Homebound

I hear the diesels in my head as I awaken in a sweat. This hurricane is pounding; the rain is coming down in sheets, even in the dark. Now exhausted, the highway waits to take me home. I fight to climb through the winding elevations of the tall timbered forests. It’s a marathon, and I’m too old to compete; my heart is for the giving, not for racing my fellow man.

My God, oh how I love thee! You grant me a sense of peace in this treacherous darkness and guide me far from the unknown lights. Lead me where I know not for your faith in me is more abundant than mine. I try to keep up, but my body is worn out so please carry me, Father, as dawn draws ever closer. Protect me, for I have not a license nor a permit to follow you through the encompassing forest. Only my faith leads me through this mess. I’m torn – I’m homebound where home isn’t my dwelling anymore.

You led me to higher plains and shown me routes of straining engines and taut muscles. I come to be with YOU, dear Lord. I am yours forevermore. Take my hand for I am weak; my strength relies on You. But the faith I find in the early morn is where wisdom remains sleeping. So, I awake in prayer and am homebound with you beside me.

My gracious God, who teaches us patience and a faith that can move mountains, I ask you to help me when the dawn’s light arrives. It is there I’ll be showered in your love and dressed to prepare for your Word. I’m yours Father… I’m homebound. Amen.


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Unequivocal Confrontation

It’s a sad day…. our land is divided and not by a river or earthquake, but by a disaster of biblical proportions. The Bible speaks of copulation pre-dating Christ Jesus where many men adhered to their weaknesses. In today’s society, women spar in retaliation as a victim in victimless situations. On this day, a gallant man of valor rides off into the sunset to battle another day of besieging quests.

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The deep red and fiery blue states are blurred in a multitude of collages. The headline news doesn’t scratch the surface as the story unfolds; it deepens like a fiction novel of Who’s Who. A script of unwritten measure is truer than life and Americans cling to the edge of their seats as though in a movie theater.

Political paid actors are poised in their best dressed, and the filth fills the air with a stench so surreal you can smell the money sifting through the fingers. Stephen King, are you listening?? Who wrote this playwright? Is this a movie made for television or is this forecasting our social future? Our obscure hearts intently fall to the intervention. The victims are the leading actors as the corpse of recollections escape the prison of captive algorithms.

The U.S. is in the clutches of Cadillacs and Lincolns lining the walkways. As the procession starts, someone is going to get buried when parliament votes. The pagans buy lottery tickets to see who wins the Powerball. Our country is jolted, rocked by an unequivocal confrontation.

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At the end of the day, shadows stretch across flawless lawns. The rank and file filter out, one by one, kicking off their muddy shoes. Oh God, save us for we have but one life to live! Was that Benedict Arnold echoing across the mahogany and walnut of the balcony, where no one gives a darn in the first place?

The broadcasters loosen their ties and try to predict the final quarter. Its 30-love, a net serve, and it’s all tied up at fifteen. I’m confused who taught them how to count from 49 to 51. There’s no rehearsing the coward’s “you’re out” number while the victims sweat. A nation full of integrity lies in an arena with no Pledge of Allegiance, nor prayer, only a lurking evil smirking at God, our Father. Where for art thou, Oh Lord, as Satan rips another mortal to shreds? God save the Queen!


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Nepotism

Today, I discovered how old the theory of nepotism, the art of favoritism, really is; it dates back long before Jesus, and even He fell victim to it. Jesus taught the art of loving one another and His Father’s demand to never show partiality to others. But, for that, He was hated by many and crucified. Isn’t it a sad reminder of a glitch in our conscious mind?

Nepotism verse

So just what was my earliest sign of nepotism in life? I remember, as a first-grader, playing kickball. We chose two captains. Each one picked their best friends, first, to be on their team. How innocent it seemed as kids, but there were always one or two students left embarrassed and feeling not very liked by the captains.

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In the political scene, no Godly merits nor qualifications of the electoral seem to lead our country, only the glory of preferential participation. The evil here is whatever favors we may use to change what people say or to alter what they see. But, I recall off the top of my head, positions appointed which could not be bought by money or a smile. I know some may not agree with the examples of Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, and Sarah Palin, for one reason or another. Excluding the personality issues, they remained solvent to their cause. I give any elected official the credit they deserve for not being persuaded amidst the current democracy of now.

Amongst family units, nepotism ranks even higher. One child, one sibling, appears to be a shining star. Is it that one is easier to love than another or does one’s handicaps make them harder to enjoy equally? In either case, this sense of inequity creates damage to the self-esteem instead of building strength to hold each other up in difficult situations. Children are very perceptive to their parent’s interactions with them and their siblings. Yes, it doesn’t go unnoticed!

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I look to God for the answers. How do we abbreviate the part of our mind which undermines merits? The answer lies currently, still, in Jesus’s words… love each other unconditionally, and resist the urge to dishonor those less fortunate or less powerful. Nepotism prevents someone else from receiving the love or attention they need. The highest expression of loving others as we love ourselves, and showing no inequity, is Jesus’s death on the cross. He allowed His life to be taken so He could take ours, rising again with all the power. In the Final Judgment, we will experience the culmination of God’s plans for perfect fairness.


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Indecent Exposure

We live in a fallen world and never is it clearer than the immorality and lust which follows us everywhere in these sin-filled days. You must wonder what happened in the tragic childhood of those who later exploited their bodies either for money or fun? Who robbed them of their self-esteem and moral behaviors? And what about the men who will endanger relationships or a marriage for the love of an eyeful? Abnormal expression of nudity and passion of pornography is not born within God’s children. So, what leads one to walk this path of psychological torment and destruction, even at the risk of losing everything? Let’s examine the Bible’s view of this indecent exposure, and you be the judge. May you pray for discernment as you learn the Word.

Indecent Exposure Adam and Eve

When Adam and Eve were created, they roamed the Garden of Eden naked, but it was meaningless to them. Sin was not yet an issue. But as soon as they disobeyed God’s command not to eat the fruit, they felt incredible shame and guilt. Their innocence was gone, and vulnerability made them feel the need to cover their bodies, so God provided them with animal skins. It is safe to say God regarded clothing as appropriate and necessary in a now sinful world. According to the Bible, public nudity, except in the case of sexual activity between marriage partners, is a sin. (Leviticus 18:6-18)

Pornography and self-gratification are the first steps on a very slippery slope of ever-increasing wickedness, immorality, and lust of the flesh. This is especially true if we try to justify the inappropriate action as “normal human behavior.” It is a sure sign the individual may not be saved.

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The Bible makes it clear the proper meaning of sex and how we are to rely, only, on our spouse to meet that aspect of our life. Pornography desensitizes a person to the needs of their partner. It allows Satan to drift into your mind, ultimately brainwashing your thought patterns to believe it is acceptable to feel good at that moment. Meanwhile, the spouse may wonder what happened to their healthy sex life and the sharing of intimacy in the marriage. It doesn’t take long before the signs become obvious.

God’s words even say when a man looks lustfully at another woman, he has committed adultery within his marriage. I’m sure plenty of marriages today have grounds for divorce, and God will condone their decision!

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So, it is written we must “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11) That is a powerful warning, friends, this is very sinful! Why would you tamper with your soul at the risk of losing your eternal life, not to mention a spouse and/or family?

Personally, I take great offense to women on social media who send messages to my husband with erotic undertones, especially when they see he is married. From the opposite spectrum, Dana is offended too by the men who send me naked pictures and flamboyant pick-up lines. But, you must feel sorry for these lovers of darkness for Satan robbed their conscious mind, pride, and humility. They live a godless life of fear. It takes me back to the biblical story of Rehab and her city of Jericho. When God became fed up with the carnal immorality and sin, he burned them to the ground. Just imagine what he could do to you today!

If you are involved in sexual sin of any kind, repent today and start anew. It’s not worth your life! Our Lord forgives those who divert their actions, never to return the behavior.

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor


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If Satan Steals Your Thunder

In the quiet, a reverence silently proclaims a mysterious night. The darkness is haunting as the glimmering lightning echoes in the heavens. Every breath you take cuts like a knife. Alone, you contemplate, what if Satan steals your thunder? Does God really hear my thoughts or is Satan interrupting the prayers?? More questions than answers plague your spirit. Your conscience decides it’s time to play games. You wonder if this direction in life is what you want or could there be something better.

You can never predict where, when or how God wants you. There are lessons only God plans and sometimes preparations we make for ourselves are unwarranted. You can’t predict your life, but you can be ready if God wants to anoint you to serve His kingdom here on Earth.

Living in this world is a war zone headed up by Satan. The evil one rages the battlegrounds in our head’s. He’s deceitful and wants to murder us with his lies. Life looks so confusing when God’s gifts are clouded over, doesn’t it? But as the lightning creeps closer, God calls us nearer as Satan is trying to steal your thunder.

If Satan Steals Your Thunder verse

You must lie in state and pray. Ask God to receive your spirit and abolish the satanic strongholds that imprison your soul. Allow your emotions to fill with the Holy Spirit. Your harmony will beacon in the still of the dark. God is mankind’s only power, and Satan will run like rain into the storm sewer. Make no place in your heart for filthy water.

The downpour turns to a cymbal-sounding sprinkle. God tames the savageness of Satan once again and reminds him the power of the world is in His hands. You stood firm in faith!

Graciously, we drift off to sleep while something calms our hearts, and the stolen thunder is replaced with peace. God is always with you even if Satan steals your thunder.


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Food for Thought

I would like to give you food for thought today. The world is full of wonderment and unanswered phenomena. Archeologists unearth mysteries around the world. Miracles occur in the eleventh hour. Victims relay stories of accidents occurring where a man appears to comfort their head or hand while help is on the way. Disasters happen, and pets or wildlife are known to come to the rescue of humans. So, may I ask, what if God has already returned to earth?

Who was the person some survivors saw at the scene of an accident? What about those lying on their deathbed and they hear, “go back it’s not your turn just yet”? And in the name of God, who answers our prayers when we call on Him? Who calms the waters after raging storms? Explain the feeling of a shadow brushing by you, or the scent of a different smell when you’re all alone, interrupting your thoughts. Maybe Christ walks amongst us.

FOUR PENNIES FROM HEAVEN??

Here’s a true, personal story, and food for thought… I was standing in a check-out line at a grocery store. A very old, pale and thin little man was playing with four pennies in the palm of his hand. Annoyed, I asked him, “Sir, what are you doing?” He smiled and explained he owed the cashier four cents from his last visit, a month ago. I noticed his arms had no hair, his teeth were perfect and white, and his fingernails clean as a whistle. His eyes were a beautiful shade of blue, but his lips were a youthful skin tone.

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I offered to let him step ahead of me. He looked at me, smiled, and said these words, “Thank you, son, you see I’m from another era, and I’m not used to people being polite.” I didn’t think at the moment about his words, but a few minutes later, as I was driving home and I figured it out. Questions arose in my mind. Why was he not buying any groceries? He said it had been a month since he bought food. Why would you waste gas to go this far to pay four cents? And folks just do not use the words “another era” in our language today. Later, I discovered that four pennies have a biblical meaning, a sign, if you will.

SO WHAT IF??

So, what if Christ is here on earth? What if He is living here and helping those who call on His name? We see the ill receive a blessing of rejuvenated health, miraculously, and some who walk away from serious accidents unscathed. Others drowned and met Christ in a shining light and survived to tell the story. We’ve all heard the stories, but is it really possible?

Food for Thought Pic

I know the Bible depicts God as not being in the realm of this world, but what if that is just someone’s interpretation? Remember, God brought himself to earth once before in the formation of Jesus. He can certainly do it again! More questions than not arise unanswered. Maybe Christ isn’t quite ready to call his children home. Perhaps heaven is under a little home improvement. Food for thought….

LET US ACKNOWLEDGE HIS EXISTENCE

Maybe we should re-examine our thoughts once more. I, for one, am a believer in miracles as I’ve seen more than I care to mention. I can testify someone is listening to my prayers. Don’t you think it’s time to plead for mercy? Rest assuredly, someone in heaven is watching over us. So when you pray, the switchboard will light up, and they will answer your call. Just keep the faith!

I recognize many people carry doubts because it’s been that way for two thousand years – that’s nothing new. Christians, though, need to celebrate that Jesus is very much alive (not in past tense). Maybe He does perhaps walk amongst us!

Food for Thought verse


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Humility: The Sums of Ignorance

A star-studded funeral procession has me pondering if the deceased would have appreciated such a lack of respect. Many famous names donned their formal attire and tried to pretend their soul was clothed in reverence. I observed, in disgrace, this gift from God, a beautiful, gifted singer trashed by the sums of ignorance. I have to wonder how many of those sinful dignitaries felt uncomfortable in God’s house? Those who claimed the spotlight evidently will not inherit where they left their mark.

I turn my thoughts to Jesus who dragged His cross through the dirt streets of Jerusalem. The crowds jeered and mocked Him as they allowed no humility, an impression every Christian is left within their heart today…the sums of ignorance. Jesus was swarmed by bees – the yellow jacket soldiers reaching for the honey left in their hive, or so they thought!

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God finds little pleasure in the sting. Humility, dignity, pride, and respect is what the dead deserves on earth. Where was it? Not behind the cameras taking selfies, or in a minister’s offensive eulogy, nor the soldiers hammering nails through the hands on the cross! Is that the picture you want people to remember – ignorance?

Notice the patrons of Christ who bear arms heavier than themselves carrying the weight of their own crosses. Never once did they embellish the claim of being self-servant. There, in God’s grace, we are a member of His home. Our place waits, a napkin folded and our humility intact as we patiently wait upon our Lord to return. Amen!

Be not persuaded nor afraid to stand against those who place dares. I, for one, would rather stand in humility, by myself, then to relish in the sands where there is no water. Let us share our pew with those searching for Jesus! Welcome the lost as they, too, seek refuge under the cross we will all bear one day. My arms are weary, but I’ll be there to take your hand and pull you out of the grips of disparity…. the sums of ignorance.

Humility Sums of Ingnorance verse


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Rap Sheet

In the dawn’s early morn, the pain of yesterday’s yearnings claim a broken spirit’s aches. Our skeletons hang in mirrored closets as we armor ourselves against prosecutions. Oh, the stories our hearts and souls could tell, for no one is beyond reproach. Living in a transparent world, we only share what’s visible to bystanders. Isn’t it a God’s blessing life has no reverse?

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Characters and Actors

It’s the third week of August, and our cooler weather is so out of character for Arkansas. Even a nearby chameleon notices the change. He lays in the flowers changing colors so as not to be seen by enemies. I asked God, “Is he acting or is this his character?” I chuckled at God’s humor. Now, my mind wonders to famous, well-known actors, like the John Wayne’s and Clint Eastwood’s, which we gravitated to in their popular years of movies. Were they acting or were some of the characters they played honestly their personality? Were these stars the same both on and off the silver screen? Did their colors change when they were out of sight?

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Where the Milestone Starts

My thoughts run wild as an acquaintance tells stories, squandering the paths led to by God, of brothers in Christ. I’ve sat amongst those groups of finger pointing who is always asking, what gives you the right. Speaking for myself, I gather much wisdom from the stories of these men who have crosses to bear. The paintings etched in their fragmented soul of the past’s pain, still relay its toll. Respectfully, I pray God, our great Father, will heal the life which destroyed your soul.

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Now Hiring!

There comes a time in life when we seek to find an inkling of a message, perhaps a tiny bit of hopeful inspiration. Some search the stars, some search scripture. There are a few answers, though, so blatant you have to laugh. I look no further than my lovely bride. She searched for thirty-two years to find me again. Pardon the pun, but God only knows why. But my point is some search forever to find what they want in life. In reviewing my past and its missing parts, there are things I wish happened differently, but God had His reasons. He wants us to experience the storms. They strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. Every now and again, messages become billboards, so self-explanatory of His signs. Like this ……

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