Crowns of the Believers

Book Cover jpeg

Study about the 
Crown of Protection... 
The Crown of Separation ... 
The Crown of Insolence ... 
The Crown of Lovingkindness and Crown of Tenderness ... 
and the other crowns of the believers.

It's finally here! It's available on Amazon, and other eStore book stores.

...and for Kindle, too.

Grab your copy

I did a lot more digging using the Hebrew and Greek lexicons. Then, I taught this study to my Thursday morning Bible study class. Wow! When I updated it with more in depth research you won't believe what I found. There are more than 7 crowns that we receive. Isn't that amazing? There's several crowns of the same type, but of different kinds. There is also a crown of insolence... and yes, Christians can wear this crown.

This has been such a popular post, I decided to use my updated notes and write a book.

It isn't long, and it isn't expensive.
Author Gina Burgess
I ask you to purchase the book, and let me know what you think! Give me your insights, discuss what you discover as you study the crowns. I hope to keep updating the book as time goes by so that many believers will know what, how, and why we have these rewards.

~~~~oOo~~~~


Paul was very fond of using The Race as an analogy for the Christian Lifestyle. To the Corinthians, he espoused this theme pointing to the victor in the race receives a crown of corruption. That was a wreath of leaves of laurel which soon withers. In fact the runner coveted the victory much more than the crown. Paul immediately points out that believers’ crowns are incorruptible, lasting forever, being the proof of victory in Christian living.

I have heard studies on “the five crowns” we receive, but there actually are more than five crowns. Believers have already received two of these crowns, which are worn daily.

Gina Burgess discusses in depth the facets and purposes of each crown. She gives you the tools to carry on your own study of other biblical subjects and issues that may intrigue you. Please invest in your understanding and wisdom concerning God's precious word.

Crown of Separation – find out what this crown means, had how to find it in Scripture. 

Crown of Protection - is found in Psalm 5:12 translated surround. The Bible tells us there are several different kinds of this crown type. Find out which ones they are, and how we receive this crown.

Crown of Insolence is first mentioned in  Isaiah 28:1. The derogatory term, Crown of Insolence, stems from how the Samaritans took great pride in the work of their own hands. Find out how Christians today acquire this type of crown. 

Crown of Incorruptibility – Of course Paul describes this crown. Find out how this crown applies to believers today.

Crown of Rejoicing -- Who actually will receive this crown? How does it apply to Christians, and are believers the only ones who wear it?

Crown of Righteousness -- Another crown that Paul describes. We think we know what this one means, but it goes a lot deeper than just being justified by the blood o Christ.

Crown of Life -- Both James and Christ speak of this crown. When do believers start wearing this one?

Crown of Glory -- Peter describes this crown. Does everyone receive this crown? Does anything about our gifts indicate who will receive this one?

Here is the exhortation: We should always be working, using our gifts toward the edification of the body. Setting on a pew hatching nothing restricts the work God has planned for His children to do on earth. Utilizing our gifts ensures we bring God glory and honor.

The Crowns of the Believers gives you precious insight into the real purpose of the crowns. It heightens your insight and opens the doors to in depth study of God's word. I urge you to invest in your copy of this book today. It is well worth the money and your time invested to study this beautiful facet of God's enduring grace and His glory.

Major Steve Long--honoring a 9/11 fallen hero


 Major Steve Long
A Memorial Day Tribute

Also a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person paid tribute to a single victim. I don't know how many blogs that were alive in 2006 which have since ceased to exist or have morphed into something else. As for me and my blog, we are here today to honor this fallen hero, Major Steve V. Long.

We honor the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

This post you will see every year to pay tribute and honor to Army Major Steve V. Long. I pray that others will come back and post comments each year so we can learn more about this dedicated Army officer, husband and father.

On September 11th, he was at his post at the Pentagon, doing his job, and he gave his life for his country. He was 39 years old; and he was from Georgia. Maj. Long was serving as Secretary of the General Staff, Office of the Commanding General, U.S. Total Army Command. He was married with two children. I have continued my search over the years about his life and work. As time goes by, I find out a little more as his family, friends, and soldiers he worked with leave comments.

