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Christianity 0ut of the Box


Lost at Sea

Is it possible to lose a ship?Lyubov Orlova

Evidently so.

An Antarctic Cruise ship has been lost at sea since February 2013.

When I first read this story I thought to myself,
“How does one lose a ship weighing over 4 tons and 295 feet long? And…is anyone on it?”

Named after a Russian actress, Lyubovy Orlova, the Yugoslavian built ship was set to be scrapped only the tow line broke after she sat alone for 2 years in St. John’s Harbor.

Suffice it to say she wasn’t very good at managing money. 51 of the crew had not been paid due to cruises that never left shore because of mechanical problems which also landed her in debt.

Sightings supposedly of this “derelict vessel” as they called her have been noted. She has made quite a few trips in unknown waters but as recently as this month it has been reported by the British Media the wind is blowing her toward the coast of the UK.

The old girl may not be as welcomed as one might think. She managed to hire her own crew; hundreds, possibly thousands of cannibal, diseased rats.

From the movie  The Life of Pi

From the movie
The Life of Pi

“Oh, what a wicked web we do weave, when we are…. lost at sea….”

I couldn’t help but make a parallel between this ship and our lives.

We often feel we are drifting alone in uncharted waters. With no destination point, we get off track and float. Unwanted guests attempt attack.  Cut off and isolated from the shore is like a sitting duck in a firing range.

Just like this ship, we are no good drifting aimlessly around in the depths of endless emptiness. Productivity is zilch which can result in low self-esteem and depression.

When you have no idea where you are, life becomes a journey of pursuing the wrong goals, useless activities and annoying people who are just as lost as the next person.

Like this ship we need a Captain who is trained to keep us going in the right direction.

God is much more than a Captain but the theory is the same.

Acts 17: 26-27 “ From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

He placed in each individual that has ever lived a need for him; a natural desire to seek him because he knows what is best. He will always steer us in the direction of his Son, the Resurrected Christ.

Last I heard he is giving free tickets to a life worth living with rewards for accepting his Son as your Savior.

God is the order of our affairs: the greatest tour guide in the history of the world.

Just sign up for his next cruise and he will lead you on the trip of a lifetime.

Who knows; after training, he may make you Chief Officer.



A Life Well Lived

Charles “Drew” Ansley



Getting hit blindsided is like falling in a hole you didn’t see in front of you.  Lately the ditches have been dug deeper than usual.

I shouldn’t be surprised by anything anymore; for the most part I’m not. But yesterday I found out a dear friend had passed away last week on my birthday of all days.

Totally unaware he was sick, it was one of those moments of a “double take.”  Surfing a website from where I used to live his photo showed up on what I thought was a huge mistake. Switching back to the Obituary page, there he was. And it was no mistake.

Reading he had died in the hospital after a long illness, I sat still for a moment trying to wrap my brain around what I had just read. Texting my husband and daughter to tell them the news they were as shocked as I was.

64 years old is too young to leave this earth especially when you have lived your life in service for others. Believing he had been so blessed he gave much away.

He told me a little about his life when I first met him in the early 1990’s.  He would “bop” into our office and chew gum like it was the greatest invention on earth. Without fail within a few minutes of his arrival, his fun-loving, joke cracking had everyone laughing.  Honestly in the beginning I thought,

“This guy can’t be for real.” But he was. All the time. He was one of the funniest human beings I have ever met.

Extremely intelligent, witty, quick-thinking his story began in Brazil where he grew up. The oldest of 5 children, his parents were missionaries. The one area he was serious was this one. He told me how frightened he was every day of his life. At the age of 9, he was not to go anywhere in Brazil without a gun. His father made sure he could protect himself from the killings, hatred and murders he witnessed on a regular basis.

There was a camp of missionary families. His family made it out alive, but many didn’t. The memories became a force he reckoned with.   If you thought he was peculiar that is because he was. And a lot of it had to do with the heartache and pain of his childhood. 

