If It’s Not Right, Change It

Sometimes I write a blog and I don’t send it out because it doesn’t seem right, which I’ve done more than once lately. So, last night I left one behind, picked up my pen and legal pad and started over again.

I went to the library last evening to get a book I asked the librarian to buy, and it came and got processed in less than a week! I asked for two. “The second one is from another warehouse,” she said, “so it’ll be delivered later.”

I called to thank her because at first, I didn’t realize it was new. I took out a book some years ago on cleaning and organizing. It was a brand-new hard cover edition and six months later I decided to reference it. By then, the tome was smelly, dirty and food stuck the pages together. This too is a book on organizing, so I was a little disappointed to receive a used book-until I checked which library owned it. It looked too good to be used. It belonged to our library, yay!

9780785278412: Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Second Half of Life
https://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9780785278412?cm_mmc=ggl-_-COM_DSAETAFEED_Trade-_-naa-_-naa&gclid=CjwKCAjw3pWDBhB3EiwAV1c5rLAb_BqdZWWKq5V5AOyWcxXLOWYeXCA2h1KiN5XO5ycDDx_62prLuhoCckEQAvD_BwE

The second non-fiction book I requested was written by Gordon MacDonald, Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Next Part of Your Journey, copyright 2000, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, because author/agent David E. Fessenden recommends it in his book, Writing the Christian Non-Fiction Book: Concept to Contract, published by Sonfire Media, Galax, VA, copyright 2011.

http://Amazon.com

I ordered A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What by Gordon MacDonald, copyright 2004, and published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN from another library. I thought if David Fessenden says authors will learn from studying Gordon MacDonald’s style for certain kinds of writing, any of his books in our library system may help.

Front Cover - A Resilient Life
https://www.christianbook.com/a-resilient-life-gordon-macdonald/9780785287919/pd/87914?en=google&event=SHOP&kw=books-0-20%7C87914&p=1179710&dv=c&gclid=CjwKCAjw3pWDBhB3EiwAV1c5rLksDY6ooIu8345ricFM2pV6T1WynnJf19ZPMEgCv8oC6pHy5pQEmxoCqlkQAvD_BwE

At the very beginning of this tome, I realized being a year into a global pandemic, it’ll help to read about persevering during tough times. Pastor Gordon MacDonald learned many life lessons from his track coach, Marvin W. Goldberg at Stony Brook School, a college preparatory school on the north shore of Long Island, New York. At the time, he thought he was learning about running techniques and conditioning the body for success. Over the years, when facing difficult situations, he tells the reader he learned many life skills that he applied to his relationships, business decisions, and to pastoring people from advice from Coach Marvin W. Goldberg.

If you like sports, encouragement, and some good insights perhaps you’d like to read A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What. When I read books, I’m often surprised at how they speak to me. Not as deeply as the Word of God speaks, but I’m enjoying this hardback that entertains and tells of hard-earned wisdom. Gordon MacDonald learned to stick to difficult tasks.

Even if you must start over again, as I have over the years, there is a learning curve that comes from experience that helps you stay the course in trying times, and that brings satisfaction.

May God bless you!

Despite the Odds

When COVID-19 hit the news in March of 2020, the predictions of two million or more people dying from the disease staggered my imagination. Scary thought. The idea of healthy folks quarantining felt surreal. Acquiring masks became a reality I didn’t look forward to. Some individuals refuse to wear them for their health’s sake or because they don’t want their children to think mask-wearing is the norm.

I remember going into a grocery store early on, and I didn’t have a mask on since it wasn’t required by the governor of NYS yet. Another man didn’t have a mask on either and he looked at me and smiled and then pointed his finger at me as if he were shooting an imaginary gun. We both nodded our heads. Mask wearers usually connotate someone ready to rob a store or a bank. After he smiled again and then left, I felt a little uneasy.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, I wonder if our former reality will return quickly or are we as lambs being led to the slaughter? I remember as a young girl reading a comic square in the back of the newspaper, entitled “Pogo.” In my memory, it repeated itself often and I developed the habit of looking for it. The caption said, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” written by Walt Kelly, a former Disney cartoonist.

36. “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us” – Tales from the Vault: 40 Years /  40 Stories
library.osu.edu

I pondered it with my young mind. Does that mean that someday people in our country will turn on each other?

It didn’t occur to me to ask an adult. I looked up the information for Pogo on http://www.Britannica.com and found more information on the http://www.library.osu.edu site on a page after clicking on the image. That indicates it’s about pollution.

I wonder if I had the beginnings of the gift of prophecy, because I’ve never seen so much division in our country over all of my years. I’ve never seen a president blamed for so many things outside of any human being’s control.

All I can do is pray and try and take care of myself and others in my immediate circle of influence where it’s appropriate to my role in life. I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations in my daily Bible reading lately. Not uplifting books, but they do show a side of God when He finally gets fed up with the lifestyle of His chosen people. He sends judgment with the promise of future redemption, because He loves His children. Their actions and God’s responses are eerily familiar.

God warns the nation of Israel through the prophets and they resist the message and keep acting in ways that upset their Maker. Burning their babies in the fire to false gods. Lots of flagrant sin. Finally, Babylon comes along, as prophesied and captures them, kills some, robs them, blinds the king, etc. Awful stuff. And at the end, God promises that after 70 years, the nation will come back to Israel and He will be their God and they will be His people.

