What I have Learned

I have learned that Jesus is the only One who can satisfy every longing of my soul. No person can do this. No experience of this world can fulfill except being in the presence of God—the filling of His Holy Spirit. This is a peace that will never end. No thing in this world can ever satisfy. It always leads me to craving more.. BUT GOD can and will my portion be. He is my peace.

HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL

It has been a little over 7 years since the phone call came from one of the the kindest, smartest gentlemen I know telling me that my daughter had cancer. God has drenched us with His faithfulness, love and mercy from the very beginning whether she was sick in the back seat from her first chemo treatment or driving us to her (NOW) YEARLY checkup at Shands, 250 miles away, to check in with that same gentleman who carefully mended and has tended to her left arm ever since. To God be all glory and Honor!

Christians are Meant to Support One Another in the Battle for the Mind

Chaos—if we look at this world which is not truly our home through mere human lenses, we will be in turmoil and perplexed beyond consolation, BUT GOD has not given His children a spirit of fear or confusion! So, beloved, do not let the enemy have one bit of your mind. Let us help one another in this endeavor by creating peace in a world struggling in total chaos. How do we do this? Depend on Truth-the only TRUTH-HIS WORD-THE BIBLE!

Let’s build a deep root system where we have a firm faith that no earthly storm can topple over. Let’s lean on one other. We can learn so much about God from His Creation. For example, the roots of aspen trees are actually part of ONE organism. This means each tree is a limb of the larger organism, and when one tree starts to suffer, the root system begins to turn toward the suffering one and takes in extra water and nutrients for that one. Another example is the root system of the corn plant. Corn has what is called brace roots. You can actually eat these brace roots. They are so sweet! This sweet root system gives carbs back to the soil which feeds it microbes for growing strong!

Just like root systems in the physical world, the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. As children of the Most High God, we have the Holy Spirit living within us with all power and glory that ROSE CHRIST from the dead, brothers and sisters. We truly need one another. We need to be rooted in truth and there for one another in Christian love every moment of everyday. In this way, we can help each other guard the mind and be rooted in all truth-HIS TRUTH-THE ONLY TRUTH!

Mama’s Red Lipstick

She was ready and said, “Hand me my lipstick.”

Seriously, Mama? Lipstick now?

“”Yes, the preacher is here.”

Mama went to be with Jesus a few hours later. She actually bled to death after being punctured internally during a routine medical procedure.

Now, when I tell you that Mama loved her some red lipstick, I mean, she loved red lipstick and wore it everyday. Honestly, I found it a bit odd. She was a homemaker, and we rarely went anywhere.

You cannot tell just how red her lipstick, but we did go to an amusement park on this day!!
Maybe if the pictures were not 40 years old, you could see the red lipstick, but look how good red looked on Mama.

All my life Mama said, “Put on a little lipstick, and you will feel better.” I finally understand after 48 years of life on this earth and living 12 of those without her. She was actually right. Imagine that!!! My mother knowing more than me. HA HA!! The color red. It really symbolizes life-eternal life that my Savior paid for.

I was reminded of Mama’s lipstick one morning on a recent camping trip to the beach. I got up, put on my very red lipstick, the only kind Mama wore. and I did feel better for a little while, anyway. (It eventually wore off.) I put on my beach attire for the day including cover up, and took a leisurely walk-coffee in hand around the campground. People spoke. I stopped and chatted. I made it to the end of the campground where my friend was having coffee, and she burst out laughing. “Why do you have that lipstick on for the beach?”

“Cause my mama said it makes you feel better! And I do. I feel really good!”

Red- it was one of the colors God wanted in His sanctuary-His dwelling place among the people who lived in the Old Testament times. I studied the color red a little bit and found that the tiny creature, coccus illcis, is often used in textiles, especially in ancient Israel, where the creatures are prevalent, to achieve the deep red color that was used in the sanctuary fabrics.

I thank Jesus that we don’t need to go to a sanctuary to experience God now. He lives in those He has sealed with the Holy Spirit. His blood was shed so that we have access to the King of Kings at any time. That same power that rose Christ from the dead also abides in us, His children, when we accept Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.

