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Christianity 0ut of the Box


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Gospel Carriers in Rare Form


Craig Farmhouse

Our family reunion was wonderful once I got there. Sometimes life throws a curve and you can be so close yet so far away.

Craig Farm, my family homestead is off the beaten path down a nice, quiet road of farmland, grazing cattle and horses. The house is on the National Registry of Historical Landmarks since 1989. The home is refurbished, and is used for social events of all kinds including concerts, dinners, luncheons, and receptions. Across the street is the Kilburnie Inn on Craig Farm which is a bed and breakfast. The Inn sits on family land and is also used for many social events especially weddings.

Driving the scenic area would not be a typical place for what you may think as a trouble spot. There is a church at the end of the road where you turn off to the left to get on Craig Farm Road that leads to the farmhouse.  Mostly open fields and woods line the road giving way to a serene and peaceful ride. Until Saturday.

About 200 feet from the turnoff I was stopped and wasn’t going anywhere until the police moved out of the way.

One officer had parked his car in the middle of the road as did his partner on the other side of the street blocking any cars from going anywhere. There was no right turn unless you decided a quick trip into the woods full of trees was your best escape route.

More policemen showed up. Blue lights flashing as they parked their vehicles as if to set up a blockade.

All I could think of is they are looking for somebody. We had all these family members trying to get to Craig Farm and every police officer in Lancaster County had another idea altogether.

Going either way would have cuffed me for trying to drive through an army of cops. A dramatic movie scene was in the making as the police gathered in force as if protecting the road.

The only trustworthy instrument was my cell phone in case I needed to call the police. Oh. What police? They were all in front of me, around me, down the beaten path. They were of no help!

I turned my car off and sat. Maybe it was a license check. No.

There were too many officers for such an easy job.

Suddenly, the fear crept in my car. I could feel it climbing up my spine. The darts, no, the swords of evil penetrated my brain with thoughts like,

“You’re going to die.”

“A drug lord has escaped prison and is on the run.”

“A wanted murderer is on the loose and is armed and dangerous.”

All I could think of was what kind of ill fated hoodlum would dash out of the woods aiming a rifle ready to shoot at anyone or anything in front of him.

Prayer was the answer. I don’t carry a concealed weapon because I consider God’s angels who ride everywhere with me as ammunition. If this thing went off big I could make a run for it, or dive under the dashboard to avoid the onslaught of bullets.

In the mood for some great food, family intervention and a walk around the grounds of Craig Farm, a spirited cop feast searching for an escaped convict was not on my agenda.

The next few minutes appeared at least 15 more police vehicles. Many were motorcycles riding in a formatted line.

Behind this obvious police escort, rode one biker after another in a peaceful parade. Motorcycles of all shapes and sizes following each other in a show of respect were called the Faith Riders of South Carolina. A ministry of over 100 bikers making their way out of Lancaster most likely on their way to the grand strand for bike week at the beach.

The reverence in which these “gospel carriers” rode was intriguing. They were on a mission; a mission to preach Jesus.

I realized after they were gone, how quickly the devil attacked me. In an instant, he had thrown evil at me from all sides filling my mind with fear.

As quickly as the misery of evil converged on my soul it was all of a sudden, gone. The roar of the bikes; the code of conduct and awesome presence of God that surrounded these men and women of God ran him off with his tail in between his legs.

The way I see it is the devil is no match for a flock of Bible toting, motorcycle riding, faith filled bikers. In fact, only a fool would mess with that bunch.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

www.kilburnie.com/

Kilburnie Inn

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/how-may-faith-be-illustrated/

http://fromafarcountry.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-bible-needs-to-be-updated/

http://jennifershope.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-word-is-good-and-perfect/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/sihs-think-on-these-things-heb-1123/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved

 


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Craig Reunion Photos 2012


Please enjoy a few photos I took at our family reunion this weekend in Lancaster, SC.  The above Header is a picture of the Craig Farm. The back pavilion is where we always enjoy this annual event. Family totaled around 50.

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Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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The Sanity of the Sorority Sisters


Work. Work. Work.  God says our busy work gets in the way of his work. What?

