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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.

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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.”


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You know that Bridge over Troubled Water?


Reading a recent article about Art Garfunkel, I was saddened by his words.

The year was 1970. The hit song, “A Bridge over Troubled Water” rang through the air waves internationally. The lyrics and music along with Garfunkel’s angelic voice gave it recognition, he and Paul Simon didn’t see coming. Instantaneous fame became their way of life. Even those with a crow’s voice like mine were heard trying to sing it.

I remember hearing it over and over with tears falling from my eyes. The words were so profound one couldn’t ignore their touch.

When you’re wearysimon-and-garfunkel
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side

When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Who would have thought 45 years later the two musical geniuses, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would remain apart by the very song that was meant to “bridge” people together.

According to the article and Garfunkel’s side of the story, he received the glory and recognition because he sang it; Paul Simon wrote it and was left out of the limelight for his talent and gifting.

The two became bitter, resentful and angry. Simon supposedly broke the two up. Garfunkel became a Math Teacher. Simon went his own way.

Growing up in the same place, they were in high school together. Simon who is a mere 5”2 inches tall and Garfunkel at 6 feet tall became friends as Art felt sorry for the short Paul Simon and became his body guard against bullying and ridicule for his height. I can relate although I didn’t have Art Garfunkel to back me up.

It was during this time the two began what would eventually become one of the greatest musical duos in modern history only to be halted by greed and jealousy.

This division is so relevant today it has become mainline.

People are fighting over the ridiculous.

People are angry over words that appear offensive even when they know it’s a lie.

America is divided by its own greed and jealousy to a point the bridge is almost broken in half.

Reading Paul Simon’s lyrics bring to heart a friendship of backbone, strength and courage to be there for one another in times of pain, darkness and when down and out.

But that is hard to find in these days. Humans have no way of bridging the needs of others without the bridge that is already built.

In 1970 I would have thought his words resonated any best friend a person could have humanly speaking. That may be true to a certain extent, but no one person or persons can fill that gap; not even close.

The bridge is Jesus Christ.

The connector is the Cross of Christ as the redemption for our sins.

He is the one who dry’s our tears, shines his light and eases our pain. He is the dream maker who sails beside us, in front of us and behind us.

Jesus Christ is the bridge upon which the foundation of the world is saved.

He is the bridge who laid down his life for every troubled water we may swim in.

And he is the only bridge that gets us across to the other side in victory.


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“Calm is Trust in Action”


Reading that statement from God Calling recently, changed my life. It was as if God was confirming to me his peace was my ally. Think long and hard about those words. Calm is a huge weapon against the enemy.

I won’t sugar coat aging is no fun, but with it comes experience and knowledge. As God has brought me through more deep waters and the fiery furnaces more than I can count, I see dry land and the furnaces are cooling down.

The enemy uses repeat performances. He can’t create anything new. In that we should grasp his attacks realizing the threats are just that; threats. How we respond is the key. Recognize his evil patterns but more than that he is defeated.

Is it possible what the enemy threatens in our personal lives he does the same globally?

Of course. He has no other availability. Words are powerful; in fact so much so God created the world with them. Being the case, the enemy fills our minds with his lies and deceits hoping to compound them so many times we begin to believe what he says.  There-in lies a case for mental breakdowns, fear, doubt and worry. We must counter with God’s word. Believe me I know this works because it is the only way I am still here.

The attacks on my life for years have been numerous, vicious and at time life threatening. The last few years have been relentless. I could barely get through one and the next one showed up worse. We hear we are to never give up. I remember times when those evil thoughts were being spoken over and over to me until I finally asked myself,

“What would I do if I gave up?” Well, that question ended giving up.

God confirmed a revelation to me this morning using my own life’s attacks with the world’s in our present condition which is about as bad as it gets. Sodom and Gomorrah are like a piece of cake compared to modern day society.

Praying seriously for years over the world especially America, I have waited for answers. If you watch the news or happen across it on the internet you will be hard pressed to find anything good. Not that America is good right now; in fact we are in deep trouble.

My heart has ached at the deterioration of this nation. It is so different than when I grew up. I have watched for decades our moral society diminish. We have no one else to blame but ourselves; we all sin.

As many such as Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn express deep concern for our country’s impending judgement, and rightly so, I believe God’s righteousness is about to shine.

Don’t get me wrong. It looks bad. It is bad. It is evil at its worst and should be recognized as such. But God’s righteous grace is so much more than all of that.

He revealed to me as he has stretched me beyond my own fleshly limits to the point of crying out even in silence because I was too weak to speak, so he is doing with America and the world.

The phrase, “God is never late, but rarely early” fits.

His word says he will walk through the deep waters and the fiery furnace with us, but we won’t drown or burn. We may be gasping for air and feel the heat, but all of a sudden dry land appears and someone shuts off the furnace.

He let me know that is where we are at. I believe we are seriously close to the wrath and judgement of God in such a momentous way that we must continue to pray diligently for repentance. But he has heard our prayers and at the moment when it appears it can’t get any worse, God is going to show up and show off.

The world will know it is God foiling the plots of the enemy.

The world especially America will wake up from this dreadful nightmare and fall on our knees in worship and praise to Him.

The world will be swept by the Holy wind of the Spirit of God changing hearts across the globe in an instant. We must look past the natural into the supernatural sphere of God to see what he is doing and where he is taking us.

RIGHT NOW IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO SEEK GOD’S PRESENCE, BE ON OUR KNEES REPENTING, THANKING HIM FOR PRESERVING, PROTECTING AND GUARDING US FROM IMMINENT DESTRUCTION.

And then wait to embrace the glory of God as has never been upon the earth.

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