Why I Don’t Celebrate Gay Pride Month


First, they stole the word. Gay once meant happy. Being gay meant you were feeling great and having a wonderful time. It was a light, fun word. We heard about gay happy meetings and gay parties. We even have a Gay street in Nashville.  Then homosexuals stole this word and turned it into something totally different. Now if you tell someone you’re having a gay time or a gay party, you’ll be meant with some strange looks as they’ll think you’re having a sex orgy.  

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Then they stole God’s rainbow. That beautiful, miraculous sign that God put in the sky reminds us of His faithfulness to those living on the earth.  They stole it and are using it to represent sexual immorality.  If you paint a beautiful rainbow in a painting, on a cake, or wear it on your clothing you’re now telling the world that you support this lifestyle.  But that is a far cry from God’s original intent for His rainbow.

I will establish my covenant with you:  All flesh will not be cut off anymore by the waters of the flood.  There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”  God said,  “This is a token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be a sign, a covenant between me and the earth.  When I bring a cloud over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the cloud, I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more flood to destroy all flesh.”  Genesis 9:11-13

What a shame that we’ve allowed Satan to steal this beautiful sign in our skies and use it to represent something evil.


Now, they’ve stolen June. The awesome summer month when the days are long and the sun is bright, school is out and people everywhere are enjoying their vacation by visiting beaches, mountains, and parks to spend time with their families. These days in June, we are all bombarded with a steady stream of Gay pride promotions wherever we turn on websites, TV programs, commercials, and elsewhere.

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The LGBTQ crowd may look forward to the month when they get to parade and promote their sexual immorality to the world in the hopes that we all will approve of their behavior, but there are serious consequences for us if we do that.

While they call us hateful bigots for not denying our faith and celebrating their sins, we risk being given over to a reprobate mind when we do.  The Bible tells us that not only are those who do such things are given over to a reprobate mind but also those who approve of those who do them!!

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:  for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful,  who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.”  Romans 1:26-32

 Of course, we’re all sinners.  The Bible is full of messed up people who sin against God, yet He still comes to their rescue repeatedly. Likewise, we’re all guilty of at least some of the sins listed here in Romans 1.  There’s everything from backbiters to murders listed here.   However, while forgiveness is readily available when repentance is offered, when there is no repentance of the sin, but pride of the sin instead, there can be no forgiveness.

We would never support a parade where someone celebrated being a murderer, a deceiver, a slanderer, or any other sin, yet having a pride parade to celebrate the sins of sexual immorality is not only an accepted event, we are all encouraged to go along with it.  

As Christians, we don’t hate those caught up in the LGBT lifestyle for we know they are deceived.   Our prayer should be that the scales of deception will fall from their eyes and that they will find new life in Christ. Jesus loves and died for them and longs for them to come to Him.


But we do hate.  We hate that those deceived by the LGBTQ agenda are missing out on God’s best for their life.  We hate knowing they are lost and will face eternal judgment unless they repent and turn to Christ.  We hate how this movement is destroying not only individuals but our nation as well. 

Homosexuality has been around almost since almost the beginning of man. Yet history tells us that no nation has ever survived that has allowed it to take root. We’re now witnessing how people are using this agenda to confuse our children and attempt to lead them down the same disastrous path.    Sin is progressive.  Evil will continue to gain more and more ground until it is stopped by something greater.  It only yields to the power of Christ.  Only He can truly redeem and transform a person.

You may be a parent heartbroken that your son or daughter is caught up in the LGBTQ lifestyle.   You love them so much that you long to continue that relationship at any cost.  While you should never stop loving them,  be careful to never sway in your conviction that this is unacceptable behavior in God’s eyes. True love means telling them the truth.  If you show the slightest approval, it will only confuse them more and they may cling to that acceptance and possibly never change, while you risk getting a reprobate mind.


So what happens when a person has been turned over to a reprobate mind?

A reprobate mind comes when one willingly eliminates God from their knowledge. (Romans 1:28)

Those with a reprobate mind hate truth and do everything in their power to oppose it.   They willingly and knowingly participate in sins they know they shouldn’t do.  They make bad decisions because their thinking has become futile. 

Romans 1:20 – 22 states, “Their hearts become dark,” (verse 21). They claim to be wise but are actually fools (verse 22). They worship the creature rather than God the Creator (verse 23).”


We’re all sinners and only the Grace of God keeps us.  Additionally, all sin is equal in God’s eyes.  He said if we break one commandment, we break all of them.  Yet, there is one particular sin that causes us more harm than any of the others, and that’s the sin of pride.  It’s the sin that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven and it’s the sin that keeps us from repentance and away from God.

Instead of being prideful of our sins and the sins of others, let’s turn away from them, humble ourselves, and repent.  When we do, we’ll find that His mercies are never-ending!

                                “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.”

  Philippians 2:5




Made New Every Morning


I’m a morning person. What’s a morning person? It’s someone who is pretty much useless after 9:00 at night. That’s me. But I love getting up early as soon as the sun rises and brightens my room to feel the freshness of the morning air and listen to the birds sing outside my window. They always seem to be happy to be alive.

