Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Battle Rages On


Today's blog is one I originally posted in November of 2013.  And no, the leaves here have not yet started to turn, but I know some of you live in areas of the country where they are not only changing, they're already falling.  So in the spirit of autumn, my favorite season of the year, let's celebrate the leaves!

2 Chronicles 20:15
He said, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem!  This is what the Lord says to you:  'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's.'"

Our house sits in the middle of a forest populated mainly by deciduous hardwoods.  We are smack dab in the middle of fall, and you know what that means.  Leaves!  Tons of them!  Raining from the sky.  Covering our decks.  Smothering our yard.

Fall isn't called 'fall' for nothing!

And when it comes to keeping the decks cleared and the yard clean, we have our work cut out for us.  I whisk away with the broom while my husband, Danny, wields the leaf blower.  Together, we tackle the onslaught.  Battle back the blitz of leaf troops which seem to gain ground daily.  Here is a pile I'm in the midst of sweeping up the other day after heavy winds and rain ushered in reinforcements.


And here is what the deck looked like just a day later.



The battle rages on . . .

And many days, I feel like the leaves are winning.  Even when I know that, eventually, all of them will have given up the ghost.  That I will, at some point, banish the last soldier off the deck and Danny will blow the last warrior from the yard.  The losing battle turned into a war won.

Wouldn't it be splendid if we could know that every battle we face on life's journey has a guaranteed winning outcome?  Unfortunately, when we fail to recognize God's goodness, even in the hard times, that's not the case.  We lose a loved one, lose a job, lose our health.  And it hurts.  Deeply.  We can be left feeling despondent and hopeless.

But it doesn't have to be that way.  All that can change when we stop clinging to our own methods for waging war against the enemy, and hand the battle over to God.  Waving our white flags.  Surrendering to His will.  Trusting in His ways.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

God cares.  He is with us.  He is able, ready and willing to aid us in every battle we face.

God makes is a win-win.  Every time!

Amen!

~

There will be no new post this coming Friday, but I'll be back with you all a week from today.  God bless!

Friday, October 13, 2017

He's Waiting for You


Luke 5:16
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

This week has been a hectic one for me.  I babysit the grands three different days, meet with the young man whom I'm mentoring for his senior project at school, cart my son to work numerous times, and entertain separate visits from Danny's boys, Giovanni and Nicco.  And while none of these activities is unpleasant by any measure, my quiet time has really taken a hit.

You see, it's not enough for me to just have quiet time in the mornings, sipping my coffee and talking to God before anyone else is awake.  While the practice always gets my day off on the right foot, I need multiple intervals of silence throughout the day to keep me focused on and in tune with what the Lord might speak to my heart.

And if I don't get enough of that time?  Watch out!  My usually easy-going, calm self gives way to feelings of agitation, irritability and frustration.  In other words, I'm no fun to be around.

My alone time truly is for everyone's safety.

Jesus modeled this behavior perfectly for us.  Luke says in the verse above that our Lord often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  Not occasionally, not intermittently, but OFTEN.  And we know how busy Jesus was, day in and day out, healing the sick, preaching the good news of God's kingdom, teaching His disciples and enjoying their company.

Still . . .

Jesus needed His quiet time.  Time to spend in solitude with His Father.  Time to commune, one-on-one, gathering strength and resolve, gleaning wisdom and guidance.

We all need that kind of quiet time.

So I ask you, in the sometimes frenetic pace of your own days, are you seeking out time to slow down and simply be with the Lord?  Allowing Him to nourish and replenish you?  Feeling His love and grace and mercy surround you like a healing balm?

My prayer for you today, my friends, is that you will intentionally withdraw from the world's chaos and demands, and joyfully bask in the presence of God.

He's waiting for you.

Amen!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

You Will Know the Truth


John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Today, I've chosen to share an excerpt from my second novel in the Adventures in The Glade series, Redemption.  The scene between eight-year-old Anna, Davy's sister, her mother, Kate, and stepdad, Jim, unfolds shortly after Pastor Mike Russell meets Racer, True Squirrel of the Old Ones, for the first time.  As you read, I hope you will meditate upon what God's truth means for your life.

