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What is your “Crowning Glory?”


 

Recently a Facebook/College friend posted how she was on her way to be given her “crown.” Wondering how she was getting hers, I continued to read the rest of her post.

Her contagious humor spilled over into a “royal” dental appointment where her crown would be placed to cover a tooth.  She was so glad that someone had finally recognized her royal heritage and was sealing it with a badge of honor.

Reading her words inspired me.

“What is my Crowning Glory?” or “What is anyone’s Crowning Glory?”

Many of us redeem ourselves with what we think is a worthwhile trait or character quality we choose to show off. Another example of this is our cat, Edgar.Edgar1

Little did we know last June when this tiny little creature found Mark that we would now have a Maine Coon Cat the size of a small dog. There is only one thing more important to Edgar beside his plate full of Friskies Chicken and Turkey dinner in Cheesy Sauce, and that is his tail.

His tail is a thing of “glory” to him. He marches around the house with his large head up, his eyes focused and his big, bushy orange tail standing straight up for all to admire.

For your own safety just know he is quite proud and possessive of his tail. If attacked he will fight to the end to protect it.

He believes his tail is representative of what he thinks, which is he is “King Cat.” Never mind that Maxi, our other feline has been the “Queen” for 13 years now. He thinks he has moved in and taken over.Edgartail

As I pondered the two “crowns” I questioned myself.

What do I consider to be my crown of glory?

My bleached thick hair?

My small stature which makes me stand out in a crowd?

Or my inability to cook?

Then I thought, what do other people believe deserves a crown in their life?

Their job?

Family?

Or a long to do list they have accomplished?

It’s not to say these aren’t all good things, but are they worthy of royalty?

No.

What we have or what we do isn’t who we are.

Who we are depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ.

In and of ourselves we are nothing but flesh walking around in a fallen world.

The truth is our crowning glory has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the risen Christ.

He wore a crown of thorns. He was the “King of the Jews.” He died on the cross for everyone.

We do not own a crown of glory nor do we have one to place atop of our heads that means diddlysquat.

Jesus Christ is the only one who wears it because he alone is worthy.

 

Psalm 24:8 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”

(This post is dedicated to Mary Vance Thompson Berlin; who has a crown that I don’t have)

 

 


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Heart


 

Lately God has been moving my heart to His heart. Not sure exactly how it started except I know what it feels like to be heart broken. I also knows what it feels like to have God put it back together, over and over.heart

Many blog posts I have referenced David. David as a young man the sheep herder and David as a King. Up until now I have mostly thought of him as a complex character with a variety of faults that measured His integrity and abilities.

How could a man go from being just a humble boy to an adulterous murderer yet hold on to the calling of God? Well, David did. But it wasn’t without much pain and anguish over his own sin and the misery he caused many.

The answer has nothing to do with him but the mercy and grace of God. It was all God that gave David his fighting ability to the musical talent within his soul to becoming a great king. In the end I think David knew this but the journey was long and hard.

But what stands out to me more than all of that together was the phrase that God described him. David was a man after God’s own heart.

God looked at David from the soulish heart of affection. Even as he committed some horrible crimes God forgave him as he laid on the floor for a year in repentance. In fact his kingdom servants and advisors worried he was never going to get up.

How many of us have done that?

I have to wonder what conversations went on between David and God. What all did he learn on that floor?

My opinion is his heart evolved into a heart for God that became his crowning achievement.

The sheep herder became a warrior.warrior

The great warrior became a hero.

The hero became a King.

The king became God’s humble servant.

And God’s humble servant became a man after God’s own heart.

I am more convinced than ever before, David left us the example of what God wants more than anything.

He is after our hearts. He wants our hearts to mesh with his. He wants us to seek Him personally, affectionately and continually so that we walk, talk and love as Jesus did.

God is more interested in the state of our hearts than what we can do for him. Why?