There is a big bay window in the room where my husband and I sit and watch TV. I enjoy looking out of it any time of year. This particular morning I marveled at how green everything appeared. It seemed only a short time ago that I was watching multi-colored leaves fall to the ground one by one.

We live in Tennessee where we experience all four seasons and, thankfully, winter is short. The last of the leaves are usually gone from the maple and oak trees by the end of November. Except for a winter storm or two, we normally have a fairly mild winter before the buttercups start to show the first signs of spring by popping up sometime in late February. Soon after, all the trees in the area start to bud, the grass turns green, and colorful spring blooms appear on the dogwoods and fruit trees. I’m always thankful that we only have three months of barren trees and brown grass.

Young girl playing ring around the rosie in a park with green grass, green trees and white blossoms
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Spiritual renewal

The trees get to sleep and rest for three months, and then God renews them by bringing them back to life again where they go to work to produce their beautiful green leaves that provide a beautiful landscape and shade for the hot summer months.

The Lord renews the trees once a year, but our lives are renewed daily!

We know this because the Bible tells us in Corinthians:

Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward person is decaying, yet our inward person is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

We each experience a slow decaying of our physical bodies as we age. Our looks change over time. Our skin gets wrinkled, our hair thins or turns grey, our bodies change shape and we begin to have less energy. We can slow down this process by eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of our bodies medically, but inevitably the end will come.

No death

But have you noticed that you still feel the same on the inside as you did as a child? That’s because your spirit is renewed every morning!

Our spirit never dies! No matter how our physical body changes, our spirit remains constant. As we age, we are looked at differently, people treat us differently, and we even act differently, but our spirit is always the same because it is eternal! Our inward man feels the same as when we were 10-year-old children. And we don’t have to do anything to make this happen. God does it for us.

Everything in our world is always in need of repair. We paint a deck and in a year or two, we have to do it all over again. We clean our house and it just gets dirty again. We get our hair colored or trimmed and our nails manicured and we have to go back month after month for the same thing. A big portion of our life is spent just keeping everything up. But not so with our spirits. We don’t have to do a thing to keep that part of our being in tip-top shape!

As Christians, this should bring us much comfort. Yes, our earthly bodies will one day die, but we don’t have to fear death because “To be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This is the hope and assurance of everyone who has made Jesus the Lord of their life. Every morning when you awaken, give thanks to God not only for the chance to live another day in your earthly body; but also that your eternal spirit has been renewed once again and you’re one day closer to your heavenly home.

In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.

John 14:2
Beautiful blue sky with the sun shining through creating a pink and yellow color in the sky.
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Why Feeling Unhappy Can Be a Positive Force for Change

Discontentment is a feeling that we all experience at some point in our lives. It can manifest in many different ways – feeling bored with our routine, dissatisfied with our job or relationships, or simply feeling like something is missing in our lives. While discontentment is a negative emotion, in that it can indicate a mistrust in God, it can also be a powerful force for change and personal growth. In this blog post, we’ll explore why embracing discontentment can lead to positive outcomes, and how to channel those feelings into action, while avoiding unhealthy discontentment that serves only to bring us down.

It’s great to have a growth mindset and a desire to improve your life. However, discontentment can become unhealthy when it leads to a constant feeling of dissatisfaction and a belief that nothing is ever good enough. When discontentment takes over, it can lead to negative self-talk, comparison to others, and a feeling of hopelessness. It’s important to recognize when discontentment is becoming unhealthy and take steps to address it.

Sometimes the Lord may cause us to feel a little discontended because we need to change something in our life. We become discontented with our job before we think about looking for another one. Being discontented with our looks or the way we feel, can cause us to make healthier lifestyle choices. A little discontentment nearly always precedes an important life change.

Healthy vs. unhealthy discontentment

But what happens when we cross the line from healthy to unhealthy discontentment?

Contentment is a mindset. The contented person realizes that no one has everything in this life and is thankful for what God has given them. They get a little discontented at times when they don’t like something about themselves or their surroundings and decide to make a change. They get excited about that change and start a new project, diet, class, etc. with enthusiasm and look forward to a good outcome.

Unhealthy discontentment is feeling gloomy because we can’t get what we want and we become depressed or cranky. Perhaps we don’t have the funds or means for something we desire. At times like this, it helps to remember that the earth belongs to God and everything in it and accept that it may not be meant for us to have it at this time.

A lesson from old

dirty prison cell
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The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in. (Philippians 4:11) He was in some pretty bad circumstances during his life, including being beaten and in prison more than once. How did he maintain such contentment?

First of all, he knew he was in God’s will. After his Damascus Road experience where Jesus told him exactly what He wanted him to do, Paul obeyed. He spent the rest of his life bringing Christianity to the Gentiles. Unfortunately, everyone didn’t like what he was doing and he ended up in prison. But Paul accepted his fate as part of God’s plan for him and took advantage of his situation. Some of the best letters that we read in our Bible today were written from his prison cell.

Secondly, Paul knew that this earthly life wasn’t all there was. He realized that he was just passing through and was looking forward to his forever home in eternity.

We live in a fallen world. No matter how hard we try, things will never be perfect here because we weren’t created for this world. We were created to live in a world with God where everything is perfect. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to be our best while we are here, but keeping that truth in perspective will go a long way in avoiding discontentment.


