From Fortune to fortune

The Fortune was the second ship to arrive at Plymouth on November 9, 1621, just weeks after the first Thanksgiving. My ancestor, William Basset was on that ship.

Truthfully, it is just as well that the Fortune’s passengers missed the first harvest festival, or Thanksgiving, as it is now known, for they had nothing to contribute. Unlike the Mayflower, the Fortune did not come with food or supplies. The thirty-five poor souls that arrived had little more than the clothes on their back. Obviously, this placed a great deal more strain on the food supplies of the colonists who had already arrived on the Mayflower a year earlier.

Thank heaven for the Native Americans who, through Divine Providence, helped the colonist, most of whom were Separatists from the Church of England. The term “pilgrim” was applied to these settlers in the late 1700’s after excerpts from William Bradford’s diary were published. Bradford, describing the Separatists final church service before embarking on their voyage to the North American continent, wrote that they “spent a good part of the day very profitably and suitable to their present occasion; the rest of the time was spent pouring out prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears… they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits.”

Bradford, a leader in the Separatist movement, was clearly likening these “pilgrims” to those men and women of faith recorded in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews. These all died in faith, it is written, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.  Hebrews 11:13-16

When William Bradford, who arrived on the first ship Mayflower, realized that the Fortune was a friendly English ship rather than that of a hostile enemy, he would have been quite happy. This ship would surely be laden with much needed supplies. However, “Misfortune” might have been a more suitable name given that the new colonists, being completely destitute, would surely be a drain on already diminishing supplies. Still, they were ‘pilgrim’ brethren and they would, with God’s help, prosper in this new world.

As for William Bassett, with much hard work and perseverance, he became a very influential and wealthy man in the colonies, sharing much responsibility with William Bradford and other colonist leaders. Mr. Bassett stepped off the ship called Fortune and walked into a future of financial fortune. However, his greatest fortune was not monetary gain. His greatest fortune was the God-given opportunity to live in a free land; one where he and his family could worship God freely without having to compromise his beliefs nor comply with a religious system that the Separatists deemed corrupt.

Dear reader, it does not matter what country you live in presently, or which lands you may someday travel to, please remember that God is preparing a new home for His children called new Jerusalem. This is what John the Revelator wrote about it in the book of Revelation:  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:1-7. 

I cannot speak for you, dear reader, but I am thankful to have lived in this goodly and pleasant world all these years, but my heart often yearns for my new, much better home – for the new heaven and earth which God has promised. Can you say the same? I hope so. If not, please contact me; I would love to show you the path that leads to salvation; and to new Jerusalem.

Postscript: Here in the States, we are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday today. Like the pilgrims of old, we are celebrating God’s bountiful provision. If you and your loved ones celebrate Thanksgiving where you are, I pray that yours is happy and blessed!


One Great Race

Unusual Animal Friendships

While filling out a job application, my friend marked an X through all the “race” choices and wrote HUMAN. He didn’t get the job, but I gave him an ‘A’ for bravado. I wonder, is it really that burdensome to use the correct, five-syllable word nationality instead of the incorrect, one-syllable term race?

True, there were races in antiquity, but those generally involved chariots or feet. Biblically speaking, the word race is only found four times in Scripture and never in reference to a people group.The word nation(s), however is used hundreds of times.

Semantics, semantics, some would say. What difference does it make if we use the word race to distinguish ethnicity? Whether we use the word race for ethnicity, contest of speed, or even a political campaign, the word gives rise to thoughts of competition and superiority. Sadly, this is why some folks feel justified in ranking others as “inferior.”

Nothing could be more unscriptural. The Bible says God created MAN in His image not His images. He distinguished them male and female, and by that distinction alone.

Prejudice is, therefore, one of my pet peeves. My family and I have always been colorblind and have no tolerance for racism. Nevertheless, I must ashamedly admit that I learned just today that my otherwise angelic little doggie is prejudice (insert imagination here). This will never do in my family!

This will never do in God’s family either. Unbelievably, prejudice and racism actually take place even in the church. When I first learned this, I was utterly shocked. Mankind, all six-billion plus, are family regardless of our skin colors. Those of us who call upon Jesus Christ as Lord are immediate family, everyone else is extended family, but family just the same.

Let me add for clarity, I do not believe that all roads lead to heaven. I know, speaking of Jesus, that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Those who have not accepted the Lord’s salvation are prodigal siblings. As such, we must love them and pray for them all the more.

