Maybe we really could be kind to each other

Thanksgiving  has passed and it is time to think about Christmas….

 It’s Christmas time, and Lucy comes in where Charlie Brown is standing and says, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. `Tis the season of peace on earth and good will toward men. Therefore, I suggest we forget all our differences and love one another.”

Charlie Brown, whose face lights up at this, says, “That’s wonderful, Lucy. I’m so glad you said that. But tell me, do we have to love each other only at this season of the year? Why can’t we love each other all year long?” Lucy retorts, “What are you, a fanatic or something?”

 If we really get serious about Christmas, it seems that we’re branded by the world as some kind of fanatic. Yet, Christmas is supposed to be a time of “peace on earth, good will toward men.”

 I read some very familiar words in the King James Version of the Bible,  in Luke 2:8-14,

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, & the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them, `Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, & saying, `Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”
 How wonderful our homes could be, how wonderful our lives could be, how wonderful our world could be, if we really did put into practice the blessing of “peace on earth, good will toward men.”
And as Christmas comes, we think once again, “Maybe it’s not impossible. Maybe we really could have hearts filled with love. Maybe we really could be kind to each other, and not just once a year, but all year long.”

 In the Bonds of Calvary,


Getting to God……….Eventually

One Thanksgiving season a family was seated around their table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their praise. When they came to the 5-year-old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey and expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that rather novel expression of thanksgiving, he began with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he went beyond that. He joined together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect.
He said, “I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store.”
Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said “Did I leave anybody out?”
His 2-year-older brother, embarrassed by all those proceedings, said, “God.”
Solemnly and without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, “I was about to get to him.”
Well, isn’t that the question about which we ought to think at Thanksgiving time? Are we really going to get to Him this Thanksgiving?

What I’m Most Thankful for about the Westwood Hills Family:

 I thank God for your love.

 I thank God for your faith.

 I thank God for your flexibility.

 I thank God for your generosity.

 I thank God for your vision.

I Am Thankful…
 that we only elect presidents once every four years.
 that teenagers will grow up and that one day they will have children
that will become teenagers of their own.
that I am not a turkey this week.

that the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited.

that hugs and kisses do not add weight or cause cancer.

that TVs, Radios, & CD players can be turned off.

that God’s love never fails.

In the Bonds of Calvary,




I Need a Hug

You know, sometimes I feel like the little girl who was frightened by a great storm in the middle of the night, and she called out to her daddy in the next room. Her daddy came in and said: “Why are you afraid, don’t you know that God is with you and He’ll take care of you?” And she said, “Yes daddy, I know God loves me and He’ll take care of me, but right now I need someone with skin on to love me!”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need “someone with skin on to love me”. I don’t doubt God’s presence for one moment – never have. I trust Him that things are going to work out. But there’s moments that I need to hear an audible voice tell me it’s going to be OK – to feel a physical embrace.

I feel that way today……..

And that’s where the church comes in….God’s love with skin on.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Vintage Sunday

Today we experienced the opportunity to go back in time. We called it VINTAGE and conducted the church service in the way that I remember when I came into the church 35 years ago.

We sang a couple of the old songs and then had a called up choir and sang a couple more songs that took me way back. There were testimonies throughout the service and people in the congregation were called on to lead in prayer.

We sang “Happy Birthday” and then had a “penny march” which resulted in well over one hundred dollars being given for the Children’s Home. The Finance Committee loves me because more than fifty dollars was in change.

A couple of Old time songs for  the special music and a dance to Amazing Grace just before the message entitled,”The Empowerd Church.” It was a good day of worship and I believe God was pleased with our effort.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Desperate Faith

There are 3 dimensions of faith:  saving faith, healing faith, but then there is desperate faith.  When I became desperate for a miracle I didn’t have time for run of the mill faith, I didn’t have time for the small faith that comes from reading a book. I needed the kind of faith that comes from way down on the inside:  it was  gut-wrenching, but it’s the only kind of faith that will help when you are desperate!!!!!!!   This is the kind of faith that says, “I must touch the hem of His garment.”  I’ll do whatever I have to do to touch Jesus!!

            I have faith to get saved, I have faith to stay saved, but I needed the kind of faith that helps me push through the crud that messes with my marriage and my family, and finances.  I needed a desperate faith!

            Desperate faith pushes past my trouble, it pushes past my failure, it pushes past my withdrawal symptoms, and desperate faith pushes past sorrow, fear, and heartache.  It was time for me to get desperate in the Holy Ghost.  I’m not talking about begging God, but I am talking about wanting the things of God bad enough in my life that I won’t allow anything to deter me from the mission!!!!!!!  I am on a mission and this mission belongs to the One who created me:  He, Jesus Christ is the captain of my Salvation and I must trust Him in the course that He chooses for me!!

A little “preachy” but it is the testimony of my heart,

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Let the Doctors be Amazed

This afternoon I met with the oncology doctor for the results of the CT scan that was done on Thursday. I also expected a plan to be made  for the future. She confirmed that there was considerable shrinkage and suggested that this had happened with no treatment. I reminded her that we had been praying and she quickly consented that the prayer was certainly effectual.

Because of the shrinkage and the fact that the tumor has not affected any other part of my body the plan is for me continue without any additional treatment until February 2009.

Sooo, the partial remission continues as does the decrease in the size of the cancer and my faith is once again strengthened as I see His powerful and loving hand working in my life.

My frequent prayer when I pray for others is, “let the doctors be amazed.” I am praying that for me. I was told that the cancer doesn’t go away but I believe that God will take it away and the doctors will be amazed.

Will you help me pray that “the doctors will be amazed?”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Want God, more than…….

As I was praying this morning I recalled this story. I wondered, “How much do I really want God?”

There is an ancient tale from India about a young man who was seeking God.

– He went to a wise old sage for help.

– “How can I find God?” he asked the old man.

– The old man took him to a nearby river.

– Out they waded into the deep water.

– Soon the water was up just under their chins.

– Suddenly the old man seized the young man by the neck and pushed him under the water.

– He held the young man down until the young man was flailing the water in desperation.

– Another minute & he may well have drowned.

– Up out of the water the two of them came.

– The young man was coughing water from his lungs and still gasping for air.

– Reaching the bank he asked the man indignantly, “What did that have to do with my finding God?”

– The old man asked him quietly, “While you were under the water, what did you want more than anything else?”

– The young man thought for a minute & then answered, “I wanted air. I wanted air more than anything else?”

– The old man replied, “When you want God as much as you wanted air, you will find Him.”

That’s what I want!

In the Bonds of Calvary,