Monday, November 29, 2010


"I'll bet you can't!"

"I can too."

"You think you can climb to the top of that pole?" came another voice.

The three boys in blue jeans and T-shirts stared up at the top of the power pole. It seemed like it was a mile high.

"Sure, no problem. See the spikes sticking out the sides. That's what they're for."

"Yeh, but that's for the power company, not for you."

"Well if they can do it. I can too."

"No Mike, don't do it, you'll get in trouble. Your mom will be mad. She'll probably ground you for life."

"Nah, she won't care. She's got a new boy friend"

"I wish my mom was like yours."

"Yeh, your mom is nice."


"Well, she listens to you. She doesn't yell at you all the time and she always wants to meet your friends. My mom and dad never want to see my friends. As long as I'm out of their way after supper, they're happy. I know dad works hard all day, but still, it would be nice if we could do things together, like you and your mom and sister."

"My dad is OK. We don't go out together though. He's too busy." from Tim.

"Yeh, maybe I won't climb the pole. It wouldn't be a good example for Susie." Although he still seemed to be checking out the pole.

"Mr. Jones, our Sunday School teacher did say we should be an example for our friends and those younger than us. Thank you Joe for reminding me. You know you're a good friend. You look out for me, you too, Tim. And mom does need some adult company. And Dick is a nice man, he doesn't mind if Susie and I are around."

As they headed towards home, Mike said, "Dick told me he was going to take me fishing some weekend, maybe he'll take you guys too. I can ask him."

"Maybe you should go out with him alone first. Then if he sounds interested we could go next time." Joe said.

"Yea, we don't want to scare him off."

The very next day as the boys were walking to school, Mike couldn't seem to hold back his excitement. "Joe, Tim, guess what! Dick is taking me fishing on Saturday. I can hardly wait."

"You're lucky man. Don't forget to ask if I can come next time. OK." from Joe.

"Oh, I'm sure he won't mind. He's excellent. You know, I think he likes my mom. I don't know why. She's pretty old. But I guess he is too. I'll make sure I ask him if you can come next time."

After school that day as Joe came in the front door, he heard his mother crying on the phone, "I don't know Jill, Frank is talking about divorce. I don't know what to do." Mike and Tim were waiting outside so they could go to the park.

Joe stopped in his tracks. What was this? Dad wouldn't leave would he? Things weren't that bad were they? Gee, he'd have to think about this.

"Hi mom, is anything wrong."

"Nothing you can help with. Just leave me alone."

Joe rushed out the door tears running down his cheeks. Tim and Mike ran after him. As he raced towards the playground he bumped into a large body.

"Hi Joe. Is something wrong?" It was Mr. Jones his Sunday school teacher, he grabbed Joe by the arm. Joe tried to shake him off. "You wouldn't understand."

"Why don't you try me."

"My dad is going to leave, divorce us."

"Why do you say that?"

"I heard mom talking on the phone." She was mad.

"What did she say?"

So Joe told Mr. Jones what he had overheard.

"Listen son, you don't worry about it. Lets pray that God will take care of this," so they bowed their heads and Mr. Jones said a quick prayer.

"Joe, why don't you come home with me. I'll phone your dad and talk to him. OK? Are you boys with Joe?" as he noticed the two boys staring at them. "Maybe you can talk to Joe later."

"Dad will probably be mad at me. He's been kind of grouchy lately"

"Oh, I'm sure he won't be mad, upset maybe."

So they walked down the street to Mr. Jones' house, as they passed Mike's house he saw Tim and Mike going inside. They waved to Joe and Mr. Jones.

"Can you come in for a while?" to Tim.

"Well I can't stay long, my mom likes me to get at my home work before she gets home."

"Maybe, we could work on our homework together?"

"You sure your mom won't be mad?"

"Oh no, we can have some juice and an apple."

So the two boys went into Mike's room, chattering like squirrels.

"I hope Joe is alright," Mike spoke thoughtfully.

"Yea, that must be rough. What should we do first? Math?"

Down the street, Mr. Jones was talking with Joe's dad.

"Sure, I understand, Frank. Maybe we can talk about it. How about going someplace for a coffee, after supper? What about tomorrow evening?"