Privacy became his lifelong friend. Certain conversations brought no responses. If you knew him like I did, you simply respected those topics would never be discussed.

As an adult back in the states, his family moved to the mountains of WNC. For many years he managed a huge plant and did it quite well. Leaving that job he became a Real Estate Agent building his own business. He was known and awarded the Best Real Estate Agent by The Asheville Citizen Times. His small company of a few agents sold properties that placed it in the ranks of a multi-million dollar organization.

He was involved in every community effort there was including President of the local Chamber of Commerce and Town Planning Board.

He was an avid Motorcycle junkie; but rode in pure style with efforts to aid children.

As successful as he was, his most prized accomplishment was the many children he fostered and mentored. As a NC Guardian ad Litem, he took in many abused and abandoned children and raised them as his own.

Charles “Drew” Ansley was a man of many qualities, character traits and a vivid imagination. He was always smiling and happy even as he lived with such a dark side of hidden pain.

But one thing I do know is he was truly a man after God’s own heart; and he lived it. 


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.


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


Living Life Up Side Down

After Christmas seemed to be a good time to attack some changes in home “decor.” Re-arranging only comes with a mood to make adjustments especially when it comes with dusting.  The incentive arrives when the mind becomes weary with no change. Like everything else, the rooms we live in need a little upgrade or re-positioning.

Over the years we either have collected books, inherited books or bought books. A good library is a plus especially when it adds to the “design” but more importantly is a “good read” for knowledge, wisdom or just for fun. Getting away in a John Grisham book is an adventure into the legal world of Mississippi Justice.

Underneath our big screen TV in the den is a book lover’s display dream. Stack them, give them some bookends, or add some flair. Books from family hold special meaning even if “Little Women” or the “Bobbsey Twins” fight over the front row seat.

4 of my college yearbooks were taking up space on a nearby table.
Moving them above the National Geographic’s and Anne of Green Gables looked like a perfect fit.upside

Hurriedly I finished and headed for the kitchen to fix dinner.

There are some people that need a good slap upside the head. These are the ones who enter a room and find the one piece of “style” out of place.

While rushing to finish (so I could make dinner for that someone) I mistakenly placed one yearbook upside down.

Even as orderly and dust-free as the entertainment center was that was never mentioned.

Making it clear to me the yearbook was wrongly positioned I shrugged it off AS I CLEANED THE KITCHEN!

The next morning I poured me a hot cup of New Orleans Famous French Market Dark Roast coffee and sat down in my swivel chair to have a conversation with God.

As I began to enjoy a moment of peace it stared at me.  The upside down yearbook stood out like a book out of place. Of course I would accidentally picked the one of the four that is the most noticeable.

Ignoring the need to make it right, I continued my warm cup of coffee with the Creator.

Turning my chair away from the books kept my mind on what I was doing but not long. After that I swiveled back around only to find the upside down book still upside down.

I guess the “book police” hadn’t received my memo to do something
about this blunder but I surely wasn’t going to fix it.
upside down

Why wasn’t I going to fix it? I didn’t want to bother? It wasn’t my job? Then…..who was going to flip it?

No one.  Some things need not to be changed.

That still small voice spoke, “Leave it. Let it be a reminder every time you feast your eyes upon it of your flaws; your mistakes; your inaccuracies. And then remember who fixed them.”

Enough said.

John 16: 33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (AKJV)


Remove the Past

South Carolina history has been marred by it’s past. People tend to remember that which is or was evil instead of moving ahead with a positive change.

Comments have been made on my blog reflecting how sad it must be to live in this state. One replier used the term, “God help you” as if SC hasn’t left the 1800’s. Reminding him SC has Charleston which has been voted the “Best City in America” 3 years in a row from the Daily Traveler must have been the kicker that kept him from responding again.