The power of gratitude

old lady with a huge smile on her face holding a piece of fruit out to God - obviously grateful
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by discontentment, thank God. Gratefulness is the best antidote for discontentment. We don’t let our children have everything they want and neither does our heavenly Father. But He does promise to give us what we need.

We sometimes tend to have a sense of entitlement and begin to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we have. By simply changing our mindset to become thankful for all the blessing in our life, our spirits will soar. Start thanking God for the blessings in your life one by one and you won’t get very far down the list before you are feeling happy once again.

God gives us each different talents, abilities, and resources. When you find yourself envying someone else, ask yourself if you would like to trade their entire life for yours? The answer is probably not. We tend to envy another person’s possessions or attributes without stopping to think about the things in their life that aren’t so great.

Total contentment

While we will never be totally free from discontentment in this world, we can work to be as contented as Paul by realizing this is not our eternal home, focusing on our God assignments here on earth, and being thankful and grateful for the blessings God has given us.

Of course, the first place to start to achieve true contentment is by accepting Jesus as the Lord and Savior. If you’ve never made that decision, do that today. For as the Word says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

1 Timothy 6:6

Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you,”

Hebrews 13:5

How Easter Can Help You Today

Today, I asked the Lord if I could write something fun, happy, bright, and encouraging. My last two blog posts have been pretty intense. It’s been very dark here in Nashville with the recent school shooting and several tornados going through the state, creating more loss of life and property. I had to write about that horrid shooting and, believe me, it was fierce because, frankly, I was fired up!

The week before I wrote a book review for another site on “The American Story” which took way too much time and a lot of effort, but it was well worth it because this book tells the spiritual history of America and the founding fathers. Sadly, it’s a story that’s getting lost in our current culture.

Today, I prayed, “Lord, can I please write something brighter and more exciting this week?” My mind needs to go to a happier place. Then it occurred to me, It’s Easter, what could be brighter, happier, and more exciting than that!

This week we get to celebrate our Jesus – God who took the lowly form of a man and came to Earth to redeem us from our sins. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves by becoming a human sacrifice. But he didn’t just bleed and die like the sacrificial bulls and goats in the Old Testament, He came to life again!

That’s what Easter is — a celebration of His resurrection! It’s a promise that we, too, will be resurrected into new life one day just as He was. If that doesn’t make you want to shout, what will?

The creator of the universe! I’ve been doing a Bible study through the epistles lately and am being reminded of all that Jesus is. This Jesus who touched me as a child and drew me to himself, listens and answers my prayers, and takes the time to convict me when I’m doing wrong, created this entire, ever-expanding universe! Hallelujah!

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or pricipalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:15

Picture of the expanding universe in colors purple, blue, and green.
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

This morning there was a stinkbug sticking to the outside of my window and I wondered what purpose he had. I did a quick Google search and only learned that they destroy crops. While that doesn’t sound like a very useful purpose to me, God knows all things. Maybe the purpose of some of these less desirable creatures is just to challenge us and remind us that, while we have dominion over this earth, we won’t know everything about God in this life. But God did say that “Everything was good,” when he created it and that’s enough for me. Now go away stinkbug!

 A brown stinkbug on a green plant.
Photo by Jorge Urosa on Pexels.com

Not good

However, there was one creature that God said was not good, and that was man. He created Adam and said “Ummmm, not so good here.” (slightly paraphrased) He actually said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. That’s where we come in, ladies. God created us to help out our man! (I often remind my husband of this when he’s driving.) Man was all alone without us. Not to mention the fact that he wouldn’t be able to reproduce himself. If this world ever tries to make you feel like you are lesser because you are a woman, just ask it to try and get by very long without you. Yea, I didn’t think so.

Of course, we need our man, too. We are incomplete and the entire human race would soon die out without each other. I think God came up with a pretty good plan, don’t you?

But, let’s get back to Jesus. He’s not only the creator of this universe, making him King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He’s also our high priest, forever making intersession for us before the throne of God.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Messiah Yeshua.

1 Timothy 2:5

Yes, Jesus is our Creator, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Intercessor, and our Soon Coming King! He’s not leaving us to die and rot in this world. He’s coming back for us! As the world gets darker (and man is it ever), He told us to look up because that means His second coming is fast approaching. (Luke 21:28) Yippee!!

Just as people are destined to die once, and then after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who ae waiting for him.

Hebrews 9:27,28
A person holding a sign that says "Jesus is Alive"
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This Sunday we get to celebrate all that Jesus is, has been, has done, is currently doing, and will continue to do for us throughout eternity! So put on your best clothes, grab your friends and family, find a church, and sing and shout for joy like there’s no tomorrow, because “He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!”

We have a lot to celebrate!

Does America Have a Future?

I took a quick look at my text and at first glance, I was in certain denial. Surely not, I thought. Taking a closer look at the thread I saw the words three souls and my heart started to sink. “Active shooter at a Nashville school, please pray.”

