The After Look With Charldia

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't Give Up, God's Got Something Better For You

I know I need to be a more faithful blogger, but health issues and circumstances continually hinder.  And I said hinder, not stop. So many times I want to quit and often I loudly proclaim I am, but my heart and my faith won't allow me. In January I had my 86th surgery, a total right knee replacement. Each surgery seems to zap strength from me. So many projects get put on hold. I had hoped to have my book ready by March, instead only 2 chapters are complete with lots of notes and scribbles for the rest. I was hoping to finish my 2012 Spring Cleaning on my house, but I'm afraid it might be Spring 2015 before I get it done. And being someone who daily battles depression and being OCD, it really gets to me living in clutter and disarray. I shudder to think what my Mother would think if she could look down from heaven and see. She raised us to be able to pass the white glove treatment any day, anytime. Sorry Mom! It's not like I don't want everything labeled, in its place, dust and dirt free. I really do! And even though thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness try to take root, I pray and battle to cast them aside, and know that even in my clutter, my pain, my weakness- I still have a purpose and God's still got something good for me.

I wanted to share the following good thing that has happened in my oldest son's life, thus happening in my too. It truly has been a blessing.

These photos only begin to tell the story. Both of my sons have a very romantic nature. My dear husband of almost thirty-nine years doesn't have a romantic bone in his body (oh, but I do love that man). My oldest son is a pastor and an awesome, true Man of God. After 11 years of marriage, he went through a traumatic divorce. It was a dark time for him, but thanks to his overseers, his church family, family and friends- he came out stronger than ever before. He waited a couple of years before dating. And one day God brought this beautiful, godly woman (who had also been through the fire and came out stronger) into his life. I have never seen my son happier or more in love. Due to circumstances in her younger days, she had never attended a High School Prom. So as a birthday surprise, he gave her one. We had over 50 friends and family all decked out in formal attire, enough food for 200, a professional photographer and more fun than most had ever had. It turned out to be a first prom for several others. We voted on Cutest Couple, Best Dressed, etc. But it was rigged for my son and his date to get King and Queen. After the crowning, he dropped on his knee, pulled out the ring and asked her to be his Queen for life. Ahhhh it's great to know that romance is still alive, that God is still in control and we have a wedding to attend June 21, 2014.
I am so thankful God can turn brokeness into beauty and strength. And that even when we don't always see it, He has a plan for us that is so much greater than these earthly minds can imagine. I am so thankful for my beautiful sons, daughter in law, future daughter in law, my hubby, and of course my precious, absolutely perfect
(well most of the time) grandchildren. Which by the way, I will officially have 5 as of June 21st, and I already love her and feel like she's mine. So I wanted to share my blessing and to encourage others that God has something great for you, too. I also request prayer for my entire family that we always strive to be in God's perfect will and allow our trials to make us stronger. I love the saying that with age, God can take our messes and turn them into messAGES. God is truly an awesome God.

Monday, December 30, 2013


As most of you know I'm an amateur writer, amateur artist, designer, photographer, but in all truth: I'm merely mediocre, a dibbler and dabbler at best. However, thanks to the internet and social media, I have become acquainted with some extraordinary men of God that I would like to introduce to you. I encourage you to click the links I will give you and check them out for yourself. I assure you that you will be both blessed and awed by the works, the accomplishments, the talent, and the impact our world has been touched by through the lives of these men.

I met John Garland on the Redbubble Art Site. He has been a constant source of support, encouragement and prayer ever since. I have his Endor Series and his poetry book. And let me tell you ladies, like Solomon, he has a way with words that can make the coldest heart flutter. But his poetry is wide in range, not just romantic. John writes about sorrow, pain, hope, friendship, struggles and more. His words are deep, and if you dig down, you will find so many golden nuggets of wisdom and truth hidden in his emotive words.

John Garland is lovingly referred to in the Redbubble Community as Mountain Man. John sent me his bio and told me to make it my own, but to try to rewrite his awesome testimony, would be a shame. So with his permission, I have included his testimony below.

