Wisdom

(James 1:5, GNB)

Jas 1:5  But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 

(James 3:13-3:18, GNB)

Jas 3:13  Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 

Jas 3:14  But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 

Jas 3:15  Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 

Jas 3:16  Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 

Jas 3:18  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace. 

In the beginning, God created the universe by speaking it into existence over six days. It says so in Genesis chapter one and tells more of God’s creative work in Genesis 2. It takes faith to believe such a thing.

It takes faith to believe in the religion of macro-Evolution. Both take faith to believe how everything got started. In one religion, there is love and compassion and listening to others and humbling ourselves before God and trusting that He has everything under control. In the other, the fittest, smartest species survive; and the weak dies out, and what is our purpose? Not a lot of hope there.

And no mention of an incredible eternity that is so beyond our comprehension, God doesn’t spend tons of time on it in the Bible, maybe because we’d be so homesick, we couldn’t stand being here. There’s also experience with God that macro-Evolution cannot manufacture. Relationship with God that’s hard to describe if you’re not willing to give God a chance, because He’s not a supreme Magician, performing tricks for the insincere.

He promises peace that passes all understanding. I’ve been enveloped in a cloud of well-being feelings in the midst of turmoil because years ago, not really understanding what I was doing, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah.

When I’m about ready to ream somebody out for an offense, I’ll get a little nudge inside, almost like a look from Mom or Dad as a kid warning me not to act out. A gentle reminder: don’t go there. Then, I’ll hold back the angry retort and wait. Maybe the person will look back and realize they cut me off and give an apologetic glance. Or they’ll notice that the object they bounced off of was a person and not an inanimate something, and say, “I’m sorry, are you okay?”

Then, I’m happy I didn’t overreact. If someone hurts me on purpose, God gives me the grace to forgive them. They will suffer consequences usually, but not bitterness, nagging, and continual reminders; because of God. Once I process the event.

One man in the library I worked at never learned socially acceptable behavior growing up. I asked God to help me to see him as God saw him. I sensed a sister-brother kind of love inside me then. He could tell something was different in me when we had to interact. Suddenly, he relaxed and didn’t say or do things he shouldn’t.

I’d like to say that feeling stayed with me forever, but one day I realized I’d lost that insight. So, now when I see him, I am friendly to him and ask God to help me to be loving and kind in a way that he’ll interpret correctly. I set definite boundaries and pray for God’s wisdom when he approaches my car in a parking spot.

In (James 1:5, CEV), I read: “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.”

Other versions say God gives wisdom generously. In these confusing and changing times, I need all the wisdom I can get. I’ve experienced God’s love and protection and compassion and provision and forgiveness over the decades. Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us. I am grateful that somehow, I found out about God at a young age. My life has never been perfect. I am not perfect. This earth is not a perfect place. But God! He is my help.

May God bless you!

How Will You Live in These Times?

            I don’t know how many more days I’ll live, just like everyone else in the world. I know people healthy and active in their mid-90’s.

            Although, one lady only goes to the grocery store, maybe to her church on occasion. So, I decided to write a “Before I Kick the Bucket” list of things I want to do before I die. One thing I wrote, I want to see my granddaughter and her family. Our great grandchild arrived many months ago in FL. When I told my daughter-in-law, she started brainstorming. I loved that!

            I watched a Kent Christmas Wednesday night blog on YouTube the other day. He quoted C.S. Lewis, who wrote when all were concerned about dying from the atomic bomb. C.S. Lewis told people to get together to play games. Gather in church to praise God, hear the Word, and fellowship. I am not quoting exactly; this is the gist of his message: live while you can.

            What is the point of reaching 98 if you stayed away from relatives, friends, and church family from age 95 due to COVID? I’m not saying, “Don’t be careful.”

            What I am saying is look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He told us not to be afraid over 360 times in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

            Although, prophets warned of dire consequences when sin prevailed. Then, God said to draw close to Him and repent. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

            To go back to Jesus’ sayings, He also told all believers that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. We can’t be in the world if we’re in our homes. How can people see how we handle the COVID crisis if we stay in front of our entertainment screens, hibernating?