Psalm 22 is sometimes called the Psalm of the Cross. It was written 1,000 years before Jesus’ cruxjfivtion. You will be blessed to read the whole Psalm. I have included portions in this post.

“For I am a worm and not a person. A disgrace to mankind and despised by people.

Psalm 22:6

A little research taught me that the Hebrew word actually used here was “TOLA’ ATH.” This means crimson or scarlet worm. The same animal we know as coccus illus. He created all things and through Him all things hold together. His every word is: breath of life-so important.

According to an April 2014 article, “The Crimson or Scarlet Worm,” in Kid’s Think and Believe, Too.” The female worm gives birth one time in her life and then, dies. However, just before giving birth, she will attach herself to a tree trunk or another piece of wood permanently by creating a hard crimson shell. The eggs are laid and the babies are hatched under that hard, permanent, protectant shell. The mother begins the dying process and “oozes red dye” before she, herself, dies. During these three days her babies feed off of her and become stronger. After three days the mother loses the dye, turns white, and the dead carcass falls off the tree, “The red dye not only stains the wood she is attached to but also her young children” for the rest of their lives.

God is so good. He is intentional in everything He does and says. He is a God of order and not of chaos. He loves us so much that he bled out and died for you and me so that we can have lasting relationship with Him! Hallelujah!!!

Mama was right, too; ladies, a little lipstick can, indeed, help you feel a little better. I no longer have her here to hold my hand (or dress me in yellow and cut my bangs that way), but Jesus has covered me with His blood, and I am safe and free for all eternity.

Work Cited

The crimson or scarlet worm ” alpha omega institute. Alpha Omega Institute. (2014, April 15). Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://www.discovercreation.org/blog/2011/11/20/the-crimson-or-scarlet-worm/.

Childhood Cancer Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We thank God everyday for Ansley’s healing! It was a true miracle as her chemotherapy, itself, truly almost took her from us on more than one occasion. We are truly blessed that she has very few limitations due to bone cancer and the chemotherapy she received.

Ansley is a sophomore st ECI and is active in her church youth group and several clubs on campus. She is an honor student, ECI Bulldog Athletic Trainer, and has an after school job. I prayed for God to heal her, but My GOD has done more in her life than I ever could have dreamed or imagined. Her sister, Kaitlin, sacrificed a lot through the years and became very sick herself with Epstein-Barre and was in ICU for over a week a few years ago. Again, I begged God for healing. Today, Kaitlin is a nurse who takes care of critically ill patients herself. God is a good Father. He is sovereign, and His timing is perfect. Many times in my life, prayers have not been answered “the way I wanted.” Even when life is hard, and the pain seems unbearable, He is a loving Father. He sees what we do not see, and His ways are perfect.

Please know that childhood cancer is not rare. It’s the number one disease killer of children. Childhood cancers are different than adult cancers and require different treatment. Even in 2021, progress on the childhood cancer front has been limited. There has been progress, but we have a long way to go. Our kids deserve better.
If you would like to make a donation to help fight this battle you can do so at https://curechildhoodcancer.org

The ‘goodie’

This hit home! My daughter found an envelope last Sunday. She handed it to me. I rolled my eyes and put it in my Bible. This morning as I was cleaning, I found that the envelope had fallen out of my Bible and under the couch. It hit me yet again but harder today. AM I GIVING GOD MY BEST or what is left over after I get “the goody” out like a stick of chewing gum? He deserves my first fruits because anything (this is not just money and things but time, talents, etc-anything) HE ALLOWS me to have is HIS ANYWAYS!!! God bless!

There is Power in the Name of Jesus

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” I spoke over and over from the back seat as my hands rested on my teenage daughter’s shoulders My husband, a seasoned law officer, drove us to the emergency room after my daughter woke up in a stupor and blinded from what we later found out was a migraine triggered by a viral infection. It was a WiLd RiDe to say the least. I had no words for my prayer. My baby was sick, couldn’t see, and we were going way too fast for my precarious driving style. The whisper of His name brought comfort and peace. Jesus heard my cry; my daughter’s sight was restored, and we arrived safely without harming anyone else.

