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Showing posts from 2017

Naughty OR Nice?

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Have you been naughty or extra nice this year?Will you receive a lump of coal in your stocking or everything you wished for? “You better watch out…Santa Claus is coming to town.” Remember, “He’s making a list; and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…He sees you when you’re sleeping…knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”[1]
Aww, Christmas fun!  Interestingly, a few days ago I stumbled upon a website where you can actually ask Santa if you are on the “NAUGHTY or NICE” list. Yes indeedy, folks!  Step right up, because at: http://www.claus.com/naughtyornice/nn_hmpg2.php you will find Santa’s Nice-o-Meter.By typing in your name and then clicking the “ASK SANTA” button, you can see where you stand on Santa’s NaughtyorNice scale.

A Thanksgiving Contemplation

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Driving home from work Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, my eyes caught the McDonald’s restaurant signboard. They were advertising a “Big Breakfast Thanksgiving morning.” A question quickly came to mind. “Who would go to McDonald’s for this big breakfast Thanksgiving morning?” I answered myself almost immediately, with an envious reflection, “Probably anyone who doesn’t have a ton of cleaning, cooking and baking to do.”
I had worked late, I was tired, and a bit cranky. But then, my thoughts were on to something else. I think I reviewed all the ingredients I purchased earlier, making sure before I drove all the way home, I hadn’t forgotten anything.
To me, Thanksgiving has always been about thanking God for His blessings in my life the past year. However, this morning, I remembered McDonald’s sign and I got to thinking about the people who just might have attended the “Big Breakfast” feast. Were they people who were much more prepared for this “holiday” than I was? Could this have bee…

Gray Days

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Summer transitioning to fall gives me much more difficulty than any other seasonal change. I mean, winter to spring is a roller-coaster ride. I’m up when the air has warmed, but down when the skies darken and snow flurries return. Still, I know magnificent spring is only days away. Spring to summer is exciting and much easier. The warm weather just gets warmer. I bask the beauty of God’s handiwork enjoying intense sunlight and longer days. Fall to winter also doesn’t seem to affect me as much. I’ve already become accustomed to less daylight and cooler temps and, of course, holiday anticipation keeps me in high spirits.
Nevertheless, when the shorter, gray daysof fall appear, I feel gloomy and down. I become very introspective, thinking things need to change in my life, but not sure what or how they should change. Sometimes, I seem to disengage, just going through the motions of living.
Maybe some of you are like me. And if so, what will it take for us to maintain lifted spirits and repe…

Living Stones

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When I was young and still, as I am old, I am amazed by God’s creation, not only flora and fauna i.e. trees, flowers, and animals, but the sky above and the earth beneath.  And I’ve always loved different and unique stones. Some stones I’d find on my hikes were the white or “lucky” stones and others furrowed with colors of tan, brown, and orange, peppered with golden sparkles.
Out the back door, through the pastures greeting curious cows as I walked, finally arriving in the small wooded area perfectly framed by our upstairs window. This was my special place. It was shaded, cool, and quiet. Yet, in spots, the sun broke through beaming its rays like lasers. There, some stones I found were green and almost appeared to be alive. But no, it was only moss. And rinsing them with pond water sometimes yielded treasures.
It tickles me now when my grandchildren find stones and say, “Look, Grammy, isn’t is pretty?” For a moment, I’m their age, back in my special place, and again, in awe.
Have you ev…

Though The Waves Roar...

Have you read the book of Jeremiah lately?  Last month the Lord led me to Jeremiah chapter five. I don’t remember what I was studying at the time or even the reason I was reading Jeremiah five, but when I read verse 22, my breath caught. I’m sure I’ve read Jeremiah 5:22hundred times in my 30 plus years of walking with God, but that day was different.
“Do you not fear Me?' says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.’”[1]
When I saw the portion, “…Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass over it?” my mind immediately pictured the ocean at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, with its soft, white sand. As I stood there gazing across the seemingly endless blue-green water, I remember the squawk of the seagulls and the hint…

Questions

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?[1]
You would almost think these words are right out of newspaper headlines and television news, but they’re not. This question was penned by King David about three thousand years ago and then reiterated by Peter about one thousand years later. Yet, since then, things have not really changed. Nations still rage and people continue to plot and carry out vain things.
Case in point, the political lies coming out of the news media and specifically the three CNN employees who resigned on June 26, 2017, when an article they wrote had to be retracted. I’m sure this has always been the situation with the media, but no one, up until this point, has been brave enough to say it. Maybe others out there knew some in the media greatly embellish their stories with half-truths or fabrications, but what they had to hide, compelled them to stay silent.

