Showing posts with label salvation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salvation. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dad Finds Jesus

(This is a true story and a salute to my dad today)

     “Churches are filled with hypocrites.” Dad stomped out of the house to go back to work.

     Mom’s head drooped. A tear trickled at her temple.

     My jaw relaxed. My teenage rebellion slipped from my mind and evaporated like the sweat on my forehead. “I’m sorry, Mom. I’ll sit with you in church.”

    My petite mother reached up to hug me. “You kids disturbed others in the service last Sunday.” She rubbed the bridge of her nose. “You can’t do that.”

     Talking too loud was my friend, Margie’s fault, but I had gone along  with it. Enveloping Mom’s tiny frame with my embrace, I patted her back. “I’m sorry. But, if you let me sit in the back one more time, I’ll be quiet. I promise.”

    She pulled away with a harrumph.

    Tightness seized my jaw again. I gritted my teeth. “Dad should sit with you. Then, you wouldn’t have to sit by yourself, and I wouldn’t have to move.” Dad was my hero. I hated Mom’s critical attitude, but right now, I was mad at him.

     “The reason you must sit by me is your own actions, young lady.” Mom grabbed her shears and headed toward her vegetable garden. “Want to help me this afternoon?”

      “No. Is it okay if I go to the station? I’ve got more tickets for the school carnival to sell. Thought I’d ask Uncle Check.”

      Mom’s shoulders slumped. “Sure. Be back by three.”

     I walked the two blocks to the station and garage owned by my father and uncle. When I trudged up the left side, I spotted Pastor Sutton talking with Dad.

     Stooped over to check the tires, Dad looked up squinting at the sun. “Need all four tires replaced, Pastor.”

     The man frowned. “Could you wait for payment until the end of the month?”

     "Sure. I’ll install them now. Shouldn’t be more than an hour.”

Mom always berated Dad for being too soft-hearted. That’s one thing I loved about him.      

     A smile burst from Pastor Sutton. He clapped my dad on the back. “Thanks, R. O., I can always count on you.”

     Dad’s eyes widened when he looked my way. “How’s my girl? Come to help out?”

     I pulled out my tickets. “I’m selling carnival tickets. Pastor Sutton, can you buy a ticket from me? I’m trying to win the grand prize.”

     The pastor’s eyes twinkled. “Sorry, young lady, but I’ve already bought four for our family.”

     I nodded, gave Dad a hug, and headed to the garage to find my uncle.

     Sunday morning, Mom and I drove to church. We hadn’t spoken anymore about seating arrangements, but I knew I’d be sitting with Mom and not with my friends. Today, I didn’t mind since I would walk forward and put sixteen pennies in the birthday bank. Last week marked my big birthday celebration.

     Pastor Sutton wasn’t there. A new preacher, Brother Plemmons, brought the sermon. After church, my mother and I met the new pastor. I liked him. He was younger and repeated my name as if storing it in memory.

     I dropped my hand and turned toward the door. “Where is Pastor Sutton?” I asked Mom.

     “He moved and took another church.”

     All week, I studied on the change of pastors. On the way home from school on Tuesday, I had the bus drop me off at the station. As I drug my book bag toward the office, I spotted the new pastor. I hid behind the cases of drinks and watched.

He wrote a check and handed it to my dad. “Thanks, Brother Thornton. I’d like to give you a personal invitation to our church next Sunday.”

     I expected an immediate, “no, thanks,” but instead my dad clutched his chin, something I often saw him do. “Thanks. My wife and daughter go to that church. What happened to the other preacher?”

    Pastor Plemmons rocked back on his heels. “Don’t know. Will you come? We need more good men to help me and God build something great.”

    A strange expression crossed Dad’s face. His chest swelled. “Thanks for paying for your battery right away.”

     “Only fair. You did the work.” The preacher's lilting tone sounded like he was smiling. He turned to leave.

I had no choice but to step forward.

“Janet, so nice to see you again,” Brother Plemmons said.

     Dad rose and followed the pastor. He dropped his arm around my shoulders. “I’ll see you Sunday.” He smiled down at me.

     The next Sunday, Dad did go to church with us and sat beside Mom and me. Even though Mom said I could sit with Margie, I chose to follow them. It was a special occasion. Mom and I had attended that church all my life, but never with Dad.

     Two months later, Jesus saved my dad. I was one proud sixteen-year-old. I think he had to see Jesus evident in someone from church before he could meet Jesus at the altar.

Before my seventeenth birthday, Dad began teaching high school and won many teenagers to Jesus in the next thirteen years of his life. When Dad died, we asked Pastor Plemmons to preach the funeral.

Thank you, Jesus, for saving my dad.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Uneven Path

After surgery two weeks ago, my time of recovery and recuperation began. The first week I was down for the count with very little moving around, mostly sleeping in my bed or sitting in my recliner dozing.

