Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visions: The Red Sandstorm

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A few years ago when American troops were in Iraq, I had a vision of our troops being in a very dangerous place between two rivers – the Tigris and Euphrates.  I am not a good geography student, so I had to later confirm that there was such a place for my own curiosity.

I saw that our troops were in great danger and began to pray for them.  I could see an onslaught of military vehicles and tanks headed across a place and as the vision unfolded, and I prayed, I saw a mighty sandstorm rise up of red sand.  It was so thick, the headlights were barely visible through the sand.  A couple of days later, it was reported in the news that this actually happened.

This morning, I am reminded of that red sandstorm and that the enemies of Israel are amassing in secret places… tunnels; in the desert; along her borders.  There is danger from Russia.  There is danger from Syria.  There is danger all around Israel.  Plans have been put in motion.  Dates have been set.

My prayer for Israel today is that God would stir up that red sandstorm once again.  May any malevolent forces in the region be overwhelmed with desert sands to the point that the engines of their vehicles be choked out, their weaponry lose its accuracy and implode, the forces coming against them be brought to total disarray and brought to confusion.  May the enemies of Israel turn on each other.  May the megalomaniacs who have formed an alliance against Israel devour each other in high places and be consumed with their own paranoia about their “partners” and alliances against Israel.

May God shelter the believers in Israel and the USA who pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and who do not agree with political schemes to destroy God’s people and the nation He has established.  May God expose the lies and deceitfulness of all international leaders.  May the truth prevail in every situation.

 

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Spreading Our Wings to Fly

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IMG_2655Photo from Glendalough Monastic Settlement – Northern Ireland

This stone tower stretched upward before me.  The birds circling obviously had found a nesting place protected from view.  In thinking about what I wanted to say today, the stone tower was very significant, as well as the birds circling about.

There are so many things in life that keep us from spreading our wings and flying into the unknown.  Perhaps it is the family waiting in the nest, or the familiarity of the surroundings.  Maybe it is because it is just easier to keep doing what we are doing than to fly into new uncharted territory.

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There are people in our lives who don’t want us to fly because they feel better about where they roost of we do just what they do.  How far or how high we fly should never be dependent on the preconceived notions or expectations of other people.

As I checked my facebook messages  this morning, I saw a listing from my friend, Coty Sloan of Sloan Travel Co. making a vague reference to those who were jealous because of his job as a traveler and tour guide.  Without knowing Coty, it will be hard to imagine the sweet, wonderful, generous spirit this young man has and the passion he brings to sharing the world with travelers.  I wish I could afford to travel with him on all of his adventures, but the fact that I can’t would never keep me from celebrating his journeys.

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Jealousy is wasted effort when it applies to the lives of others.  No matter how much another person is blessed in their life or what amazing things they can afford or can experience, it in no way diminishes God’s ability to bless us or pour into our lives incredible things that are tailor made for us.

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God gave us spiritual wings, intellectual wings, and emotional wings so that we could reach new heights, soar in high places, and see His world from a higher place than keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground.  It takes courage.  Sometimes it is a leap of faith, but we are all meant to spread our wings and fly.

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Isaiah 40:31  “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up on wings as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary.  They shall walk and not faint.”

(All of the eagle in flight photos were taken from free public domain photos from a web search.)

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Death Is But a Pause – December 3, 2014

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The light is fading now.  I must away.  The distant sound of bagpipes at play.  To sleep I must away.  It was early morning on 22 March, 2000.  She died on an artist’s day.  The sun was shining.  The sky was blue.  A sleep you shall have.  A rest you must take and our parting shall be but a pause.

This tombstone was in a random graveyard along the way of our Celtic tour.  I’m so glad I took a photo of it.  Someone’s love clearly rested beneath.  I loved the line, “Our parting shall be but a pause.”

My aunt, Elsie Hamlin Hensley, was laid to rest today at the age of 91.  She was such a lovely person.  She loved people, loved to cook and make people welcome, and loved to laugh.  She had not been her true self for the last several years due to dementia and resided in a nursing home.  Her hair still had some natural color and she had almost no wrinkles – EVER.  But what I remember most was the sound of her voice and her laughter.

My mother’s family had 16 children, and my father’s 14.  I have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Through the years we have lost many, but I am always comforted by the belief that our parting is only temporary.  I plan to spend eternity with them in heaven.

