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Divine Connection or Coincidence?


 

Technology is mind boggling and necessary in our modern society but like many advances it comes with its problematic issues.

Never mind the Linksys router we’ve been using for years wasn’t on my radar for radical change; like buying a new one. After a morning of endless paperwork especially taxes on my laptop all of a sudden I had no internet connection. Our daughter confirmed she had none either so through numerous channels of communication discovered the router had finally died.

Net Gear found a new home re-connecting us not only to the internet but giving us a better signal all over the house.

The next day, I continued my journey with our taxes only to realize the printer wasn’t connected wirelessly so I couldn’t print anything. Ugh.

I am by no means a computer whiz, but after 20 years using these devices I have learned one or two things. Remembering how it was connected using my laptop before I began the process.

A few hours later, pulling my hair out as to why it wasn’t working, I sat on the phone twice with Net Gear for 20 minutes each waiting for the free tech support that came with our purchase. No agent ever answered. The next option was a chat online which resulted in the agent telling me this wasn’t a Net Gear problem but a printer problem. So much for free support. I’m sure this agent was well qualified to figure out the problem but chose otherwise making it a service warranty marketing tactic instead. Not buying it. arm

Frustration began to take over so I quit working on it punishing myself for not being able to do what appeared to be easy. Sitting down for a rest, I prayed.

 

“God, I know you know the printer isn’t connected and I need to use it. Please help or send me someone who knows how to do this. Thank you.”

Honestly, 10 minutes later my doorbell rang.silence

My next door neighbor who never comes to our door, and is one of my tenants was standing there. He’s an Army man and asked about their lease making sure they could remain in the house until 2018 when he would get his orders to move.

“I will speak to the owner but see no problem with that. Only right now I couldn’t even print you out a lease because my printer isn’t connected to our new router.”

An hour later he diagnosed the problem. The printer needed to rest so he told me to try the next day repeating what he had done. Informing him of how I had beaten myself up over this lack of knowledge he said they have IT people specifically trained at the base that spend their time all day long identifying problems with their computer systems which is how he knew what to do. And for the record it wasn’t anything I had seen before.

After he left, I thanked God.

There is no doubt in my mind God sent him to my door.

There is no doubt God knew this man would answer my need.

There is no doubt this was a Divine Connection God set up.

God wants to be a part of every area in our lives but we have to ask and communicate our needs to Him most of the time before He will answer. There have been times in my life when I didn’t even know I had a need and God supplied it without me having any idea it was coming. He did that because I was so focused on what was so vitally important to begin with that He took care of that which was completely out of my control.

Our relationship with Christ is the key here. When the lines of communication are open 24/7 with God, not only does He supply, surprises become a fringe benefit.  He also protects us from that which we don’t know we need protecting from.

I commune with God off and on all day long, every day. It’s like a never ending conversation. Little prayers like, “God help me with this,” or “God what is your take on this particular subject” go a long way. And as always, He loves it when our gratitude is also never ending. Being thankful to God is like making deposits in a bank account that just keeps growing.

Knowing God intimately produces love, healing and peace which often leads to answers to crucial questions we may have along the way. Even questions that may seem trivial.

But God likes trivial.

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How would Jesus respond? (Part 1)


I hope you read the post from Matt Walsh.

It changes the perspective of Jesus’s responses to people.

It revealed to me how we, as Christians over the last 4 decades went silent.

I can’t speak for Mr. Walsh, but I don’t believe he was intentionally leaving out how Jesus promoted peace. He is peace. But we live in a very fallen, evil world that isn’t peaceful.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 “A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

In a recent conversation I was told I was a bigot, a homophobic, racist, hateful, and full of intolerance, hypocritical and a “white privileged American.” Never mind these people didn’t know I existed before this conversation yet they labeled me to be what they wanted me to be since we disagreed.

Add to the few angry cohorts who were obviously following this person’s lead, I was in a nutshell, what is wrong with America.

Why?

For telling the truth.

I could care less what people think of me.

Let’s throw everyone who thinks or tries to live a Godly life in a bucket and persecute them until they shut up. Or at least that’s what many who claim to be walking with the Lord are doing, but must be reading from a different Bible than I do.