The Pentagon lists his medals and awards and military training:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  (with Arrowhead and Oak Leaf Cluster)
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Army Commendation Medal
  (with "V" Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Non-Commissioned Officers Development Medal
  (w/ Numeral "2")
Army Service Ribbon
Army Superior Unit Award
Combat Infantry Badge
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Award
National Defense Service Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
Parachutist Badge
  (with Bronze Star)
Purple Heart
  (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Ranger Tab
Southwest Asia Service Medal
  (with Bronze Star)
Valorous Unit Award
 Major Long’s military training includes Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Jungle Warfare School, the United States Army Ranger Course, the United States Air Force Survival Training Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Petroleum Officer Course.
What kind of father he was, what kind of husband has slowly come to life with each post. I found the tears of a nephew... the tears of a sister, Nancy.

His mother, Sue Weaver, said he loved planting and gardening.

I did find this tribute:
I had the honor and pleasure of serving together with Steve back in 1997. Steve was a fellow officer in the 601st Aviation Support Battalion and he served as the headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander during a rotation to Bosnia. He epitomized the word dedication and duty. He was a loved husband and father to his family and he will be forever missed. My heart and prayers go out to him, his family, and to all others affected by this tragedy. I am proud to continue my service to my country. Special thanks go to all the men and women of the armed forces, past and present, for their contribution and daily sacrifices as well to their families who know pain and uncertainty on a daily basis. Sincerely, Ron Pacheco
And I found this tribute...

I first met Steve Long when he was a Captain, and I was a Second Lieutenant in my officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia. He gave an introductory brief on how we newly commissioned officers could "manage" our own military careers. I got in touch with him a year later, while I was stationed in Korea, on my next assignment back in the U.S.A. As a young 23-year-old officer, trying to balance the Army with a fiance who was also in the Army, I kept changing my mind. Over the course of a year and half, I asked Steve to amend my assignment THREE TIMES and he did! Branch managers like Steve get no credit for the unglamorous HR work they do, but for me it was a sterling introduction of what "taking care of Soldiers" meant. It was an example by DOING, not just TALKING about it. Years later, when I read his name in the Pentagon losses, I was so saddened to hear that the Army had lost such a great officer. I say a prayer for him on every September 11th.Melissa
*** Posted by Melissa on 2009-09-11 ***
In the comments section of this post are other tributes...

At the link on the title of this post, you can view the Arlington Cemetery resting place of Maj. Long, and see the tribute to him listed there. I have unashamedly copied part of that tribute below...

Floating down to the Caribbean island of Grenada, Specialist Steve Long pleaded with the enemy soldiers far below who were firing alarming numbers of bullets toward him and the other Army Rangers parachuting in during the 1983 U.S.-led invasion.
"I'm really a nice guy," Long kept muttering, according to his wife, Tina. "You wouldn't be shooting at me if you knew what a nice guy I am."
Long landed unharmed, but in a follow-up raid on a Cuban military camp, several Black Hawk helicopters carrying Long and other Rangers came under fire and crashed. "His roommate and best friend was killed," said Tina Long. "It hurt him greatly."
Long was injured in the crash but continued fighting and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart.
With the encouragement of his wife and commanders, he went to college and received a commission as an officer, and he later served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War. As a personnel officer, a job he took after injuries no longer allowed him to serve in combat, Long agonized over where to assign soldiers, knowing his decisions could harm careers or break up families. "Many a night he was losing sleep on where he was sending people," Tina Long said.
But he never regretted his service. "It was just his love of his country," she said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's the way he was."


I am so very proud to be able to honor one of our country's protectors. This man stood in the gap and took a hit from the bad guys. As for me, there are not enough words to honor him and the job he was doing. My grandchildren (when I have them) will be able to grow strong and sturdy without fear because of Maj. Long and others like him. My children will be able to sleep at night. And perhaps, one day I might get to shake his hand in heaven. Thank you, Steve, and I thank all the men and women who serve our great country so we can have the gift of freedom. Freedom is costly, but it is worthy.

Links for the whole Motivational Gifts Bible Study

One of the most popular post series on my blog is the Motivational Gifts. Here are the links to them.

