Tag Archives: God

God’s Timing: A Visual Aid

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This is my next door neighbors’ magnolia tree, as seen through my bedroom window.  It’s a big, beautiful tree.  Right now, it only has one blossom on it, that I’ve noticed, but it is still nice to look at.  It stays green all year round, which I didn’t realize magnolias did, and it sits just yards away from the western side of our house.  It is actually closer to our house than it is to our neighbors’.  If you look closely at this picture, you can see some power lines running right next to the tree, even somewhat tangled in it.  I’ve got a story about that, and if you’ll indulge me, I will now tell it.

Yesterday, little man and I went up the road about 70 miles to my hometown to run a few errands and visit some family.  I had it all planned out, even down to where we would eat lunch.  I had to make a stop at a store in one town, then head another 20 minutes down the road to my hometown.  I would stop at the Sonic there and get a one dollar hotdog and some tater tots for my lunch and use a coupon for a free kid’s meal for Connor’s lunch, and then head on to the first of my several visitation stops before coming back home and cooking a quick supper of spaghetti.

Well, my plans changed once I made it to my old stomping grounds.  The entire area where Sonic is located was out of power due to a short, strong rain that had come through just minutes before I made it to town, so no Sonic.  Instead, I headed out to the south end of town to my grandma Margaret’s house and visited with her for a couple of hours.  We left there and headed to the north end of town to my grandma Carolyn’s house.  A quick look as we passed through told me Sonic was still in the dark ages, so still no Sonic.  After a couple of hours with Grandma C., I decided we needed to head home so I could get supper on the table at a normal time, but it had started to rain and was coming down a decent clip.  On a whim, at the last moment, I decided to go ahead and make a stop at my dad and step-mom’s house the next street over.  I figured it had been awhile since I’d seen them, and I didn’t want to get blown off the freeway trying to make it home in the deluge.  My dad was working, but we stuck around and visited for a couple of hours anyway.  By then, it was five o’clock in the evening.  It was too late for cooking a quick supper, so I was glad to still have the Sonic coupon and opportunity for a cheap hot dog.  Nic wanted tacos from his favorite taco place, so Connor-man and I headed out.

The rain was at a steady sprinkle, which I was thankful for, even though I was sure it would follow me all the way home.  I made one more quick stop at my mom’s work to pick up some paperwork, then headed down the road for food.  The food, however, took much longer than I had expected, at both places.  I wound up being about 30 minutes later than I would have been without the stops, and I was lamenting at being so late.  The rain continued to taper off and was all but gone entirely by the time I made it home about seven in the evening.

I was about ten minutes from home when I noticed that there were a lot of leaves, twigs, sticks, and limbs strewn about everywhere:  in yards, on the highway, in parking lots, you name it.  Clearly, a storm with a lot of strong wind had just come through minutes before me.  Not a tornado, but certainly something I was thankful I wasn’t trying to drive through.  I turned onto our road, and noticed even more limbs lying around in the pecan orchard, and as I neared my next door neighbor’s house, I saw what looked like two downed Bradford pear trees in their yard, one on each side of the driveway.  When I got closer, I realized it wasn’t entire trees, but a large limb from each tree had been blown off by the wind.  Then, I noticed smoke on the far side of the magnolia tree, which is on the far side of their driveway.  I couldn’t tell what was burning from where I was, so I looked closely as I passed by, worried it was our house.  It turned out to be the tree.  The Bradford pear limb had pulled some power lines into the magnolia, and the magnolia leaves were trying to catch fire from it.  It was smoke and sparks when I saw it, but one small dry, dead limb was well on its way to catching fire.  I pulled into the neighbors’ driveway and told them about the smoking magnolia.  They immediately called the fire department and another neighbor.  Before long, we had a collection of trucks, neighbors, and firemen out in front of ours’ and our neighbors’ houses.

Thankfully, the tree never did catch fire, the firemen were able to remove the fallen pear limb from the wires, and the electric company turned off the power remotely until they could free the wires from the magnolia tree.  We spent about 13 hours without power waiting on that fix.  No one was hurt and no further damage to anyone’s property occurred.  Even our milk is still good.  I call that God’s provision.