The timing of my reading what Matt Walsh wrote and this connection to those who think I am their enemy, couldn’t have been coincidental.

I read it before this occurred.

Years ago I remember how my quiet, shy mother began to speak boldly about God. She had no problems reprimanding us as kids even to our grown up ages, but she was noticeably quiet about her love for Christ and all He had done for her. It all changed after God healed her. She began opening up about her faith. She spoke and quoted verses without hesitation. She began an exhibiting an authority in her words about her walk with God.

Once there was a conversation at a dinner table with some Christian friends of hers she had been to college with. The only man in the room was a strong believer who had been a high school football coach and a high school principal for many years. He was very intelligent, handsome (a Yule Brenner look alike) and headstrong. Mom didn’t agree with something he said and she let him know. She had never done that with him. His wife, me and my daughter sat in silence observing this seemingly calm interchange become a demand from his standpoint that he didn’t approve of her new found faith and should keep her mouth shut.

She didn’t.

His male ego was shattered as she continued to speak the truth of God’s word because he was an upstanding man of God and she couldn’t possibly know something he didn’t.

We all had dessert and went on our way. They remained friends for many years after that until he passed away.

Isn’t that what Jesus did?

He spoke the truth even if it provoked people.

He walked in a spirit of authority that was noticeable but also offensive to some.

He was solid in His convictions and remained that way no matter how others responded.

Many in America today, including Christians are blinded from the truth. In their hearts is a rebellion against doing it “God’s way”. Instead they speak unwisely slamming that which they don’t understand because;

  • Their personal relationship to Christ is limited
  • It’s easy to dismiss what they don’t understand
  • They would have to admit they’ve been wrong and change
  • Reading and studying the Bible isn’t a priority

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have noticed a boldness to speak about God that I never had before.

It wasn’t taught in the churches I attended.

Men were the head and we women were told to keep quiet, teach Sunday school and cook church dinners. Have I told you I didn’t inherit the ability to boil water?

The culture squashed speaking God’s word as evil has spread.

We allowed the enemy to tell Christians that we had to be “nice” as Matt Walsh wrote and remain doormats, therefore giving God very little voice.

And look where it got us?

Now having a conversation about the truth is considered unacceptable, narrow minded and repulsive. One woman told me I was exhausting her. Hhhhmmmm…I told her she didn’t have to read what I wrote. But she had no problem reading the very, lonnnnnnnnnngggggg comments from those who agreed with her.

There is a point to walk away as Jesus did, often. Say what He says and there is no need for defense because He doesn’t lie.

In this time we live in speaking out about Christ is needed more than ever.

But in order for it to be effective we have to do it “His way” and be Jesus to those listening.

To be continued…..mind

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Now where is that frog?


 

Last night I posted on FB a picture of a tiny green frog on our dining room wall. Edgar our, ferocious predator cat was determined to get this frog for himself.frog-1

With such a high ceiling there wasn’t any way any of us could have reached this wayward tailless amphibian.

Somehow I don’t think it stopped Edgar. Either he stayed up all night waiting to catch this little guy or ……. He ate it. There is no sign of the frog and Edgar has hardly moved from his sleeping chair all morning. If he gets sick later, then we’ll know what became of the tiny intruder.

The lesson here is that Edgar didn’t learn his lesson from the last time he caught a frog. If he actually did eat it this time he really is a slow learner. He is one to catch a critter and beat it, or torture it to death which I find totally disgusting but not eat it.

His instincts as a feline are to hunt and catch. Altho he is a spoiled baby who has been completely sheltered since he adopted us last June (2015) that instinct is proudly demonstrated in his big world of our back yard. Unlike Maxi our female cat who has left us many gifts, Edgar growls as he runs in the house with arms or legs hanging out of his mouth. He wants to show us his great catch, but don’t even think for one minute he will let you have it.

Aren’t we just like that with God?

We choose to hang on to that which isn’t good for us instead of giving it to God for him to deal with?

