Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


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A True Story: The Heart of a Cat


It was early dawn. My husband who gets up before anyone else on earth, arrived in the den only to hear our 12 year old feral feline wailing and acting strange.  Opening the back door there she stood in front of him holding a 2 inch field mouse in her mouth as if to show him her gift of love.

Little did she know opening her mouth very wide to wail one more time the mouse fell out. He shut the door in an effort to keep the rodent from running inside. Maxi took off chasing him as if to say, “You are mine.”

Mark knew he had to stop this chase. Grabbing the cat after cornering this very frightened creature he brought her inside only to have her sit by the door and whine.

He hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet.Mark and Maxi 2

Leaving her to her misery of the lost gift he made his early morning joe.

By the time I moved much later he told me of this great adventure.

The cat began wailing at me as if I would let her out. Somehow her instincts knew her prey was still around.

He and I went outside only to find the ailing rat in a hole on the right side of the back door. She runs out and begins to attack. The mouse escapes, running around the table, grill and into a side corner. Grabbing the cat once again we put her inside. She was not happy with her grandparents. Her efforts to once again show her appreciation for saving her life years ago was in the least futile in her eyes.  

By now I needed coffee.

We sat in the den watching tv and resting for a while. Too much excitement at 7am.

30 minutes later I went outside. Not only was the mouse still there, he was crouched behind my Swedish Ivy plant up against the brick on the left side of the door.

Mark attempted to catch him only to have the scared mouse run and fall right into the pool! Swimming for his life Mark finally caught him with the pool net. Giving him his freedom, Maxi ran outside to continue to search. 

She sniffed all around still believing she could locate her hard earned present. Her facial expression said it all.

“Why would you do this to me? I wanted to give it to you to show you my love?”

Isn’t that kind of like God?

Not that he wants to bless us with rodents but the abundance of his own love. Love that captures hearts like no other. Love that is supernatural and healer of all ills. Love that surrounds his people so overwhelming that once it hits you are never the same.

Maybe God feels like our cat sometimes. She gave us love only for us to throw it away. She exerted energy she rarely has these days to announce her gratitude only for us to deny it. She spent hours tracking for a gift we simply refused.

We can learn from our friendly felines the word, “devotion.” They seem to know what it means more than people.

God can take the size of a field mouse kind of love and make it grow.

So go catch a field mouse today and give it to God. It’s a start, and he will accept it with open arms.

Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”


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Me, Me and Me


 Photos by John Randy Harrison http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh

29508107.yelrose01Year after year the birds sing.

Flowers bloom in the spring.

The sun rises and sets every day.

While life goes on no matter the trial or test, certain acts never change or stop.

What do these actions have in common?

Time. Beauty. Expectation.

31257435.cardinal01copyIf we woke up one morning and the news flashed “the sun didn’t rise this morning” most likely panic would erupt. That is if you could see.

When God sent the flood and basically cleaned up, Noah and his family were left to carry on. God sent a sign in the sky he would never again flood the earth. The rainbow was given just as flowers and birds to remind us of God’s presence. It is also a strong clue of God’s promise; and that he is still very much alive and in the business of running things.

The question arises often of how do you really get to know God?

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First, look out of your window.

Second, listen to the birds singing.

Third, read his word, pray and enjoy some alone time with him.

As God has cleverly kept the sun rising and setting, rainbows showing up after storms these everyday occurrences are part of his Divine plan.  Like his nature appointments, he goes before us to meet us where we are.

The Creator of the Universe with all he has to do, awaits our call, our signal or effort to speak to him.  Whether he is stifling battles of politicians, coordinating that which is the impossible or working behind the scenes of turmoil he is like the friend you long to have.

The Holy Spirit sections off his people so that no matter how much time has passed, re-connecting picks up right where we left off.  God is like that with us.

Rattling off our needs, pains, and sufferings we are so self-absorbed we forget he has taken the time to listen. We forget to thank him for what he has done and will do.

We assume his phone line is always open waiting just for me, me and me.

We can talk to him anytime, night or day and he is always lending his ear.

He talks to us every day but our phone lines are so busy the call can’t get through our hard heads.

Maybe we should learn to meet him where he is. Who knows how exciting that could be?

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Upstairs or Downstairs?


Getting hooked on 18th- to 19th century protocol is easy if you watch “Downton Abbey.” Admitting this backdrop of history has taken America by storm is an understatement.  Here we are at the end of football season and “Carson” brings as much attention as does the playoffs.abbey house

The storyline is tense and at times “quirky” but very old English at its core. Interestingly is the downstairs servants quarters is as exciting as the Aristocratic “Crawley” family drama upstairs. Either way there are few dull moments even with an elaborate table of exquisite china set for a bunch of prudish, gossiping, wealthy tea lovers.

When my husband and I began watching this sequel of histrionic theater I began questioning the “class” system that is so prevalently displayed.