I stopped working went downstairs and turned on the TV, and every station was covering the shooting in my hometown of Nashville, TN. Words don’t describe the sickening feeling as I come to grips with losing three innocent schoolchildren. My heart immediately went out to their parents who were about to suffer the most imaginable nightmare possible, as they learn that their baby wasn’t coming home from school that day. I pray to God to comfort them but admit my faith is small because how can a parent possibly be comforted in such a situation? I think about my own elementary school grandchildren and how I could even continue breathing if this happened to one of them. I pray I never find out.

The talking heads were already conversing about what has brought us to this place where our children aren’t even safe in their schools any longer. They continue with the same story that we hear over and over again every time we endure one of these hideous tragedies. “We just need to get rid of all the guns in America and then this violence would stop.” Others say that it’s not the guns at all, but rather the people behind them whose hearts have become so evil that they do the unthinkable and shoot to kill innocent children.

How did we get here?

There is some truth on both sides of the argument. No sane person wants innocent children gunned down in their classroom. When our founding fathers put the right to bear arms in our constitution, it was so that people would be able to protect themselves from evil people and/or a tyrannical government should that need arise. The fact that guns would be used to kill innocent children was so unthinkable, it wasn’t even on their radar.

But there was one thing very different about America in that day. America was a moral nation filled with people that loved God. As Tucker Carlson put it, not “People who think they are God.” It was founded on the premise of religious freedom, and to share the beauty of Christianity with those already living here. These people wanted a land where they could worship God as they pleased and raise their children in a land that honored Him.

No longer a moral nation

Statue of liberty against a blue night sky
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But things have changed. America is no longer a moral nation and only a moral people can be a free people.

Evil has always been around and will continue until Jesus comes, but being in my seventh decade on this earth, I’ve witnessed firsthand the influx of increasing evil and the decrease of morality that has engulfed our country along with the subsequent continual loss of freedoms.

I grew up in rural America where everyone had a gun, yet school shootings were never heard of or even thought about. No one shot anything except, rabbits, squirrels, and deer. We had a gun rack hanging on the wall with rifles that my dad used for hunting and it wasn’t even locked! Yet, I never thought about even touching those guns because my dad told me not to. In that day, children were raised to obey their parents. We didn’t even lock our doors when we left the house because people just didn’t break in and steal other people’s possessions.

But that was rural America. I’m sure there was more crime in the big cities. Yet, when I was in elementary school, I visited my cousin in Detroit, Michigan who was the same age as I and we would ride the city bus to a local mall, shop all day and then ride it back home – by ourselves! We also walked alone to an amusement park several blocks down the street, rode the rides all day, and then walked home by ourselves. I doubt that anyone does either of those things now.

Back then the crime was mostly limited to shooting in bars. Places you were warned not to go.”Nothing good happens after midnight” we were warned. As long as you stayed in safe places, you were safe.

Not so any more. Now we can’t attend school, go to a movie theatre, concert, or even attend church without putting our lives on the line. Sadly, we’ve watched this rapid moral decline and done very little. I’m talking about us, the Church, the Christians, the Religious, the Conservatives, those who just want to live in peace and raise our children in a properous, safe nation.

Morality is dwindling fast in the Land of the Free as we continue to bow to the Satanic forces by simply saying nothing and doing nothing.

In Retrospect

Teacher reading to her schoolchildren
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I wonder how things would be different if we had allowed prayer and bible-reading to continue in our public schools as it had been for centuries until 1960. Would we be seeing children murdered in our schools today?

I wonder if we truly believed in the “right to life” in America and never allowed over 63 million innocent children to be attacked and slaughtered in their mother’s wombs how America be different today? As my friend Rachel Cruze says, “More is caught than taught,” Legalized abortion only teaches the next generation that life is cheap and can be discarded if it’s inconvenient or gets in the way of our own personal goals and desires.

I wonder what would have happened if we never had a sexual revolution and sex was saved for the marriage between a man and a woman as God designed it. “If it feels good, do it.” They said… and we did. Sin is progressive and our “feeling good” has led to the abortive deaths of 63 million Americans. After all, we had to do something with all those inconvenient babies created by our uncontrolled sexual appetite. Then came the pressure to accept homosexuality as normal behavior and same-sex marriage as a legitimate right. The saga continues until today people are so confused and their minds so reprobate that they don’t even know what sex they are.

Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting.

Romans 1:28

Now they are going after our precious children to try and confuse and vilify them, often behind parents’ backs. Please know that Satan will never be satisfied and this horror will continue unless we stop it. If we don’t, we can be sure that we will lose our nation. One thing that history shows us is that God has never spared a nation that exalts such evil.

How do we stop it?

Do we need stricter gun laws? Unfortunately yes, because America is no longer mature enough to handle guns. We’ve become like little toddlers always wanting what we want when we want it, with no regard for what God wants from us.

Still, we can lock the doors, but the intruder just shoots through them. What’s next? Bars on the school windows like a jail? We can continue to increase every security measure possible, but evil intent on doing harm will always find a way to intrude. If they can’t get a gun, they’ll just make a bomb.

The more immoral we become, the more evil will reign and the fewer freedoms we will have. Unless we pivot, they will eventually have to take away all our guns, leaving us defenseless to the criminals who don’t care what the law says, and eventually, with no way to defend ourselves, a tyrannical government will then move in and take away every last freedom. America will become a police state. That is not the future any of us want for our children and grandchildren.

