We read in the Bible numerous times, “Fear not.” We have many temptations that lurk to put us in places of fear. It isn’t always easy to resist those urges. God rescues us from anxieties and so much more. Clinging to godly principles is hugely helpful. Bible accounts express about people who pressed through despite having reservations, hesitations, and uncertainties. They made choices to trust the Lord, regardless. Of course, obeying God wasn’t always comfortable, but obey they did. Gideon, David, Abraham, Moses and more righteous folks proved the rewards of cleaving to what God led. Gideon was poor and apprehensive about what he was instructed by God to do. The Lord reduced the number of men who were to go to battle with him. It didn’t look logical from a natural point of view. But throughout the Bible, we read of the many accounts of supernatural events that occurred. Moses was charged with confronting king Pharaoh. He wasn’t, at all, eager to take on that enormous task. He attemptedContinue reading »

I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs and even though later in life my wife and I were busy as traveling missionaries; we felt a dog would be a welcome addition to our household. So we got ourselves a nice brown puppy, and the fun began. Puppy training, walks in the morning, exploring the distant fields together at dusk, and loads of chewed up shoes, and a gentle friend for the children. Then my wife got him a collar. Not just any collar, but the best one she could find. A stainless steel collar, complete with a gold color name tag, and when we attached the accompanying red handkerchief to it, he almost seemed better dressed than any of us. “That was an expensive collar,” I questioned my wife. “Sure,” she answered a little sheepishly. “But, it will last us a lifetime, and… it looks so nice.” Money was tight, and I couldn’t see how we could afford such an extravagant collar. I would haveContinue reading »

My heart goes out to the folks involved in child custody issues. Comfort, though, is in the awareness that God is an ever-present help. Psalm 46:1 – KJV, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Yes, no matter what happens, God is love and what the Bible teaches about love and the Lord’s aid provides immense measures of relief. There are instances when, due to actions of vindictiveness, people are being deprived of access to their children. Of course, there are cases when such access is deemed safe and in the best interest of the subject children. We know, though, that there are situations when there are issues of spiteful deprivation. Particularly, disturbing are the times when youth are relocated to foreign countries, which makes custody matters even more challenging. Christians are some of those involved in heart-wrenching custody battles. It’s so draining for parents to be engaged in those sharp disagreements. Of course, children suffer considerably through the ordeals. Thanks be unto God thatContinue reading »

Learning, learning, learning It continues Forever ongoing – Elementary, Middle, High We’re taught Sunday school Bible study Sermons, Lessons, tests – Learning, learning, and learning some more We gain, we develop and progress – Brain and heart challenges Come in plentiful supply – Our achievements Build and cheer us – Learning, learning and learning some more We grasp, we forget We recall and review – Notes, bookmarks, and graphics galore Learning, learning and learning some more Knowledge of God transcends all other topics of learning – Love lessons, Jesus lessons, Wisdom lessons, gospel lessons – Learning, learning and learning some more Nothing adds up better Than learning of the Most High – Learning, learning and learning some more.

Imagine that. A beautiful puzzle of a mighty snow-capped mountain somewhere in Austria. 2000 pieces big and with the warning that it’s only suitable for experienced puzzlers. Can we do it? I am certain that, with enough time and several strong cups of coffee, a lot can be done. But what would happen if I would put those 2000 pieces in some sort of shaking machine and would start shaking them around for weeks, no, maybe even for years on end? Would I eventually get the complete puzzle of that rustic nature scene? No, I would not. Of course, some pieces would coincidentally fall into the right positions, yet others would get stuck in the wrong places, and after a certain amount of time, whole pieces would break off again. Science would say that the puzzle would reach ‘equilibrium.’ Some sort of balance would develop between good fitting pieces and bad fitting pieces and the breaking off of puzzle pieces. After a certain amount of time, the puzzle would simplyContinue reading »

“In the world, you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” * These words Jesus spoke to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion, and they are a wonderful and comforting promise to us, His children, who are so often confused by the struggles we face. It is a reality that we will face trouble in this world, unlike the popular idea that God should take all suffering away from us and give us clear sailing from the cradle to the grave. According to Jesus himself, this will never happen. And it is easy to understand why. This worldly system and its shallow principles are not guided by the Spirit of God. In fact, they are guided by entirely different forces, forces that do not like to be acquainted with God and His heavenly ideas. And because of that, we can be certain there will be lots of tribulation. Does it matter? Not really, because Jesus has already won our main battle. Our destiny isContinue reading »

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 »

Many families, over the years, have kept secrets, particularly from children. My mom passed away when I was a teenager. I just learned, this year, that she’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia. That revelation put some of the pieces of the puzzle together for me. As I remember, I now somewhat get why she sometimes exhibited bizarre and weird behavior. I now know reasons why my mom’s personality shifted from calm to scattered mindsets and actions. As a youth, in the seasons when my mom wasn’t in a sane mental place, I was ashamed of her. A few of my childhood peers would tease and taunt about my mother. They considered her crazy. In assorted ways, the situation was traumatic for my family. In the midst of all of the confusion and disarray, I was certain that my mother loved us. When she was in her states of clarity, Mom was loving, kind, generous, sweet and joyful. Also, she was a loving and faithful Christian who sincerely loved God. I’m gratefulContinue reading »

I peered in the window Wow, pictures galore What’s in the frames? Splendor, comfort, magnificence, glory and beauty in abundance Church, wedding, graduation and birth scenes – Lovely views in plentiful numbers – Love pours out of the frames Joy heartens Escapes into fun delight us Families gather in anticipation of photo shoots They grin, smile, and pose – Giddiness on display Creatures great and small – We marvel at their eye appeal Delightful views indeed Earth pleasures abound in mountain, valley, river, canyon and stream views with so much more in the frame arrangements – Oh my! Children frolic in glee Frame worthy in abundance Happiness pictures lift our hearts God’s presence is evident in the picture frames – All beauty has its origins in God The views excite, delight, comfort and aid – Yes, the pictures in frames remind us of the magnificence of life compliments of our awesome and amazing Creator, the Lord Almighty. Praise ye the Lord.

The other day I came across an inspiring anecdote which illustrated the workings of prayer in a refreshing way. Once, a man woke up in the middle of the night and was overwhelmed by a deep sense of dread and danger. However, the feeling had nothing to do with the man himself but concerned his friend, a missionary who was working in the heart of Africa. Although it was dark, his bed warm and the man tired, he forced himself out of bed and made intercession for his friend. The foreboding feeling of danger did not leave immediately, but this prayer warrior did not yield to the temptation to give up and he fought in prayer like Jacob wrestled with the angel. Finally, as it was already getting light, a great sense of peace flooded into the man’s heart and he went back to bed. A month later he received news from his missionary friend and learned what had happened the night of his prayer. The missionary wrote: “On oneContinue 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 »