Old habits are hard to break. God may even want us to let go of certain habits that aren’t necessarily bad but God may have an alternative that is better.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Sounds easy, so why aren’t we doing that?

Maybe you should ask my cat.

 

edgar-in-chair

 


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Our Furry Friends: Unconditional Love


 

Watching the Annual American Humane Hero Dog awards the other night, I once again cried as each nominee was presented. The stories behind these brave animals are no less courageous than humans. Many risk their lives for us humans in various ways.

The Arson Dog, named “Judge” has worked more than 275 fires often bringing evidence leading to many arrests.

The Therapy dog helps the person who needs coaching in life skills.

The Police K-9 or Military Dogs are trained to find bombs, weapons or protect those in their command. “Layka” took shots and lost a leg while guarding her combat unit in Afghanistan.

There was one little dog who was what is now called a Hearing Guide dog. This precious little creature saved her human from getting hit by a bus because she can’t hear environmental sounds.

“Hooch” the French Mastiff who won has a story of his own. When found by Zach Scow 3 years ago in a rescue it was determined Hooch had had his tongue cut out. Emaciated from not being able to eat, he was rushed to a vet for treatment. He is fed by hand now.

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Ironically, Zach Scow almost died also from liver damage because he is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. The two are now inseparable and Zach owes a lot of his stability to this survival of the fittest.

Hooch is now used to calm non-verbal autistic children while learning social skills. He also cares for women who have been abused. His peaceful nature is contagious; so much so that some of the first words spoken by these children of autism is “Hooch.” 

How have we humans missed it?

How is it that the unconditional love and loyalty from dogs hasn’t caught on with people?

For the most part, dogs have a natural ability for qualified love. It’s not in us, and unless a dog is abused or neglected that instinct remains.

God is unconditional love.  Maybe He knew we would respond well to dogs so He placed a great deal of that love inside of them.

He also gave them the instinct to know when something is wrong. Out of the love they have for their owners, dogs respond by letting us know when to be alert, on guard or even move us out of the way of trouble we didn’t see coming.

Isn’t that how God is with us?

He is our guide.

He alerts us to danger.

He often removes us or removes that which He doesn’t want in our lives for our own protection, spiritual maturity and growth for the kingdom of God.

Psalm 27:11

Teach me your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path because of my foes.

 

Dogs know automatically what their purpose is in the life they’ve been given.

Our purpose is to have and maintain a close, personal relationship with God.

Maybe we can learn from dogs how to be more obedient to our calling.

2 John 1:6 “2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

 


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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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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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Do you have a dog?


 

If you do be prepared to have your home owners insurance revoked.

Also no back yard trampolines, pool diving boards or slides. Forget those swing sets your children love to swing on. Either they won’t write you a policy or cancel it after they have taken your money.

7 years in this house with a pool and never an issue with writing a homeowners policy, until now. Why? Money.

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If you want a good laugh, spend some time shopping around to hear what insurance agents will ask you. From my experience, most companies are more concerned about that yappy or very large dog positioning themselves to guard your front yard than the brick front steps one could easily fall on breaking their neck. They don’t charge extra for dangerous steps, just dogs.

Yes, this is really happening folks.

Part of my job in this household is finances. My husband can account for my penny-pinching inherited trait that has paid off more times than I can count. So when we received a home-owners renewal policy in January that a rate hike had kicked in within one year I decided to look around.  In the last 12 months SC policies jumped 12%.

Sorry to say even the agent who tried so hard to find us a great policy has now been placed on a complaint list. He was excellent. We had a great, fun conversation and he wrote us a dream policy. Arrowhead Insurance had no problem taking my money on January 15th; the entire premium in one transaction only to write me a rather nasty letter with an ultimatum.

No apology or “let’s talk about this.  “No chit chat.” (James Bond: Goldeneye)

After a strange inspector shows up a few weeks ago I receive a cancellation notice Tuesday due to our pool slide.  Never mind the locked fence around the pool; they want the scary slide gone.

The option given was we remove this 2000$ slide, send them a photo that it is removed and they would reinstate us. After speaking to “Mary” at Arrowhead I knew I didn’t want them to keep our money anyway.

