Sunday, January 31, 2016


Look what God did!

“For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
    an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
       Isaiah 55:12,13        

Friday, January 29, 2016


Find a cool place to hang out this weekend.

And remember to honor the One who created it!

His peace to your hearts and homes.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thirty Years

Thirty-one years ago ~ I know, but I'm giving you the back-story, so hang in there with me for a paragraph or two ~ thirty-one years ago I was student teaching in Bristol, Tennessee.  I was assigned to a third grade classroom with a delightful master-teacher.  Mrs. Burke was the kind of woman every one wished they could be assigned to.  There was another teacher in the school, a young man who was fascinated with space.  He desperately wanted to explore and when the Teachers In Space program was initiated he began the application process.  He made it all the way to the final selection for the state of Tennessee before being eliminated.  I learned a lot about the Space Shuttle program that year, just from sitting quietly grading papers and listening to him talk to the other teachers. 

After graduation I landed a job in Gainseville, Georgia.  It was a small church-school with atrocious pay.  I was hired to teach the 6th and 7th combined classroom.  I was teaching 11 subjects a day (we combined the Bible class).  The second semester we had someone who came in and taught PE and another volunteer who handled music, so that I would have some time to catch my breath. 

On January 28th I wanted my students to be able to watch the Challenger launch.  Like many other class-rooms around the country, we had been talking about space a lot leading up to this historic launch.  We were all excited about it.  Then I got the word that the PE teacher had to have that time slot for PE that day.  There was no getting around it.  We were disappointed, but since the only television available was a very, very small portable unit in the church secretary's office, and since I was sure that the news channels would be re-running the launch that evening, I assigned the kids to watch the news that night and go on to PE during that hour.

I walked over to the church office and stuck my head into the secretary's office.  She invited me to come on in and watch the launch with her and the pastor.  We huddled around that tiny little television just in time to catch the final minute or two of the countdown.  And the blast-off.  And the rockets going in two different directions. 

Wait a minute, was it supposed to look like that??

Photo from CBS news

No.   No it was not.  

Word about the disaster spread quickly through the school.  I thought the PE teacher was going to hit the floor when she heard the news.  My students were understandably shaken up, distressed, disbelieving.  There were a few tears from some of the young ladies.  But these kids knew what their responsibility was in the face of this disaster.  So we bowed our heads together and began to pray. 

Several years later we took a family vacation to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to visit my sister and her family.  On the way home we stopped at Kennedy Space Center where Junior and I went and saw the Challenger Memorial.  I shared with him my memories of the day.  He slipped his little hand into mine and stood there with me as we looked at the names. 

Photo from NASA

They are remembered today.  

May the peace of God ~ not of man but of God Himself ~ shelter their families as they work through yet another anniversary of the tragedy.  May those who have rejected Him be drawn to His love and grace.  May those who know Him be drawn even closer to His comfort and peace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Prayers

Between slow internet, illness, and the stuff of life that has been going on I have not been very consistent about writing in the past six weeks or so.  The internet is now changed, I am just about over the crud, and life seems to be settling down, so I am getting back into the habit of daily writing.  I miss it when I am not doing it!

There are plenty of needs that need to be taken to God today.  There are a lot of things for which we need to thank Him.  However this week rather than focus on intercessory prayer, I want to focus on God.  I want to challenge you to take a day to pray to God without a request list.

Back in November I posted this about prayer.  Today I want to pick back up with that.  The next attribute in the list I have is justice.  We crave justice in our world, don't we?  We read about the Grand Jury who instead of bringing an indictment against Planned Parenthood for the horror of not only killing unborn babies but also selling their body parts, chose to indict the makers of the video that exposed this heinous practice.  We hear about the atrocities of ISIS murdering Christians.  We read of high-ranking politicians who blithely engage in criminal activities, knowing that they will never be brought to justice over these things.  We yearn for justice and cry out about injustice.  We even go so far sometimes as to ask God, "WHERE ARE YOU???!!!".

He is right here beside us.  He alone is perfectly just. 

Because of the sin that entangles all of us, our justice is perverted.  Sometimes that is easier to see than at other times.  But God.  God alone is perfectly Just.  His justice is infinite, having no limits or boundaries in space ~ it extends to the farthest reaches of the universe that HE created.  His justice is eternal.  It has no beginning point and no ending point.  His justice is unchangeable.  It is the same today that it was before time was created.  It is the same today that it will be after time ceases.  That is a comforting thought.  It is also a little frightening.  Think about your life this morning.  Has there been any sin of injustice in your life today?  Not just actions, but thoughts?  Were you irritable with your child, your spouse, your co-worker?  Did you take credit for something someone else accomplished?  Did you blame someone else for your own mistakes?  Do you desire God's justice for your own sin? 

God's justice is perfect.  It is unlimited.  He will right the wrongs that you have suffered in your life.  He will "take care of things". 

In your prayers today, think about God's justice.  Think about what it really means for Him to be perfectly and completely just.  Remember that you are charged with reflecting Him to the world around you.  You are called to show Him to the world in the way you live your life; the things you say, the way you treat the people around you, the things you do.  Be thankful that His justice is tempered with mercy; that our Saviour Jesus Christ accepted the consequences of God's justice for us.