"It certainly was wonderful having Pastor Mike visit with us," Kate remarked as she placed the remaining cookies into a Ziploc.  "But I do hope he won't tell others about Racer."

Jim chuckled at this.  "Kate, I don't think that young man will breathe a word about a talking squirrel who sings hymns with a heavenly voice.  Who would believe him if he were to tell?"

"I suppose you're right, honey," Kate admitted.  "He wouldn't want the congregation to think he'd gone daft."

Anna, who was sitting at the table, coloring her latest picture, piped up.  "Mom, what does 'daft' mean?"

"It means 'crazy' or 'nutty,' sweetie," she responded casually, and headed over to the sink where the dishes were soaking.

Anna slowly put down her crayon.  Her face donned a pensive expression and her mouth curled into a pout.  As he was sitting close to her, Jim witnessed her unexpected transformation from carefree little girl to one whose shoulders bore the weight of the world.  He allowed for a few minutes to pass before he spoke.  "Penny for your thoughts, Anna," he said kindly, patting her arm soothingly.  When she finally looked up at him, tears were standing in her eyes.

"Do you think Pastor Mike thought I was daft when I told him all about Racer?"  she asked.  Her voice trembled and one tear trickled down her freckled cheeks.

"Not at all," Jim said.  "He saw you as a young lady with an extremely active imagination, and he was right about that."

"But you know I didn't make it up," Anna protested.  "I told him the truth about Racer and the Old Ones.  And he saw Racer for himself!  Why would others not believe him if he told the truth?  Why would they think he was crazy?"

When she heard Anna's worried voice, Kate stopped washing dishes and returned to the table.  Now she tried her best to answer her daughter's questions by asking one.  "Honey, let's face it.  Aside from being here at this farm, this most magical and mystical of places, how many times has an animal spoken to you?"

"Never," Anna admitted ruefully.

"So if Davy had told you he could hear and see the Old Ones, yet none ever appeared to you or talked to you, would you believe him, or would you think he was making it all up?"

Anna hesitated a moment as she mulled over the question before her.  Ever since she could remember, Mom had stressed always telling the truth, even if it hurt because, she insisted, "the truth will set you free."  She recalled the one time when Davy told a whopper about acing a math test he had actually flunked.  When Mom found out about it from the teacher, she was so livid that she grounded Davy for an entire month and took away his television.  Anna was certain Davy had learned his lesson about telling the truth then and there.  She knew how to answer her mother.

"I would believe him," she said firmly.

"You would?"  Jim and Mom asked concurrently.

"Yes," she declared, "because I know Davy doesn't lie.  And I don't think Pastor Mike is a liar, either, do you?"

"Of course not, Anna," Mom said, "but if he were to share his experience with Racer, people might easily conclude that the poor man is a liar.  Surely, sweetie, you understand why ordinary folks would have a hard time believing in such extraordinary creatures.  You do understand, right?"

Anna heaved a sigh.  "No, I don't," she confessed, "not when you know the person telling you is known for telling the truth."

"Miss Priss," Jim began, "it's a sad fact, indeed, but there are some people who wouldn't know the truth if it sat there, big as life, and stared them in the face.  And then, there are those who do see the truth, but choose to turn away from it."

"But if it's the truth, why would they turn away from it?" Anna asked, more confused than ever.

Kate put her arms around her daughter.  "Because," she said, "they imagine the way of truth to be too difficult.  They want to live life on their own terms, not God's.  And that, honey, is a treacherous, dangerous row to hoe."

Amen, Kate!  Amen!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Having a Doggone Good Time!


Psalm 104:24
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

Ephesians 4:32
Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

When our oldest granddaughter, Virginia Rose, spends the weekend with us, we are fortunate to have sunny, but cool and breezy, weather.  It's just perfect for spending time outdoors!

"Virginia," I say, "how about riding over to Swift-Cantrell Park so you can play on the playground?"

She regards me quizzically.  "Do you mean the dog park, Gammie?"

I know there is an expansive fenced-in area for dogs to run free and interact with one another, but I'm a bit surprised, after Virginia's way-too-close encounter with an aggressive dog not long ago, that being near a dog would even appeal to her.

"You mean you actually want to go into the dog park?"  I ask.

