Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Stand Up, Christians!


So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27

Traditional American culture, once focused upon God, family and country, has been under siege by radicals who think they have the answers to all life's issues.  They are not beholden to a higher power other than themselves, and controlling others is the byword of the day.  Nothing illustrates this abomination more clearly than the recent debacles surrounding Bud Light and the bargain super-store chain, Target.

Before I go into more details, defending why I take the stance that I do, I want to share with you the confusion and uncertainty I experienced as a young girl entering puberty.  It was all new and frankly frightening to me how my body was changing, and doing so at a rate over which I had no control.  To say I was uncomfortable with this new image is a gross understatement.

I loved being a tomboy:  Playing outdoor games with kids in the neighborhood, exploring the vast woods around our house, climbing trees, preferring to engage in "boy" things instead of settling for dolls, jealous of all the perks my brother got when corrected by my mother - "That's an activity for men only."  What???  Hiking the Appalachian Trail?  You must be kidding!

So, as womanhood was dawning, I found myself wishing I could have been born a boy.  All I could see at the time (pre-women's lib and Title 9) is that guys had all the advantages, and I had none.

If I thought growing up in the sixties was full of angst, I can't begin to imagine the challenges facing children in these demonic times, when they are being  taught indoctrinated to believe that their gender is fluid.  It is a choice.  An irreversible one in many instances that too many will live to regret going forward.  And with once-trusted institutions undermining parental guidance and authority, this perverted world view has become more onerous and pervasive than ever.

What do our children think when they see a grown "man" skipping and romping like a girl, and promoting a brand of beer?  What do we say to them when they question the reason for tuck-friendly bathing suits at Target?  Why is the trans-agenda message printed on clothing designed for toddlers and infants?  And did you know that for years, Target has secretly partnered with an organization whose goal it is to hide children's gender transitions from parents? (GLSEN)

To top it all off, Target's advertising push for Pride Month was concocted by a designer who is a self-proclaimed Satanist.  The devil isn't just in the details, he is everywhere!

My daughter, Sarah, and her husband, John, are well aware of the dangers these radical views present to their daughters.  The youngest, Alexandra, is a tomboy pretty much like her grandmother.  She loves jeans and T-shirts - no frilly dresses like her sisters enjoy wearing.  Toy cars are more important than dolls any day of the week, and though Alexandra has no trouble making friends with girls, her best friend at school is a boy.

Sarah has expressed the fear that woke teachers may pull her aside to provide unsolicited and dangerous advice regarding Alexandra's gender.  Needless to say, her radar is on high alert for anything untoward going on at their elementary school.

The bottom line?  We, as Christians, need to not sit back and be quiet; we need to STAND UP to these twisted, anti-family views, and shout our disapproval to the heavens.  And we need to vote for the leaders in our country who will uphold and promote our moral values, and protect our children from potential abuse.

Let parents do the parenting and the corporations do what they're supposed to do:  turn a profit for their shareholders.

And don't get trampled in the mad rush to exit Target and Bud Light for good.  Because thanks be to God, it's already happening.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Freedom's Not Free


I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. ~Psalm 119:45

I embrace freedom

If it costs me life itself

Remember me, please?

Have joy, give thanks for

All who died to assure you

That freedom's not free.


Have a blessed Memorial Day, my friends, and please take time today to pray for all our active troops, our veterans, and the precious souls who died in the service of this great country.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Stainless and Blameless


"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord.  "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." ~Isaiah 1:18

When we have our new decks installed, Danny and I both fall in love with the natural shade of the new wood.  We want to simply stain the new addition, not add a paint layer to it, but our crew convinces us that a stain covering won't prevent the deck from graying over time.  Since we want the decks to contrast with the rustic red of our house, we decide on a blonde hue with which to grace our decks.

We can't figure out why our contractors, as experienced as they are, don't warn us of the extra effort it will take on our part to keep the surface spotless.

When we get rain, just rain, the stains appear.  Yes, just the droplets, hitting a leaf or pine debris is enough to leave unwelcomed spots behind.  And if more rain is in the forecast, we have to be content with the residue until a dry spell presents the opportunity to cleanse them again.

Unanticipated work?  You bet!  Something most retirees don't look forward to!