We can change

Holy Bible with praying hands
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But we don’t have to continue down this road. We still have some time to change the course of this nation. While, we can’t change the fact that they removed God from the classroom in the sixties, as parents, we can demand that children once again be taught the Bible in our public schools or at least be given the choice to attend a school that allows it. Our children must once again be taught a knowledge of God and His truths from a young age. That’s the only way to preserve future generations.

Instead of distributing birth control to our teens we can start teaching them the truth about sexual immorality, that it is a sin that will bring only bad things to their life. Companies can stop pushing the evil ideologies of the LGBTQ down our throats through movies, TV shows, and even commercials, and we can stop patronizing companies that continue to do so. Instead of a national awards program that worships Satan on center stage, why not lobby for one that glorifies God instead!

We can start to vote Godly people into our school boards, city councils, congress, and president instead of choosing the one who lies the best by promising us everything on a silver platter, looks the best, has the most charisma, or is the color or gender we like.

The Antidote

My heart breaks for our country and for every parent who has senselessly lost a child or grandchild since Columbine. The least we can do for them is to work hard to change this nation so that other parents don’t have to suffer the same loss.

Many great people and organizations are working hard on the front lines to preserve the dignity of our nation. Family Research Council and American Center for Law and Justice are a couple of worthy organizations striving to make a positive difference in our world. We all need to get behind organizations such as this and support them with our finances and our prayers. We should be pouring money into them!

In Psalm 139, the psalmist prays to God, “If only you, God, would slay the wicked!” I have to admit that is my prayer also. I hate this evil, and so often pray to God to do away with it. But then as we read further on, the psalmist cries, “See if there is any offensive way in me.” The truth hits. We are all offensive to God on some level and thus we’re each to blame for the evil going on in our land.

I’m reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ” I Have a Dream” speech. His dream was one day for little black and little white schoolchildren to be able to hold hands as brothers and sisters. Today, my dream is that all schoolchildren to be able to once again attend school without the fear of being gunned down in their classroom.

American parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, everyone that loves our children — we have a choice. We can choose to help transform this nation into a moral, God-fearing nation once again and preserve freedom and liberty for our children and grandchildren, or we can continue down this dark, sinful path, and witness the increasing violence against those we love most; while seeing our freedoms stripped away one by one.

It’s up to us.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psam 139:23-24

How To Have Unspeakable Joy


After years of working at a job I loved, I was anxiously looking forward to retirement. For me, retirement meant traveling to exotic places and seeing the world, sleeping in until the sun came up, having quiet, blissful mornings, and enjoying the great outdoors. These long-anticipated events were soon to come to pass, but not without some trials.

The first trip my husband and I took after my retirement was to Denver to ski. We’re not great skiers, but we enjoy the winter sport and the snowy mountain atmosphere. On our fourth and final day, as I went to lift off the chairlift, this excruciating pain shot into my lower back. I skied down the hill, which seemed to loosen it up a bit. Thinking of the spasm might have worked out, I got back on the lift. But the same thing happened when I got up from the chair the second time, only worse. We were there to ski and have a good time, and I didn’t want to disappoint my husband by telling him I couldn’t ski anymore so I tried it again. This time the pain was so unbearable that I was in tears and by the time I got down the hill and I let him know that I was done for the day.

When we got home I made an appointment with the back doctor and, thankfully, x-rays showed nothing was wrong with my spine. “It’s just weak back muscles,” he told me. Evidently, years of sitting at a desk had weakened my back, and I needed to strengthen it. Some medications and therapy were prescribed and it gradually got better over the next few weeks.

Just as I started to feel normal again, my feet started killing me. The pain was so excruciating that at times I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without holding on to the wall. I sought out a foot doctor and learned that it was plantar flagitious. A common foot ailment brought on by inflammation from overworking the muscles and tendons. All that extra walking I had been doing was causing my feet to rebel. It turned out to be a pretty easy fix with some shoe inserts, stretching, and an occasional shot of cortisone. I also backed off the walking just a bit to allow my feet to heal.

But then about mid-summer, my legs started aching. I couldn’t get comfortable anywhere and couldn’t sleep at night without pain medication and sleep aid. It was so painful in the mornings that I could barely move my legs to get out of bed. Thinking I must have something terribly wrong with my legs, I made an appointment with a leg specialist and he told me it wasn’t my legs at all, but my back again. That was weird because my back wasn’t even hurting! A strong steroid pack was prescribed and more therapy worked very well in relieving the pain. After an MRI which showed everything was good with my back and it was feeling better, I told him about another issue that just crept up.

I had woken up a few mornings prior and the tops of both my arms were hurting so badly that I couldn’t hardly move them. Even though I was an early riser, it would be around 11:00 a.m. each morning before I could move well enough to get on with my day. He referred me to the shoulder doctor where I learned that it was impingement from inflammation and overuse. I guess I shouldn’t have been lifting all those weights so soon. More steroid shots, therapy sessions, exercises, and medication were then prescribed for my shoulders.

