If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Not long ago, I observed a young woman who I was very impressed with. She was happy, loved her life, was well-rounded and well-adjusted. She loved her family and took great joy in the simple pleasures of life.
I noticed not long ago she had put something up on Facebook that went something like this, “I get so annoyed by ignorant people.” It wasn’t long until I noticed she didn’t seem as full of joy as she had been. I noticed she wasn’t interacting with others as I had seen her do before. I noticed her posts were getting to be fewer and when she did post, the happiness and joy did not seem to hold the same intensity that was so rich it blessed me to just think about it.
I began to wonder what happened, but I didn’t have to wonder long to know she was offended. My heart was just crushed over this! Why? Because I used to be offended. I know what follows if you don’t deal with it and deal with it quickly.
Offense carries with it a multitude of problems! First comes the offense, then comes anger over the offense, then come walls of ‘protection’ when they are actually prison walls set firmly in place by satan, himself. After the prison walls go up, you find yourself more and more isolated. The more isolated you become the more lonely you are. You find people don’t want to be around you the way they had in the past. Why? Because you have become negative, quick-tempered, and irritable. Gone is your joy, your peace, your gratitude for God‘s great blessings because you are consumed by the one or ones who ‘annoyed’ you! You are miserable and so are the people around you.
Your marriage begins to feel it because your heart has changed. You have literally begun to change. Your children are no longer the joy they once were because you have become negative and satan is sure to make certain the littlest things now get under your skin. You have left your love walk and opened the door to strife.
You are no longer the powerhouse in God you once were. Why? Because you are letting a different voice have precedence in your mind, and without realizing it, it is the voice of the devil! You were baited and you took it and now you are on the hook. He will pull and push you wherever he wants.
He will pull you out of church because the people you once loved and loved seeing now are flashing neon signs of problems to you. He will infiltrate your home and the love of your life will be someone you ‘need time’ away from. You will become exhausted with dealing with the smallest of things, including your children, because you blame their noisy play and refusal to go down for their nap for your lack of peace and your new-found stress. You have been deceived and trapped.
Offense is a poison. It quickly turns into bitterness and when it does it spreads like a cancer! My great-grandmother had a beautiful wisteria bush in her yard. She loved to garden! She would plant different plants in cans and they would thrive! She had planted the wisteria bush quite a few feet from one of her towering oak trees. She had several oaks in her yard and it was beautiful! There wasn’t anything she couldn’t grow, or bring back to life…until the wisteria bush was planted.
The wisteria bush began to grow, and it began to crawl. What started out as a small plant in Grandma‘s yard began to reach out and grow beyond the space she intended for it to occupy. It crept across until it reached the beautiful oak tree. It began to wrap itself around the bottom of the tree, then it began to climb and wrap its vine around and around the tree. It wrapped and wrapped and tightened its grip and with each day it grew. It was not long until the wisteria had literally taken over the towering oak tree and choked the life out it until it was dead. The wisteria dug in and took the tree over and even Grandma could not stop it. God can’t stop it either. You have made a choice and you have been given a free will. He has to allow what you allow because He will not and cannot violate your will. Be careful who and what you give permission to occupy any part of your life!
Offense and bitterness are the same way. What starts as a small seed grows quickly. It spreads from a small annoyance to all out dislike. Soon it isn’t just one person, it is several you have become ‘annoyed’ with and critical of. The root of your offense is growing. Its tentacles are reaching into every part of your life until it chokes the very life of love out of you that once flowed so freely and beautifully! It chokes out your joy. It chokes out your blessings. You no longer look forward to the day, but dread it because you are squeezed and the pressure is uncomfortable instead of being free to bloom as you once were!
God is love. You were full of that love at one time. That is when you felt close to God and now He seems so distant. Why? Because you are bound and the nutrients of His love and Spirit have been blocked. You were destined to be a powerhouse for God and now you just can’t seem to concentrate on God like you used to. Satan knew what you were destined to be. He knew if he could get your eyes on the wrong thing, he could stop your progress and your future and all the mighty works that would have brought great glory to God and all the blessings He had for you would be lost.
No longer would people look and see you shining, but they would look and see someone they pray they will never become. From the palace to the pit is what satan intended and that is what he accomplished. You had it all, and because someone was ignorant, instead of praying for them and walking on in love, you let it become your hindrance and stopping point in God! If you ask me, that is what is ignorant! Knowing you did it and not doing anything about it is just plain foolishness!
Go to God and confess if you have any offense in your heart. Get rid of all malice and wrath as the Word tells us. God will deal with those people, and if they refuse to change don’t let it change you! Allow God to cleanse you and preserve you. Allow Him to bring back your joy and your love for others! You will never be happy any other way.
My Thanksgiving day was wonderful! My Thanksgiving night was a nightmare! I woke up with gastritis and all of its nasty symptoms!! But, I had one of the best Thanksgivings I remember by far!