I was born in Norfolk, Va. and lived there until February 29, 1972 where I went into the Army. I was raised Church of Christ, which gave me the love of reading Bible and learned to love God and His Word until they convinced me that I had to “fear” God. I knew what fearing someone was all about from my dad’s actions growing up and vowed to never be afraid of anyone, especially God. So I threw away the Bible and started to break every rule I had been taught. The Army was the best place to do just that. My punishment was becoming a schizophrenic and I suffered that ever since. After being medically retired from the Army, I traveled the countryside and the immense fears associated with the disorder until I was hospitalized for shooting the porch lights off of houses from the ridge above them. While in the hospital I got quiet and started to ask God for the truth concerning the fear issues with Him. Unable to hear His voice over the many voices screaming in my head, I felt alone and lost. Then shortly after my release from the hospital I came across a group of people who did biblical research. They showed me from the old scripts that “fear” in the King James version, simply meant to awe and respect and not to be afraid of Him. Then they proceeded to teach me HOW to do research of the Bible so that I could get the real answers for myself and not be blown away with every wind of doctrine from the religious factions. They showed me, from the Word, that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind. Well I wanted a sound mind so I spent the next 18 years in intense research and learned what the religious world couldn’t teach. I had once again fell deeply in love with God. Now I can read and understand what is written so I now look at how to live my life for Him, His way. My insanity had become my salvation and I can now rejoice in the Word while not getting into battles with the religious communities who just consider my insanity as being the blame for my ignorance from their stand point. The world is a happier place to me.

John's inspiring testimony hit on a truth so many people in the church world need to understand: IT'S NOT RELIGION, TRADITION, DENOMINATION, OR FEAR that should drive Christians today. Rather, we should be seeking an up close and personal relationship with our Savior. And we achieve that by studying His Word and prayer. I remember hearing or reading a different interpretation of the Good Samaritan story. It hit home for me. I can't tell you who wrote this, or who might have preached it, but the highlights have always stuck with me. In this interpretation, we were the man who had been robbed, beaten and left half dead. Satan was the robber, beating us down, stealing our hope, destroying our spirit. When our spirit is destroyed, we are half dead. But then Religion passed by- it didn't help. Here comes Tradition filled with self-righteousness- No nothing there to help either. But then here comes Jesus pouring His healing oil and effervescent wine of hope into us. Then He took us to the Innkeeper, the Holy Spirit, paid the price for us and told the Innkeeper to take care of us until He returned. And praise God, He will one day. But until then, we need to look at the powerful truth in John's testimony. Seek God, study His word and get to know Him on a deeper more personal level. 

You can find out more about John and his works at this link:

About a year ago, I joined Google communities. I was blessed to become acquainted with Tom Blubaugh. His list of credentials is phenomenal. Let me introduce you to Tom..

Tom Blubaugh is the moderator of the Christian Authors Community. They extended a welcoming hand to me, even though I am an unpublished author, bookwise. When I read Tom's profile and his list of accomplishments and credentials, I was blown away and completely intimidated, but after having the opportunity to be a part of the community and the pleasure of conversing with him via telephone- those nerves and inadequate feelings were quickly put to rest. Within the community (which currently has 1021 members), Tom treats everyone with kindness, love, and respect. He quickly responds to questions, prayer requests, and concerns of each individual. He is so supportive and encouraging. AND, he is super knowledgeable concerning marketing, publishing, social media and much more. One of the things I respect most about Tom, is his ability to motivate and bring out the best in you. He does this by being a great listener and then, with questions and tips, he brings your ideas into focus, "gets your mojo going", and before you know it- your storylines are falling into place. And he is there to help anyway he can during the entire process from brainstorming, drafting, editing, and publishing.

Tom is both a fiction and nonfiction author. I've been blessed to read Night of the Cossack, which combines historical facts, with what Tom imagines his grandfather's life to be. I am looking forward to reading more as I'm sure you will too. As I mentioned earlier, the ministry, the outreach, the accomplishments of this man is amazing. He has a heart for God, a desire to reach the world with the Good News of Christ, and a compassionate, kind, helpful and supportive spirit. I will list a few of his accomplishments below along with the links that will connect you to another man that is impacting our world with good, his friend at Alive In Christ Radio and The Strategist, Tony Marino. Tom has:
    Published numerous times in denominational and business publications
   Contracted to write for Barbour Publishers
   Self published
   Guest author in several books
   Author of Night of the Cossacks and many more
   Literary Strategist
   Public Speaker
   Marketing and Development Specialist
   Photographer And so much more...

Here's some of his links:

Tom has blessed my life with his articles, his wisdom, his knowledge, and his god-given gifts and talent. If you are intetested in writing or marketing, if you need a guest speaker that will encourage and uplift their audience, as well as impart life skills based on the Bible- then you can't go wrong with Tom. Not clicking on these links will be a great loss to you, clicking on them will be great blessings.

And now I'd like to introduce you to the man that has had the most influence on my life, my father, Rev. James E. McGinnis. My father was the son of a red-headed Irish father and a Cherokee Indian mother. Dad was called to preach at the age of eighteen. He was very well known minister and held revivals all around the South, as well as preaching over many radio stations before being called to service for his country.

God used my dad in some extraordinary ways during his time in World War II. He led around 200 men to Christ at Stalag 12-A before his transfer to Stalag 2-A. Dad and his comrades were captured north of Aachen on October21, 1944. In the days prior, they had been winning the battles, but as they neared their destination, the tide turned. Being a rifleman in the fartherest advanced group, they were taken prisoners. By the grace of God, they were able to get in the basement of the building where they were being held, seconds before the building was blown up, thus saving their lives.

Everyone told Dad not to let the Germans know he was a preacher, but he proudly took his stand. Dad was allowed to build a chapel at Stalag 2-A. He was also given a pass by the Germans, allowing him to go unescorted to visit the hospitals and work camps. He led over 300 more men to Christ there.

I am currently writing a book about my family, the main focus on my father. It will simply be called Daughter of a Preacher Man. My father was such an humble, loving man that touched lives with his smile, his heart, his kindness, and his devotion to God. His story is amazing and the thousands of lives he touched and led to the Lord is his legacy. The last eight years if his life, he was a total invalid. Massive strokes stripped him of movement and speech, but they couldn't dim the light of love for God and my mother that shone brightly in his eyes till the day God called him home. Testimony after testimony of Home Health and Hospice personnel, confirmed to us over and over that God still used Dad to preach His Word till the very end. Pray for me as I try to pen the love, the life, the impact that Rev. James McGinnis had on me, his family, his friends, his military buddies, his congregations and more. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Windows and Doors

Have you ever thought about how many doors you have walked through or how many windows you have looked through in your life? It would be an impossible task. But we know that the doors we've walked through and the windows we have looked through have shaped our lives. The Bible has many references to doors and windows, including warnings of some to avoid. The window of the Ark was opened by Noah to check on receding waters. Rahab
brought the spies in through the window. Solomon refers to the Beloved gazing through the window peering though the lattice. Jesus is referred to as the Door. And we've all heard about windows of opportunity and "God doesn't close one door without opening another. A few years ago I participated in an art challenge where we were asked to do a collage based on a favorite quote. So I used my own quote, " TREASURE EVERY WINDOW YOU LOOK THROUGH, EVERY DOOR YOU WALK THROUGH, FOR EACH IS A PUZZLE PIECE OF LIFE." I also wrote a poem about it. Revelation 3:20 NIV Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and he with me. Proverbs 8:34 NIV Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