7 Highly Effective Motivational Spiritual Gifts - http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com/2006/01/7-highly-effective-motivational.html
















































Ah Ha! moment -- Atonement

Since both Mom and I were down with incredible cases of sinusitis on Sunday, we did not get to worship with our church family, we curled up with our Kleenex and PJs and watched David Jeremiah, James Merritt, and Charles Stanley.

James Merritt pointed out something that I have always known, but had never put in exactly these words.

The story of Barabbas was put in the Bible to explain in a physical way the Spiritual truth of propitiation.

Barabbas was a robber, a murderer, a liar, a cheat, and profaner of God Himself. He broke every commandment and was sentenced to pay for his crimes. It was a just sentence from the Hebrew perspective of the Ten Commands. The sentence of death was just reward for breaking them as we all know. Here's a look at the commands and the consequences for breaking it.

1 Polytheism - Ex 20:3 - Death Ex 22:20 & Deut 6:13-15 & Acts 14:15
2 Graven images - Ex 20:4 - Death Deut. 27:15 & 1 John 5:21
3 Swearing (God's name in vain) - Ex 20:7 - Death Lev 24:15-16 & James 5:12
4 Not keeping Sabbath - Ex 20:8 - Death Num 15:32-36 & Col 2:16-20 nullifies death penalty for Sabbath
5 Honoring parents - Ex 20:12 - Death Ex 21:15-17 & Eph 6:1
6 Murder - Ex 20:13 - Death Ex 21:12 & 1 John 3:15
7 Adultery - Ex 20:14 - Death Lev 20:10 & 1 Cor 6:9-10
8 Theft - Ex 20:15 - Death Ex 21:16 & Eph 4:28
9 False Witness - Ex 20:16 - Death Deut 18:16-21 & Col 3:9-10
10 Coveting Ex 20:17 - Eph 5:3 (acting upon the thing coveted leads to all the other sins)

God did not take lightly the breaking of His commands, although He gave mercy in the lack of knowledge as Paul indicates in Romans 7:7. Jesus gave mercy by forgiving sins (such as the woman caught in adultery). However, Barabbas was Jewish and had knowledge of the Law, but he had rejected it and had wallowed in his own pleasure and pursuit of pleasure. He was justly sentenced to death.

The crowd was incited to scream for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a testimony of what man meant for evil, God turns to great good. Releasing of Barabbas was the physical illustration of the Spiritual Truth that only Jesus could make the atonement required by the Law.

Jesus was perfect in every way. The Passover lamb had to be perfect in every way to satisfy God for the Passover sacrifice. Only Jesus satisfied God's requirement through the Law. Isaiah 53:11  He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

Barabbas' death would not have served the greater purpose. It would have been according to the Law--justifiable consequence of sin--yet, God's greater purpose was to show beyond any reasonable doubt that our own physical death is not enough to atone for our own sin, much less any other person's sin. The reason is that we are not perfect as the Passover Lamb. Because we are filthy with our own sin we fall horribly short of the glory of God, and therefore we cannot atone for it with a victory over death and sin. Only Jesus could do that.

An astounding ah HA! moment.

Question: What other ah HA! revelations have you discovered this Easter?

Trees sing for joy!



Psa 96:9  Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. 
Psa 96:10  Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously." 
Psa 96:11  Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; 
Psa 96:12  Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
Psa 96:13  For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth. 


Probably one of the hardest things to do is to forgive yourself. Someone once pointed out to me that it was not a Biblical principle. I hunted and searched for hours trying to find something in the Bible about forgiving oneself. The closest I came was David’s Psalm 51 when he asked God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within him. When you compare his Psalm 32 in verse 3 When I kept silence, then my bones became old, through my howling all day. We see the consequences of unconfessed sin. But that is different from forgiving one’s self for past transgressions which we have confessed and repented. Why do we groan in shame for them long after the deed? It is because somehow our standard of forgiveness is steeper and higher than God Almighty's forgiveness.

Satan capitalizes on that tendency and constantly bombards us with taunts of past wrongs hoping that our guilty feelings will draw us away from God, out from under His protective wings. That is something that Satan knows we as Christians are prone to do. We think our sin is too huge to be forgiven because we think from our own level of forgiveness. How could we forgive someone doing that to us? If we can’t forgive, then how can God forgive? That is another of Satan’s lies that we buy into.

