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Archive for May, 2017

Unclean & unruly, acting out and acting up.

“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chains— because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him (Mark 5:1-6 HCSB).”

The man was about to go through total transformation.

Legion to liberty…

“And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!’ For He had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’

‘What is your name?’ He asked him.

“My name is Legion,’ he answered Him, ‘because we are many.’ And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, ‘Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.’ And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs. Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.

As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He would not let him; instead, He told him, ‘Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.’ So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed (Mark 5:7-20 HCSB).”

Tombs to testimony!

 

 

 

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{image:SnappyGoat.com/flickr}

The Prince of Peace lifts the downtrodden. He puts a spring in the step of the discouraged.

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
and sets me securely on the heights (Psalm 18:33 HCSB).”

Today, I was lifting my legs and feet while walking in place; prancing horses came to mind. They move across a track or circus ring with pageantry and precision. The imagery is exhilarating. 

A beggar found healing, lost his inhibitions and put his legs to the supreme test.

“But Peter said, ‘I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’ Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up, stood, and started to walk, and he entered the temple complex with them—walking, leaping, and praising God (Acts 3:6-8 HCSB).”

Note the progression. The man was healed in the name of Jesus. With miraculous healing, his feet and ankles were instantaneously strengthened. He jumped up from his place of hopelessness, stood and walked. God transformed lame legs into legs of leaping. In response, he praised God!

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{My Dad: Franklin F. Ford}

Do you have a family member serving in the military?

My Dad served in the Army before and during World War II.

Our Son-in-Law is retired career Air Force.

His youngest is now following in his father’s footsteps.

I have extended family in the military too.

I like to see a man or woman in uniform.

Some are basic duty uniforms, suitable for daily wear. Dress uniforms are for formal occasions and yes… there are combat uniforms.

We are in the LORD’s Army.

He gives us His Armor, our uniform. We need to wear it daily.

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace.
In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints (Ephesians 6:10-18 HCSB).”

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{image: commons wikimedia.org}

 

                                          Hannah prayed for a son.

“Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.  Making a vow, she pleaded, ‘Lord of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut (1 Samuel 1:10-11 HCSB).”

The LORD God gave Hannah the desire of her heart.

“Hannah prayed:

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is lifted up by the Lord.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord.
There is no one besides You!
And there is no rock like our God.
Do not boast so proudly,
or let arrogant words come out of your mouth,
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and actions are weighed by Him.
The bows of the warriors are broken,
but the feeble are clothed with strength.
Those who are full hire themselves out for food,
but those who are starving hunger no more.
The woman who is childless gives birth to seven,
but the woman with many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and gives life;
He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.
The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth;
He humbles and He exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
He has set the world on them.
He guards the steps of His faithful ones,
but the wicked perish in darkness,
for a man does not prevail by his own strength.
Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;
He will thunder in the heavens against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give power to His king;
He will lift up the horn of His anointed (1 Samuel 2:1-10 HCSB).”

 

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{My Mom_ Betty Ferris Ford/ 1940’s picture}

The following article is creative non-fiction…

 

Wish I may, wish I might… gazing at the twinkling star I closed my eyes. I wish I could go to Hollywood

“Beth, turn out that light! Get in bed; you’ve got school tomorrow!”

“Yes, Mother,” The springs squeaked as I climbed up onto the bed, and wedged myself under heavy hand-stitched quilts.

Will winter ever end?

Gentle ticking of the wind-up clock soothed me to sleep. The following morning I slipped into my favorite frock; Deanna Durbin wore the fashion design in her last movie. I styled my wavy long hair like hers too, and relished the compliments when people said I resembled her.

My kid sister, Debby said, “Beth, get away from that mirror! Mother and Daddy are waiting at the breakfast table!”

“Just a minute! I want to put a matching bow in my hair.”

“Why bother? You’ll have to wear a kerchief in this snow storm.”

“I’ll fix it again after I get to school. There, that’s better.”

I kissed Mother and Daddy before sitting down. The aroma of Daddy’s fresh ground coffee gave me needed courage.

“There’s a school dance Friday night; all my friends will be there. Can I go?”

Daddy just continued stirring his steaming oatmeal. I hoped Mother would be agreeable.

She took a long contemplating sip of green tea, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You can go… if you promise to get up bright and early Saturday morning and do the floors. “

“I promise!”

I detested the cleaning of the varnish veneer oak floors in many rooms, but I would do anything to get out of the house!

Friday night I met my dreamboat. “Well, hello gorgeous!” Joe held me close and my heart pounded in rhythm with the jitterbug. We dated steady and planned the perfect life together. I quit school in my junior year of high school and became his wife.

The honeymoon ended and my nightmare began. How could I have been so naive? He wanted to see a pretty face when he sobered up from a binge. After a few years, I no longer could believe his promises to quit drinking. There was now a child involved.

“Divorce! Give me a divorce!”

There, I said it. I will swallow my pride and go home to Mother and Daddy.

I needed money to support my little girl, boarded the bus into the big city in search for work. It was not easy without a diploma, and I had no skills to list on applications. Help wanted ads included an opening for clerk in a prestigious photographer’s studio; I acquired the coveted position.

Moving to the city, Mother convinced me it would be best for Patty to stay with her. We both knew I could not afford childcare. Weekend visits flew by; it seemed like my pending divorce not only ended my marriage, but nearly severed my relationship with my daughter too.

The photographer noticed my interest in the business, and trained me in the art of coloring portraits with oils. He also noticed me… I posed for him on several occasions, and took great pride in his comments on how photogenic I was.

One weekend, back at home, my life took a dramatic turn. My Brother Bill’s friend, Freddy dropped by.

“Beth, glad you’re here. I’ve been thinking about you.”

I smiled. “Is that good or bad?”

Laughing, he said, “I want you to meet someone.”

“No blind dates for me!”

“This is different. You’ll like Paul.”

“What’s he like?”

“He’s got a head on his shoulders, Army man, close to 35, and never been married. My sister’s had her eye on him, but he’s not interested….kind of’ tall, dark hair. You’ll make the perfect couple, both look like movie stars!”

Movie stars… Has he been reading my diary? Maybe I should meet this guy….

He introduced us and we were inseparable; we pledged our love in a church ceremony immediately after my divorce became final. He adopted Patty and our family grew with one, two, three other daughters. We were developing our own chorus line! Paul finally got his boy; I needed to see it to believe it!

Tarnishing dreams of stardom hid dormant. Time passed, and I experienced the thrill of seeing Hollywood when visiting our son in California. Inwardly, I perceive I am young and beautiful, dressed in silks, luxurious furs, and attending movie premieres. I take a final glance at Paul before turning off the light. He is still my leading man.

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