God is not a respecter of persons. He loves to bless people, especially those that commit their lives to Him. With all the unrest in America, I’m doing fairly well, only because I hold on to the promises of God in His Word. And I’m praying and seeing answers to prayer!

In the confusion of life, I’ve lost some of my zest for writing and talking on the telephone until just lately because I’ve been spending more time in the Word of God in the last week or so. Holding on to the promises in Psalm 91.

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His loving and protective right hand, despite the odds.

“Storms Are Coming”

Image result for free pictures of winter snowstorms(photo from: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.ggpht.com%2FhWfmFjOeICvmyoSweWxcNz45kfW5b1ymEy7P0OynBQWw9O2u8h4fkTlQpvmz6rejXg%3Dh900&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fstore%2Fapps%2Fdetails%3Fid%3Dcom.wallpaper.nad.christmas3&docid=6o38y4KWWVvMiM&tbnid=Iml7Don-Zzq2oM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiGiurM3b_YAhWCNd8KHSAFDCsQMwhEKA8wDw..i&w=1280&h=800&bih=662&biw=1366&q=free%20pictures%20of%20winter%20snowstorms&ved=0ahUKEwiGiurM3b_YAhWCNd8KHSAFDCsQMwhEKA8wDw&iact=mrc&uact=8)

My husband opened our church for prayer from Monday through Thursday this week, and tonight I thought the Lord said, “Storms are coming.”

As I read the Bible, I’m aware that God speaks words that use scenarios His audience is familiar with. We’ve been getting hit with cold temperatures and all the schools around us are closing tomorrow because of the frigid air that is headed our way. It’s supposed to be windy with the chill registering at a negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees below zero. That can damage a body. So, I’m well aware of storms.

Jesus used farming words for his agrarian listeners to talk of their hearts being like the soil, rocky, hard, or fertile, etc. When the apostles asked Him to explain the parable, He said the seed being sown was the Word of God, and the soil represented the ability of the Scriptures to penetrate their spiritual being.

So, storms coming may mean natural storms are coming and I should prepare myself: pick up some groceries, buy jugs of water, that sort of thing. It could mean spiritual warfare is going to increase and I’ll need to be in the Word and in prayer, and offer praise to God. God’s Word says that God inhabits the praises of His people. In times of trouble, I want to know with a certainty that He is right nearby. He promises to never leave nor forsake those who love Him, and intellectually I know that. Singing praises to Him reminds me that He is in control and above all.

I hope you are well and avoiding harsh weather.

May God bless you!

Consider Others

Jesus said in Matthew_10:38, (KJV),  “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

Today, I went to a Ladies Bible study at the nursing home on this dark, rainy day. One of the ladies is in her early sixties, single and disabled. She recently got moved to a smaller room away from the nurses’ station. The overhead television set was there and she got used to sitting by the attendants and watching her favorite game show at 3:00 p.m.

Now, for whatever reason, they don’t want her sitting by them anymore in her wheelchair and they won’t let her watch the television program. So, she told us she’s been crying day and night for a few days now.

We asked her to pray, we asked her to sing – she has a wonderful voice. Then we decided to sing a few songs worshiping Jesus. The atmosphere changed, she smiled and felt better. An elderly lady told her to sing to Jesus when she feels sad. “Change that room into yours,” she said. “Pray to Jesus, He’ll help you.”

The lady that normally reads the Bible for us came into the room a tiny bit grumpy. Not complaining, but out of sorts. She’s 94 years old, probably aching. I know she was cold because she appreciated her crocheted blanket draped over her shoulders.

I watched our reader settle back and wait while the younger woman shared her woes, before we sang. She “took up her cross,” and put her own desires aside awhile. Finally she spoke up. “Are we ever going to get to the Bible?”

Everyone agreed the time had arrived to stop ministering and to dive into the Word of God. That ministered to this younger woman. Afterwards, she exhibited a calmer countenance, an enthusiasm to spend time with God, and an interest in reaching out to others.

I’ve found in my own life when feeling down that when I shifted my attention to fulfilling someone else’s need, those “blue” feelings disappeared. Praise God!

How are you doing?

May God bless you.

“Selfies”

I watched a recent episode of The Chapel on video because my daughter downloaded it so I can access their sermons easily. I chose the December 13, 2015 one today. They are doing a “Keeping Christ in Christmas” series.

The Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville, NY reaches a multitude of people. Their college and young adult group pastor, Wes Aarum spoke for Pastor Jerry Gillis on this day. I got intrigued with his presentation of “selfie” products out there. One is a toaster that will toast your image into bread. LOL.

Stop taking selfies and get this, America”

We live in amazing times. What I love about the Word of God is that it stands the test of time. It is relevant even today with all the advances in technology.

Some of the prophecies of end time events say that knowledge will increase abundantly, that people will travel to and fro over the earth, all of creation will groan with expectation waiting for Jesus’ return. Some signs of the times will be an increase in earthquakes and natural disasters. Men’s love for others will grow cold. There will be a great apostasy and a multitude will leave the Christian faith. Persecutions will arise big time. There will be a great revival and many others will come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is happening in non-Christian parts of the world, I’ve heard from missionaries that visit our Assembly of God church.

If you get a chance to watch The Chapel’s Christmas sermon from December 13, 2015, please do. He’s got a great way of talking about the Christian faith. Pastor Wes said, “Unlike other religions, Christians don’t have to earn their way to heaven.”

He’s young, so he speaks in a way that appeals to young people and older ones. We are a unified body in Christ despite some differences when the Bible is our manual for life. 🙂