Daily Routine

Isn’t time to start your day peeking out the panes with a prayer?

Daily Routine cover


In the much-needed cloudburst of rain, my day begins. I wish I could enjoy the dawn as peace and quiet come early in the morning. But, I’m off to work! The lonely roads glisten from the night before as the shininess of street signs show in the light of night. Storefronts are still black and the parking lots are bare. Did the rapture happen when I wasn’t looking? Lingering in the dark, a black and white police car lurks. He’s yelling at someone, like Satan himself, on a holy terror.

I take a minute to pray to our heavenly Father – I should have before I started on my journey this morning. But like many others, I was too busy worrying about myself.

So, where is God in your life? Is He in your heart, or on a shelf? When was the last time you thanked Him for you? Do you refer to God as your Father – in case of emergency? I wonder…. is your daily routine verbatim – like putting your pants on the same every day? Is it always the same leg first?

Complacent within ourselves, we aimlessly wander, waiting for a change. But city streets reflect the past, watching you in the rearview mirror. Isn’t time to start your day peeking out the panes with a prayer? Maybe so! Share your first cup with the dear Lord that gave breath to you. The Canadian pastor, Oswald Smith, once said, “when we work, we work, when we pray, God works.” There is no activity in our life which doesn’t need a prayerful attitude.

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The dawn brightens and the gray skies shadow the sunrise. Marching on with our daily routine, life is full of surprises. So, let us ask our Father to bless our morning habits. Let us pray for those who find it unnecessary to give the glory to our Father in heaven.

Though your morning may be gray, I pray in the mundane of the day, you will seek another world. He’s waiting when you’re ready!

Only Know….

A true story of love and memories

Our new home
Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

 

Looking out over the water and the blowing winter wind, it all looks the same. With great perception, I watch my wife. I know her inner thoughts as I see a cold tear fall from the corner of her eye. Maybe it will help to say, I love you. I pray it softens her aching heart.

Leaning over the old rickety handrail, childhood memories pass through her soul and they seem like a lifetime ago. She silently remembers the camaraderie of herself and her brothers fishing and swimming, crabbing in the summer, and escapades on the frozen river. But most of all, her mother’s last words spoken before she went with God, seems to prevail within her soul…. “Take what I am giving you and buy your own waterfront home. Find peace and love there.”

I was busy pursuing my own dreams so I never recognized God’s gift in 1985 – my wife. Little did I know, she was what I needed! So thirty-two years later, my phone displayed her number for the first time. It was obvious – God wanted her to make the first move back into my life. I’m not sure if an angel can rescue one of its own, but she rescued me from my world of a near disaster. God wanted us to rescue each other.

Only KnowI never had the pleasure of meeting her mom but, somehow, I feel God calls me to complete her dying wish. Now sitting on the front stoop with her back facing me, I can read my wife’s thoughts as her head reverently bows before God. I hear her heart say, “Mom, I’m finally home… where peace and love lives, now and always. Thank you”.

Love finally brings not just us, but every memory she held on to, back together again. Staring across at the winter waves, we praise God. I sincerely thank her mom as a smile comes like the sun, seeping through the cold clouds. If she could only know….

My Fading Frozen Flower

…..God our Father protects the innocent – even as little as a flower!

My Fading Frozen Rose


The gray sky turns to the dark of night. Huddled in the corner where the fence post pivots, shivers a shrub I planted last summer. I prayed over it asking our heavenly Father to watch over the fragile, faded frozen rose. But wilting in the dark of winter, the poor little frozen stems lie damaged due to the cold. Blanketed with love and prayers, its roots are numb below the freezing rain and snow. God, did you not hear my prayers? Now, it’s night, and the brown wilted leaves and fragments of petals struggle to survive; another brutal ice storm falls instead of gentle, warm spring showers.

There are no bull frogs or locusts chattering in the evening air, just a howling sound. Satan tries to kill every living thing God blesses and my heart pales as pain resonates through the window. Wishing I could fix everything wrong in life, a tear meanders from its duct. I’m helpless while nature takes its course. As I watch my breath on the glass, I give God the glory for I know I have no other choice. Turning away and closing the drapes, it’s up to Him who withers or lives and only the thaw will reveal the truth.

The bed is turned down, and I lay my prayers on the pillow. Once more, I wonder if God’s listening. All I can do is pray for my little frozen rose and hope it’s okay. Morning comes, but the stem remains frozen in time. As spring brings hope, a new stem survives the winter. Though Satan thought he would conquer in the cold, God our Father protects the innocent – even as little as a flower!

It is important to realize that God’s protection may come as an ending, but that is because something new and better is on the horizon. As God’s children, we’re promised a life protected by God, in which nothing or no one can separate us from His love.

God Bless….. and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Ceremonial Celebration

Peace reigns in this unity of nations as each athlete bows in respect to one another.

