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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Saving Power of Jesus Christ

Me and Dad
Biloxi, Mississippi
 Today is my birthday.  I woke with tears in my eyes.'s not because I'm older.  I woke thinking about my long life with Jesus.  I cried because He is my dearest friend and not because he saved me from Hell.  I cried because he saved me from so much more.

I remember the Sunday night I sat on the front pew of my Dad's church when I was only six years old.  That night is still very fresh in my mind.  My little legs couldn't reach the floor but they swung in rhythm as mom and dad sang an upbeat song.  It was a warm night in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The windows were open and a soft breeze with a hint of ocean swept through the church.  Dad moved behind the pulpit to preach.  I don't remember what he said or even the topic of his sermon.  But I remember thinking about all the times my parents sat with me and told me about Jesus.  I thought about the Sunday school teachers that showed me pictures and told me about a man who would love me forever and would never leave my side. 

I remember my Dad talking about sin.  I knew I shouldn't lie and I knew I should obey my parents but sin meant very little to me.  Instead, I stared into the eyes of my Dad and I wanted to know the man he was talking about.  I wanted to be friends with a man who was as wonderful as my Dad said he was.  I pictured my mom and dad walking down a path with Jesus walking between them.  Yes, it was the simple Sunday school drawings of this Jesus....but for me, it was very real.

Then I saw it.  I saw the glistening eyes of my Dad.  My dad never cried.  It didn't matter what kind of pain it was - emotional or physical - my dad never cried.  He could make a joke out of any situation.  He could fuss about injustice and stupidity - but dad never cried.  That night, the tears didn't run down his face....but I saw not only the film of tears that he fought to contain - but also the deep understanding that everything he was saying about this friend of his was completely and totally true.  His depth of emotion connected with mine and all I wanted was to be friends with this Jesus.  I wanted to know what my parents knew.  I wanted Jesus to see me and to love me in the same way he loved my parents. 

When Dad gave the alter call I pushed off that uncomfortable wooden bench and joined several others at an old fashioned alter.  I knelt and folded my arms on the alter.  I laid my head on those little arms and began to cry.  At six-years old that's all I knew to do.  I didn't have sins to repent.  I didn't have dreams to ask for.  All I could think to say was, "Jesus please come into my life and love me.  I want to be your friend." 

I kept thinking what it would be like to know that this great man was my friend.  I desperately wanted to know that we would walk together, that he would take care of me and that all three of us - my parents and I would have this man as our friend.

My Dad put his arms around me and prayed a simple prayer.  My mother knelt beside me and walked me through the sinners prayer.  I did everything I was told, but none of it made me feel any different.  It was the emotions of knowing who Jesus was and the desperate need to "feel" his presence in my life that kept the tears rolling down my cheeks. 

The alter cleared and as always mother and dad stood at the back of the church shaking hands and talking with friends.  I returned to the front row seat and continued to cry.  I don't know why the tears wouldn't stop except that I was so desperate to know that Jesus and I had cemented our relationship.  Some people may criticize my tears or the fact that my parents allowed it to happen.  But I would not be the same person today if my parents had not allowed me to follow the sweet path of redemption.  For me those tears were a journey.  A journey that allowed an innocent little girl to commit her entire life to Jesus Christ.  I will always be grateful to my parents for introducing me to Jesus Christ.  I will always be grateful to the grandparents, aunts, uncles and various saints that supported my faith and shared their testimonies of God's love.

I remember Dad and the strong arms that lifted me off that old wooden bench.  I remember laying my head on his shoulder and crying.  I remember him stoking my back and telling me how glad he was that I knew his best friend.  I sat between mom and dad as we drove to a restaurant.  10 or 15 friends from church were waiting.  Dad sat at the head of the table.  I sat between him and mother. 

I didn't look around.  I still wasn't sure that Jesus had heard me.  I bowed my head and tears rolled down my cheek.  "Did you hear me Jesus?  I so want to be your friend."  Mother saw my tears and asked what was wrong.  I told her I just wanted to be saved.  I wanted Jesus to be my friend. 

She put her head close to mine and we prayed again.  She assured me that it was done.  That Jesus was not one to hold his love from anyone that wanted to know him. She smiled wide, patted my hand and kissed me on the cheek.  I heard the words.  I knew my mother wouldn't lie to me.  But I still didn't feel like it was done.  During the entire meal I swiped at tears.  I picked at my plate because it was too hard to swallow. 

The ride home was quiet.  I prepared for bed as I always had.  Mom and dad both knelt by my bed and prayed a sweet prayer with me.  They turned out the lights and left the room.  I lay in the dark and watched a flicker of light from the hallway.  Again the tears streamed down my face.  I thought about all the Sunday school stories I had heard, the songs about Jesus and the smiles from older people who had walked with him.  I closed my eyes as tight as I could, "Jesus please be my friend.  You can have every part of me.  You can have everything - all my toys - you can even have my dog.  I just want to be your friend."