(c) Esther A. Provencher
(story edited by Richard L. Provencher)

Richard & his wife Esther Provencher believe in the power of prayer, as Richard continues to heal successfully from his stroke in 1999. They hope their stories and poems are encouraging in a difficult yet awesome world. Pray for others and learn to forgive, especially your children and siblings.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Full of Hope

The holidays had been difficult on her since her mother died three years ago. Sometimes it seemed as if she had passed away only yesterday, the pain was so sharp; and other times it felt like a lifetime since she had seen her mother slowly waste away in a hospital bed while the doctors watched helplessly.
Cancer. The word still left a bitter taste in her mouth. Cancer was a thief that had taken her mother from her before she was ready to let go. Some days it was all she could do to keep goingto eat, sleep, work, and readas if she were still whole inside. As if nothing at all had changed.
It was a lie. Her entire life had been ripped apart the day her mother died.
Now, Hope took a deep breath of the icy December air. Mom, I still miss you. So much. The words, thought but not said aloud, did nothing to ease the ache inside her. She stood on Main Avenue the day before Christmas, gazing unseeingly into the display window of the department store. Christmas is tomorrow and I should be happy, she knew. Would the pain ever leave?
Breathing a sigh, Hope turned away from the window and began walking down the sidewalk. Even among dozens of other people rushing to get last minute Christmas shopping done, she felt alone. What was it her mother had always told her? God is always with you, Hope. Even when you feel alone and unloved. Well, that was certainly her right nowalone and unloved. If only her mother was right about God. Hope had grown up believing in God with a childlike faith. But since her mom's death, she wasn't so sure if God even existed. How can there be a loving God out there that lets people die? If there really is a God, where is He now? The questions continued to plague her as they had for the past three years.
Hope climbed into her car and started the ignition. Though she felt the warmth of the heater in her face, it did nothing to warm her cold, hard heart. She left behind the busyness of town and hit the highway she knew better than any other road. Within minutes, she was pulling up in front of the house she and her mother had lived in when she was alive. Hope hadn't gathered the courage to sell it, and she wondered if she ever would. It had always just been Hope and her mom; her father had left when Hope was young and her mother never remarried or had any other children. Hope was nineteen when her mom was first diagnosed with cancer. She had beaten it that time, but a year later she found another lump on her side. This time, there was nothing anyone could do.
Shivering, Hope unlocked the front door and slipped inside. Even after all this time, the house was still the same as her mother had left itsame living room arrangement, same drapes on the windows, same photos lining the mantel. It even smelled like her perfume, a sweet and rich fragrance that hung over the entire house. Hope tried not to breathe in too deeply as she trudged up the stairs. In her mother's room, she felt a sob work its way up her throat and had to choke it back. Still, the tears came as she sank onto the bed, fingering the patchwork comforter. I'm only as far away as your heart, her mother had told her before she died, her voice a faint whisper as she held Hope's hand. Do you believe that, Hope?
Hope had nodded, the tears rolling down her cheeks much as they did now, unbidden. She stood and was about to leave the room when she noticed something stuck between the pages of her mother's Bible on the nightstand. Before she could stop herself, Hope reached for the Book and flipped it open to where the bookmark was. Except it wasn't a bookmark, she saw now, pulling it out and flipping it over. It was an envelope, and on the front in her mother's flowing script were the words To Hope.
"What's this?" Hope whispered. She slid her finger beneath the flap of the envelope and pulled out a sheet of paper. The date printed at the top of the page read December 24, the day before her mom died. Hope sank onto the bed again and began reading:

My dearest Hope,
If you are reading this, then I have already gone to Heaven. Don't cry now, Hope. I'm happy there, happier than I ever could be here on earth. I want to tell you how much I love you, my dear one. You're the sunshine in my life, and you always have been since the day you were born. I was so young when I had you, Hope, but I fell in love the first time I held you in my arms. Do you know why I named you Hope? I had always loved the name, but it was then when I was holding you that I first felt itfull of hope. No matter what the future held, I had my little girl, my precious Hope. You were so happy all the time, full of hugs and giggles. I remember one occasion when you were very young, about three years old. I asked who loved you and you told me, "Two people, Mamma. You and Jesus." Oh, I remember that day as if it were yesterday. You always knew how to make me laugh and cry. I love you, Hope, and so does Jesus. Never forget that. No matter how old you get, you'll always be my little girl. Never stop believing, no matter how dark life may seem. God is with you and He loves you. Remember, my precious, who you arefull of Hope.
Love always,

The tears continued to flow even when she finished reading and dropped the letter into her lap. Covering her face, she wept the way she hadn't in three yearsnot as much from her loss as from the realization that her mother was, once again, right. God did love her, no matter how much it seemed otherwise, and He was with her. She knew that as clearly as if God Himself had stepped in and wrapped His arms around her. Let me heal your broken heart, my child. I know the pain you are going through, and I want to help you if you'll only let me.
Hope raised her eyes. Her mother's words came back to her: "Remember who you arefull of Hope. Remember who you are"
"Yes," she whispered. Looking past her darkness, she could see a light at the end of the tunnel, beckoning her closer and closer, and for the first time in years she felt lightfull of hope.