Monday, May 20, 2013

To Laugh or Not To Laugh

Proverbs 17:22 NIV A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones Job 8:21 NIV He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Laughter is good for you, and it's great to have people laugh with you, but not so great when they laugh at you, or if the joke's on you. And on that note, let me inject here that a jokester and prankster seldom can take a joke or prank themselves. And I know this to be true because trust me, when it comes to Prank I Q, mines in the Einstein range. Of course my poor, sweet, loveable but oh so gullible, husband says that I am just a good liar. And I take offense at that, because I really hate lying... But a good joke or prank is hard to resist. And bless his sweet heart, after 38 years of marriage, he has been the recipient of most of them. And definitely of the ones that I consider my finest moments. Not long after we married, we had a bad ice storm. I had just had surgery on my left foot. I was in a surgery shoe, pins sticking out the top of my foot and on crutches. (Let me inject here, I am known as a clutz. It would not be an exaggeration to say I have had a hundred or more falls about half of which has broken a bone, Tore a ligament, needed stitches, or required surgery.) Anyway, I had to say that before I continued. We went some friends' to play cards. They decided they wanted pizza ( In days long ago before delivery. So my girlfriend and I decided to go. My husband was totally against it. He kept saying he was afraid I would fall. On the way back I told my friend, I've got to prank him. We found an old ketchup pack in the car, an ashtray full of ashes, and my never left home without "blue eyeshadow". I've always dabbled in makeup art, so I fixed up bruises and blood on my face stuffed napkin pieces under my lip and in my cheeks for swelling. My girlfriend wet herself laughing before we ever went in Of course, the minute we walked in, he jumped up hollering, "Oh baby, I knew it, I knew it" Of couse I could barely explain from swollen lips how that we had stopped off to see my sick aunt and had slipped and fell off the porch.. He so lovingly led me to sit down. As I was sitting, the napkin started slipping out from under my lip. He started freaking out, "Oh no, Oh baby You've broke your teeth out" That was the end of it, I spewed the napkin out in laughter as mygirlfriend and I rolled with laughter." THE AFTER LOOK... A month later at their house, she and I were out walking, I tripped in a hole, had a nasty spill. He said, "Don't care, you get no sympathy from me this time." One of my all time favorites was the 87/57 joke. My husband's all time favorite car is a 57 Chevy. We were coming home one night, I was gazing mindlessly out the window. It was 1986. He asked me what was on my mind and instantly it hit me. I told him I was thinking about that 87/57 30 year anniversary model car Chevrolet was about to release. He asked me what I was talking about. I processes to tell him about this new car that would have an exact replica body of the 57 with all new 87 parts. He went ballistic. He was going to get one if we had to sell the house. I wad basking in the fact.that he had swallowed it hook, line, and sinker that I forgot to tell him the truth. THE AFTER LOOK... By the time I told him, he had spread the news to others and I broke his heart when I told him it was a joke. I felt really bad for awhile, especially when he had to retract the news to others. We attended a small church just across our county line (We live in Etowah County right at the Calhoun County line. It was only about 15 minutes from him. Hubby had a backroads route he always took. One Sunday, he noticed that about 5 or 6 houses along the way had shiny new asphalt driveways. He commented that he thought it was strange. I proceeded to tell him it was part of The Ohatchee. Beautification Program. He asked me what that was about. I said that anyone that wanted to improve things around their yards the next 2 months, they could pay $50 to Ohatchee.City Council to have their driveway paid and Ohatchee would cover the rest. He commented.something about wishing our city would do the same. The second we walked in the door, he went straight to out BFF's, who lived on a dirt road with a dirt drive. That had built a beautiful 2 story home there. He began to ask RF why he wasn't participating in the program. RF asked him what he was referring to, then RF looked at me, realized what was going on, and everyone else fell apart. THE AFTER LOOK... I caused him to be teased by others and I didn't mean for that to happen. Then there were many others such as the Loch Ness monster of Neely Henry Dam. The Bright Lights and Open Curtains, etc. But harmless jokes are one thing, jokes that cause physical or emotional damage are another. As much as I like to tease my loving, good natured husband and have brought him teasing from others, I can honestly say (and I believe he would agree). It's been things where we laugh with him, not at him. Being a teacher for years, I've seen some pretty cruel embarrasing jokes played on other kids so others would make fun of them and laugh at them, not with them. And I know from my own experience, I have been the brunt of those kind of jokes and I know that's no laughing matter. Laughter can relieve stress, ease tense situations, and cheer up a dreary day. "When you laugh the world laughs with you, when you smile the sun comes shining through. Laugh with people, not at them. And that laughter is contagious and can spread quickly to those around. I've seen a while room of people giggling and cackling without a clue as to why. But Someone else's funny bone got tickled or their giggle box fell open and soon others were laughing for the sheer joy of it. HAVE YOU HAD YOUR LAUGH TODAY? Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Luke 6:21 NIV Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," the mother told the little girl that cried in her arms. But the little girl knew better. Her loving, kind mother was wrong about this. She had been stubbed, bruised, and cut by her share of sticks and stones like any kid, and she forgot about the pain minutes after it happened. But words, those hateful, cruel words that had embarrassed her and made her hide her face in shame time after time, she would never forget those. They were engraved on her heart, her mind, her spirit. Ten years old and her prayers at night were," Dear Jesus, I love You, Mommy, Daddy and Sissy so much. Will you please let me die before them? They are the only ones who love me. They don't call me Four Eyed Freckled Face Pig, or say Oink Oink, We need you for our Barbecue everytime I walk by. Mommy and Daddy make me feel pretty. They tell me I'm smart, I'm beautiful inside and out, and that I can do anything I want to do, so I do it." So the little girl worked hard in school, then everyday she came home, went into her bedroom, cried with her face buried in the pillows so her family wouldn't hear her sobs and asked Jesus to just help her survive. She joined the drama club and performed