There is power in our words. I believe there is super natural power in God’s word. If you know me, you know that I love family, home, and sunsets. I often walk around the farm I grew up on and pray over my loved ones’ homes using scripture, written on my heart from years of study, to pray over my loved ones and their homes. Some days I speak His words over my classroom and touch each desk before my students arrive for the day. There is just something about the name of Jesus. When words fail you, speak His name over and over. Let His peace envelope you in an indescribable way.

Can I Hinder My Prayers?

I asked God to speak to me, and He did. You know that saying. “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it?” Lately, I have been feeling distant from God, and I do not like that feeling. I know that He will truly never leave or forsake me, so I knew that it was I who had moved not my Jesus. As I have been digging into His Word and praying, I thought He might reveal Himself like a warm hug. Nope. It did not happen that way. The Holy Spirit has really convicted me, and I am so thankful for that.

I was convicted listening to sermons from faithful pastors and through His Word. I have noticed that I have been spending my time on lesser things like scrolling social media and painstakingly cleaning the house. Yes, I will bury myself in business until I make it an idol. I am very aware that I have to be really careful with the use the time God gives me. The good thing is not always the best, and I have just learned that it is important that I seek out Jesus. He loves me, sees the whole picture, and will always protect me.

I can also let fear and worry rob me from Jesus’ peace if I am not careful. Our family has been struggling some this summer. You know those “spells” in life when everything wants to tear up around the house, and it ain’t cheap to fix it. Yeap-stuff like that. Satan trying to rob our joy. Nope-I won’t let you do it, evil one.

I have been convicted that it is not just time that I do not always use in His obedience but monetary blessings as well. Y’all I love lit tea, but it is expensive. I also love “plundering” at the dollar store and buying some things that I really do not need. I am truly thankful that I am convicted. Now, I must pray hard for Jesus to help me be obedient. It is a struggle for me.

As I began really trying to study the nature of who God is and how Jesus lived His earthly life out as an example for us, God used faithful servants and His Word to speak into my life. One of those faithful servants is my pastor, John Durden. This past Sunday, John preached from 1 Peter 3:1-7. Let me tell you where my ears really perked up-the last part of chapter 7 reads “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Well now, my husband and I do our best to live out our lives for Jesus and lead our family in His will, but we fall short. Lately, I have just taken my shortcomings as part of being human and telling myself that God understands. Yes, He understands. Yes, He forgives me when I truly repent (turn from my ways). Could my ways be hindering my prayers? I have been doing a lot of soul searching-just sitting and listening to Jesus, and as I explained earlier in this post I can see where my ways could be hindering my prayers.

God also spoke to me in my quiet time with Him. Going back through my journal, here are some of the scriptures that I specifically wrote down.

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; They must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. ” 1 Peter 3:11-12.

“In the days of His humanity, He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the ONE able to SAVE Him from death, and He was HEARD BECAUSE OF HIS DEVOUT BEHAVIOR” Hebrews 5:7-emphasis mine. That verse breaks me to pieces every time I read it. My Jesus was obedient. He did not have to come to Earth. He came so that you and I could be in right relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him. The Creator of the universe loves you and me. It just plain gives me chills that the Maker of the universe was tempted in everyway that I am, so I must do my very best in this fleshly body to be obedient, and I have not been doing my very best. Father, forgive me.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:15-16

“He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

My prayer life can always use improvement, and in Luke chapter 6, I was reminded that God prayed all night before choosing His twelve disciples. Then Mark 1:35 reads, “And in the early morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, leff the house, and went away to a secluded place, and prayed there for a time.”

I am so thankful for His conviction. I am reminded that I must seek Him out. He will draw close, and He does forgive me. I cannot imagine living on this earth without His presence. After being in His Word, having faithful people speak life into me, and praying in the Spirit, I do feel like I have been brought to a closer relationship with God. His word tells me to be obedient. Jesus, my Lord and Savior, was obedient when He walked the earth as a faithful example for us. I see where I need to change my direction. I had veered off the path and was going the wrong way. He is faithful to guide me and lead me when I truly seek Him and listen to what He has to say to my heart.