Then You Shall Know

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Are you facing something daunting? Something you know you can do, but one little bobble could thwart the whole thing and keep you from achieving your goal. Maybe it’s a task you need to complete or an ability test that will take you to the next level in accomplishment. Is it a speech, a project, or an idea to pitch? So many activities in life require excellence, a body honed to perfection, a focused mind, incredible speed, or years of study.
On the other hand, you know you are capable. You’ve done all the essential preparatory work. You’ll try your best, but nerves may spoil your performance, make your mind go blank, or worse, sweaty palms and a queasy stomach. You resolve to push through whatever happens, yet apprehension and anxiety consume your thoughts and you just need breathe.

But maybe your test is over and now you are waiting for the results. Your mind has reviewed every detail, every word uttered, and every move you made or didn’t make. I should have said or done this or that. …

One Thing

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In 1991 the movie, City Slickers, premiered. Three city boys decided to spend their vacation driving cattle on an authentic cattle drive. The experience, they surmised, would end their mid-life crisis and in the process they’d become genuine cowboys. Their vacation commenced at a dude ranch in the southwest where they learned and prepared for the drive. It was here they met rugged, mean-looking, and very seasoned trail boss, Curly. The drive begins normally, yet as in all comedies and good stories, chaos quickly follows. Along the way, the main character, Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, learns from Curly, played by Jack Palance, the secret to life is one thing. When Mitch asks, “What’s the one thing?” Curly says, “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.” Mitch goes wild trying to discover what Curly means by one thing. In the end, Mitch seems to learn his one thing. Satisfied, he returns home to live the proverbial happily ever after.
According to the City Slickers movie review, this one…

Doctrines of Demons

DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
Are you grieved that our culture thinks so little of the God who created us and the world in which we live that they accept when our Sovereign, Holy God is reduced to a caricature or a joke in a monologue? I mean, where is their fear? Not just reverential fear, I’m talking real out and out fear of Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.[1]
Do you think it’s just a sign of the times and the prophesied falling away?[2]
In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked a question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” You might think this is a rhetorical question, but it’s not. He’s telling of things to come and trying to make us think.
So, what type of thing would cause a believer to lose faith and possibly walk away from the TRUTH of the Holy Scriptures they may have known from childhood[3] or as an adult that brought us to Christ?

Explanation of The Shack Critique

I was first made aware of the 2007-2008 best-selling book, THE SHACK, by a co-worker, who stated, “This is the best book I have ever read.” I accepted the book and took it home to read because the cover listed raves reviews by Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message, and Michael W. Smith, Christian recording artist. Nevertheless, it sat on my nightstand for weeks and for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to read it. The day I decided to return the unread book to my co-worker, I received a letter and monthly catalog from Southwest Radio Church. The correspondence read, “The Shack” teaches New Age thought.
“Ah-ha!” I thought, “Now I know why I couldn’t read this book.”
The Holy Spirit had kept me from reading until I could be warned of the errors within. Then He gave me the desire to read as an exercise in discernment.

Love Like A Scarlet Carnation

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On Valentine’s Day, the doctor for whom I work, purchases red carnations for every patient who comes that day for treatment. This affection towards his patients has always impressed me. From my first day on the job, November 17, 1999, I have admired this man. I never knew a doctor who not only bought flowers for his patients, but also made personal phone calls to each new patient following their initial treatment.
So last week, when I picked up the bouquet of carnations, I paused for a moment to consider the crinkly, sweet-scented, little flowers. I thought about our patients and the delight each flower would bring and then I reminisced about my high school days. If I remember correctly, our Tri-Hi-Y Club sold Valentine carnations. Any student could purchase a single carnation or more and club members would deliver them to their special someone. A white carnation meant friendship. The pink carnation indicated “I like you” and of course, the red carnation symbolized Love.
I wondered if t…