Hours of phone conversations between the agents company and the provider, we are simply stuck in the middle. For the record the slide will remain.

An investigation into the conversation between me and the agent is in progress. If he asked about a slide I would have told him we have one. He wouldn’t have written a policy knowing Arrowhead was an arrowhead.  This particular agent had a good record of writing insurance. I was told he would now be reprimanded; they would work within to repair the damage. So much for helping me find another policy and/or the difference in price it may cost us.

Sorry, sorry, sorry were the words from the woman in the complaint department. Sorry, but that doesn’t pay for this debacle and the extra wasted time I am having to put forth to be an excellent customer.  I guess being excellent counts for nothing these days. (LOL)maxicat08

It may come down to insurance companies revoking home owners for their disgraceful, mean spirited, biting cats. If they knew ours I’m sure they wouldn’t consider writing our policy.

The moral to this story is don’t get a dog.

Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.”

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A Scrabbling Witness


 

If you read my posts at all you will discover I love words. Give me English and Spelling over Math and Science any day. You would be sorry if you ask me to add or subtract.words

Words are powerful. Jesus is the word in the flesh. My admiration for the “written word” may have arisen out of my love for reading but also because words are descriptive in nature; beholding of meaning and can make or break nations.

God works brilliantly in our depths of despair. Maybe He was tired of my moaning and groaning unable to do anything for myself much less anyone else. He prompted me to look for a “Scrabble” game on my phone. This moment of enlightenment gave me the incentive to search. Hence, the games began.

You would think by now I would know of God’s elusive creativity better than I do. However he is always full of surprises if for no other reason but to send me off on a “Yellow Brick road” discovery.

Then God spoke.

“Even in your so-called useless state, I can still use you. Scrabble will become a witness to my Glory.”

And so it has.

Even as I have played this exciting, word game over and over I question myself,

“Is this a waste of my time?”

During the course of the last few months I have connected with other “word fanatics” from all over the world. India, Texas, the North east and Australia to name a few. Through this game God has opened communication between me and my opponents to share the gospel, encourage and one case give a prophetic word.

There are those who choose to use a “vile vocabulary.”

In those instances it gives me great joy to display words such as “God,” peace, love, sin, grace or joy! Immediately the tone of the game changes even without a dialogue. The game itself becomes the witness.

A farmer plants seeds to grow crops.calm

Scrabble has allowed me to plant seeds of words to create a harvest.

Go figure.

Acts 1:8


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Are you suffering with Christ?


 

The matter of suffering is questionable at best.

Most of it isn’t fun.equipped

Takes way too long.

Is often quite miserable.

So why does a good God allow us to suffer?

The answer may be more than one but the process of finding out is part of the answer.

No one understands suffering more than God.

Maybe God knew how much more horrible it would be for us to suffer completely had he not come up with the grandest solution.

Jesus suffered everything; all, the entire human race’s sin, vileness, evil.

What we go through is most likely minor, minute in comparison.

Maybe we suffer to carry other’s burdens.

Maybe we have pain in our bodies that is relieving someone else’s pain who is going through much more than we are.

Maybe God wants us to learn the intimacy of suffering with the Savior. Why?

It is our birthright in Christ.  We come into this world sinners only saved by grace and that grace is sufficient for our sorrows and distress. Yet through that grace we become new creatures in Christ. And since we become new creatures we will experience some of all he has experienced.

You might say, “Some things are not to be shared.” While that may be true from our fleshly standpoint, in Christ God wants to share everything with us.

Don’t start yelling that this is an admission of pain. No, it is the focus of walking through the deep waters with Jesus. It is learning the ability to take steps with him as he navigates the deep and dark by hearing, listening and heeding his voice to victory.

It is a closeness to his “Spirit” that strengthens our spirit in the midst of whatever we are going through.

When we reach the plateau of understanding God’s allowing us to suffer is for his purposes, his kingdom and glory, your faith has grown to a new height. This new level produces a “bigger picture” of what God is doing which in many respects may be equating his character with ours.

The eventual result is God perfecting his union with us.

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(Photo Header by John Randy Harrison)