It's impossible to explain what happens when love rushes into a heart and changes you forever.  I've been successful in business but it is a drop in comparison to feeling your heart burst with the love of Jesus.  I've been married and had three children but none of those joys compare with the overwhelming love of Jesus.   I've received awards.  I've experienced many exciting and wonderful emotions - but nothing....nothing I've ever experienced matches the moment that Jesus came rushing into my life.  Nothing can hold a candle to the overwhelming all consuming feeling I had when Jesus came into my heart.  That feeling has held on for 54 years.  It has guided me through every decision and every situation in my life.  He has never left me.  Even when I was in pain and screamed at him.  Even when I debated and fussed about his will.  Even when I was so distraught that I shook a fist at the sky and yelled, "Where are you!"  He never left me for a moment.  54 years later I love him more now than I ever have.

I worry about churches that promote the idea that becoming a friend of Jesus requires nothing more than repeating a statement.  I personally don't believe that's how it works.  If Jesus does not stir your emotions, he probably doesn't live in your heart.  Humans are always emotional about things that touch them.  I once knew a 6'3" man who never cried, never was especially nice and never showed emotions of any kind.  I saw that man hit his finger hard enough with a hammer to shatter the bone.  His jaw tightened but nothing more.  He wrapped it in a towel and continued to work. That rigid tower of strength was brought to his knees by a child.  His love of his daughter broke him.  And she finally led him to Jesus Christ who broke him further.   After his encounter with Jesus it seemed the entire world took on a new intensity.  He saw everything differently and everything touched him deeply.  He became even more powerful because he now could touch all people and all his emotions.  He was clearly a changed man. 

Beware of faiths that offer no power and no change.

Today I have served Jesus 54 years of my life.  I think too many people believe that the only reason to consider God or Jesus is to avoid Hell.  They think of Jesus as a one gift Savior.  I have been hurt by people who are jealous of the life I've had.  I was never molested.  I didn't live in a dysfunctional home - in fact my home was filled with love, peace and wonderful music.  I always knew I was totally loved.  I married my soul mate.  I had three wonderful children.  We avoided teen rebellion and they have grown to be remarkable adults.  I have great in-laws.  I have never been arrested.  And even though I can debate with the best of them, I don't scream or get into violent arguments and I don't hold grudges. 

For me....being friends with Jesus and understanding what he wants to do in everyone's life - has saved me from much more than Hell.  He saved me from experiencing the dark evils of this world.  He kept me from drugs, addictions, broken relationships, heartache, pain and sorrow.  Oh I have suffered!  No one gets out of this life scott free.  I've had my heart broken into a million pieces.  I have had times of complete despair.  I've been attacked both emotionally and physically.  I've been betrayed, and criticised and stomped.  I've been embarrassed and lonely.  I've been put down because I have a good life...go figure.  I'm dismissed as if doing something right makes me a freak in this life.  The reality is that I didn't do any of this on my's all because of Jesus - yet I'm the one being rejected.  There have been times when I let my guard down and Satan was quick to flood my life with temptation.  I've been stupid and lost several of those battles - but when I realized I was drifting away, I called on my friend Jesus for the strength and I ran back into his arms. 

I worry and pray for those who are jealous of my life.  I would never hurt them or treat them differently because they didn't meet Jesus when they were young.  Instead, my only desire is to comfort them and to help them find the love that only Jesus can give.  I believe he can heal any life.  I believe Jesus can make all things new.  My only thought is to be part of God's plan to say...."You can have my life too.  That's what Jesus offers for everyone."

I've never understood this love affair with sin.  In fact, I've tried to study sin and it's affects on people.  Every sin the Bible warns about has only fleeting moments of fun or rewards.  The rest of the time it's full of pain and sorrow.  Why would anyone purposely choose pain and sorrow for their life?  It's illogical.  The consequences are always so full of pain and they last so long that I could never come up with a good enough reason to participate.  It's kind of like saying, I'll give you 20 milllion dollars.  You can buy anything you want with the money.  You can live like a king and no desire will be refused.  At the end of one year, we will have the right to cut off one arm and one leg.  It doesn't matter what we do with it - the cost for you receiving 20 million dollars is that you will lose one arm and one leg.  Why would anyone do that? 

How about 50 million dollars?  But at the end of three months we will kill your child and harvest their organs for others.  What????

That how I see sin.  Sin offers a lot of good stuff in the beginning but the following price tag is way too much!  The saving Power of Jesus Christ is that he says, "Stick close to me and there will be very few consequences.  I will teach you how to have the best life possible.  There are things you can't have or they will cost you pain....but  if you avoid those and stick close to me and my commandments you will have a great life. You will receive rewards that never end.  You will receive the most important things in life.  You will find true contentment and joy with your life.  Pure satisfaction will be yours.   And when others (no fault of your own) cause you pain or when accidents happen - I will be there to help you through it."

