God Winks Look Like Kindness

This is one of my favorite blogs to follow. I hope it will be one of yours, too. If you enjoy this article, please be sure to thank the writer.

The Beggar's Bakery

By: Jana Greene

I’m in a terrible mood.
Didn’t sleep last night.
Shoulder blown out.
Systemic pain off the charts.
Worried about many things.
The next two weeks is a constant treadmill of doctors visits and medical procedures.
But God…
But God keeps winking at me, in spite of it all.
My prayers have become less “God, show me you love me” to “God, increase my awareness that you love me, so I can love others.”
The checker at Trader Joe’s this morning could not have known that I’m having a rough time. It was the standard transaction, albeit friendly, as TJ is know for. But then he plopped this into my cart. I was dumbfounded.
“Just a little something to brighten your day,” he says. I can tell he is smiling even though he he is wearing a mask. His eyes are smiling.
The flowers are beautiful, and even…

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Yet Unsolved

Sometimes we know we are creating our own problems, even as we are making them. I knew this to be the case a handful of years ago. But I honestly never imagined it could be this bad.

It started innocently enough. I decided to share my latest favorite novel with one of my dearest friends. A smart woman, just to be on the safe side, would have paused and taken the trouble to write down the name of both the title and the author.

In that particular weak moment, as in multiple others, I was not a smart woman.

Because the book was so unique, and so utterly engaging, I just knew that I could count on my memory, which is wonderful for weeks at a time, to file the necessary information indefinitely. How hard could it be?

How hard, indeed.

By this point in my life, although before our separation I read it at least five or six times, I have probably spent more time searching for the book than I ever spent reading it, which surprises me because of its many unique elements.

Written by a female, Christian, retired government data analyst, this lovely hardback was the talented author’s debut novel, published, I believe, in the first decade of the 2000’s. Crafted with the elegance of a Jane Austen, but with the urgency of a Michael Crichton, it delved into the shady-but-scary-fast-developing world of organ tracking and trafficking, via (no surprise to me) a nationalized health care system.


Two of the main characters, surnamed Reagan, worked in Washington, D.C., while often visiting another main character in farmland in Pennsylvania. Adventures included pie-making and a horse-drawn sleigh ride on Christmas Day.

The cast of characters included a female US President, whose 5-or-6-year-old child was dying.

A number of single women were kidnapped and tissue-matched without their consent, several of whom were killed for organs coveted by the rich and powerful. This one sentence fragment burned itself indelibly into my brain, “with the organs harvested from Nora Cole….”

The action was simultaneously harrowing and riveting. The love story between the doctor and his wife was sweetly romantic, while leaving all the right parts to the reader’s imagination. Plus, it seems that the writer was able to concoct a tale that never once relied upon filthy, or low-grade, language. These days, especially, that’s rare.

Pennsylvania Baptists, who feature prominently as a group, play a pivotal role in the resolution of the book’s most urgent conflict.

If anyone can help me track this book down, I would be eternally grateful because I love it more than Pride and Prejudice; Airframe; Jurassic Park; All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner; and a number of other top favorites, including the entire Father Timothy series by Jan Karon, which is almost impossible to beat.

As of this writing, it shall always be known to me as “that beloved book that inexplicably GOT AWAY”.

Can anybody help me?

Gwennon
November 4, 2020

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Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 23

This really blessed my heart, and I hope it will yours as well. If you like it, please be sure to thank the diligent scholar who wrote it in the first place.

The Consolations of Writing

When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4:8

There’s a parallel moment to this in the Old Testament, when the prophet Elijah, after defeating the prophets of Baal, finds that Queen Jezabel is still out to get him. In a burst of adrenaline he runs and runs into the desert and finally, after an extensive time of not eating and reaching what today we would call complete burnout, he calls on God to take his life. It’s an interesting parallel: Elijah has been deeply zealous for God and has risked death multiple times; Jonah has fled from God, been spared death three times – once from the storm, once from drowning, once from the fish – only…

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Sovereign!

This is especially encouraging me to. I hope you will enjoy it, too. I was amazed to realize that Moses never led Israel out until Pharaoh granted permission. Please, if you enjoy this article, be sure to thank the one who wrote it. Blessings on you, dear readers!

Bible-Science Guy

(4 Minute Read. 4Nov2020)

Last week’s blog Fear Not! prompted an important question submitted as a comment by a reader. Here is what reader Michael asked:

If He [God] appoints the leaders of men, why would He appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il and on and on back through time? Does “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” apply in such instances? As a believer I find this extremely vexing.

Here are my thoughts on this insightful question.

First, I affirm that the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe is completely sovereign over the universe. He certainly did appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, et al to rule and govern. This is clear from multiple Scripture passages, as God Himself tells us He is sovereign over leaders and…

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HIS WAYS

Please be praying for JD and his family. And if you like this piece, please be sure to tell the author. Thank you.

A DEVOTED LIFE

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There is a degree of confidence that comes with knowledge.  Assurance rises through the fullfillment of an agreeable plan.  We rest comfortably while our lives unfold in accordance to the foreseeable circumstances of normal.

We rarely have difficulty when our thoughts are aligned with His and His ways correspond to ours.  The course of life is comfortable while the heavens seem in line with the earth and God does not demand anything beyond our normal aspirations.

What happens when our ways diverge from His;
when His ways cause pain and His thoughts seem cruel?

The worlds of the created can fall apart in the of a span of a day.  Within a week, I received the news that my Sister-in-Law and my cousin have limited time on this earth.  It appears that God’s ways are truly not my ways.  His thoughts assuredly are not my thoughts.  The diagnosis of terminal…

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lions

This is such a sweet photo, highlighting, I think, the beauty and humor God has built into our world. If you enjoy this photo, please be sure to thank the original poster. They did good in the world!

Cool Fur Babies

lions

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She Just Didn’t Get It

The woman just wanted to be happy. She spent a lot of time thinking about ways to be happy and to make herself happy. She cried and complained more than was healthy for a well-adjusted adult woman. Her friends, after hearing her many complaints, started offering both diagnoses and advice, some of which were more helpful than others, but many of which, the woman ended up taking.

For starters, her friends whipped out ideas and labels, many of which they tried to glue or staple to the woman, with or without her permission. Her dad, with whom she talked on the telephone several times per week, ordered her a large, suitcase-sized box of the vitamins she must have been deficient in, from a company with a reputation he trusted after doing some research. The vitamins might have helped. If the woman hadn’t been so afraid of overdosing. There were just so many pills. She had no idea where to begin. And wasn’t her body supposed to make all the nutrition she needed if she only ate right? At her house, she and her husband and baby ate so many fruits and vegetables that she decided that perhaps the vitamins were not necessary.

Another friend told her she needed more color in her life. Literal color. Her house was a little bland. A few strong splashes of bright colors, which the woman was encouraged to spend time studying for a few minutes daily, should have elevated her mood, banishing both discontent, and depression. Liking this idea, she scurried out and bought a vividly-printed shower curtain for her bathroom.  Unfortunately, the curtain wasn’t exactly the right size for the tub. Besides that, the many strong chemicals leaching into the air she was trying to breathe gave her a headache almost immediately. The next day, hat it hand, she slunk back to the store, receipt in hand, to get her money back for the shower curtain she couldn’t use after all. She left the store feeling worse.

Later, a friend told her that she needed more time away from her children. This friend, being both unwilling and unable to help in this area, told the woman that she should buy a good VCR. That way, she could keep her children entertained and she could slip away to her room for a few minutes at a time to rest. That week, the woman and her husband bought a VCR, along with several movies. Some days later, the woman noticed that her toddlers, who had spoken normally before, were starting to adopt some of the ugly words they were hearing on the television as they all spent more time entertaining themselves. Now the woman wasn’t unhappy all by herself. Her children were becoming discontent with her.

Finally, a few of the woman’s friends from church decided that the woman was severely depressed and ought to go on medication. This not being an idea that her husband liked, the woman found herself having to fight and campaign heavily in order to start popping the expensive pills that were supposed to make her feel better. When he got tired of fighting with his unhappy wife, the husband allowed her to ask the doctor for the medicine. Three different prescriptions later, prescriptions that the woman never finished since each medicine actually made her feel worse than she had before, the woman quit going to the doctor and gave up on pills altogether.

For several years, not knowing that what we study and focus on is what we will become, the woman gave up, giving herself to the foods, entertainments, and hobbies that would give her temporary relief from the sadness she couldn’t run away from. Some of these hobbies, for example, her musical instrument practice, and her creative crochet and jewelry pursuits, allowed her to create and share a number of interesting gifts for friends, family, and the occasional stranger.

But with the wrong foods, the wrong books, the wrong television shows, and the wrong sleep and exercise habits, the woman continued to get worse. Compounding the woman’s sorrow were the health issues that had quietly crept in when she was “pampering” herself with the wrong foods, and with too much sleep. Her friends wrung their hands, gossiped freely about her, and wondered why they even bothered. While she dropped some of them, others were either dropping her deliberately, or simply allowing their connections with her to weaken, until they had drifted too far apart to easily come back together.

And while the woman studied herself, her moods, and her problems—in essence, bowing before and worshiping that about herself that she had proven over and over that she was powerless to change—the One person who could help her, but Who she had forgotten really had her best interest at heart, her good Shepherd Who had never forgotten nor forsaken her, held her gently to His chest as she cried in her aloneness and despair, unable to hear the racking sobs that He silently cried with her.

Gwennon, September 10, 2019

This is my story: literally and figuratively. One of my closest friends, having read it, expressed some concern for me. But I have started moving into the peace that Jesus has for me. And I hope my readers can learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them. May God bless you all! A huge portion of my healing journey started about three weeks ago, when I started praying some family members through the book of Proverbs. Though I have no idea how or if this has helped them, I am seeing some very encouraging improvements in myself along this process. This is a longer story I hope to develop and post on another day.

 

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Stubbornness

This is so much fun to read. Please be sure to thank the author for creating it.

Mitch Teemley

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Stubbornness is the trademark of contemporary culture. It seems that no one can be wrong anymore, or, God forbid, compromise on anything. Is stubbornness bad, then? Well, at its core, it’s simply a refusal to give up. And when it takes the form of tenacity in the face of evil or belittlement, it’s courageous and inspiring. So, no, it’s not always bad. But when it is simply vanity in disguise, and when it deteriorates into obstinacy and sets itself up against reason, it must be called out. Or laughed at.

Especially when we see it in the mirror.

“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.” ~Joseph Joubert

   “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”    ~Abraham Lincoln

“What do you mean I have to wait for someone’s approval? I’m someone. I

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“Undercover Bag Lady”

This is something I clearly need to read. And I can’t help wondering if some of my other friends might, too…. Anyway, if you read this, please be sure to thank the author who created it. It’s a powerful piece of writing! May God bless it powerfully!

Seeking Divine Perspective

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”

                                                                                               Revelation 3:17

Kim had worked with the homeless for decades, but recently she took on a “project” that took her more deeply into their world.  Disguising herself as a “bag lady,” she created an alter-ego named “Jean.” For several months this author went out incognito into her city in North Carolina, visiting churches of various denominations, from Catholic to Baptist to Pentecostal, from main-line denominations to non-denominational churches. She documented her experiences and compiled…

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The Idols in Our Lives

This is such a great article. Please be sure to thank the author. It’s something we all need to examine.

 

via The Idols in Our Lives

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