This time of year for me is really a time I enjoy, especially with my daughter, Jk (pronouced Jake). On days when my pain level is down and my energy levels are up, I like to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. I think my favorite times of the year are Spring and Fall, because the temperatures are wonderful, not to hot and not to cold, and these are the seasons when we see most God’s hand at work. From the breezes in the trees to the newborn flowers peeping up from piles of old leaves, and twigs broken off by Winter snows, or in our area this Winter…Winter Rainstorms. Spring is a time when we feel the rebirth of so many things, the sun’s warmth, baby animals out on the farms and ranches, and the rebirth of beautiful flowers from bulbs planted many springs past. This Spring Jk and I have taken about 4 walks out into our area to watch for new flowers and to just enjoy the day. We’ve even taken my granddaughter on one of our walks. Today was one of those days. Cane in one hand, and camara in the other, Jklyn locked the front door and off we went. I have to admit it is a challenge to keep up with Jklyn after all I’m 42 years older than she is. You see she is my youngest daughter. She was my gift from God, born 24 years after my oldest daughter. She is the youngest of 2natural sisters, 3 adopted sisters, and 2 stepbrothers, so she is the baby of the family and the only one left at home now. She gets all the attention from these two older parents, and for the most part she is the favorite of all her siblings. But it isn’t just because she is the baby sister, but because of her love for each of them individually, her forgiving character, her love of life, and the way God’s love shows through her to them. I’m not saying she is a saint, because she is still a child who wants to spend more time with friends than doing her chores, and she is somewhat of a fashionista. But she is the most loving and forgiving child I have, and that I credit to Jesus who I know is her Lord and Savior already. I think that is why I love to go on short walks with her, because I get to see God’s love for his creation through her eyes. That is what this post is about…seeing God’s love for his creation through a child of God’s eyes. So below I’m posting pics that Jklyn has taken on our walks for everyone to enjoy. Imagine a tween girl running usually 50 feet ahead of me because she sees something special that she wants to get a picture of, as if going any slower would mean that it might fade away. That is what our walks are like! Jk excitedly running to and fro, snapping pictures of flowers, trees, and animals, sometimes scaring them away because of her excitement. I could live a hundred more years and still these walks would be some of my fondest memories of her. Now here are Jk’s photos of nature. Enjoy!
Monthly Archives: March 2012
If you have any interest in Bible Prophecy you may find the link below to a video about the Ark interesting. I love Bible Prophecy and the study of it. My personal opinion is that when God wants the Ark revealed again there will be nothing on earth that will stop him from doing so. Just click on the words “Jesus Loves You” to go to the video.
If you won’t believe in Christ from the voice of a living Christian, how about someone who is facing death. This dear man has passed on now and is with the Lord in Heaven. Why would he lie to you? To be taken to the video, click the link below.
This is a great read, and for those who believe science over faith maybe it is time to rethink your arguments for not believing in God. You can’t see the wind, but you can see its effects on the leaves of the trees, its effects on you when it cools you on a hot day, its effects on the sails of a boat as it pushes it across the water, and even see its destructive power. In the same way, you can’t see God, but I can tell you I have seen his effect on lives, from the change he has made in alcoholics and drug addicts when they give their lives to him, to the healing he gave two of my adopted daughters that the doctors had given up on, to the 3 extra years he gave my mother to live when the doctors said she would die before the end of the night, to even many events in my own life (which are many) that he has brought me from the brink of death after prayer to the change in my own heart and life that had been hardened by hurt. Here is the post I am asking you to read. You will be surprised at who the student is!
This is good regardless of what religion anyone may or may not be, it is not about religion but about God vs science; wait till you see who the student is (was).
“Let me explain the problem science has with religion.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. ‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’
‘Yes sir,’ the student says.
‘So you believe in God?’
‘Is God good?’
‘Sure! God’s good.’
‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’
‘Are you good or evil?’
‘The Bible says I’m evil.’
The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’
‘Yes sir, I would.’
‘So you’re good…!’
‘I wouldn’t say that.’
‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?’
The student remains silent..
‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. ‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’
‘Er..yes,’ the student says.
‘Is Satan good?’
The student doesn’t hesitate on this one.. ‘No.’
‘Then where does Satan come from?’
The student falters. ‘From God’
‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’
‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’
‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’
Again, the student has no answer.
‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’
The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes..’
‘So who created them ?’
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’
There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.
‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’
The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’
The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’
‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’
‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’
‘No, sir, I have not.’
‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’
‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’
‘Yet you still believe in him?’
‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist… What do you say to that, son?’
‘Nothing,’ the student replies.. ‘I only have my faith.’
‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat? ‘
‘And is there such a thing as cold?’
‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’
‘No sir, there isn’t.’
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet.
The student begins to explain. ‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’
‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’
‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?’
‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’
The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’
‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains.. ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’ ‘It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’ ‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
‘ ‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.’
‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.
‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’ The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’
The class breaks out into laughter.
‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so… So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’
‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.
Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I Guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’
‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’
Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’
To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’
The professor sat down.
The student was Albert Einstein . Albert Einstein wrote a book titled ‘ God vs. Science ‘ in 1921…..
Whether this account is true or not, the premise of which it teaches is true. Whether Einstein truly came to realize how wrong he was about God’s existence only he and God know right now. If he never accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior before he died then I know that he is indeed finding the existence of Hell a real thing. If even on his deathbed, Einstein turned to Christ, then he indeed is finding how real Heaven is. I know also that one day, Judgement Day, all will be laid open before God and it will be known by all as to which place he is going to dwell for eternity. My purpose for posting this story is not to judge Einstein, but to state that even Science cannot disprove the existence of God because it cannot disprove the existence of faith. For me science hasn’t explained so many things about creation without a doubt that what is left is to admit that there is a God who set the planets into space, directed the course of their orbits, and decided the chemical makeup of each. Science will never be able to make me doubt my belief in God, nor my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, to date I have more doubt in science than I do in God.
Now before you try to pull the Snopes link on me, I’ve seen it. This internet entity that is supposes to be impartial in trying to cast doubt on the above conversation goes into a tyraid against the existence of faith, thus showing it anti-Christian roots. It has come out in the past few years that Snopes is indeed ran by people who are left-leaning socialists. In reading their comments on the article it was clear to me that they also were stating lies to make their point. First of all, Einstein came from a family of non-practicing Jews. Yes, he was Jewish, and even the non-practicing Jews I know may not hold to the religious practices in the Jewish faith, but often still hold a strong belief in God. Einstein also went to a Catholic school when he was young, so it is very likely he did consider himself somewhat religious, and in fact in the following quote by Einstein he admits to such until the age of 12. Einstein believed there was something religious in him connected to his awe for the universe, but thought of himself as an agnostic. He didn’t think well of athiests at all.
“. . . I came—though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents—to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. “
People often think being a giving person means giving money, but if we follow the example of Jesus Christ we will learn that it is much different. Why? Because throughout the life of Christ we see that he didn’t give money, but instead gave time, love, healing, forgiveness, hope, and peace. We also read what he taught about giving food, clothing, shelter, and even friendship to those in need. I’ve often had to address the idea of helping those in need with my husband and my children. Some get it, and others still haven’t. But for me, giving to others in need was instilled through my parents. It always seemed that although we were a big family (9 kids) and not wealthy by any means, my parents always found the money to take care of needs that they saw others needed, even if it meant going without something at home. As kids we never saw the sacrifice they made because there was always food on the table, clothes on our back and a warm home to live in. Even as a teen my mother set the example for me, by taking me with her to clean the home of someone who was bed-ridden from illness or surgery, or were elderly and couldn’t do it all themselves. I never even thought of it as doing what the Bible ask us to, because it was just something we did.
As an adult I often found the television full of ads yelling “help these children”, “help those refugees”, or “give or else”, and my heart would feel the sting of guilt that I couldn’t help them all. Many were for secular, non-Christian charities. I remember often wishing I had the money to send to each one of these charities…that is until I answered an add for a job with UNICEF. I went to their week long training session, and came away with a disappointment at those charities that advertise on television. I found UNICEF to be a pyramid scheme, where those who are suppose to be helped by it, getting the least in the chain of their financial breakdown. They often hired low-income people, homeless, and single moms to walk the pavement going to each business asking for donations. In return they gave the donor a little stuffed animal with the UNICEF tag on it. Donations usually ranged in amounts from $5 to $25, which would be turned in back at the UNICEF office. From there the cost of the stuffed animal was removed. Then they broke down the amount to go to each level of the company workers, with the most being received by those on top, and the one walking the pavement getting barely 10%. I saw workers walk all day from 6 a.m. to dark, and barely make $5 a day. It was a sad situation, even more when I saw that very little went to the fund for those it was meant to help. That was enough of secular charities for me.
I then decided I would help through Christian organizations that I knew were helping around the world. Many of these type of Christian charities are great for getting your family involved in giving, and through this teaching them about why it is important to take care of those in true need. For example, with my youngest daughter, we’ve saved quarters for months to put towards feeding centers here in the U.S. and also in Africa. Many of these around the world also serve as home and school for children. I found that I can’t help everyone, but I can help some perhaps even closer to home.