Ceremonial Celebration


With one eye closed, I try to watch the most worldly news one could ever imagine, the PyeongChang Olympics. In living color, every young representative smiles and dances bearing their arms from faraway lands. Proudly, they take center stage – all in one and all as one, saluting their achievements bestowed upon them by God. There exists no animosity, no hate, just an extraordinary love for their fellow competitors and country. I try to comprehend the beauty of the opening ceremony and it makes one wonder, in general, where mankind went wrong in the world.

I see a hidden message here…. there’s a lot we have yet to learn! Peace reigns in this unity of nations as each athlete bows in respect to one another. Far away from the grunge of the United Nations, these tremendously talented, young adults take center stage on a one world playing field. There’s nothing like the promise of competitiveness to make one’s heart grow fonder! At this time, it’s the only positive program on television. Putting aside the negativity of who’s right or wrong, everyone is welcome to join in the ceremony. Together in peace and harmony, they exemplify an abundance of blessings.

As good Samaritans, it’s the Olympics’ young competitors that set the example. So many complacent youngsters today, set in their ways, should follow the lead. I also have to wonder how our government would work if they got along like these collegiate kids? Amazingly, the world stage needs to take note. Yes, the Olympics is a marvelous event. What better gift could we give God, ourselves and those around us than the gift of learning how to live in unity, filled with the power of God’s love?

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Hopefully, the Olympics 2018 will be remembered in the hearts of people around the globe as a sign of peace!

Catch 22

Let us toast to the memories we’ve made and thank our Lord for this day….

Catch 22 FB


Waiting for the procession, I took a moment to gather my thoughts. A new life begins though some are almost gone as the sun sets over past memories. Some are good, some bad, some happy and sad, but in His midst, life goes on. We follow our heart as our spirit leads us not into temptation but to the glory of God’s everlasting love.

I hear the strings of the lyre playing and I realize that life is a little like a piano wire stretched across the mast of an old schooner ship. It relentlessly waves in the stormy seas and fights to survive when lightning strikes. Our journey is already paved though, for we are saved by the grace of God.

In our own life of twists and turns, we recollect in much the same way. We reflect on our own journey’s ups and downs as our heart pours out. Tears are shed but broken hearts mend, creating memories of years past.

So, where do we head from here? I’ll hold your hand if it will help, but God knows time is short. Therefore, live every single day like it’s your last, for you just may leave behind a legacy that would make a difference for the cause of Christ!

Point your sails toward the setting sun and enjoy the refreshing coolness that ushers in, for the moon will rise behind you, and guide us home to be with our Lord. Watching the ripples dance on the gentle swells, our hearts will shine on into eternity.

Be thankful for God’s blessings! Remember Him in all that you do and make Him #1 always. Though life is a Catch 22, let us toast to the memories we’ve made and thank our Lord for this day…. there are no promises of tomorrow. Amen.

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Satan Rains

No matter how dark the night gets, we can be reminded that joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30)

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A whistle blows, the signals turn, and a light glows deep within the tunnel. Engine wheels pound the ground as they roll over the rails and the sound intensifies to the beating inside your body. Your mind wanders as tensions tumble and frustrations rule. Confusion sets in like an afternoon thunderstorm, so you go to your family physician and he runs the tests. Not feeling completely satisfied with the results, you’re given a follow-up appointment card for next month – another 30 days!

Soul-searching, you wonder how you got to this point. You ask your bathroom mirror, “Where did I go wrong? How did I get in to this predicament in the first place”? So you climb into a steamy hot shower, hoping to cleanse that which ails your aching spirit. Though the water hypnotizes your nerves, nothing changes by the time you dry off with a warm towel.

Another restless night and morning comes with no conclusive evidence. But over a cup of morning coffee and an examination of your childhood, events you forgot over time creep back into your memory and Satan rains. An abusive lifestyle that your subconscious wanted you to forget, leaves you hopelessly disturbed and now your physician tries to analyze the mind that’s left. Pardoning those who are born with impairments such as ADHD and other similar ailments, I must discuss the mental illnesses that lend themselves to everyday circumstances – PTSD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

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We are born as children of God which lends my theory to begin with the fact we are perfection at birth. So, a Christian cannot help but wonder if most mental health problems are a consequence of the negative experiences called life.

I speak as a recipient of verbal abuse in my childhood years. If you fill a child’s mind full of negativity, they will grow up being the same – pessimistic and socially unaccepted. A hug and kiss each time you say goodbye to your child as they go out to play or school, will leave their little brain positive and confident.

Blaming some types of mental illnesses on chemical imbalances in the brain is like blaming children for their parents. Psychological disorders may be a cranium problem but abuse, of any nature, creates the same effect. One is not born with PTSD but rather a recipient of severe trauma experienced in a series of life events. People are not born severely depressed, anxious, panic-ridden, or suicidal. The root of these conditions are the negative experiences of life and perhaps even spiritual issues involving a division of the body and soul.

