My New Book Is Here!

Those of you who have been with me for a few years may remember my “Letters from Someone Who Loves You” series. Well, I tweaked them and they are now published in a book that can be purchased on Amazon!

Sorry, but the free preview button does not work. This book is not available on Kindle.

I have some other books on Amazon also, mostly children’s books.

I am so excited and hope that this book touches many hearts!

And It’s Not by Boat (an allegory loosely based on a dream)

Emily stood on the shore with her eyes searching the sea. Somewhere on the other side, a place she had heard about but never seen, existed. In between her and that new land was a vast sea.

Her heart felt drawn to that land. There was something special there. Something that would fill her with peace and joy like nothing she had ever experienced on this side. She had read that there was no evil there, no pain, no tears, no torment, no depression, no loneliness, no fear… it went on and on. And this place, too wonderous to describe fully, would last forever.

Even more important, there was a someone there. A king. She had read about him, too, and longed to be with him. In her heart, against all common sense, she knew he loved her and invited her to be his wife. She didn’t know how she knew, but she did as firmly as she believed the land existed. And she wanted that with all her heart.

But between him and her was the sea.

There was no way she could swim across its vastness. She had tried. The gentle rolling waves hadn’t been a problem, but they didn’t stay that way. Sometimes storms had exploded around her, enclosing her in the turmoil of crashing waves before casting her back on shore. Each time as she lay in the wet sand gasping for air, she had vowed she wouldn’t try again. But then would come that sweet call.

Even if the storms hadn’t been there, she’d have had to face the life-threatening dangers that lurked beneath the surface. And without a doubt, she wouldn’t have had the stamina to make it all the way. She thought of herself as a good swimmer, but no one could swim across an ocean.

No, she needed another method to cross the barrier between her and her betrothed.

She noticed other people on the shore looking in the same direction. And moving through this crowd were people handing out differently colored brochures. Curious, she reached for a blue one when it got close enough.

Want to cross the sea? We can help. We have the largest boat with the longest history of success. Come join us. We can get you there. Contact RCC at RCC.org.

Hope rose in her. A boat! And a big one at that, which meant many people believed this boat could do what it promised. Joining her faith with theirs, she took out her phone. But before she could open her browser, someone handed her a pink flyer.

Come check out our newly updated speedboat. Built for travel, this baby can get you all the way across the sea before the other boats leave shore. Smaller means more personal attention as you travel to your dream destination. Call 1-800-WOF-GMYM to reserve your spot today.

Oooo, that sounded even better. A fast trip would mean facing less storms. She began dialing the number but stopped when she was handed yet another piece of paper, this one yellow.

Forget the rest, sail with the best! Why chance fuel shortage or motor problems on your way to your future? We have the biggest, sturdiest sails ever made. Let us help you get where you want to go. Send a message to us at TT@OTR.com for more information.

Beginning to get confused, she looked at the three papers in her hand. Were they all right? Could they all get her there and it was just a matter of which made her feel the most comfortable? She almost didn’t want to take the green one being offered to her now.

Solar powered is the way to go! No chance of running out of fuel when you travel by the power of the sun. We have state of the art panels in sufficient number to make us the fastest, more reliable way to take you wherever you want to go. Contact us at mibto.com.

Which to choose? After considering the pros and cons of each, she decided to go with the speed boat. The faster she got there, the longer she would have to enjoy the presence of the one she longed for. She made the call.

A week after setting out, she was beginning to wonder if she had made the right choice. With no covering, everyone was sunburned and wet. The wind blew forcibly, drenching them with the spray created by the front of the boat as it cut through waves. And the worst thing was – no matter how fast they went, they never seem to put distance between themselves and the other boats she could see scattered across the sea. Could she change boats?

Shading her eyes from both sun and spray, she scanned the sea for a likely candidate. She immediately spotted the large one that had been featured on the blue paper. The more she thought about it, the more she wanted to get on that boat. It had a large passenger section below deck. No sunburn. No wet clothes. It might be slower, but it would be more comfortable.

“Captain, is it possible to change boats?”

“Sure, which one do you want to get one?”

