Saturday, December 31, 2011

Go Ahead! Clap and Sing!

Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!...

Sing praises to our God.  Sing praises!
Sing praises to our King.  Sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with a psalm!
Psalm 47:1,2,6,7

Our small country style church in the woods has many things that draw us to it--pastors who work full time jobs and minister without pay and teach the Bible, a congregation that loves and fellowships with one another, a strong work ethic that teaches the children hard work and hard play,  an evangelistic spirit, missionary zeal, and generous pocketbooks.  Another thing that I love about our church is the way we sing.  I have never heard a congregation with fewer than 150 people sing with the joy and gusto that we do.  I pray that it hits the ears of heaven as it does the surrounding countryside!

What better way to end the year and begin 2012 than to sing praises to our God and King?  If you are not attending church this evening with fellow believers, I encourage you to take the time to clap your hands, sing praises to your King with loud shouts of joy.  Sing praises!  (I know, everyone will think you've lost your mind.  What better way to be thought insane than to be insane for Jesus?)  Come on.  You can do it!

I pray that God will reveal Himself to each of us in a new and glorious way as we bury ourselves in His Word in 2012.  Ever read the Bible in a year?  I strongly encourage you to do so.  If you commit to it, I'll do it with you and we can be accountable to one another.  Here's a website that will guide you through 2012:

Happy New Year, one and all!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Be Still and Know

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
  though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling...
Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:1-3, 10 

The Lord has given me a great challenge for most of my life, as I have said before; and that challenge is how to deal with my fearfulness.  Interestingly, after I wrote a week or so ago about fear, our pastor spoke on it last Sunday.  His prayer both for himself and for his congregation is that we will serve HIM fearlessly in 2012.  I happen to know that our pastor prays specifically for each of his members; therefore, I am confident that I have someone praying for me concerning my fear.  How thankful I am!

But more importantly, I have the God of heaven as my refuge, the One under whose wings I may hide during times of trouble.  I have His strength to carry me through when I think I may no longer stand firm, when the earth seems to be moving under my feet and the roar of the adversary  in my mind sounds like mountains crashing into the sea.

A key to remembering that God is God and no one or nothing is able to penetrate our Refuge is to BE STILL.  Oh, how difficult that is!  My body wants to act, and my mind wants to race.  I want to do something, to go somewhere, to work this problem out.  No, I must be still.  God is the One who gives strength and who shelters us in the midst of the storms of life.

I think I have published this on my blog before, but this is a poem that has meant much to me personally during the storms of life.

The Storm
It was calm as I overlooked the waters of the bay,
A day not unlike many that I had seen before.
And with my back to the scurrying crowd behind me,
I could imagine blissful stillness, nothing more.

The cry of the gulls was sweet to my ears,
A familiar sound that I often fondly heard.
In their shrill cry I almost sensed a warning,
But to maintain my reverie, I dismissed it as absurd.

As I gazed into the distance, I spied a small cloud.
A subtle wind began to rise.
Something within me nagged me to observe it,
But instead I turned my head and closed my eyes.

Life here is so easy, so carefree, I mused.
This island is blessed with pure serenity.
No storm has overtaken it in all these years;
To even contemplate it seems vile obscenity.

As I stood upon the rocks I so often carelessly climbed
I noticed a wave slap hard at the breaker.
The salt spray that hit me should have alarmed me;
I decided to think on it later.

But before my heart would dare conceive it,
The storm had unleashed all its grave fury.
I was guilty of ignoring the telltale signs.
The biting wind was my judge, the raucous thunder my jury.

 It slapped at my face and tore at my clothes.
And promised to blind me with fear.
Though the torrents fell round me and the darkness screamed evil,
My heart sensed a Presence was near.

As I fell to my knees, pelted by the winds and rain.
It seemed that the blackness would enfold me.
I cried out to the Creator of nature’s wrath
And begged Him in mercy to hold me.

For hours the fair island that had been my secure shelter
Was battered and beaten and torn.
I made my way to the top and clung firmly to the Rock
And waited out the cold, blinding storm.

The storm did subside, but others followed.
Alas, my fair island was not immune.
But in the midst of the chaos I learned a wise lesson.
My insensitive heart was fine-tuned.