The era of slavery was/is a horrific reminder of a man-made evil that should never have occurred. Somehow the remnants of that sin continue to creep into mainstream life as if those of us presently alive had anything to do with it. Well, we didn’t’.

However, reminders of political factions who imparted such lifestyles as the “White Supremacist” and/or the KKK should be removed.

Such is the case in Columbia where a statue of a Governor “Ben Tillman” who not only boasted his racist authority he lived it. His 4 years in the statehouse 1890-1894 allowed him to promote his agenda into the state constitution aligning himself with what has been labeled the Jim Crow caste system.

This racial structure was a rigid set of laws imposing the theory of placing African Americans as 2nd rate citizens. There was no excuse for such degradation or abject ethnic humiliation.

The stigma has remained but it isn’t life as usual here at all anymore. Quite the contrary, the reverence for each other has thankfully left that motion of impropriety in the past.

But, this statue of this ungodly, sick, coward of a man is not to be honored or noted as a representative of the people of this great state. In my opinion, the statue should be removed; cut into pieces and buried. It is not a historical figure of any worth but the face of pure evil that no one, especially  children should never have to look at.

He was nicknamed “Pitchfork” for obvious reasons. In 1876, Tillman was involved in what became known as the “Hamburg Massacre.” The indescribable horror of the murder of 7 black Republicans by Tillman’s own party was used as a “terror tactic” for political gain to boost his career. The fear worked as the other African Americans who fled the scene returned the next day to what could be likened to a “killing field.”

The argument within the state presently is if they take this statue down, many more would have to follow. Corruption at its worst should not line the lawns of our government properties no matter who or what position they held.

Instead of statues of sheer non-Americanism or anti-Christian beliefs, replace them with those who have been marked as heroes or have given a positive benefit to the people they represent.

Show this country what South Carolina is really made of; not what a degenerate reprobate and his wretched groupies committed.

God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) It was never anything created or approved by him.

The actions by these twisted men was nothing short of man-made evil.

2 Peter 2: 19 “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”

The physical aspects of the above verse would only have meant that those who had “slaves”, or servants would be treated equally as those they worked for.  Hiring people to perform services needed is not slavery.

The context of that verse is revealing to man that whatever removes us from God can or will corrupt us.  We condemn ourselves to bondage when we maintain an attitude that is un-Godly.

Whatever the position, we should treat all people as Jesus did.goldenrule2

Apply the Golden Rule. It works. (Matthew 7:12)

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Intimacy with Jesus rids a life of fear and loneliness.  Readjustment from needing sympathy is thrown out.
You will no longer live in the depths of pathetic unworthiness.

Remaining so closely knit to his presence removes self. Ultimately what others will see is Jesus.
No other stamp of influence will show up as his character is having his way.

True sanity is the description of those who treasure intimacy with Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)


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The Child Within Us

To ease my concern of a very bad cold possibly stopping up my sinuses, I landed in the Urgent Care on Sunday morning. God understands our needs even having to miss church to see a doctor.urgentcareclinic_logo

Arriving early, I was very surprised that only one other person was waiting. After she left, watching the Weather Channel continue to tell its Direct TV customers they were going to lose it if an agreement couldn’t be made quickly became annoying.

A few minutes later a young father and his little boy arrived. After he checked him in he sat down with the child on his lap across the room from where I was.  He appeared to be somewhat uneasy or lacking in the art of child rearing. He looked military so it is probable he had been deployed only to come home to a sick youngster.  Knowing the time apart many of the service people endure, learning the ropes back home adhere to many adjustments.

He came prepared loaded down with a diaper bag full of whatever a 2 year old boy would want or need. Juggling the contents of the bag and holding his son his insecurities of what to do became evident.

Thankfully, he had re-arranged the boy so that he was sitting on his lap with his back to him. As he gently bounced him on his knees all of a sudden the little boy threw up all over the floor….so much for being prepared.

The embarrassment on his face was obvious. Fumbling around in his bag to find something to wipe the little boys face with while holding him was a grim reminder. He needed help.

