Category Archives: Jesus

Precious Good News

Years ago a man went through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and northern West Virginia greeting folks by saying, “Hello! I have good news from heaven.” His name was John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. This pioneer nursery man saved apple seeds and sold them for a penny each. He sold young sapling apple trees for three cents each. He wanted our country’s settlers to not only have a food supply for themselves, but for future generations as well.

John Chapman was quite an evangelist too. He told stories to children and preached the gospel to anyone who’d listen. The Indians referred to him as someone touched by the Great Spirit.

Our forefathers saved and stored seed year after year to sustain them. Seed had to be preserved, kept safe and when the time was right, planted in the earth. Seed was precious . . . valuable. 

We too have valuable, precious seed—God’s Word within us.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:5-6

Are there any Johnny’s or Johnette’s out there? Did you do some sowing this week?

We have good news from heaven!

 

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Filed under apostolic, Bible, devotional, encouragement, evangelism, God, heaven, inspiration, Jesus, ministry, outreach

Jairus’ Joy

I see the Master and fall at his feet.

“My daughter is ill. Touch her,”I plead.

I motion for Jesus to follow me home.

The disciples join in—we walk then hear moans

of mourners who gather, their wails and their shouts

turn to sneers and mocking as Jesus cries out.

“She’s not dead, only sleeping. Get out. Leave,” He says.

We walk to the room where my little girl lay.

He holds her limp hand, “Daughter arise.”

She awakes and I see—she is alive!

Oh the Master’s word. The Master’s touch.

Revives. Brings life. Savior thank you so much.

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Filed under Bible, God, Healing, inspiration, Jesus, Miracle, pentecostal, poem, praise

Blinders On, Blinders Off


horse_with_blinders_small.jpgClip-clop, clip-clop. That sound meant one thing–the horse-drawn ice cream cart.

Years ago Mom and I flew across the Atlantic to her homeland of Lancashire, England. While visiting, I discovered the Accrington ice cream vendor, an old man atop a yellow stagecoach-style wagon pulled by a horse.

Every afternoon I waited on the street and listened for the clip-clop. I hadn’t been around horses much. So when the wagon stopped in front of Auntie Ray’s house, I gave the man my tuppence then he turned to scoop my frozen treat. That’s when I studied his horse. Chestnut brown, black mane, black tail. There was just one thing I couldn’t see, no matter what angle I looked–his eyes. Blinders, leather squares attached to his bridle covered them. I figured they must be there to keep him looking straight ahead.

Last Sunday, as the congregation sang, O Magnify the Lord, I saw that horse again–blinders and all.

Mary, when you magnify something you make it big, so big it’s the only thing you see. Forget who’s around you . . . what’s going on at home, at work, and yes . . . even at church, and worship me.

Yes Lord. Blinders on.

I sang and worshipped. When my pastor preached, I absorbed the message. Then came the closing song and altar call. I bowed my head. Sometimes I’m the one in need of prayer. Other times, I’m compelled to pray for someone else.

Yes Lord. Blinders off.

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Filed under childhood memories, family, Jesus, life, praise, prayer, religion, worship

A Crow’s Nest, An Oak Grove and An Apron

The inner chamber, a phrase from Isaiah 26:20, means any place apart. For Edward Wilson, it was the crow’s nest on the ship Terra Nova. He’d often climb to it during his expeditions to Antarctica. He called it his private chapel.

Vesta Mangun’s father, Royal Gibson would slip away to his favorite place of prayer–a secluded oak grove not far from his house. Many miracles and healings occurred throughout his ministry. He knew that power with God came through unwavering faith in His word and in the power of the name of Jesus.

Susanna Wesley, (1669-1742), mother of nineteen children including John and Charles Wesley, would sit down and pull her apron up over her head. Her children knew to be extra quiet during this time so they wouldn’t disturb her time of prayer.

What does this have to do with outreach? Everythng! John 6:44.

We must pray until~

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize
And shout while passing through the air
Fare well, fare well, sweet hour of prayer.

(Last verse of Sweet Hour of Prayer)

Selah

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A Voice in the Wilderness

Mmmmm. Roasted grasshoppers. Six grams of protein in each one.