For the One who causes the gales to blow
And the fierce rains to pellet the earth
Is the same Lord who calms the raging seas
And restores the land with new birth.

So amidst the harsh storms of life I have found
That He allows them as part of His plan.
But the Rock that I cling to is eternally secure,
Held firm by His strong loving hand.

I don’t look for the storms, but as I cling to the top
Of the Rock, I think I may see
A glimpse of eternity and how very much sweeter
That haven called heaven will be.

Gloria Godbee
New Year’s day, 2001

Clinging to the Rock,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The King and His Bride

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;

you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Psalm 45:6,7a

Psalm 45  is one of the most beautifully poetic psalms in the Scriptures.  It is replete with wonderful descriptive phrases about, I believe, our Lord and His bride, the church.  It speaks of His beauty, His strength, His power, His majesty, His reign, and the eternality of His reign.

And then it speaks of His bride.  That's me!  What does He say about me?  I am beautiful, and I am glorious. In my robes of interwoven gold (robes of righteousness?) I am allowed to go with joy and gladness to my King. 

Oh, how unworthy I feel.  I don't feel beautiful; I eat too much and need to lose a few pounds.  I'm getting gray and wrinkled, and my back aches and my bones hurt.  I don't always season my words with grace.  I neglect things that I need to do--things that are important.  I don't have the standing with others that I once did.  They see me now as older and not so much needed as counsel or support.  Why would the King want me?

He wants me because He doesn't see me as I see myself or as others do.  He sees me clothed in the royal robes of His righteousness.  He sees me as one for whom He gave His life's blood. He nailed all of my ugliness to His cross and made me forever young.  

Oh, how that causes me to want to serve my King as His royal bride!  Don't think I am being too bold in saying that He has written about me in His Book.  If you are His, you are also His bride; you may claim the same royal privilege.  I am overwhelmed with wonder that "in joy and gladness I may enter the palace of my King." (see verses 13-15)
Join me, will you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Passing the Baton

We have heard with our ears, O God;
our fathers have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago. 
Psalm 44:1
 I love to watch the Olympic relay runners.  One runs for awhile and then passes the baton (stick) to the next runner.  The key is to smoothly pass the stick, still running at full speed, and to see the next runner grab the stick at full speed without dropping it.  And so on until the race is finished!

Life for a Christian should be a spiritual relay race.  One of my favorite passages is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9: 
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. 

I have a son and 2 daughters.  My prayer is that they will pass the baton to their children, and that their children will pass it to my great grandchildren, who will pass it to theirs.  If the baton is dropped, the next generation may be lost.  The race is not won until we have the prize in our grasp.  We must run--and run--and run--and continue to pass the baton smoothly to the next generation.  I must admit that one of my great fears it that the stick will be dropped.  (You learn too much about me as I write these posts!)

The baton is in our hands.  We cannot pass it on if our first leg of the race in incomplete.  Our first responsibility is to love God ourselves with the fervor it takes to run the race.  Then and only then may we pass the baton to the next runner.
Please pray for me that I will continue to run and with me that the next generation will recognize the importance of running the race and passing the baton.

Weak-kneed but running,

Monday, December 26, 2011

Joy and Delight

Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.

David, in his assaults by his enemies, always cried out to God, even when he felt deserted and alone.  It appears at this point that the psalmist, likely David, was cut off from the tabernacle of God and His altar.  His plea to God was that He would enlighten him with the truth and allow him to go to the altar where God dwelt.  

What a privilege we who are believers today have!  We cannot be cut off from the tabernacle of God because we are His dwelling place.  "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" (1 Corinthians 6:19)  Because His Spirit resides in us, we have the privilege of having connectedness with our Savior at all times.  "You were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19.)

Is God your joy and your delight?  Do you spend time each day, wherever you are or in whatever situation you find yourself, in fellowship with the One who indwells you, who has given you the privilege of being a part of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and a house for His Spirit?  

As we end 2011 and begin 2012, let's all make a commitment to make Him our joy and our delight and to be guided by His light and His truth.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas (The Meaning of Christmas)

My soul, wait you only upon God; 
for my expectation is from him. 
Psalm 62:5

I wasn't planning to write a post today since it is Christmas morning, but I read my dear friend Angie's post, and it reminded me of a very important and life-changing Christmas long ago in my life.  I would like to share it with you in hopes that it will give you the same joy for Christmas as it gives to me in remembrance.  I shared it with my granddaughter who "spent the night" with us last night.  (Her family lives downstairs!)