            We are to be in the world, not of the world. We should be loving God, loving others, loving ourselves so we can function with sound minds and a sound heart-not filled with fear. Then, when we’re in the world, people who don’t know Jesus should not see us self-medicating with alcohol or drugs or other addictions. They should see some joy. I’m talking to myself here. I need to live like Jesus. Not react to life as if I don’t have hope or as if I don’t have God, Who promises to be my fortress and my strength in Psalm 91.

            Christians are affected by COVID, for sure. One of my friends said to another Christian, “You have faith not to get vaccinated. I have faith to get the shot(s). I want to go to Europe by airplane to minister to an oppressed and poor people group.”

            So far, she’s fine and so is her unvaccinated friend. I have two close friends that feel strongly that everyone should get vaccinated. I know others against the shots and against being pressured to get inoculated.

            How can Christians be so diametrically opposed? I don’t live near these friends anymore. I told one, “It’s a shame people get so divided in our country,” and we both got quiet and agreed.

            On the second phone call, I said immediately, “I don’t want to talk about the COVID vaccines because I almost got into a heated argument with a close friend about it.”

            She agreed. But when the subject came up a few minutes later, I noticed we spoke for a fraction of the time we usually conversed.

            In the Old Testament and the New Testament, God says to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.

            Love others, love ourselves. I know of young and old people who received the shot and died within a day or two. I know of many that got the vaccine and after a minor illness, felt great. They’re sure it’s kept them alive, and they didn’t catch the virus.

            We love God, we love others, we love ourselves. We do what we think is best within those parameters.

            I trust God, Who has numbered my days, to the best of my ability. I ask Him for wisdom. He tells me to live in peace with others as much as I can. That’s what I need to remember. Let others choose for themselves. I’ll choose for myself. People can avoid me if they don’t like my choice. I can keep away from them if I’m concerned about their actions. At some time, these days will pass.

            May God bless you!

Flowers and People

I’m walking up the street after a rainfall in Upstate, NY. Some of my neighbors landscape beautifully. Other’s flower beds are sadly neglected. Maybe the people are not feeling well or are too busy.

May was a hard month for me, so I got help from my husband, my grandson and then later from my son from a town a couple of hours away. None of the three love to garden, but they love me and I thank God for them.

Silhouette, Adoption, Diverse Family
https://pixabay.com/images/search/family%20fun/

When I was a young mother and my husband worked a ton of hours, I remember thinking of running away for about a minute and a half. Then, despite not being fond of washing, drying and changing cloth diapers and sticking pins through all those layers, with my thumb posed to take the sharp jab if need be, I’d see the beautiful baby.

What were a few lonely hours compared to the joy of family life? When I read Genesis 2, God set Adam and Eve in paradise and as the first family.

They started out without sin for who knows how long? No selfishness, belittling one another, greediness, or any other ugly thing imaginable. That is, until sinful choices entered the picture. Then, God drove them out of the garden of Eden.

The world as we know it began. If there was no sin, there would be no racism. A young man asked my middle-aged friend why God made people with different skin colors and characteristics unique to various races. She prayed silently, “Father God, how do I answer this?”

Then it came to her. “Do you see all the different colors, sizes, shapes and fragrances of flowers? God likes variety.”

I do, too.

I hope you are doing well. May God bless you!

Helping Others and Being Helped

I know how it feels to give care and to receive help. I got blessed to go to Montrose Christian Writers Conference the week of July 12-17, 2020. On July 11, we drove a number of hours to go to a wedding. I love hearing the vows and the reminders from the pastor to be kind to one another and to be quick to forgive. I always commit to treat my husband better at these celebrations.

We went to the wedding in the evening, and then to the reception. A lot of sitting in one day. We stayed at a hotel and then joined the family at church in the morning. We found a pew and the service lasted about 90 minutes.

            Then we drove to Montrose, PA a few hours away. When we stopped at a deli for lunch, we ate in the car because of COVID 19.

           After getting settled in to my room, and then eating supper, I headed to an introductory lecture by one of the faculty members-more sitting.

            Monday came and went with many classes, and three meals. With this pandemic, practicing social distancing in the dining area, we did not stand and interact as usual. We got our temperature taken first thing in the morning, wore masks and quickly found a seat.

When I awoke on Tuesday, after a quick shower, I began to get dressed when my back sent a jab of pain. I needed help to finish up, and being alone, I hobbled to an adjacent door. I knocked and when an instructor, Tiffany Amber Stockton answered, I thanked God!

            After she maneuvered the clothes and my leg, she asked if I was okay. She offered to stay with me, but I knew she had responsibilities, so she left.

            The day proceeded as the day before, but I sat and rose from my chair for the various events carefully. That night, just about ready for bed my back spasmed. Pain like I’ve never experienced hit.

            I opened the door and the lady across the hall empathized. She had gone through the same thing one week at Montrose and needed to pull herself up the stairs by means of the hefty railings. She gave me a natural muscle relaxant from her chiropractor and I borrowed ibuprofen. I’m not much for medicines and their side effects, but I didn’t ask any questions except for the amount to take.

            The contractions hit every three to five minutes and I froze like a statue as the waves of pain overwhelmed me. My neighbor asked if I’d like to go down stairs and speak to the director. She helped me get there. Some women visited in the lobby. The choices offered: go to the hospital or go home. On Tuesday night! Neither seemed right.

Common Spine Problems Explained With Pictures
Common Spine Problems Explained With …webmd.com

Another conferee offered to sleep in the spare bed in my room because I was warned the back stiffens overnight and the pain gets worse! Dear God. I told her no but I did say I’d call her if I needed to get up.

            She helped me twice and once, at 2:30 a.m. I didn’t want to bother her. To arise from bed without her arm for leverage made me realize I didn’t choose wisely.

            I didn’t hesitate to call around 7:00 a.m. and she praised me for calling and allowing her to help the night before. The next day I admitted the 2:30 a.m. blunder and she scolded me! I haven’t been reprimanded like that since I was a child. She said, “No wonder you were so much worse in the morning.”

            I missed Wednesday morning breakfast and the morning worship, plus the faculty presenter before our class began. Jeanette Levellie promised to throw chocolate candies to the audience and she gave lively talks earlier on. I stayed in bed under the comfy covers trying to find a position that didn’t hurt. The Executive Director’s wife stopped in and then brought me tea and buttered toast with jam and crackers. I didn’t want more.

            The pastor’s wife asking me to call her for assistance and her gentle care-even the talking to-from a relative stranger blew me away. What a demonstration of love!

            Then, around 9:30 a.m. I called my friend. She has the gift of faith, which, in my pain I had forgotten. As I prayed, I thought God was telling me to stay. So, I phoned her and said, “I hurt my back. I don’t know what to do, stay or go home, would you pray about it?”

            “Of course, you’re staying. We’re praying!”

            Isn’t it weird when pain overwhelms? I prayed and others prayed for peace and relief, but when I picked up the phone it didn’t occur to me to ask for God to heal me. That’s unusual.

            She asked me if I remembered the “Happy Hunter’s” from years ago. I did. When we held our hands on our hips and asked God to heal us, our body moved this way and that. They said God showed them. I wasn’t sure I wanted to move at all. My friend told me to put my hands on my shoulders and she prayed my muscles, ligaments, etc. would relax so we could pray the “Happy Hunter’s” prayer.

            I was willing, but I admit a little concerned. Then, my hips moved a fraction of an inch to either side and I felt something twinge gently in my back. The pain was about 95% gone! I changed clothes and went bopping down the stairs. I told myself to be careful!

            When I reached the lobby, some of the ladies from Tuesday night saw me. They came rushing over. “What happened?”

            “God healed me!”

            At the end of the week, one lady said, “Connie, I can’t believe the difference. Do you realize you looked gray with the pain? Now your face is a healthy color!”

            When I first got home, after sleeping, my back stiffened some. Each day it’s better when I wake. Thank You, Jesus. I sat in a recliner with no pain today for the first time.

            This last Tuesday night, a friend’s daughter called to see if I could free up my Wednesday so I could visit her mom. Her mother had surgery on Monday and she didn’t want her to be alone. It worked out and I was able to visit and bend to pick up her phone charger when it fell. Scrambled a few eggs and made toast for our breakfast. I started this blog post because I’ve had company over pretty steadily lately. She slept in her recliner on and off, so I took the time to write.

            We talked and talked. She showed me video clips, and Scriptures that inspired her. What a wonderful day!

            Then, I went home to see my grandson and my husband. The next week my other grandson came over before school starts in September!

            I hope you are well. May God bless you!

Open House

Last week, my grandkids came down from up north just a few days before we hosted three folks from Mexico. So, I told my grandson I haven’t had time to blog lately.

“Write about us making s’mores in the backyard,” he said.

This picture is from istockphoto.com.

All the family left except for my grandson. The next day the married couple and one of their children’s godmother came to stay for six days. What did I discover? My grandson has been learning Spanish since kindergarten. What a delight!

My sister came over one day and she used her faltering Spanish so the ladies began using their less than perfect English. The man spoke more fluently than they did.

I learned hambre means hungry and hombre with a long o sound means man. I picked up a little of the language and before I knew it, they were off to their own country before Fall hit. I missed them when they left.

They departed just in time, because it feels like autumn is in a hurry to send chilly breezes this year. The married lady really felt the cold and it’s gone down a few more degrees in the short time they’ve been gone. My grandson visited when the rain stayed, so he only got a day or two to enjoy the outdoors. His siblings got more sun and opportunity to enjoy the playground and one took a walk in a creek.

So, last week because we weren’t sure if our town allowed a fire pit, we put charcoal in a family-sized grill with papers for kindling. The kids broke sticks in the middle to help the fire along. They’d gathered long sticks from trees and from those that fell to the ground.

My daughter brought chocolate candy bars, large marshmallows and graham crackers to make our s’mores. S’mores is short for “some more” because one makes you want two.

I taught my grandkids to use patience and hold their stick impaled marshmallow well above the fire so it would toast brown instead of being a black cylinder, burning hot-some encased in flames. Except for the middle child, he wanted a burnt one.

Their attempt to eat a marshmallow fresh off the grill burnt one of the kids before they comprehended the warning.

Now, another grandchild is staying with us for a few days for Grandpa time. She asked my husband to buy flowers for me, and so he did. I let her try her hand at pouring pancake batter and then flipping them when it was time.

Each grandchild brought their unique personalities and interests to enliven our summer. My husband took each child out for a meal to a local restaurant and her turn is tomorrow.

Tonight, my husband told me she wanted to invite me to come along. She’s an early riser, so she told me I’d have to get up before my normal time. I said, “I can do that.”

When we prayed after she got tucked into bed, I went to give her a kiss on the cheek, just as she turned her head. “Grandma, you got my ear!”

“That’s gross,” I said.

“I know it; it had a booger on it.”

Kids, you gotta love ‘em.

May God bless you.  

Finding Favor with God and Relatives

 

 

Dea Warford, an evangelist we know sent a message about “Ridiculous Favor” for Christians. Today as I read Proverbs 3:3-4, (NKJV), it stated, “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

The heading of Proverbs 3 is “Guidance for the Young,” and there are gems about money and health and peace and delights and correction. We all need God’s favor to navigate calm and rough seas, no matter what age we’ve attained.

Proverbs continually stresses wisdom and tells us the fear of God gives wisdom and gives knowledge. The Bible gives insight for daily living.

Ephesians 5:15-17, (NKJV), says: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

The following verses in Ephesians 5 show us what to do to please God and Ephesians 5: 22-31 instructs husbands and wives how to live together with love, submission, and respect.

Those three acts under God’s authority and with God’s help will cause marriages to thrive and families to prosper and feel secure. Ephesians 6 begins by teaching children and parents how to get along.

Talk about enabling favorable circumstances! We’re not perfect, but my husband and I have found them to be true.

May God bless you!

In the Word

NKJV Giant-Print Personal-Size Reference Bible; Imitation Leather Blackhttps://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?event=Bibles|1000153

I’m in the book of Ezekiel this week. Ezekiel follows Lamentations, and frankly I dreaded reading it. That’s where Jeremiah cries because of the pain of seeing God’s judgment on Israel. Lamentations turned out to be small, so I carried on to Ezekiel in just a little time.

It’s so hard to understand, and I tried to picture the wheel within a wheel, filled with eyes. Disconcerting, actually.