Getting up I told him I would go in the bathroom and get some paper towels.  You would have thought I had given him a winning lottery ticket. Of course the women’s rest room had none so I checked the men’s room hoping no one would arrive in need of emergency relief. Rolling off paper towels I walked out and he thanked me as I gave them to him.

Before I left to see the doctor he expressed his appreciation for my help.  My response was,

“I had a little one many years ago and they all do that!” He loosened up and gave me a quick grin as if to be glad he wasn’t the only parent in the world to suffer through such humiliation.

Oh to be like that toddler.  Little ones who could care less what others think even as they publicly normalize that which adults would never do?

No wonder Jesus told us to come to him like children.

Without any hesitation or unpretentiousness.

Without the restraint or fear of the opinions of others.

They carry with them the freedom to be unencumbered by politically correct idioms or the possibility of retribution for puking in public.

He wants our hearts to be filled with the simplicity of his love accepting it as spontaneously and unshackling as a 2 year old with absolutely no inhibitions.

And we as adults are concerned about “whatever?”


Copyright @ 2014 All Rights Reserved


A True Story of a Miracle of Provision

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19

This past week God interrupted me.  While I was so busy running my mouth to him I almost missed a vital opportunity for him to grant someone else a much needed miracle.

Many are hurting from all kinds of attacks, evil or doing without. This story is a “big shout out” for those in places of lack.

As many of you know I have my own Property Management Company. Rent is collected at the beginning of each month as stipulated in the Lease Agreements. Timing here was very relevant since I am in contact with the tenants. 

A family who rents one of the homes I manage has suffered financially for quite a while.  Like others who have lost jobs or been laid off this is their story.

Thankfully Megan has a very good job with a huge medical clinic.  With 4 children, the need is great for both parents to be working but Robert has been laid off numerous times simply due to bad economics. He is well able to work and wants to unlike many who feed off of welfare. I commend him for his efforts of working whenever he could find it.

While sitting in my chair, having coffee with God Wednesday morning, all of a sudden Robert’s car came to my mind. Believing it was some random thought I dismissed it and kept running my mouth giving God the latest prayer list of needs.

Again his car showed up in my head.  Ignoring it my one-sided conversation continued until God finally broke in for the 3rd time, “Ask Robert about his car.”  I knew they had 2 cars but one has been sitting in their driveway for weeks.police

“What God? Why?”

God “Because you grew up in a car business. You know what to tell him to do.”

Our minds collect information from different sources. Often God places a phrase or sentence there that becomes what is referred to as a “knowing.”  Like you just know which house to buy or who to marry.

Needing to question it if you are in close connection to God isn’t
necessary. Just believe and act. If you are wrong he will let you know.

Through numerous text messages Robert explained to me the 1998 vehicle had 270,000 miles on it with no radiator.  Replacing anything in a car with that many miles on it is useless.  He agreed with my opinion so I asked him if he was going to buy another car.

Robert “Maybe if we get a refund on our taxes” was his reply.

Me “How are you getting to work with Megan using the other car?”

Robert, “I was laid off. I am not working now.”

Me, “Not again? How are you holding up financially?”

Robert, “We cut the TV/internet off and are now getting food stamps and living on her salary.”

Me, “So you have no way to search for a job or a car to drive to find one.
(Police work is his past history. He has applied to the local departments for
that position but the process is very long and not very promising.)
Is law enforcement the type of work you want?”

Robert, “I will work the night shift at Wal-Mart if I have to.”

At that moment the words came to my mind, “Get in touch with Mark about a job at the college where he works.”

This particular college has around 4000 students so security is a necessity.

I texted Mark. He texted back to tell me to have Robert call the Head of Security at the School.

That was on Wednesday, January 8.job_openings

Robert called me Friday afternoon after his interview.
This is Monday, January 13th and he started work today.