I am 18 years old and an aspiring writer. I have been writing since I was very young and I absolutely love it. I have a strong urge to go into Christian fiction one day in the near future.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Trust And Belief

Hello folks, a write after quite a break. I have been down with tonsillitis, fever and body ache, I am a little better now but not completely well. I so write for Jesus because that is my purpose just as for an engine its only purpose is to run in whatever condition so is mine to witness for Jesus.

I will be writing on trust and belief, Biblically and fundamentally they are the same thing but with time the world has watered down the definition of belief and lost direction for Whom to trust in. Allow me to explain, belief to people in this day and age appears to be something in which they might just possibly feel/agree. For example people nowadays normally say: “Today being Sunday, I believe Crawford market would be closed” or “Arjun believes Dharmesh is a man of good character”. In terms of trust, people trust in the silliest of things, right from the superstitious cat crossing the road, to the reading of daily horoscopes. The funny thing is, only the hale and hearty people find time and energy to trust in these sillies, a person in his death bed would be least bothered even if a cat is sitting under his government hospital bed nor will he be bothered about his daily horoscope because that would have nothing about “you will be fighting for your life today”.

Let see what the real among the counterfeit, the Book of books, the Bible says. The Bible says that we ought not to trust in our wealth or strength or people or power or even our own judgment if it is contrary to trusting in God.

Jeremiah 17:5 (about trusting in people)
The Lord says, “I will condemn those who turn away from me and put their trust in human beings, in the strength of mortals.

Jeremiah 49:4 (about trusting in power)
Why do you unfaithful people boast? Your strength is failing. Why do you trust in your power and say that no one would dare attack you?

Jeremiah 48:7 (about trusting in strength and wealth)
7 “Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth,
but now even you will be conquered;

Proverbs 3:5 (about trusting in understanding contrary to God)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Now when I say trust in God, you will know that it is Almighty God that I am talking about but let me introduce you to the god of this world/age with whom the people of the world agree.

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The god of this age is Satan, who makes people trust in everything other than Jesus. He puts into people a fear of doing what is right and makes the consequences seem bigger than Almighty Jesus. Disobedience has various forms and Satan is the father of them all, doing the right thing has just one way and one reason and that pleases Jesus but doing the wrong thing has multiple choice and multiple reason and all disobedience pleases Satan. A man may say that he did what he did just to make a living, that man’s god was his own well being for that is what he put first. The Bible says to those who know not of the Law of God to them sin is un-accounted for (Romans 5:13) but to those who claim to practice the Law of God, the more stringent/fanatical the practice the more severe the punishment if they do not trust in God’s solution (Jesus) for sin.

Romans 5:13
There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins.

As I said earlier Satan is known as the god of this age for he has had his way with the world and takes them for a nice ride (Revelation 12:9), deception can be of various forms but the right trust has just one point and one way and that is Jesus (John 14:6). Contrary to popular belief there are no multiple ways to God for if that were true Jesus would not give his life for me and you. If I wanted to lie to you, I can make up any God dammed story I wanted and present it to you, I do not have to confirm to anything to lie to you so long as you find what I say acceptable & so it is with Satan to hide the Light of God that is in Jesus, he has made different concoctions of religious beliefs right from that of one god to that of many. To Satan no rule applies, he works ever so fervently as days pass for he knows his punishment draws nearer with time(Revelation 12:12).

Revelation 12:9
The huge dragon was thrown out — that ancient serpent, called the Devil, or Satan, that deceived the whole world. He was thrown down to earth, and all his angels with him.

John 14:6
Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.

Revelation 12:12 (Satan after his defeat is thrown out of heaven)
12 And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.”

