Saturday, August 2, 2014

Who or What is God?

God is not a man that He can be bound and held captive.  God is not an animal that He can be caged.  God is not a thing that He can be made by the human mind.  God is.  And that, my friend, is a complete sentence.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Ben Carson Reading Room

The Bible tells me that God guides me with His eye, that all things work to my good, and He has a purpose for even me.   This story will be continued testimony of God's presence, guidance, and miracles.

A while back a friend of mine suggested I read Ben Carson's book Gifted Hands.  She said it was "required reading".  Being a lover of books and especially those recommended by friends, I immediately complied.  My friend vaguely mentioned that Dr. Carson had mentioned something about reading rooms in his book and I might find them interesting.

As I read, I was inspired and when I came across the reading room, I felt a tug in my spirit and knew that God wanted me to pursue the idea for our school.  Of course, I needed money.  Of course, I didn't have it.  But, I had an idea.  I submitted a grant to a local agency and ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing there was the money.

We are getting a Ben Carson Reading Room for our kids.  We are excited!
So today a group of us met in Meridian, MS to stand in line to meet Dr. Carson.  We were herded through the line like cattle and only had a moment to leave Dr. Carson an invitation to be at the grand opening of our reading room before we were whisked away.  The whole event made me feel sorry for Dr. Carson and the method used to sell books.
  But other things happened while we were waiting 5 hours to put our eyes on Dr. Carson -- we met a lady whose 95-year old mother had written a children's book.  Wow!  Talk about inspiring.  We also strengthened bonds between 4 friends and made a memory none of us will soon forget.  

I would like to give thanks to Ben Carson for sharing his God-call with us.  I pray for him and his family.  I can only imagine the new challenges they face amidst such popularity.  I pray he doesn't lose sight of his call.

Here's a little poem I wrote honoring Dr. Carson and our school.

Think Big
In Honor of Ben Carson

Once there was a little school,

nestled in a small community;

pine trees and oak,

lakes and a ribbon of a river,

a railroad and a few buildings,

thousands of people,

a hope and a dream,

all for their smallest citizens.

With poverty rates high,

employment opportunities low,

the school worked to reach the children.

Thousands of free books, book clubs, rewards,

atta boys, encouragement,

a sprinkle of technology, a dose of cheer,

a heaping spoonful of love and soon everyone believed in the dream.

This one could read. This one could study. This one could learn. This one could believe.

This one could change. This one could focus. This one could see.

The smallest citizens believed. They began to think big. They began to grow.

A seed planted, watered and weeded.

This hand firm, this hand held a book, this hand a pat on the back.

Find your passion, find your pride, find your dream the school said.

Go out, come back, and learn the school said.

Believe and read the school said.

Travel far, travel close, and be home the school said.

Think often. Think carefully. Think wildly. Think big the school said.

For in you we have our future,

in you is our hope,

in you we think bigger and better,

we think brighter and…

we think…we know…you have places to go.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Saw Heaven

We all have dreams...some we remember for a moment after we wake up, some we remember vaguely, if at all.  But, the morning I saw heaven, I knew I wasn't dreaming.  I wasn't dreaming and I have never forgotten the vision that I had or the feeling...yes, the feeling...  (Give me a moment now to pray that the Lord guides my fingertips and I am sufficiently able to tell you, dear reader, what I saw)...

I was lying in my bed, when I was quickly awakened.  By what?  Nothing in particular, but I was lying on my back looking straight up to the ceiling..Then, I wasn't.  Before me was a beautiful green landscape.  Like those you would see in a National Geographic magazine, except when I see those I still think about all the bugs and spiders and snakes and yucky stuff that is lurking in all that beauty (sorry, I'm a realist!), but while I looked upon this lush landscape, I had no worries of bugs, no fear of snakes.  I had a feeling of total safety, like I had never felt before in my life.

To my left side, there was a man, dressed in white.  I never turned my head to look upon his face, I didn't feel like I needed to.  He was Jesus and what He was showing me was important.  Standing there on the edge of this beauty, I felt peace.  No, not just peace.  Peace beyond my own comprehension.  I felt that stress I didn't even know I had was washed away from me.  I felt light and free.  Friend, I would give anything to feel that in its entirety again.