Then came my first day 8 days later when I woke up. My pain was manageable. The nausea had left. A slight burst of energy sparked my mind. I got breakfast on the table and ate there with my husband. I spent time writing at my computer. I even folded clean towels. By the end of the day, a shot of adrenaline made me forget the cramps starting to strike.

Sunday came and with it, disappointment. While entering the dining room, my legs buckled. My stomach churned. An acrid taste made me sick. Cramps doubled me with pain. I made my way to my recliner and my heating pad where I remained most all day. Monday morning was a repeat of Sunday, but after a morning nap, the afternoon improved, but I feared a repeat of Sunday and stayed at rest.

Tuesday dawned. I edged toward the kitchen. I held my breath afraid to voice what I now realized. I didn't hurt. I wasn't nauseas. If I spoke it, would my health dissolve? No, Tuesday was a good, productive day (for a sick person) all day. Now, surely, I was on the path to full restoration.

Then, came Wednesday. Did I pay for doing too much Tuesday, or was it just another dip in my uneven path?

Through each phase, God walked beside me and held my hand.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
                                                                                            Psalm 37:23, 24

Much Scripture compares life to a path. I propose to you that our faith walk may be an uneven path just like the one for rehabilitation.


First, we're in our sin. We're asleep (or dead) to God. We don't question what we should be doing for Christ because we do nothing.

Then, salvation sends the fire of excitement. We want to do more and more for Christ in appreciation for what He's done for us. We expect everyone to see our viewpoint.

Trials strike. Others don't get it. Our energy drains and pools on the floor.

We pray. We revive. We move ahead with renewed vigor and understanding.

Then, we trip. We falter. Are we saved anymore? How could we speak such angry words, or tell that awful story after Christ died for us?

God's strong arm lifts us, forgives, us, and like a Mama Eagle teaching her young to fly, the Lord nudges us out of the nest.

This then is the uneven path of faith.

Through this path, also, God is there through good and through bad.

For those who struggle with an overeating compulsion like me, our walk to healthier eating also follows an uneven path.

What about you?
Can you identify with the faith walk? Or maybe the health recovery?

For everyone who leaves a comment here on my blog and signs in as a follower of this blog, I will put in a drawing for a copy of Victoria and the Ghost, and a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  The drawing will come on Tuesday, February 18 and I'll post the winner here.

Remember you must do both: leave a comment here
                                                    sign in as a follower to my blog -
                                             Just put your e-mail in the slot on the left
Good luck!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

THE CHRISTMAS GEESE

     Once there was a man who didn't believe in Jesus, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. His wife, however, was a believer and raised their children to have faith in God and Jesus.

     One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived.  She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense," he said, "Why would God lower Himself to come to earth as a man?"

     So, she and the children left, and he stayed home.  Awhile later the winds grew stronger, and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat to relax before the fire for the evening. Then, he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then, another thump, He looked out but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on the window.

      In a field near his house, he saw a flock of wild geese  Apparently, they had gotten caught in the snowstorm and were lost, and a couple of them had flown into his window. They were stranded on the farm with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around his field, blindly and aimlessly.

     The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. His barn would be a great place for them to stay. It was safe and warm, and they could spend the night there and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they woud notice the open barn and go inside.

     But, the geese just fluttered around and did not seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean to them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back with some bread, broke it up, and made a trail of breadcrumbs leading into the barn. They still didn't catch on. The man was getting frustrated.

     He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only became more scared and scattered in every direction. Nothing he did got them to go into the barn where they would be safe and warm. "Why don't they follow me," he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"

     He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into the barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released his goose. It flew through the flock and straight into the barn. One by one, the wild geese followed it to safety.

      The man stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind, "If only I were a goose, then I could save them." He thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God lower Himself to come to earth as a man?" Suddenly, it all made sense. That is exactly what God had done.

     We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us, so He could show us the way to be saved

     The man realized this was the meaning of Christmas. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet .  He contemplated that thought. This was why Christ had come. Years of doubt and unbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow and prayed his first prayer. "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to save me from the storm. 

                                                                                                         Author unknown

     A sweet friend of mine sent us a Christmas card with this story enclosed. I had not heard the Christmas geese story, but found it touched my heart. I pondered this example of Christ being the reason for the season. Posting it today is my Christmas gift to those who follow my blog.

     Thank you, all, for stopping by. I appreciate you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Verse and a Thought

If life were a baseball game, heaven would be the championship.

My grandson -playoffs last year.

Salvation would be first base..

Prayer would give you a home run..

The practice of praying would be the discipline of the batting cage.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end; that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
                                                                                     Luke 18:1

Fans would represent those that encourage us, but in life, unlike a baseball game, there are no spectators.

Each of us plays the game. We win or lose depending on our prayer life.

Are you needing more batting practice?