The Naked Truth

It comes as no surprise that our children are being indoctrinated these days.  I was a teacher for 30+ years.  Times have changed and so have our families, our children, our country, our world.  Is there an absolute moral truth anymore?  God made male and female. He created everything perfectly. If you take things out of God’s original intent there will be consequences. We need to get back to the original design and quit doing things our way.

So, what is truth? Whatever God says it is. PERIOD!  Males and females are different. They were to come together to bring about procreation.  Parents are to represent God to their children. Man and woman create a clearer picture of God. Marriage is a part of every culture, man and woman and a sense of permanance.

God’s design also has a purpose and rules. Jesus was given to us as a model and purpose. Our culture now identifies themselves as homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transgender, the list goes on.

As Christians, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control.  It can be frustrating but we must stand up for truth. It may not be popular, but that is what the Lord wants us to do.

When The Lord “Snitches” On You.

I now have proof that the Lord has a way of snitching on me. It’s true. He tries and tries to get my attention. If I don’t pay attention, He reverts to using my best friend to confront me.  I will explain, and you can decide if the Lord is snitching me out.

Sheryl and I have been friends for over 50 years. Nobody knows me as well as she does; not my family or my husband. We grew up together and have remained close friends even though we live six hours away. We see each other twice a year and text or email often. She has been a Christian all her life, me? Not so much.  We were about as opposite as two people can be, and yet we were best friends. When I accepted the Lord into my life and began living as a Christian, she was so excited, and our friendship has deepened through Christ.

Last spring, she came to visit me for the weekend. All seemed to be going well, but I honestly felt a bit uncomfortable. I couldn’t quite figure out why. She seemed to have changed. I shrugged it off and didn’t overthink it until I got an email from her a few days after she returned home.  She will never sugar coat things with me. She is very blunt and to the point.  She wrote, “After spending the weekend with you, I have to say I feel as though you have fallen from Christ. Your behavior was not as a Christian. You seemed to have reverted to your old self. God has put this on my heart to tell you that he misses you and wants you to talk to Him.”  I felt the anger weld up inside. How dare she. Who does she think she is anyway? Where on earth did she get the impression I had pulled away from Christ.  I knew something didn’t feel right while we were together, but it was her, not me.  I decided that maybe we just aren’t as good of friends as we once were. Perhaps, after 50+ years, we’ve grown too far apart, and the differences are too broad. I was angry at her, but I heard the Lord say, “You know she’s right. Talk to me.”

Instead of talking to the Lord, I decided to call Sheryl and ask her directly.  She pointed out that I was extremely negative and judgemental toward people. I was impatient and acting rude when we were waiting in line for a soda.  She then shared the fact that she didn’t see the Christian Karen I once was and wanted to know if there was something she could do to help. Still feeling defensive, I quickly excused myself making up some lame excuse.

I had to admit, she was right. I had pulled away from the Lord. Not intentionally, just got busy and hadn’t taken the time to focus on Him. I hadn’t been eating very well, and my diabetes was out of control. I was stressed out over money, my job and irritated with my husband too.  I went to my prayer closet and sobbed. I begged for the Lord’s forgiveness.  I openly told Him what was in my heart and asked Him to please lead me in the right direction. Satan had come between us, and it was time for him to go.

It’s now a year later, almost to the day and once again, the Lord snitched me out.  I called Sheryl one evening explaining how mad I was at God. No at God, more like angry that the world has gone crazy and I feel like He doesn’t care anymore. What is He waiting for?  I ranted for a while.  The next morning I woke to an email from her, “God wanted me to ask you this. Are you just talking AT him and not listening? You seem to be distancing yourself again. Satan is in your head.”   Dang, it!  She was right again. I wasted no time. I got down on my knees and told God how much I loved Him.  I asked for forgiveness and guidance.

The Lord will use anyone or anything that will get our attention. I’m grateful that I have a friend that knows me so well and can be the Lord’s mouthpiece when she needs to be.

I am determined to keep my eyes on the Lord and to remember He’s in control. No matter how bad things seem to be, He does care, and it breaks His heart too. Nobody knows what He’s waiting for, but it isn’t something we need to question. It’s all in His timing, not what we think.  I will continue to study scripture and be aware that Satan is lurking around. I will continue to fight to keep the devil from taking up residence in my head.

Amen.