I’m still dealing with some back and shoulder pain today, but it is manageable. I’m faithful to doing my back and shoulder exercises which the doctor said I could never stop doing and I continue to take anti-inflammatory medications. The issues are still there, but much better, and, thankfully, it’s more of a morning issue than an all-day issue. I keep doing what I now know to do and trust one day the pain will go away completely.

The cause

I’ve asked myself many times. Are these long-lasting trials an attack from Satan to steal the joy I was looking forward to in retirement or were they brought on by God who wanted to humble and strengthen me? Or was it simply a physical reaction to a shift in my lifestyle? I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure that out. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. My body was re-adjusting, Satan saw this as an opportunity to steal my joy, and God allowed it because I need to learn to depend more on Him.

Joy in trials

One thing I do know is that God intends for us to have joy amid our trials. James instructs us to “Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:3)

There are roughly 200 verses in the Bible about joy that tell us we should have it and how to obtain it. Joy is a trait God wants for His children even while living in this fallen world.

Pain and sickness are things that can certainly steal our joy. My husband said that my personality even changed during my worst bouts of pain. I’ve always been a cheerful person, but constant, intense pain can quickly change you from a cheerful person to someone who no one wants to be around.

Despite all the pain I lived in during that first year of retirement, however, I was still able to enjoy my life and had a great year traveling, spending time with family, and doing many of the things I love. Granted, it would have been much better if it had been totally pain-free, but in reality, is life ever totally pain-free? If we’re not dealing with physical pain, we may be experiencing emotional pain.

The antidote

So how do we have joy amid our trials? These three things helped me to continue living a joyful life amid the pain.

A painting that says "choose joy" in bright colors.  Paintbrush included.
Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

Joy is a choice

I’ve seen people battle months of horrid treatments for cancer and still retain their joy. How do they do that? They did it by drawing closer to the Lord. Joy is a fruit of the spirit and the closer we get to the Lord and allow His spirit into our lives, the more this fruit will be manifested. I’ve heard many people proclaim that they wouldn’t take anything for the hard trial they went through because it brought them so much closer to God. We always have a choice when going through trials to either wallow in self-pity and dwell solely on our misfortunes or decide to be thankful for the numerous blessings we have. The latter attitude will always produce joy no matter what circumstance we are facing.

Hope breeds joy

Sheer hope brings joy, as well. Paul mentions this in Romans 12:12 where he says “Rejoicing in hope, enduring in troubles, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” I have lots of people praying for my pain and that gives me hope that eventually, it will subside and I will move past this trial. That hope causes me to rejoice. I refuse to believe that things will not get better.

Faith ingites joy

With over 200 verses in the Word of God about joy and how to have it, we can get our joy back by simply reading and accepting those words.

There are numerous promises there, but here are just three:

Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.”

Psalms 126:5

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved in various trials.

1 Peter 1:6

Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance.

Romans 5:3

Faith and hope are intertwined. Faith in God produces hope in our situation which brings forth joy.

Other joy stealers

Pain in our bodies isn’t the only thing the thief uses to steal our joy. Betrayal, sin, unbelief, and unforgiveness are some of the tools Satan uses against us. Each of these can also be overcome as we will explore in the coming weeks.

A woman by a lake hands up in the air showing joy and praise.
Photo by Eneida Nieves on Pexels.com

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10

How to Handle Disappointment


The best part of any Christmas is being together with the entire family in one place, enjoying the beautiful Christmas decorations, a festive table, eating delicious, rich dishes that one only gets this time of year, and opening presents from one another. But, without a doubt, the best part is just being together with every child and their spouse, and every grandchild in the house sharing in the festivities. It’s always the happiest of times.

As in years past, that was our plan for this Christmas. We even moved our family celebration to the 26th so that the entire family could be together. My daughter and her family were to have Christmas Day at their home in Texas and then fly in on the morning of the 26th for our family get-together.

But then this happened. Like thousands of others, we had our Christmas disrupted by Southwest Airlines’ technical problems. My daughter and her family discovered when they got to the airport on the morning of December 26 that their flight had been canceled. Since my daughter was nearly eight months pregnant, driving the thirteen hours to Tennessee was out of the question.

Of course, I wasn’t alone in my disappointment this holiday season. My sister-in-law fought back tears as she told me their flight to California, also on December 26, to be with her son’s family was canceled. It had been nine months since she had seen them and she had been looking forward to the trip ever since she booked it six months ago.

We’ve seen the horror stories of people stranded in airports for days, some without their luggage or their needed medications. We’ve heard of the much-anticipated vacations to Hawaii or the Caribbean canceled because the flights could get them there. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.

Making it right

Southwest has long been my favorite airline. It’s always the first place I check when booking a flight. But, they made a big mistake by putting off upgrading their technology, and, unfortunately, it caught up with them at the most inopportune time and their passengers paid the price.

The leaders have taken full responsibility and come out with an apology, which is always the first right thing to to do correct a wrong. And I believe they will make the necessary upgrades to prevent this from happening again. They have gone overboard to refund passengers, take care of their hotel or rental car costs, etc. That is admiral, but the one thing that they can’t refund is time with our loved ones. Unfortunately, that’s gone forever.

The cure

It’s always best to look for the silver lining in every situation we cannot control. We may not be able to change the circumstance, but we can feel much better about our dilemma when we look for the positive.