I read an interesting word this morning from the daily inspirations of “God Calling.”

“When Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he did not mean he was to do all things and then rely on Christ to find strength. He meant that for all God told him to do he could rely on his strength.

God says we wear ourselves out becoming tired, and nervous chasing the Holy Spirit away doing that which he never asked us to do.

Jesus rested. SO DO YOU THINK HE IS TRYING TO TELL US SOMETHING!

Folks, the world will rob you of everything including your sanity if you will let it.

Learn to say no! God has not given us to do half of what we do. And for that half we do of our own accord….Well, he just isn’t there. Maybe he is resting then.

God has enough to do without having to follow us around while we line our calendars with Sorority Parties, benefit lunches and trips to satisfy our lust for travel.

Besides producing entertainment for our egotistical self indulgence think of all the money saved that could be used for the kingdom of God? What? NO?

Much of our daily overload is for our avaricious distractions like the green-eyed monster living under our beds. What about the stingy vainglorious attitudes of “oh, I’ve been there” or “yes, we had lunch on the Rivera.”  So what.

If we go and do just so we can say we went and did, what good is that? Was it God’s idea? Did you ask him before you spent his money on an expensive meal of eel?

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/the-home-and-god/

What about that trip? Did God send you to the Bahamas? Were you there to promote the Gospel or to vacation among the blue waters to satisfy the “I deserve this trip” mindset? We don’t deserve anything and if you think you do, then you either have never been to the cross or you haven’t spent enough time there.

God wants to reward us, but in his way, in his time and with his resources.

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/proverbs-1618-a-servants-heart/

Praying for a long time about the shape of the church, our nation and myself, God has revealed to me his longing for people to get to know him. He has shown me he can get more done in one hour of our time than we can in a year. In other words, when we spend time alone with God, he can do multiple times over what we can do and in a much shorter amount of time!

The church wants to bring people to Christ.  What if people prayed for the unsaved as much as they did churching them through this dinner and that project?

Recently God revealed to me how effective prayer really is. We can’t be everywhere. We can’t be in two places at once unless you know something I don’t. So if that is the case, and John Doe is 500 miles away and needs prayer, do we have to travel to him to pray for him? Ok, that is pretty elementary. Of course not!

God knew this. He created us. If he made us to be in one place at a time, then he gave an alternative to do more through prayer! So start praying.

http://throughhimwithhiminhim.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/wholeness-lived/

Psalm 107:20 “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”

First and foremost God wants personal relationships with his people.  His presence is transferred to us as we learn his character, personality and faithfulness. It is in his presence where miracles occur and prayers are answered.

http://godspeaks-i-listen.com/2012/04/26/god-please-dont-take-away-my-good-tears-part-2/

So, if you really want to get to know God, stop your 24/7 gratification ceremonies and sit down and rest with God. Alone. With no distractions. Just you and God.

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved

Oriental Lily by Randy Harrison
http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh


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Mixed Messages of Impending Contradictions


Yesterday we received a letter from Verizon Wireless dated April 19, 2012.

We ended our less than desirable, dissatisfied relationship with Verizon the end of
January 2012 or 3 months ago.

The following is the letter:

RE: Verizon Wireless Account Number Ending with 1800

Dear Customer:

Your Verizon Wireless statement is now available for viewing online.

Our records indicate all your wireless lines on your account have been disconnected. You can still view and pay your disconnected account online using My Verizon with your user name rather than your Verizon Wireless phone number.

Please note any future bills will be sent to you in the mail.

eServices and Support

Verizon Wireless

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-need-of-a-disciplined-people/

Ummm…..what a waste of money; what a waste of paper. As if I had no idea I had disconnected service with them. Who do they think I am? Letters of this nature is why I left in the first place!

Verizon must have misplaced my memo. Good communication and customer service is a plus. A necessity. A lifeline.

Tossed around from one department to another results in harebrained letters such as this one. And to think our hard-earned money paid Mr. eServices to produce an obvious contradiction and actually mail it. He should be so proud.

Communication is a key in business. After the above misconstrued, indecisive, notice of my impending whatever, Verizon won’t be hearing from me any time soon.