While on a family camping trip, my brother demonstrated grasshopper flambé–one of the many survivalists’ skills he learned in the military. After spearing a grasshopper, he carried it to the picnic table and held his arthropod appetizer over a flaming candle. Assured the grasshopper was fully cooked he allowed it to cool a few seconds before popping it in his mouth. Crunch. Crunch. Swallow. He smiled at his wide-eyed audience and soon four young boys were hunting grasshoppers, all eager to check this accomplishment off their man-card. Besides, God’s word says their clean (Leviticus 11:22).

As strange as it seems, this is exactly what John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus ate in the wilderness, (along with wild honey). He was the voice commissioned to break four hundred years of silence. Clothed with leather and camel’s hair, he heralded the news, Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. John 3:2.

Although our clothes and diet are different from John’s, our mission is the same. We are the 21st century voice in this millennial wilderness.

Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!

May this mission drive everything we do–our interactions with our family, co-workers, friends, neighbors, store clerks, waitresses and even the unexpected divine appointments at Walmart and TaMollys.

Hmmm? Grasshoppers and salsa anyone?

Crunch. Crunch.

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A Glorious Morning

cropped-christmas-07-in-ok-004.jpg

Many Christmas seasons have passed since the ten days we spent devoid of electricity and modern conveniences.

On New Year’s Day, our family, along with many other northeast Texans, awoke to see fields, roofs, trees, roads and powerlines covered in a two-inch thick glaze of ice. An unexpected overnight storm of sleet followed by freezing rain paralyzed travel, business and most of all, my college break. Linemen worked as fast as they could to restore power in cities and towns. But, we knew it would be a while before they reached our rural area. Dad, mom and I spent our days huddled by the fireplace, our only source of heat, and our nights sleeping beside it.

Six days later roads were still hazardous. Since we couldn’t go to church, Dad decided we’d have our own church at home, by the fireplace.

“Luke chapter two,” Dad said opening his Bible.

What? The Christmas story? Christmas was two weeks ago. Oh well. Wish I had a quilt. Three layers of clothes, a coat and two blankets aren’t enough. Brrrrr. Dad read. Mom and I listened.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (Luke 2: 6)

No room for them in the inn. Probably warm there. Sent to a stable. A drafty, smelly stable. No heat. No bed. Is Dad’s voice cracking?

I glanced upward and watched him take a white handkerchief from his pocket. I could count on one hand the times I’ve seen him cry.

Manger.

Swaddling clothes.

Such harsh conditions. I pulled the blankets closer to my face.

Mary.

Joseph.

The baby.

Jesus—the Prince of Peace. A newborn prince born in a stable, placed in a feeding trough. I’ve heard this story all my life but somehow, today it’s . . . I never really thought . . . tears gushed as I placed myself within the primitive birthing room. I sobbed and bawled and felt foolish for feeling sorry for myself, for being grumpy about the cold and disrupted plans.

Shepherds.

Angels.

Dad closed his Bible. I folded the wet corner of my blanket and wiped my face. Forever changed.

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Filed under Bible, childhood memories, Christmas, devotional, family, God, inspirational, Jesus, reflection

A Memorable Break

At seventeen I had a lot of questions–few answers. Questions about life. Questions about the future. Questions about God. Is He real? And is there more to being a Christian than going to church and trying to live a good life? Yes, I had questions and a job as the Assistant Head Dining Room Girl at  summer camp.

My duties included setting tables, serving food, serving second and third helpings of food, cleaning tables, washing dishes and mopping floors. As second in command of the eight Dining Room Girls, I had to make sure all our tasks were completed and help solve any problems among us. Consequently, serving three meals a day, plus a night-time snack to staff left little time to enjoy any camp activities.

However, one day before supper, we were invited to step outside and join the campers.

“Everyone take on of these slips of paper from the basket,” said the Camp Director. “Now walk to an area by yourself, sit down and think about what you’re reading. Stay in your spot until you hear the dinner bell.”

I reached into the wicker basket and took one of the folded white papers and meandered to a nearby tree. I plopped beneath it feeling grateful to sit outside a few minutes, even if it was July. I leaned against the tree and opened my assignment.

 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine      own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

At last–an answer.

I peered at the sky then down again to what became my favorite Bible verses.

Yes Lord.

I will trust.

 

 

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