So what were the positives from something as disappointing as missing Christmas with my grandchildren?

  1. Southwest refunded them the cost of their tickets and also gave them $800 in credits. I’m sure they could use those funds with a baby on the way and having to buy a bigger car.
  2. Besides being very pregnant, my daughter was also suffering from an eye infection at the time. Being home and resting for the week was probably more healthy for her than coming in and having a full week of activities with both our family and her husband’s family.
  3. My husband and I will be traveling to Texas to help them out when the baby is born in late January. We’ll bring all their Christmas presents with us so the two boys will have new toys to play with while she’s in the hospital and caring for a new baby.
  4. They say that anticipation is half the fun, so now we get to anticipate seeing them for another whole month.

Yes, I’m sorry that I didn’t get to hear the pitter-patter of those little feet at my house during Christmas week or spend time with my daughter. I’m disappointed that the two boys missed going to Cheekwood and seeing all the Christmas lights and I’m sorry I missed seeing the joy on their faces as the little lit-up trains made their way through the tracks in the woods. I hate that my daughter and son-in-law missed the annual steak restaurant dinner with their siblings and their spouses.

But when situations are out of control, we have a choice. We can choose to dwell on the negative or think about the positive. Since dwelling on the negative never changes anything, I chose to dwell on the negative for a little bit this Christmas, but then decided it was time to look to the positive. That’s when the joy comes back.

I’m sure one thing this debacle has driven home to Southwest and all airlines is that they’re not just transporting bodies from one point to another. They are transporting human beings with their souls, spirits, and relationships, with the joys, sorrows, circumstances, and everything else that comes with the living. And those circumstances always change when we’re not where we’re supposed to be.

Taking down the Christmas decorations this year, I was still thankful for the precious, joyous Christmas we had with the rest of the family, but I had to admit that it felt incomplete. And it’s okay to grieve for a while for something we missed. But now it’s time to look forward to our next visit with them and anticipate seeing the joy on those boy’s faces when they open their Christmas presents at the end of January, and then witness the best present of all when we all lay eyes on that precious little sister for the first time!

Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalms 30:5

Make the Most of Life’s Instruction Manual


They say that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but actually it does! It’s called the Holy Bible.

Several years ago, our pastor felt that our congregation didn’t know enough about the Bible. We came to church faithfully every Sunday to listen to his sermons, but most of us didn’t have a systematic way to read and study the Bible.

He asked us as a church to begin a daily reading plan that took us through the Bible in one year. Today, this discipline has become a part of the daily devotions for many of us and the result has been life-changing as well as church-changing.

Being a Christian most of my life, I’ve studied the Bible and even memorized many key verses, however, reading it from cover to cover unveils a storyline that you don’t get by just reading various chapters out of sequence.

It’s very unpopular today in some circles to say that you believe in the Bible, but I find it ironic that many of those who discount the Bible and say they don’t believe it to be the inspired Word of God, have never read even a small portion of it, much less cover to cover. While we would never purchase an expensive appliance and refuse to pick up the instruction manual to see how to operate it safely and efficiently, many of us try to make it though life on our own without ever consulting the manual God has given us for our time on earth.

Will we understand everything we read in the Bible? Certainly not, but we will understand some of it. The beauty of reading the Word is that we almost always learn something new or see a principle in a new light, even from a familiar passage.

Many people mistakenly think that the Bible should have all the answers to life’s questions, and since it doesn’t answer everything, it’s not valid. But God hasn’t revealed everything to his creation – just what He wants us to know. The Bible, rather, is the story of man, and God’s plan to redeem him from his sins. It shows us how to live triumphantly in this life and how to prepare for the next. It doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. That’s for another time and place. Today we know in part, the Bible says, but when we see God face to face we will know fully. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

If you’ve never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I encourage you to do so this year. Some of it won’t make sense, but a lot of it will. Numerous Bible Reading Apps online have a scheduled reading plan, and many will read it audibly to you so that you can listen while driving or getting ready for work, etc. This one from Life Church is fantastic, but there are many other options.

Holy Bible

What’s actually in there?

Some verses tell us what to do when we feel weak, anxious, worried, betrayed, or sad. It shows us how to be at peace and joyful instead of stressed and gloomy, and how to love instead of hate. There are verses for when we need forgiveness and when we need to forgive others.

The Bible tells us how to be a good friend, parent, neighbor and child. It teaches us to trust God and believe in something bigger than ourselves. It provides comfort through our sufferings while challenging us to become better people.

We may not always like what the Bible says to us, but everything written there is for our good. There are answers for dealing with the sins in our life and how to get deliverance from them. Not everything we read will make us happy. Biblical truth is sometimes hard to swallow. God’s word claims to be sharper than a two-edged sword and, believe me, I have felt that sword in my own spirit many times. But no matter how it hurts, a reality check is sometimes just what we need.

The Bible truly is a Living Word. Nothing will grow our faith more than the Word of God. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, (Psalm 119:105) showing us the way on this journey of life. It’s a love letter from God to us, His children, and is more precious than any treasure we could ever find.

Its words bring comfort to us when we are burdened, hope when we are in despair, and joy when we are in sorrow. All the while convicting us when we are doing wrong.