Anyone with a brain or two would know the above letter makes no sense to a baboon. If this is the message the largest mobile phone company in the nation sends out, then we are in a “heap of trouble.”

Why would any bright, capable human being yearn to be subjected to such jargon? To be honest, the example truly represents some of the conversations I had with them.

http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/god-school/

Credibility requires examination, integrity and honesty and maybe a few sentences worth reading.

If God wasn’t a true, credible source of life, why bother with him?

If his message, words and son’s death and resurrection were not real, where would we be now?

Thank God the Bible wasn’t written like the letter. No one would know how to use a cell phone or decipher the Bible’s context.

If God sends a clear message of salvation, shouldn’t we?

Should we “tip-toe” around the issues of importance so we don’t offend?

Should we hide our faith to evade ridicule?

Do we send mixed messages that only confuse rather than deliver?

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/04/24/getting-rebuked-in-the-face/
It took years of preparing, class and field work before God sent his anointed one, Moses as the Deliverer.

Joseph spent long, hard years in the prison of God’s workshop. You could say he even graduated with honors only to become the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt.

Paul was your typical, radical Pharisee who by all educational standards today became a PhD in accidents, beatings, shipwrecks, and hunger pains. An overnight conversion led him to prison for 3 years where he used his time to expand his doctorate into Biblical history.

Our messages don’t happen in 24 hours. God prepares us.

He sends us to classes unknown.

Internships are granted for discipline, and on the job training.

The anointing is rewarded at God’s graduation of his servants.

The process is cultivated by pruning, shaping and molding our hearts along the way. God slowly blends us into the likeness of Christ giving us new attitudes, patience and humility.

As Moses, Joseph and Paul spent a lifetime in God’s classroom, so we should too.

We should always be listening, learning and preparing for the message of the Holy Spirit.

The message may not always be easy.

The message may include persecution, hardships and shipwrecks.

The message may not be what you had in mind to do with your life.

James 3:17-18

The message is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, and full of mercy and good fruit.

The message is wise, impartial, sincere and full of knowledge.

The message is from Heaven who raises a harvest of righteousness.

Matthew 11:28-30

The message is gentle and humble in heart giving us rest for our souls.

The message is clear. The message is Jesus Christ.

http://goodchristianfiction.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/by-the-water/

Photo by Randy Harrison
http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh

 


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Lost in the Garden


The last 2 days I spent  planting flowers and herbs to spruce the yard up. My 2nd trip to Lowe’s needed the attention of my expert gardener husband for advice on buying teeny, weeny, little plants for some very small pots. Herbs filled them nicely but not before I actually lost my husband in the Lowe’s garden center.

Now how one can lose a 230 lb., 6 foot man in Lowe’s Garden center is a mystery to me but I did. He had the cart, I had the car keys so I knew he wasn’t going anywhere without me. The one day I go off and leave my cell phone at home was the day I really needed it! Oh the joys of texting to find you’re long lost love.

Strolling around in between rows of pots, planters, marigolds, roses, and intense shoppers he was nowhere to be found.  I must admit how silly I felt losing my husband and spending my valuable shopping experience searching for him instead of the wonderful indulgence of God’s green earth.

The look on my face must have revealed “a woman in distress” as those with a “green thumb” paraded around me as if I was standing in their way. Had they known my plight, maybe they would have offered to aid me in my desperate search instead of frowning upon me as if I was covered in fertilizer.

As I stood in the middle of the center, hands on my hips, straining my eyes to locate this man of my dreams a young female employee stopped and asked,

“Can I help you?”

Me, “I have lost my husband and my cell phone is at home.”

Employee, “Well, we could page him like we do lost children.”

Laughing I thought what a great idea but knowing he would not want to be categorized as a young child lost in the Lowe’s Garden center, I declined.

Not long after, I spotted his baseball cap. Letting an all out “yell” he looked up only to see me approaching with a very quick sprint. After calming me down he whispered,

“Do you have to be so loud?”

Me, “I couldn’t find you anywhere, so yes. Loud works for me!”