My expectations for the "Christmas" as we know it in the good ole USA died when I was a young girl and I dropped and broke a gift my aunt had given to my grandmother. My grandmother  became so angry with me that it ruined my "Christmas," and each year at Christmas there was a sadness until I realized that Christmas is about CHRIST, not us. 

No expectations, not disappointment! Now I can rejoice in the fact that my Jesus is the real reason for my celebration of Christmas.  Oh, I still buy gifts and love to give them, but I am not expectting any great feeling of joy over the giving or receiving of gifts.  You know, kids can be ungrateful (just as adults can), or things can be dropped and broken.  They likely will be at some time or other before the Christmas holidays are over.  But the great fact that our Lord Jesus came in the flesh, lived a perfect life, and died a cruel death--all for me and other sinners like me--can never be taken away.  My Christmas will last all year long--every year and through eternity. 

Celebrating CHRISTmas all year long,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
Psalm 42:1

Merry Christmas, everyone.
My grandchildren often ask me what I want for Christmas.  I can say with great longing that my Christmas wish list includes first and foremost that God will grant salvation to all of those for whom I pray so diligently; and that I will  see the souls of each member of my family panting for God as the deer pants for the water streams, and an example to the world of the wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
And I desire to see each of you who read this blog, blessed beyond measure through the salvation and joy that is in our Lord.  May your New Year 2012 be filled with love, joy and peace that comes only through HIM.
In His great love and joy,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Only Because of HIm

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.
Psalm 41:13

In this psalm David is crying out for God to be gracious to him.  His enemies, as usual, are all about--waiting for his demise.  What a life to lead!  Do you ever feel that the "enemies" in your life are overwhelming, and that without God's grace you will be overcome?  Well, you are right! 

But our focus today is on the last verse in the psalm, verse 13.  As we draw nearer to Christmas day, the day when we celebrate the birth of our Lord, it will behoove us to remember that only because of HIM may we cry out for God's grace, and only because of HIM may we know life to the fullest.  Only because of HIM, the ONE who emptied HIMSELF of all heavenly glory, took the form of a servant in the likeness of man, the ONE who delivered HIMSELF over to the death of the cross and became sin so that we might be freed from sin. Only because of HIM!   Philippians 2:5-112 Corinthians 5:21.

My prayer is that you will have a Christ-filled Christmas, as well as every other day of the year.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

In His grace and mercy,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do You Know?

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:3 
Psalm 40 is a beautiful prayer extolling our mighty God, pleading for forgiveness and help, and words of exhortation to turn to Him, the God of wonders. This particular verse caused me to think of another beautiful song, appropriate to usher in the CHRISTmas season.
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.”
 Luke 1:46-55
Do you notice that Mary's FOCUS is not so much on what has happened to her as it is praise and worship of the God who dwells inside her womb.  This young girl, one who could easily be shunned by her future husband, stoned as a harlot, or ostracized from society, instead gives a statement of praise to the God of glory for what He has done.
As we go through the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday season, buying for the kids or grandkids, decorating the tree--and the house and yard, and even the car!--where is our real FOCUS?  Is it on what is happening around us, to us, and for us, or is it what has happened IN us?  Is our FOCUS on the earth-born child who is the Savior of the world, the God of all creation, the ONE who was conceived by the Spirit of God in a young teenaged girl, was born in an obscure village in a dirty manger,  lived among sinful men, died on a cruel cross, and gave Himself up for your sins and mine? Is HE our FOCUS?
I must confess that I find it difficult to stay focused in the material world in which we live.  I find it difficult to limit my spending on the 13 precious grandchildren, to remember that visiting those in need is more important than my own wants, and that this rather pagan holiday should be celebrated as the birthday celebration of our Lord, my  gaze on Him and a glance only on this world. 
Mary, Did You Know?
As we turn our FOCUS to Him,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Few Handbreadths

O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;

let me know how fleeting I am!

 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.

Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! 
Psalm 39:4-5

Yesterday I attended an annual Christmas ornament exchange party and luncheon which we have had at a sweet friend's home for the past 13 years.  Some of these women my husband and I taught in Sunday School when they were young brides; others I taught in Bible study with mostly younger women.  They were standing around talking about going through menopause!  What?!?  Many of them a mother-in-law now and even grandmothers!  How can that be?  I also listened as one of them told me of the cancer scare she has recently had.

Then last night we sat and listened to the church's recital for the children of the church.  Oh, what wonderful music comes from these precious children!  I watched our 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12 year old grandchildren play the piano, the violin, the psaltry, the piano, and the guitar.  Then I listened to my 41 year old daughter accompany on the piano, my 16 year old granddaughter hauntingly and beautifully play Song From the Secret Garden on her violin.

Where has my life flown?  What have I to show for it?  What will I accomplish in the remaining years that God grants me?  Hopefully I will live with the health and vitality of 94 year old Mamaw at church, but if so that would only be another 30 years, not even 1/3 of the time I have had so far.  Statistics say that I won't live that long.  My life is fleeting--and fleeing!

I desire to finish strong for the Lord.  All the running around doing things does not count if it has no purpose, if it does not give Him glory.  And I believe that all things that we do should give Him glory, whether they are what we call spiritual or not.  I fear standing before the Lord and giving account of all the wasted time, the useless projects, the unfinished or unaccomplished ministries He called me to, but I failed to complete.

The very fact that I am breathing is a testimony to the fact that God has more for me to accomplish on this side of eternity.  As the writer of Proverbs said, "So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

As Christmas season draws to a close and a new year begins, let us commit to gaining a heart of wisdom, to accomplishing what God has for us in this brief and uncertain life.  Let's love Him with vigor!

Always striving, often failing,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Desires of Our Hearts

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4
One of the grandchildren awoke yesterday morning, sat down with the morning paper (excuse me, advertisements), and saw her heart's desire--an MP3 player for $25!  She asked her dad if she could have it, and he asked her if she had the money to buy it.  For her that was a resounding, "yes!" to her question.  Dad said if she had the money she could buy it!  (She doesn't deal in rhetoricals.)

She came upstairs and asked me if I had any jobs she could do to earn the extra $15 she needed for the MP3 that her dad said she could have if she had the money.  I had a rather large project that I was undertaking for yesterday morning, so I said sure, she could help me completely empty the closet and reorganize it, and clean the rest of the bedroom.  For 2 solid hours she worked like a servant, joyfully earning the remainder of the money for the desire of her heart.

Her mom and the other children were leaving for the store, and she called to her mom that we were going to Big Lots.  We proceeded to Big Lots, where she lovingly handed over her $25 (she owes me $2 for tax.)  How thrilled she was to finally have what her heart has desired for some time now!

There was only one problem.  Her mom did not really want her to have an MP3 player and had told her so several times in the past.  When she delightedly showed it to her, she did not get the response that she hoped for.  Mom was not as excited as she was, Gogi felt used, and all was not well.  

How often do we as Christians delight ourselves in the things of the world, giving God the credit for something He really did not give us, using Him to justify our selfish desires?  I don't really believe that this verse means that whatever we want we get because we love the Lord.  I believe that this passage is telling us that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, HE will place in our hearts HIS desires.  We will want what HE wants for us; our heart's desires will be HIS heart's desires, and "The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of HIS glory and grace."

The story ends in favor of my granddaughter.  Her mom realized that she was trying to hold on to her baby, and not letting her grow up a little.  She granted that she could keep what she worked so hard for, but that it will be strictly monitored.  Good thinking, Mom!  Don't you love a good mom?

Our Lord grants us much.  Oh, that our heart's desires will be HIS desires for us, and that we will not have to rely on HIM to say, "Okay, you can keep it.  But you will be strictly monitored.  You don't have complete freedom in this."

(The lyrics to the following hymn were in­spired by the Gos­pel tract, "Fo­cused" by  Isabella Lilias Trotter (14 July 1853 – 28 August 1928) a missionary for over 38 years to the Muslims of Algeria.The tract  in­clud­ed these words:  "So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full in­to His face and you will find that the things of earth will ac­quire a strange new dim­ness."