 

 

I

GOD BLESSED ME WITH A SPECIAL FRIEND

special-needs-342264                                       GOD BLESSED ME WITH A SPECIAL FRIEND

I want to tell you about my friend. We only met this past summer, but we instantly hit it off. Have you ever met someone that you are just drawn to immediately? They feel as though they are your kindred spirit. You have a connection that you don’t have with anyone else you’ve known over the years. That’s what this friend is to me. She is my sunshine, my laughter, my inspiration, my hope. Her name is Sami. She is a twelve-year-old with autism. I work with Sami five days a week as her private therapist/teacher. Every day I look forward to walking into her house to find her waiting for me at the kitchen table. She always greets me the same way, “Hi Miss Karen.”                            Having a “normal” conversation with Sami is rather difficult, yet she and I communicate with very little misunderstanding. She is a beautiful young lady. She has a jet black braid down the middle of her back, light brown skin and dark brown eyes. She is tall with a slender build and a smile that melts your heart. She loves her i-pads and watches the same young children’s programs repeatedly. She will converse with you in a scripted format from a particular show she has seen. In addition to her i-pads, Sami loves modeling clay. She has ten to fifteen pound of clay on her clay table at any given time. She loves to reproduce the characters she watches from her programs. Each one has its name and very intricate details of hands, fingers, feet, toes, clothes and facial features. I have often mistaken them for professionally made toys you would purchase from the store, but Sami makes them. As I look at these adorable figures, I can’t help but think of how God made man with such perfection, such love. As with Sami’s characters, each is different. In Sami’s world, each character she makes has a name, identity, and story. There is no mistaking as to whom they belong to, and she is very protective of all of them.  One day when she wasn’t at her table, I picked up one of the characters and hid   it in my hand. When she came over to her table, she carefully took inventory. I am not kidding when I say she has a good ten pounds of clay on her table with 20-30 people, animals and objects she’s made. I honestly didn’t believe she’d notice one little figure missing. However, just like Jesus, when one sheep wanders off, he leaves the flock in hopes to find the lost one. Immediately she asks, “Where’s Mel? Where’s Mel? Mel is gone.” I open my hand and ask, “Is this Mel?” Quickly without hesitation, she grabs Mel from my hand and scolds me, “Miss Karen no take my Mel.” I hug her and apologize for taking her Mel. She lovingly gives Mel a kiss and gently places him in the exact spot in which he originally had been taken. She then turns to me and says, “It’s OK miss Karen. I forgive you now.” Tears pool in my eyes as I realize just how quickly she is to forgive someone doing ‘her wrong’ just like Jesus.

Sami brings a smile to my face no matter how tough of a morning I had with another student. She loves to please those who love her and without even trying will win over any person she comes in contact. God brought the two of us together for a purpose. I was hired to be her teacher, but in all honesty, she has taught me far more than I can ever teach her. She is my special angel.

What Does It Mean To Be Rich?

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Unless your definition of “rich” matches God’s, you will never have enough.  Material wealth is an endless ladder and chasing it will lead to destruction.  By being involved in the wrong things, we lose our ability to be involved in the right ones. Satan uses earthly wealth to follow on his path of self destruction.  Pursuing Godly riches has a real and enteral reward.  A question was posed at church on this particular topic, ‘What does rich look like to you?’ Omitting any material wealth, I realized that my mother was right so many years ago, if you have your health, you have everything.  At the time I was only 16 years old and my health was just fine, I wanted a car. Some forty years later, I understand what she meant.  If you are in good health,  almost anything is doable. If we could have perfect health with no pain, no disease, no form of illness,  that would give us ultimate freedom.

I have a nephew who makes a very comfortable income. He lives in a very wealthy part of California, drives the top of the line vehicles, owns a beautiful home on a hill and travels from one end of the country to the other on a whim.  He’s done well for himself and he’s in his early 40’s.  He has two beautiful daughters that are spoiled beyond spoiled and are given whatever they ask for.  To look at him from the outside, you’d say he has it all, but he lacks one major component.  He’s an atheist. He also is in a miserable marriage that seems to be beyond reconcilable, but he goes through the motions and keeps the family together for the children as well as for himself.  His wife makes just as much money, if not more than he does. To dissolve the marriage would mean they would both financially have to change their lifestyles.  So, while his bank account may say he’s rich, he lacks the true riches from God.  He has no understanding of biblical truth or what comes after he leaves this world. For now, he has it all, and to him, that’s all that matters.

My riches are in heaven. I truly believe God will take care of my needs because he always does. I believe in an earlier blog I wrote about my experience with the woman who was homeless. I asked her if she knew Jesus and she lit up with great enthusiasm and exclaimed yes, she loved Jesus.  My next question was an obvious one, “Do you wonder why Jesus would not provide for your needs?  A place to live, food, a job?”  Her response was most humble.  She gave glory to God and pointed to the shelter. “I have a place to stay and food in my belly. It isn’t Jesus’s fault that I am a drug addict.  I put myself in this situation, but with His help and my faith, I will better myself.”  Several weeks later I ran into her again and she was excited to tell me she’d been clean for 30 days and that she just got a voucher for a studio apartment.  God always provides for our needs. She doesn’t have the material wealth my nephew enjoys, but unfortunately he doesn’t have the spiritual wealth, happiness  and faith this woman has.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a God Thing!

Many Christians refer to, “It’s a God thing” to explain the obvious response from God. Non-Christians don’t understand, but Christians who have experienced it understand completely.