To me.....that sounds like a great deal!  A fantastic plan.  To me that's the best part of the Saving Power of Jesus Christ.  When I look beyond how wonderful He much I love "who" He is and how fantastic it is to be near him......then I see this wonderful gift of a great life and I am amazed!  I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want Jesus to swipe their life clean and start over - with Him as the architect prepared to create His personal design for their great life.

After 54 years of being a Christian I can testify that He has never let me down and Jesus has always been there.  You can trust Him and you can take it to the bank that He will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Jesus has always been my friend and the best thing in my life. 

If you want to know this wonderful man, please send me an e-mail.  Your life will never be the same.

God loves you,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Childhood vaccinations

My parents and I have an ongoing debate about the safety of Nutra Sweet.  I "always" have an allergic reaction to any Aspartame and I can't use it at all.  I can't believe how many foods have aspartame in it.  Knowing that Nutra Sweet (aspartame) has traces of certain chemicals like formaldehyde, I've wondered if those chemicals (even at trace levels) can build up in our system and cause problems.  Medical issues that were rare in the 30's have marched to the forefront in today's society.  I'm not buying into the belief that it's just because we have access to more information and documented cases.  I think there are other factors. 

Most people think very little about the chemicals they ingest.  I believe our bodies are majestically and wonderfully made.  We are in complete balance.  It's when we offset the balance of our bodies that problems happen.  This goes wrong because we lack some vitamin.  That happens because we aren't getting the nutrients we need.  By the same token....when we ingest a chemical that changes our balance - we can suffer major problems.  Perhaps being diligent about the purity of the foods we eat and staying away from as many chemicals as possible is a better way to live. 

Don't get me wrong - I do not believe we should refuse to medicate our children when they have a severe flu or illness that will take their life if we don't agree to an antibiotic or medication.  When the illness is present you must use every measure possible to help your child!  What I'm talking about is allowing your child to consume massive amount of nutra sweet (aspartame) and hope that it is safe.  Why would you want to take a flu shot that might contain brain damaging mercury or MSG?  Why not choose a safer route? 

Many of you know that I'm going to be a grandmother.  Yeah!  My daughter called the other day and asked what I thought of flu shots while you are pregnant.  Red flags instantly waved in my brain.  First of all, pregnant women are cautioned not to use any drug.  They are encouraged to keep their lives as natural as possible.  Why then would you even consider a "chemical" flu shot?  Why take the chance?

I called Dr. Lazar and asked for his opinion.  He was furious and after a long talk promised to send more information.  We are going to have a vaccine event at his office in Ann Arbor, Michigan on September 24th.  If you live close, I hope you will attend. 

In the meantime, you can click over to my Mommy Detective blog and read my first post on Vaccinations.  This is a big issue and I would like to know what you think?

God loves you,


Monday, September 5, 2011

Too much love may corrupt your child.

Ron and I had a wonderful evening together.  I fixed coconut cream pudding, coffee and we watched TV.  It's always nice being with Ron. 

We both were challenged by an old 1962 movie, The Miracle Worker.  It won two Oscars and 17 other awards and nominations.  It's a fantastic movie about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan.  For those of you that don't know the story of Helen Keller, at 19 months she suffered "an acute congestion of the stomach and brain (probably scarlet fever) which left her deaf and blind.

Losing her hearing at such a young age kept her from doing more than making guttural sounds.  After Alexander Graham Bell suggested that her parents contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Annie Sullivan was sent to be her tutor.  Annie found her in a terrible state.  At age 9 she was a spoiled wreck.  She ate off every one's plate, pitched temper tantrums and had no respect for anyone or their possessions.  Annie fought to teach Helen outward discipline so she could also teach her the discipline needed in order to learn. 
I sat on the edge of my seat when Annie Sullivan was talking to the parents and said, "Mrs. Keller, I don't think Helen's greatest handicap is deafness or blindness. I think it's your love and pity. All these years you've felt so sorry for her you've kept her like a pet. Well, even a dog you housebreak."   

And later.... "Pity for this tyrant? Is there anything she wants she doesn't get? I'll tell you what I pity... that the sun won't rise and set for her all her life, and every day you're telling her it will. What you and your pity do will destroy her, Captain Keller."

To be fair, my mother has often said..."I guess I just love you too much."  We all understand the great love parents have for their children.  It's that love that carries us through the most difficult times.  But...when that love only gives out and never teaches the child to also give - love then becomes a method of corruption.  Real love will search for the "best" ways to help a child succeed.  Yes, we protect them from harm -but we refuse to protect them from life.  Parents who want the "best" for their child will fight for the right of the child to learn, to be unselfish, to have the discipline to achieve.  Without fighting for those rights for your child --- you condemn them to a life of overindulgence, depression, loneliness and pain. 