That still didn’t quite fit the requirement for a Biblical basis of forgiving yourself. So I kept looking and found Isaiah 54:4 Do not fear, for you shall not be shamed, nor shall you be abashed, for you shall not be wounded, for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and you shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more.

Very interesting word, widowhood. The Hebrew word is the feminine form of H488 which is אלמן
'almân al-mawn' Prolonged from H481 in the sense of bereavementdiscarded (as a divorced person): - forsaken. (emphasis is mine) Isaiah is prophesying a time when Israel will be gathered to the LORD’s breast as a much beloved wife. In verses four through five, he is talking about the shame and guilt we feel when we are confronted with our sin and are convicted of it within our heart. Here are most beautiful words to any Christian who has had those moments of knee-bending, face-in-the-carpet shame: You will no longer remember your disgrace.

Why did God say that? Because we have a conscience and we are prone to dwell on the negative. That saying one bad apple spoils the whole barrel is true. Negativism breeds and multiplies faster and further than anything imaginable. Just look at the murmuring and rumbling of the Israelites in the wilderness. When you get that old Dragon, the Accuser firing guilt tipped darts at the chinks in our armor, you have a problem of unforgiveness of the self kind.

To forgive our self, we must reverse that process and remember that God is greater than our sin. Christ’s sacrifice was once and for all… that means every possible, conceivable sin was accounted for and covered by Jesus’ blood. That, my beloved siblings, is the greatest story of grace man ever attempted to understand.

Since our Kinsman Redeemer has already bought the sin, why do we insist on hanging on to it?

Unbelief and an overblown ego.

It isn’t hard to do, either. Even Moses, who was the conveyor of such miracles of God as the parting of the Red Sea, the providing of water for more than two million thirsty people, plus all the livestock (which is an astronomical amount of water every day), and forty year old shoes and garments never wearing out plus many other things, had a moment of unbelief which cost him the promised land. Numbers 20:10-12. He struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it. God said it was his unbelief that caused it.

We Christians do not believe that God can, in fact already has forgiven that horrendous sin that we keep hidden in our hearts. Holding on to the sin is tantamount to making Jesus go to the cross all over again. That is what unbelief does. Since we know He only went once, and that was enough, then we should know that those guilty feelings which Satan aims at us as fiery darts, are literally harmless breaths of hot wind. They have no teeth so to speak, it is merely baying at the moon.

What happens to our past moral and spiritual failures when we repent of our sins and claim God’s forgiveness? Have you ever had an itch right in the middle of your back? Ever try to scratch it with your hand? That is where God casts our sins when we confess and repent, never to be reached, touched or thought of again. Glory!

The LORD forgives the past. His great compassion is far beyond understanding. If we were to be asked to give our first and only beloved son to pay for the lives of the most wicked of people who had nothing worthy to give back, our hearts would be granite and our faces be flint. Yet, God has mercy for us because while we were yet sinners, Christ willingly died for us. Here’s the Biblical proof of it:

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more."
Hebrews 10:17 also He adds, "their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more."

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.

Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace was bitter to me, most bitter; but You loved my soul from the pit of destruction; You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills tremble; My loving kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall the covenant of My peace be shaken, says Jehovah who loves you. Isaiah 54:10

Another thing...

What a lot of folks forget about is God's unfolding will.

Each second in time, God has provided for all eventualities. He knows who will refuse to obey Him and He provides for His will for us regardless of obedience or disobedience of others .

Just because I didn't get married doesn't mean that my engagement was not God's perfect will for that time. I believe beyond any doubt that it was His will. In fact, I believe that God provided the perfect plan for our marriage. Everything fell into place for a great future for us. My intended didn't see it. He "looked down the road" and just didn't see himself "happy." But, God had provided a wonderful future. That does not mean that God cannot provide a better future for me down this path where He is leading. (For those of you who do not know, I'm moving to Picayune, MS. I'm taking my Mom and I'm going to be the Lifestyles Editor for the Picayune Item. I'm so excited I can hardly wait!)

