh so comforting to be certain about God — the ways and wonders of God. When all is thought, said and done, God is . . . .

The appearances of God are undeniable, immeasurable, incomparable and unsurpassed. The Most High resonates with resounding glory packed with enormous power beyond our finite abilities to comprehend.

A favorite Bible story is in 1 Kings 18. That’s the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I believe that he was certain that God would prove the prophets wrong. Elijah says in 1 Kings 18:24 – KJV, “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”

Powerfully, the account continues. 1 Kings 18:36-38, says, “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

“Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, . . . .

“Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

Wow! The magnificence of the evidence of God. Elijah sure got the answer to his prayer. The prophets of Baal were shown the TRUE God with undeniable proofs — center stage. They conceded, likely — albeit, reluctantly. The works of God “stared” them in their faces — clearly. Certainly, a marvel to witness.

God doesn’t half step. Our Creator steadfastly performs with flourish. Yes, certain comfort resides within whosoever believes and acts with awareness — that God transcends any and all!

“The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled” (Isaiah 2:17) “Can I talk to you? It’s important,” said the young man who approached me with a big smile. Talk to me? Why? It looked suspicious. What did he want? I had to admit he looked sort of friendly, but whatever he wanted, I was not in the mood. Suddenly I noticed he carried a Bible and then I understood. He was talking about God. He was converting people, and I was to be his next victim. No way. Not me. “You know God?” he asked when he came close. He seemed genuinely happy, but since I was not, I could not let him get close to me. I looked at him with an air of self-righteousness. Who was he to know what I needed? Had he read the Tibetan Book of The Dead, as I had? Had he studied meditation and yoga as I had? I was even highly experienced in the use of mind-altering drugs.Continue reading »

When someone asked the famous mountain climber Mallory in 1920 why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he simply stated: “Because it is there.” That may raise some eyebrows. Did Mallory not know that staying home would have been a whole lot safer? Did he not care about the dangers and hardships and was he not afraid of the risks of slipping and sliding and breaking his neck, just because there was a mountain? History seems to be on my side, as it has been recorded that Mallory got lost in 1924 while climbing the Everest. His broken and frozen body only showed up 75 years later when some climbers found it on a remote part of the mountain. He died trying. Still I have an inkling that Mallory would do it again, if he had the chance. He apparently believed in the motto: “It’s better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.” It’s called vision. Instead of hiding behind closed doors, safely tucked awayContinue reading »