The Beauty of Nature

fall leaves
The right words are often hard to find
To express the thoughts inside my mind.
So for feelings of love
Or joy from above,
I say it with my rhymes.

I love to smell the fresh, clean snow
Or feel the warmth of the sun’s glow.
The song of the birds
Is the sweetest I’ve heard.
Nature is the finest beauty I know.

What man-made thing could possibly meet
The breath-taking sight of colorful leaves
Which every Fall
God paints them all?
The “best-dressed” are Autumn’s trees?

The roar of the ocean’s continuous waves,
The cricket’s music at the close of the day,
The whisper of the wind –
There is no end
To the beauty of Nature’s way.

Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.  So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  (Genesis 1:31)

* Picture from the Stokes County mountains in North Carolina – my roots.

Navigating the Darkness

HalloweenHalloween – “All Hallow’s Eve” – for the majority of people is just a fun-filled day/night for dressing up and eating lots of candy! Many churches and businesses now offer safe alternatives to traditional “trick-or-treating”. I have many fond memories of going door to door as a child, having my jack-o-lantern filled with goodies from family and friends.  As a teenager, we rolled yards and in turn, had our yards rolled. Harmless fun and there is there nothing wrong with that.  Even more fun was watching my young nephews dressing up as Ninja Turtles and many other favorite characters.

But we must also be aware that Halloween is one of the most “high holy days” in the Occult. Former Satanists warn to keep your children close, and your pets inside. While many scoffers (even Christians) brush such things off as myths, law enforcement and those who have actually been IN the occult assure us that there are indeed many evil things that go on during these 24 hours.

So dress up, pray up, and have a happy, safe, fun-filled Halloween!


“…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11)

It’s What I Do

Single SistersJournaling.  A therapeutic exercise recommended by counselors and mental health professionals around the globe.  It is the grown-up version of keeping a diary, with or without sacred lock and key.  It is the art of recording thoughts and events of each passing day or season in life.  Beautifully decorated spirals with brilliantly designed covers adorn the stationery nooks of bookstores and retailers nation-wide.  They are purchased with the greatest intentions, and serve as the most frequently “re-gifted” items shared among friends.  They are entertaining and helpful to look back upon years later, as we reminisce and rejoice at how far we have come.  We celebrate and give thanks for the answered prayers recorded over our journeys.

I do not journal;  I accumulate.  My scribblings are not recorded in a neatly-bound booklet with conveniently lined pages.  My thoughts, both poetic and chaotic, overfill a worn, blue file folder on random scraps of paper.  I have scriptures and prayers and rhymes off all kinds assembled in a mash that, to others, might be mistaken for trash.  (See?  I’ve still got it!)

While searching for an important document this morning, I rediscovered this worn, blue folder.  It had been carefully covered in a bottom drawer, behind curtains in a spare closet… as if hiding magical secrets from the world.  Should I dare open this “mash of trash” from the past?  I carefully untied the fastening ribbon as the loose-leaf contents spilled out across my office floor.  Joy filled my heart as one by one I read each piece.  It was as if I were greeting a group of long-lost friends.  I found tales of triumph and desperation, of dreams and other things.  Tucked inside were poems and stories, my stories, told in both first and third person dialogues.

Toward the bottom were a few lone copies of a newsletter I published years ago.  I had launched a ministry for Christian single women (appropriately named “Single Sisters”), and put out a corresponding newsletter once a month!  These were the days before social media, so email and snail mail were the means of distribution.  I was quite impressed with the content and design, and pondered why I ever abandoned this endeavor.

I remembered fondly my days in singles’ ministry.  It was one such group at a large church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that brought me back to the Lord many years ago.  I subsequently attended or founded similar ministries as I started over in new cities and churches for some time.  My most successful endeavors, however, were in reaching out to Christian single women in particular.  I suppose I had become an expert in the field, and could easily relate to the challenging issues this dynamic demographic frequently faced.  (Incidentally, it was by starting yet another singles’ ministry in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that I met and married my soul mate, Edward.  But that is another story.)

When Satan cannot thwart our mission, he will often go after our loved ones to stop us in our tracks.  He went after my mother and I left all to go home and care for her, a decision I do not regret in any way, shape or form.  My only regret is the ensuing bout of depression that engulfed me after her passing away.  I laid down my pen and my dreams, and carefully tucked them away.

Now married four years, I have recently picked up writing again.  It sometimes seems forced, but is becoming more fluid.  The Lord led me to write a short booklet on finding freedom through forgiveness, that was just published in late September (Freed Bird, available on Amazon.com.)   I poured it out within weeks, then sliced it and diced it like a celebrity chef cutting away the fat that was deep, personal details the world did not need to know.  Out of respect for my family and my late mother, I refrained from revealing too many details of the who’s and what’s I had to forgive.  It is still a good read and is helping many work through letting go of people and events from their pasts that are keeping them bound up, unable to live the joyful life of freedom that Christ died for them to have.  I rushed to have it published before a slew of ministry events this Fall; hence it lacks some of the eloquence of my old newsletters.  It is impactful, but my next piece will likely be more poetic.