Bottom line, my friend: it is trust in Jesus that saves (John 3:16). Saves; not only from damnation but also from our life’s consequences; if you doubt this, it means you have never truly applied this science, for your fear of the consequences seems bigger but if you believe & do not doubt this then you are blessed for you have witnessed this at least once. Remember the reason God is telling you something different is because it does not seem right to you, you are unable to grasp this by your own power. Had it made sense to you, you would do it without being told.

John 3:16
16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

By Fergus Davar (Saved by HIS grace), just a pen in His Hand.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Heavenly Dream

I had a very astonishing and weird dream if I can call that... before I forget, I better post about it..

In my dream, I was in my car with a few others, I cannot recall who they are.. anyway, we were all driving up a mountain area and it was raining. Suddenly some cars in front of me got sucked up in puddles of water, the cars disappeared into the holes of water. That frightened me and I stopped my car. Quickly we came out of the car and I told my friends to run backwards. But before we could do so, one of my friends said, "No use to run... LOOK!" In front of us, the storming water like those Tsunami type.. came splashing by at us...
I was like awaiting to be drowned...

Then the next second, I was standing in a row with some others in a music world.. hey, where am I... then I got to know that I AM ACTUALLY IN HEAVEN!!

The songs of worship are all around.... so soothing... so heavenly... and for a second, I was so so happy.. hey, no suffering, no pain............

Praise The Lord!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nevertheless I Live

The Apostle Paul proclaims in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." The word "I" in this verse has two meanings. The Greek words "ego" (eg-go') and "zao" (zah'-o) were both translated "I". Ego; me, or the awareness of oneself, is familiar to us. Zao; to live, a vital power, or a life giving force, has a more dynamic meaning. Paul is talking about the "old man" and the "new man". In Ephesians 4:22-24 we read about putting off the old man and putting on the new man. The "new man" is created after God in righteousness and true holiness.

There are two other closely related Greek words that give us some insight about our "new man". The words, "hagnos" (hag-nas') and "hagios" (ha'-gee-as). "Hagnos" means pure and is literally translated "pure" in 1 John 3:3. This verse is speaking of the purifying hope within us. "Hagios" means most holy thing, or a saint, and is translated "that holy thing" in Luke 1:35. This verse describes the miraculous conception of our Lord Jesus Christ when the power of the Highest overshadowed Mary. We have a pure, clean, and righteous inner man. Thank God for what Jesus did for us!

Let there be no mistake about it, "Zao" and "Ego" do not get along. They are contrary to one another (Galatians 5:17). Zao wants to obey God and Ego does not. We must help Zao! What can we do? How can we help him? We can sow to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8). We can feed and clothe him by believing and speaking the Word of God (Romans 10:10). This is how Zao lives. Paul gives us some good advice in Philippians 4:4-7. "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ."

Praise Jesus. Just want to share the Joy!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

President Obama, Visit To Indian

"Rex Patrick Randell," said Mrs.Lalitha Sebastian, the seventh class teacher of Holy Mary High School in Colaba, "You are going to be the writer, director and lead actor in the skit about Mahatma Gandhi. Don't go as per the accepted norm, delve deeper into the character and come about something original. Mind you it should not be more than three minutes. President Obama will be here in the school for only fifteen minutes, and we have other items to showcase."
"Yes teacher," replied the fourteen year old Rex.

Holy Mary School in Colaba was selected to be a part of the President's itinerary, when he visits Mumbai, on November 7, 2010. This private school is just a two minute drive from Taj Mahal, where the President would be staying. The Taj Mahal hotel was the scene of deadly carnage when more than hundred people were killed on November 26, 2008.

Rex, reaching home, waited for his mother, Mrs. Juliet George, a librarian in Bombay Teachers Training College.
"Mom, as you have prayed, I've been selected to play the lead role. But Mrs. Sebastian said that the skit should be a different one."
"Why don't you make a visit to Mani Bhavan at Laburnum Road? It has books, personal letters about Mahatma Gandhi. You may find something interesting. Ask dad to drop you before he goes to work."

Entering the six feet twin paneled front door of the unassuming Mani Bhavan, Rex was greeted by a mix of heady scent of sandalwood and incense sticks, burning near the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. Heeding to Rex's request, one of the office bearers, led him through the front room, which were adorned with sepia tinted photos of freedom fighters, to a room filled with 50,000 books about the life of the Mahatma Gandhi.