Back to the point. I trusted God to protect my heart. It was broken, but not shattered, and I felt pressed, but I was not crushed. He did protect my heart, but He allowed hurt. Some Christians think that belonging to God means no hurt and everything rosy. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is an extremely costly (worldly costs) way to live and pain is a major part of it.

I had the gumption in the middle of the breakup to ask God for His best for me. If that meant suffering through more of the same so that His best would shine in the end--I was ready to walk through the valley of the shadow of death for that best.

God's best for us does not depend upon fickle man.

Since God knows what will happen, how it will happen and who will do what, He plans accordingly. All I must do is be ready, willing and able to bend my will to God's. That means I must want the best He offers no matter the cost.

No matter the cost. That is a huge and scary thing. Do you cringe at the pin pricks? Do you run from the sword stabs? No matter how tormenting a situation may seem... it is always for our best interest. Whether God allows us to endure consequences of our bad choices, or whether God pours out blessings on our choices based on His guidance... the outcome is the same. It is for our best.

I want God's best... no matter the cost.

Stand up or get blown over

It seems that the media has become overly concerned about
making the rules rather than reporting.

In an article on Media Research Center's Newsbusters the rant has now turned to Springsteen's bullying North Carolina because he doesn't like the "new" law about men using the men's room and women using the women's room.

How is it that  .001 % of the population can stir up such a storm? You do know that out of the more than 323 million US citizens, only about 523,000 (https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-03.pdf) actually own up to living the lifestyle, don't you? That is very far from 10%-20% of the population.

Society does NOT decide what is sin and what is not sin, nor does society have the right to determine what is wrong and what is right. There is a Plumbline that is our standard, and it is not what ever celebrity that can gather the most support for a particular idea or movement says is moral.

I am appalled at what Steven Van Zandt declared: “You gotta hurt people economically to have them do the right thing morally. We’re going to try and stop this right now, hopefully other people will rise up and join us.”

What does this guy know of morals? He was married by Little Richard!

My question is this: How can requiring males and females use associated gender restrooms be discriminatory?

I do NOT want to bring my grandbaby into a bathroom where a man dressed like a woman is using the pot. A person cannot, will never, no not ever be able to change his or her DNA to reflect a different gender than the one God gave him or her. I don't care how much a person whines or cries, God decided his gender and that settles it. God declared homosexualism is an abomination, and that settles it.

Christians, if we don't take a stand against the immorality permeating our country, then we'll be blown by each passing wind and tossed by each wave.

A living dog is better than a dead lion.

Photo: Barcroft TV/YouTube

Well that is certainly true. Did you know it's in the bible? Solomon writes that as a proof of hope for the living in the ninth chapter of Ecclesiastes. Actually, he says, For one who is chosen to be among all the living, there is hope. For a living dog is better than a dead lion. While there is breath, there is hope. Even in hopeless situations, there is hope that the situation changes for the better.
While there is life, there is hope. No where in scripture is this exhibited better than when David fasted and prostrated himself before the LORD when his son was sick and lay dying. When news of his son’s death reached him, he stood, and bathed, and combed his hair, and ate heartily. His servants were amazed and shocked.
Can’t you just see David sitting at table, “What? You look at me as if I’m crazy!”
Servant, “You do not mourn. You eat heartily. Your son just died. What up with that?”
David, “While my son lived, there was hope that God might relent and bless me with healing him. He has gone to be with God. So. I go to him one day, he cannot come to me again.”

            Hope is an absolute must for healthy living. Without hope, there is despair. Without hope there is depression. Without hope, faith cannot survive. Without hope, love gasps for breath. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13 that these three things remain: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is Love.
            Notice something with me. Hope. Help. One letter difference, but what a difference that letter instills. In the center of Help is El—God. I believe that is by divine design.
            Hope and Faith are not designed to last forever. We hope and we put faith in the Everlasting Father. But Love is the Everlasting Father. I am quite satisfied with the hope and the faith that God gives me... I could not live without it. While we have breath, there is hope. While we have breath we have faith, but once breath leaves us, we either have Love, and love lasts eternally; or we do not have Love, and a soul without love is tortured where there is darkness and gnashing of teeth.