in plays, made the Jump Rope Performance Team. Played on the Ring Tennis Team. Was in the DuPont Choral Group and made 1st Chair Viola Section of the DuPont Symphonette and endured ridicule and torment everyday while asking God to take away the thoughts of suicide because her loving caring family was worth surviving for... Now something else about this little girl, because of the emotional pain she endured, she sought solace and peace in the water. Living on the Atlantic Coast, she was a beach baby. Plus her Daddy built her an in-ground pool because of her love of water. Now she and Daddy were fearless when it came to swimming and playing in the ocean or pool, but Mommy and Sissy didn't share that same love. But emotional pain can drive you to do insane things. She would stay in the water for hours praying for God to turn her into a mermaid so she could swim away to Atlantis and finally be happy. She felt such a connection to God while in the ocean and such peace, such acceptance and belonging that her young, hurt, confused mind began to think she didn't belong on land. There was too much pain there. And she knew the minute she stepped out of the water people were going to point and laugh, and she would hear, "Fatty, Fatty 2 by 4, Petunia Pig, Henrietta Hippo", and more, so she wanted to stay wrapped safely in her watery caccoon of acceptance and non- judgement. She could do more than just survive here, she could thrive. But of course she grew, she knew, she had always known but she had needed that fantasy as a stress reliever, a fleeting moment of hope for something new and beautiful in her life. Life continued, she poured all she had into achieving in school to make her parents proud. And then it happened, the possibility of something good, a change. A change her parents thought would be great. Sissy was married, living in a city a few hundred miles away and they were moving to another city and state, her birthplace. She hadn't lived there since she was one year old. Could this be a fresh start, a happy start? NO! She was a bell-bottomed, tunic shirted, head banned hippie looking,Florida tanned girl with a strange accent entering a small, pretty much red-necked Alabama town back then. Things just got worse. The stress of it all had caused her to trim down some. She had a nice curvy body (not slim, but not fat, but she still felt like the world's biggest hippo. Her confidence was zilch.) The "good kids", the supposedly "Christian kids" wouldn't accept her. She dressed different, talked different. They labeled her a 'whore' and a 'drug dealer' and they didn't even know her, didn't even know her name. It was the 'trashy' kids that were kind to her, that showed her around the school, that sat with her at lunch and outside on the ten minute courtyard break. This just gave those 'good kids' more fuel for the fire. Her reputation was shot, lies were told and spread-no matter how much her denial. An incident one day- a setup, an entrapment - but God intervened, her name cleared, a public apology, but you can't undo the damage to the heart when something is taken that far. But still, for her family, she survived. She was loved by her teachers, excelled in her grades, involved in numerous clubs, but blackballed in National Honor Society by the one whose bluff was caught and called, yet she still graduated in the top 10% of her class. # 14 out of 225. Recommended by her French teacher, she took an exam to compete for a full scholarship. She scored the highest and could go to any college in the State of Alabama, everything paid, tuition, room, books, supplies, gas, EVERYTHING. Sometimes it pays to be a survivor. But the test showed other things. The psych evalve part showed OCD, depression, anxiety, paranoid schizophrenia. She had to agree to go to psychiatric therapy the first year. She did. She survived. She graduated with honors. She had wonderful, successful children. She's still married for over 35 year to same man now. Had a successful career. Yet, she struggled with her weight, she struggled with her health, had over 80 surgeries and came back kicking, she struggled with her mind, she struggled with her confidence. She loved God and Family with all her heart. But there were still days when kids and adults pointed, made fun, said derogatory things. And unlike the hurts from sticks, stones falls, bruises, broken bones and surgeries, those wounds didn't heal. She even lost so much weight at one point that people said she looked anorexic. But when she looked in the mirror all she could she was that Four-eyed, freckled faced Pig or the Big Ugly Cow that Everyone Just Wanted To Kick Around. She tried her hand at many things: singing, writing plays, drama, art, photography, designing, cards, designing fabric and wrapping paper, even writing a blog. She found out that she was okay at some things and almost good at others, but just not good enough. You see, her Mommy, Daddy, and. Sissy have gone to heaven. They were her cheering squad. They would have gotten behind her, supported her, pushed her... Not let her give up. But she just couldn't get all those "words that never hurt" out of her heart, her mind, her spirit. Now she does have 2 or 3 really good encouragers and supporters. She has one young man that helps hold her up when she feels she is going under, reminding her to pray and remember why she is doing it. But still there are days her heart is so heavy, it's hard to keep on trying. For when she puts her heart into a design or a blog and those she loves never gives even a nod, to a person like her whose heart is fragile from years of negative degradation, it's like like they're yelling out, "You're worthless, no good, you're not worth a dime. What a waste of space, what a waste of my time." But then the Survivor bows her head in shame realizing what she's doing is just the same. She's being hurtful using the past as a reason to be prideful and judgemental, God forgive, please! So she cries in her pillow to muffle her sobs and all she can say is, " Please, Please Help me Dear God." And soon she arises to try once again, because It's God she needs to please and quit worrying about man. She's a Survivor... By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of Her Testimony. So She will keep on trying if it's only for one. After all, she must once again face and realize, that Jesus would have gone to the cross and died, even if it was only for her. STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK YOUR BONES BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT IS A LIE OF THE DEVIL. PLEASE WATCH THE WORDS YOU SAY TO PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY CUT DEEP. THERE ARE MANY YOUTH AND TEENS WHO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE OF VERBAL ABUSE. ✿☞this rose bush is in my yard. Just 2 years ago it was healthy, loaded and bent to the ground with roses and leaves. Evidently it got damaged in the storms and tornadoes that wrecked havoc here. Now it is almost all dead except just a couple appendages.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Importance of Mine Eyes

The term mine eyes is used numerously throughout the old and new testament. With that many references it is easy to determine that mine eyes are very important. And of course we know how valuable our eyes are to us: for work, play, travel, chores, reading, entertainment, enjoying nature, for virtually almost everything we do. If you read polls and studies that have been made, when asked, "If something happened and you lost one of your senses, which would you most hate to lose? By far, the majority always answered sight. So we know how important sight is, but also, the eyes themselves are treasured beauties. Many people will tell you they fell in love with someone because of their eyes. Most romantic poets include descriptive romantic lines of being lost in the depth of the shimmering blue (green, brown, etc.) pools of your eyes. Even Solomon poetically said, Song of Solomon 7:4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath–rabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. The Bible tells us many things about our eyes and our sight and what we should or should not do with it. Our eyes are made to look up to Him for help, to praise Him, to cry, weep, and lament with. But we are warned over and over not to use them for lust, or to look upon ungodly objects with. He warns us to be careful about what we put before our eyes. I am not going to say but one more thing, then I'll give you some scriptures to ponder. As I said, The eyes are the window to the soul, the Bible tells us what we see with our eyes settles in our heart. What kind of movies and shows are you putting before your eyes to settle in your heart? Job 31:1 KJV I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? Lamentations 3:51 KJV Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city. Psalms 101:3 KJV I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Luke 2:30 KJV For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Psalms 26:3 KJV For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. Psalms 121:1 KJV I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.I

Monday, April 22, 2013

God's Cry

My heart has been heavily burdened for our nation for a long time, but even more so since the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013 followed by the explosion of the fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas. And in my own hometown the next two days, there was an arrest of two teenagers at a local motel where they found two bombs and firearms, then a bomb threat at one of our middle schools. God laid this writing on my heart which I posted on my Redbubble Art site. I was so happy with the response of people coming in agreement and the number of hosts that made it a featured writing which got it out to a wider audience. This morning I received an email that it was third place in Editor's Choice for Ending the Week of April 21. That is no glory on me but glory to God for He gave me the words of this prayer and I pray you will come in agreement with it too. Our nation needs healing. Terrorism, abuse, murder, crime is rampant and through prayer we can bring it under control if enough people will join in agreement, pray, share, and pass it on. I am reminded of the scripture in Revelations where the saints of God are under the altar crying, "How long, Lord before you avenge our blood?" Troubled times are here, signs are everywhere. What are you going to do? Will you listen and hear GOD'S CRY? How heavy are the rains that pour from the skies I know how hard you're weeping God, those tears fall from your eyes. Your tender heart is broken from innocent lives both injured and lost For some godless group or person to get their point across. The earth shakes, the mountains trembles As you cry out with your booming voice A question you know the answer to, but you want mankind to search their hearts. " Why," You cry, "Why?" Your question to those who terrorize, abuse, and destroy. Precious children, helpless elderly mistreated without second thought. Then people cry, "Well if God is God, why doesn't He stop this now?" And you could with just a thought, or blink, or simple wave of your hand. But then man would no longer have free will and they would complain That God had now enslaved them, they don't want to face the truth that The world is in the shape it's in simply because of the sin of man And Christians sat back way too long not taking action and failing to pray. And now evil, sin, abuse and terrorism grows more rampant everyday. I feel your pain God because I know your Spirit. I hear your weeping because I know your voice. I sense you calling for your children to pray, Because my heart is heavily burdened... Your Word says if 2 or 3 agree, well here I am, I come in agreement with You Father, with You Holy Spirit, and with You Jesus the Son. We cry out and pray for this world to turn from its evil ways, refrain from destroying the innocent and turn their hearts and faces to you. For You alone can be their help, You alone can set them free, You alone can restore them and renew a right spirit in them Oh Lord, My God. But we also know that in troubled times we can turn to Him for peace and comfort and know that even in the midst of tragedy, chaos, darkness, heartache and uncertain days He can make us lie down in green pastures, lead us to still quiet waters and restore our souls. s