However, as amazing as God’s provision is, what struck me most about the whole thing was God’s timing.  If my hometown hadn’t had a power outage, I would have used my Sonic coupon for lunch, leaving us with yet another expense for supper.  If it hadn’t been raining as hard as it was when I left Grandma Carolyn’s house, I would have come on home.  If the restaurants hadn’t taken so long getting the orders out to me, I would have been driving through and gotten home during the storm that caused so much damage.  If I had already been home, I would not have known about the smoke coming from the magnolia tree.  That’s not to say that no one else could have seen it, but they may not have, if anyone else would have passed by before dark.  What if that tree had not been noticed, and it had caught fire?  At best, the neighbors would have lost a lovely, large tree.  At worst, we, or even the neighbors, could have lost our home. None of that may have happened at all, and I know there’s no point in worrying about the “what if’s” of life.  I’m not suggesting we all start doing that.  What I am saying is this:  God clearly wanted me to be late in coming home yesterday.  He wanted me away from home yesterday, and he wanted me late getting back.  The entire day, down to a cheap meal ($2.92 for two people, by the way), occurred in such a way as to keep me in my hometown for far longer than I had intended.

God’s timing is perfect.  We get frustrated with people, things, and situations that cause our schedules to go awry.  We gripe, complain, and lament, even, when we have to improvise or play it by ear.  Most of the time, God’s timing of things is not something we see so easily.  It is something that often is years in the making, and we, being the imperfect humans that we are, forget what all happened or just simply don’t connect the dots.  Then, sometimes, God’s timing is as clear as day.  It’s right in our faces, demanding our notice, our praise, and our gratefulness.  It’s a reminder of what all is going on behind the scenes every day, whether we remember it or know it or not.  God is always working, and His timing is always exactly right.  He is never early, and He is never late.  He just wants us to trust Him.

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The Curse Of the Mosquito

A mosquito on a leaf

That, my dear readers, is a mosquito.  If you’re not familiar with it, it is basically a blood-sucking demon.  Considering that it’s indigenous to basically the entire planet, however, I’m betting you’re familiar with it.  Last summer, we moved from an area with just a general amount of mosquitos to an area where they could eat you alive in about 10 minutes flat.  I’ve never hated nor feared mosquitos so much in my entire life.  Seriously, when you’re faced with hundreds of mosquitos on a daily basis, you start to understand the fear of mosquito-borne illness.  And when you have a small child and are pregnant, that fear increases exponentially.

Recently, I posted this on Facebook:  “Everything in creation has a purpose. Worms turn the dirt. Snakes eat other varmints. Bees help in plant fertilization. But I am convinced that mosquitos and flies are just pure curse, especially mosquitos.”  It was humorous little status update that received a dozen “likes” and one comment (a hearty “amen”).  However, it has stuck with me.  And as much as I hate to admit it, even the things of earth that are purely curse, have a distinct purpose.

God originally created this planet perfect, pristine.  The lives of mankind were without any kind of difficulty.  Even the animals lived in peace with one another.  The weather was always perfect; there was always food; there wasn’t even a need for clothing.  Then, mankind sinned, and everything changed.  There was only one rule in that perfect world, and the human race couldn’t even obey that one rule.  As a result, God cursed this planet as a punishment for our sins.

The curse included everything painful about our world:  illness, hard work and toil for little or no reward, pain, death.  Sin has taken root in our very souls, and we see the results of that every single day, over and over again all over the world.  Greed, envy, hatred, bitterness, strife, foolishness, self-importance, and the list goes on and on.  It’s a disheartening world in which we live.  Even when we go to walk outside in our own back yards, we encounter stickers and briars growing among the grass that will prick and wound our skin.  And there are mosquitos that will bite us, causing an itchy spot, at best, and death, at worst.

You see, even parts of our lives that are purely curse have a purpose, to remind us of what we are:  sinners.  We are sinners, even those of us who are among the saved, the Christians.  We have sinned in the past, we sin now, and we will sin for the rest of our natural lives.  We have disobeyed God.  We have turned our backs on Him and declared that we know better than Him and can make it through this life on our own.  We don’t need our Creator.  We, as a whole, have even declared that we are better, smarter, greater than our Creator.  We have spat in His face and thrown everything He ever gave us back at Him, ungrateful to and despising Him.  We are sinners.  You are a sinner.  I am a sinner.