Over the years, I have kept a record of, “God things” that I have personally experienced. I find comfort in reading over His responses when I occasionally question if He hears me. I had such an obvious God thing happen just yesterday that I felt compelled to write about it.

Yesterday morning, my husband and I were having breakfast. A question had been in the back of my mind for several days. I boldly asked him, “When God created the garden of Eden, it was perfect. So why would God have allowed Satan even to enter the garden?” My husband looked thoughtful for a moment and commented that maybe because God gave us free will. The serpent had to be there to add contrast. As good of an answer as any, I reluctantly accepted that mindful response.

I woke at 1:15 am the next morning and decided to turn on the telecross_jesus_wood_216556vision and watch whatever might be on Trinity Broadcast Network. Pastor John Gray sermon was on dominion, a word I honestly wasn’t sure the meaning. The next question he posed was, “Have you ever wondered why God would have allowed the serpent into the garden of Eden?” I screamed out to the television, “YES!” God was going to answer my question from this morning’s previous conversation. I quickly grabbed my notepad and pen from my nightstand expecting to take some sophisticated and enlighten notes. Here is what Pastor John Gray said, “Satan had to be there because God gave us free will, dominion.” He then proceeded to read from Ezekiel 28:16-17

“Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you. O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.”

I sat on my bed in amazement that the great God Almighty, the king of kings and creator of everything would have taken the time to answer my question in such an obvious fashion. It’s a God thing. As I continue to grow my blog and set forth on my mission, I will have a special section entitled “It’s a God Thing” to record actual happenings that are recognizable God things. Thank you Lord for answering my question. It’s so reassuring to know that you’re always listening. Amen.

 

Holiday Blues

It’s that time again. The holidays are upon us. We are beinfamily dinnerg bombarded with commercials to buy new cars, perfume, alcohol, the list goes on.  Advertisers are also guilty of showing happy families sitting down for the holiday meal, each nicely dressed and chatting politely.  You can almost smell the heavenly food as they politely pass around each dish. I have lived through 57 Thanksgivings and Christmases.  Through the years I have spent them with my immediate family, friend’s family, boyfriend’s family, husband’s family, my sister’s family, total strangers on a cruise ship, and completely alone. As we age, the families grow and begin to divide. For those who never had children, holidays become more difficult once our parents pass on and other family members move away or become more distant.  Lively neighborhoods bustle with the sounds of family and friends gathering across the street for the celebration we long for with our loved ones.

It has been a myth that suicide rates tend to increase during the holiday season. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. High expectations, money woes, and other holiday hazards can spell trouble for those prone to depression.  every where  you turn, you’re being told  how much you should be enjoying this time of year.  You know you should be happy and having fun, but it just isn’t happening.

I remember the first Christmas after my mother had passed away. I was only 24 years old, single and no children.  I had an older sister that had three boys living in the same town. That fall, I enrolled in a college class that dealt with holiday depression. I knew it was going to be difficult so I was trying to be pro-active in planning.  One of the many things suggested was to plan a vacation.  Go some place different.  Being as how I lived in the pacific northwest, Christmas season was always cold, wet and dreary. I opted for a cruise to the Bahamas.  I worked a second job for eight months just so I could pay for it.  I had a wonderful time.  It didn’t feel like Christmas day as I laid on the warm white sand with the sound of the ocean  and gulls flying above.  For four days I was able to escape the traditional holiday and enjoy my first Christmas without family and minimal depression.

As a Christian and an older adult, Christmas means something totally different to me than it once did.  I no longer get caught up with all the reckless spending. My husband and I usually splurge and go to a nice restaurant for dinner and then enjoy a quiet evening watching holiday movies.  We appreciate the fact we don’t have to deal with family bickering and their Olympics, annoying discussions and tired, unruly children.  We celebrate the birth of our Lord and give thanks to Him. What is truly delightful is that when January rolls around,  our budget still looks the same as the month before.

The Moon and God

What was the first liquid and food consumed on the moon? I’m betting that most are unaware of this story.Forty-five years ago, two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon. But, what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. I’m talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.  The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life;  and, knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history,  he felt that he should mark the occasion somehow.  He asked his minister to help him and so the minister consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine.  Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth’s orbit and onto the surface of the moon.  He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement:  This is the LM (Lunar Module) pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in,  whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way. He then ended radio communication, and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion. Here is his own account of what happened:     “In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine.  I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup.  Then I read the scripture:   ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit … Apart from me you can do nothing.” I had intended to read my communion passage back to Earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this.  NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew’s reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly.”

“I ate the tiny toast and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon and the very first food eaten there were the communion elements.”

“And, of course, it’s interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ,who made the Earth and the moon – and who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the “Love that moves the Sun and other stars.” How many of you knew this? Too bad this type of news doesn’t travel as fast as the bad does. 

Share with others you know . . . . . . .

The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts, the safest place to be is in someone’s prayers, and the very best place to be is in the hands of God. Amen.