            Help does not come to the dead. Solomon elaborates on this, 2  All happens alike to all; one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. I think it was Mark Twain who said there are two things assured to mankind, death and taxes. Those who are filthy when they die will remain so. Those who are clean will be eternally clean.
            5 The living know they shall die. The Hebrew for that word is חיּה נפשׁ, nephesh ḥayyāh, or החיּה נפשׁ, nephesh haḥayyāh (nephesh, “breath” or “living things”; ḥayyāh, “living”) Say that out loud. It is almost like breathing. It is translated living creature, and it has that meaning of a physically living and breathing creature. So, the people who are living know they have a date with death. It has happened since the beginning and will continue until Jesus shouts for us to come up there with Him. The dead don’t know a thing of the things of this physical world: The hatreds, prejudices, loves, the heat, the cold, fancy houses, rich clothes, gold, silver, no more rewards for the sweat and hard work. Matthew Henry says there is a reward for the spiritual actions, but not for the worldly ones. Those who have died no longer partake with us who are physically alive under the sun. We that are among the   Spiritually alive know this yet, we still grieve and yearn for those who have gone. It is that part in us that was created for eternity which cries out at the separation from our loved ones. We will be reunited with them in the LORD, but we must sojourn here a little longer.
            Hope is for the living, breathing physical beings that we are. It is a blessing that is poured out to us from God. Therefore, 7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God now is pleased with your works. So, indeed, a living dog is better than a dead lion. How can it not be so?
            Psalm 121:1 A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills; from where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from Jehovah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. 3 He will not give your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel will not slumber nor sleep. 5 Jehovah is the One keeping you; Jehovah is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night; 7 Jehovah shall keep you from all evil; He shall keep your soul. 8 Jehovah shall keep your going out, and your coming in, from now on and till forever.
            In Him is our greatest hope, for He most assuredly keeps His promises.

 (This is an excerpt from my book published by Westbow Press released in 2011. )

Didjaeetyet?

Do you ever really listen to the way things are said? 

Standing in the kitchen the TV suddenly gets unbearably loud. It’s a commercial. Either the station or the network designs it this way so that we can hear the commercial from anywhere in the house. I thank them for this, otherwise I’d be all confused when I go to buy something at the store. 
 
The commercial was about a non-stop flight to Jamaica. But, that isn't how they said it. “Fly Blankety Blank Airways non-stop.” 


I wonder how you get to the place you want to be if they don’t stop? 


We are supposed to say alleged before some criminal act if the criminal hasn't been convicted yet. However, in an AP story, a crime rampage allegedly included a shooting. I’m wondering did the rampage include the shooting or not? 


We Southerners are famous for our lack of perfect use of the English language. So how do we communicate so well? It is perfectly plain when someone asks how my mother and family are doing.


“How's Mamaanthem?” Pronunciation and how it is written aren't even close.  

How it is written is “Momma and them.” The term is used like this, “How’s your Momma and them?” 

Unfortunately, Southerners are not well known for perfect grammar. Big surprise. Which is probably why we also have no problem understanding what
“Yeetyet” means. It is proceeded by “Didja”. 


Northerners cannot possibly understand that this is a friendly invitation to lunch, or dinner, or breakfast... whichever part of the day it happens to be. We are not being nosy. Southerners will almost always have a repast available no matter the time of day. So when asked, “Didjayeetyet?” the polite response would be, “Whachagot?” 


There are numerous dialects in the South, however. I haven’t mastered all of them, yet. One’s ear must be tuned to the dialect for a clear understanding of what is being said. 


The Cajun accent is quite unique and the dialect is even more so. It is terribly difficult to write the way the words sound because it truly is a foreign language unless you've grown up around it. You can learn it, but the nuances are not as discernible if you haven't heard it for most of your life. 


For the Cajun, plain English is not really plain to the average Southerner, say from Georgia. You've got the bleed over into Southern Texas and Southern Mississippi which makes life's conversations so very interesting.



One Cajun plain English example are the terms “Making” groceries and then “Saving” groceries. That had me scratching my head when my friend used the terms twenty years ago. She had to explain that making groceries is when you buy them and saving them is when you put them away. She actually said, “Like saving your clothes.” 

Huh? 