Upstairs were the lives of the rich and famous.
Downstairs were the lives of those born to serve those rich and famous.

Upstairs were the affluent and educated of society. The men spent their time hunting, playing poker and smoking smelly cigars. The women strolled around in ugly hoop skirts eventually becoming the very unflattering “Flapper Dress.”  Hair was covered in a Pompadour Hair Frame that worked well with the Edwardian Hats. Evening wear included ornamentation such as feathers. Sorry, but the “fashion designers” would not have sold much to me.Lady with an Ostrich feather hat

Downstairs the servants and maids worked long hard hours making sure the upstairs was fit for the elite crowd. .  As employment went, many preferred to work in these great homes of the wealthy opposed to farm labor or worse.

The difference in living upstairs or downstairs depended a great deal on your inheritance or quality. Whatever your status was when you were born became your legacy.  Great emphasis was placed on keeping the sacred family line a tradition. Unfortunately the Christian church encouraged these classifications to continue blood lines. Due to such a breach of life, thriving any higher for those who were born downstairs was almost impossible.

downton-abbey-servants

The truth statistically was only 2-3% of the general population were considered aristocratic or of noble descent.

“Lifestyles of the rich and famous” was not advocated in the Bible, but neither was class warfare.

Galatians 6:10 “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

It is no secret Jesus fondness for the Pharisees was less than desirable. His unique responses or reactions to their accusations left these men of educated fervor constantly wondering what he was going to do next. He referenced his wisdom with mystery.

The scene he made in the temple revealed “justified anger.” His emotional love for the Father and his House wasn’t questioned once he began turning over tables of money. (Matthew 21:12)

The actions Jesus mirrored when he rescued the woman caught in adultery were priceless. Who would think to bend over in the middle of a public accusation to write in the sand? What did he write? Was he passing time? Was he waiting for the other half of the accused to show up?

Hopefully one day we will know what he wrote. But his delay or pause created a sense of anxiety and frustration in the Pharisees.  Handing them a rock to be the first to throw at her was unexpected especially when he added “if none of you have ever sinned…”

Jesus was fair, balanced and the master of charismatic expression. His perfect oratory qualities could minister to the poor or shift the tone in a room full of hypocritical Jewish leaders.

His example of heeding the call to the truth lends to impartiality. No lie comes from the truth. When truth prevails there is no bias. Therefore what is true for one person is true for the next person.

In other words, there should never be an “upstairs or downstairs.”

God wants us all on the same floor; his floor.

“Jesus Told Us Where to Find Him. Just Look for an Outcast.”

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove


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God’s Creation/Photography by Randy Harrison


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If you would like to view more of Randy’s photography please go to his website at

http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh

Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.”

 Psalm 1:3 “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.”

Hosea 2:18 “In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.”

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Dots


media4lifephotography.com

Connecting the dots isn’t always easy. Just when you think you have them connected something comes along and erases them, disconnects them or moves them around.

Once disconnected, reconnecting them is not as easy as originally thought.

Why? The dots become rigid, uneven or mushy. They won’t stick together. And sticking together allows them to line up correctly.

Life is balance or it was designed to be. As with connecting dots our life needs to be lined up with God who gives us balance.

All of a sudden, evil throws a curve no one saw coming.

All of a sudden we are hit with the incomprehensible.

All of a sudden we are disconnected.

Or are we?

Somehow the workings of God show up in disconnecting dots. Even in the midst of horror unthinkable, he is there with his army shedding protection invisible to the human eye.

“What is seen is temporary. What is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 18.

In the wake of senseless tragedies our nation wakes up and prays.

In what appears to be the lurking evil of evils the supernatural workings of God spare us from what we don’t see or might ever know.

In the realm of misguided demonic wickedness is a God who brings forth miracles in the middle of impossibilities.

God cannot create disorder but when it erupts, God reconnects the dots placing them in the order in which he designed them.

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

Whatever you may be dealing with or facing, if it is not peaceful, it is not God. Recognizing the difference is a step of faith; a moment of definition in a world of rancorous poison. In those moments he whispers in your ear a word of hope or wisdom to take the next step forward.

As we move forward trying to reconnect the dots after the Aurora massacre, continue to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. Pray for the injured to be healed along with any emotional needs to be addressed and treated.

Pray for our nation to humble ourselves to seek God and his presence.

And thank God for reconnecting the dots in our lives to match up with his.

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/2733/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/the-lord-would-have-the-wicked-made-known/

http://singularspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/hope-for-aurora/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-rainy-days-of-life-reveal-his-faithfulness-to-us/

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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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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Photography by John


I decided to do something a little different today. Photographer John Randolph Harrison is a college friend of mine whose photos capture the true meaning of God‘s creation. He has allowed me to share a slide show of some of my favorites with you. The last 7 photos are a great Blue Heron in sequence of his flight to his landing. Quite impressive. Enjoy!

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John’s Gallery can be found at http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh