Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Remembering Noah

(The rain in my state as I type this post!)

As I watched the evening news and saw the devastation of the recent flooding in Georgia and some of the other southern states I could not help but think about Noah and the flood of all floods. Despair was etched on the faces of people on TV who were looking at their homes with nothing but the roof showing above the water. Many have lost all they have ever worked for. Even worse is the loss of human lives. I was horrified to hear of the two-year-old toddler who was swept out of his Daddy's arms after their mobile home was broken into pieces by the swiftly rising river. It's one thing to lose possessions but another altogether to lose a precious family member!

What do we have in common with Noah? For one thing, the great wickedness corrupting the world like a big fat green worm eats up the tomatoes in our garden. Genesis 6: 5 says: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Seems like that pretty well describes the world in general even today.

What else might we have in common with Noah? Rain every day! I've lost count now how many days in a row it has rained here. We have had a total of 7 or 8 inches of rain that we measured in the rain gauge on our back deck in less than a week. I'm just truly thankful that we live in "hill country" and don't have water seeping in the door !

A good thing that we can have in common with Noah is grace! Genesis 6: 8 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." What a marvelous blessing grace is! I've heard some say all they want is "justice" but not me! If I got what I deserved it would be hell. But thank God I have, like Noah, found grace in the eyes of the LORD!

God would have every right to send another great flood and destroy mankind. But He promised Noah with the sign of a rainbow in the clouds that He would never do so ever again. Genesis 9: 13 "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be fore a token of a covenant between me and the earth." Noah was the first to see a rainbow. You and I have seen several in our life times. Each time we should remember it is a symbol of God's mercy.

Take a few minutes to pray for the many families who are facing the floods today. Pray that they especially may also, as Noah, find grace in the eyes of the LORD!


Friday, September 18, 2009

The Banquet: Broken into Beautiful

A little over a week ago we had our annual fundraising banquet for the Sav-A-Life Pregnancy Center where I volunteer once a week. In my humble opinion it was a great success! As usual, our directors Felesha and Terri had done a great job with all the planning and coordinating the event. It was the result of months of hard work. And then it's over in two hours!

The Family Life Center was decorated beautifully in our theme colors of black, white, and red. Here's one of the tables before any of the more than four hundred guests arrived.

As people began to arrive there was beautiful music wafting through the air thanks to my son David. He also played while we all ate our meal of a mixed greens salad, pork tenderloin, cheddar baked potato, broccoli cheese casserole, homemade bread and chocolate swirl cheesecake.

Our guest speaker for the night was Gwen Smith from Charlotte, NC. The theme of the banquet, "Broken into Beautiful" was taken from the title of Gwen's new book. You can go to her website HERE to read more of her testimony.

Gwen grew up in a Christian home with great Christian parents and was saved as a nine-year-old child. As a youngster and teenager she was active in church and stood up against sin. After graduating from high school and beginning college however, she said that she began to get slack in her convictions and started doing some things she knew a Christian should not do. By her second year of college she had started dating the young man she would eventually marry. As often happens when we start down that slippery slope of giving in to Satan, sin took Gwen farther than she ever meant to go and kept her longer than she ever meant to stay! She found herself pregnant and unmarried. Never, ever dreaming that she would even consider abortion and knowing in her heart it was wrong, she nevertheless went with her boyfriend to an abortion clinic and ended the life of their firstborn. It seemed like the only solution at the time. Here she was a "good" girl. A Christian. What would people think if she had carried the baby? But now the problem was....how could she carry the guilt and pain of aborting her baby? Time passed and she married the father of the baby. She grew farther from God. She never told anyone about the abortion. Heaven forbid that her parents would find out! But God doesn't turn loose of His children that easily. He will never abort one of His own! He stayed on her heels until she returned to Him in repentance and found the forgiveness and restoration she was so desperately in need of.

Soon after that Gwen felt God calling her into Christian ministry. She knew that she would first have to tell people...including her parents....about the abortion. It was a struggle even thinking about that scenario. But, again, the Lord won out and she took the plunge. When talking about the night she told her parents Gwen said that the thing that she dreaded the most and was afraid would drive a wedge in her relationship with her parents actually was the thing that has brought them the closest! Her parents lovingly forgave her and told her that what she had done was in the past and that they loved her no matter what.

Statistics say that one of every three women in the USA have had an abortion. How many women are there walking around....in your community, your church, your school....that are suffering from the guilt and pain every day that comes from having an abortion? Many women find forgiveness and healing through Post-Abortion Restoration classes offered in pregnancy centers such as ours. God is able and willing to forgive. Usually the problem is that the woman has trouble forgiving herself.

Our Pregnancy Center is nearing the completion of a new building. Please pray that we will see many lives changed through our ministry there. There's a spiritual warfare going on for the souls of men and women and the lives of the unborn. May God help us to reach out and offer the Truth to those who have been listening to lies.

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19: 14


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do You Need An Intervention?

(Me and DH a few months ago on our 36th Anniversary!)