What always comes through is that God has standards and when evil prevails, He finally sends judgment. One of the sayings that kept coming up was, “That you may know that I am the Lord.”

Another verse: Ezekiel 11:5, (ESV), And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.”

Now, I’m fully aware that God knows all things, but tonight the idea that He knows every thought that comes into my mind felt intimidating because I’m not perfect. In Proverbs 1:7, (NKJV), it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

I definitely felt fear or awe of God when I realized He knows my every thought. On the other hand, tonight I was thinking that when I’m struggling, only God knows what kind of spiritual attack I might be under that is causing me to feel discouraged or sick or lonely or whatever malady may come my way.

He knows when I willfully disobey Him and choose to rebel. He knows when I make a mistake. He knows when I get deceived. He knows when I take credit for giftings that He placed within me. He knows everything. It’s a comfort and it’s a reason to consider what my attitude and my actions are going to be.

He sets things out so clearly in Deuteronomy 8:11-20, (ESV), “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,

Deu 8:12  lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,

Deu 8:13  and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,

Deu 8:14  then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

Deu 8:15  who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,

Deu 8:16  who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

Deu 8:17  Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’

Deu 8:18  You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Deu 8:19  And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.

Deu 8:20  Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

God is loving but He’s also tough. He’s not wishy-washy.

Well, in this time of joy and shopping and visiting with many others, as I read along in the Word of God, my thoughts get carried away to what I think God is concerned about.

I hope you’re taking time to ask God what He would have you read and pursue. You may be surprised what He has in mind for you.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This was written to the Jewish people when they were being warned about the length of their captivity by the Babylonians. At this point, some of them were already taken to that far away land.

These verses remind me that God is a fair judge, yet He’s got the welfare of the people He loves in mind, even when disciplining them. He tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That gives me hope.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Peace

 

 

 

http://flickr.com/photos/xnir/8433880311

Isa 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

The Mountain of the Lord

Isa 2:1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isa 2:2  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.

Isa 2:3  Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isa 2:4  He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isa 2:5  O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.

This is a prophecy concerning the end times here and again in Micah:

The Mountain of the Lord

Mic 4:1  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.

Mic 4:2  Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Mic 4:3  He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Mic 4:4  But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

Mic 4:5  For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.

The Lord Shall Rescue Zion

Mic 4:6  “In that day,” says the LORD, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;

Mic 4:7  I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.

Mic 4:8  And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

I’m reading in the book of Isaiah, sixty-six chapters, as there are sixty-six books in the Bible. I’ve heard it said that if a person reads Isaiah, they will read a synopsis of the entire Bible.

In Isaiah 53, the Messiah is described and Jesus fits that description. How I needed a savior when I was young. Now that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, how I need the Holy Spirit to comfort me in the middle of the sorrows that come upon me and all of mankind when evil has its way.

So, I pray for those close to me and for those that I may never know, when I hear tragedies in America and around the world. The only way to avoid being cast into despair is to cast my cares upon God Who cares for me, as directed in 1 Peter 5:7. Not only does He comfort me, but He comforts whomever calls upon His name.

He promises that those who call upon the name of Jesus will be saved, in Act_2:21, (NKJV),  AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’

Having Jesus love you and call you His very own imparts peace, and fills the longing of the heart that searches for more.

I hope that you are well. May God bless you!

“Woodlawn”

 

 

“Woodlawn” movie on DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment came from Netflix to our house this week. It’s got a mixture of football games and relationship intrigue in the storyline.

 

This movie opened with a bus burning in Birmingham, AL in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day, and is based on a true story.

 

Woodlawn High School was forced to integrate African-American students with white students in the early 1970’s. Students and parents yelled and pushed while police shepherded the new young people from the bus through a pathway to their building.

 

“Woodlawn” is an Erwin Bros. film. Pure Flix presented in association with Provident Films a Kevin Downes production of a movie based on the lives of football players and their friends and family, along with coaches and faith-filled mentors. The film was rated PG. The website for the film is http://woodlawnmovie.com and this picture comes from there:

 

A top-notch football player catches the eye of the head coach of an Alabama University at a game, and he tells the high schooler that they’ll meet again.

 

The next time we see Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), he’s changing schools.

