Girlfriends have a way of getting you to tell your secrets. I'm sharing my testimony today. If you want to know more about the real me, checkout Cheryl's web page, Homespun Devotions, where yours truly is in the hot seat. Click here...
Sunday, June 19, 2016
If the phone rings late on a Saturday evening especially if the caller turns out to be our daughter, I get suspicious and my imagination goes wild. I ask my husband if the kids told him why they are coming over in 15 minutes.
I heard the knock at the back door and a sweet “hello” greeting from the kitchen. I bumped into my son-in-law in the hall. Mark hugged me like a big bear and I asked him if they came over to tell us they’re going to have a baby. He laughed and said: “Not yet!”
Then I asked him if they got a puppy. His embrace still tight he whispered: “We just bought a truck.”
We all piled in the truck and took it for a joy ride. We made loud oos and awes from the back seat to compliment their rich interior upgrades.
We got back to our house and sat around the kitchen table talking about the day’s events when our daughter, Amy, told us an incredible story.
Amy set out that morning to keep company with a girlfriend whose husband had surgery in a hospital in a mountain city north of us. As she climbed the interstate she encountered car problems and pulled over on the side of the road. Her car died and wouldn’t start up again. About this time, she noticed a big semi creeping up the mountain. The big semi didn’t make it either and stopped right smack on the interstate itself north of Amy’s location. Amy was off to the side, but feared for the trucker as several vehicles billowed up the mountain.
Amy used the “slow down” signal with her left arm out the driver’s side window to slow the traffic behind her.
She witnessed the horror of those brisk truckers trying to break their speed so they didn’t crash into the parked semi on the interstate. She observed a miracle as the talented truck drivers swerved, avoiding an accident.
The moral of this story is twosome. For one, God answers prayer. The second point teaches the power of surrender.
Amy concludes that God used her as a bit player in saving that trucker’s life. Thankfully, she did not panic or complain for being stuck there and unable to get to her destination. She called her girlfriend who told her to stay put.
Mark rescued her easily. It didn’t take him long to get to her and get the vehicle started.
God showed up on the interstate and we see, once again, that when we call Him, He answers! Not to mention, He led them to a new truck that day too!
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Evening had fallen and I decided to take a break from my computer and grab some coffee in the kitchen. Red and white blinking lights from two fire trucks surprised me as I followed the flash of their rhythm glaring in my front kitchen window. A fire broke out about five acres east of our property.
I grabbed my phone and ran out to my front deck and stepped in the thick blanket of smoke. The polluted fog pinched my eyes. I looked up and saw a back hoe making its way over the hill and onto my street. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Wow, the “hunter” arrived on the scene hurrying with his equipment.
The hunter lives behind me with five hunting dogs that drive me nuts. The dogs live in a pen unobtrusively until they get hungry and he’s not home. Once, he left them home alone for an entire weekend.
My neighbor, Renie, tells me he’s a nice guy; she knows him from church. I’ve heard wonderful things about him and his hunting adventures in other countries.
I’m still not sure how I feel about him.
On the bad days with his dogs, I block out their barking with my white Bluetooth headphones and turn up my playlists real loud. It crossed my mind a few times to pay him a visit and communicate how the barking amplifies into my master bedroom.
I watched the hunter assist the fire trucks, amazed how he rode that back hoe like a mad man kicking up dust in every direction. I gained a new respect for his abilities and his willingness to help our neighbor.
The fire was out by sunset. The fire trucks left and the hunter returned home.
Left with my thoughts, I realized once again its difficult living together in a community. I’m praying for patience these days and acceptance of others who are different than me or what I think is acceptable and proper.
I want the hunter on my side.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Imagine retrieving your mail at the local post office and walking out to the parking lot to find the townsfolk swarming around your vehicle. That happened to the guy who parked near us. People gathered around his car taking photos. Excited neighbors asked him questions about his 1956 restored classic shiny red and white Chevy Bel Air convertible.
I picked up our mail and got into our truck and noticed my husband missing. Where did he go? He joined the Bel Air crowd taking photos with his cell phone.
Next thing I know, he slides into our front seat and flashes a photo under my nose of the guy’s hot model. “The neat thing about this car is the gas cap hidden under the driver’s side rear tail light,” the husband informs.
I learned that not only is this beauty appealing to the eyes, but her not-so-pretty part was hidden from view. She looked good from every angle.
With two close girlfriends in tow, I drove halfway across the state to attend a Christian women’s luncheon several years ago. A fancy chandelier hung in the restaurant dining room sparkling above a roomful of lively women. Pastel tablecloths draped round tables set with elegant tableware and bouquets of fragrant fresh flower centerpieces. The speaker’s Biblical points intertwined with humor and laughter filled the room as she stood at the podium in a pretty pink spring dress with shiny ecru shoes. Many followed her invitation to come up front for prayer and hugs as she closed her message.
There was only one thing wrong with this speaker. Oh, she looked good on the outside, but secrets lurched within that she refused to admit so she hid them. You would never know it looking at her but God knew. I know too because this woman was me.
The successful event dazzled the crowd but I left feeling like I weighed 300 lbs. I knew better than to ever step foot in a ministry position with a heart that’s not pure.
I didn’t enjoy dinner with my girlfriends that evening. Nor did I look forward to a “pajama party” at our hotel later.
Confession is the only way to be free from sin; God promises to forgive us every time. After I talked to the Lord about my behavior, I asked my girlfriends to pray for me.
They did not judge me. “Don’t think you’re a fraud or a phony,” they said.
They knew I felt that way. They reminded me that God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable, Romans 11:29. In other words, God’s Word proves spotless, powerful and able to save even in a flawed vessel.
I learned never to pretend. We Christians need to call each other to a higher standard. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but integrity plays a huge part of our faith journey. Whether we’re preaching, parenting our child, working for a paycheck, leading a Bible Study, or writing a blog post, let’s do it with a pure heart. We serve a holy God!
You spread out our sins before you
Our secret sins
And you see them all.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
My husband’s cousin and his wife visited a few weeks ago. The guys play down their war experiences yet the topic of Viet Nam pops up in conversation.
Remember that war?
The rebellion of the 1960’s tells many stories. I felt unrest as a teenager in that decade.
· Young people trampled on traditional values and hippies emerged.
· Street artists drew daisy flowers on everything.
· Girls wore miniskirts and boys grew long hair.
· Ugly politics surfaced.
· Many smoked marijuana and experimented with LSD.
· Folk singers and rock musicians wrote anti war songs.
· Rallies beckoned many to protest the Viet Nam War.
Not all rebelled.
My husband and his cousin enlisted in the military. We say “thank you” on these patriotic holidays and sometimes they respond “No big deal.”
Truth is, it is a big deal. Ask their wives. We wives are the ones who live with these brave men. We know and can speak of the days our gallant husbands cope with depression and some suffer with PTSD. We experience the health issues they face from Agent Orange and war injuries both to body and mind.
This year commemorates 50 years since the Viet Nam War. We remember the 58,000 plus Americans killed. We’re grateful for their sacrifice.
A group of marines, including Tom’s cousin, spent two weeks in Viet Nam and returned yesterday. I text message Tom’s cousin and say “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”
I await his stories of a place filled with memories and emotion about a part of the world he will never forget at a time when Americans did not welcome him home.