Category Archives: Support

Strength of Flight part II

dove 2

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the beautiful racing pigeon that I had the privilege of nursing back to health, and released. According to his leg band, Sampson was ten years old, so he was certainly old enough, and wise enough to find his way home.

Sampson didn’t return home, though. I’ve seen him around my home several times since the day he soared to freedom, no longer needing my care. Tonight, as I sat on my back porch, he flew overhead twice.

What perfect timing. I had just been pondering certain situations, asking myself, do I really make a difference? Down deep I believe that I do, but truthfully, there are times I feel that, even though I try my best to input into the lives of others, I am only repayed with scorn and spite.

But just when my eyes moistened with tears, there flew Sampson overhead, wings outstretched, beautiful and strong; and the voice of the Lord reassured me, “Yes, you do make a difference!” He reminded me:

So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa 55:11).

Dear reader, if you have ever asked yourself the same question, do I really make a difference, let me assure you that you do. Whereas you might not ever see the positive results in those whose lives you have invested in, you can certainly have confidence that your efforts are not in vain, for God will use them for His glory.

Thankfully, there are other times that we are privileged to witness the strength that others gained as a result of our obedience to God. Like Sampson, whose presence tonight was a comforting reminder to me, your benefactors will oft be near to remind you that you have helped them to gain ‘strength of flight.’

Either way, to God be the glory! And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we [and they] shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9).

Strength of Flight pt I

Different Perspectives

Different Perspectives

There we were; our intellects pitted against the artificial intelligence of a simple computer game, and we were temporarily on the losing side. Although my husband and I both enjoy computer games which require strategy, we are often confounded by them. It’s not that we lack smarts; there are just some things in life that are a bit more complex and harder to figure out –teenagers, for instance.

Still, it fascinates me the way that my husband and I, sitting at the same computer, playing the same game, always see things from an entirely different perspective. About the time I see a great strategic move, he does something completely unexpected, yet effective –and vice versa. Even so, we usually manage to conquer the game somehow.

I find the same principle holds true in everyday life. Some of the more complicated decisions require effective strategy, yet my husband and I often approach the matter from different perspectives. It is amazing how uniquely God has created each of us. And yet, we can work quite well together and achieve the same goals quite effectively.

And the same holds true for the body of Christ. We are all working together for the same purpose, which is sharing the gospel with those who are lost and perishing. Given the vast number of denominations, and their differing outreaches, it is obvious that we are all approaching this great commission with very different perspectives. And there is nothing wrong with that, so long as we are not breaching God’s commandments; because reaching the lost, not being an easy task to accomplish, often requires diverse strategies.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying, as do many deceived individuals, that all roads lead to Heaven. Absolutely not! There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). However, we must always remember that our battle is with evil, spiritual, forces and not with each other. Besides, we may be pleasantly surprised to find that another’s methods are far more effective than our own, even if they are quite dissimilar.

Finally, brethren, let us not forget Ephesians 4:2-6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Spring Into Action

“I don’t like to play in the dirt,” a friend recently told me. Obviously, she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for gardening. While I certainly respect her position, I’m a country girl at heart, and take my grandmother’s words seriously that, “A little dirt never hurt anyone.” Now that it’s spring, I get to do a lot of ‘playing’ and I’m quite pleased about that.

In fact, I find the feel of rich, dark soil in my hands to be rather therapeutic. There is just something incredibly wonderful in knowing that vigorous new life will soon spring forth from it, and I will have had a hand in that. What’s more, I never cease to be amazed at the miracle of life –even the life of a tiny new plant.

Whenever I see a teeny seedling that has broken through the ground, I can’t help but marvel at how it assumes a posture of praise -tiny new leaves stretched heavenward towards the light. Then, all the time and effort I previously spent preparing the soil, and tending to the seed, is forgotten in the same way a mother’s labor pains vanish at the very moment she sees her newborn chid’s face.

I can’t help but think that our Heavenly Father feels much the same way each time a soul climbs out of this world’s dirt and reaches for His light. Dear reader, our Heavenly Father does not need us to help tend His garden, yet He has given us the privilege of doing so until He gathers His harvest. God’s children all have a hand in planting the Gospel seed, and watering it, until vigorous life springs forth (I Corinthians 3:5-9).

Finally, brethren, let us not neglect to pray. If we are to see a harvest for God’s kindgom, this is the most important part of our labor. To quote Rudyard Kipling, “Adam was a gardener, and God, who made him, sees that half of all gardening is done upon the knees.”

A Little Pick-Me-Up

As my son and I walked through the parking lot, he stooped to pick up a coin. “Cool; it’s a dime,” he said. “If it had been a penny I wouldn’t have bothered, but a dime – now that’s a different story.”

I guess he doesn’t know that a 1943-D bronze cent was recently sold for $1.7 million, or realize that certain other pennies have been sold for as much as $200,000 in recent years. Then again, I have no room to talk. There have been lots of times that I was too tired, lazy or busy to bother picking up a stray penny.

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t take the same attitude when he decides to pick someone up after they have fallen? If people were coins, Jesus would consider every dull old penny every bit as valuable as a shiny new gold piece. And, He would search for every lost coin. Consider the parable of the woman who lost a silver coin, then searched diligently to find it.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:8-10 NIV).

I believe there is also rejoicing in heaven every time someone stops to help pick someone up who is lost or fallen because that is a reflection of Jesus’ heart. I pray that I never cease to recognize the value in every human life, and that I always avail myself to be the LORD’s arms extended.

After all, everyone could use a little pick-me-up now and then!

The Prayer Tin

There are only a few days left in this year, so I guess it’s time to make a few New Year’s resolutions. As I was thinking about all the items on my rather long list of improvements and achievements for the coming year, it occurred to me that my family and I have somehow let one of our most important “traditions” slip into oblivion.

Years ago, we kept a decorative tin on the dining room table at all times. Inside the tin were the names of just about everyone we knew – friends, family, and acquaintances new and old. Every evening, just before the dinner prayer, one of the children would draw a name out of the tin and we would include that person in our prayer. We always trusted the LORD to guide our selections so we would choose the name of someone who really needed a little extra prayer.

Looking back, I’m not sure when, or why, we stopped using the prayer tin, but I am determined that we are going to add it back into our daily routine. Dear reader, I may not know you all personally, but I am going to include a name card for those of you who subscribe to my blogs. I also plan to include a generic name card for those of you who read my blog, whose names I do not know. I already pray for you at times, but number one on my resolutions list is to intercede on behalf of others more than ever before and it is my great pleasure to include you.

From my family to yours, God’s richest blessings upon you.

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers (I Thessalonians 1:2)

The Silence of Friends

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”          

 – Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

For some time, I was quite reluctant to join an online social network.  Although the invites came, I continued to decline them for various reasons including, but not limited to, the fear of privacy invasion.  Then one day, much to my surprise, I felt a stirring in my heart; I felt I should sign-up  and begin to connect with the friends and family that had gradually slipped out of my life. So I joined.

Truthfully, there are at least a dozen things I dislike about  social networks, but I’m not here today to complain about those. Rather, I want to share with you what I most appreciate about them; which is the opportunity to share in the lives of others.

You see, I have discovered that most people join  social networks in order to  have a “voice.”  In today’s world, cold and impersonal, many folks are simply looking for an opportunity to share the details of their lives, and to know someone cares enough to listen.  I find too, that in the non face-to-face environment of the internet, many folks are less reluctant to share with others their triumphs and their tragedies –to freely share their feelings of  sadness, fear and frustration, as well as their joy.

What better opportunity for us to fulfill the biblical precept to Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15).

Yes, I am thankful for the opportunity to pray for those in need, or to speak a word of encouragement to those who are down, even if I have never met them in person.  I know there will certainly be times that I will fail my friends. But as often as I am able, I truly desire to let my friends know that I do care about the details of their lives. And I pray that in the end, it will not be my silence that they remember.

Never Alone

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble ~ Psalm 46:1

Sometimes people just need a reminder that they are not alone. For my friends who are battling breast cancer, or any illness for that matter, I want to remind you that even in your darkest hours, your heavenly Father is walking through this valley with you. And when you stumble beneath the burden, He will scoop you up in His loving arms and carry you.

He will also place caring people in your lives to help you through. I love the pink and blue breast cancer awareness pins. Why? They are such a nice reminder that for every woman who is facing this giant, there are other men and women who lovingly support them and refuse to let them go it alone.

Perhaps you, dear reader, are facing a devastating battle other than cancer. You are not alone in that either, even if is sometimes feels as though you are. I’ve been there on more than one occasion. But they don’t have a lapel pin for that, so I wear my I.D. bracelet instead. You see, my bracelet doesn’t have my name on it –it has my very favorite scripture. I wanted to share this Scripture today because someone needs to hear it:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
   ~Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)