Tradition plays a huge part in our language it seems, because she had always said it that way. 



Oh.

“Please be patient, our operators are working as fast as humanly possible,” an announcer blasted at me. I wonder is that faster than Speedy Gonzales? How is it compared to baboonly possible, or is it compared to snail's pace? We are humans and I’ve seen some humans that snails would beat in any race, and a Speedy Gonzales or two. What is the point of that phrase—humanly possible? How about “before quick can get ready”?  Or how about “like a duck on a June bug”? That makes a whole lot more sense, right? 


My aunt Vonny and I have a running joke. She, (and my mother, too) is from Oklahoma. They do not have eggs and legs in Oklahoma. They have “aigs” and “laigs” which rhymes with laid. She also says, “Rough” for “Roof”. I keep telling her it is a “U” sound. We don’t say “But” for boot. 



I know I’m on the right track here because just this week I got my annual reminder in e-mail that our language is funny. It talks about “how the bandage is wound around the wound,” and “the insurance was invalid for the invalid.” Or, my particular favorite, “There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.” You would really have to work hard to work that into a real conversation.

Who talks that way, anyway? 



That’s my story and I’m sticking to it like white on rice. 

Anger boomerangs

Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head. Ecc. 7:9 The Message

The horse’s snorting breath mirrored the man’s angry mutterings. Saul of Tarsus was on a crusade to
stamp out the heretics. He had put many in jail, many had died there and many had been taken to Rome for sport; and he had vowed with God’s help he would hound many more before he was done. He would this day arrive in Damascus and present his letter of authority to root out those witless jackanapes who believed that balderdash spread by that man named Jesus. The man huffed and hawed while murder brewed in his brain towards the ungodly, irreverent Jews who dared to believe a mere human was God. He was dead and that proved He was not God. The Sanhedrin guards swore the man’s disciples had removed the body and those Roman guards with shifting eyes had agreed.

Then the unthinkable happened. Saul glanced up as a blinding light split the sky. He fell to the ground and heard his name called, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?”

Astonished, Saul cried out, “Who are you, Lord?” He knew all of scripture word for word. He knew the miracles of old; and he knew all the stories of when men met God face to face.

“I AM Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard to kick against the goads.”

Thus Saul learned of who he was hurting, convicted of his sin in his chosen blindness (for he had all the facts just as John the Baptist had), and was gently reminded of the futility of spurning the guiding hand of God. Paul’s life was changed forever that day, and because of that many more lives have been changed down through the ages.

With those few words, Saul was reduced to a trembling mass of jelly. In an instant he realized what he had thought to be true was in fact a lie. Jesus was alive; and Jesus was the true Messiah. Face to the ground, breathing in the scent of hot sand, he took his first orders from the Commander of commanders. “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

This was a coming to Jesus meeting in an undeniable way. All Christians have had this meeting. Not all Christians sustain our Christ-like demeanor as did Paul, the lion-hearted crusader for Christ. The same passion he put into stamping out the supposed upstarts, he put into spreading the gospel, even more so because he suffered worse that what he had dished out.

Too bad Christians let their emotions get in the way of truly being an ambassador.

The single motivation of any attack is our sense of justice and the desire to reset the balances of our world. Science Daily[i] reported on May 4,2011, imaging studies (MRI) revealed a portion of the brain instantly registers when normal behavior is violated such as when a promise is broken. In the “game” subjects were to fairly divide a stack of money. When the unfair behavior happens, subjects will punish that behavior where upon the punishment promotes an instant aggressive response. But when a drug was used on one subject, the reaction was muted even though the subject still felt the action was unfair[ii]. This is merely scientific proof of humans being created in the image of God.

Our sense of justice was given to us by God Almighty. It is part of His image, and we Christians have a healthy dose of God’s attributes because we have the mind of Christ[iii]. 

Jeremiah told the people of Judah God’s covenant was to be written on our hearts and His laws would be put in our minds.[iv] Hebrews refers back to this twice, once in chapter eight and again in chapter ten which emphasizes this promise is for all God’s people. When the balance of justice is shifted weighing heavily toward one and away from another, the shift creates a reaction within the human mind which can be expressed in many different forms such as a power quest in order to shift the balance towards one’s self, or sometimes away from the perceived enemy, anger toward the offender, or a confrontation in an effort to rebalance the shift.

