When the wife told her husband about a new invention she had heard about, he laughed and scoffed: “Sometimes I really wonder about you. You are so ignorant and believe just about anything. What you’re saying there can never happen.” Her eyes were sad as she answered him in soft tones, “But it’s true. I read about it in a magazine, but you never believe me.” The man shook his head in disgust, grumbled another complaint, and continued reading the sports page of his newspaper. Unbelief hurts. When people do not believe you and make fun of you, it is hard to bear. There’s almost no offense so hard to bear as being called a liar, for although people would be quick to say they don’t mean it, a liar is inherently what people call you when they don’t believe you. How does that apply to God and faith in God? Unbelief in God is, in essence, the same as calling Him a liar. The Apostle John agrees. He said:Continue reading »

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 first time I saw her she was standing at the coffee machine. “Hi.” She gave me a tired smile. “Coffee’s just about the best thing here, isn’t it?” “True,” I said. “Have you been here long?” “Off and on.” She sighed. “Last time we had to stay three weeks. Then we were home again, but soon Elbert got another fever. So, we’re back in the fray.” I nodded. It had been the same for me, ever since our son had been diagnosed with leukemia. The hospital provided initial treatment and then sent us home with a boatload of pills. At first, it didn’t seem so bad. A few pills, a bit of discomfort. But then came the fevers. And the doctor had been very specific about it. “If he gets even a slight fever, come straight back,” he warned. “Don’t take chances.” For months, we traveled back and forth between home and the children’s cancer ward–traveling between hope and despair. “How old is Elbert?” “Seven.” She smiled. “His fever’sContinue 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 »

Choices are made Every step of the way Some choices are good Some…are bad I thought I knew The difference Always Passed the red light Passed the warning signs Passed the barricades And the yellow tape All around I heard their calls I ignored their pleas I pushed them away As they tried to tell me My knowledge superior My understanding the best My wisdom undeniable Truth be told… Better than the rest Lessons are learned Through the experiences Of life When Angels fail To save me When friends fail To convince me When I refuse Sound judgement There’s only one thing Left to do Let me fall

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.”

I felt my life I felt my thoughts I could breathe I could see The future in front of me Would I have children? A budding career? Would I make plenty of friends? Be seen as the next pioneer? An intense light Is the last thing I remember Now in Heaven, I wonder Why did I die Seven months before I was ready To be born?

Rahab was a prostitute but believed in God. When the two spies came to Jericho, she immediately put her faith in action, sheltering them and allowing them to escape unharmed. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? James 2:25 (NIV) So instead of professing faith only, she showed off her faith by helping God’s men. If she says, I believe, but is then afraid to help the spies, she repudiates the faith she just professed. If you believe God, you must act like it. She believed God would deliver her and her household when everyone else was lost. I am as guilty as anyone of asking God to help me, but then I act like I don’t believe He will. For example, one morning I asked God to heal my foot. For some reason, I was having trouble walking on it. After my prayer time, I gotContinue reading »

“the ropes around his arms. . . melted” – Judges 15:14   Like the powerful Samson, we often find ourselves in positions where we are overwhelmed- bound and restrained by life’s demands and every way we turn we are halted or obstructed. We are limited by the knots, sometimes endless snarls of complications, in our lives. Samson was given the power by God and through the Spirit to burst any bond or rope that was put upon him. Samson’s power and gifts were matchless throughout history. However, we are not without resources and gifts. The power of God is always stronger than the tangles of life. It does not matter the size or gravity of the knots, for as the prayer says- “in your hands there is no knot which can not be undone”

Perky Simone is on her honeymoon with Kirk, the man who she met in church a year ago. She married him even though more than a few signals came from the Lord that it wasn’t a God-approved union. Simone convinced herself that it couldn’t have been the Lord who’d advised her against Kirk. The two of them have had nothing but pleasurable times since becoming a couple. Kirk is tender, respectful and considerate of Simone’s needs and desires. He wines and dines her and gets on swell with her family. They love him. Day three of their honeymoon, Kirk’s true colors surface. After a late night supper, the newlyweds return to their hotel room. Out of the blue, a piercing slap lands on Simone’s cheek. Stunned, she places her hand on her face as she backs away in fear. Tears leap to Simone’s eyes. She screams out, “What’s the matter with you, Kirk?” He snarls, “I saw how you looked at that man at the table next to where weContinue reading »