"Yes, I love the dogs!"  Virginia declares, again to my wonderment, now sprinkled with delight, as I realize she has overcome her fear, and has decided canines are not such bad guys after all.

Virginia has forgiven the trespass. 

That sounds like a plan," I tell her.  "I love dogs, too."




























As I consider the amazing variety of dogs with whom we interact, I can't help but think how God, in His vast and sometimes whimsical wisdom, made them all.  Are there any scuffles among them while we are there?  One or two, but for the most part, as different as these dogs are, they all get along.  They are quick to forgive infractions, more interested in interacting positively with their peers, and grateful for the love the humans lavish upon them.

We would all do well to heed the lessons these pups so endearingly teach us.  And to learn from Virginia Rose's unconditional forgiveness, too.

Amen!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Only God


Isaiah 40:31
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I am reeling . . .

The news of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas hits me with a breath-knocked-out-of-me wallop Monday morning.  I am stunned.  In shock.

And so deeply grieving for the victims, their families, their friends, there are no words.

I'm penning this post Monday afternoon.  Reports at this time tell me the death toll is at 58 and over 500 people are suffering from injuries inflicted during the attack.

I cannot wrap my mind around it.  I cannot stop my heart from hurting.

But in the midst of pain and sadness, I hear the words of a caller to one of my favorite talk show hosts.  He opens by saying he is by no means comparing tragedies in his life to the magnitude of this latest one, but wishes to share an inspirational phrase that got him through the tough times:  Only God can turn a mess into a message.

Wow . . .

Yes, there is sadness and sorrow.  But we know, one day, God will wipe away every tear.

Yes, it appears as though evil has won the day, but we must remember that the Lord already has the victory.

And as despicable and heinous this murder spree is, we see a community, a city, a state, and a nation coming together in prayer for all those impacted by this violent, senseless act.

Prayer.

It is our most powerful weapon against Satan's wiles.

So let us continue to pray and pray and pray for those mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Pray that they may move forward, not in fear, but in hope.  Hope in the Lord who will be faithful to renew their strength.

Trusting that God will one day transform their heartbroken mess into a healed-heart message.

He is the only One who can.

Amen.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How Can I Be of Service?


John 13:14-15
And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet.  I have given you an example to follow; do as I have done to you.

Clark Howard is a nationally-syndicated talk show personality and consumer advocate.  His mission is to help people "save more, spend less, and avoid ripoffs."  What sets Clark apart from other radio hosts is the way he greets his callers.  After welcoming them by name to The Clark Howard Show, he says, "How can I be of service to you today?"

Not "How can I help you?" or "What's on your mind?" or "What can I do for you?"

"How can I be of service to you today?"

In a recent sermon, Pastor Graham, our new associate minister, points out that serving one another is the hallmark of living out our Christian calling.  He highlights the act of Jesus, on His last earthly evening with His disciples, washing the feet of His friends.  In Jesus' time, the washing of a person's feet is a job reserved for the lowest of the low in society.

But as He has done so many times throughout His ministry, Jesus turns everything on its head.  Perhaps, Graham suggests, with this startling and unexpected gesture, Jesus hammers home, in graphic physicality, what it means to truly follow Him.  Jesus' hope is that the lesson will stick with His disciples long after He is no longer with them.

Young Davy, the protagonist in my novels, The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade, learns what it means to serve from a wise and savvy Mrs. Racer, True Squirrel of the Old Ones.  They are at a banquet in Davy's honor when the boy stops her.

"Mrs. Racer," he asked, placing his hand tentatively on her shoulders.  She stopped immediately and turned toward him.
"Yes, Davy?"
"How will you get to eat and drink if you're so busy serving?"
"Don't you worry your head over that, dear," she assured him.  "There is always plenty to go around, and the time will come for dining when all else is tended to."
"But it's such hard work," he insisted.  "How can serving be considered an honor when you get left out of all the fun?"
A mist rose in her eyes and she blinked, her lashes longer than Racer's, and a peaceful expression was on her face.
"When we serve, we imitate our Lord," she said simply.  "That is why I am honored today.  It is a day I will remember fondly and forever."

Yes, Mrs. Racer, that's it exactly!

And as Pastor Graham so aptly sums it up:  "The impulse to serve is at the very heart of God."