Do you get hungry very often? Do you sometimes feel that you STAY hungry? I do! And probably we all have pictures of our favorite foods going through our minds right now! Ha Unless we have something wrong with us we usually don’t have any trouble being hungry for physical food do we? But what about spiritual food? The milk and meat of the Word. Do you get as hungry for God as you do for pie or cake? Do we hunger for God to take control of each part of our lives?

I think most of us would say that we want the Lord to guide us. But how often do we become frustrated when God changes our plans for our careers, our families, finances or even ministry so that He can work His plans in our lives?

Sometimes what we see as an INTERRUPTION, God means as an INTERVENTION. Have you ever heard of or maybe seen on TV a group of people that go to a friend or family member in what they call an intervention? It’s usually when that person is addicted to something. Drugs most of the time. Or sometimes it’s an eating disorder. But it’s something that is ruining that person’s life and if it isn’t stopped the person might even die. So, just think about some of the things that seem to you like “interruptions” in your life as actually being an “intervention” from God to save you from something you don’t need or that would actually harm you!

Isaiah 55: 8-9 reveals a lot about the differences between our plans and the Lord’s plans: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

It says there is a HUGE difference between our ways & thoughts and those of God! God sees the big picture. He’s still in control. Can you think of a time when God redirected your plans to His plans? I’m sure most of us can. I want to share a personal story with you about how God redirected my plans to his plans when I was just a teenager. I’ve told you before how I didn’t really get saved until I had been married for over 5 years. Now I want to back up and tell you something else. I never dated very much during my high school years. But when I was just going into my senior year I met a boy from another town….who was already out of high school and in his 2nd year at college. We started dating and (I thought) fell in love. The summer after I graduated from high school this young man “sort of” proposed to me. He said he wanted us to get married but didn’t want to make it “official” until he had the money to buy me a nice engagement ring. To make this money he moved to a large city to live with his sister and got a good paying job.

It was only a month or so after taking this job that he came to see me and I could tell by just looking at him that something had changed. He told me that he had “met someone”….she lived next door to his sister that he was living with. And just like that, it was over. I thought my heart would break. I cried and cried. But you have to remember that I was not saved. This young man was from a Catholic home. He himself didn’t go to church anywhere. He smoked. He drank some. Oh, not when he was with me but had we married, all that would have changed. Later I realized that this “intervention” in my life by God was one of the best things that could have happened to me!

Only three short months later I met the man who would later become my husband …a Christian with strong morals…and after a couple of years we were married. Had I married the first guy, I would most likely either have gotten out of church altogether or joined myself to a false religion….either way, I would probably be headed to or already in hell today. But God in His mercy intervened in my plans and gave me a Christian husband who kept us in church every time the doors were open. Therefore I was constantly around the things of God which in turn convicted me and I was gloriously and eternally saved.

The next time your plans are suddenly changed, look carefully and see if it may be an intervention from God above.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29: 11


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Battlefield of the Mind

The Battlefield of Our Minds
(based on lessons from Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study “He Speaks to Me”)

Our minds are battlefields! Did you know that? Most of the time we try to fight these battles on our own and usually lose! Our frantic attempts to fix our own problems keep us from hearing God’s calming voice and from hearing His instructions to us.
2 Corinthians 10: 5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
What forces in this verse oppose the “knowledge of God”?1] Imaginations. Sometimes we imagine we want things that are very impractical or even sinful. These thoughts can come from many places….things we see or hear….or even seemingly just out of nowhere.
2] High, exalted things opposing God. If we exalt…or lift up… things…or people…or ideas…above God, then we are in fact making idols of them. This will keep us from true knowledge of God.
What advice does it give us to remedy this?Bring our thoughts into captivity. We can’t just let any and every thought into our minds. Maybe we can’t stop it from appearing but we don’t have to let it set up housekeeping in our mind! The Bible says to take these thoughts captive. Take hold of them. Seize them. So that our thought life will be in obedience to Christ.
As we prepare to fight this battle for our minds we need a plan:

1] Who is our ENEMY?1 Peter 5: 8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"This verse makes it very clear that our enemy is the devil ! The devil will do anything to keep us from hearing from God. He is the one who is constantly putting these evil and negative thoughts in our heads.
2] What are our WEAPONS? Ephesians 6: 11-1711Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
We have no protection from the attacks that Satan brings against us unless we have this armor that God makes available to every Christian. It’s there for us. I don’t know about you but sometimes I am too lazy to pick up the armour God has provided and put it on! Isn’t that awful. It’s there for us if we will just trust God to cover us with it!
3] What is our BATTLE PLAN?Philippians 4: 8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."Our battle plan must be to cover our minds with God’s Word.Getting our minds under control is not a battle we can win once and for all. It’s a daily thing!
What six things does Philippians 4:8 suggest we fill our minds with?
1] Truth
2] Honesty
3] Justice
4] Purity
5] Loveliness
6] Good Reports
Mark 12: 24And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?Jesus said that we don’t have the power of God because we don’t what? We don’t know the scriptures! We’re not spending enough time in God’s Word! I plead guilty! I know I have not been spending enough time in the Bible lately and it is showing up in my life. Think of the Scriptures as your SWORD and every time you feel your mind running away with wrong thoughts or imaginations, quickly stab those thoughts with the Word of God!Today, decide to use the armor God has made available to you. Use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to stab those bad thoughts that satan puts in your mind.
Tell the Lord that you desire to hear his voice clearly. We have a beautiful promise in Isaiah 26: 3…”Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
May we do that today!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Life

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5: 17

Last week marked the 31st year of my spiritual birthday. The day I became a new creature in Christ. Physically, I was twenty-five years old when that happened.