I took a writing course years ago, and the instructor’s words remain burned in my psyche:  “Find what you do; and do it well.”  As I reflect back over the past 10-20 years, my life has been full to over-flowing!  I have served in various forms of ministry, and moved around quite a bit as the gypsy-spirited fairy that I am.   I was introduced to social media and have been “all over the place” ever since.  While it serves as a great tool for communication, reconnecting, and sharing life events with friends far and near, it has all too often (for me at least) been a distraction.  I need discipline, and a return to my first love:  writing.  It’s what I do, and have done since my first published poem in the fourth grade!

My adrenaline rose when I read those dreams and visions once jotted down in the middle of the night, and then stuffed inside that worn, blue folder.  Sadly, those creative spurts inspired by the Holy Ghost have been replaced by insomnia-induced mindless scrolling, which is far more draining, and completely time wasting.  Facebook, I love you!  But I must limit our time together; I must be about the Father’s business, using the gifts and passions He put in my heart.

What about you?  What are your talents and dreams?  What is your vision and passion?  I pray that we all may find discernment and strength to eliminate all that separates us from our purpose.

Find what you do; and do it well!

Forgiving Thieves

hyco 1File this one under the “You Can’t Make This Up” tab.  Our ministry (Free Indeed) has a mobile Prayer Tent that we have been setting up at area Fall Festivals.  It is an honor and a privilege to meet and pray for various people who come in, with various needs.  We also have my recently published book “Freed Bird” available for purchase as well (which is relevant to this story.)  This past weekend we set up at a local festival which was also a fund-raiser for the care of canine police officers!  This annual festival is named in memory of Hyco, a canine officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty a few years ago.  There is a race for runners to enter, a live band, and many craft and food vendors.

After setting up shop, my husband and I made the rounds visiting other booths and meeting the other vendors.  We had about an hour before the event opened up to the public.  We met both two- and four-legged police officers, and the local fire chief!  When we returned to our site, I noticed that my business cards were laying flat on the table; but the card holder that had displayed them was missing.  I looked all around the table, but it was simply gone.  Apparently someone had been by our table, a ministry prayer tent, and felt the need to dump the cards out and take the card holder!

All of my books were accounted for, as was the Bible Atlas that we are giving away in a drawing.  My first inclination was to go around to the other booths and see who was using my card holder.  I laughed at the irony of it all, and quickly decided that if someone needed my $2.00 plastic business card holder badly enough to steal from a ministry tent, at a police fund-raiser, then they obviously needed it much more than I did.  Copies of my book “Freed Bird” lay before my eyes, carefully arranged on our table.  The book chronicles finding freedom through forgiving others, and I once again laughed at the irony.

Oh, how Satan tempts us, while Father watches closely to observe our reaction and response!  It seems effortless to forgive when we are robbed of insignificant items that can be easily replaced.  But what happens when we are plundered of more valuable material possessions?  We are not only angry, but often heart-broken if a family heirloom is stolen, lost or destroyed.  Sentimental value of certain trinkets and jewels are worth far more than any insurance policy might reimburse.  Can we let it go?

Thieves are law breakers and should be held accountable, but forgiving them and moving on is always up to us.  Jesus said, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)  

There is certainly nothing wrong with having material possessions, as long as your material possessions do not have you!

Forgive and live.

Freed Bird

Freed Bird booksWell, I did it!  I published my first book on Amazon!  It’s a short read, but I pray that it will help someone still tied to people and events from their past, handcuffed by hatred, bound by unforgiveness.

We have to forgive ourselves and forgive others.  For the Christian, it really isn’t option.

 

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.   ~  Jesus
(Matthew 6:15)

Order yours here:

Buy “Freed Bird” – “Learning to Forgive in Order to Live”

 

 

Dancing With the Devil

jelliesA couple of years ago, Ed and I spent the day at the aquarium to celebrate our anniversary.  We were in awe of the jelly fish display.  These strange creatures are so beautiful and graceful, like ballerinas of the sea.  We could hardly take our eyes off of them.  And yet, jelly fish are some of the most deadly creatures to encounter!  Even a light brush against one in the surf will sting for days.

 

I remember the warnings my Daddy gave me as a little girl while playing in the ocean.  “If you see this beautiful thing floating on the water that sort of looks like a  pretty flower, run from it!  Get away as fast as you can.  Even if it doesn’t appear too close, it’s tentacles will reach out underneath the waters unseen, and get you!”

Likewise, Satan (our adversary, the Devil), was the most beautiful creature that God created.  Ezekiel 28:13-17 describes his beauty, as he was covered with the most brilliant, precious stones.  His beauty led to pride, which led to his fall.  He lost his prestigious position and his place in the Kingdom of God.  We now know him as evil personified.

Satan is not the horned, red devil figure that we see in cartoons.  If his true, internal, evil nature were visible to the physical eye, we would never be tempted to have anything to do with him or his ways.  No, he will appear as the most magnificent thing we could ever imagine, and will often be hard to take our eyes off of!  He even “transforms himself as an angel of light.”  (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Like the jelly-fish, swimming/dancing/playing with Satan will prove deadly.  Even the slightest brush against him will sting for days.  Engaging him even from a seemingly safe distance is dangerous, as his undetected tentacles can and will reach out and “get you”!

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.  (1 Corinthians 10:21)

The good news is that as born-again believers, we have the very Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, living inside of us.  In the Name of Jesus, we have authority to resist, renounce and cast out every work of the Devil and his host of demonic forces.  Guard  your hearts and minds, and remember who you are in Christ.  Resist the devil, and he will flee!  (James 4:7)