May each of us cultivate, with God's help, a heart that longs to serve.

Amen!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Working at Living

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

What are you going to do when you retire?

That's a question commonly asked by friends and coworkers when they hear you're planning to exit the workforce for good.  My husband, Danny, who officially retired from EPA on August 31st, after 26 years of service, fields this one repeatedly.  His response?  "I'll figure it out.  I've got plenty of things to do."

Folks, in this, my year of HUGE, Danny's answer just might be the most gargantuan understatement of the year!

Being an engineer, Danny has always had a knack for organization.  He's already tackled our cupboards, our pantry and our linen/medicine closet.  Here he is decluttering the latter:


Boy, am I ever grateful for Danny's ability and willingness to arrange our home for the better!  But what elicits the most thankfulness in me is his unbridled burst of creativity at the Orlando Cafe.  The chief chef has transformed into Master Chef!  Pictured below are some exquisite dishes Danny has never prepared before retiring, and each one is as scrumptious and savory as it appears.













Although Danny's made mac and cheese, collards and turnips many times before, the miso flavor in the turnips offers a unique twist on an otherwise rather bland veggie.

And no Italian kitchen would be complete without homemade pasta!








But here's the real kicker, y'all!  Danny, who rarely makes desserts, and who never, ever has tried his hand at homemade bread, does both!!!





Should we change "Orlando Cafe" to "Orlando Cafe and Bakery?  Maybe so!

Yes, it looks like Danny is well on his way to working at a living.

And isn't that precisely what Jesus wants all of us to do?

I came that they may have life, and have it to the full . . .

Not half-hearted, half-baked, lukewarm living.  But all-out, headlong, go for the gusto living.

That's what Jesus promises us.  That's what we get when we trust He will deliver on that promise.

Retired or not, may we all recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the abundant life our Lord offers to us each and every day.

Let's live it out!

Amen!

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Best Laid Plans


Isaiah 48:17
This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley. ~Robert Burns, To a Mouse 

Welcome back, my friends!

I'd love to be able to say that my hiatus from regular blogging for the reasons stated here have moved me closer to realizing more sequels to my two novel series, The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade.  As I write this, I've only begun rereading the last book in Adventures, Revelation.  But you know what?  That's absolutely okay, because the amazing events which have transpired these past weeks have truly required my undivided attention.

It all starts when my mother receives an invitation to the 60th wedding anniversary celebration for two of her oldest and dearest friends.  My brother, Bill, and I have such fond memories of growing up with these folks and their children; so when Mom mentions how much she'd love to attend, but doesn't feel capable of driving herself, Bill and I decide to spend the weekend with her so we can take her.  What a marvelous and joyful reunion it is for all of us!


Next up, it's my husband, Danny's, retirement party!  Hooray!!!  His co-workers plan a 70s theme celebration for him, no doubt inspired by this photo:


LOL!

It is quite dim in the room where we gathered, so snapping usable photos is a challenge for me.





Here is a great, campy one taken in proper lighting:



I love it!  But what I love even more is having Danny home every day.  And no, before you ask, retirement is anything but boring for him, but that's a blog for another time.

And now that we have converted Giovanni's old room into a guest room, we can have our oldest granddaughter, Virginia Rose, over to spend the night.



However, this is what it transforms into when we're anticipating her arrival:



Virginia spends two weekends with us during September.  What fantastic fun we have!





Of course, we get together with Virginia's parents and her sisters, Savannah Jane and Alexandra Nancy, too.  Here are cute photos from their recent lunch visit with us.





So although I intended this break in blogging for a totally different reason, God most definitely had other plans.  Yes, I will finish the rereading soon.  No, there is not yet a clear path as to how another novel will play out.

But I'm not worried.

While the best laid plans of mice and men may go awry, God's never do.

Amen!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Will Lift My Eyes


Luke 21:25
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

We have witnessed the turmoil and suffering from Hurricane Harvey.  The flood damage in Houston and other parts of Texas, as well as Louisiana, will not be easily or readily resolved.  As a nation, to help our fellow Americans recover fully, we are in it for the long haul.

And we pray.

