I am an Angel; one of many. I have been sitting here for hundreds of years. Rarely called upon, for some odd reason. So, I simply watch and watch…and watch. I’ve seen so many things. I have so many stories to tell. Would you like to hear? Would anyone listen? Perhaps. These stories aren’t stories. No. They are the lives of people I’ve seen, heard…and cried over. They all seem to look this way and ask: “Why didn’t You save me?” One particular occasion: The Throne Room was filled with angels. A chill in the air. Silent, as the man walked down the Great Hall, enormous columns seemed to envelop him. He knelt at the Throne, rather composed, yet his fists were clinched. I flew forward, resting on the edge of a balcony to listen closely as he spoke: “What happened?” The man began to rock back and forth. “What did I do to deserve this? Did I not do everything You asked? Did I not obey to the lastContinue reading »

The actor Heath Ledger died in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs several months after filming was completed for the movie “The Dark Knight” in which Ledger portrayed Batman’s nemesis the Joker. Late in 2007, Ledger told The New York Times he was prescribed Ambien for an extreme period of insomnia, where he would sleep less than three hours a night, haunted by his character who he called a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” In that same interview, Heath also confided his “body was exhausted” even as his mind would not shut down. A German documentary about the actor’s life tells of his intense preparation for portraying the Joker. To get into the mind of the villain, Heath immersed himself in preparation by literally locking himself in a London hotel room for a month, reading any and all comics pertaining to the movie plot, experimenting with voices taking inspiration from hyenas, clowns and Alex DeLearge from “A Clockwork Orange,” and creating an perfecting “a somewhat… iconic…Continue reading »

The end is near, but it’s not too late. Everyone is closer to eternity every day, and we don’t witness as we should, but what do you do when every day could be someone’s last (even though no one is promised tomorrow)? When it’s down to the wire? You suddenly realize it’s now or maybe never. Heaven or hell? Be brave and bold; lay it all out on the line. You have nothing to lose, but they have it all to lose. Take every chance to bring the truth to light and let the chips fall where they may; they may ignore you, get angry with you, or you may just save a life. When God calls you to be a watchman it may be someone’s last chance. What have you got to lose? I have a friend of a friend who has terminal cancer and it won’t be long, it seems before he is out of time. In fact, my husband and I have been invited to a getContinue reading »

The thought of someone we don’t like going to Hell should never make us happy. We are supposed to see through the eyes of Jesus and he sees everyone as worth saving. Yet, while we live in the flesh, we will constantly do what Paul spoke of in Romans 7. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at warContinue reading »

It is clear from the opening lines of Psalm 2 that some people would be overjoyed to live in a world without faith. We read, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” “Faith,” such people claim, “is oppressive and one of the many root causes for all the suffering in this world.” Of course, technically speaking, no one is without faith. Everybody believes in something, but what is meant here is faith in ‘God’; more specifically, the God of the Bible, who the Bible itself calls love. * But what does a world look like that has cast away the cords of God? In such a world ‘self’ will be central. It can’t be any other way. If we can’t rely on God, we will have to rely on ourselves. Therefore, a world without faith is a world that is all about self-preservation.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) The Bible is one continuous historical and prophetic story; it is the story of Jesus Christ, the Lord. It begins in Genesis where God has created everything out of nothing, by His powerful spoken word He has made water, and dry ground, the sun, the moon and all the birds, fish and animals and He called it all good. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in ourContinue reading »

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) Samuel told King Saul that God said to attack the Amalekites and completely annihilate them including the women, children, and animals. The battle was waged and the Israelites attacked the Amalekites, just as God had commanded. Unfortunately, they also kept the King of the Amalekites and the best of the animals. As a result, God sent Samuel to deliver the message to Saul that since he had not obeyed, God was removing him from the throne. When Samuel calls Saul on the carpet about not destroying everything, Saul claims he saved the best animals to sacrifice to God. So first he partially obeyed, which is basically saying “I will follow Your instructions, but only the part I want to.” It is the same as the temptation of Eve. God saidContinue reading »

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Friendship Delights – Part Two

Days ago in Rest in Hope, I posted Part One of “Friendship Delights” that shared about the bond of David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Another favorite bible friendship story is that of Naomi and Ruth. Naomi’s two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah became widows, as did Naomi. After her husband passed, returning to her homeland, Judah, was Naomi’s mission. Orpah and Ruth told Naomi that they’d go with her to her people. Naomi discouraged them both, but Ruth persisted. She said to Naomi these words from the book of Ruth 1:16 – KJV, “. . . Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” How touching is that love, loyalty and devotion?

Naomi convinced Orpah to return to her kinfolk, but Ruth refused to be deterred. Off she went with her mother-in-law to a destiny of which she likely had no foreknowledge. Upon reaching and settling in Judah, Ruth listened to her mother-in-law’s wise and timely advice. Subsequently, Ruth gained Boaz as a husband and he gained a jewel of a wife. Ruth conceived and birthed Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. Little known is that, according to the genealogy in Matthew 1:5, Rahab, the harlot, — Joshua 2 — was the great-grandmother of David.

Ruth 4:18 – KJV:

Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Matthew 1:5 – KJV:

. . . And Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king.

Note: The spellings of the subject names differ in the Old and New Testaments.

I end this with a salute to my nearest and dearest best friend, Arnetta, who has passed on, but memories of her remain solidly in my heart. Ours was a proven and treasured friendship — indeed. The photo that accompanies this piece is of Arnetta and I from “back in the day.”

“How about becoming a clairvoyant?” The man shuffled with some papers and let out a sigh. He was getting tired of finding me a job. I had been sitting in front of him for half an hour and we had looked at job offers. But there was nothing. Granted, finding a job for an old missionary who has been on the mission field for most of his life is a daunting task for any man, but when he started to talk about being a clairvoyant I wasn’t sure if I heard him correctly. “Excuse me?” He started to tap his fingers on his desk. “I said you could become a clairvoyant. You know, you play around with a crystal ball, read the Tarot cards. Communicate with the dead. Stuff like that.” I looked at him wide-eyed and shook my head. “I don’t understand.” It was getting late. The job office clerk clearly wanted to go home and had already drunk far more coffee than was good for him. He wasContinue reading »

Salvation is a gift. It can’t be earned, is never deserved and is available to every person who wants it. When Jesus spoke his last words, “It is finished,” his mission was truly accomplished. The temple veil was rent in two and heaven’s gates were opened. If salvation is free, then do our works still matter? Revelation 14:13 gives us a clue. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Our works may not get us into heaven, but it is clear from the Bible that God rewards us in direct relation to how we lived our lives on earth. Good works are important? You mean, like showing up in church and faithfully giving a donation to a needy cause? Those may be important, but the true works of God go a little further than that. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work theContinue reading »

Sometimes it looks like the whole world has gone insane. The newspapers are full of news, but it’s mostly bad. Hatred, greed and selfishness seem to be the rulers of this world and many people try to hide in holes of deep discouragement. Where is it all going to? And is there hope? Of course there’s hope. The future is as bright as the promises of God and according to the Bible, our future couldn’t be any better. When the Puritan leader John Owen was dying, his secretary was writing a last letter on his behalf. The man began his letter with the words, “Today, I am still in the land of the living, but…” John Owen motioned to him that that was not at all what he wanted to say. He motioned for the secretary to carefully listen to him and then he whispered, “Write this. Today I am still in the land of the dead, but soon I will cross the threshold and I will step into theContinue reading »