The Consequences Are….

 

The Consequences Are verse


Years pass and memories fade; our skin grows tired and desires wither away. But only one thing rejuvenates life….

Blooming flowers permeate scents, drawing us into heavenly thoughts. We close our eyes and smile, as only one thing rejuvenates this life….

You age, withdrawn as if society closed its eyes on you. You’re not alone for many feel the same pain creeping through the window pain. I pray our Father unsheathes the frowns of miserable days, filling your life with thanksgiving. Only one thing can rejuvenate this life….

Erase your sorrows of past dormant days! Allow yourself to be reborn, and God will fill your enjoyment of life and love. One miraculous morning, the flower petals will commemorate the reflections of your smile. God’s spirit will lift you up and live on inside you, as only one thing rejuvenates life….

Today, I sit in the sun and watch you shine. A blessing to all who meet you, my brightest star – you are the one who lights my up life in the darkest of hours. Frustrations ride off into the sunset. All things were made through and for Christ, including the joy of happiness for only one thing rejuvenates life…..laughter – and it comes with a smile! It keeps us young, and most all the consequences are forever more.


Ad for WordPress

A Folded Napkin

A Folded Napkin cover


As stories became legendary, customs through the years of the Pharisees and Hebrews became scribed in ink. And the holiest of holy are annual traditions – a commemoration of beliefs we grew up with in life. The rituals and myths may be a bit of a quagmire, but one little-known truth surfaced in the basement of a Southern Gospel Pentecostal church.

It was a beautiful spring day. The sun kissed the blossoming petals, and the winds sailed pollen through the rays of the glistening air. Love was abounding as the fellowship commenced on an Easter Sunday afternoon. A congregation of fifty or so prepared a supper fit for a king. Although I was only passing through, the church made me feel comfortable, and I felt compelled to attend the quaint little service. Afterwards, I was ushered down the steps and into the basement. It was here I discovered true southern hospitality.

The guest’s table was labeled with names in front of each place setting, and flower bouquets stood between platters of food. Crystal, China, and Steiff flatware lined the perimeter. I was so amazed at the beauty of it all! The pastor’s wife instructed me to sit in an empty chair at the far end of the table set for twenty-five attendees. That was fine since being left-handed can cause elbow problems. As everyone found their proper place, one remained empty on the opposite end. I thought little of it as the scrumptious meal made its way around the table – roast, chitlins, not to mention black-eyed peas, succotash, and ham.

Individual plates filled with the colorful spread. As the pastor stood and said a blessing, a vacant seat caught my imagination. I thought someone was probably running late. In the abundance of generosity, conversations easily flowed. Then, the ladies paraded from the kitchen with the pies. Oh, my gosh! Did I say fit for a king – and his court?

I knew not a soul, but they made me feel so welcomed. One by one, folks finished their meal, wadded up their napkins and either tucked them under their plate or set it over the dinner plate. But still, in reverence at the end of the table, remaining poised, was a vacancy place setting with a folded napkin, waiting for another guest.

I could be mounted above a mantel after indulging to the point of being stuffed. The crowd moved outside for a breath of fresh air. I wanted to thank those who particularly made me feel so welcomed. As I reached the doorway to exit into a courtyard, a gentle puff of warm air entered the breezeway.

An elder stood at the door and shook my hand. “It’s so nice to have a bright young man, a new face too, come for our Easter supper.” I smiled and returned the compliment. Then, I leaned over and whispered in his ear, “What happened to the person designated for the place at the opposite end of the dinner table from me?”

He smiled and replied, “You see the folded napkin?”

“Yes,” I said.

He further explained, “If it’s folded, it means they will return.”

“Who?” I asked, “They never showed.”

“Christ,” he said. I was perplexed. He looked at me and smiled again. “We are waiting for His return.”

John 20:6-7
“6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.”