Out west, wild fires rage, destroying acres upon acres of land.  Forests, wildlife and homes up in smoke.  The recovery will be slow, tedious, arduous.

And we pray.

Mexico experiences the largest earthquake the country has witnessed in over a century.  Destruction, loss of life, a monumental crisis for all those living there.

And we pray.

Now Hurricane Irma churns toward Florida, promising storm surges the likes of which haven't been seen in ages.  A monster of a maelstrom, which has demolished islands in the Caribbean, and has caused most of Florida's population to evacuate ahead of its wrath.  Already, federal funds are earmarked to help in what is expected to be another long-range ascension to normalcy.

So much loss.  So much sorrow.  So much tragedy.

And we pray.

And some ask:  Are these the signs of end times?

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)

We cannot know.  But we can watch.

And pray.

And we can turn our full attention to God, not allowing the afflictions of the day distract us from the focus which should be first and foremost in our lives.  These timely words from Max Lucado touched my heart and held it this weekend, and I simply had to share them with you all:

Turn your attention away from the crisis and, for a few minutes, celebrate God.  It does you no good to obsess yourself with your trouble.  The more you stare at it, the bigger it grows.  Yet, the more you look to God, the quicker the problem is reduced to its proper size.  This was the strategy of the psalmist:
I will lift my eyes to the hills -
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.  (Psalm 121:1)
Do you see the intentionality in those words?  I will lift up my eyes.
Do not meditate on the mess.  You gain nothing by setting your eyes on the calamities.  You gain everything by setting your eyes on the Lord.

In these troubled times, let us all lift up our eyes unto the Lord, our God, from whom the true help will always come.  May we, suffering and struggling in the temporal, never lose sight of the eternal promise.

God's grace and blessings be with you all!

No, I'm not officially back to my regular blogging schedule as yet, but I was so moved to share these thoughts with you, I couldn't say "no" to God.  If you would like to leave prayer requests for friends and family affected by these recent natural disasters, please do so in the comments.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HUGE! An Encore


Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

As crazy and unpredictable as this year has been, I cannot presume to dismiss nor discredit my word for the year, the one God led me to before 2016 breathed its last.  The word?  HUGE!

And huge, it has been, in both good and not so good ways for me and my loved ones.

Absolutely.  Positively.  Huge!

It's how God works, isn't it?  He doesn't do anything half-heartedly.  If it is His will and His purpose, you can bet your bottom dollar those will rain down upon you with the reality of The Flood.

Nothing.  Stops.  Him.

So even though I've taken breaks from blogging in the past, they've never lasted more than a week.  This is different.  And it's huge for me.

I've God's decided I need an extended breather.  Not to sit around doing nothing, mind you, but to do something quite specific.  And what might that be, you ask?  In a nutshell:


  • Re-read all six of my novels.
  • Note story lines that beg for further development.
  • Listen for the direction God is telling me to go.
  • Pray for His wisdom and guidance every step of the way.
So yes, my friends, that's precisely what I will be doing in earnest over the next several weeks.  Please understand this is no overnight decision.  Thoughts of embarking upon this task have surfaced frequently in the past two months.  Combine it with numerous friends (you know who you are!) clamoring for a new Glade Series novel, and I simply have no choice but to heed the call.

Will a new novel emerge?  Yes, if it is God's will.

And if it is, indeed, His will, I expect the outcome to be nothing short of HUGE!

So I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding these last weeks in August.  My plan is to resume blogging after Labor Day, but is it God's?  I suppose I'll just have to wait and see . . . 

Love and blessings to you all!




Friday, August 18, 2017

The Truth Will Set You Free


John 8:32
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Peter is the disciple with whom I most readily relate.  Impetuous, out-spoken, faith-filled, loyal to a fault, he is the first to recognize Jesus for who He really is:  The Messiah.  Yet still, just as I am and you are, Peter is a sinner in need of a Savior.


  • Peter loses his focus upon Jesus, and begins to sink in the sea the Lord bade him walk on.
  • Peter doesn't understand the miracle of the transfiguration, and tries fumblingly, and desperately, to contain the entire event in the limited realm of human understanding.
  • Peter denies knowing Jesus at the very time when his Lord needs him most.  In bitterness and regret, he weeps.
  • Peter forgets, in the aftermath of the horrific crucifixion, Jesus' promise that the Son of Man will rise from the dead.
Peter fails.  He falls.  And all of us, from time to time in our lives, have done the same.  We detest being faced with our shortcomings, don't we?  We refuse to share the truths of our inadequacies with others because we are ashamed of them, fearful that confessing our sins will make us unlovable in their eyes.  In cowardice, we hide behind a veneer of what we hope is perceived perfection.

But Peter, the one Jesus proclaims as the rock upon which the church will stand, parades his dirty laundry for all to see.  He holds nothing back.  The story of his denial of Jesus is one of the few accounts contained in all four Gospels.  That alone speaks volumes.

Peter, warts and all, does not withhold the truth about himself because he recognizes The Truth, which must be told.  Because he allows the transparency of his transgressions to be recorded so liberally in the New Testament, we can find hope in and take inspiration from his willingness to confess his shortcomings, that we might also come to salvation in Christ Jesus by confessing our own.

~

I listen attentively to President Trump's statements denouncing the violence which occurs in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend.  The media refuse to accept his remarks as honest ones.  They hound him for further clarification.  Even when Trump gives more precise details, outlining the truth that there are two sides involved in this tragic clash, the media refuses to accept it.  Instead, their reports emerge as scathingly derisive of the president, as if they never heard a word he uttered.

They lie.

Now, you may not be a supporter of President Trump.  You may have opposed him during the election.  But this is the reality:  We are all Americans and he is our president.  A man who gave up the privileged life of a billionaire to serve his country.

A sinner in need of a Savior.

A man who is not reluctant to state that we are all created by God, no matter what our skin color or status in life.

A man who is not afraid to ask God to bless this nation, which he routinely does.

A man who seeks the truth, the facts, and is not afraid to share them with the American people in spite of the opposition.

And the opposition, which routinely spins truth into lies, is not going away any time soon.

I think Peter understood that concept all too well as he carried out his mission to spread the Good News of Christ Jesus.  He, too, was accused of telling lies.

But he stuck with the Truth.  The Truth, which still today, sets us free.

Amen!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

His Light Has Dawned


Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.

John 12:46
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes me should stay in darkness.

It was a dark and stormy night . . . to quote the immortal words of Snoopy.

I have just finished reading a blog about the importance of slowing life's pace, and am smack-dab in the middle of leaving a comment.  Danny is watching a show on Netflix where a crucial part of the plot is the power alarmingly going off the grid.

As if on cue, our own lights go out!!!  We are plunged into darkness as the rain continues to relentlessly pummel our deck, our skylights, and the sides of our house.  It takes a few seconds for our eyes to adjust to the gloom before we dare make a move for the flashlights stored in our bedroom.  Once these are in hand, Danny goes downstairs to our laundry room to fetch our battery-powered camping lantern.  What a life saver that is!

Immediately, life is slowed.  To a crawl.  No lights.  No television.  No computers.  No air-conditioning.  And all that food in the fridge?  Well, if the power isn't restored in a reasonable amount of time, we can chalk the contents up as a loss.

And there's the rub - we have no idea how long it will take for the electricity to be up and running.  As we prepare for bed, I find myself thanking God that we even have power to lose.  So many people living in the world have no knowledge of such a luxury.  And too many of us who use electricity daily take it for granted.

I am deep in sleep when I sense a change in our room.  My eyes fly open only to blink fiercely as brilliant light pours over me.  The power is back on!  And because it was off when we went to bed, it didn't dawn on us to turn of the lights before turning in.  I'm groggy as I fumble for the light switches and stumble back to bed in the shadowy room.  But I can rest assured - the light is with us.  We do not have to remain in darkness.


~

In the midst of our dark and stormy nights, those tempest-tossed times when we've all but lost sight of safety's shore, let us call upon Jesus to light our way.  He will go before us, shining His unquenchable, eternal light to guide us.  To comfort us.  To give us peace.

And we can rejoice!  For we no longer live in the land of deep darkness.  Upon us, Jesus' light has dawned!

Alleluia and amen!

The Battle Rages On

Today's blog is one I originally posted in November of 2013.  And no, the leaves here have not yet started to turn, but I know some o...