Those mosquitos, though I will not start liking them anytime soon, are a reminder to me of just how far I have fallen.  They are a reminder of just much I have despised God and just how much I need Him.  They are reminder to me that I am not in control; He is.  He decides where and how many mosquitos are born.  He decides if, when, and which mosquitos will bite me and my family.  I have no control over any aspect of those mosquitos.  I even spent an hour this morning spraying a gallon of mosquito repellant stuff all over the outside of the house, but there are still hundreds of them buzzing away out there, in the same places that I sprayed.  My husband and I mowed the grass within an inch of its life, yet mosquitos will still be out there tomorrow.  We do not control God’s creation, no matter what we think.  We do not control when our lives begin, nor when they end.  We do not even control whether we will catch a cold, regardless of how many times we wash our hands and use sanitizer on grocery carts.  These painful things, mosquitos, death, and sickness, are part of the curse.  They should remind us of our utter need for God, how powerless we are.

Though I will continue my war with the mosquitos, spraying them with insecticides, using repellant on my body, mowing the grass, and everything else, I can be thankful that God is in control of everything and sent those mosquitos to remind me of that.  It’s not a fun thing, but it is oh so necessary.  Just something to think about the next time you get bitten by one of those blood-sucking demons.

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Oh, Lord, Where Are You?

Tornado that hit AR April 27, 2014.  This photo is from Searcy, AR, though, I am not certain who took it.

Tornado that hit AR April 27, 2014. This photo is from Searcy, AR and was taken by T.J. Stewart.

 

I do not know if you have heard in other parts of the country, but last night (April 27, 2014), central Arkansas was hit by a massive storm that produced this tornado that for around 45 minutes.  It was upwards to a mile wide in some places, and 1/2 a mile wide in some of its narrowest places.  It has been categorized as an EF-4 tornado.  (The ratings for tornados only go through EF-5.)  This was one of the most dangerous tornados in recent AR weather history.  At this point, the death toll is up to 14, including two children and one teenager, and there are still dozens missing.  Many small communities were hit, along with two small towns:  Mayflower and Vilonia.  All day long, local news stations have been having live coverage of search, rescue, and recovery efforts.  Though, I do not personally know anyone who was affected (Though, I do know of a family who lost three loved ones.), and I do not live near any of the places hit by this horrendous storm, I felt compelled to write a small poem about yesterday’s events.  In Arkansas, you learn that it could always be you next time.  There are no guarantees when dealing with tornados, and just because your area isn’t normally in the line of the storms, doesn’t mean it can’t be.  And when you see the images that have been playing across my TV screen and Facebook page all day, you can’t help but feel these people’s pain and loss to a degree.

*One week later, a baby that was born prematurely due to the mother’s injuries from the tornado, passed away shortly after birth, bringing the new total of tornado-related deaths up to 16.  Also, another person who had died was discovered a day or so after I wrote this post.

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“Oh, Lord, Where Are You?”

When the storms rage,

You are there.

When the wind roars,

You are there.

When the tornado destroys,

You are there.

When the night crawls on,

You are there.

When the sun rises,

You are there.

When the search commences,

You are there.

When the grief hits,

You are there.

When the healing begins,

You are there.

When life continues,

You are there.

You.  Are.  There.

Psalm 18:1-2 (NIV):  I love you, O LORD, my strength.  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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God bless all those who have been through last night’s storms and are dealing with the loss of loved ones and property in Arkansas and in other states.  And please bless those who are dealing with the same storm system today and will do so tomorrow in other parts of the country.

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A Blessed, Merry Christmas To You

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-“Birth Of the King” by Michael Dudash

The Gospel of Luke 2:1-21 KJV

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

May God bless you on this day, His only Son’s birthday. 

Merry Christmas!

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The Mop

Where do you see God most often?  In a baby’s smile?  In a sunrise after a stormy night?  In the wild fury of the storm?  In the first kiss between a newly married husband and wife?  At your favorite fishing hole?  Or simply sitting in the pew on Sunday morning?  Where do you see Him?

I see God in the big things, like most people.  I see Him in the vastness of the universe, in the intricate complexity of our bodies and our natural world.  I see Him at church.  I see Him in our checkbook.  But most poignantly, I see God in the small, tiny, seemingly insignificant moments of life.  And today, was one of those days.