“The big one over there,” she pointed.

“Are you sure? It’s big and clumsy and moves very slowly.”

“It seems to be going as fast as you. I’m sure.”

The captain wasn’t thrilled, but motored up next to the big boat. A plank was lowered to help her cross and within minutes she was waving goodbye to the speedboat.

The relief of the shade was delicious. She sat on one of the benches, closed her eyes, and savored the dark coolness. Yes, this was much better.

But a month later, she decided it wasn’t. She didn’t like being kept in the dark, and whenever she surfaced to ask the sailors about their expected arrival time, they always answered the same way. “We don’t know, but we’re moving so we should get there eventually.” She could see the same boats each time she looked out across the sea, and the horizon never seemed to be getting any closer. At this rate, she would never get there. Time to jump ships again.

As time went on, she continued to jump from ship to ship, but no matter which one she was on, even though it appeared to be moving, never seemed to get her closer to her destination. She did notice that some of the other boats seemed to be going in circles before disappearing behind her. Other boats zipped and zapped from one direction to another as they avoided the larger waves. And still others were stranded as their power failed them. At least one ship had overturned. Good thing she had left that one before it sunk.

Discouraged that she would never get there, she sat with her head down, careful to keep lower than the sail when it swung by her. As bad as it was sitting out in the sun again, getting knocked overboard would be worse. Suddenly she heard a sound coming from the sky. Looking up, she spotted a helicopter heading for a distant boat. She watched as it lowered itself for a few minutes, and then headed for another boat. No one she asked knew what it was doing, and most didn’t care.

She continued watching the helicopter as it flew ever closer to her boat. Finally, it hovered over her boat as it had done with the others.

“Anyone want to go to the land across the sea?” a friendly man’s voice boomed over the splash of the waves. “If so, come on up.”

“We’re already heading there,” one person said.

“So you think,” the man’s voice answered. “But you won’t get there by boat. You need me.”

“Why?” another person asked. “What’s so special about your way?”

“It’s the only way to cross the chasm between the sea and the land.”

Everyone looked at each other, Chasm? It didn’t make sense. There was no chasm between the sea and where they had come from. How could there be one between the sea and where they were going? The people began to discuss the idea.

“I don’t believe it,”

“I’m fine where I am.”

“But what if he’s right?”

“There’s no proof that he’s telling the truth.”

“This boat has gotten us this far; it will get us the rest of the way.”

“He’s up there while we’re down here. We can’t see what he can.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. He just wants all the attention.”

“Well, anyone taking me up on my invitation?” the man in the helicopter called, breaking up the discussion.

Most people shook their heads, but a few stood up. “I want to,” they said. “What do I have to do?”

“Reach up,” the man answered. “I’ll take it from there.”

Emily didn’t know who to believe. The people who seemed so sure of themselves, or the man she had heard but not seen? She looked at the ones with their arms raised, standing firmly in their decision in spite of the laughter and ridicule being directed at them. She felt the urge to raise her arms, too. Should she give in to it or ignore it?

While trying to decide she watched as the helicopter lowered even more, and a strong arm reached down and grasped the uplifted hands. She watched as people were pulled up and into the helicopter.

“Anyone else?” said the man. “You may not get another chance.”

Not being able to make a decision, Emily did nothing. She was surprised at the regret she felt as she watched the helicopter rise and turn towards the elusive land. On its back was written two words: The Way.

One day not long after the helicopter had left, she heard the captain yell, “We made it!”

Emily stood up and looked in the direction he was pointing. A golden glow rose in the horizon, promising the fulfillment of their efforts. Relieved, she sat back down. It had been a long journey, but they had been right. They had made it on their own.

Suddenly the captain cried out, “What in the world is that?”

Jumping up, she stared where he was pointing. Instead of seeing endless hills of waves, the sea had flattened out. It was as if the waves had just ended. And between the flatness and the golden glow was a wide line of darkness, as if there was nothing there. No water, no shore. Just emptiness.

With a sinking heart, Emily knew by not making a decision, she had made the wrong one. She along with everyone else now faced the consequence of rejecting the only way to the shore that they each desperately wanted. It was too late.