First of all, I must run my own race, finish my course, and fulfill my purpose and destiny on this planet before I get my promotion from this life to the next.  It seems that time accelerates with each passing year.  We are pilgrims and strangers only passing through this life on our way to the next.

John 14:1 – 6  Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

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Motherhood in Nature May 10, 2014

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I love being outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Water, rocks, trees, plants, and animals in their natural environment are amazing.  On those rare moments when I get to see the secrets of nature revealed as if I am an invisible spectator are precious to me.

I photographed this mother deer and nursing fawn in the forest as I drove through Cade’s Cove in Townsend, Tennessee.  Hidden in a thicket, it was a miracle that I spotted this tender moment, and even more so that I was able to zoom in quickly out the car window and snap the shot.

Mothers in nature are fascinating.  Some lay eggs and walk away.  Some den up with their little ones until they are big enough and strong enough to venture out into the world.

I believe that God placed a special spark of Himself inside mothers that is the ability, to care, provide, defend, nurture, teach, correct, and protect.  It is unpolluted in the animal kingdom.  Only humans seem to have the ability to mess up those instincts with greed, selfishness, or substance abuse that takes priority over a child.

There is no purer form of love in this world than a mother – animal or human – with a child she loves.

 

 

 

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The More I Try, the Behinder I Get – March 30, 2014

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Have you every felt like giving up, crawling in a hole and pulling the hole in after you?  I’m pretty sure everybody feels that way at one time or the other.  Sometimes we just get tired for trying.

The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  It also says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

If the good we do is in hopes of a reward, an acknowledgement, or a certain response from particular people, we are very likely to be disappointed.

Sometimes we try to do good and our good is misinterpreted for some ulterior motive.  The people who most often misinterpret our genuine efforts are those who have ulterior motives operating in their own lives.  It seems like some folks just can’t see any good in anybody.  Maybe it’s because they’ve been hurt so often, disappointed by those closest to them, or even abused.  Whatever motivates another person, we need to be careful not to let it rub off on us.  We don’t need to take on anybody else’s negativity.

When we do our best, that’s all we can do.  If other people misinterpret us, there’s not a lot we can do about it in the moment.  Sometimes, the good that we do has to be a consistent attitude, an on-going behavior, and finally screams the truth to those who doubt us.

Regardless of how others respond to us or if the things we hope for are a long time in coming, we still need to continue trying.  Even if it feels like we are getting further and further behind at times, the steps we continue to take will eventually get us to the place where our steadfastness pays off.

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Persistence – March 20, 2014

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When we are waiting on an answer to prayer about something important in our lives (or as some call it – waiting on God) some people get confused about what waiting really means.

Waiting on God might mean being still and waiting to see God intervene in situations that are out of our ability to change.  Often it means that we are actively engaged in trying to help ourselves and find answers to our own problems.

I personally have found that in my life God expects effort on my part.  I pray first, then begin to check out possible answers, knock on doors, etc.  And when I’ve done all that I know to do, if the answer is still not obvious, I then stand still.

Sometimes we pray and the answer is so immediate we are surprised at the swiftness of the answer.  Sometimes we pray and we see the answer unfolding gradually as we continue to pray or continue to work toward that end.  At other times we knock on every door, turn over every rock, and ask God to help us find the right opening or the right solution.

There are times our knuckles may be worn out and our rock garden tilled, and still we do not see an answer.  In these times, it is our faith that will help us continue to wait on the Lord.  It is also in these times that we most often recognize that the answer has come from God and not from another person or through our own efforts.  When we’ve done all that we can possibly do, God steps in and takes it from there.

Persistence is the key.  Keep standing.  Continue praying.  Don’t stop believing.  Never give up!

 

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Hope is Renewed – March 10, 2014

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I saw four deer in a cornfield over the week-end.  Someone else was driving, so I didn’t get to stop and take pictures, but I could see that one of the deer was a fawn.  The sun was shining, the air was clear and I felt myself smiling from the inside out.

There is something about the anticipation of spring that touches the part of the human spirit that longs for renewal.  We want to believe that things will be better in a new season, that there are possibilities we haven’t seen yet.

With grandchildren in the car and a fawn in the field, I was flooded with a sense of rightness.  There are seasons for everything.  I don’t like winter in general, but I think without winter, I wouldn’t appreciate spring quite so much.

The same day, I saw spring flowers pushing their blades upward through the soil and flowers waiting to unfurl their colorful petals.  After the winter, we can all embrace the hope of renewal around us and within.

 

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