I was brought up in church from the age of about two weeks. My daddy was deacon in the Baptist church we attended. We went twice on Sunday and to prayer meeting on Wednesday nights. But somehow during all those years of going to church, I never really came to the "end of my rope" and got saved. Oh, I joined the church at the age of eleven and was baptized but was never ever at peace in my heart. I struggled so much during my teenaged years especially. I wanted so much to DO something to guarantee I would go to heaven. It was only after I had been married for six years and had two babies that I would finally come face to face with the realization that Jesus was the only One who could DO something to guarantee I would go to heaven. When that became clear in my mind, I got on my knees beside my bed and was saved. I remember feeling like I could just float off. I felt that light! The weight of all my sins was gone!

I want to thank all of you friends who have been such encouragements to me in my life. I know I don't tell you often enough but I appreciate you so very much. You "comfort" and "edify" me just as we are commanded as Christians to do. "Wherefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another, even as also ye do." 2 Thessalonians 5: 11

May God bless you!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


(A 5-gallon bucket of pears fresh off the tree)

(Simmering on the stove and being put into quart canning jars)

(The finished product ! Yummy!)
I've been canning pears this week. Have been wanting to blog but seems like time has been short. It made me start thinking about an article titled "Preserved" that I wrote for publication in a Christian newspaper in October of 2003. I can't think of any better way to say what I've been thinking about than to just reprint it here. For those of you who have known me a long time this may be the second...or even third....time that you have read it. If so, I apologize. Here it is:


The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalm 121: 8 KJV)

The promise of crisp, cool days and clear, frosty nights hangs in the air. Autumn is officially here. The season of harvest. Lately every time I drive to town I see tractors on the roads and in the fields. Farmers are baling their hay and gathering their crops. I’m reminded of the verse in Genesis 8: 22 that says, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”(KJV)

Just today my husband remarked that he wished he knew someone who would like to have the rest of the pears hanging on the tree in our front yard. I have already canned jars and jars of pear preserves, pear relish and pear halves this year so I don’t really need anymore myself. Yet, I am sure I will can a few more just so they’re not wasted.

Since early spring I have watched the pears on that tree. At first I marveled at the lacey white blooms all over the branches. Then spring winds came and scattered them like so many snowflakes all over the ground. After that came little buds of baby pears on the tree. The thick clusters reminded me of grapes. As they grew they became heavier and heavier and began to make the branches droop. We picked some of them before they were very ripe to prevent the branches from breaking under their weight.

As the pears began to ripen, I started preserving them so we could enjoy them this winter. I made pear preserves. A favorite that I often share with friends or family over a hot buttered biscuit. I made pear relish. An unusual combination of pears, hot peppers, bell peppers, onions, sugar and spices that is wonderful over a helping of black-eyed peas or pinto beans. I made pear halves. We love to just open a jar of these and eat with a meal or make a “pear salad” with cottage cheese. But after a while, the sore fingers, stiff neck and back that I get when fixing pears made me not look on these sweet beauties in quite the same light as I did when they first came on the tree. Yet when winter comes and I open a jar of pears, I am so glad that I took the time to preserve them for my family.

There have been times though when I have gone into the pantry to retrieve a jar of preserves and the seal would be broken and the preserves not preserved anymore! What a disappointment. When this happens the culprit is usually a small, almost unnoticeable chip out of the very top of the glass canning jar which causes the seal not to hold. I try to always check carefully for this but sometimes one will slip by me.

Our lives are sometimes sort of like these pears: we “bloom” as infants, “grow” as youngsters, and “ripen” into mature adults. Our Saviour does the “preserving” of us….some of us are one flavor….others another. I am so glad that once I have been “preserved” by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I can never “lose my seal”. (Proverbs 2: 8 KJV “He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.”) He has done the work for my salvation and He is the one who keeps me saved. I am thankful that I can say as did the Patriarch Jacob that I have seen the Lord “face to face” (in the spiritual sense) and have been “preserved”. (“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32: 30 KJV)

I almost forgot to mention one thing about the pears in my front yard…some of them have fallen on the ground and rotted. Some people are the same way….they have turned away from the drawing of the Holy Spirit and have gone out into the “rotten” ways of sin. I pray that if the Spirit should be calling to you as you read this, you will turn to Christ and let Him make of you a sweet “preserved” soul to be used for His honor and glory.


Well, back to my canning. I have another five-gallon bucket of pears waiting on me in the kitchen!

May God bless and "preserve" you all is my prayer!