Or was it? What if the helicopter came back one more time? Maybe if she waved her arms and called out, the helicopter man would notice and come back to rescue her.

It was worth a try.


What do you think? Was she rescued – or was it too late? Is it ever too late to be saved? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

What Does It Mean When the Bible Says God Loves Me?

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God loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so.

Words to an old children’s song. But what does it mean? (For the condensed answer, skip down to the blue Takeaway at the end.)

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines love as…

Strong affection for another rising out of kinship or personal ties [love for a child]

Attraction based on sexual desire, affection and tenderness felt by lovers (in love)

Affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests [old schoolmates]

Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion [love of the sea]

The object of attachment, devotion, or admiration [baseball]

A beloved person [hello, Love, good to see you]

Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another such as the fatherly concern of God for humankind, brotherly concern for others

a person’s adoration of God

a god or personification of love

an amorous episode

the sexual embrace

a score of zero (as in tennis)

to hold dear

to feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness

to like or desire actively, take pleasure in [love playing the violin]

to thrive in [roses love sunlight]

to feel affection or experience desire

Basically this is saying the definition of love changes based on how it’s used.

So, what does the Bible mean when it says God loves us? All of the above? Some? None?

I did a quick word study of a random sampling of verses that used the word love. Here’s what I found.

In the Old Testament:

    Deut 6:5 … love the LORD… with all your heart

    Is 43:4 Because you are precious in my eyes… I love you…

    Jer 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love

the word used for love was ahabtik: to have affection

In another Old Testament verse:

    Ps 36:7 how precious is your steadfast love…

the word used for love was hasdeka: kindness, piety, reproof, beauty

In the New Testament:

   1 John 4:16 … come to know… the love that God has for us… God is love…

   Eph 2:4 … his great love for us…

   1 John 3:1 … see what kind of love the Father has given us…

   Rom 8:39 … separate us from the love of God…

   1 Cor 13:2 … but have not love…

   Rev 2:4 … you have abandoned the love you had at first…

the word used for love is agapen: affection or benevolence; specially a love-feast

In other New Testament verses:

   1 John 4:20 … If someone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother…

   John 13:34 … a new commandment… love one another just as I have loved you…

   Rom 9:13 … Jacob I loved, Esau I hated…

   John 3:16 … God so loved the world…

   Matt 22:37 … love the Lord your God with all your heart…

the word used for love is agapo: to love, wish well, to take pleasure in, long for, denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.

And in another New Testament verse:

  John 16:27 …the Father himself loves you because you have loved me…

the word for love is philei: from philos; to be a friend to (an individual or an object) i.e. have affection for, specially to kiss

I think what surprised me the most was the word used in Deut 6:5. I would have thought to love God with all our heart would have a stronger word than ahabtik: to have affection.

I was also quite surprised to find the word love in John 16:27 where Jesus says the Father loves us because we love Him means to be friends with, have affection for, specially, to kiss. Friends? I know Jesus called us friends, and Jesus and the Father are one, but I never thought of myself as a friend of the Father. And kiss? The Father kisses us because we love Jesus? What a heartwarming visual!

The rest of the words for love are applied to “us” and “the world”. As a follower of Christ, I am part of “us” and “the world” so those apply to me. If you are a part of “us” and “the world” you can apply them to yourself, also.

Takeaway:

What does the Bible mean when it says God loves me?

God has affection for me.

God is a friend to me.

God kisses me.

God is benevolent (well-meaning, kind, desire to do good) towards me.

God has given me a love feast (a banquet or gathering of persons to promote good feeling, restore friendly relations, honor a special guest, etc.)

God wishes me well.

God takes pleasure in me.

God longs for me.

God esteems me.

Isn’t God’s love for us amazing!

Which definition impacted you the most? Comment below. Comments help keep me motivated to write and sometimes teaches me new things. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave one.

