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Adversity and Affliction

Hospitals and doctor offices continue to seek higher standards in sanitizing. Prevention of patient and staff infections is high priority. It’s easy to forget how far we have come in health care. Movies remind us of past problems.

Surgical procedures during the War Between the States or Wild West days were dangerous. Many times outcomes were fatal. With little more than scalpel and trembling hands, doctors performed delicate operations. They washed hands and plunged instruments into a blazing fire to kill the germs.

The Lord uses fires of adversity to refine His children and burn away sins’ contamination.

And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God (Zechariah 13:9 NASB).’”

We are tried and tested by fires of adversity and affliction.

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A Gated Community

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My husband Norm once worked as a security guard at a gated community. Residents were serious about their security and personal safety. They restricted some people from entry to their community and homes. Norm had a list to follow.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV).”

The LORD has a list. It’s in the Book of Life.

“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15 NKJV).”

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Fill `er up!

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I remember when you could get gas for 25 cents a gallon!

Our gas prices are on the rise; my husband believes they will reach 5-6 dollars a gallon (with government green energy agendas). Most people pump their own gas today. I wonder how many would say ‘Fill-er-up’ where full service is available.

In the good old days customers frequently got their tanks full. All the windows were washed. Attendants even checked the water in the battery and air in the tires. Before leaving, satisfied customers checked their fuel gauge. The tank was full.

God offers us full and meaningful lives.

“[I pray that] you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and width, height and depth, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17b-19 HCSB).”

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Commitment

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‘Put your money where your mouth is!’

The act of taking our money from a billfold, swiping a credit card or affixing a signature on a personal check is visible proof. We are ready to make a major purchase. Until we exchange money, it’s mere talk.

In anticipation, car dealers wait with pen in hand; trying to persuade the hesitant to sign a contractual agreement.

‘Put your commitment where your heart is.’

Flippantly, many say that they would do anything for someone dear to them. Only a few selfless individuals would actually risk their time, possessions and personal safety to fulfill their pledge.

Jesus Christ put His life on the line. There is no greater love.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13 NKJV).”

His heart, life and sacrificial death were as one.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father (John 10:17-18 NKJV).”

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Brain Power!

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Brain power!

The book of Proverbs contains wisdom for one and all.

There are 31 chapters making it ideal for a month long meditation.

From Proverbs, Chapter 1…

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice, and integrity;
To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise person will hear and increase in learning,
And a person of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a saying,
The words of the wise and their riddles
.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:1-7 NASB).”

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Mass Confusion

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.  And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.  And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:1-9 NKJV).”

Mass confusion…

Babel: 1. Confused noise/ a confused noise, especially the noise of loud unintelligible voices all talking at once [Encarta Dictionary: English (North America)  

There is Babel. 

There is a clear word.

… “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV).”

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Mary’s Little Lamb

Mary birthed a little Lamb.

Behold the Lamb of God.


“And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.


These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.


The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:25-29 KJV).”

Behold the man.

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.


Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man (John 19:1-5 KJV)!”

Behold your King.

“… he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King (John 19:13b-14 KJV)!”


Behold; believe.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9 KJV).”

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Christmas Candy Craving!

Candy adds to Christmas festivities; unfortunately, it also adds inches to our waistlines. There are so many wonderful varieties and we want to try every one.

Mom made delicious chocolate and peanut butter fudge and the delectable seven layer bars. She always placed hard sugar candies in special dishes and used an heirloom Depression glass dish for ribbon candy.

“M & M’s” in colors of the season and “Hershey’s Kisses” are popular choices.

Don’t forget divinity and peanut brittle; they make great gifts.

We can satisfy our sugar cravings in a number of ways. Yet, we have a deeper desire that God alone can satisfy.

“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (Psalm 119:103 NKJV).”

How sweet it is!

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Thanksgiving Trees

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Once upon a time, a Thanksgiving time…

I was at the home of ‘our gourd lady;’ my mother-in-law.

Looking across the road, a Thanksgiving tree beckoned me.

Its colorful wind rustled leaves were a sight to behold.

Carried by a Louisiana breeze, fallen leaves danced in the road.

If only the tree could talk…

What message would it share?

The tree, so beautiful in the autumn season, brought to mind the elderly.

In the autumn of their years, the elderly radiate warmth and charm.

If wise, those in the springtime and summer seasons of life will honor and emulate the aged.

Yes, the Thanksgiving tree could convey that message.

God allowed me to witness the tree at the pinnacle of its glory.

As Master artist, He had decorated it for Thanksgiving.

He’d spread a blanket of multi colored leaves around the trunk of the tree. The symmetrical tree held only a few uneven branches. They directed my sight above to the sky and to Him, my Creator.

The Creator’s chosen colors held the most important message.

His pallet held vibrant hues of green, red and orange.

Green leaves remaining represent everlasting life, His gift to all who believe in His Son. (John 3:16)

Red symbolize the shed blood of Jesus. He gave His life to pay for our sins. (Ephesians 1:7)

Orange signifies lives aglow with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:55)

Thanksgiving Day 2020 is drawing near; the Father is in our midst.

He decorated Thanksgiving trees; let’s celebrate!

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North and South

The War Between the States, (north & south) holds a place in America’s history. 

In scripture, (1 Kings 12-16) we read of conflicts and separation between northern Israel and southern Judah.

“When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,

‘What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!’

So Israel departed to their tents.  But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.  Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.  So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day (1 Kings 12:16-19 NASB).”

North or south, God is in control.

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all it contains, You have founded them.
 The north and the south, You have created them (Psalm 89:11-12a NASB).”

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