 



EDITOR’S NOTES:

This story alludes to the interpretation of the linen cloth which was wrapped around Jesus’s head at the time of his burial. The disciples Simon Peter and Peter were the first to arrive at the tomb. They saw the wraps of linen cloth lying in the spot where Jesus was placed to rest. However, the “cloth” put over his face and head were lying off to the side.

A Folded Napkin pic 1

Three different versions of the Bible translate this cloth to be a napkin. The NIV version renders it to be a burial cloth, and yet a third interprets it to be a handkerchief. The truth is napkins were not used in the days of Jesus – only a simple piece of fabric.

Though stories run rampant of the validity of this account, it can be noted that it was an unknown custom in Israel. However, some Jewish traditions do support the act of folding a napkin to denote their return to the table.

So, is it conjecture or did this event actually happen? The answer is unknown and requires more research of Jewish customs in the days of Jesus’s life. It certainly makes for an interesting conversation over breakfast!


Ad for WordPress

Alone

Is this a true story? Scary, isn’t it??

Alone Cover



You never suspected it! For days you watch, yet go about your merry way, ignoring all the signs. The spring weather should be warmer, but a bone-chilling cold signifies God is throwing in the towel. Frost on the ground proves spring isn’t coming anytime soon. You persistently hope for a change of seasons, but there is no reason for a deviation.

Finally, in a glimmering light, you watch the morning come alive. Is there an eclipse of the sun? It’s rising, but it seems blackened by something. You observe this phenomenon and question. Something is wrong and makes little sense! There are no rays of sunshine – just indirect light shading your day. When you gaze into the valley below, the traffic lights aren’t red or green – they’re just flashing yellow, and not a car on the streets are moving!

As you look up into the ominous sky, there isn’t one cloud – only a somber shade of gray. There are no plane contrails in the air or even a bird. How odd! Now very suspicious, you pull out your cellphone to make a call, but there is no service. Suddenly, you realize there isn’t one sound from anything around you – just dead silence. A nearby pond, usually full of fowl, is dead still with just a cold, yellow glow. Every bit of life is gone! The air begins has a stench – an indescribable smell.

You run a marathon, along with others, to the local chapel. At the altar rail, tears flow for the relatives and friends who departed and now gone forever. Separated by fear, Christ came and made his appearance. It’s too late! Beg God for forgiveness! You stare at one another, realizing what happened is written in the Bible.

alone-1.jpg

Is this true? Do you really want to find out or just be safe knowing you love our Lord, the creator of all mankind? The predictions of Revelations in the Bible, speaks of such a coming of our Lord. If you are unprepared, it is written it will be your worst nightmare. What did you do five minutes ago that you could answer to five minutes from now? Scary, isn’t it? In the quiet and dark, without a drop or hint of noise, God will send his Son to gather His chosen in the Rapture. All believers will ascend unbeknownst and leave you standing alone with unbearable suffering.

With nothing left, the cosmic heavens will disrupt the hemisphere, knocking out everything connected to satellites – even electric. A vast few will linger amongst the chapels and churches, praying to be saved, but will they, or will you? Like an Armageddon about to begin, the world will now come to a complete halt. You have arrived at the End Times, alone, and stranded from God…. or will you? It is your decision today to be a follower of God or a hopeless non-believer, but choose wisely! It’s better to be a believer in God than not to believe and wish you had!

 

Alone 2



 

Ad for WordPress

In My Shoes

and…. Do You Stand In Judgment Of Others? Characteristics of a Judgmental Person

In My Shoes 2


I didn’t realize the path I followed would lead me to a clearing when I stopped at the wooded edge. Daylight allowed a different point of view. I wandered over brooks and broken branches where time claimed their usefulness. The briars and slippery leaves laid dying in the shadows and shades of life. It appears our lives are determined and judged by the turns we take to arrive at the final destination.

In My Shoes 3In the bright sunshine, I asked, “God, where were you as I walked lost, trying to find my way?” Looking out over the waving grain, I thought I heard a voice… oh, it was just in my mind as I found my way through the forest. I listened intently as the breeze romanced the autumn sprouts. God has certainly shed his grace, but not in the woods where I climbed and fought my way out.

Again, I thought I heard someone clearing their voice. It reminded me of a little bullfrog laying upon a lily. I dusted off the remnants of the woods and rubbed my eyes clean of debris. As I looked up, poised against a tree, was Jesus, my Lord, watching me.

Disgruntled with the path I chose to take, I asked, “Where were you when I slipped and fell?”

He quietly smiled, nodded his head and looked at me with one eye. “My son, who picked you up when you were hurt and saved you from being scratched in the briars? Or pushed you to the brink as you walked along in circles? It was I, only me, that kept the snakes and rodents at bay, only me! Now you’re safe. Be blessed…” And then…. He was gone.

So, I thought about an old familiar tune as it rattled in my head. It’s only God who knows where my shoes walked and I defy you to curse my path. My journey is mine and yours – is yours. God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save it. Who are we to judge other’s paths in life? Mine is no more wrong than the way you took to the end of your woods. I know God blesses you… He blesses us all if we allow Him. Please, don’t stand in judgment unless…”you walk a mile in my shoes…

In My Shoes 1

 


EDITOR’S NOTES:

Do You Stand In Judgment Of Others?

Do you become enraged by someone else’s sin? Become aware of your own sin first!
Do you refuse to forgive? Offer love and goodness instead.
In My Shoes 5

 

Do you cut off contact with someone who has sinned or because you have different points of view? Has God ever departed from you when you sinned? He asks that we love each other unconditionally.
In My Shoes 6

Do you participate in gossiping? This is the trait of judging someone without giving them the chance to change.

Do you hate to receive criticism, so you turn a blind eye? This signifies hating to admit that you have faults. We can’t grow and learn by our mistakes if we can’t be honest with our ourselves.

Do you refuse to confront others of their mistakes? You’re permanently stamping them to their sin without ever giving them the chance to receive grace.

Do you automatically write someone off as hopeless? Where would you be if not for the courage of others to speak truths of your life?

In My Shoes 7

Crucifying Christianity

….hiding behind the words they read and living by the rules that are only applicable to suit themselves.

Crucifying Christianity


Webster’s Dictionary definition states that Christianity is a practice of a religion, a belief, dating back to Nazareth. Talk about crucifying Christianity!! Now, I know I may not be the brightest light in the midnight sky, but I beg to differ with this description. I’ve practiced a lot of things, but I never saw attending church as a practice. Practice isn’t a commitment! Doctors practice medicine; athletes practice their sport. And as far as their definition of it being a belief? OK, maybe that’s where our generations differ. Christianity, in my opinion, is about being and living Christlike—hence, the first part of the adjective.

Christianity, I’d like to believe, is a way of life–waking in the morning and asking God to bless your day; or praying to our heavenly father to forgive those who trespass against us, as we go to sleep. Do you practice, at our age, what we should have mastered by now–praying? Right or wrong, it’s a way of life for Christians.

I wonder in my thoughts….

Some can recite bible scripture backward, but does that make them a better Christian or more Christlike? Or is it those that wake in the morning to give of themselves, showing respect and honoring others, and living by the commandments that have been passed down? Christianity – is that when someone forces you out of your driving lane or is it using some choice words to say how grateful you aren’t for their stupidity? NO! That’s crucifying the meaning of Christianity!

The words, “I’ll pray for you,” does that pertain to practicing? Helping you on with your coat or holding a door…. maybe. But that’s being courteous and isn’t that what Christ would want? Christ could care less if you’re a Baptist, Catholic, or Presbyterian and those who follow His footsteps should know better than that! You treat everyone equally because it’s a way of LIFE–a life that brings you to God in the end. As Christians, we should respect all born into God’s kingdom!

 

Crucifying Christianity 2

 

Ah…and now for the Christian hypocrites – those who could care less how they drive others out of their lane, while they read the Bible over breakfast! Their swords wave as they swear. Their hearts are less than the brains God gave them (though they don’t consider that as an option). So many–hiding behind the words they read and living by the rules that are only applicable to suit themselves. Perhaps they are the people that Webster’s definition refers to when we speak of Christianity – practicing a religion!

Combatting hypocrisy was a passion for Jesus. In fact, much of Matthew 23 is dedicated to this topic:

“‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’”

According to God’s wishes, we as Christians, must make it our duty to enlighten hypocrites of their wrongdoings. Be vulnerable, honest, and authentic with these unbelievers. Let them acknowledge their sins so they may share in the freedom of God’s forgiveness. Jesus encourages us to make disciples, not just “save” people, so let’s pitch in to help the hypocrites who are crucifying Christianity!

Crucifying Christianity 1

 

So, tomorrow when you wake, will you read your bible over breakfast, or scalp the neighbor that lives next door to you? Will you scream at the kids when it’s really your fault? Will your spouse get a hug and kiss goodbye as you go out the door and into your car?

Now tell me…. what part of practicing a belief is Christianity in your everyday walk of life? Are you, too, crucifying Christianity by knowing the Word yet living by your own demeanor? Or are you trying to do a better job of being the best you can be to others? If you’re only attempting to try, then maybe you are practicing after all!

The Pain Is Broken

…have eternal life in heaven!


The Pain Is Broken 2

 

Have you ever just pondered, “What is this world thinking”? Luting and rioting, shootings, people fussing and fighting, and then the firing of war missiles – all in the name of power. But personally, I’d rather sit and listen to the heavens while God portrays His awesome righteousness on those who display love versus hatred.

For the lost souls that have never heard it, there’s a sound under these armored skies, and it, too, will penetrate your mortal soul. It’s a whisper of an undetectable fragrance that rides in a chariot through the night air, indescribable to a human. His name is God, folks—the only entity you can feel as your busy world comes to the end of each day! The hint of His aura drifts aloft over your spirit. Anointing you with His grace, God will manifest himself on those who want to remain in His Grace. And for all those times you wondered about doubting Your heavenly Father’s presence, you can suddenly stack them on the pinhead of a needle.

Romans 6:23
” For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.”

 

The years spent in the prison of your conscience, trapped in your own selfishness of spirit, was little more than self-pity as you never received what you thought you deserved. But as the sun finally breaks through the gloomy forecast, it casts it’s rays upon you. Suddenly you feel different, enlightened maybe. Something has changed, you can’t explain it. God has anointed you, my friend!

Be blessed, as the pain is broken. In the sunset, tears flow for no reason as God, Himself, miraculously washes away the impurities from within your soul. He has saved your heart and pours His grace on your now weary anointed spirit. God’s forgiveness–the secret to eternal life!

 

When you turn away from your sins and turn to God, Jesus saves us, and we have eternal life with him in Heaven!

Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.

 


EDITOR’S COMMENTS:

How can you be saved?

Ask forgiveness from God and forgive those you have sinned against. Ask the Lord to come into your heart as Lord of your life. God forgives our sins when we confess them to him.

Find a bible and church and learn about who Jesus is. We need to grow in the Lord. God’s will is for us to go into the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Pain Is Broken 1

Are You The Right One For Me?

….if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference.

Are You The Right One 9


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

I have been so blessed to have found the right partner for life. It wasn’t until my sixties that the wisdom of God taught me what I should have seen when I was younger. Even so, when I was nineteen years old, I married for the first time. I was raised in a Lutheran church, so marriage was considered a very sacred event. Had I known then, what I know so well now, that matrimony would have never occurred. The only positive thing from that union was my three beautiful children. But, I realize that young people, widows, or divorcees are all capable of getting married (or remarried), for the wrong reasons. The golden rule is that if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference. Most people that are in and out of marriages consistently are not looking to God for their discernment of true love. They have also chosen to ignore the Christian traits of a perfect spouse.