This was heaven.  And the way I know that is that I would have immediately left this old world and stepped over into that world.  I would have left my family and friends.  I thought of them in my mind, my two darling children, my husband, parents--those who would mourn losing me.  Yet, after seeing heaven and feeling the reality of eternity, I knew that no matter what they suffered on this Earth, it would not matter.  All of it would be wiped away in eternity with God.  Before in my life when I have thought of leaving Earth, I would mourn.  I wring my hands thinking that I might lose my children to be raised without me guiding them!  I hate the thought of my husband crying over losing me!  If given the chance, I would have told you that I would have asked God to wait and let me stay just a little longer on Earth.  But, in THAT moment, looking at heaven, with Jesus beside me, I wanted to step over.  I wanted to step over into my eternal rest.

Jesus wiped his arm across the scene before us, and a translucent veil came down between me and heaven.  Jesus had said, "Not now."  I immediately felt the loss of euphoric, heavenly peace.  It wasn't completely gone, but lessened as I stood there looking longingly into that paradise.  I immediately mourned the loss of that peace.

Then the vision was gone and I was lying on my back in my bed looking at the wood ceiling of my bedroom.  I lay there silently contemplating what I had just seen.  Why had God shown it to me?  What had just happened?

Later, when a friend of mine lost his mother, I thought of my vision and how she was rejoicing in death.  When my own daughter continued to struggle with a chronic condition, I rejoiced in knowing that eternity lay ahead of us.  There are days I so long for that heavenly home, that I could cry.  I long to be able to show you what I saw, to give you the homesickness I feel...Oh, Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah Land.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will I Meet Him in Heaven?

So, last post I mentioned knowing that Grandpa was saved, but I put those details off for today.

We often hear when someone dies, "Well, they are in a better place."  "We'll see them again in heaven."  "He's better off today."

Well, obviously IF that person was saved by the blood of Jesus then all of those statements hold great and eternal truth.  BUT, what if they weren't saved?  Then, all of the warm, fuzzy words we spew from our mouths to bring comfort cannot change their eternal damnation.

As I contemplated giving the eulogy at Grandpa's funeral, I knew I would hear all of those phrases.  In fact, my eulogy was going to center on pointing Grandpa's family to serving the God he spoke about, the God he proclaimed to know.  But, did I know that he knew Him?  Did I ever ask Grandpa about his salvation experience?  Did I know the day he was saved?  Did he have that life-changing moment or was he using his lips to give testimony to a salvation experience he never had?  I wanted to know.  I needed to know.  But, how?  Grandpa was dead.

I wondered if anyone knew.  So, as I prayed about the eulogy (even before Grandpa died) I asked God to let me know that Grandpa was truly in heaven.  I heard nothing.  I knew God wanted me to speak at the funeral.  I knew what I was to say.  Yet, I did not receive confirmation that we would see Grandpa again...yet.

An hour before I was to speak in the church beside the casket of my grandfather, I left the family and stole away to a quiet room in the church.  I prayed and thought.  I asked again for God to reveal to me that all I would say about Grandpa in my eulogy was right.  I had a peace that it was, but no earthly evidence.  I rested and returned to the family.  I would speak first that day.

After I spoke, I sat thinking of all the things I forgot to say.  Two preachers spoke after me.  As I listened to them, I heard them say those things I had forgotten.  Then, I heard one preacher say he remembered the day Grandpa was saved.  My heart jumped within my frame and I sat up, ears perked, smiling within my soul.  God was going to answer me.

The preacher didn't stop there, he recounted in detail the day Grandpa gave his life to the Lord.  He also gave details about Grandpa's daddy and how devoted to God he was--a lineage of God-fearing people.

I would see Grandpa again.  What I had felt to be true had been confirmed by the loving hands of my God.  I had completed a task He had given me and He had blessed me with the answer I sought.  He didn't have to reveal truth to me.  He did though because He loves me.  He loves you.  Do you love Him?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Canna Lilies

My grandfather's time had come.  God spoke to me and told me that I would give the eulogy.  He told me what to say.  I agreed without hesitation to do what God wanted me to, but told him I'd need confirmation.  I needed the family to ask me vs. me telling them.  So, a few days later I got the call asking me to prepare for the eulogy.  In the eulogy, God wanted to remind us that James and Lenora Kelly had followed the true and living God, that they had pointed the way to him.  That each of us had our own decision to make, but if we had chose the Lord we also had work to do on this Earth.  We were a large family, a blessed generation, flesh and bone of two people who knew the Lord.