After my oldest was born, I went 24 years before having another child. During that time I found there was a great need for foster homes in the Los Angeles area. As a foster parent we gave a home to almost 15 children, and of these 15 we adopted three. I was surprised at the stats of children in foster care and even more that there were 18,000 children who needed to be adopted to get them out of foster care, and that is just in L.A. County back in the 1980’s. I can’t imagine what the amount is now. When a foster child doesn’t have a home they are sent to a large home, like a orphanage, for children. The conditions are often worse than in most prisons, and the dangers for small children are often greater. It was unbelievable that our government entities allowed such a place to even exist. Once we had adopted our last three foster kids the house was full and we couldn’t take any more.
So now I had to find other ways to help. Most churches now have what they call a “food pantry” to stock up on items to take to those in need. I began putting a few extra things in the basket each time I went grocery shopping and would take them to the church on Sunday. I still do this, but allow my daughter to take them to donate.
My oldest daughter and I would go on mission trips when she was a teen to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. We found children there living in a small house or hogan with as many as 18 to 20 family members. Often they had only one outfit to wear each day. Some were without shoes, and still others didn’t even have the basic underclothes to wear. We worked with the natives through Christian mission churches often pastored by an indian from their tribe. It wasn’t unusual for a teen to use some of the money sent with them to go into town and buy something they saw a child needed. Even my daughter bought underwear and shoes for a little girl. There was a young man at this reservation who had a great talent for playing instruments although he had never had any formal lessons. He was training with the pastor to be a missionary to his own tribe who would travel around the reservation sharing the Gospel. I ran the Bible School that summer, and would always find this young man in the sanctuary of that little church, trying to learn to play the songs that we taught the children. I would set and teach him on my guitar how I played them in the time before the children arrived, often joined by various teens from our church who also played instruments. I found out through the pastor that the young man loved those times and would miss them until the next summer when we returned. I also found out that the young man was praying that God would provide him with his own guitar to use in his ministry. I thought what could I do about it, since I used mine for my own areas of ministry, and needed it for the rest of the trip. Well, God answered his prayer and mine, when I was given a new guitar at Christmas that had a thinner neck for my small hands. I had the teen director from our church contact the pastor from the mission church and ask him if that young man still needed a guitar. The answer came back…yes. With a message to him that we would see him that summer, and were working on helping, we left it at that. When summer came it was a blessing to take my old guitar and leave it with the pastor to give to the young missionary native when he returned from his rounds. We asked him not to mention who it was from, but just to say “God answered prayer.”
As a single mom, with 2 kids still at home, I opened my own store off my house. We lived from sale to sale during that time, but it allowed me as a single mom to be home for my daughters, and yet work. Behind our home was a trailer park filled with veterans who had served their country and then were forgotten by them. Most had severe health issues linked to their time in Vietnam, and many had long since lost any contact with family because they found it hard to find a job that understood their health difficulties. But these men were like fathers and brothers to me, and like uncles and grandpas to my girls. They watched out for them, let me know if they saw the oldest doing something she shouldn’t, and when they did work during harvest time, they often brought us boxes of fresh oranges and other produce. I often wished I could help them out as well, and found myself praying that God would show me a way. One day when talking to my landlord’s wife, I mentioned that I would like to do something for the guys in the trailers. Her husband was their landlord too, and was a veteran who had been blessed in life. That is when she mentioned one of the guy’s had a birthday coming up and knew he would not even get a card from his family, as he had never received one. That is when God showed me the way. With her help, I found out every veteran’s birthday. My store was a novelty gift store offering balloon bouquets, party planning, and even a rent-a-clown. That’s right…I was the clown. With list tacked up behind the counter, each day one of the vet’s birthdays came up my daughters and I would create a balloon bouquet, make a card signed from “your secret family”, and decide on a special gift for that vet. We would sneak to the door of their house, and leave it on their porch, with the balloons tied to the gift. Then we would sneak back inside our home and peak out our back window to watch the look on their face as they were surprised by the birthday gift. We went from just doing this to hosting holiday meals for the guys, never letting them know that we were doing this just for them, but just doing it as something special for our neighbors. The landlord and his wife helped me provide enough food for the dinner and for each of the guys to take home a big plate of leftovers to eat that week. I’m sure they knew in their hearts that we knew their need, but we never told them. We got the blessing of knowing that they felt that someone cared, that they were getting a good homecooked meal and the feeling that there was family around who cared. I got the joy of knowing that my children were learning the joy of giving to those in need, and for caring for others. We may not have been rich in money at that time, but we were rich in blessings from God…blessings of the heart.
