His family abandoned him, so sad for William indeed — He mourned in utter heartache — He cried out, “Why, Why?” His fragile soul couldn’t grasp the reasons he had to go elsewhere from the place he knew as home — William prayed fervently as his hope slipped away Many nights he sobbed, restless in foster care being sent from place to place until . . . Hope arrived in the embrace of godly folks who chose to love him and bring him into their home He joined a happy unit lonely no more — Loved abundantly with brothers and parents and pets afoot, too. Yes, home sweet home — Hope restored.

Satan goes by many names, some in the Bible as a given name or names, and some we can address him by relating to his attributes, as we do for God. Oh, make no mistake; he is in no way equal to God or even close to the exalted place where God dwells. He is called Satan, which means adversary as he is the enemy of God, the Devil, which means slanderer, and Beelzebub which comes from the false god of the Philistines, meaning lord of flies. The Bible also refers to him with the names relating to his nature as the tempter, the wicked one, the accuser of the brethren (we are the brethren this refers to), the ruler of this world, the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air, and an angel of light. For the purpose of this tale, I will refer to him as the joy thief. Calling him the stealer of joy might be a misuse, since he has noContinue reading »

“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 »

Love, honor and appreciation is extended to the mothers who pour into their children abundant love, care, discipline and diligence in child rearing. The same extends to those non-mothers who generously administer tender loving care as relatives and guardians. My mother passed away when I was a teenager. My dearly beloved aunt Margie stepped in to care for me and my sister. Aunt Margie had two children of her own, but she chose to “mother” us, as well. Through the years, Aunt Margie has done the same for other relatives. Indeed, she’s a jewel in the ways in which she so consistently exhibits love and care. I adored my mother, Helen. As her youngest child, yes, I was spoiled. She was a treasure of a mother. Certainly, we knew that we were loved by the constant evidence presented by Mama. “Recovering” from her absence was a huge challenge. Rebellion was one way that I acted out my profound grief. Coming to grips with my motherless status was immensely difficult. FolksContinue reading »

Isaiah 1:18 (New Living Translation) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. We all sinned; every woman, man and child. We have no way to save ourselves, which is why God had a plan. He knew that Adam and Eve would commit sin, causing a domino effect on all people. Many years later, the great plan was to send His Son, Jesus Christ to live a life of purity and show God’s Kingdom on earth…to give HOPE to people who desperately need it. Because we have no way of saving ourselves from sin, Jesus’ precious shedding blood can only cleanse us. No good works, not attending a church service every Sunday or special event. It all came down to this: Jesus Christ died not only for our sins but also to have a deep relationship with us. It’s like going toContinue reading »

Ben looks out his window; the stars twinkle brightly on this clear night. Plans of the trip ahead are revisited for the fifth time. He wipes a bit of sweat off his brow, not willing to turn back now. His wife, Sarah, places her hand on his shoulder. She’s still concerned about his safety. “I wouldn’t argue so much if I thought you were doing this for the right reason.” Sarah grips his shoulder, “What happened isn’t your fault..” “I know,” Ben interrupts, turning to see Sarah’s dark brown hair flowing from underneath her shawl. “But now, you want to take your brother, my cousin, our friend. You don’t know if these rumors are true, Ben.” He shakes his head, not able to argue the point. Looking at the moonlight in his wife’s eyes, he wishes he could say something different. “He would do the same for us. Either of us.” His wife turns away, shaking her head. She stands in the center of the room contemplating the entire plan.Continue reading »

Several years ago, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, Kim got her degree in chemical engineering. Soon after, she landed a lucrative career that has her globetrotting and closing deals galore. Two years ago, Kim’s father, Walter passed away. She hasn’t been home to visit her widowed mother, Evelyn, for more than a year. She hardly calls her either. Typically, when Evelyn calls Kim, her busy daughter rushes her mom off the phone. Kim keeps telling Evelyn that she’ll be home soon. She has yet to get there. Evelyn is deeply wounded within that Kim has become too busy for her. Evelyn mopes about her dearth of relationships. She so misses Walter. He was truly her soul mate. The couple spent an abundance of time just the two of them. Now sitting alone on her back porch, Evelyn regrets not being more socially active. The lonely widow finds comfort in her Bible. She especially loves the Psalms. They are full of words of comfort, hope and encouragement. Evelyn gains some inner strength afterContinue reading »

I have a chronic, incurable illness. It causes a multitude of symptoms, with varying degrees in each person afflicted. The two main symptoms are pain and fatigue, sometimes mild, sometimes debilitating. A person’s ability for compassion and empathy only extends a certain distance beyond the end of his or her nose, and each person you know will have a different threshold for empathy. Some may be very sympathetic and genuinely want to hear how you are and how you are coping. Others may ask how you are, but don’t really want to know. There are some who are completely oblivious, and some who really don’t care. And then there are the ones (usually a veritable crowd) who think they understand your pain in the context of “everyone has problems (or pain, or gets tired, etc).” These are the hardest, for me, to have to deal with. And I rarely speak about my condition at length with anyone for two reasons. The first being there is only so much one personContinue reading »

One night I was on my way home from graduate studies. I was working toward a second MA degree, this one in Jewish-Christian Studies, and carrying a perfect 4.0 grade average. I was taking a back way home, down this street, ending at a T-intersection, and to the highway and home for a late supper and bed. My plans, and my life, were changed- dramatically. About 8:30PM, as I was traveling toward the T-intersection, I saw a car take the turn way too wide and swerve out of control. I pulled over to give the driver as much room as possible to regain control of the vehicle. I watched as the car crossed a double-yellow line and crash into my car, head-on. The driver was drunk, having a .318 blood alcohol level. The crash, even though I was wearing seat belts, tossed me around the front of the car. My injuries were severe. I have lifting weights since I was 12 years old and the doctors told me that myContinue reading »