Grandpa always planted Canna lilies.  All in a row, standing by the road side.  He separated them each year, and made the row longer and longer.  They were beautiful.  I liked the red ones best, but my cousins said there were also orange and yellow ones.  Which, I think is also fitting since all of our walks and gardens will be different.

Our walk with the Lord is much like that garden of Canna lilies.  We should plant God's testimony through our walk into other's hearts.  Now, sometimes we'll plant with pride, malice, hatred, or other evilness, but God sends the Holy Spirit to weed the Canna lily garden.  He'll take all of our imperfections that appear in our garden as weeds and he'll pull them right out.  Then, he'll divide and multiply our Canna lilies.  And our witness on this Earth will spread down the roadside of our lives, a pleasing sight to our Lord.  And one day when our work is done, He'll call us to our eternal home.  And, yes, we'll meet Grandma and Grandpa there. 

How do I know?  Well, that's a post for later.  Today, I'll share the poem I wrote for our reunion with Grandpa.

Canna Lilies -

Red Canna lilies in bloom,
we'll be coming home soon.
No more thorns and weeds to hoe
in the place where we will go.
A bright and starry day,
lit so we'll all find the way.
Into our reunion,
a blessed communion.
Breaking bread together
under skies of clear weather.
Your body will be healed,
your mind perfectly filled,
with thoughts of the Holy God
and a garden of perfect sod.
Where red Canna lilies bloom
and we'll all be there soon.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Meeting a Prophet

So he stands in front of me.  His bony figure barely a whisper in this world.  His head dark, his skin taut around his skull, his eyes milky in their sockets.  Yet, he looks at me and says, "You been prayin'."

I say, "Yes."

He says, "You been prayin' and the answer ain't come yet."

I feel a release in my Spirit, a dam break, my soul tear a little.  "Yes."

"The Lord wants you to know that it comin'.  It on hold.  But it comin'."

He looks directly at me.  He doesn't smile or act like he needs to convince me or doubt that he was sent to tell me.

"The devil, he attacking.  This way and that.  Just on you,"  he says motioning wildly with his arms.

"Oh, yes,"  I say tears pooling in my eyes.

"It okay.  He will attack, try to tell you it ain't comin', but God says it comin'."

On Hold.  I can't help but think about the angel who was put on hold as he tried to make it to Daniel.  Perhaps the devil fought with the angel to keep him from bringing a vision to Daniel.  That's how the devil works.  He tries to keep us from living the life God has for us.  He already knows he loses the war, but the more of us he can take down with him, the better.  If he can keep me or you from witnessing, from living out the life we are supposed to live, he's won a little battle.  If he can make us stumble and let others see that we messed up, all the better.  He's won a little battle.

So, today, I say thank God for a little man I met some 13 years ago, that brought a word from the Lord.  Whose voice lifted up in song in the foyer of my office, singing praise to our King.  Some days you just don't feel worthy.  Even though I rail at God and ask and talk and cry and wonder, when He sends an answer I feel like asking "Why would God send me an answer....little old me...?"

Thank you, Mr. James Riley, for being my "angel in the highway".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Girl Alone

Once (and I do mean once) upon a time, a girl's family left her alone...

Her husband to a fishing trip with her son...

Her daughter to a slumber party...

So the girl was left alone.

Her supper looked like this.

Cereal - Yum!  No baking required.

Her television looked like this.


Her reading spot looked like this.

Her dessert looked like this.
Chocolate.  Enough said.

Her bed looked like this.

A couch is a bed.

The next morning, when she awoke to silence...

her breakfast looked like this....
She was easy to please.

Her office looked like this.

And her view looked like this.
Ah, yes.  Thank you God for natural beauty.

Then her family returned and found a very relaxed, happy girl.  The End.

Moral of the Story:  A little alone time makes for a lotta happy mommy.