Within an hour, he completed the skit, but he was not happy about it. Frustrated, he tossed the notes on the table, and suddenly became aware that he was being watched. Turning towards the corner of the room, he noticed a lone foreigner, who got up and walked towards him.

"Hi," the foreigner wished in a well modulated voice, and introduced himself, "I am Ernest McAllister."
"Hello," replied Rex, "I am Rex Patrick Randell."
"You are reading a lot of books."
"Yes," said Rex smiling, "I am doing a skit on Mahatma Gandhi."
Rex showed him the notes he had prepared. Taking it, Ernest asked, "May I?"
"Please, you are welcome."
"The highlight in your skit would be the letter written by the jailed Mahatma Gandhi to his sick wife Kasturba, that he cannot do anything, except suggest that she should have courage. That's touching."

Seeing the change, Rex was happy, and thanking him, took his leave.

The next day at the school, when he along with his mother walked in, he was stunned to see the transformation, as the entire school was cordoned off with police, interspersed with a few Americans, wearing black suits and goggles. After the presentation of the skit, Rex was discussing with his teacher about the contribution of Ernest, when to his stunned surprise, Ernest himself came from behind and wished him. Rex introduced his teacher and his mother to Ernest. After the introductions, Ernest excused and left.

"He is from the Secret Service," said Mrs. Lalitha, "They have been visiting the school from the time the Presidents' itinerary was announced."
"But I met him in Mani Bhavan also."
"It's also in the Presidents' itinerary."

"Mom, why did you suggest that I go to Mani Bhavan for preparing the skit?" asked Rex as they were sitting in the living room, after having dinner.
"Rex, I prayed," replied Mrs. Juliet, "That you do the skit all by yourself. I would have helped you in preparing it, but you wouldn't have had the satisfaction of doing a good job."
"But mom, will the President like it?"
"He will, we'll pray about it. Come let's pray."

Victor Jasti from India has this passion to write short stories based on Bible and real incidents. He also writes Christian fiction & poetry. Five of his poems were published in Temporal Currents compiled by an American author Ms Christine Tricarico

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Monday, November 8, 2010

The Secret of a Long and Happy Life! by Laura Swindon-Ross

When I was young, I worked in an old folk's home for a while.
My work was voluntary, and so, if people asked me what I was up to, I'd say that I was 'giving the old folks some of my time' - yet how wrong I was! These old folks were giving their time to me! The things I learned from some of those kind and memorable characters!
I recall one elderly lady in particular - everyone called her 'Gladdie' (I'm guessing her real name was Gladys). A tiny little thing she was - but my, how she shone for God!
Gladdie used to say:
"Never wear a frown before lunch-time - and the rest of your day, will go just fine - no matter what!"
The other thing Gladdie used to say was:
"Never go to bed at night without discussing things with God - and try and find at least one thing every day that you can praise Him for. Tell God that you love Him! Tell your family and those around you, that you love them, too!"
Well, Gladdie lived to be 103 years old.
I always knew where she was when I came visiting - I just had to look for the little crowd of people gathered round her - wheel-chairs and Zimmer frames, not a problem! She drew them all up close with her gentle joy and shining happiness.
"What is that Gladys on?" People used to say. But as they got to know her, it didn't take too long to figure Gladdie out.
The secret of a long and happy life, as Gladdie used to say, is just the way you look at things, always out the sunny window, seeking out God's grace.
"Oh! And always read your Bible, just a little every day - it'll keep you apace with what happens in this world, better than any news! Human nature hasn't changed too much in the last couple of millennia on this planet, don't y'know!"
And then she'd smile her 'Gladdie' smile, and she'd give you one of her great, big Gladdie hugs, her tiny, frail arms bent in love around you. And if you looked into those kind, blue, sparkling eyes - well, you knew it, deep inside... As Gladdie herself would gladly tell you:
"The secret of a long and happy life, my dear - is God."

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

5 Ways to Minister to Your Preteen Sunday School Students

Preteens, or "tweens," are at sort of a crossroads in their lives. The alarming fact is that they are exposed to so much more than we were at that age. Evil influences are everywhere, and wrong behavior is often glorified by their peers. More than ever, we need to make our ministry life-changing and relevant to their lives. Many of us only have about an hour Sunday morning to do this. Here are some suggestions to help you get started

1. Know them by name.

This might sound obvious, but our church is very large, with approximately one thousand people in attendance every Sunday. My Sunday school class averages twelve to fourteen children each week, but they're not always the same kids. And I only see them for that hour. So I have to make a special effert to remember their names, first and last. Nothing makes a person feel less important that when you don't know his or her name.

2. Spend time chatting with them before class starts.

As the students are arriving and you are waiting to start the lesson, sit and talk with them. Try to say something to each student, even if it is brief. Ask them how their week went, how school was, if anything special happened during the week. It's not hard to draw them out, especially the preteen age - or any age for that matter. Kids love to talk about what's going on. They need to know you care about them.

3. Correct gently.

There are always going to be children who are noisy, rowdy, or even undisciplined. Try to deal with them in such a way as to not discourage them from coming to Sunday school. Don't yell at them or speak rudely to them. You are the role model. If one child is disrupting so much that the other children are not being able to learn, it is more serious. Of course, the child can't be allowed to hit or hurt the other children if he or she is aggressive.

You might try talking to your pastor or children's director about the problem. You could start asking parents to take turns sitting in on class to help out. Make sure that student's parent is one of the first ones to come in. Pray a lot about this. You don't want to lose the child who is the discipline problem, or any of the other students either.

4. Make your lessons interesting and engaging.

Preteens get bored very quickly, and they don't hesitate to let you know. Mix things up a bit. Make sure to include Bible stories, real-life stories applying the lesson for kids their age, skits, games, and crafts.

5. Pray for them every day.

This is so important. You may be the only person in the world who is praying for them. Make a list of your students and pray for each one by name, including any special needs or situations that you happen to know about in their lives. Pray also that they will have hearts to receive God's instruction, that they will accept Christ, and live godly lives. Pray for them to resist all of the evil influences that abound today.

Preteens are in a unique age of life. Keep a pleasant, kindly attitude towards them. Let them know you enjoy being with them. Remember that our actions speak louder than our words. Reap the benefits of serving the Lord in this important ministry.

Jessica Gerald is a Christian wife, mother of two grown sons, retired elementary school teacher, and current Sunday school teacher of fourth and fifth graders. You may visit her website at

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Popcorn, Till Death Do Us Part

Young love is sensual, bringing gratification with each lingering goodnight kiss. I am not intentionally suggestive, just revealing personal experience. As I retrieve memories of dating from way back when, one fact remains clear as crystal; it involved all my senses.

Guys might not realize the intensity of pleasure they provided. First, many were easy on the eyes. A fresh haircut implied he looked forward to our date as much as I did. His selection of a colorful shirt and Wranglers, or dark suit, shirt and tie left a big impression on me. One steady date and I wore matching madras plaid shirts, guess that dates me in my saga.

I snuggled up close to get a better position for aromatherapy. Long before it became trendy or big business a splash of Old Spice, Aqua Velva, English Leather, Canoe or Brut helped me to sit back and relax. The time spent with my head on his shoulder came with repeated deep whiffs of manly fragrance.

The romantic voice of an admirer at the other end of the phone made my heart flutter. Some conversations spanned time linking the closing of one day to the rising of the sun. Three little words transported me to springtime and apple blossoms. "You're my sweetie!"

Holding hands became an art form and I would love to sign up for an art appreciation refresher course. There were many ways to hold hands. Beginners advanced to firm holding with fingers intertwined. The Cadillac of hand holding involved caressing of the hand.

I must not neglect to mention the taste test. Kisses came in many flavor varieties. Many left behind a refreshing taste of minty mouthwash or Lavoris cinnamon. I'm not knocking Listerine or Dr Tichner's, but that antiseptic shocked the taste buds.

I routinely judged chewing gum. Do you remember that juicy kiss when a date chewed Juicy Fruit gum, sugar rush after Double Bubble bubblegum, Black Jack licorice, Chiclets mint, or zesty Dentyne chewed as a precaution against halitosis? Most people are loyal to a brand of chewing gum. I tagged each with their distinctive taste sensation.

Popcorn won first place in my kiss taste test; each bag or bowl led me closer to the aisle. My young man placed popcorn at the top of his snack favorites. Our dates often included matinée viewings in dimly lit movie theaters or rendezvous at drive-ins.

He first detoured to the concession stand to buy popcorn and soda. Each tender kiss tasted like melted butter with a generous topping of salt. I guess it became addictive; I could not get enough!

We're old folks now; we don't get out much anymore. He lingers over popcorn servings from large salad bowls, relaxing in front of the television. One eye is on the TV screen, the other on his popcorn target.