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coming Home (How Hard Is It To Walk In Forgiveness)

I've been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness. Just yesterday my best friend and I were discussing that, even though it is very hard to forgive someone that has hurt us, betrayed us, lied to us, or mistreated us over and over again, if they ask forgiveness, we are suppose to give it. Now that doesn't mean you become gullible, or don't use wisdom, but you need to make the choice to forgive according to the teachings of Christ. Walking in forgiveness is not always easy because even though we choose to forgive, our human minds stubbornly hold on to those memories, and we don't forget. So the least little word, or song, or movie, or new hurt or lie causes all of that hurt to come rushing in, and we feel like we are drowning in the pain of it all. But look at the unconditional love of the Father. How many times have we lied to Him, let Him down, betrayed our spiritual vows to Him. Yet, He always waits right there for us to say, "I am sorry, Father." And He opens His arms wide and tells us to come on home and that He loves us. And He never remembers it again. Not long ago I did this abstract type weave effect over several layered photos and wrote this writing called "COMING HOME"
Mama loves that old house on the creek bank in the backwoods down in South Alabama. It's pretty rickety and worn down. The newest thing she has is her gazebo on the other side with the wooden bridge Daddy built for her the year before he died. My cousin told me she spends more time in that gazebo than she does in the house, I don't know if it's because it's in better shape, or if it makes her feel closer to Dad. I haven't seen Mama since I left once I turned eighteen. I had to get away from that backwoods place and all of Mama's and Daddy's Christianity. It wasn't that they were too strict or tried to cram Religion down my throat, but I had to find my own way and the life they lived offered me no opportunity for fun. Looking back now, I see the error of my ways, but the hands of Time turn backward for no man and I had to pay for my ways. By twenty I had done it all: drugs, alcohol, prostitution, theft. I was a repeat offender and served five years in jail. That's where I was when Daddy died, I couldn't even be there to stand at Mama's side. That was the first time I had even talked to Mama since I had left. I was so ashamed, I cried and told her how sorry I was, and how my heart was broken that I would never get to tell my Daddy goodbye. But Mama, even in such time of grief said, " Baby, Don't you worry none, your daddy knew You loved him. He told me just the other day that you were gonna be fine. Why he even told me that he knew that before long that You'd be coming home." " But, Mama," I said, "I won't be coming home. I'm in jail. I've got three more months to serve, I can't even come to Daddy's funeral." " Baby, You just trust the Good Lord like you were taught, He and your Daddy were always right. I love you and will be praying for you." With that Mama hung up the phone. Trust the Lord, Pray...yeah I thought as I lay there crying, "I'm sure He'll listen to me." But He did, He listened, He cared, He comforted, He forgave. I've written many letters to Mama since that day and I told her all about the many things I did wrong. I told her how sorry I was that I hurt her and how much I loved her, and of course she loved and forgave. The last letter I sent just a few days ago. I told her I was getting out of jail. I told her I was coming home. You knew that, Jesus, didn't you? You knew I was coming home to You. You knew that, Daddy, didn't you? You knew I was coming home to Mama. You knew that, Mama, didn't you? You knew I was coming home to you and that old rickety home in the backwoods. "Well, open the door, Mama, I'm coming in."