You see, we have been moving.  (Yes, God blessed us with a home of our own and plenty of time to move.)  It has also, finally, turned into an Arkansas summer – hot and humid.  Not to mention, Connor isn’t too fond of our new home just yet, which means he is extra fussy and clingy when we take a load of stuff down there.  All of that is a good combination for a frazzled, hot, tired mama who isn’t able to get much done, at least in her point of view.

Today, Connor and I made another trip to our new home, to take a load of belongings, do a little cleaning, and unpack a few things.  Of course, it did not go as I had hoped, so after unloading the car and unpacking a few boxes, I packed up Connor’s stuff and headed back home, hot, tired, and frustrated.  As I drove, I decided to stop by Kroger and pick up baby formula and ice cream before getting some gas.  Instead of going to the store I normally go to, I went to one that was a few exits before mine.  I never go to this Kroger, and normally forget it’s even there, even if I need to go and am in the area.  Thinking of it, however, we went on inside in search of our ice cream and formula.  In the formula aisle, there was a full buggy that I went around a couple of times searching for Connor’s formula, and it wasn’t until I about to leave the aisle, that I wondered what was in the buggy.  Lo and behold, it was full of Swiffer sweepers, on final mark-down.  Just about a week before, I had been in Wal-Mart searching for something along those lines to clean the hardwood floors at our new home and had not been able to find what I was looking for in the unorganized collection of mops, brooms, Swiffers, and off-brand Swiffers.  Yet, here in a random aisle in a Kroger I do not frequent, was a buggy full of exactly what I had been searching for a week earlier.  I wound up buying a Bona Hardwood Floor Mop at half-price.  It’s exactly the type of mop I had wanted to buy to clean our beautiful floors.

As I stood in that baby aisle of Kroger, I was struck by the goodness and love of the God to whom I have dedicated my life.  He is the God of the entire universe.  He is in charge of keeping the planets and galaxies from colliding with one another on a daily basis.  He is in charge of creating life and determining how long that life will remain on this planet.  He is the general leading His army against the army of Satan.  This same God took a moment to walk into the baby aisle of Kroger and hand me a mop.  Me, a stay-at-home-mom of an eighth month old, who spends her days wiping a baby’s bottom, cooking a few meals, washing clothes, and scrubbing toilets.  Me, a woman known to very few, never the brightest bulb on the chandelier, and often selfish, sinful, impatient, ungrateful, and even unkind.

Our God is so big, and so often, we think of Him in those terms and rightfully so.  However, He is more than a big God in the sky.  He is our Father, and He loves us dearly.  And when we’re having a tough day, even if it’s just tough in the sense that our baby is fussy and we don’t accomplish all we had in mind to accomplish, our God wants us to know that He remembers us.  He remembers when we were searching for a mop a week before and unable to find what we were looking for.  He remembers that we are here, on this earth, muddling our way through our mundane day-to-day life.  And sometimes, if we forget that He remembers us in our daily frustrations, He shows up in the grocery store aisle, and personally hands us something simple, something small, something like a mop that we need, just to show us how much He cares for us and loves us.

I see God in the small things because it’s in the small things that God reminds me just how much He cares.  He reminds me that He is never too big for anything important in my life, no matter how small and insignificant it is.  A mop will never go down in history for anything.  No one will care even a week from now that I bought a mop today.  But, to me, it’s not about the mop; it’s about the God who directed me to wait to buy gas until I came from my new home, who reminded me of the Kroger that was on the way home, who had one of the store employees leave that buggy in the baby aisle, who convinced me to buy another tub of formula, and who made me wonder what was in the buggy.  It’s about that God, the God of my heart and my life.

Thank You, Lord, for your patience, provision, goodness, grace, and love.  And thank You for the mop.  You truly made my day.

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The Fabulous Fourth

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The smell of gunpowder and bug spray…  If you grew up in the US of A, then you know what I’m talking about.  It brings back memories, doesn’t it?  For me, it brings back plenty of memories.  Every year, my dad and step-mom would take us down to the big fire-cracker (that’s what I call them) tent in the Kroger parking lot, beside the good snow-cone stand.  They would give each of us $10 to buy firecrackers, and we would load up on bottle rockets, snap dragons, blooming flowers, black cat firecrackers, and many more of the little things.  We would also end up with a few dollars worth of the bigger bottle rockets between the four of us, and we would sometimes get to get a snow-cone and head home.  We were always a few days early on buying our firecrackers, so for the next few days, we would wait in excited anticipation for the big night, trying our best not to throw all of our snap dragons or pull all of our confetti poppers.