It is rare they have any openings in that department. The day before I found out about Robert’s situation an employee who had been in that position for many years had just been released.

Robert told me his mother had been praying the right job would come along. Mark spoke to the Head of Security over the weekend at the New Student Orientation after she hired Robert. She told him he was exactly what she was looking for.

God’s hand is written all over this.

Anyone out there need a job?

Copyright @ 2014 All Rights Reserved


God is so powerful that when we sit in silence with him, he gently rubs off on us. 

Words do not always need to be spoken; only an atmosphere of his supernatural presence will

heed our cries for mercy or healing. The more we endeavor to place ourselves before his

throne, the more his characteristics become ours. When you feel you aren’t hearing from him

remember he shed his blood for you; he then sent to his followers the gracious gift of the

Holy Spirit. So when it appears to be too quiet realize he is spilling himself over you and through you.

But what happens afterwards is every person we encounter will also receive this “breeze” of

freshness; the breath of his companionship.

Harvest the peacefulness of silence; then wait for the wind to blow.

You will know his Kingdom just passed by.

Copyright @ 2014 All Rights Reserved

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And Goliath laughed at David?

Evil often gets a “big head” and over steps its proverbial boundary.

Amidst huge bank bailouts, scandals with the IRS, NSA, and Benghazi along comes a story at the heart of David and Goliath.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what your position is or how much money you think you have there are some people no one should pick on.

This in no way undermines the importance of all the above or the “secret corruptions” about to be exposed.

But you don’t mess with a bunch of Nuns.

The story of Saint Jeanne Jugan is truly one for the book of heroes. Born during the French Revolution, her father died and was lost at sea. Finding herself alone she took a job as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family.
Later she began working in a hospital and remained there for 22 years.
She lived a quiet life always working for other people.

One night in 1839 she passes by an elderly woman, outside in the cold who is blind and paralyzed.
With no one to care for her Saint Jeanne took her in to her own apartment giving up her own bed
for the elderly woman to sleep in.

Others in need hear of her kind gesture. Saint Jeanne and a few of her companions begin taking in
what the world would refer to as the “worthless” or sickly of society caring for them as though
they were family. Her deeply rooted Catholic faith along with the strict concern for life started
what is now called “The Little Sisters of the Poor.”

Years following many homes opened across Europe and to date 13,000 are cared for around the world in 31 countries.

Today, in America there are 30 homes with nuns carrying on the traditions set in place centuries ago by one brave but humble woman.sisters

In my book, you have to be an idiot if you choose to go up against any gang of women, but NUNS?


Well, that idiot is our government.

Fighting them in a legal battle over “contraception” which goes against the foundation of the
Little Sisters of the Poor is by far the stupidest endeavor of the Obama Administration.
And the list of “stupid’s” is long.

I am not Catholic and some of their traditions I may not agree with, but this somehow grates at my nerves.
In fact it makes me angry.

How can a government justify extending long term unemployment benefits to people who don’t want to work or waste it on beer and cigarettes while suing nuns for millions of dollars for not wanting to comply with a law that is not only a total failure, but very discriminating and costly?

How can the President and Attorney General Eric Holder sleep at night? What do they see in the mirror?

2 men who have no soul.

Acts 10:42 “And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God [to be] Judge of the living and the dead.”

They have no idea what they are up against.1395425_10202170463408545_574040824_n

They picked the wrong people to pick on.

David used a rock and a slingshot to kill the seedy, arrogant enemy.

The “Little Sisters of the Poor” are backed by a Supreme Court Judge who pulled a last minute injunction against the government’s mandate.

She just happens to be Catholic and was appointed by the President himself.

Now……do you think God had anything to do with this?

And if he did, what is he going to do next?

(Wouldn’t it be funny if God used these sweet Nuns and their humility to outwit the entire Affordable Care Act?)laughing

To find out more about the “Little Sisters of the Poor” and the great work they do, please click on the link below.