Even the use of our talents can be a form of giving. There is the memory of a Mother’s Day when a frazzled nurse ran into my store and asked me if I could come to the local Nursing Home as a clown and put on a program for the people there. The act they had scheduled had canceled at the last minute and they had no one to replace it. At the time I was a single mom with 2 kids at home and we had a couple of my daughter’s friends over helping us with getting ready for a birthday party in a local park. After talking with the kids, I told her we had the party to do, but if she didn’t mind giving us a couple of hours we would be there. My daughter’s friends rallied with us, not only helping set up, entertain, and clean up the birthday party, but in donning clown costumes, and going with us to the Nursing Home. We told jokes, sang silly songs, and even did the Hokey Pokey. I had taught the teens how to make balloon animals and flowers, and that day each of them went table to table talking to each of the elderly people there while making them a balloon creation as a gift. On the way home, the teens were so excited about the whole experience, yet touched deeply by some of the sad stories that the Nursing Home residents shared with them, of never seeing their kids or grandkids, of being lonely and of feeling like no one cared anymore. It went right to the hearts of these 3 teens, and they didn’t take the situation lightly asking if we could go again, just so they could visit the people they had met. This was a time when our giving came through the use of our talents. All the money in the world could not have filled the need of those elderly adults like just having someone listen, make them laugh, and spend time with them. I have since been blessed to use other talents I have to fill the need of others, from making a special backpack for a child to carry his oxygen tank in, to teaching a young lady to sing who’s parents couldn’t afford lessons, to even tutoring a child with severe learning disabilities to help him build confidence in his learning ability.
Each of the above examples from my own life are blessed memories. I’ve never thought of myself as giving anything, but in thinking about this and looking back I was surprised at how many times God opened a door and led me into giving something to help another. These are only a few of those times, and each one, when remembered also brought a renewed feeling of being blessed to be able to do so.
You see the point I’m getting at is…no we can’t help everyone in the world who is in need, but we can help some in need, and that we should be willing to do so. Sometimes the least selfish are those who have the least, because they know what it is to need, and in their heart they can’t stand to see someone else suffer. As Christians we are to give to those in need, and sometimes we are leary because of feeling like we don’t want to encourage that money being used for drugs or alcohol, sometimes we have very little to give ourselves. But one thing I have learned is we are all able to help someone in need along the path of our life, and often if our heart is attuned to God, we find that there are many that we can help. When we allow God’s Will to be first in our lives, we also find that he often provides the means to help others. There are a variety of ways God opens the door for us to give to those in need, and there are safe and legitimate ways to give so that you know where your money or items are going and that they are truly being used for those in need, whether it is giving a lunch to someone holding a sign at a street corner, or donating toys to Toys for Tots or Angel Tree, to seeing if your local hospital can let you provide something special for children or adults who are there for a long period of time, such as books, quilts, even gifts at Christmas. Don’t forget those in nursing homes, because many haven’t seen family for a long time, and for the most part are forgotten. Just going in and reading to them, playing a game of checkers, can be a form of giving that is cherished beyond the money you give. Don’t let your own finances limit your ability to give. Give of your time, possessions, talents, and most of all yourself and your love for others. The blessing you will get from being a giving person far outweigh any treasures you can receive on Earth. Helping others is truly like wrapping them in the loving arms of Jesus Christ.
Today is a great day! I’m full of energy, and feeling better! It’s like I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, as far as this virus goes. So far, I finished reading a book that I’m reviewing, folded 2 loads of laundry and got another in the washer, saw my daughter off to Homeschool Choir, ate breakfast and took a long, relaxing bath in bath oil for pain. I’ve sorted things out for mending too. Between all this I checked my facebook page and this blog for messages. But I’m not done yet, because there is so much more I need to get done on this good day. There is a problem though. My brain is running faster than I can keep up with it. It feels like a hamster is running on his wheel inside my head, and all the time he is throwing out items for my list of things to do today. Make dinner, sweep the top floors, mop the floors, dust, sweep and mop the stairs, start cleaning the main floor of the house, type out the crochet patterns for things I’ve created, post some of my writing on For His Glory and Praise, write 2 reviews and send them in, water and check my porch garden, iron clothes, do the mending, finish sewing outfit for my daughter…and it continues to go on and on. All the things that I’ve had to put off because of being sick with this virus or down in pain. You see I have a hyper mentality! Although the body has slowed down the mind is still going a mile a minute. It happens often… in fact, I’ve been this way all my life. When my mother said “slow down” she wasn’t talking about me running ahead of her at all. It was usually because I was telling her about all that I was thinking. At times like this, I have had to learn how to put a rein on my thoughts. How? I go to a place in life where I found that I could relax and think of just the simplest of things…like the beauty of all God’s creation. Right now I’m thinking of a time when I went fishing. Setting by a beautiful lake, a book in one hand and a fishing pole in the other, sitting in a lawnchair, relaxing is where my mind is right now. When I do this, I find that I can take one issue at a time and deal with it. I remember God’s Word where he tells us to “rest in the Lord”, or to “cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” You see, I have to remember that even when my mind is not in control, God is in control. Just these thoughts help me to calm down, relax in the Lord, and tackle my list one item at a time, and trust that God will see me through it. And now with my mind set on Jesus, and my heart at peace, I can do everything through Christ…even my long list of housework.