Then, finally the night would come.  Daddy would spend the evening after supper setting up cinder blocks and old pieces of pipe in the back yard while we would anxiously watch for darkness.  We were never able to wait for the sun to go down entirely, and we would end up popping the loud black cats, making black snakes grow, and letting chasers chase us around the carport.  I distinctly remember one year, the chasers loved my sister Dawn.  Every single one of them seemed to zero in on her like she had on a homing beacon.  We all got a good laugh out of her running from the chasers.

Once it would finally start to actually get dark, out came anything colorful:  the cone fountains, laying hens, spinning triangles that you had to nail to a tree trunk, and the occassional super cheap bottle rocket.  By nine-thirty, it would really be dark, and we could shoot the “big” bottle rockets and other things we had left.  We were often left with far more penny-bottle rockets than could be shot in a night, and those went to the cause of blasting off the face of the picture of a lawyer on the back of the phone book or blowing over-grown squash and cucumbers to smithereens over the next several days.

Once the big night was over, though, we would all head inside:  Our hair, clothes, and hands smelling like gunpowder and bug spray.  Tired and exhilarated.  There was nothing like being a pyro-techie for a couple of hours.

Yes, the smell of gunpowder and bug spray bring back a lot of memories.

Tonight, I am a twenty-seven year old wife and mother.  We didn’t have the money for any firecrackers, and we haven’t for the past several years.  Besides, our baby is too little to stay up way past dark, while we shoot firecrackers that he neither cares for nor will remember.  Instead, My Honey went to bed because he wasn’t feeling well, and I watched the neighbors shoot firecrackers in their yard.  They had several kids out with sparklers and lighting the little cones, roman candles, and spinners, and they also had some big, pretty, booming firecrackers that they would light every few minutes.  I could smell the gunpowder from the big ones, and it would take me back to all those years ago when I was a kid enjoying the Fourth of July.

As the big booms rang out and the bottle rockets whizzed into the air, I got a whole new sense of what this holiday means and just how precious this one in particular is.  Do you know why we shoot firecrackers anyway?  What is the reason we fire off such loud, bright gunpowder-packed rockets in the first place?  I will tell you why:  To remind us of the cannons and gunshots of the Revolutionary War.  Those soldiers, those colonists-turned-rebels did not have happy memories attached to the smell of gunpowder.  That smell probably struck them with a fear and an anxiety that we can’t even begin to imagine.  Even today, there are parts of the world where the boom of a cannon and the smell of gunpowder bring people to their knees in terror.

I cannot begin to imagine what feeling must have coursed through the soul of a twenty-seven year old wife and mother in 1776 when she heard a cannon-boom or smelt gunpowder in the air; it certainly wasn’t the feeling I had while reminiscing on my childhood.  It would have brought to mind images of dirty, tired militia-men facing off with England’s red-clad army in a field that had probably already soaked up too much blood.  It was a feeling of fear that her house would be the next to stand in the way of a cannonball, or that the English army would torch her village as they passed to the next battlefield.  It was the constant worry of whether her husband would return home whole, maimed, or even return at all.  It was the haunting thought that the war would stretch on until her son was old enough to join the fight.  No, gunpowder did not bring any happy memory or thought to that woman’s mind.

We are 237 years removed from when the Declaration of Independence was signed.  And I have to admit to having the passing thought that this could be the final birthday for the United States.  I fear that we, too, will learn how terrifying a cannon-boom and the odor of gunpowder can be.  Maybe I am taking what ought to be a happy, celebratory post and turning it into a depressing announcement of doom, but it’s a thought and feeling I can’t shake and must tell.

America, for so many reasons and in so many ways, is dying more rapidly with each passing day.  We have fewer days before us than we have behind us.  We have angered God and are only continuing to provoke him with our sinful behavior and acceptance of such.  We have politicians in office who only desire to take total control of America, and we have citizens gladly allowing them to do so.  We are falling to pieces morally, ethically, politically, economically, internationally, and socially.  The Constitution is nothing more than the doormat of the White House, and the Holy Bible is the mulch for the Rose Garden.  We have fallen far from what the founding fathers had in mind and even farther from what God intends.  We cannot sustain ourselves, and the rest of the world has less and less desire to help us do so.