We’ll never master the Bible completely, no matter how much of a scholar we become because it is a living, breathing book, and the more we learn the more is revealed.

There is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures. Everything from how to eat, how to manage your money, to how to treat your neighbor. There are numerous ancient prophecies through those pages that have now been fulfilled and other prophecies showing us what’s to come next in our world.

Why not give God’s Word a try this year and commit to reading it through just to see what it has to say to you. I think you’ll be impressed and blessed!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Combating the Evil Within


We don’t like to admit it, but we humans are inherently evil. All of us are born selfish and must learn to be good. Don’t believe it? Just legalize the killing of unborn children and see how many of us jump on that bandwagon. Sixty-three million to date in America have chosen this option since the Roe V. Wade supreme court decision. Before 1973 an unborn baby was protected by American law. I wonder if the Supreme Court Justices thought abortion would come to these great numbers when they legalized it. I doubt it. They probably were thinking that such a procedure would be a rare occurrence in the case of extreme poverty, rape, or incest. After all, what stronger bond is there between a mother and her child? But what they failed to remember and what we often forget as well is that we humans are all selfish, sinful creatures. “There is none good,” the Bible tells us, “No not one.” Romans 3:10

What if all murder became legal today? If there were no consequences would it increase? If the history of abortion tells us anything about human nature, it certainly would. And if putting one’s elderly parents to death was legalized, how many children would choose to end their parent’s life? As absurd as this sounds, the Bible tells us that this will be a common practice in the last days. (Matthew 10:21)

Recently, we witnessed what happens in cities where there are no consequences for breaking the law. Felons who are released without bail or before serving their full term, often go out and rob or kill someone else. They’re not always grateful that they were given a second chance and suddenly decide to clean up their act. Their nature is to kill and steal because they’ve never been taught otherwise.

Children who grow up without a father usually exhibit more behavior problems and more often end up in prison. It’s not because of race or economics, as some would suggest, in many cases it’s because they haven’t had a father to teach and model for them the difference between right from wrong and how to live productively in a civilized society.

That nasty sin nature

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yet, before we start feeling self-righteous because we don’t steal or commit murder, we have to admit that we’re all prone to sin. Even as Christ’s followers, we’re always pushing the limits. When the speed limit is 60, we drive 70. When it’s 70, we often drive 80 and sometimes push 95 unless we see a state trooper sitting on the side of the road. And these are just our minor transgressions!

Even the apostle Paul struggled with his sinful nature. He said he often did what he shouldn’t have done and left undone what he should do. Can anyone relate to this? I certainly can!

It’s pretty scary to think about the atrocious acts any of us can commit given the right circumstances and without God intervening in our life.

What can we do?

God has graciously given us laws to help us. Scriptures throughout the Bible, teach us how to keep safe and provide us a way to a life of peace. One of these is in Romans.

The mind covered by the flesh is death, but the mind covered by the spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:6

Just reading this verse makes me want to relax, take a deep breath and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to me.

Be Safe/Stay Safe

These have become bywords today. But when we tell someone to stay safe, do we really know how to tell them to do that? There are numerous scriptures regarding peace and safety in the Bible and each of them points to trusting in God and obeying His commands for that peace to occur.

Man with a pencil in hand studying the Bible
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Is God Pro-Choice?

Absolutely! Not in the sense that He thinks it’s perfectly fine for a woman to destroy a growing child inside of her, but that He has given us free will. God created a human race that could choose to love and obey him. We aren’t robots programmed to praise the Lord continually and always make the right decisions to never do anything wrong. It’s a great gift, but with this gift come consequences. Our decisions and our choices matter.

Joshua reminded the Israelites of everything the Lord had done for them through their years in the wilderness, like how He had defeated their enemies. Then he told them, you can choose to worship those other gods if you want, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. He wanted to choose the blessings of God for his life and the life of his family. (Joshua 23-24)

Doing the right thing is not always easy and because of our sinful nature, obedience will be a life-long struggle. But the more we learn to trust God we will see that His ways are always for our good. As parents, the rules we impose on our children are never to harm or keep them from enjoying life. They are to keep them safe and help them grow into responsible adults. It’s the same with God’s rules for us.

If you’d like to share some of the consequences of right or wrong choices you’ve made, let us know in the comments below. We can all learn from each other!

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33

God’s handiwork


We can’t do it by ourselves. We didn’t create our human bodies, fill them with a soul and spirit and place ourselves on this earth. We had no say in the matter – neither the era in which we were born, the family into which we were born, nor what race or other physical characteristics we acquired.

So why do we think we have to do life on our own? When we struggle with sin and failure we often turn from God instead of asking him to help us.

But this verse in Philippians tells us that God is always working in us both so we can do his will and for his good pleasure.

“He’s not mad at us, “ As my friend, Dave Ramsey says, “He misses us.” God wants every person to live forever with him. That’s the reason he sent his son to die for us. If he didn’t care about us, he would have just let us all die in our sins.

Don’t let guilt and shame keep you from God. He understands the struggles we have on this earth for Jesus had those same temptations. We will never be as perfect as Jesus, but God will help us become more like him each day if we allow him.