My mother had found an old box of pictures as she was cleaning out a closet a couple of weeks ago. She wanted me to go through them with her. It contained old photos from when I was a baby and old, antique photos of my grandfather’s side of the family. There were pictures of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, great aunts and uncles, and cousins from years long past. My mother began to tell me about each one. Her favorite aunt, the cousin we had that was a Methodist missionary to Africa, and that is the one I couldn’t get enough answers about.
It seems this particular cousin had left at a young age to be a missionary to Africa. He married and adopted a child from there. That is the only thing I know. I have searched high and low for him and there is nothing on google that comes close to him.
It is my understanding, he married a sweet Methodist lady, they adopted a little boy, and my cousin died there working all of his life as a missionary. He never quit or retired. He served the Lord until the day he died. It saddens me I cannot find out more. As children we just aren’t interested and, as adults, we often wait until the grandparents that could have told us everything we want to know have died, and the valuable information with them.
I don’t want birthdays and the dates of deaths. I want details of lives, the dreams, the visions, the acts of kindness, their philosophy of what was really important! I want the wisdom that accrued through the years. I want to know if their children are alive and where they are.
I have friend who prays in an abandoned cemetery. This is a true story, as bizarre as it sounds. I asked him why he did that. He said it was because nobody is there at 6 a.m. and he won’t be interrupted or disturbed. My friend is a very successful businessman. There is always a demand on him for something. This cemetery is his “alone” place with God. You truly can’t get more quiet than that!
One day as my friend walked among the tombstones, praying, the Lord spoke to him and asked him to look and tell Him what He saw. He told the Lord he just saw markers of where the dead had been buried. God spoke to his heart and said, “No, what you are seeing is a dream that never became a reality, a cure for cancer that was never found, the evangelist that was to have been used by Me to bring thousands to salvation, the one who could have been a mighty leader in government and stopped catastrophes that didn’t have to take place, but they only saw themselves and their weaknesses. They never grabbed hold to what I had planned to do through them, and so the cures, leadership, and ministries died with them. You are seeing unfulfilled visions, purposes, and dead dreams.”
How sad, precious reader! So many lives birthed to make a difference and death came before the difference could because someone thought too much of what people thought or for their failure to prioritize God’s agenda over their own. They let their own lack of belief in what God could do through them outweigh what God was waiting to do the entire time with them!
My cousin, Ralph was not one like that I don’t think. He left on his mission, gave himself fully to it, and never returned because ministers never really retire. There is always another soul to reach for, another person in need of healing, another young life to mold for Christ because there is no time to waste! They always have that unction to keep going because that unction is the anointing and it never leaves us!
I will continue to search for any tidbit about Ralph I can get. Maybe I will be able to find his son or grandchildren. I must say, I am quite curious about this man who saw opportunity instead of obstacles! I hope I have some of that in me!
God bless you, dear reader! I will see you soon!
Daddy with my daughter, Sunshine, on her “Aggie Ring Day”.
When my father was a little boy, he became very ill and would have died had it not been for a woman by the name of Mrs. Merritt. Mrs. Merritt was a friend of my dad‘s family. My father’s family was farmers. Farming is a charming idea, but it is the hardest work you will ever do and you certainly will not get rich doing it unless you are cattle farming! My grandparents were not cattle farmers.
My grandparents were very poor! They had eight children and my grandmother worked as hard as my grandfather! They were not even able to afford a clock. My grandfather would know when to get up for work by a rooster they had. When my father fell ill, they had no money for a doctor and nothing to “trade” for his services. One day Mrs. Merritt stopped by and saw my dad and wanted to know if he had seen a doctor and why not. When she found out it was because there was no money she told my grandparents she would pay the bill if they would allow her to take my father to the physician. They agreed to let her. Had she not taken him, my father would surely have died at the age of three. He was so ill, he would not eat even when he started getting better. I have an aunt we call Aunt Sweetie, and that is just what she is. The sugar cane had come in and she was peeling it. She would cut about four inches off the end and give it to Daddy. That is how they got him to begin eating again. They tell me he had gotten down to literally skin and bones and had it not been for Mrs. Merritt and God my father surely would have died!
