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The Great American Shift


Pondering this for quite some time now, it is clear the position of America has shifted.

The question of “should Christians get involved with politics?” is one that has been swept under the proverbial rug for decades. Why? The idea that we would have a voice in governing was a deceptive lie of the enemy that many embraced on both sides.

How can any country have Christian leaders if they don’t get involved with the process?

Exodus 18:21

“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.”

The above verse demonstrates God’s purpose for us in that we have the elect duty to place in leadership roles those who pledge truth to govern. Once again God gives us the choice but if we elect people of dishonest gain, we all will suffer.

In my 63 years on this earth, I have never known America to be so divided. For decades the enemy has been working hard to achieve disunity and to a great extent he has succeeded. But this is America, and what goes on in America goes elsewhere and God is putting a halt to it.

A discorded media, along with venomous social atmospheres have become the crusades of hate, vitriol, cruelty, bullying and maliciousness. Much of these have been planted; paid for and fueled by wealthy donors of contempt and viciousness. Why? The devil doesn’t like to lose and he is speaking through the mouths of those who have allowed him entrance into their sad, jealous lives to maintain power and control.

As I dive into to murky waters here, it is imperative that we see the difference. God is no respecter of persons or political party. (Romans 2:11) However, when it is perfectly clear which side is right and which one is wrong, we as Christians need to wake up and understand God expects us to follow righteousness even if it goes against what our family has always done or what we have believed in the past.

Recently on Facebook a woman replied to a comment I made about the state of our country. Her hate for President Trump centered on the future of her grandchildren and what a terrible example he was as our leader. She had been a Democrat her entire life and felt our present government was leading us down the wrong path. She alluded to the fact she is a Christian and didn’t really believe in abortion yet was determined to vote liberally.

My response to her was anyone who votes Democrat at this point is voting for abortion, homosexuality (etc.), illegal immigration, and just about anything anti-Christian. The top 2 are reasons enough for any Christian to vote conservatively because they go against everything God stands for. She never responded. At the least, hopefully she rethought her position.

Christians have had the idea President Trump isn’t Christian enough. He isn’t a Pastor, Preacher or Priest. He’s a business man. Yet, observe just a few of his positions and accomplishments so far.

President Trump’s Executive Order prohibits the U.S. Government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith, affirming First Amendment protections for religious freedom.

President Trump has reversed President Obama’s policy of allowing transgendered people to serve in our military because the military is no place for progressive social experiments.

President Trump has given states the option to deny Planned Parenthood access to Medicaid and other federal grant money because Planned Parenthood uses this money to facilitate its conducting of more than 328,000 abortions per year at Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills.

In sharp contrast to President Obama’s rhetorical war on America’s police, President Trump is outspoken in his support for America’s police and has offered cities federal support to crack down on violent crime in our city streets.

President Trump ordered the move of the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A major win for the Jewish people that no other President has accomplished.

President Trump and his team have worked diligently to free almost 20 Americans from foreign prisons including Christians such as Pastor Andrew Brunson.

We must remind ourselves that many in the Bible such as Moses, Abraham, David, Samson, Peter and Paul were faulted men who in some cases were involved in criminal acts. God raised them up and used them mightily to achieve his purposes. God is doing the same with President Trump. He is just as human as they were and as we are.

Election Day is around the corner and many are already voting. God is just getting started with the last great revival. He is using America as a cornerstone of spreading the gospel because we are and always have been a Christian nation.

God has given America a fair and balanced system of election; use it. Vote according to God’s word and will.

All you have to do is Google an agenda for the Republicans and Democrats and read the Bible.

The writing is on the wall. (Daniel 5)

make america great again

 

 

 

 

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John the “Scammer”


 

Just when you think it won’t happen to you, it does.

A few weeks ago my laptop almost crashed. Literally. It began screaming and sounding off alarms….do not shut off….do not close….call this number……

Had I known then what I know now I would never have called that number.

The guy who said he was ‘John” from Microsoft wasn’t. Or whatever his name was.

He had the drill down pat.

He was nice, professional and loved to be a Microsoft tech agent helping people gain their privacy back. Yeah, right.

Had I looked up the real phone number to Microsoft I would have caught him sooner than later.

My Dell was suffering.

He walked me through the process of repairing it all the while lying through his teeth.

According to Microsoft, the real one, these scammers are everywhere. The fraudulent phone numbers they sent to me was a mile long.

These scammers con people into ordering their tech support, then get the unsuspecting customer to give them access to their computer. Little did I know my virus protection had run out and that’s how “John” or whatever his name was, got access to mine.

They also lie to you and tell you to buy a Google Play card, call them back once you do so they can install it which helps to protect your PC and then use it themselves. NOPE. NaDa. Not happening.

Once it was fixed or I thought it was a few days later as I was surfing, all of a sudden I lost control of my mouse. Then all these porn sites began to appear on my screen. The mouse was obviously being controlled by someone else…..because I couldn’t move it. I would try and click the exit button to remove the sites and they would take it over again.

Checking my installed programs I found one, “logmein” that looked unusual. Google told me that was one of many, scammers use to scam into the most vulnerable laptops.

They don’t care; it’s all random.

Explaining this to my husband and daughter, we realized the guy who was supposed to be helping was the villain himself.

He continued to call me and leave me messages of which I didn’t respond to any.

Within the next 24 hours we had to change everything. Thank the good Lord, nothing was stolen.

Thanks to Experian, we now have Fraud Alerts on our accounts. Even if he tried to get a credit card in our name, the companies would get an automatic alert to stop it.

Hindsight is often a learning tool. Looking back, the signs were there.

Red Flags jumping like screaming cats.

Misspelled words in emails from this so-called Microsoft Tech Agent.

His constant stuttering on the phone and anxiety ridden words.

But….this is not about what John the Scammer did to me and who knows how many others but how God immediately told me to forgive him.

Outside of wanting to ring his neck, calling him back and placing the fear of God in him, my gut instinct just told me to pray for this guy.

Sure, he’s a criminal but God still loves him just like He loves me.

I truly believe in his mind he is so deceived that as he attacks unsuspecting victims. By invading their privacy he thinks he is really helping them. I only think that because either he was an extraordinary actor or he was a nice criminal if there are any.

However, I give him no resolve, just forgiveness and many prayers that God is convicting him of his lifestyle of sin.

Beware of these scams. They catch people off guard and can if one is not quick and smart to steal what they can.

And Forgive.

Ephesians 4 31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

 

 

 

 


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Dr. Billy Graham and the Affect He had on my Life


Growing up in North Carolina, the Billy Graham crusades were on our TV whenever my mother could find him. It was a given, that he appeared regularly as I walked through our den listening to his words of hope and encouragement. It helped that my Aunt, my mother’s sister lives in Montreat and is close to some of the Graham family that eventually I became friends with.

I must admit those young years I took it for granted how his sermons were just a part of our life. Now, they are Biblical orations of wisdom and knowledge that I treasure.

In 1993 I moved to Black Mountain, NC which is directly connected to Montreat where Dr. Graham and his family have lived for decades. I joined the church there that they attended and became friends with Ruth’s nephew and his wife through my Aunt. My daughter played often with their son and we split time between our house and theirs which was the Bell Family home for the children to play.

The home was full of memorabilia and souvenirs from China where Ruth’s parents had been missionaries. Antiques and heirloom furniture that had been handed down filled the house with love and a true sense of family.

If you have the privilege as I did to get to know any of the Graham family, you will find them to be genuine, private and protective. I never once thought it as a celebrity relationship…they were my friends.

Twice before Dr. Graham retired from preaching I heard him preach at the Montreat Evangelical Presbyterian church. This beautiful rock chapel in the heart of Montreat is a sight to behold. Dr. Graham felt very at home there and his words resonated throughout the congregation. Now, I remember them as being 2 of the most historical times in my life. I also heard Franklin preach their once.  I was also able to hear one of the last times George Beverly Shea sang “How Great Thou Art” before he passed away.

One Sunday morning after that, I sat in a pew at the 11 o’clock service by myself by the window. Suddenly beside me was Ruth Graham. She had wheeled herself in by her wheelchair and parked right next to me. We had a nice chat as if we had known each other for quite some time.

I worked for 12 years at the local Chamber of Commerce. Tourists came from all over the country to visit the home of Dr. Billy Graham.  It was always a disappointment to them when we had to tell them going to his house was not possible.  Some would actually get angry they had traveled 1000 miles only to find out they were not allowed near his estate. Unfortunately, the way of the world and its threatening situations had forced the family to acquire necessary security measures for them to remain there.

As the news spread that Dr. Graham had passed away, my heart flooded with memories and thoughts of how this man has touched my life even though I never met him personally.

His simple message of God giving us salvation through Jesus kept me believing when times have been hard and difficult. His presence on this earth and in an area very close to my heart that I don’t live in anymore, always gave me a sense of feeling protected. Maybe it’s because I know God protected that man and his family with supernatural guardianship and countless angels. Those blessings of protection seem to flow outward to those of us who listened to him and know Jesus.

Maybe it’s more of the personal connection that I have to Dr. Graham and his family that has had the most profound effect on me. The truth of their honest, unpretentious and unaffected lives they have lived is a testimony in itself.

And now it’s time for the mantle he carried to spread over this earth for a much needed conversion revival.

What Dr. Graham has preached, his family lives.

Dr. Graham’s words are their heart and soul.

His steadfast faith and love for God is the cornerstone of the Graham family.

They are the real thing.

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”

Reverend Billy Graham

 


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Why is everyone so mean?


In all my 62 years on this earth I have never known people to be so mean and hateful.

Sure, there have always been bullies but not to the extent there is today. It has become extreme and belligerent.bully

As one who was always smaller than most of those in my class age group, I was picked on a lot. Many gave me nicknames like, “little bit” or “shorty’ or “redhead” but it was rare the accusations were directed to annoy or offend me. That isn’t the case today.

We have become a society of loathing and abhorrence because of a lack of discipline, not to mention the enemy has been on a roaring rampage for decades.  That’s no excuse. We have to change this hostile atmosphere.

My daughter was going through a lot during her younger years. As a child of a single parent in an area where divorce had not hit to the high percentage rates of today, she was bullied by a classmate. She was only 6 or 7 when this young girl began insulting and tormenting her along with a few of her miserable friends. For a while, I paid little attention to her complaints. As time passed, it was quite noticeable she wasn’t making any of this up.

My concern grew to a breaking point when I would pick her up from school only to find her crying. She was already dealing with enough without the harassment of an obviously spoiled and jealous child.

The next day I called the principal and asked to meet with her teacher along with the student in question. The appointment was made for that afternoon.

The teacher, appeared to have no idea at all this had been happening. In fact, she made it clear to me this child I was accusing was a perfect student with top grades but so was my daughter. Only my daughter wasn’t hateful and mean to the other students.  The bully watched me speaking to her teacher with total dread in her eyes.

She knew she had been caught. It was apparent she played the innocent, sweet child with the teacher but treated others with distaste and mockery when the teacher wasn’t around.

I made it clear to the teacher what wasn’t going to happen any more and if it did there would be consequences for her and the student. The teacher allowed me to speak directly to the bully. She sheepishly approached me as I laid the groundwork for future classes with my daughter and that she would never again speak to her much less bully her. I told her I knew exactly what she was doing and to stop it immediately. I  told her  I would not hesitate to call her mother and inform her of her obstinate behavior and get a restraining order against her. The child left the room with the fear of God in her by the time I finished. The teacher was very appreciative of my visit but also quite aware that I meant business.

That child never bothered my daughter again.

For years, many childish bullies like this one have been getting away with their distasteful rhetoric and in some cases violence. We have laws that haven’t been enforced but should be that would help close the door on such vile conduct.

The decision I made to handle this the way I did, came about after much prayer and seeking God for answers as to how to deal with it. As a nation, we need to be searching God’s heart for His guidance to find solutions to steer people in His direction.

NO one gets away with anything. Any maybe that needs to be preached on every street corner in America.

kind

 

 


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The Marvel of It All


 

Joseph. The man we tend to forget. The man who had to decide to do the unthinkable.

Bringing to my attention his supporting actor role in the most important birth in history, I felt as if I had left him out of much of the casting. This wasn’t done to belittle his career but the focus was elsewhere.

Mary was a chosen woman. One with an appointment like none other. How would any man be able to live up to the standards of the mother of the Son of God? How would any man be able to do what he was asked to do without some hesitation on his part?

Granted, Mary’s role wasn’t easy by any means but neither was Joseph’s. Over the centuries Mary has been given the lead actor’s position in a drama only God could have written, but Mary couldn’t have fulfilled her heroic purpose without Joseph.

One might refer to Joseph as the back-up guy, or Mary’s support system.

First he had to accept her pregnancy without understanding it. But who would believe such a story?

He had to fight off crowds of accusers for the lie she supposedly was telling.

He lost friends. Coworkers. Acquaintances.

How does a soon- to- be groom explain to his family his betrothed is pregnant by another man?

Yet, Joseph stood against the odds and accepted Mary as his soon- to- be wife in the midst of a presumed scandalous affair.

And Joseph thought this was the hard part.

After God revealed to Joseph in a dream Mary was indeed telling the truth, he would embark on a journey no other man has ever taken.

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

How does a man protect the mother- to- be of the Lamb of God?

How does a man walk on foot across miles and miles of treacherous terrain leading his wife who is in her last trimester of pregnancy carrying the Light of the World on a donkey?

And then how does a man who probably had never witnessed a woman giving birth aid in giving birth to the King of the Jews?

Not only were these all “firsts” for Joseph, but he had no other place to take her but a smelly, old hay filled manger with cows and goats watching.

Was that what Joseph had planned for his new bride?

Was this the scene he wanted his legacy to be built upon?

Was this Joseph’s idea of a birthing place for the Prince of Peace? The Anointed One? Emanuel?

My thinking is he never had time to fully comprehend the enormity of it all before it happened.

They had to leave town immediately to escape Herod’s henchmen.  

Joseph didn’t have time to find a Marriott Hotel for the birth; he had to take what was available.

And babies are born on their own schedule. Joseph wasn’t given a crash course in midwifery.

Had God given Joseph a heads up a few years prior to this extraordinary story, would he have skipped town?

Would he have asked, “God, I’m not the man for this job, please find someone else?

If Joseph had thought it through would he have understood the magnitude of his calling?

If he had let it all sink in would he have taken on the fatherhood of the child who would one day be his Savior?

Joseph, the quiet man standing in the shadows probably spent the rest of his earthly life pondering the marvel of it all.

Matthew 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

nativity


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In Honor of my Dad


My father was a WWII Air Force Veteran.20161111_093554.jpg

After the battle of Normandy, my dad along with many other military personnel were shipped overseas to France. They were considered the “clean -up crew.”

He never spoke much about his duty but this I do know.

The ocean waters made every one on board sea sick. It took weeks to get to their destination so it was a horrible situation to be in. I’ve often wondered how frightened he may have been. Did he think he would make the trip? Did he think he would come home once his time was served there if he made it across the ocean to begin with? Some died before ever reaching Normandy. Whatever his emotional state was, he never shared that with me.

Dad survived on 24 Clark Candy bars because he couldn’t eat the ship food which was as nauseating as  the rough waves.

Once they arrived on the shores of Normandy, I can only imagine what they found. I’m sure they were to find as many American soldiers as they could and bring them home.

While they were there, dad and some of his ship mates gave supplies of food to local French people who were left with nothing after such a bitter war. Many were widows and orphaned children wandering around trying to find whatever they could to get by. Maybe what dad did gave these war ravaged people some hope.

Dad served this country honorably for 2 years because the war had finally ended. He returned home and went to Erskine College, graduating in 3 years on the GI bill. His love of History was his Major.

As a result of his service, one activity dad and I shared was our trips over the years to the local library. He and I were the readers of the family and we would stock up on books to last us a few weeks at a time. He was an avid reader of History books and biographies. He would often share stories of what he had read of other wars and battles from the past.

I don’t think it coincidental that I now live a few miles from one of the largest F-16 Jet Fighter Training bases in the world. Dad’s love of aircraft was something he did talk about over the years. Now, I witness on a regular basis these very machines my dad worked on and loved, fly over my house in amazing formations. These incredible inventions are a sight to behold.

As a member of a community of Air Force/Army personnel, I am humbled and honored to be a part of their lives. Daily, I witness families watching loved ones get deployed, or moved to other bases in the US and around the world. Its a lifestyle I could never do; but then these people are heroes.

And so was my dad.shaw

 

 

 

 


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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.”