Jesus said:

..Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39).

Notice, there is no loophole which allows for discrimination. I don’t know about you, but many of my friends and neighbors are of a different skin color than I. So what! As I said, we are all part of one great big family, one great “race” if you will-the human race. If we are going to have antipathy for color brothers and sisters, let it be towards the blackness of sin not skin!

Perhaps you are a believer and yet struggle with intolerance issues, skin color or otherwise. I am not judging you; I simply pray that we all, myself included, allow the Lord to break any chains which have bound us and prevented us from loving others as we truly should.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1)

Happy Givingthanks!

From the bottom of our hearts, my family and I wish you all a very happy and blessed Givingthanks day! No, I’m not linguistically challenged; I spelled it that way intentionally.

In just a few days our whole nation will be sitting down to sumptuous feasts, ones which reflect the bounty and prosperity which God has so graciously bestowed upon us. Hopefully we will all take the time to reflect on those blessings and firmly resolve afresh to never take them for granted.

Indeed, giving thanks is at the heart of Thanksgiving Day. How excellent it is that our nation still remembers to do so! Even so, I think it would be so wonderful if we all emphasized the giving part more this year. Wouldn’t you agree that as God’s children-His hands extended, we should be giving more than just simple thanks?

That’s why I am wishing everyone happy Givingthanks Day this year. I want my greeting to be a reminder to myself and to others that it would be magnanimous to put giving first.

I know a few families that spend their entire Thanksgiving Day filling plates and cleaning tables in a homeless shelter so that those facing difficulties and hardships don’t miss out on a wonderful home-cooked meal and fellowship on this special day. Their main reason for being there, however, is to share God’s love, not through bible tracts or words, but through action. I am not suggesting that everyone head to a shelter and serve likewise, but there are sundry ways that we can all give something special on Thanksgiving.

We could, for instance, donate food to homeless shelters or battered women’s shelters, etcetera. Or, we could volunteer a few hours to a nursing home this week. One of the nursing homes in my area is always in need of volunteers to simply help the residents play bingo. Anyone can do that and it would surely make someone’s holiday a lot less lonely. We could even obtain a list of the resident’s first names and bless them all with a Thanksgiving card (with permission of course). If nothing else, we should consider sharing the wonderful gift of compassion by inviting someone to our homes which has no place else to go, perhaps a widow or a college student who cannot afford to travel home.

I’m sure that if we all pray about how we might give more of ourselves this Thanksgiving, the Lord will show us how to individually bless Him by blessing others. It goes without saying that our Heavenly Father always desires us to be thankful, but it delights Him abundantly when we give gifts of love to others because this is a sacrifice of praise unto Him.

Again, happy Givingthanks Day!

May God be pleased with your giving of thanks, and others blessed by your giving.

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Downcast and Desperate

Today, our vehicle just happened to stop at the very spot where a homeless man stood holding a sign begging for help. Sadly, this occurs more frequently with every passing day, and to be honest, I do not feel that I always have the heart of Christ when I see someone professing homelessness and desperation, at least not anymore. With each daily bombardment of phone scammers, telemarketers, charities and everyone else holding out their hand wanting money, money and more money, my heart has gradually grown suspicious – especially towards those standing on street corners wanting a hand-out, because lately there have been so very many on the streets, alleging to be homeless, which have been proven, without a doubt, to be con artists, some of which rake-in thousands of dollars each month from unsuspecting but well-meaning folks.

How then, does one know when to give and when not to? The only logical answer for me is to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit of God. It seems, though, that I have not felt led to give to those professing homelessness very much in recent times, and this leads me to wonder if I am really listening or if I am allowing the cares of the world to distract or harden my heart so that I cannot ‘hear’ the Holy Spirit clearly. Surely, not everyone standing alongside the road begging for money is a con artist – especially after so many have been hit so hard by the pandemic.

Today it was easy to pay attention. I clearly felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give to this man -very clearly- and I was obedient. Yes, I know the Bible says when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [Matthew 6:3], and I always try to be obedient to that as well. However, I felt every bit as prompted to share with you today, dear reader, what happened next.

The only money we had with us in the car was a mere dollar and some change, hardly enough to buy any food or necessities, but we gave it, wishing it could have been more. The man took the money and he thanked us but there was no hint of gratitude. This didn’t bother me; obedience does not demand anything at all from the receiver. What did bother me was the man’s eyes! They were empty and void of any semblance of hope.  I have seen this before. In fact, I felt this way myself in my youth, which is perhaps why it was so easily recognizable to me.  What I saw in this man could only be described as someone who has completely and utterly given up, someone who was merely waiting for physical death to catch up to his emotional state.

If you, dear reader, have read any of my previous posts, you know that I always try to write only positive and uplifting messages, words of hope and healing and this message certainly seems contrary, but again, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit of God to share this with you because God cares! He cares about you and me and He cares about the homeless. This man probably is homeless (I can’t know for certain), but regardless, he is a man in great desperation and need. I know this because as the light turned green and we pulled away, a tight knot formed in my stomach and tears unwillingly streamed down my face – and this continued all the way home.  I have rarely felt anything this intense in all my years of ministry.

I prayed for this man and will continue to do so. If you are a Christian, dear reader, I ask that you lift him up in prayer as well. I don’t know his name nor anything about him, but God does.

Neither do I know why the Holy Spirit prompted me so strongly to share any of this with you. But He knows! I can only assume that someone needs to hear this. One thing I do know for sure, though, is that God cares for humanity, for those who trust in Him and those who do not, and He desires people like you and me to be His hands and heart extended to a hurting world. Perhaps, dear reader, you can be the one that reminds a hurting soul that “the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever” Psalms 9:18. Verse 9 of that same chapter reminds us that The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. In context, these verses speak to those who are in relationship with the Lord God already, but they certainly apply to the unbeliever as well. And who knows, perhaps a mere dollar and some change, or a kind deed, or just an encouraging word might be the very thing the God uses to draw a desperate and hopeless soul to Himself. Or maybe, just maybe, it might be the thing that God uses to show us that we have become a bit too skeptical or uncharitable in a world fraught with deception, and consequently desensitized to genuine need.

As for this nameless man, I believe His need, whatever it is, is great and very pressing. And there are so many like him, so I close with this prayer:

Dear Lord, there are so many in our world facing very dire circumstances, some of which are life and death! We cannot help them all, and sometimes, we cannot help them much, but so much as we are able, Lord, let us be faithful to do so. I pray that we do not grow weary in well-doing, not that we may reap if we faint not [Galatians 6:9] but rather because we have a love for all humanity as you do. May we truly be your hearts and hands extended and may our spirits be in tune with yours so that we can clearly hear the promptings of your Holy Spirit and be obedient no matter the cost! Here I am, Lord, send me.

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay


…. And then it was Gone!

doctor image

With all the fear and uncertainty in today’s world, I felt that today was both an opportune time to start blogging again and a crucial time as well, given that all of my devotional sites were created for the sole purpose of sharing Inspirational Glimpses of God’s Greatness in Everyday Life.

Many of you know that I started devotional blogging a decade ago, (Oh my, where has the time gone?) but I have barely put fingers to keyboard in the last few years for several reasons, none of which are all that important anymore. For the last several months, though, the Spirit of the Lord has been prompting me to start writing again. Yes I will, I promised Him several times, to no avail. Can anyone relate? It’s not that I purposed in my heart to be disobedient; I just don’t seem to jump into action as quickly as I used to, something that I am correcting even now, and what better way to do so than to share with everyone the wonderful news that GOD IS STILL ON HIS THRONE AND HE STILL PERFORMS MIRACLES!

My health has not been the best for some time. In fact, it was just a few months ago that I was ready to have two surgeries, one of which was to remove an orange-sized growth near my ovary. (More about the second situation in future posts). This not-so-small issue did not create much pain in the beginning, but it came to the point that I hurt a great deal and it was causing me other problems as well, such as daily vomiting and bowel obstruction. The latter is a bit personal, but I am just being honest so you can understand the gravity of the situation.

The Lord God has miraculously healed me several times in the past, but for some reason which I did not quite understand, I felt His direction in this instance was to have surgery. Reluctantly, I agreed. Then, due to a series of odd circumstances, I was thrust into a frustrating game of hurry-up-and-wait. So frustrating, in fact, that I just about resigned myself to forgo the surgery and continue to suffer if need be.

One evening, shortly thereafter, I told the Lord in prayer, I don’t want to ask you for anything -not for myself, not for anyone nor any thing- I just want to spend some time with you. As I began to thank Him for his goodness and for being the loving God that He is, I instantly felt a familiar healing warmth touch my body in the very area where the growth had invaded my body and I knew that God had ‘burned’ it out of my body. The pain stopped, the vomiting stopped, and I felt like I was back amongst the living.

At my next follow-up appointment, I told my would-be-surgeon that I had decided against the surgery. She didn’t argue the point, but insisted that I have another image taken to see what changes, if any, had taken place –though she was referring to growth size or changes in the edges of the growth. This sounded like a great idea to me. There were already two other images that clearly showed the growth. What a testimony it would be, I thought, if the next image validated my healing. IT DID! Two different imaging views and there was no trace of it left.

The Lord had indeed ‘burned’ that thing out of my body. Do you know why? Because He is a healing, loving God!!! And he still performs miracles today!

Why then had I felt directed to have surgery in the first place, I wondered. The Lord answered. My husband and I have been sharing the love of God with several young adults who choose to believe science over the supernatural, rather than putting their trust in the one who created this world and designed all of the scientific principles in the first place. Some may still choose to deny God, but they cannot deny the documented evidence.

And now I ask you dear reader, in light of the recent global pandemic, will you choose to believe that God is still on His throne and He still performs miracles? If so, please join me in believing what God spoke to us in His Word: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29: 11-13).




A Wedding Gown for Mandy


Mandy’s heart leapt for joy when she viewed herself in the mirror. She looked very pretty in her wedding dress and she knew it. Her mother, Linda, knew it too.

If there were tears in Linda’s eyes, they were undoubtedly bittersweet. On the one hand she would be overwhelmed to see her precious daughter standing there looking and feeling so beautiful in her wedding gown. On the other hand, heartbroken at the knowledge that her daughter would not be getting married that day, nor any other for that matter.

Though Mandy stood adorned in white, she did not do so to show forth the purity of body in which a woman is supposed to present herself to her beloved on their most cherished day. No, Mandy’s innocence was of a different nature. Her body was unquestionably pure, but it was the simplicity of her child-like thoughts that made this day so very special.

Born with autism and mental retardation, Mandy’s thoughts remain in a perpetual state of childhood –playful and imaginative. Somewhere deep inside, she probably dreams of getting married someday even though she doesn’t really understand what that really means. But on this day, she only wanted to play dress up in a wedding gown so she could feel pretty and special.

Linda always attested to Mandy’s specialness, but not because of her disabilities. Every mother’s daughter is uniquely special because of her mother’s love, which is unconditional. Linda certainly acknowledges Mandy’s disabilities, but it is her great love for her child which motivates her to bring as much joy into Mandy’s life as she can. And so she headed to the second-hand store for a play dress.

The gown was not expensive, but to Mandy it was priceless. She gazed at herself in the mirror and began to happily sing, “Oh so pretty!” Linda was delighted. As pride welled-up inside her heart she thought “Mandy deserves to look and feel beautiful just like all girls do!”

The occasion turned into outright fun. Mandy continued to play bride and Linda was able to play mother of the bride. Just like any other ‘wedding day,’ pictures were taken and Linda would always have the memory of what her daughter would look like if she had ever been able to marry.

“Oh so pretty!” Yes, Mandy was a beautiful bride that day. She may not have walked down the aisle of a flower-filled church to wed, but she was a bride just the same. Linda proudly admired her daughter and tenderly assured Mandy that she is beautiful. Then, she aptly told her, “You are the bride of Jesus!”

Indeed, Jesus does liken his love for us as that of a bridegroom for His beautiful, virgin bride. We are all terribly flawed and “disabled” but He looks past that, embracing our uniqueness and our specialness because His love is pure and unconditional.

Someday, our bridegroom will come for us and take us to the eternal home that He has prepared. Till then, may we all be “dressed” and ready. And may we know that we are “Oh so pretty” to our Lord because we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: (Psalm 139:17,18a)

~Thank you Linda and Mandy for permitting me to share your story. I know that many of your friends were deeply touched, as was I, and I am thankful for the opportunity to help you touch other hearts by sharing your special mother/daughter experience with them. I know, Linda, that in recounting the details you said, “I’m the one that got blessed!” because you saw how happy Mandy was. I’m sure Jesus is also touched by the great love you show your daughter. Mandy is truly blessed to have you as a mother.