 

Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop), is the vice-principal of Woodlawn High, and more importantly, the football coach. He’s not thrilled to have new players with a dark complexion, but he loves football and sees what an asset these young men will be to the team. To say that he protects the new guys from harsh hits at practice would be a lie, but he doesn’t encourage abuse as some rival coaches suggest to their squad.

 

I enjoyed hearing favorite Christian songs in the film from the time, like “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love” based on 1 John 4 in the New Testament:

 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Songwriters: PETER SCHOLTES
© THE LORENZ CORPORATION
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

 

The following information is from the movie’s website provided for the press:

“Woodlawn stars Sean Astin (Rudy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Nic Bishop (Covert Affairs, Body of Proof), Caleb Castille (in his feature film debut), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Red Dawn), Sherri Shepherd (The View, Precious) and Academy Award®-winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, Ali, National Treasure). The film is directed by the Erwin Brothers (Moms’ Night Out, October Baby) from a script by Jon Erwin and Quinton Peeples (“11.22.63,” “Unforgettable”). Executive producers are Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.”

 

Before a major playoff game, Tony Nathan is running the stairs at the stadium when he encounters the quarterback from the rival school. When asked why thousands of people would come to see a high school game, Tony responds, “For hope.”

 

More folks attended that high school game than any other, ever.

 

They got to view football players clash on the field, yet help opposite team members up from the ground after the play ended. I felt hope that Jesus can change hate-filled people to love-filled persons of God and of mankind. I’ve seen it and experienced it. I lived in that stressful era of uncertainty as society grappled with the assault on authority and the status quo.

 

May God bless you!

Visiting a Friend

I had a chance to visit a friend today and I took her sister along, because she doesn’t drive. This is my second time in a few months going to see this lady who used to attend our church. She lives in another town now after experiencing a stroke. She worked hard to get into an apartment. With the help of a couple of aids, she’s able to manage. She even hopes to continue to improve enough to get her car back. She said today that when her health returns she won’t need workers to come to her home for help with household and personal assistance. I think she’ll miss these people, but she won’t mind being independent again. I think she has some time before she’s self-sufficient again.

I got to know her sister better this time. In the book, Univited by Lysa TerKeurst, published by Thomas Nelson with their imprint Nelson Books, Nashville, TN which was copyrighted in 2016, there is a section on page 228 entitled, ‘What’s It Like to Do Life with Me? Assessment.”

I told the ladies in our Bible study that they might want to take advantage of that segment and since it sounded personal to go ahead and do it at home. I fully intended to go through it. Maybe subconsciously I didn’t want to do that, I don’t know. It’s been months.

Today, with my friends’ sister, I could see that she acted exactly the same way I do at times. This morning, my husband pointed out some things I do way differently than he does. He didn’t criticize; he just talked about the traits and said he didn’t understand the reasoning. For instance, “Why do you take the long slower route to see the lake when you’ve seen it so much already?”

Then I got thinking about the chapter or the addendum at the end of Mrs. TerKeurst’s book, and I thought maybe God wants me to look at the questions and ponder what life looks like with me to my husband. I’ve heard it said many times that God loves us too much to leave us the same.

When I consider God’s rules, I can see that people around me and I will benefit if I follow His commands. Sometimes it’s easier to say, “Yes, Lord,” than at other times. The result is always the same. When I get around to doing it His way, there is peace, joy and satisfying results. Usually, I receive some kind of blessing I didn’t expect afterwards, too. Not that I can predict what God will do. I know Jesus says in the Gospel of John that if we love Him we will obey Him.

My husband tells me and others that he used to do things right for his parents because he wanted to please them. He loved them and respected them. He wasn’t afraid of his folks, although his dad disciplined and he didn’t want to be at the receiving end of that action. His dad used corporal punishment, but he never went overboard.

Well, I’m not going to look into what it’s like to live with me for a couple of weeks at least. I have company coming and I want to get ready for them. I think I’ll put it in my planner for a quiet day when I find a few moments alone.

I hope to see another gal in July. We spoke on the phone last week. It can be months or years apart between seeing my friend, depending on lots of things. There are a handful that are so deep in my heart, it’s as if we were never apart.

I hope you are well. May God bless you.