Years ago I was reading a book. I cannot tell you who wrote it nor the name of it but I will never forget one part in this book. It was speaking of those who were close to Jesus and the throne and those who were not. This author had seen a vision of heaven and wrote about it. He was a pastor, that much I do remember about him. He is someone you would know if I could remember the name! When he went into the throne room where the saints before us have gone on to be, the ones in the front were praying grandmothers! As he stood there looking, a couple he had known and had been mentored by as a young Christian approached him. They were beautiful. They had on white robes and there was a look of utter peace on their faces. They had been this man’s pastors for a time. He was very shocked to see them toward the back of the “room”. They spoke to the man and he told them how glad he was to see them. He made the statement to them, “You were very popular ministers on the earth. You had a television ministry and did many great things. I don’t understand what you are doing toward the back.” The minister who had been this man’s pastor spoke up and said, “I owe you a great apology and I want to make that apology now. You see when you first came to us, you were young in the Lord. I was a busy man, or so I thought at the time. I thought I was too busy for you. You, to a degree got on my nerves, because you were young in the Lord and we just felt our busy schedules didn’t afford us stopping and taking time to help you. You were not the only one we made this mistake with. Out of all we did, God wanted us to love everyone equally and we were just too busy to see that. That is why you see us here instead of closer like others.”
I will never forget that. It isn’t how popular people are, what accolades they collect in life, nor even the number of people they touch. The Bible even tells us that. It says we can speak with the tongues of angels, give all we have to the poor, but if we have not love we are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal! Love is what brings quality to the quantity of the work we do for God. This is what Mrs. Merritt did. She went to the home of poor share croppers and saved the life of a child. This family could not give her a thing! They had nothing to give!! For years after that, Mrs. Merritt became a dear friend to my grandmother. She would always come by to see her after my grandfather died. Mrs. Merritt has gone on to be with Jesus herself. I am sure she is right there by the throne of God!
I will tell you what happened to my father. He became a hard worker. He began to buy his school supplies and clothes when he was eleven years old. My grandparents saw to it he knew what a work ethic was and to appreciate God’s blessings! He put himself through X-Ray training and lived at the YMCA and almost starved. When he and my mother met he was 5’8 and weighed 120 pounds. My mother teases him by telling him he married her for her mother’s cooking! My mother saw he was hungry and she would bring him home with her from the hospital and my grandmother would feed him. They fell in love and married.
My father worked in x-ray for years and then became a medical technologist through on the job training. A doctor wanted to start a heart program at a local hospital and called my dad to ask him if he would come and work for him and the hospital. This happened out of the blue! The hospital paid for my dad to go to Baylor and train under the renown surgeon, Dr. DeBakey. My dad became a “pump technician”. He worked his way up and became the Director of Cardiology at that hospital in a very short time! God blessed my parents and the more He blessed the more they gave back to God. The more they gave back to God the more He blessed! Not bad for a man who never went to college one day in his life! Yes, I am very proud of my father!
God had a plan for my father. God was going to use Daddy to save many lives. What would have happened had Mrs. Merritt been too busy or hard-hearted to care about a little boy who could never repay her? Would those lives have been saved? Maybe one of the lives my dad saved was either your own or one of your loved ones! Thank God for Mrs. Merritt!! (I say this to my local readers).
I don’t know why God has me writing so much on love lately. I cannot get it off of my mind. Even now, as I type this out, tears are streaming from my eyes! It was prophesied over me not more than two weeks ago that God was going to put a love in my heart that words could not even express. I was going to really “GET IT”! In other words, it was going to become a phenomenal revelation to me!! The greatest gift is love the Bible says. I have ALWAYS been honest and transparent with you, precious reader. I am not here to impress you. Let me tell you, I DO have some rough edges! God is going to sand them off of my heart. I went through a three-year trial that I literally thought would kill me. During that time, without realizing it, I developed a shell so to speak. It was a shell that I used as a protection from hurt. The shell must be broken! How can we minister love to people if we drive them away through so-called self-protection. God is the protector, not us!
I don’t want to be famous, well known, or rich. I want to be effective for the kingdom of God and the only way to do that is to love who He loves and that is every single one of us. I can honestly say this, no matter where you are from, what your background is, I love you, dear reader with the love of the Lord. I am so glad you come and read. My greatest heart’s desire is to see you saved, at peace, full of joy, and flowing in your gift!! I hope in some way these posts help in that! Even though I do not see you or know you, your heart is truly precious to me!!
May God bless you abundantly pyhsically, mentally, and spiritually! I will see you soon!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up.
This is my maternal grandmother. She was wonderful at everything she did! She was married to my grandfather for over sixty years. She would literally dream of patterns and wake up the next day, get her sewing machine out, go to the general store and make my mother the dress she had dreamed.
She sewed so well that at a birthday party my mother attended as a child another mother asked my grandmother her where she had purchased my mother’s dress. My grandmother told her she made it. The mother became so angry with my grandmother, thinking my grandmother lied and it had to have come from a store because it looked so professionally made, she never spoke to my grandmother again! My grandmother could literally run circles around Martha Stewart and I am not bragging! Anyone who knew my grandmother knows I am telling the absolute truth!
My grandmother could cook, too! Thank God my mother inherited that trait! My grandmother made her own seasoning to brine the turkey, made her own dressing recipe, and many salads and side dishes straight from her yummy imagination!
