Mourning

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It had a catchy tune; I sang along with the lyrics.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

I mean who wants to be sad?

Right?

Remember how Spock irritated his friends?

He was so logical.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV).”

Spock leaned and relied on his understanding, his logic.

The truth is that I can receive a blessing (not happiness). It comes through mourning.

That may not be logical. It is factual.

“Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NKJV).”

Joy comes in the morning; that is true.

“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5 NKJV).”

But, through mourning I draw nearer to God.

“Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10 NKJV).”

 

 

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Free born…

Free born…

“Tell me, those of you who want to be under the law, don’t you hear the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman.  But the one by the slave was born according to the impulse of the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery—this is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.  For it is written:

Rejoice, childless woman,
who does not give birth.
Burst into song and shout,
you who are not in labor,
for the children of the desolate are many,
more numerous than those
of the woman who has a husband.

 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.  But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now.  But what does the Scripture say?

Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.

 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman (Galatians 4:21-31 HCSB).”

In Bible times names carried significant meaning.

‘Freeborn’ is a family name in my genealogy. My grandmother’s maiden name was Freeborn. In addition my father was named Franklin Freeborn Ford.  

 

A Family of Faith

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{Image: crosscards.com}

Faith…

Why do I complicate the issue?

The scriptures are clear.

“Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4 NASB).”

By faith, by faith alone…

“… nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified (Galatians 2:16 NASB).”

We are a family of faith.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26 NASB).”

We are saved by faith through Christ Jesus. Our love for Him compels us to work in His kingdom.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB).”

 

 

We Have Nothing to Fear

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I’m not a fan of spooky movies. I can watch some of the earlier comedy flicks.  Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson (of the Jack Benny program) had a role in the 1941 film, ‘Topper Returns.’  Wide-eyed Rochester was afraid of ghosts; like Jesus’ disciples; he really had nothing to fear.

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.  But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’

So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God (Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV).”

 

The Quiet Man

How will I be remembered?

How will you?

Some say, ‘He (or she) never had an unkind word to say about anyone.’ In contrast, unkind words are often spoken. ‘The world is better off without him (or her)!’

How will we be remembered?

I remember my father-in-law as a quiet man.

The fish bait man, A.N. Davis filled the role of husband and father. The quiet man and wife Cora began their workdays before daylight. Many customers were likely unaware of the tedious hours of work required to provide shiners, crickets and worms. It was not an occupation for the faint of heart.

It was one well suited to Daddy; he loved being outdoors. He thrived in fresh air and open spaces. In the few short years that I knew him, he never said a lot. He just went about his fish bait business.

I do recall one personal conversation. It revolved around his son, my husband Norm. As a boy of nine years old he had decided on a career as a D.J. in radio. In this instance, I was listening to the radio while visiting in the home of my mother and father-in-law.  He turned my attention towards the radio asking, “Do you like that as much as Norman does?”

Being an outdoor man, I think Daddy had difficulty grasping why working in radio meant so much to his son. My answer was ‘Yes.” I grew up in a home filled with the sounds of music. My family began every morning with music from the radio.

Actions do speak louder than words. Daddy was a quiet man but his actions were heard in the rural town of Oak Grove, Louisiana.

 

 

Answered the Call

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“Now the Lord had said to Abram:

‘Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV).”

True, this was a call to the man Abram (Abraham). Yet, I believe parts of the call were given to each missionary serving in the foreign missionary field. Missionaries have answered the call, saying yes to Yahweh.

They have left the security of family, friends and their homeland.

In return, God has blessed them with purpose, fulfillment and impact on others.

I’m blessed to call missionaries my close friends.

 

A Christmas Without Batteries

 

 

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What’s a Christmas without batteries?

Hmm, that’s an interesting concept. Let’s mull that over for a minute or two. So many of our gizmos need batteries inserted before we can operate them. Pity the parents who forget to buy batteries before children and teens open their gifts.

What about poor Dad? He will be unable to hear the whir of battery operated tools if they are not included.

There’s still time to buy extra batteries; you won’t want to miss a minute of the battery operated action.  The thrifty use rechargeable batteries. As a Christian, I depend on a far greater power than disposable batteries.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 HCSB).”

Like rechargeable batteries, we receive God’s power through repeated fillings.

“… be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18b HCSB).”

While batteries power gizmos, the Holy Spirit empowers Emmanuel followers!