But in all of this inconvenience, there is an unmistakable redeeming factor.

It takes effort and determination not only to restore our decks to their intended purpose, but to purge ourselves of the sins and transgressions that seem into our lives when we become too placid and passive in trusting that we are stainless in God's sight.  Being saved isn't a one-and-done process; we have to actively pursue the Lord and His will for us, allowing Him to scrub us clean when we commit the unintentional sin or succumb to worldly temptations.

And thankfully, as Isaiah assures us, the Lord will cleanse and comfort us, presenting us stainless in His eyes.

But we must repent, ask forgiveness, and be willing to do all that is in our ability to aid God in His purposes.

Until we confess, and submit fully to God's will, there is nothing He can or will do for us.

Let us pray to become stainless and blameless in His sight.


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Fall Like Rain


Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. ~Deuteronomy 32:2

Raindrops gently fall

Subtly, softly, bathe the earth

God's voice quietly heard

Hallowed is the name

Of the One who sends sun, rain

To bless all on earth


Thursday, May 11, 2023

On Purpose, With Purpose


He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." ~Psalm 46:10

Do you have a daily discipline that allows you to step away from the noise and confusion of this world, and simply enter into God's quieting presence?  What does that practice look like for you?  Is it in reading God's Word?  Retreating to a prayer closet?  Sitting in a favorite chair with a beloved devotional?

Quiet time with the Lord can be all those things, and more!  Often, when I'm feeling overly burdened by the world's woes, I sit on our backyard deck and absorb the wonder and mystery of God's incomparable creation, giving thanks for all the many and diverse species He has placed here on this planet we call earth.

And each one of God's creations serves a purpose and fills a niche that only it can satisfy.  Now that, in and of itself, should convince us of the omnipotence of our Father.  We can dissect an insect or flower to discover more about their unique features, but there is no way we could even dream of creating any on our own.  That's always, and ever will be, God's job.

We can, however, either unwittingly or knowingly, create a habitat where a variety of plants and animals thrive.

Take our compost piles pictured above.  It's the repository for all types of raw refuse from our kitchen and forest debris raked and collected.  These items gradually decompose, creating over time, a rich, fertile soil that can be used for planting.  And sometimes, this compost invites the presence of mushrooms when the moist environment and temperatures mix to form the perfect place for this species to thrive.

My husband, Danny, is the first one to discover their infiltration, and wastes no time taking photos of them.  Oh, the details of each one!

Just observing them reveals the delicate intricacies of God's work in all His beloved creatures.  It invites me into His presence with awe and thanksgiving.  And it reminds me that, under heaven, each and everyone of us is created on purpose and with purpose.

All we need to do is be still and seek God's presence in the day-to-day.  He is always closer than you think!


Thursday, May 4, 2023

Straight Paths


As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:  "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight pats for him.' ~Luke 3:4

This first week of May has been an unusual one for us to say the least.  The temperatures haven't gotten out of the sixties in the afternoons, falling into the forties overnight.  It is more like March than May; I'll take it!

But with the coolness has come some gusty, and often powerful winds.  Again, more like March!  Leaf debris and weakened branches litter our decks and yard.  Those are easy enough to clean up.  But what we don't know, nor expect, was to have a small maple near the top of our very steep driveway snap under the wind's strength, and land smack dab on the drive, blocking egress from out house.

We are so thankful that this event happens late in the afternoon, and with no place we are scheduled to be the following morning, Danny can wait to tend to them.  And tend, he does!

And here is the culprit for the tree's weakness - damage and rot from the inside.

It's quite the job, but Danny's new handsaw works so well, he doesn't have to pull out the cumbersome chain saw.  With the limbs gone, he can maneuver the relatively slender trunk off the driveway and into the piles of forest debris.  It now waits for son, Nicco, to arrive and claim the wood.  His turn to do some hard labor - LOL!


We all will, at some point or another, face obstacles blocking our paths or forcing us to make detours we otherwise would never have imagined.  And I think we would all agree that removing those impediments are not always within our means or abilities.  In those times, we must lean on help from the Lord, asking Him to guide us in the way He would have us go.  He will prepare our way, and make our paths straight.


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