Because out of that heart connection the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

And what we speak can change the world.

loving-hearts

 


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A Box of Love


 

The older I get, the simpler I want life.

With age comes some natural changes like not caring about what use to bother me or if it doesn’t get done today, it will be here tomorrow.

Or maybe it’s a lack of desire? Or it could be what I use to think was important, really isn’t or wasn’t.

I finally made it to Belks to return some clothes that didn’t fit. The box had been in my car for over a month so that should tell you what I haven’t been doing.box

Between the lawsuit and court, preparing our taxes and insurance policies and then having company on top of my daily chores the box went unnoticed. Those were the main to-do’s; that doesn’t include all the other stuff that just happens like the latest phone debacle which is another story. The dishwasher broke, there is still a hole in our laundry ceiling from before Christmas where our daughter fell through it from the attic and our carpet is in need of desperate repairs from a carpet-eating kitten that came to live with us last summer. The list goes on and on.

So on one of my three trips to the bank this week I first made myself go to Belks. As I walked through the door the store sirens went off shocking me into wondering what I had done. Then it just stopped and no one bothered to do anything about it so I went on my way.

After returning the items I walked through the store holding this rather bulky box wanting to shop around. I landed in the earring department. As I tried to look while holding this annoying box I overheard a woman talking on her phone. She ended the conversation by saying, “I love you.”

It was such a pleasant sound I had to say, “Well, I love you too!”

She looked at me and laughed telling me she was speaking to her son and just had to tell him she loved him.

Agreeing, I told her how we all need to hear that a lot more often.

Her smile revealed how happy it had made her that she had made my day.

As she walked off she told me to have a wonderful afternoon.

The box was in my way and too big so my shopping experience ended.

But the box had brought me to a “divine connection” of hearing a mothers love for her son.

And it made all the stuff and mess I have been dealing with seem so trivial. 

Love is……

love

 


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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth ….and you know the rest (Part 4)


 

All total I sat in the witness chair for about 2.5 to 3 hours and that included the 20 minutes the opposing side read over the 83 emails. I asked the judge for some water. She kindly got up and left the room and returned with a bottle of Dasanti.witness chair

It was a great relief to me our attorney asked me to read certain emails. Not only did it give me a break from thinking it gave the needed answers to enforce the truth.

As I wrote earlier, we didn’t know what evidence they had; but all 3 of us believed she had the same emails I had. She didn’t. She must have deleted them while she was busy taking over 100 photos of what she determined was a filthy home.

Prior to October 7th, 2011, I read two emails from the defendant, agreeing in her own words that she approved of the cleaning dates. Smoking gun!

She buried herself with her own words. But did that stop her from lying?

Her lawyer approached and began questioning me.

He used a walker to come to the witness stand; his eyes were set on my face like fiery darts but it was his deceitful smile that got my attention. He’s the kind of person who uses a crafty and cunning grin to lay his underhanded intentions upon his opponent.

He repeatedly asked me the same question of “the lease was signed on Sept. 15th and she moved in on October 1st. Why wasn’t the house clean?” Mind you, this was after we had read her emails of agreement to the dates. I kept waiting for him to come up with some kind of damaging evidence; but it never happened. Why? Because he didn’t have any.

The defendant was called to the stand. She came forth with her boat load of photos she had taken herself of the house. This had to have been done between October 1 and the 7th before it was cleaned. Her attorney asked her to pick out a few and give them to the jury to see for themselves the dirty, grimy house we expected her to move into. Once again she took her dear old time and picked through the entire pile. Everyone sat and waited and waited and waited.

Handing them to the jury, her attorney pointed out such issues as dead bugs, a drawer filled with trash, carpet spots, and more dead bugs. 

What was even more shocking was how she whined and moaned about “You’d think if you pay the deposit and that much rent the house would have been ready by October 1.” Never mind what she had written electronically to me. 

The jury left to decide her fate.

Her attorney began complaining to the judge how his client had suffered emotional distress for 4 years, and costly expenses to come back for this trial and wanted the plaintiff to pay up. That’s when our lawyer spoke up and told the judge the exact same thing about his client.

The judge quickly retorted to her attorney, “No! This is a contractual disagreement and that is all.”

I left. It was 5pm and I was starved.

The jury decided she was at fault and owed him the due rent. My client told me the look on her face when the jury announced it was of total shock.

In conclusion, the mindset of our society is even with evidence, keep lying. See how much you can get away with until you actually get caught. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, evil has reared its ugly head in all facets of our culture.

The key here is to stick with Jesus.

He had given me a scripture that I read over and over for 4 years.  I believed His word and not only did it come to pass, he used the liar’s own words to seal her fate.

God is the great vindicator of those who seek Him with their whole heart.

Psalm 135:14

 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

 

 


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Resurrection Day: My Sins or Yours?


 

Its Easter weekend.

Many years ago Charlton Heston opened my eyes to the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection in the movie, “The Ten Commandments.”  I know, a movie? Yes. Having blogged about it before, it will always be a reminder of how God used an actor and a film to help me understand Him better.

Friday has passed. It’s now Saturday. The day after the crucifixion.outdoorsman_bible_cross

I’ve always wondered what went on from Friday after Jesus spoke those famous words, and Sunday after He had risen.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Gospel of Luke 23:34

 

Where was He? Was He still in pain? What was He doing for those hours between His death and resurrection?

 

I have a confession to make.

I have never watched the Passion of the Christ. A few parts of it, but very little.

I can’t.

It is too painful.

Every year at this time I pray and thank God for all Jesus suffered for me, for everyone. I am thankful God didn’t allow me to be alive and living near Golgotha when the actual event occurred.

I can’t imagine how the Roman soldiers handled throwing people to die on those filthy crosses; much less our Savior.

It’s sheer brutality at its worst.

Had I been around during that time and known what Jesus suffered, I can’t say what I would have done to those who physically nailed him. Thinking about it makes my blood boil.

I guess I should thank God I wasn’t there to murder one of them myself.

The truth is I am no better than they were.

I put Jesus on that cross, nailed his hands and feet just as much as any Roman soldier did. Their sins are no worse than mine.

That’s what makes Resurrection Day the most important day in history.

As I look around flowers are blooming with a beauty all their own.

The trees are bursting forth with green leaves.

The birds sing as they fly to our feeder.

New life is everywhere.

And so is Jesus.

He marched out of a stone cold tomb giving every living thing a fresh start.

He left behind death as a warrant for the enemy.

He brought life to a fallen world so that we, His children could shine.

Resurrection Day is total forgiveness.

How AWESOME is our God.

 

 


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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth ….and you know the rest (Part 3)


 

Civil cases do not require evidence to be handed over to either party prior to the trial. The judge made note to the jury that these types of lawsuits are not under the scrutiny of more serious cases. The atmosphere was much more relaxed than even I expected.

As I was called to the witness stand, our attorney began to question me about my years of Property Management experience and then into the timeline of the case in question.

He then came forth with the 83 pages of emails which caused the defendant’s attorney to stop everything demanding he and his client have the opportunity read over them before the case went forward.inboxfull

The entire court room was at a quiet standstill for the next 15-20 minutes waiting on them to finish. It was apparent the jury was getting fidgety.  The juror at the end closest to me looked over at me as if to say, “I can’t believe they are making us wait like this.” One juror who looked to be barely 18, was obviously not interested in being there much less what was going on with the case. I had a clear view of the judge. She sat there working, writing, looking at her computer, drinking water and at times texting on her phone.

My own opinion at this point was the jury wasn’t happy and without any further testimony would have voted against the defendant anyway due to their inconsideration of everyone else.

Finally we proceeded.