The western hero wins in the chase scene, and my hero munches on a handful of microwave delight. The sun sets in the west; we'll meet at the pass for popcorn goodnight kisses. Popcorn, till death do us part

With God all things are possible! Devotionals are my first love in writing! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/

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Melchizedek (2)

Roughly 600 years later, David makes a passing reference to him in Psalm 110 where, prophesying about the Messiah, David says, "The Lord has sworn: You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." Certain passages of the OT were understood, even before the time of Jesus, to be messianic in nature. In Matthew 2:1-6, we see that the Pharisees knew the Messiah was supposed to be born in Bethlehem; they regarded Micah 5:2 as a prophecy. Psalm 110, the one that mentions Melchizedek, is another of those passages that everyone knew to be messianic prophecy. Jesus quotes it in Matthew 22:41-45, and the Pharisees unquestioningly accept him because they agreed that it was messianic. What's really crucial to note is that Jesus was quoting that psalm to refer to himself, to claim the things that were written in it, which include being a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

All of this brings us to the book of Hebrews, a book that was written to (as the title might suggest) Jewish people, who were having some questions about how to move from the old covenant of the OT law to the new covenant of grace. The writer's main point beginning in 4:14 is that we have no more need for an earthly priesthood like the one practiced in the OT because Jesus is now our high priest, the intercessor between us and God. (This is one of many reasons why the Mormons and Catholics get it wrong; Jesus abolished the priesthood, so any sect that reestablishes one is taking a step in completely the wrong direction.) However, this idea of Jesus being a high priest would have caused some problems for the Jews, because they knew that the OT law restricted the priesthood to only those people who were Levites descended from Aaron. Jesus, in accordance with prophecy, came from the line of David and the tribe of Judah. Therefore he wasn't qualified to be a priest under the OT law.

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Melchizedek (1)

Genesis 14, Psalm 110, and Hebrews 7 make reference to this odd figure called Melchizedek. If you've ever read one of those three passages and been totally bewildered, you've come to the right place for clarity. First I want to discuss who he actually was, according to Genesis, and then I want to discuss what he means for us in the New Covenant, according to Hebrews.

The man first shows up in Genesis 14, quite out of the blue, where he's abruptly introduced as the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of God. To show that this man is the real deal, Abraham tithes to him (before the Biblical law about tithing had even been given) and accepts a blessing from him. Then the guy disappears, never to be heard from again.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Grace Of God

Grace is undeserved favor... and who else can grant us this beautiful Grace but God... Yes, He is the only one who grants us Grace... not by our good works but by His Grace, we are set free from the bondage of sins.
Andy Stanley has delivered this beautiful book with a captivating explanation of divine Grace, making it delightful and awesome. The Grace of God is compelling, the alluring beautiful words well written. This book is amazing, he explained the in-depth study of grace, to allow us to understand how much God has given us and His unconditional love for us too.
Grace is a beautiful word and as Andy Stantley depicts the word Grace, it is very much needed when his guilt is exposed. What he have written is very true... when we are guilty, we feel ashamed to come to God to ask for His forgiveness. We know God's grace is abundant and Grace is actually bigger than compassion or forgiveness, as Andy has written.
Through this book I have come to understand the extension of God's Grace upon our lives... Grace is not earned.. it is given... Grace is the offer of exactly what we do not deserve.
Reading Andy's book Grace of God has put a light in our lives... we need grace.. we need God...

The Homepedoo

When my son was three years old, he had a strange, but very real fear, of a mysterious creature called a hompedoo!
Now, this creature was very sneaky! He just loved to sneak around.
Sometimes he lived in the ward-robe; sometimes he sneaked in under the bed (as such creatures are apt to do!). Sometimes he made himself invisible and hid, so you couldn't see him at all - 'til he got visible again that is, ready to pop out from somewhere, and scare the pants (or P.J.'s) right off of you - especially if you were a little kid!
Well, my husband and I tried to find out about this 'hompedoo', from our small and more than slightly scared, son.
"How big is he?" We asked.
"As big as a elephant!" came the assured reply (never mind that an elephant couldn't fit into his room!)
"How tall is he?" We asked.
"As tall as a giraffe! But sometimes, small... like this..."
A small hand gestured vaguely, near the floor.
"O.K... so, what noise does a hompedoo make?" We asked.
"They growl like this - rraahhh! But mainly, they say nothing at all."
"Really - why's that?" We asked, more intrigued than ever.
Mikey thrust his little hands into his pockets.
"Because!" he said, quite simply, "Because. That's all!”
Well, my husband and I got to thinking. What about this hompedoo? How were we going to go about removing his unwanted presence from our small son's life? We thought and we thought... and then we came up with an idea. We would have to shift Mikey's focus, and get him to concentrate on something else. Well - what was bigger than a hompedoo? - Why, God, of course!
What we had to get Mikey to do was to rely less on himself, and more on God. Even if he was only three, if Mikey could just hand the problem over to the Lord, then things would improve dramatically, we were sure of that - after all, who better than God, to scare a hompedoo away?
Well, before too long, our efforts paid off and soon, don't y'know it - that hompedoo was gone! Not a hair, not a whisker remaining - kavoom!
"Whew! I'm glad I've got God on my side!" exclaimed little Mikey.
And you know, he was absolutely right! What Mikey was learning, was that all-important lesson of trust, and I figure we could learn from it, too. If you've got a problem:
1. Take your focus off of it. Try looking at it from a different angle.
2. Call in God! Trust Him! Pray; then pray some more - and look for the encouragement of others. Lord knows, we've all had hompedoos in our lives - hiding under our beds, in our ward-robes, in our bank accounts, even at work, sometimes!
On the other hand though, God bless all the hompedoos, 'cos in their own strange, confounded way, they're leading us back to God, for a bigger faith, a better faith - a stronger faith altogether! And before you know it, you're looking over your shoulder, and that hompedoo is gone, just like Mikey's! Well - 'Good riddance!' (as Mikey would say). And by the way, thank-you, Lord!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Why We Love Them So!

It was the end of a long day, and I was just putting my little son to bed.
"O.K., Mikey time to say your prayers!" I gently reminded him.
Well, Mikey got down on his little knees, and put his hands together and looked very serious, as he quite often did when he said his prayers. Then off he started on his usual long and rambling list of very important childish things that he wanted to say to God.
I tip-toed out of the room to get something, and when I came back a minute or two later, little Mikey was just finishing up, saying:
"... and most of all, God, thank-you for Mrs Squid Heavens - cos she's the nicest teacher ever! I like Mrs Squid Heavens, God! A-men!"
Now, I couldn't help grinning at this last little note, appended as it was at the end of Mikey's prayer.
Mrs Squid Heavens? I thought - who was she?
"Mikey," I enquired, trying not to sound too much like I was prying, "Who is Mrs Squid Heavens?"
"Oh, she's my new teacher at pre-school," said Mikey, in a very serious little voice. "She's cool!"
"Are you sure that's her name?" I continued.
Mikey nodded his head vigorously.
"Yep!" he assured me.
I smiled - somehow I doubted that Mikey's information was quite right on this one.
"Well good-night, darling Mikey!" I said, giving my little guy a great, big hug and a kiss.
"G'night Mom!" returned a very sleepy little son.
Two days later, I walked Mikey to his pre-school class. I was greeted by a mature and very kindly lady, with a wonderful, bright smile.
"Why, hello Mikey!" she said, warmly.
"Hello!" returned my little man, smiling shyly.
"And you must be Mikey's mom," said this new teacher, reaching out to shake my hand.
"Yes, that's right, I am. I'm very pleased to meet you!" I replied.
But I couldn't help smiling.
There, on this new teacher's lapel, was a name tag. The letters were embossed in gold. They read:
'Mrs Gwyn Evyns'. Immediately, my brain made the connection - Squid Heavens! Now little Mikey's prayer made sense!
I looked into the kind, sparkling eyes of this new teachers face, and I thought to myself, when I get to know her a little better, I must tell Mrs Gwyn Evyns about Mikey's interpretation of her name! I felt sure, that like me, she would find it rather amusing!
Lord, I guess what I'm trying to say here, in my own long and rambling adult way is this: thank-you for our children! They surely are one of your greatest gifts! And it's times like the other night, when they're down on their little knees at bed-time, praying so earnestly for Squid Heavens (or whatever other variations on a theme children can come up with!)that they make us love them even more, if that's possible! Lord - protect our children; help us give them happy lives! And with your loving guidance, help us to be the best parents that we can be - and Lord? May all their teachers be as wonderful as Squid Heavens!

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