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Praying for myself and my grandchildren that the things of earth will grow dimmer as we look into His glorious face,

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Fountain and Light

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
Lord, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. 
 Psalm 36:5-9

There is a sense in which all mankind enjoys the earthly blessings which God bestows, and I am very grateful for that, because I have loved ones who don't know Him--yet.   If it weren't for His love and righteousness, which is accompanied by His longsuffering, we would all likely perish.  His protection and the abundance of His storehouse covers all of mankind.   And without the sun to warm and light us, we would all die.  "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  (Matthew 5:45)

But the buck stops there for those who don't know and love the Lord Jesus.  Until we drink from the fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins, we cannot know eternal life.  And until we recognize in our lives the Light of the World, we cannot have true light.  Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." (John 8:12)

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
by William Cowper
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
  Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I'll sing Thy power to save,
I'll sing Thy power to save, I'll sing Thy power to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I'll sing Thy power to save.

As we enjoy this Christmas season, I encourage you to examine yourselves to see if you are drinking from the fountain of life and seeing light through the Light of the World.  He is the only way to eternal life!

With love and prayers,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Consider It a Blessing

Vern and Debbie Darley

But I, when they were sick--I wore sackcloth; 
I afflicted myself with fasting; 
I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 
I went about as though I grieved
for my friend or my brother; 
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.
Psalm 35:13-14

Over the years we have had many opportunities to help those who were in troubles of one sort or another--afflicted, as the KJV would put it.  Although what I will go on to say will not appear so, we consider every opportunity to help someone a great blessing.  Once we were privileged to have a pastor whose wife had suddenly left him, stay in our home for a month while they reconciled.  We have had a Japanese girl live with us for a year and more than one  college student lived with us.  My mother lived with us the last 5 years of her life.  Friends lost their home in a tornado and lived with us for several weeks while they relocated.  Another time we kept their 3 oldest children for several weeks while the mom had a difficult pregnancy and delivery.  It was a privilege to pray for these folks and to help them as we could.  Over the years we have taught and we have counseled.  (This is not a pat-myself-on-the-shoulder post, I can promise you!)

Of the many who have lived with us or whom we have helped in other ways, few have remained faithful friends.  Some have turned their backs on us completely or left us with their bills to pay; and some we have just not heard from again, though I think they appreciated it at the time.  We decided long ago that we will not do for others with the hope of getting any earthly reward for  it; and therefore , we can consider it a blessing.  But sometimes we end up feeling like David did in Psalm 35!

Then along come Vern and Debbie, friends with whom we served in the USAF 40 years ago.  Deb is in cancer treatment at UAMS hospital in Little Rock, and we had lunch with them last week.  Her cancer is considered incurable, and she is going into her third year of treatment after having been told she had 3 months to live.  Were we an encouragement to them?  I have no idea, but I must say that they encouraged us!  Deb is a spunky gal with an attitude that says, "I don't quit."  Vern is a loving supporter who makes it his goal to bring joy and comfort into her life.  And these two precious people could not thank us enough for taking the time to come to lunch with them and for what seemed to my husband a very small thing that he did for Vern many years ago.  It made my life richer to spend time with those two precious people who love the Lord and others with a vivacious and tenacious spirit.  Thank you, Vern and Debbie, for being a part of our lives.

Don't give up on doing what's right, even though you may never see the reward of doing so on this earth.  This earth is not our home--we're only passing through!  It's worth the time and effort, I promise.

Please pray for Deb as she goes through treatment, coming to Little Rock from Atlanta every 3 months.  Please go to her website and follow this wonderful woman's path as they trust the Lord with her life.  Her blog is

Praying for Deb,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who, Me? Afraid?

I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears...
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, 
and delivers them. 
Psalm 34:4,7

My husband and I married in 1968, both at the age of 22.  I had never spent a night alone until we married and moved to Alabama, where he was in pilot's training for the United States Air Force.  Many mornings he would leave the house as early as 2 a.m.  There was only one problem with that; I was a very fearful bride Embarrassingly I will tell this story.  

