Once again we’re soon coming on December 25th, the day we celebrate the birth of Christ – yes Christmas. The Bible account of his arrival is deeply cherished by Christians. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph traveled and reached Bethlehem where the Lord was born in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. Wise men were guided to look upon the newborn Saviour. They lovingly and generously came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Repeated readings and sermons about the birth of Christ haven’t dampened the beauty of that rich event shared so splendidly in the Bible. Some church bodies have a custom of early morning Christmas services. Attending helps parishioners to be reminded of lifestyle priorities. Love and service to Christ transcend our material holiday activities. Yes, the hope of glory stands way beyond all the rest. Colossians 1:27 – KJV, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,Continue reading »

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.

One of the most heartwarming accounts in the Bible is of the good Samaritan. Many other folks and I adore that story. It reveals that the man in need was rejected by a priest and a Levite, but helped by a good Samaritan. Luke 10:33-35 – KJV But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Beautiful feelings rise within when I recall the numerous occasions when good Samaritans have assisted in emergencies, and with different needs and desires. Reminders such as those bolsters hope in humanity.Continue reading »

How long are You going to allow the violence to go on? Look at us. Look at what we’re becoming. Is this the reason why the floods came, the Earth opened up, releasing the waters of the deep as the rain came down? Was the Earth so violent, so unforgiving, so malicious, that You had no choice, but to end the carnage that had spread to every corner of the world? Was there no escape from one killing another? Had crime spread so far, been so prevalent, that no one was safe in their homes? Children no longer went outside to play? No one traveled across the countryside to spend time away? Fear replaced the joy that was supposed to blanket the Earth You made? This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t the plan at all. Time to start all over again. But there was a glimmer of hope. There were the families of Noah and his children and their families. You kept them alive. You had mercy, You had graceContinue reading »

Recently, I watched a video clip where a son (my guess is that he was in his late teens) expressed to his mother that he didn’t believe in God. She reacted in anger and went on to tell him that he wouldn’t be getting anything for Christmas since he didn’t believe in the Christ of Christmas. Partly, that video inspired me to write this piece. What’s the best way to handle when youth, particularly, in same households with adult Christians, don’t believe in God? It can be tough calls, indeed. Some parents/guardians practice tough love in such circumstances. Youth are forced to attend church and to participate in Christian practices. In some instances, resentment resides in the youth. On the flip side, some parents/guardians don’t coerce youth to engage in what doesn’t spiritually appeal to them. They allow the youth to “freely” express themselves. What, though, is the best way? In my opinion, there are no hard and fast rules as to what’s best. Each family handles the predicaments inContinue reading »

Who doesn’t long for that eternal place where we can quench our thirst with living water and will be surrounded with nothing but the soft light of God? Heaven, the place where pain and sorrows can no longer molest and Satan is no longer allowed access. Still, it is hard to imagine what it will be like in that beautiful place. Paul said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Right now, because we are on earth and can only truly understand earthly things, we judge Heaven by earthly standards. Therefore, the first things we consider important about Heaven are the absence of pain and stress. The things that bother us the most here on earth are our dealings with fear, desperation and misery, and therefore to us, Heaven surely must mean the absence of those things. Thankfully the Scriptures agree, as is clearly written that in Heaven all tears shallContinue reading »

We’re surrounded by gifts — Priceless gifts of love and splendor Gifts with no expiration dates I stepped outside today and connected with multiple gifts — Trees, birds, clouds, rain and snow I danced in their presence A dance of joy, freedom and gratitude — Thankfulness manifested in fluid motions in sync with the movements of love It was a happy dance despite what appears with aims to distract — We press through with awareness that we dwell in the habitation of God Our Lord provides bountiful and abundant gifts — Days and nights we’re presented with more gifts — How precious and treasured that LOVE is the best gift of all.

We’re sometimes challenged as to when to talk, and when to be silent. There are seasons when we need to speak/express, and seasons when we need to be in zip formation. Awareness and doing, of course, are two different things. All of us have opened our mouths and said things out of season then came to regret our spoken words. Once the expressions are released, they can’t be erased from atmospheres. They’re out and doing whatever . . . . Sure, we can apologize, and on occasions, be forgiven, but truly, we don’t forget. Fall outs from such circumstances vary; they can be unpredictable. I’m not able to count the times that I’ve misspoken and regretted. Other folks share those sentiments. There are some folks who have chronic “foot in mouth disease.” Yep, people with haphazard running “faucets” on regular rotation. There’s hope, though, because positive change is possible. I’m deeply grateful to have learned to curb my tongue and expressions, and to engage with others who are wise inContinue reading »

I looked at the twelve story building, silhouetted against a grey sky and I shivered. “Look at that hospital,” I told my wife. “It looks so big and ominous. I hope I’ll never be in that place.” “Don’t worry about it.” My wife smiled reassuringly. “God is stronger than a mere hospital.” *** It started with a slight pain in my stomach. I figured it was due to something I ate and tried to push it away. But the pain didn’t go away and soon became stronger. “I sure hope this pain is leaving soon,” I murmured. But it didn’t. Then the fevers came. High fevers that left me soaked with sweat. I prayed for healing, quoted scriptures and ate all the right foods, but the fevers didn’t go away either. Again I hoped for a change for the better. But it got worse. Then the doctor came. He shook his head and for awhile said nothing. I looked at him from my sweaty bed with anticipation. I hope he doesn’t send me toContinue 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 »

Often, we desire the best, yet we tend to, on occasions, resist what it involves to attain it. College students attend universities to obtain degrees, but some of them initially throw caution to the wind, particularly during their freshman years. They drink alcohol in excess, party unreasonably, and hang out to the wee hours of mornings. Then the students get their grades and it hits home to them that their lax studying habits resulted in dreadful progress reports. Wake up calls do happen with students making amendments by properly prioritizing their activities. In such choices, their best can indeed be achieved. Workplaces have folks who slack off on the regular and then they complain when they aren’t receiving the best from employers. Such workers give less than their best but expect the best to manifest for them. Certainly, those expectations aren’t reasonable. Athletes who aspire to Olympic status regularly practice for hours for long stretches of time — years. They aim for the best and they invest their best. ProfessionalContinue reading »