Pray today for God's justice.  Pray that you will reflect His true and perfect justice. 

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
    they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
 they are a crooked and twisted generation. 

Deuteronomy 32:4-5    

May His peace fill your heart and home.  May you reflect His justice to the world around you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday Morning Memories....on Tuesday

Once upon a time there was a little family who lived in the country on a little hill.  They loved country life.  They had chickens, rabbits, a garden, and they even tried raising bees until Mama got stung and swelled up like a monster.  They loved their little country home and life. 

They realized that while country life was the life for them, they did still need a few modern conveniences.  They could do without television service, and managed for a while without trash pick-up.  But they did find that having internet service made it possible for Papa to keep his job, and Mama to stay connected to the world (for better or worse).

Therefore, when they moved onto their little hill, they called around to find a company who could provide internet service up their little hill.  They were surprised to find that in this day and age that was not as easy as one might expect  However they finally found a company who said that they could provide internet and phone service, so they signed the contract and were happy. 

Over time a few problem cropped up.  If a check was not mailed 2 weeks before it was due, they would claim that they did not receive it by the due date and charge a penalty fee.  Because if they did not receive the mail that Mama sent, it was Mama's fault.  A few times the bill did not arrive at the little house until the day it was due.  Mama sent the payment in with a note about when the bill was received and the next month she discovered a late fee on the bill because last month's payment had been late.  It seems that if Mama does not receive her mail in time that is also Mama's fault.  For a while Mama paid her bills in person at the office, but then the company decided to close that office down to "save costs".  Mama had to resort to paying her bill on-line.  Until that became a problem.

Over time, the speed of the internet became slower and slower.  Papa got a new job that required him to work from home ~ using the internet ~ periodically.  As time went on, the internet became slower and slower.  If Papa were home working, Mama could not use the internet.  In the afternoons when the neighbors came home from work and their children came home from school, they needed the internet and sometimes Papa and Mama could not use it at all. 

One day Papa received a letter in the mail from the company saying that if he would call them right away he could sign up for new, faster service and lock into a low rate for that service for a life-time.  Papa was VERY happy to get this news!  He called the company right away and said he wanted to take advantage of this wonderful offer.  As he talked to the helpful person on the phone, he realized that they sounded a little hesitant about the wonderful offer.  Finally they admitted, "Sir, we can not provide that service where you live" ????  It seemed that not only could they not guarantee that new, faster, better service where Papa and Mama lived, they admitted that they could not even guarantee the service for which Papa and Mama were paying a hefty fee each month. 

Papa began to look around at other companies to see who could provide internet service to the little house on the hill.  Sadly, no one was able to. 

One day a neighbor called Papa to tell him that a lawyer was coming!  The lawyer was going to talk to the neighborhood about getting better service!  Maybe even getting what they were paying for!!  Papa and Mama talked and decided to go to the meeting.  After listening to the lawyer, Papa and Mama were sad to realize that the lawyer was not living in the same world that they were, but in some alternate reality universe where the internet company would listen to the lawyer and do what the lawyer thought they should do.  And pay the lawyer a lot of money.

The months went on.  Internet service became worse and worse with each month.  Mama was sad because every month she had to pay the company lots of money.  Every month the service was worse and worse.  Sometimes just for fun, Papa or Mama would call the company and ask if there was a problem in their area making their service so poor.  The helpful irritated people at the company never really seemed to be able to answer that question. 

Finally one month Papa did a speed test.  He discovered that even though he was paying for one speed, he was really only getting speeds 1/12th as fast as what he was buying.  That day Papa, who was supposed to work from home because it was Christmas Eve, had to go to the office to work.  Papa was NOT HAPPY.  The next week, Papa called a nice man at a brand-new company.  The nice man said he could help!  The nice man said that he would be happy to give Papa new service with faster internet for a better price.  The nice man made it very easy to get the new service.

Papa called Mama.  They were afraid to be too hopeful because the old, big company had made so many promises.  But they decided to go ahead and see if the nice man was telling the truth.  Within just a few days, there were more nice men at their little house on the little hill.  The next day another nice man came to the little house on the little hill.  That evening Papa and Mama had NEW INTERNET SERVICE.   THAT WORKED!!  Papa tested the speed of the new internet service.  He could hardly believe his eyes; it was FAST!  Papa discovered that every single time he checked, the internet service was still just as fast as the nice man had promised it would be.  Papa called Windstream the old, tired, sad internet service provider and told them that he would not need them any more.  The woman at Windstream the old, tired, sad internet service provider asked if Papa would still use them if they gave Papa a faster speed?  Papa said that he had been told he could not get that speed at the little house on the little hill.  The woman at Windstream the old, tired, sad company said, "Oh". 

And that, boys and girls, is how Papa and Mama wound up at USA Cable network the nice, new internet service provider instead of Windstream the old, tired, sad company.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Monday Morning

I am getting the happy hat ready and practicing the dance of joy.  Tomorrow our new internet company is coming over to get us all installed.  The blog WILL return....!