Early on, he left one morning during the wee hours, and as usual, I was unable to go back to sleep for fear that a boogie-man would come in and accost me.  I promptly got up, rummaged around in the dark until I found the hand gun, put it under my pillow, and tried to go back to sleep--to no avail.  Of course, I was afraid to get up and turn on lights, because I feared that someone would then know that I was awake, that I was in the house all alone; because you see, he had surely been waiting around until Buster left.  

Unable to sleep, I began to think of all the ways this supposed accoster might get into the house.  Oh, no!  The high window in the other bedroom was not secured!  Trembling with fear, I got out of bed and tiptoed (so that he wouldn't hear me) into the room and began to think how I could secure it.  I know!  I would take the hammer, and hammer nails into it.  No, I would have to go out to the storage room in the back yard in order to get nails, and if I did that he would surely get me.  I felt around and found Buster's golf tees on the desk and a baseball trophy nearby.  Perfect hammer and nails!  I proceeded (noisily, I must say) to hammer the golf tees into the window with the trophy.  I then placed several of his trophies in the window sill so that if the intruder tried to open the window, which pushed open into the house, they would fall on the floor, and I could run out the front door to the neighbor's house.  All of that to no avail!  No sleep for the weary; I spent the rest of the hours of darkness with my hand on the gun.  Nothing would calm my fears except daylight. This all started because on the wall in front of my bed I saw the shadow of someone walking down the street!  Ridiculous, huh?

We then moved to Taiwan, where he would be away from home 15-21 days at a time, flying in war-torn areas of Southeast Asia.  What to do?  Finally, at a mature (more like desperate) 23 years of age, I began to memorize Scripture and to rely on God and His Word to take me through my fears.  I memorized verses that talked about fear and quoted them when I felt afraid.  "I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." 

No more fear?  I wish.  As David was, I'm still a fear-prone person, but I trust that as I continue to seek the Lord, He will deliver me from all my fears, that I will not be given to fear. This verse doesn't say that He will cause me not to be fear-prone, but it does say that as I seek Him, He will deliver me.  And in doing it this way, I believe that He is teaching me to fear Him.  Without Him I can do nothing.  But He promises me that His angel will encamp about me as I fear Him and will deliver me.  Praise His Holy Name!

Some are given to fear and others to anger (James 1:19-22).  God deals with both in His Word, and we may grow by it.  My prayer for you today is that you will learn, with me, to fear God and give your fear (or anger) to Him. 

Embarrassed to say,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Truth vs. Myths

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!
Psalm 33:10-12
What a deception the "population explosion" myth is!  I have read some very alarming statistics lately concerning our nation.  Here are some of them:

The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased tenfold between 1960 and 2000. - U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2000.” 

The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased by 88% between 1990 and 2007. - U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2007.”
The majority of couples marrying today cohabited first. - Bumpass, Larry and Lu, Hsien-Hen. 2000. "Trends in Cohabitation and Implications for Children's Family Contexts in the United States." Population Studies, 54: 29-41. 

The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2009 is 2.01 children per woman, which is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1. However, U.S. population growth  is among the highest in industrialized countries,  since the vast majority of these have below-replacement fertility rates and the U.S. has higher levels of immigration. The United States Census Bureau shows population increases ranging between 0.85% and 0.89% for the twelve-month periods ending in 2009. Nonetheless, though high by industrialized country standards, this is below the world average annual rate of 1.19%  (

Scary, huh?  Fewer weddings, more people living together, and fewer babies.  We are not replacing ourselves as a nation.  And what does this have to do with our Scriptures for today?  Much, I believe.  

Who is our god today?  Or should I say, what is our god today?  Is it the Lord?  If so, then why are we not as a nation abiding by His principles of right and wrong?  Why are we not "multiplying, and replenishing the earth?" (Genesis 9:7)  Some nations are having a difficult time finding wives for the men, because there is so little respect for women. As the older work force retires, there are few to take their place.  God has "brought to nothing the counsel of the nations and frustrated their plans." 

And yet for us who know Him, we may with confidence say, "For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.   He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord."  (Psalm 33:4-5)  We are not carried by the "counsel of the nations," which may or may not work.  We are carried in the arms of our God who created this world by His word and everyone in it by the breath of His mouth. (Psalm 33:6)

Let us pray for those who need Him so desperately,