So, I have decided to put together a list of essential characteristics that you should consider when determining if someone is the right one for you. I wish this checklist had existed for me, so if you or someone you know is considering marriage, please share and pray for your or their discernment.

 

CHRISTIAN TRAITS OF A LIFE PARTNER:

Does he/she love God more than you? This is critical, as in time, the way they serve Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. Remember, this trait will be passed on to your future generations.

Are they to kind to others? If you don’t see your future partner treat others with kindness and grace, in time he or she will be treating you the same way.

Do they treat their parents with honor and respect? How a person gets along with parents, brothers, and sisters will tell you volumes about their character.

Proverbs 19:26
A son who “mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.”

Ephesians 6:2-3
A person who honors his father and mother enjoys the favor of the Lord.

 

Are they trustworthy and righteous? This indicates they will keep their word no matter what the cost. By the age of 30, a person’s character and values are formed so this trait should be seriously evaluated by young people under the age of 30.

Are they respected by others? Pay attention to any hesitations people may display when they speak about your possible partner. Do others say both negative and positive things about them? If so, take heed, for they may know something you do not about their personality.

Are they flirtatious? A person’s actions and looks speak volumes about respect for you and the opposite sex. It is NOT in their personality to flirt – it’s indicative of insecurities. Understand that insecurities cannot be “cured” by you or a marriage – it is a character flaw.

Are You The Right One 2

How does your potential partner dress? They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing clothing that flaunts personal assets. Sexy clothing should be reserved for the marriage partner.

Are You The Right One 3

Are they contentious or violent? If you notice a lot of unhappiness or anger in this person, then be warned this will definitely transfer into your relationship. Most partners in abusive relationships, report anger issues from the very beginning of their dating cycle.

Are they selfish or lazy? A selfish, lazy person will lack the desire or the means to fulfill certain spousal responsibilities. It is a snapshot of their maturity level. Remember, you can’t pay bills with promises of love.

Are You The Right One 4

Are they addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, sports, or impulse buying? This indicates how they keep emotions and desires under control. Addictions are a symptom of a larger problem and much larger than your marriage could survive most times.

Are they a believer in the Lord and share the same religious beliefs? If you are religious and they are an atheist, this will form a constant discord in your family. Oil and water do not mix. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. By ignoring this critical trait, you may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage as well as a battle for the spiritual well-being of your children. In fact, the Bible warns of dating someone unevenly yoked with your religious beliefs.

What kind of close friends does your potential partner have? Friends can easily mislead and falsely persuade the best of partners.

Are You The Right One 5

Have they been open with you about their part in the failure of past relationships? Beware of the person that always blames others for a failed relationship. This indicates they are not honest to their own self, or God, of their personal downfalls. They can’t ask forgiveness from God without confronting their own part they played in past problems. How can they correct their mistakes and learn from a prior relationship without an admission of guilt? They can’t, and they will surely carry it through to your marriage!

Do you know the true priorities of your future partner’s life?

Are You The Right One 6

Have you continuously prayed for guidance in making the right choice of a life partner? As Christians, we must learn that we have to wait on the Lord. For a man or woman who has an aching heart and longs to get married, the wait can be very, very hard. Any delay you may encounter might be a message from God that it is for your good. God wants you to call on Him, walk close to Him, and wait on Him. Don’t lose patience and wander away from God in your attempt to find someone to marry. This is extremely dangerous and will usually end up disastrous!

Are You The Right One 7

 

No one is perfect, but the fundamental spiritual and character qualities should be there. Proverbs is very clear that we are to find a partner who has godly characteristics in our lives. Looking for a man or woman to keep us from being lonely, or just to fill our needs, or to be a parent to our children, should not be the only reasons for marrying someone.

God cannot fail, and therefore any marriage built on Him is guaranteed to succeed. Women or men who allow emotions of a possible love to dictate their lives will never be victorious Christians.

But, so they say, “Love is blind”. Just don’t let it be you!

Are You The Right One 8