Life, as we know it, in America is about to end.  America, herself, is lying on her deathbed.  I fear there will be war, such as most of us have never encountered.  It will be on our soil and between ourselves and other countries.  It will not be pretty, and I feel that we will never wish to watch a fireworks show again.

Our only hope lies in God.  We must turn back to Him, whole-heartedly.  We must desire to do His will, and then we must do it.  We must repent of our sins, which are greater than can be numbered, and we must be willing to accept that He may still allow destruction to come to our country.  This is where we stand on July the fourth, twenty-thirteen.  Two-hundred and thirty-seven years ago, the beginning was at hand; today, the end.  We can sit idly by and watch it all fall to waste, or we fight on our knees with our heads bowed in prayer, because that is the only way we will keep America what the militia men fought to make it.

God bless you.

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My Heart Is Heavy

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Dear Lord,

My heart is heavy today.  I see all around, stories of the slaughter of innocents, the abuse power, and a complete and utter refusal to bow in submission to You.  I see where You are calling to this world, this country, to turn back to You, submit to You, beg forgiveness of You, and I see that Your warnings are not being heeded, even by those who claim to be Your own.  In the name of politics and fairness, we have abandoned Your will, statutes, and laws.  We have, instead, made gods of our own bodies and lives, claiming that our own selves are above-all superior to anything or anyone else in this world, that if we do not get what we want, when we want it, and how we want it, we are being trodden upon by the narrow-minded elitists around us.  Satan is working and is working hard.  He knows his hold upon this country is almost secure and is determined to take hold.  I fear our country in his grasp.  Truly, I do.

I wonder, Lord, why You had me be born in time to watch all of this unfold.  Why couldn’t I have lived in another era, when more people lived for You, and even those who didn’t, would at least have agreed with the basic ideas taught in Your word?  When human life was considered precious, no matter at what point of the life cycle it was in.  When the family as You designed was the only accepted family.  You have a reason for me to be here now, though.  I may not understand it, but I do understand and trust Your sovereignty.  No matter how afraid I am, I know You are still in control and that I am in Your hand, not Satan’s.

Lord, I pray that the people of country come to realize that abortion is nothing more than child sacrifice to the god of self.  I pray that they would learn how You have dealt with countries in the past that promoted child sacrifice.  I pray that we, as a nation, would also remember how You have dealt with civilizations that embraced homosexuality.  Above both of these, I pray that we will remember how You deal with countries that turn their backs on and mock You.

We have experienced so much extreme weather over the past several years:  earthquakes, floods, blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, fires, drought, even simply extremes in temperature, yet no one wants to recognize Your voice in nature, calling for our repentance.  We have countries, tiny, seemingly insignificant countries, threatening to attack us with nuclear, biological, and virtual weapons, yet no one recognizes Your hand stretching out towards us, to lead us to Your peace.  We even have strife, division, and evil in our own halls of government, working to bring us down from the inside-out, yet no one recognizes You, working to show us The Truth.

My heart is heavy, dear Lord.  I pray for those who boldly proclaim You and Your Word across this land.  I pray for those who stuff their ears with their fingers, eagerly walking into destruction.  I pray, also, for those who resolutely go blindly on, though, I believe that, that, truthfully, is no longer possible.  You alone are God, and I pray that America realizes that soon.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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“I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”

-Ira Stanphill

Verse 1:

I don’t know about tomorrow,

I just live from day to day;

I don’t borrow from its sunshine,

For its skies may turn to gray;

I don’t worry o’re the future,

For I know what Jesus said;

And today I’ll walk beside Him,

For He knows what is ahead.

Chorus:

Many things about tomorrow,

I don’t seem to understand;

But I know who holds tomorrow,

And I know who holds my hand.

Verse 2:

Ev’ry step is getting brighter,

As the golden stairs I climb;

Ev’ry burden’s getting lighter,

Ev’ry cloud is silver-lined;

There the sun is always shining,

There no tear will dim the eye;

At the ending of the rainbow,

Where the mountains touch the sky.

Chorus

Verse 3:

I don’t know about tomorrow,

It may bring me poverty;

But the one who feeds the sparrow,

Is the one who stands by me;

And the path that is my portion,

Maybe though the flame or flood;

But His presence goes before me,

And I’m covered with His blood.

Chorus

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