After convincing them that she needed two weeks in a nearby cabin - alone with Helen, she was able to break the spoiled nature and help Helen see what discipline would do for her life.  At one point James, Helen's brother was talking to Annie at the cabin window.  Tears came to my eyes when he said... 
"Sooner or later we all give up, don't we?"  (He was trying to convince Annie to give up on Helen.)
Annie:  "Maybe you all do, but it's my idea of the original sin."
James:  "What is?"
Annie:  "Giving Up!"
Annie saw something in Helen that she felt was worth fighting for.  She saw her potential if only she could get through to her.  Annie believed in Helen when her parents didn't.  Her parents only saw Helen as a deformed child, a weakling, a child to be pitied.  Imagine what Helen's life would have been like if Annie hadn't believed in her.

I see this problem all the time.  Parents, teachers, governments, philosophies....everyone wanting to look like a saint and touting "I care"..."I love them so much".  They build elaborate philosophies or programs that give, give, give and ask for nothing in return.  They feed or give to people until they are lazy, overweight, weak, spoiled individuals who don't have a clue about how to have a successful life.  In their warped minds being rich or having everything they want equals some sort of life. 

As we celebrate Labor Day today, I hope someone will join me on the stage and be proud of the entrepreneur, the hard worker, the intelligent, the strict mom and the overachiever!  I'm sick to death of promoting the lazy, spoiled, overindulgent.  It doesn't matter if it's a reality so called star or if it's a lazy person who is capable of work but chooses to take welfare instead.  I don't care if it's a wealthy star or a single mom -if they require nothing of their child - it's wrong.  Like Annie Sullivan, I believe the spoiled life is torturous and as far as I'm concerned it's the worse form of child abuse!

Proper discipline isn't without compassion!  Compassion, understanding and a generous heart should exist in every one's life.  If that compassion or love interferes with determination, hard work, achievement or social graces - then your love and compassion will corrupt the soul.
The best thing we can do for ourselves and for our children is to insist that the only honorable life is one filled with hard work, intelligence and determination!  Even when you make it to the top, there is still more work to do.  If you are privileged enough to have a lot of money - then get busy working to set up businesses so others can work.  Don't selfishly blow $500,000 on a wedding that won't be remembered 5 years down the road.  Don't selfishly blow $50,000 on some classic car to collect dust in your garage or another $1,500 on one meal.  Instead use your talents and your money for good.  Get a life!  Going on TV and acting like a spoiled brat, cussing at everyone and thinking the sun rises and set on you....isn't a life.  Get busy and do something important with your life.  Fussing about who kissed who or whose going to go out with you is just stupidity - and unfortunately teaches impressionable teens to be just as spoiled as you are.  The same goes for the average family.  If you are promoting spoiled behavior within your family - you doom your children to a life of sorrow.
Sorry....there are several things I get really fired up about.  Laziness and spoiled behavior ranks near the top with stupidity following close behind.  
So what happened to Helen Keller once she learned a little discipline?  She finished school and graduated from the prestigious Radcliffe College - cum laude - in 1904.  She spent 25 years struggling to learn to speak so others could understand her.  She remained close to Annie for 49 years.  Unfortunately, Annie married a socialist and that influenced Helen politically (so sad). can't deny the great accomplishments she achieved. 
During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments including the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal in 1936, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, and election to the Women's Hall of Fame in 1965. She received honorary doctoral degrees from Temple University and Harvard University and from the universities of Glasgow, Scotland; Berlin, Germany; Delhi, India; and Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was also an Honorary Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland.  She mastered five languages and wrote 12 books.
It is truly amazing what an individual can do when they refuse to give up, when they are determined to work hard and when they are committed to making a difference in their world!
Have a wonderful Labor Day,
God loves you,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fun thoughts to ponder

Darlene's Daily


The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.


The sheriff of a small town was also the town's veterinarian.  One night the phone rang, and his wife answered. An agitated voice inquired, "Is your husband there?"

"Do you require his services as sheriff or a vet?" the wife asked.

"Both." the caller replied?  "We can't get our dog's mouth open, and there's a burglar in it."


Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store or under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.

- Cindy Lew



The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, ''I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him.

I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally....I assumed you had stolen the car.''

How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it. - G. Elliston

In the Army during Operation Desert Storm, I found myself in a world that had changed little since Biblical times. With so few creature comforts available, packages from home containing cookies and canned goods were received with great anticipation.

When I got a box from my sister, I happily tore into it, only to discover just how far from home I really was. She had filled it with packages of microwave popcorn.


Thanks Darlene for this fun filled page!  I hope the Yellow Light will make us all think twice before doing anything "that Jesus wouldn't do" :)

God Loves You,