Though my feelings on this topic are of my own, I do sincerely sympathize with afflicted Christians. Knowing where I am in my life now compared to where I’ve been, justifies my analysis. But I believe the suffering of a mental illness could be possibly viewed as a gift. As a Christian why would you want a gift like this? The answer is simple. If you lean on God for the strength to conquer the battle, your faith and hope grows developing compassion for others. The capacity to feel joy, peace and every other fruit is of God’s Holy Spirit.

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It is important to remind your children that they walk in Christ to avoid Satan raining in their minds. God is in the heart, soul, and mind of every person on earth. No matter how dark the night gets, we can be reminded that joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30).

Corinthians 5:16-17
“From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view … Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”

 

The Hidden Signs

Christians and verbal abuse –

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

 

I have a close friend who is a wonderful Christian woman—a regular participant in church activities and worship. She devoutly lives her life and is raising her children (from an earlier marriage) by the Ten Commandments. She married a Christian man  twenty-two years ago. With a beautiful future ahead of her, she has relished in the joy of holy matrimony.

One day, upon visiting her home, I witnessed her husband’s verbal abuse to both her and the children. Later, I approached his anger issues with her and she made excuses for his behavior – “he’s stressed out from work”, “he’s tired,” “I’m not perfect either,” and even, “but he’s a good man!” Finally, in a weak moment, she admitted that leaving her marriage was not what God would intend for her to do. So, she would stay with him and just pray for his salvation. As you can see, abuse is often more difficult to see because, in public, the abuser is the perfect Christian. In private, however, they are a different person.

Most of us know someone who is verbally abused or perhaps you, personally, are involved in an abusive marriage. You understand that it is NOT God’s will for this to happen as angry and critical words destroy confidence and self-esteem. Verbal abuse is about having power and control over another human being…. an un-Christlike drive to meet and keep dominance. Its harmful and destructive to everyone, including any children who may be part of the picture.

So, what are the hidden signs of an abuser? Here are some true indicators:

Do they withhold information?

Do they constantly counter and correct everything you say and do?

Do they take verbal jabs in the form of humor?

Do they accuse you of doing things that could harm the relationship?

Do they judge you and become critical of expressing your point of view?

Do they take something that is said or done and make it insignificant?

Do they undermine you by withholding emotional support?

Do they threaten you? This may include threatening to leave or threatening to get a divorce.

Do they call you names?

Do they consistently forget about the promises they have made which are most important you?

Do they give orders instead of asking, treating you like a slave or subordinate?

Do they use the Bible as a weapon against you – usually taking things out of context?

Do they isolate you from family and friends and insist on knowing your every move?

Do they deny you access to financial information or accounts or prevent you from attending school or getting a job?

Do they mock you or put you down?

Do they accuse you of being controlling, disrespectful, unsubmissive, and self-important?

Are they in denial they are verbally abusive?

 

If two or more of these questions may be answered with a “YES”, the chances are very good that an abusive personality is in your midst. A verbal abuser doesn’t characterize the truth that comes from God. They are being used by Satan to accomplish his evil plans. If marriage partners are truly seeking to honor Christ, they will not want to hurt each other, but instead encourage each other. The Bible clearly warns us about the dangers of being in the presence of an angry person:

 

Proverbs 22:24
“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man.”

and….

Proverbs 29:22
“An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.”

 

As is so often asked, is there hope that some abusers can change? The answer is yes, but with certain stipulations. It begins by recognizing verbal abuse for what it is and taking deliberate and immediate steps to stop it and bring healing. The abuser needs to repent!

Sadly, most Christian women are less likely to seek help, because many believe the Bible says they must submit to their husband regardless of his behavior (as in the case of my friend). Being submissive in a marriage does not mean allowing yourself to be verbally beaten by your partner! The best chance a marriage has of surviving verbal abuse is to seek professional help. God does call for us to be good stewards of our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and financial health.

Some important things to note:

#1: Know that God loves you!

The Hidden Signs

#2: Understand that verbal abuse is NOT YOUR FAULT! You may be feeling that the problems in your marriage are caused by you or that you’re a bad person. Deal with the feelings of guilt and shame through a parish or a professional Christian counselor. Build a support system!

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As Christians, and on behalf of the unity of the church, let us pray –
Dear God,

You are the God of all comfort. We pray for those who have been abused within our churches and across our nation. Have compassion upon all who suffer the injustice, humiliation and pain of abuse. During their stressful circumstances, give them courage to speak. May your perfect love drive out fear and anxiety. We humbly ask you to create opportunities for these men, women and children to share their pain, reveal their struggles and expose the hurtful actions of others. Strengthen them with Your precious love. We humbly plead these things in the name of our Lord.

Amen.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:
I found a wonderful article written by a Christian woman who lived through an abusive marriage. I would like to share it with you –

https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2009/january/myabusivechristianmarriage