Tarnished Memories

Dedicated to the tarnished memory of Astounding Great Ministries in Hindsville, AR


Tarnished Memories main

In the early dawn as I drove to work, smoke filled the sky as far as the eye can see. Giving it little thought, cruising through the mountains and valleys, I was running late. Trying to beat the clock, I wasn’t really concerned about the smoke-filled air. That was until I came over the hill and around the curve.

Oh dear God! A church is burning! I looked harder and began to cry; not just a church but my own beloved place of worship! I slammed on the brakes. With tears flowing, I asked God, why? An image scratched into my heart like a forest engulfed from lightning. My little country church had stood for years and now it’s all but gone.

The hot steel and even the concrete floor were smoldering. Singed beautiful pews and the handsome stage (including my drums), gone for good. Asking only our heavenly Father I thought, why has Satan found comfort destroying our fellowship hall. Why God?

Putting my truck in gear as though I was in a funeral procession, I slowly left what was left of my spiritual home. Carrying the hurt, my mind repeatedly thought of all the pictures of weddings and baptisms, over and over again. The tears fell like rain. Only lightning could have caused this fire but there were no storms to be seen.

Satan destroyed our house of worship and only faith would mend the memories. As a congregation with the strength of prayer, we began to replenish that which was lost. Now by the grace of God, a new church stands better than before. Satan was defeated!

Blessed with the surplus of other churches, we serve an awesome God. Prayers are answered though the memories are tarnished. Smiles are brighter as Jesus comes to gather his flock once again.

 


Watch the video:

http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/fox-24/astounding-grace-ministries-to-reopen-due-to-community-donations/788373375

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Jesus, You’re Like My Brother….

….quietly standing in the wings, Jesus is on alert continuously.

Did you know?? Fun Facts About Jesus


Jesus

Did you know??

Jesus started his career working with his dad Joseph in the family business, as a carpenter.

Jesus was descended directly from King David, and King Solomon, Israel’s greatest kings.

Jesus was a fairly common name in the first half of the first century A.D. It means in Hebrew: “God saves”

. Jesus did not have a last name.

Although millions of people celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, most scholars agree that he wasn’t born on that day. His birthday is celebrated in December because that was the date of the Jewish Festival of Lights, called the Festival of Hanukkah, which fell on 25 to 30 Kislev. Nobody really knows exactly when Jesus was born. Some scholars believe that Jesus may have been born in spring or summer.

Jesus wasn’t actually born in 1 A.D. Most scholars put the date of Jesus’ birth sometime between 7 B.C. and 2 B.C.

Jesus was not white, as most portraits of him would have us believe. Bible declares Jesus’ Jewishness, meaning He likely had light to dark brown skin.

Jesus had 4 half-brothers. James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered in the Bible.

Jesus was about 30 years old when he began His ministry.

Jesus spoke on earth 3 languages: Aramaic was his first language, Hebrew for scholarly questions and Greek on some occasions.

24 of Jesus’ miracles were healing miracles, 10 were nature’s miracle and 3 resurrection miracles.

Jesus had been on the cross from approximately 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M., a total of six hours.

Jesus was very poor on Earth but when he died he was buried in a rich man’s tomb.

Jesus’ disciples were teenagers, almost all under the age of 18 and some as young as 15. All were most likely bachelors.

According to the Bible in Hebrews 4:15, Jesus endured every (sexual) temptation that humans face, but without sinning.

According to Matthew 22:30, Jesus said there will be no sex and marriage in heaven.

Jesus Christ started the largest religion in the world – Christianity.


Jesus 2

Enjoying my morning, my coffee steams like a hot spring. The blue sky background so subtle. Not a leaf stirs, just the morning dove announcing your presence. I’ve prepared my habitat; it greets my every thought of You. Not to exploit but to just know Your there.

Jesus, your like my brother….

Miles away, I’m comforted knowing God has sent You to walk with me. Like a big brother, a mentor perhaps, I feel your presence as I sit alone having my coffee. There amongst the early rays, I hear a Swallow – nature knows your close by. I wonder where you are.

What an awesome God we serve! He allows His son to accompany us as we invite him into our hearts. Like a brother, he’s never far from our thoughts.

Feeling guilty, I call my own brother who is bound for another busy day in his world full of ailments. Nonetheless, I worry about his health. So I call on my Other to watch over him. I pray He hears….I’m sure He does!

Jesus though watches over all that pray to Him. Humble in His own right, He needs little introduction or rendering of a billboard. So I pray every morning for the peace He brings so that all around me will benefit. Like my brother, quietly standing in the wings, Jesus is on alert continuously. I’m delighted as He knows I’m writing today about Him and for Him….

I caress the pets, kiss my love, and hop into my truck. While putting it into reverse, I ask Jesus to be with us as we get our day started. So much to do between construction and building books. God, my friends, has given me such an awesome gift!

I hope you enjoy your day too!

Be Counted

Life is just so precious!


Be Counted

Life is a precious commodity when a world can somehow find harmony. I look at love maybe differently. It’s in the many shadows that stretch across our lawns as the fragrance of beds could be bottled. It’s the cat snuggling with the family bird and even the wild deer eating from the dog’s bowl as he lays there submissive.

I watch the flock of birds that hatched in spring. They never wanted to leave their domain. They perch on the fence behind the house; their bellies full, waiting and watching for the neighbor’s cat.

Closing my eyes, I smell the flowers that brighten my morning and I realize how precious life really is.

Sitting in the setting sun though, my heart goes out to all those experiencing this hell of a storm. The trees destroyed and colorful flower beds by the newly mowed lawn have washed away. The fury is bearing down. I wish I could do more but prayer is all anyone can do at this point.

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As landmarks tumble, the fright of life hangs in the balance. Signs used to help navigate through old towns will never be as they once were. So sad to see Satan still tries to rule the world. There’s no love shown in 130 mile per hour winds.

Here, the gentle winds remain as sailboats luff out upon the lake. A romantic night that God has blessed and lovers kiss under the moonlight. It’s so quiet, so peaceful. It’s hard to believe that a few hundred miles away, the eve of destruction exists in the night. Life is just so precious!

Night comes….it’s a new moon shining on a disastrous situation. Those that can, count their blessings and try to find what’s left of a congregation. They hold hands, praying and give thanks for what is left. Life again, so precious.

But it’s not just Texas – we all should wake and give thanks. A new day, another chance, born again, and dawn awaits. My heart goes out not just to Texas but all that have lost their signs.be counted 5

As life turns, we come to appreciate how things once were. I think back to going my grandmother’s home after church for dinner. Boy, I hated that! But I never understood until now; or the Christmas mornings my brother and I sat and waited for our parents to wake. The things we think that never made sense then, seems to portray when wisdom tells the story.

It’s a new day. The sun is shining on my world so it’s time to give thanks giving God the glory. Praising his name, faith keeps us all in check. So I listen to the choir once again, a carnival of lyrics; a melody we remember, a battle hymn, a call to duty. We are all God’s children, like it or not.

Be counted as life is so precious….. and over before you know it!

 


Let us continue to pray for the Hurricane Harvey victims –

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Promised Prayers

…find a sanctuary where peace and love are ordained from above.

Message from Heaven


I sip on my first cup of coffee in the mornings’ still. Peace….as nature calls on God to anoint today with tranquility. A Morning Dove and I sit quietly enjoying the break of day. I see her watching me. A trust seems to be established as we both enjoy what the other brings.

The sky is poised in shades of ice blue, majestically still. Not a cloud to be seen; the heavens receive the Earth. I have come to where God needs me – alone, attentive, observant. Trusting, I hear Him calling my heart, “Be not afraid for in the light I bring you promised prayers.”

Deep in supplication, I pray for unity as we are divided. I pray for the children whose parents are too busy to teach respect. I pray for those I know and love, hoping God will touch their spirits; and for the non-believers that read but can’t comprehend that God is real. “Prove it”, they say. I reply, “Come and sit; listen to the quiet.”

Like the shadows anointing the lawn, God and I remain one while enjoying the morning. You want to see a miracle (as George Burns would say)? “Look at me!” Trust begins inside of you, not in others you think you know.

Like the birds pMessages from Heavenerched upon the porch, I enjoy whatever God has delivered to my soul. I fill their trays with seed to eat and God fills my spirit so I may prosper. Just like the snap of a finger, the sun arrives on my shoulders and the neighbor’s pets begin to harmonize. High above, sitting on a wire, my furry long-tailed varmint is waiting on me to go inside. But I think I’ll sit and protect my feathered friends as God, too, watches over them.

My friends, find a sanctuary where peace and love are ordained from above. God isn’t revealed just in the church; many are confused there. Find a place to pray…..a rock along a shore or a park where shadows anoint. God is there waiting to receive that prayer you need in your life!

How could this be so right, because I’m here and you’re reading what God told me to write.  Another miracle by day’s light!

 


Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and 
     that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple 
     beauty of nature.  I firmly believe that nature brings solace 
     in all troubles.   – Anne Frank

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.   (Matthew 6:6)

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.   (Jeremiah 33:3)

Grace Estates

…if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill


Sometimes life is truer than fiction. You finish reading an excerpt and while walking away, you wonder if it’s true. And then there are times when God puts things so squarely in your face you miss it! You absolutely can’t even see what He’s trying to do. The examples are too numerous.

As I drive every morning, the sun rises over the foot hills and my vision blurs. It’s a winding, little back road that not many use. It’s in disrepair with lots of curves. But there’s a place I pass every morning and afternoon and I dare not stop. A wrought iron gate is ajar; the invitation is so inviting but I’m not worthy to enter so I drive on with a mere glimpse. How I would love to live there!

Passing the gates, I break. I sense God’s calling but I, a mere pauper, could never fill the proprietor’s shoes. I might, though, be lucky enough to get the mail or take the garbage to the end of the hill but certainly not to own a mansion such as this.

Though I pass by and dream, reality is just a few miles away. But oh, how could I not dream of sharing my life with the one I love behind the gates called Grace Estates? Only God opens doors to let us peak at what’s in store. Though we gaze out into the wild yonder, held captive by reality, the presence of God is abundant.

Whisking through another week, so far I’ve heard God’s calling ten times. How I wish I could turn left and enter in the gates ajar! I dare to trust. My faith restrains my spirit; if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill. I fear only my lack of faith while flying down the back roads, running late. I guess God’s going to have to wait; too many bills that I must pay. And I realize the metaphor – my windows are rolled up.

God, I pray your hands control my very existence – no time to stop and smell the roses. But someday I’ll stop and get out of my car. I’ll put my right hand on top of the open gate and walk up the hill of Grace Estates.

 

Grace Estates

 


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For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:29)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)

When The Shades Fade

…..dreams create the reality we live in


In the misty rain of an early dawn, you get a call at work. A soft gentle voice on the other end of the phone frantically sounds, “My water broke!” You jump in your car, speeding home to get her to the hospital. It’s not long and a baby cries. Life’s cycle begins again.

You stand in front of the nursery window and wonder, what will this child become? Will he be in technology? Or enter in the electoral college, or join the Forces? Get a degree in the name of your father and carry on like his grandfathers did? A tear evolves as the joy of God has created the offspring you dreamed of.

Before you know it the training wheels are gone and your little man has found his first taste of freedom. So proud of your child, he reminds you of you, and God has blessed the memories left behind. He smiles and waves goodbye; again, the tears you try to hide. Little does he know your days are numbered, shaded and faded by illnesses that only God controls. Then a young man’s dreams are shattered standing at a cemetery holding momma’s hand.

It’s not just children, though, that face blunt force. I think about the entrepreneurs that have tried and failed. And the geniuses that quit school. My heart goes out to kids who only hear, “You CAN’T”. I pray for the dreamers who’s shades are faded when God opens doors; they are afraid to take a chance. Giving up is never an option as dreams create the reality we live in! The fascination comes as the shadows fade; prayers are all that’s left. When God steps in and blossoms your creations, your dreams will graciously unfold.

Tried and tested, we all aren’t that lucky… but heaven knows we are all gifted in one category or another. You might be a street sweeper, a worker in a mine, or deliver the paper to a local community. Do the best you can! Take pride in yourself as dreams evolve with God’s help. Miracles happen as easy in church as the back alley of a big city. It’s prayers, not a steeple, that God hears.

Be blessed, I say unto you, for He has surely anointed you. If that strength has not yet come, be advised to run, as your dreams will carry you….or they will surely fade away.

Shades Fade


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religion blog

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Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Pipe Dreams

“Thank you” God for this day to share my life with those close to me.


The evening comes with a chance of storms; God prepares nature’s calling. Refreshed by the calm, a hint of rain persists as the atmosphere fills with humidity. The sky is still radiant yellow as the sun sets behind the thunder.  A silver lining reminds me that despite what your facing, God is there to defend you.

I sit and reminisce about the day;  the highs and lows of sweating in the dirt; I wonder why I do it.  I guess I just love the work.  A glass of tea, and a little breeze, is all anyone needs to believe in the magnificent beauty of God. 

Reclining in the shadows drawn across the lawn, His Majesty brings me peace, a comfort, that only comes as you pray.  My eyes closed, arms relaxed across my chest, I remain poised as God intervenes.  My soul’s rejuvenated from yet another hectic day.

Thank you, God for this day to share my life with those close to me. I’m so honored. I hear the faint sounds of a rumble now. The scent is more predominant.  I love the initial sprinkles, as they are so random, and they bounce atop my metal roof . 

Now as the sprinkles become more severe, I’m moving inside as rain accompanies the Rain cloudsthunder. It’s time to retire as my mind is weary.  The day is gone and I’m thankful my prayers elude to what the morning brings. My potential prayers remain a dream and heaven holds the secrets.

Tomorrow, in the brisk twilight, I’ll share my coffee, a cup for one, with God; and I’ll share my thoughts with Him and I start over.  I pray for friends, and of course my safety. But most of all —–  I’ll pray for you!