Our attorney had me turn to certain pages of the emails and read aloud to the court what the defendant had written. As he questioned me the timeline of events was his purpose. The reason being was the lease was signed on Sept. 15, 2011 but she was expected to pay rent as of October 1, 2011 whether she had moved in or not. My reasoning for this was at that point she had tied up this property since August not wanting me to rent it to anyone else. If I did receive a qualified tenant she wanted me to call her first so she would have the opportunity to rent it first. She couldn’t make up her mind what to do so I had to give her an ultimatum which I did.

The kicker to signing the lease was a list of repairs/requests she demanded be done to rent the house. Needed repairs are one thing but to demand the owner buy a new refrigerator and have the house cleaned again was another. He agreed out of the kindness of his heart and she signed.

Taking this into account, only 2 weeks before October 1st wasn’t enough time to get all she wanted done which was fine with her since her furniture wouldn’t arrive until the middle of October. I made arrangements in order for the repairs, the refrigerator to be delivered and installed and the cleaning after that. The house was professionally cleaned on October 7, and the carpets shampooed October 10th.  

These dates were the core of the case. Why?

Her attorney would use them against us. His argument over and over was

“The lease was signed on Sept. 15 and she paid rent October 1st but the house was filthy so she couldn’t move in.” Duh………

To be continued…..

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

 

 

 

 

 


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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth ….and you know the rest (Part 2)


 

In a world of disillusioned, misguided and unhappy people it is not a far-fetched idea to have one go to the lengths of a court case to prove their innocence when it is clear they aren’t. How dare anyone believe an officer of the military would totally ignore the law?

I am not being judgmental. This is however representative of the mindset plaguing our nation. Evil becomes good and good becomes evil. Tell a lie so much that the liar begins to truly believe it themselves.

Since the onset of this case God gave me a verse, Luke 21:15 which says,

  “For I will give you [skillful] words and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.”

I clung to this verse until the day of the trial. Over 4 years.

From the beginning the lawyer for the plaintiff requested any information I had concerning the case including, receipts, contracts, and emails.

About 2 weeks prior to March 3, the court date I receive a phone call from a man who slowly asked if I was in deed who I am, and owner of Guardian Property Management LLC. The defendant’s lawyer proceeded to ask me questions about the case of which I quickly replied,
“Nope. Not giving you any information without my lawyer.”

His quick retort was, “Fine! I’ll subpoena you then!” His threat was stopped when

I responded, “You don’t have to. I will be there in support of our friend and my client.”

Calling my lawyer he reported the defendant’s lawyer had just called him. My lawyer told me I didn’t have to speak to him so I didn’t. I am convinced his call was to try to coerce me to get the plaintiff to change his mind and drop the case. He found out that wasn’t an option. 

2 days before the trial 2 young girls ring our doorbell and ask me if I was Cathy Neil. Handing me a subpoena they left. It’s a good thing I didn’t have plans but as I found out later the servers never signed or dated the subpoena making it invalid.

Meeting with the lawyer, we discussed what he would ask and what we were to respond with. After 4 years I was concerned about what I wouldn’t remember. But God…..

The lawyer expressed to us that he and her lawyer met with the judge on Monday, Feb. 29 to pick jurors.  He discovered the defendant’s attorney was basing their case on certain dates of cleaning the house opposed to the date of signing the lease.jury

As it was, 6 jurors were chosen and 5 out of the 6 were women. The choice being made by the opposing lawyer hoping to sway the women jurors to support the defendant.  In other words, he played the “gender card.”

 

So much time had passed since this began we didn’t know what they had as far as evidence, but then they didn’t know what we had either.

While speaking to his lawyer, he came up with the emails made between me and the defendant from the end of August until October 18, 2011 when she declared herself free of the lease completely. Altogether it was 83 pages; mostly emails from her to me.

I had no idea that those emails would be the words and wisdom of Luke 21: 15 that God would display for everyone in that courtroom to hear.

To be continued……

 

 

 

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