Halos in the Night Are Not Good

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Anxiety filled me as the road ahead disappeared in the glare of approaching lights. It was bad enough that halos danced on the top of light posts, each one merging with the lights of nearby restaurant signs, but to lose sight of everything each time a car approached kept my hands clenched on the steering wheel. It wasn’t that my presence on the road was a danger to others. Driving on high alert made sure of that. But I kept thinking I should have waited until morning to make this trip. My vision is better in the light of day and I usually did most of my driving during those hours. Tonight, however, the anticipation of starting a new journal made the thought of waiting worse than the stressful drive.

Finally, the turn lane to Walmart came into sight. Sighing with relief, I exited the highway and drove across the parking lot, inched into a space, and cut the motor. A few deep breaths relaxed my muscles enough to loosen my grip on the steering wheel. I got out and headed inside for the notebook, pens, and colored pencils I needed to start my inspired journal. I couldn’t fully relax yet, though. I still had to drive back home.

 “What can I do about it?” I asked my family and friends over the next few weeks. “It’s bad enough the street signs are too blurry to read, but the halos are downright scary.”

“Squint,” said one.

“Don’t drive at night,” suggested another.

“Nothing,” warned a third. “Astigmatism can’t be cured.”

I knew deep down that I probably needed to see my eye doctor, but to avoid the inconvenience I kept asking people, and the advice kept coming.

“Keep your eyes away from the lights.”

“Wear sunglasses.”

“Get your eyes checked.”

Following these suggestions helped a little and I was able to manage the short, familiar roads on the few nights I needed to shop. But then came my son’s wedding announcement. Driving across seven states in three days meant not only night driving but also navigating unfamiliar roads. I knew it was time to go see the doctor.

After examining my eyes, my eye doctor told me I had only slight astigmatism and adjusted my contact lens prescription. “Try these,” he told me, handing me a sample set of contacts. If you like them, you can order them. There might even be some in stock.”

As I walked out of the office, I stared with amazement at the details I could see from a distance. Now I would be able to read road signs before I got to them which would definitely help me find the right way. But I had to wait a few hours to find out how they would work at night.

When the sun went down, I took a quick five-mile drive. Things weren’t crystal clear, but I could read most signs without problems. And best of all, there were no halos!

                                                                      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As we travel through life, we may begin to rely more on the familiarity of our steps than on the clarity of our vision. We get used to doing the same things and no longer notice, or care, that our vision isn’t what it was. If we do, we brush off the loss of clarity. We don’t need it.

Until we do.

When life takes a turn and we find ourselves in unchartered territory, we discover that we actually, and often desperately, need clear vision. The glaring lights that overshadow the need to see the road become more than a nuisance. They become dangerous. That’s when we find ourselves sitting in a chair while an ophthalmologist shines a light into our eyes.

Our spiritual walk is much like our physical one. We can find ourselves doing the same things, singing the same songs, going to the same church week after week, year after year. This can result in a familiarity that prevents us from recognizing the decline in our spiritual vision. We lose our ability focus, relying on what we’re accustomed to do rather than on following God’s signs as He calls us to new places. Without clear sight, we are vulnerable to transitory bright lights that overshadow and distract us from the more important things. We can miss what God has for us or get lost on the way.

We usually know deep down that we need to go to God, but find it much easier to get advice from other people. We ask for prayers, listen to sermons, and read books. What we hear ranges from good to bad, effective to worthless. And many times, one person’s advice conflicts with another’s, leaving us confused. However, even with good advice, no matter how helpful, none of it competes with what we’ll get from the only One who can truly correct our vision and provide the clarity we need to get us through challenging times or to new places. That person is Jesus. His Word – the Bible – helps us see clearly. It helps correct any shortcomings in our faith and realign our beliefs. It helps us recognize and see through the halos that blind us. Knowing what we need, Jesus prescribes the perfect scriptures for us to wear. With His Word, we can stay on His path with confidence no matter which way it might turn.

We shouldn’t wait until we find ourselves in the midst of a new adventure before seeking help from Jesus. Even in our routine, everyday lives, sometimes we miss what God wants us to see because it’s been too long since we’ve taken the time to let the light of the Word shine into us.

So, sit down, open your eyes, and let Jesus examine – and correct – your spiritual eyes. You’ll love your new contacts.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts]. Ps 119:9 AMP

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.  Luke 18:41-43

Storms

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God creates them.

God dwells in them.

God sends them.

God controls them.

God shelters us from them.

God moves in them.

Through many scriptures (many are listed below), I’m hearing God say something like this:

Do not be afraid of the storms in life. I am greater than them no matter their source. Seek the shelter I offer, but offer only to the meek for I refuse to safeguard the haughty lest they take the glory for themselves and think they are able to control the storm or protect themselves. Let them try. It may or may not work. But for those who humble themselves, who seek my protection my way, it will always work. Maybe not the way they want. Maybe not without damage. Maybe not even their physical lives. But, whether on earth or in heaven, they will be stronger, safe, and with Me on the other side.

What do you hear God saying?


Scriptures:

Ex 19:9a And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak to you, and may also believe you forever.”

Ex 19:16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.

Lev 16:2b …for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

1 Kings 8:12b …”The Lord has said he would dwell in thick darkness.”

Ps 18:11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds with water

Ps 57:1b … in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by

Ps 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

Ps 104:3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;

Ps 107:25a He commanded and raised the storm wind…

Ps 107:29b He made the storm be still …

Ps 135:7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

Ps 138:6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

Prov 1:27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you

Is 2:11 The haughty looks of men shall be brought low and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Is 25:4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the need in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat, for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

Is 28:2 Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong, like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of might, overflowing waters, he casts down to the earth with his hand.

Is 30:30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstorm

Jer 23:19 Behold the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest, it will burst upon the head of the wicked

Ez 13:13 therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end.

Jonah 1:4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.

Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way in in the whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Luke 9:34-35 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”

Rom 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own eyes.

2 Peter 2:17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.

Rev 4:5a From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder…

Don’t Judge a Plant by Its Leaves (An Allegory Based on a Dream, March 4, 2022)

She watched through the passenger window as the trees and bushes rushed past. Everything was so brown. She felt herself grieving for what she had left behind. Her home, her garden, her pets. “It’s only temporary,” she reminded herself. “I will be going back there later today.” But that didn’t change her feelings. What she saw at the moment completely dominated her thoughts, overriding the hope of what she’d see in the future.

When they arrived at the church, everyone got out of the car and went inside. Her eyes, however, were distracted by the brown bushes at the edge of the parking lot. There was something different about these bushes than the ones she had seen on the side of the road.

She walked over to it for a closer look. The bushes were actually individual plants growing in clumps. The leaves of each plant grew from the base and were tightly compacted around the center. All she could see were the tips of the inner leaves surrounded by the long narrow outer leaves. They were all brown.

Thinking it was dead, she grabbed one stalk near its base and with a quick stroke of the small machete she carried, she severed it from its roots. Still holding it at its base, she absentmindedly began chopping off the tight brown leaves near the top. As she meandered across the parking lot, she looked at the trees in the distance. Their leaves were also brown. The amount of deadness that seemed to surround her contributed to her feelings of melancholy.

She thought about her garden at home. Some of the leaves on her evergreen trees and bushes had also become brown from the cold winter. She would have to trim those when she got home.

She glanced back at the plant in her hand as she continued to cut off the tops of the outer leaves and was startled to sees a tiny bit of green peeking out from the center. With slower, more precise chops, she cut off more of the brown, being careful not to touch the green. Soon she had cleared enough of the dead, brown leaves to reveal the tender green of new leaves growing in the center. This plant was not dead.

“I’ve got to get it back in the ground so it can continue to grow” she thought as she walked briskly back to where she had found it. “But how? I have no shovel with me.”

But then she saw that the place where she had cut the plant. Instead of the leftover root base, she found a fresh hole as if she had pulled the plant up by its roots instead of chopping it at its base. Quickly she set the plant into the hole and spread the loose dirt around it, patting it down firmly.

Feeling encouraged, and leaving the plant alone as she should have done from the beginning, she went into the church.


So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Cor 4”16-18

… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

These Bible verses talk about the hearts of individual people. But I think we can also apply them to our country. When all we can see around us is “brown” – crime, inflation, deception, greed, etc. – we can quickly grow depressed. How much better to focus on what we can’t see – God’s involvement in our lives as well as the lives of others around us and on our future with Him in heaven – than on the temporary conditions of our present world. Learning to see as God sees can make a huge difference in our lives, both in how we feel and in how we act.

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:10-12

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32

The Drive (An Allegory)

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She woke up, not knowing she had been asleep. Watching the trees flying past her window, she heard the soft regular clicks of the turn signal and felt a slight pull to the right as the car changed lanes. Not shifting her gaze, she asked quietly, “You doing okay”?

“I’m fine,” her husband answered.

Reassured, she settled back on the soft, spongy pillow wedged between her seat back and the door frame, lulled back to a dreamy state by the hum of the car tires on the road. It seemed they had been traveling forever on this highway, passing and being passed by impersonal vehicles of all kinds, each rushing to get somewhere. Everyone was alert to the presence of the other vehicles, but no one sought to look past the outside metal structures – to see those who inhabited the inside. She and her husband were no different.

The blank, silver side of a large truck slowly filled her vision as her husband leisurely passed it. Without anything more interesting to watch, she closed her eyes and waited for her window to clear.

Once again, she awoke, surprised that she had fallen asleep so easily. Slowly she opened her eyes. As she watched the scenery march past, confusion slowly replaced her comfortable drowsiness. Something was different. She couldn’t tell what it was, but something had definitely changed.

And then she knew. The landscape was different. Instead of the lush evergreen-filled woods, some of the branches of these trees were bare. There were still some pine trees interspersed between the skeletal trees, but not quite enough to create the deep forests that had surrounded them at the beginning of their journey.

“Where are we?” she asked her husband. “Where did the evergreens go? I don’t think it’s supposed to be like this.”

“Oh, we’ve traveled quite a way since you fell asleep. This is what the landscape looks like now. Don’t worry about it. You might even come to like it.”

“I doubt it. Are you sure we’re going the right way?”

“Sure. This is still the same road the GPS said to take. Until it tells me differently, this is the way I’m going to keep driving. Relax. We’re fine.”

She wasn’t so sure, but took his word for it and went back to staring out the window. She watched as the evergreen trees became even sparser until the entire forest looked dead. And then even the forests thinned out revealing large barren fields of brown grass. This couldn’t be the right way. The directions they had been given had promised to lead them to life, not take them away from it.

Looking back at her husband, she noticed his dreamy expression and languid movements, as if he was daydreaming his way along the highway. Concern spurred her to sit up and cry, “Hey, wake up!”

“I am awake,” he mumbled in response. “Calm down.”

“You don’t look awake. And this definitely doesn’t look like the right way. Where’s your phone? I want to check the navigation system.”

“Oh, I shut it off a long time ago. This road is easy enough to follow. We don’t need it.”

Her heart froze. “Don’t need it? Of course we need it! How do you know that you’re still going in the right direction?”

He shrugged. “I haven’t seen any other roads. Besides, with so many others going this way, it has to be right. I’m just following them.”

She reached for her phone. “I’m going to check anyway.” Quickly she opened the Maps program and entered their destination. She watched as the map zoomed in and out until it settled on the quickest road. She hit ‘Start’ and listened for the directions, but stopped when she heard the word ‘U-turn’. “I knew it! We’re heading in the wrong direction!”

“How could that be?” He drew up his shoulders and let out a noisy breath as he squinted through the windshield. “I’m following the road like I was told to do.”

She held up the phone. “But you quit listening for directions. You missed the narrow side road that we were supposed to take!”

She watched as understanding slowly dawned in his eyes. “Um, maybe I should have stayed more alert.”

She knew he wasn’t the only one to blame. Softly touching her husband’s shoulder, she said, “And I shouldn’t have fallen asleep. We need to turn around. But this time, let’s stay connected to the navigation system.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Moral of the story: Don’t sleep your way through life, following the crowd heading where you don’t want to go. Stay alert and connected to the Navigator who alone will show you the right way to go.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14

“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Acts 2:28

“This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Eph 5:14-17

There’s a New God in Town.

There’s a new god in town.

Many people quickly began to bow down to this god. At first they did so out of hope that it could save them from consequences of their actions. They grasped at the promise of its prophets that if they obeyed completely, they would be saved.

As time went on, things seemed to get worse instead of better. So they turned to their new god for answers. But instead of explanations, they received more, and sometimes, conflicting commands. Believing the god was smarter than they were, they continued to obey. They were sure this god knew better than they did how to get them out of the mess they were in. They repeated the god’s words daily, reinforcing each other’s belief, and inviting those who not yet believed to join them in following this god.

But things still didn’t improve. The new god’s prophets announced the problem lay in the numbers. Not enough people obeyed, which negated the efforts of those who did.

“What else can we do?” the people cried out. “We’ve already shared what you said and invited everyone to join us.”

“Force them,” the prophets answered. “It’s for their own good as well as the good of the whole town.”

So, to the fear and guilt they were already using, they added ridicule and condemnation. And it worked. More people joined their worship of this god, which emboldened them to use even stronger tactics. Even though they were now in the great majority, it wasn’t enough. Each one of the remaining minority was seen as a personal threat so when someone suggested punishing those who still wouldn’t join them, everyone jumped at the idea. Of course. There really was only one option, one god. It would be for their own benefit to lay down their own ignorant beliefs for the benefit of the majority, even if they did so under duress. According to the prophets, if everyone became obedient to the new god, there would be no more problems. This was a classic case where the end justified the means.  Their god was on their side, at least that’s what the prophets said, and the people constantly pointed that out to each other as justification for their choices.

And yet, even that didn’t work. The faithful minority held to their own beliefs regardless of what the majority did or said, giving a variety of reasons for their resistance.

“Your god is not what you make it out to be.”

“If your god was really a god, things would be a lot better by now regardless of what I do.”

“There are too many contradictions and hypocritical commands coming from your god’s prophets.”

“My god disagrees with your god.”

“People should be able to choose who they want to obey.”

Their continual rejection of the new god enraged the majority. How dare they not obey, and thus jeopardize the whole town? How could they hear the words of the new god and dismiss them, holding on to their erroneous belief? Didn’t they know that the majority is always right?

Anger overcame reason, and soon they became a mob with a common purpose: either convert the stubborn minority, or get rid of them. Either option was appropriate because it would be done in the name of this new god and for the common good.

And the name of this new god?

Science.


Daniel 3:4-6 And the left-leaning media proclaimed aloud,” You are commanded, O liberals, conservatives, men, women, and children, that when you hear the sound of government leaders, the CDC, Fauci, Big Pharma, and every carefully selected expert speaking for science, you are to fall down and accept the golden syringes that President Biden has set up. And whoever does not fall down and take the shots shall immediately be cast out of society.

Oh wait.. that’s not actually in the Bible. Here is what the Scripture says:

And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Daniel 3:4-6

And the devil took him up and sowed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” Luke 4:5-8

Don’t Attack the Lawn Mower

Pushing the lawn mower across the tall weeds, she watched wasps and dragonflies rise up from the ground. She had not noticed anything in the grass, but the vibration of the mower, the disturbance of the area, or a combination of both were enough to disturb them into flying out in every direction. As they circled her and the mower, she wondered if they would attack. The dragonflies darted back and forth for a few minutes, and then flew away. However, the wasps took usually took a swipe or two at the mower before flying away. Relieved that they weren’t going after her, she continued mowing, observing the same behavior from other wasps all across the yard.

A thought gradually formed in her head. They were attacking the mower instead of the one pushing the mower. No matter how hard they hit the plastic-covered engine, the mower never even slowed down. Yet if just one of them came at her, the mower would have stopped in its tracks as she ran away in panic.

And then she had another thought. People are just like those wasps. So often we attack the people we feel are disrupting our lives, but ignore the power that moves those people to do so.

There are many mowers moving across America today. People doing and saying things that are being pushed by powers we may not see or acknowledge. What would happen in our towns, states, and nation if we became courageous enough to quit attacking the mowers and went after the larger powers behind those mowers instead?

Just a thought.


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12