One of the things that made my grandmother so great at all she did was the fact she could take and desired constructive criticism! People we would have over for the holidays, many times, thought we were being mean to Maw when we would say, “The turkey is good, but just a bit saltier this year.” What they didn’t know is Maw would always tell us, “You are not doing me any favors lying to me! If something is off you better tell me! I want it right and I don’t want you to lie to me to spare my feelings! You aren’t hurting them to begin with! I will be more upset if something is wrong and you lie to me and I always do it wrong and never get it as it needs to be!!” And she meant it! She left no question about that! You better not lie to Maw, even if it was a negative truth. She would always sit and when we would say something, she would repeat it to remember it. You could see the wheels turning in her mind making mental notes as to what she needed to tweak next time.
My mother is the same way! You better tell her the truth or you are in trouble! She can run circles around Paula Deen! Paula hasn’t tasted dressing until she tastes Momma‘s!! We still use the perfected recipes Maw passed down to us; perfected because my grandmother was not so prideful she expected a disrespectful lie instead a respectful truth! My mother is no different.
When we sit down to a holiday meal, my mother is on one end of the table and I am on the other. We pick up our forks and tastes the same things at the same time and the critiquing begins! My mother has aged and cannot do it all anymore. I love to help her in the kitchen. Many times I say, “Now, Momma let me do it and you watch to make sure I am doing it right!” She does and when I am “off” on something she gently steers me back to her perfection! I say that to say this….when the meal is critiqued I am getting critiqued as well! I have learned to take the truth with the right attitude because Maw passed that attitude down to Momma and me.
My precious reader, you are doing yourself a favor and your children and the generations to come when you take truth as a helping tool, not a stumbling block of offense! If my grandmother had not been that way, we would probably have to have the whole thing catered today and wouldn’t have the heritage of all the delicious recipes, much less the attitude that no amount of money can buy and no one can take away! That was the best thing my grandmother left to us! How to make yourself better and not be offended in the process!
Through mistakes we do not necessarily learn. Many are too prideful to ever admit they ever make them, much less learn from them. It is in the correction of those mistakes and how we take it we learn and grow to be better people!
The next time someone criticizes you, whether in love or negatively, turn it into a positive truth! Take it as something that, in all reality no matter how it is given, you let it grow you not insult you! Remember even “haters are your best motivators!” Have a wonderful day, my precious reader! Blessings to you in abundance!!
27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27
This is my grandfather. I called him “Big Daddy“. My grandfather was a wonderful man! Just being near him gave me great security as a child. I knew as long as Big Daddy was around, nothing could hurt me!
When I was about 21 years old, my family went to the State Fair. My grandfather wanted me to ride the ferris wheel. I had a great fear of heights!! I did NOT want on that ride! I was so afraid the man would get me at the top and stop the ride and leave me there. I did not want to disappointment my grandfather so I got on it, in spite of my fear! When we got on it I looked at him. He was so thrilled to ride it and for me to ride it with him! Big Daddy was always a little like a kid. He loved fireworks, to play with my brother and me, to see our faces when he had a surprise for us, and he ALWAYS had a surprise for us! As the ride began to move I did okay until we got to the top. I began to feel terror seize me. I grabbed Big Daddy and I told him I was scared. He got a concerned look on his face. He put his arm around me and held me tightly and said, “It is okay! I’ve got you, Baby!” As the ride moved to the top again, he began to say in a calm soothing voice, “Look. Look and see if you can see Momma and Ma (my grandmother)”. He was trying to get my mind off of my fear and onto something else.
As I read the news today about all the unrest in the middle east and even in the United States I began to think of the scriptures that tell of what it will be like in the last days before Jesus returns. I knew I was seeing Bible prophecy in action! Even Universities have had to close their doors in Texas due to terrorists threats! I began to sense an uneasiness coming on me then I heard God say as plain as day, “It is okay! I’ve got you, Baby!” Glory to God!!! Just like it says in Psalm 91, a thousand may fall at our right hand and ten thousand on our left, but it SHALL NOT COME NEAR US! ONLY A SPECTATOR SHALL WE BE!!! I began to feel that same peace and security I had when my grandfather was alive. I realized my God is greater than ALL and He has me! I have nothing to fear!! In fact, I have EVERYTHING to look forward to, because my Jesus is about to appear in the clouds and take us home! Praise God!!
This is a time to be mindful of our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world! Many are in great danger!! But, our Saviour is with them, just as He is with us! Pray for angels to surround them with protection! Pray they are safe at ALL times! Pray for their EVERY need to be supplied!! Pray those who have not come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour no longer put it off! The time is short!! His coming is at hand! Even now, He stands at the door knocking! Let Him enter your heart if you have not. Pray for our country and for wisdom for those who are in office! Pray as the election comes upon us, that WE have wisdom as well! Our country’s future depends on it!
Blessings to you, precious reader! May God’s peace permeate your heart as well, today!