Once we were home, he slipped upstairs to his “Man Land” for a much needed nap while I continued my 2nd day of hard labor to win the “Yard of the Week” award.

The hot sun drained me of much needed toxins but leaving me drenched with sweat. If it had been warmer, I would have ventured into our pool for a quick dip.

Today, my body needs a good massage. Muscles in my legs and arms ache in any attempt to move. Bending over repeatedly did a number on my upper back.

Admitting I am no longer in my vibrant youth, rest has been the order of the day after church. Attending church was a major accomplishment considering it took all I had to avoid falling asleep not to mention limping around like a cripple.

A few weeks from now the aches and pains will be worth the beauty of watching my flowers grow.

This parallel is far from what our Savior did on the Cross, but the resemblance is the same.

Jesus saw the other side of the Cross. Jesus knew his sufferings would show up as saved souls on the backside of Calvary.

As my flowers grow and come to life, the gesture of God’s love will be a reminder to me of all Jesus did on the cross.

The dirty soil in our lives springs into petals of color and beauty as we lean heavily on the Cross to purify and cleanse us.

And in the process of getting lost in God’s garden is this “green thumb wannabe.”

1 Timothy 4:4 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”

http://mrkstevenson.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/come-unto-mephoto-of-jesus-in-the-clouds/

http://javaman56.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/captivated-by-his-beauty/

http://ladydeidre.com/2012/04/21/butterflies/

http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/turtle-time/


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Suffering Technology


So my technological advances here are suffering. Not me. Well, yes, but not all me.

Yes, my email was hacked. Mark Zuckerburg informed me my facebook account had been seized by culprits unknown. Laden with remembering passwords and id’s from who know whose accounts, now I faced an all out effort of coming up with new ones. This does not include our bank that depends on me every 90 days to come up with fancy passwords and id’s for 4 accounts.

Folks, this is far too much for my brain to cope with especially as I proceed to get people to Jesus, pray for the sick and spread the gospel.

Annoying interruptions of unknown devices filtering my laptop’s ability to perform as it should have plagued me for weeks.

Discovering I have missed emails, comments and messages was nastily brought to my attention. Yahoo has been so eager to mess with me their “send” department has overdone it by duplicating 2-3-4-5 times sending me the same emails.

If I could change from Yahoo I would. Our business is laced with the address on business cards and brochures. Until they run out I will try patiently to deal with this intrusion of my privacy as a security breach of those who have nothing else to do with their pathetic lives but send me “urgent” messages to my Spam box from India.

On the other hand it will make me feel a whole lot better to overload “Yahoo’s Help” with underhanded, off the wall messages as they sit in their “break room” eating Twinkiesand drinking old coffee. If I could I would “hack” their coffee making it not only old but bitter.

Box of Twinkies

Box of Twinkies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it’s me but I think I sound a little angry here? The frustration has hit levels of trashing my laptop for a brand new IPAD but not before this one hits the pavement. In case I never told you this laptop has VISTA!  Whoever thought of Vista should be hung out to dry in the stocks and slapped with a permanent label on their forehead which says, “Technological dummy.”

But, being the steward of God’s money, and the scrimpy, prudent penny pincher that I am spending to buy a new laptop until this one is dead screams at my conscience. Maybe there is a lesson or a blog post in all of this of my incredible money management over starving my family.

Security is foremost in our minds but the supposed “hacking” into my email even after changing code words is unimproved. I have to wonder if Yahoo is badgering me because I dislike intently their “brand new yahoo!”

As it would be as soon as I had my laptop checked out, Yahoo switched my email back to the old one which I traditionally latched onto. Now why would Yahoo do such a mysterious move considering their storming aggression to change my email?

So, if I have missed anything from anyone blame Yahoo, Mark Zuckerburg or search for the Yahoo break room with the most bitterly laced coffee you can find. They are the real sinners here, criminals and felonies of cyber space.

And as I view this from a Godly, spiritual point this is simply another lame attempt from the enemy to shut me up!

SORRY! My mouth is larger than your attacks and so is my God!

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/04/20/quote-doing/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/humility-and-prayer/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/asking/

http://onecrazybible.com/2012/04/19/where-da-gold-at/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved