Winners or Losers?

It is a melting pot of catastrophic dilemmas…

Winners or Losers cover


The sun is setting, and an anxious parent awaits the return home of their little child from a weekend rendezvous. With folded arms, standing at the stern, the landscape lighting does little to enlighten the sequence of changes. In your negative mind, you can’t help but wonder what the ex has said to your child this time. It’s best to prepare for damage control between now and bedtime as tomorrow is school. A weekend of entertainment, where life is full of dandelions, isn’t exactly the reality going through your mind. Headlights approach around the corner. Artificial hugs are exchanged, and words of encouragement mean little as the door opens. Your very first words are, “You’re late! Get a shower. School is tomorrow.”

A disgruntled child grabs their things from the back seat and stumbles out the door brushing by your seething heart. The front door slams closed and now it’s your turn. You glare back at your ex and utter, “And you wonder why we divorced!” Now your thoughts and temper are short as you’re trapped between feelings – happiness the child is home, and frustration (because you just know words must have been exchanged).

Retiring for the night in your harvested sanctuary, feelings are resolved to self-pity. Do you think you’re the only one affected by the collateral damage of being a single parent? Where are your thoughts at this time? They appear to be in just your center, in your life, and your immediate circle! It is a melting pot of catastrophic dilemmas.

Meanwhile, an innocent child who never had a choice pays the ultimate price. Too often children suffer at the hand of their parent’s indiscretions, and they become the losers. There’s not much room for error when a melting pot is about to explode in the home. Close your eyes and pray for forgiveness!

I ask God how we can bridge the heartaches of one generation to the next. How can we stop the sin of shame? Our courts are full, and only attorneys are the winners. The answer is simple – God! Spend a little time each day to focus on God. Set a good example for your children by walking in His truth. He is the only provider of all our needs.

Winners or Losers verse

Spring Cleaning

….and Helpful Hints to De-Clutter Your Soul

Spring Cleaning cover


 

On a spring morning, the frost lays heavy. The foliage somberly pays homage. As I stare through the sheers, my mind tries to organize the things I must do today. I sit huddled in sweats with my first couple sips of black energy. My thoughts wander off to a time of Mom and Dad cleaning out the garage after a nasty winter. I sure love and miss those who left me with such fond memories.

As generations go on, I find myself the one obligated to carry on the honorable task of, somehow, straightening up the garage now. There is such little time to do my own spring cleaning. Its April something, but the month is inconsequential. There comes a time when we all must clean out our castles. How about a fresh coat of paint? Or maybe hang the Picassos you treasure in different places to redecorate the walls? Perhaps shampoo old carpets, or rearrange the furniture? Somehow, you must make those four walls look brighter, for there’s no warmth generated on a cold, spring morning after it’s snowed.

I try to get motivated, but only my Father in heaven can enlighten the soul. So, with everything staring at me and no time to play, I find time to pray. God, in His historical ways, will give me the strength to complete the tasks before me.

Needing anothSpring Cleaning Pic 1er cup, my thoughts wander off…. so many people’s minds are in similar situations. Distant and cold, we pay homage to our cluttered thoughts frozen in time. But, if you’ll let God enter your soul, He will cleanse the hearts and minds from the winter’s toll. The pendulum swings, as your grandfather stands reverently reminding you, life has no reverse.

The day is young. Give it to God! There’s plenty of time to rearrange thoughts lying frosted on this somber, Sunday, spring morning. Let God’s love warm your soul and spirit and ignite your inner joy. Rejoice in a fresh mental attitude. You’ll be glad you cleaned out the clutter lying dormant in the garage of your head. Open your entry to prayer. It’s the one ingredient you need most for motivation. The garage can wait, for it’s the one in your mind that wreaks havoc.


EDITOR’S NOTES:

Helpful Hints to De-Clutter Your Soul

• Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly. The answers will put your situation in perspective:
Is my mind’s clutter relevant to my situation today? Was it in my control? Am I being too hard on myself?

Spring Cleaning Pic 3
• Don’t fight inner battles by yourself – leave it to God to take control. We don’t have to strive to make our life turn out a certain way. Stand still and trust He will handle it for you.
• Lay the issues down at God’s feet through prayer – it’s the most powerful tool you own!
• Focus on today – what does God ask of me today? What does my family need today? Commit to living a Godly life for eternity – not the past.

Spring Cleaning Pic 2

On The Wings of a Dove

On The Wings of a Dove cover


 

I need sleep but I’m too tired to rest. Desiring perseverance, my body draws into a knot. God mercifully tries to lead me, but my schedule doesn’t permit His desires. So, I rush from one job to another—chasing that squirrel in a round box. My spirit dwindles like the cloudy, rainy weather forming puddles and then floods. I stab at a sense of balance but some things just cannot be grasped, no matter how much you’re convinced it’s possible. It reminds me of poking more holes into a piece of Swiss cheese.

I listen to the rain on the roof and can’t help but think there’s a message, somehow, in its sound. As I try to hear what God wants for me, I remain. A dam restrains the beauty of the shoreline – the very edge we are drawn to initially. Hmm…. is it really worth it? So gracious is His grace that we overlook the obvious signs. We fight to survive instead of going with the flow as an adventurer paddling our way downstream.

A tear comes as I try to understand the complexity of life, and age-old questions stay aloft. Why do things need to be so hard? Even storm clouds eventually break apart to allow rays of sunshine! My chest aches as my spirit reflects Noah’s forecast. Exhausted as the season procrastinates its departure, a welcomed friend has overstayed its invitation.

I stare at the jonquils of life and their smiling faces detect a glimmer of hope. Has God sent them to deliver a message? I pray so! I’ll wait for tomorrow. Maybe then, it will come on the wings of a dove, resonating light at the shoreline of the water’s edge.

 

On The Wings of a Dove verse

Facing East

Obscure details of facing east and swans….

Facing East cover


The tall tree trunks somberly stood alone. I wondered if evil lied under the fallen leaves and decomposed twigs. Even the heavens were shaded in the dark by the bark as branches lurched toward me. I turned my back toward the dark, fearing the worst, and prayed as another sun poised on the horizon. My God, my God! Where is the respect for mankind?

I found my place as though I was in an arena. The first act was about to begin. The curtains drew up on the stage and lights glowed. It was inconceivable to me that a horizontal stage could ever look so beautiful. I impatiently waited. I wondered how many more suns God would permit me to enjoy before it’s my turn. The world was flat as far as the eye could see, but I remained optimistic that He would protect His chosen forever. I sat alone and watched, wondering, and waiting…

Not a sound did I make for I could wake the earth. I waited on the heavens to prevail as though the world remained still. Was this Jesus’s second coming? Maybe it was time, so I prayed. Sitting in His awesomeness, I clutched my soul. I knew my Father from above was present. The rays of heaven shone in my direction. It was too late to prepare, so I accepted the inevitable. I called your name to share in the phenomena, but you couldn’t hear me. So, I rose to the occasion and stood still yet not a sound, nor a ripple came from the waters below.

In all the holiness of dawn, I asked God if it was time, yet the silence persisted. A gentle hint of something in the air invaded the chemistry. Then a wedge of swans took off from around the point and mallards scattered from the noise. A sweat erupted from within me. I guess I was wrong – it wasn’t today!

From this day forward, I remain vigilant, facing east, for I know God’s Son is not far from making a grand entrance. His perfect stage is right here beneath my feet, and I never knew it until now.

 


EDITOR’S NOTES:

Upon reading this beautiful piece, I did some religious research on the direction of facing east and swans. The author, Dana, and I was surprised to find out the following information after he wrote it. Seemingly obscure details can teach us something.

 

The Significance of Facing East and Swans

Tombstones are often placed facing east to see the past and present. You will see God coming at the rapture. If you want to move onward to heaven, you must travel westward now, towards a future with God. The east is the source of blessings and divine salvation only on earth.

graves

 

Christian churches were built with their entrances facing west so that worshipers faced east during the services as they looked toward the altar.

The Garden of Eden from Genesis was entered into from the east, facing west. People exited west, facing the east.

In Matthew 24:27, Jesus details what happens in His Second Coming.

Facing East bible verse

 

Clergy members are buried facing west. An educated guess signifies that when the dead are risen, clergy will rise facing their congregations, ready to lead their people once again.

 

The symbolism of swans signifies spiritual devotion and the presence of angels. They give you wisdom and guidance you need at the moment.

Facing East swan

The swan acts as a messenger of faith.

The swan symbolizes the end of one’s life.

What Happened To My Marriage?

What Happened to My Marriage 1


Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor of Dana Bicks LLC

 

Last November, Dana and I were united in marriage on the beautiful beach of Okaloosa Island in Florida. One of the first verses recited were, “It is love and God’s grace that has brought you here, and it is love that will keep you together always.” Well, this statement is true! It was and still is, one of the most beautiful moments of my life. He is truly the love of my life. Recently though, I came to acknowledge the Bible’s explanation that marriage is dissolved at death and will not exist in heaven. What?? For me, this meant a panic attack because I cannot envision life without my husband. So, a ton of questions popped into my mind: Why did I fall in love and get married if he will be taken from me? What is the purpose of getting married? What happens if we marry more than one time? Which spouse will be mine in heaven? Can I trust God will make it better there for all couples?

What Happened to My Marriage 2

No need to panic for God is in control! First of all, in this life on earth, marriage is designed for procreation and companionship. We are to raise children and promote goodness and holiness of our spouses, building a foundation and family for our afterlife in heaven. He states we will not give birth after death because His nation of people will already be created in this life.

What Happened to My Marriage 3

Contrary to belief, Jesus did not say marriage doesn’t exist in heaven. What He said is people blessed with eternal life will not get married in the afterlife, for it is only an earthly concept. There’s a big difference! This does not mean that spouses will no longer know each other in heaven or keep an intimate relationship. It will be a perfect bond that unites two humans into one under Christ and the Church. I envision this as the immaculate union we will share with Christ and all our loved ones. It will be fully unraveled in all its glory in the eternal form of agape love in heaven.

So, how will this affect us if we were married more than once? Just because a man and woman might not be married anymore doesn’t mean they will lose their relationship. They will still remember their time they had on earth and the intimate love they shared, but Christ will take away the earthly sins of that relationship. Because sin will be non-existent, everyone will be filled with God’s love. We will love one another (yes, even the exes) with an intensity never known while on earth. Also, if an earthly marriage were not made in heaven, it will be fulfilled there. The close relationships we have now will be even better as we won’t hurt or disappoint each other anymore.

It is hard for me to conceive having a marriage in heaven that is just perfect! I can’t imagine loving my husband even more than I already do here on earth, but God guarantees it. Personally, I can’t wait to live in a God-centered world and be in a marriage where no laws are needed. We must trust and believe God’s word for the continuance of marriage in heaven. Couples will have all of eternity to learn and grow more profound than they ever were on earth. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally excited!

In The Name of Love

and….Signs of the End Times

TEST 2


Signs of the End Times As Told In The Bible:

Deception: Many people will claim to be the Messiah.

Disputes Among Nations: The Bible says that as we move toward the End Times, there will be constant talk of conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, and national battles.

Devastation: As we get closer to the End Times, there will be more and more famine, earthquakes, and pestilence.

Persecution of Christians: We are seeing this happen today with the rise of ISIS and their attacks on Christians in the Middle East.

In The Name of Love

Ruin Racism

If we have God in our hearts, our tongues will sing in harmony.

Ruin Racism cover


 

We watch the news and form our opinions. The verdicts are black and white and blame resonates like a sword in the hearts of tongue slayers. We try to survive in the melee as the world becomes a melting pot. I, too, see the corruption and complacency. Only in America! How sad to work so hard and believe in your heritage, only to have it destroyed overnight. Racism reveals frustration and pain but my two personal stories reveal something much different.

In 1960, my mother was a socialite in our community. My Stepdad, a rising realtor, worked too many hours establishing his career to deal with children either, so Mom hired a cleaning lady to help with the housework. A black woman, Lilly Best, eventually became more involved in our family’s everyday life. At twelve years old, I learned to respect my elders, regardless of their color. I came home from school and Lilly ruled the roost. Like it or not, I did what I was told to do. I grew up under the careful eye of this woman—yes, a different race than I, but she was one who I learned to know and deeply admire. I never met her family but I know she spent more time in our home than her own. God bless her in heaven!

Then, in high school, my life was occupied in design and architecture classes. I didn’t have time for those who bullied, got into fights, or gang-related activities. But one day on the school grounds, a kid approached me and pushed me down. Carleton Coates, a heck of a guy, stepped in front of me and told the boy, “If you want a piece of him, you’ll have to go through me.” I stood up in awe, amazed at the sequence of events. It was almost as though an angel had come to my rescue. I lost contact with Carleton after graduation. His race was black, but he was my good friend and peer. He came to my rescue the one time I was in dire need. I’d like to find him today and shake his hand.

My point is we all need each other and not just today or tomorrow but throughout our lifetime. Our lives, through God, receives that of which our souls need. I’ve tried to instill in this message that your birth certificate says the same as mine – a US citizen – we are born equal. Other people don’t determine our value; God does. What we do with ourselves controls our future, so let’s ruin racism—it’s wrong!

If we have God in our hearts, our tongues will sing in harmony. But without His presence, we are merely peasants lost in a desert bearing the sweltering heat and praying to our conscience.

Ruin Racism bible verse