The Mouse That Kept Me Warm


After living peacefully in my home for more than a decade, I finally heard it ­ ̶ the dreaded scratching of a mouse inside the bathroom wall.  The nerve of that mouse! Didn’t he know that I hate mice and have absolutely no intention of sharing my living space with any of his kind?

I am not a happy camper, I told my husband in an irritated tone. There is a mouse in the wall and we have to do something now! I know it is irrational, but the sound of just one mouse fills me with the instant worry of having an ever-growing army of mice scampering through the walls, breaking into the house, and playing tag all throughout my cookware cabinet, and everywhere else for that matter.  I guess that’s what happens when you have lived in a vermin-infested house in your youth.

At any rate, these things never happen at a convenient time, so it was not until the next day after work that my husband could do anything about my newly declared war on this little enemy.  I had everything ready.  Put it everywhere, I said… in the house, under the house, in the garage.  I even wanted him to take the plate off the garden tub and stick some under there so that the thirsty little mice might find it when coming to lick the pipes for moisture.

Though we had lived in the house for so many years, we had never bothered to look in that spot because there had never been a need.  I wish we had.  What my beloved discovered was that whoever had cut the hole for the plumbing fixtures had cut it much too large and left it unsealed, and that was allowing cold air to come in unhindered under the floor.  No wonder the bathroom was always too cold in the wintertime, year after year.

It is a good thing ̶ or should I say a God thing ̶   that we found this hole when we did.  Two days after my husband filled it with foam insulation, outside temperatures dropped to minus twenty degrees with the wind chill.  No wonder the mouse was trying so desperately to get in; he was probably just searching for warmer territory, and I can’t really blame him for that.  Okay, so I feel a bit more sympathetic now, but I still refuse to share my home with mice.

The moral of this story, dear reader, is akin to the old expression, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, or in other words, when receiving a gift be grateful for what it is.  May I remind you that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).  Yes, all things. I guess if the Lord would cause a Donkey to speak for Balaam’s own good¹, he can use a lowly mouse to keep me a bit warmer if He so chooses.  And he can use a …..fill in the blank…. for your own good also.  One thing is certain; the Lord God truly does work in unusual ways sometimes and we would all do well in learning to recognize His hand in even the most unexpected  of blessings.

¹The story of Balaam and his donkey may be read in the Bible in the twenty-second chapter of Numbers.

Fortify the Gates


The following words awoke me from my nap: Fortify the gates. Before my eyes were fully opened, again I heard: Fortify the gates; strengthen the walls. Which gates, Lord? Which walls?

My first order of business would be to pray, but first, I would play some worship music for just a few minutes to bring my mind into focus. I opened the music cabinet and selected a CD from the worship section at random, which happened to be one I hadn’t listened to in quite some time, but one that seemed quite fitting.

As I listened to the first few moments of the traditional hymns, presented by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, I lifted my voice in praise. Then, as I intended to pray, I found I couldn’t; all I could do was listen to the soul-stirring hymns. Sometimes you need to speak, said the Lord, and sometimes you need only to listen.

I stretched-out on the floor and allowed the words of those glorious old hymns to saturate my spirit until I heard the Lord say Rise. As I did so, the Lord spoke quietly to my heart. He had already revealed that the gates that needed fortified were my own children and the walls that needed strengthened were the youth of our nation.

To fortify something usually means to impart strength to it. That was certainly applicable to what the Lord was speaking to me. He reminded me, though, that this word can also be applied to nutrition. The youth of this nation, including my own children, need more of the Word, He said, for they are greatly lacking. Most are starving for truth. The walls have been broken down.

Dear reader, the truth of matter is that our youth do not have anywhere near the same opportunity to hear the Word of the Lord as did the former generations —not even in church! They are so very hungry for truth and righteousness, even if they do not realize it. The secular world will do everything in its power to keep the Word of truth from them. It is all the more imperative, then, that those of us who call upon the name of the Lord impart the Word to those who need it most, those who are most vulnerable to deception, our youth.

The Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (vs 12). These words are very relevant for today’s world. But  who will stand in the gap to raise up the foundations, and where do we begin? As the Lord spoke to me earlier, sometimes we need to speak, and sometimes we need to listen.  Doing the right thing at the right time is very important, and the Lord will surely guide us in our endeavors is we ask His guidance; and for the sake of our youth, I pray we do!