Too often we react explosively without asking God to guide our reactions. Why do we forget to ask? Perhaps a more direct question is: Why do we feel it is okay to shatter a sibling all in the name of the LORD?

As an example, Saul thought he knew beyond doubt when he petitioned for letters from the high priest to travel to Damascus to spread murder and mayhem among the Christians that his mission was sanctioned by Lord God. But He didn’t, and he wasn’t.

Saul’s sense of justice had been bruised by the Christians’ following the “upstart” Jesus. He believed Jesus was not the Messiah. Therefore he had a personal mission to set things straight; never realizing that only God can make the crooked straight[v]. Paul traveled down the road to Damascus breathing fire and murder. We have that same misguided passion when we let loose control of our fury over a perceived injustice without examining all angles of the injustice. Some may rail at certain ungodly things, or some may react to characteristics deeply and unknowingly desired, and others just might instigate strife because they are so very unhappy. There are as many reasons for anger as there are people in this world because we each have our own perceptions that we deem reality.

God gave us the emotion of anger. He has this same emotion and His wrath will most definitely be aimed at all the earth’s inhabitants on that Day of Judgment, even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air and the earth itself will not be spared on that final day. It will be so bad, it will take forty-five days of dusting and cleaning before the thousand days of peace can begin.[i] When our sense of justice is bruised, anger springs up and we have an urge to do something about that injustice. Only the Holy Spirit can help us discern the difference between righteous anger and unrighteous anger. We will be urged to speak up or to stand up for what is right and godly to rectify the injustices we face, and only the guidance of the Holy Spirit can keep us from departing the path lit by the Light of God onto that dangerous road to Damascus.

[i] Science Daily –Sense of Justice Built Into the Brain, Imaging Study Shows
(May 4,2011) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503171743.htm Retrieved June 6, 2011. Published in PLoS Biology Journal, peer reviewed, retrieved June 6,2011 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001054
[ii] Gospic K, Mohlin E, Fransson P, Petrovic P, Johannesson M, et al. (2011) Limbic Justice—Amygdala Involvement in Immediate Rejection in the Ultimatum Game. PLoS Biol 9(5): e1001054. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001054
[v] Isaiah 42:16 as well as many other places in scripture
[i] Ecclesiastes 7:9 The Message

Pokadotted Grace


1 Corinthians 12:1
“Now concerning Spiritual Gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”

The meaning of the word translated “ignorant” is to be misinformed, unlearned, or unaware.

Do you believe that you have an enemy who desires to keep you ignorant?

If you don't, then perhaps you should do a word study in the Bible concerning the devil, Satan, and Lucifer. Jesus says he is out to kill, steal, and destroy.

On the other hand, God has a specific plan to help us resist the devil and all his minions.

Who should be the next Speaker of the House???



Received  this from my US Representative Steven Palazzo... What do you think?


Who Should the Next Speaker Be?
Over the past weeks, I have listened to my colleagues about what they want to see in a Speaker. They want to see these principles in action and they want to see leadership.  I went down the list of the 246 Republicans in the House and one name came up again and again: Congressman Marsha Blackburn.   From her strong pro-life stance to her fight to protect our Second Amendment right to bear arms, Congressman Blackburn is a proven conservative fighter.

Last year, she led the fight against amnesty in the House, as well as sponsored legislation known as the CLEAR act that gives law enforcement the tools they need to assist the Federal government in deporting criminal illegal immigrants from our country.  She has an A rating from the American Conservative Union and a high lifetime conservative score from Heritage Action.

She isn’t afraid to stand up to the establishment whether it’s in Washington, DC or at home.  When her liberal Republican governor in Tennessee tried to pass a state income tax, she led the fight against it and WON. She doesn’t just fight to fight, she fights to win.

Best of all, Marsha is a Mississippi native. She is from Jones County and went to Mississippi State. What better person to unite our party, fight this president and his liberal policies, and lead the House of Representatives? It would be historic.

#Blackburn4Speaker
Marsha is a candidate that could lead the Republican Party once again.  She is a results-oriented true conservative.  She knows how to get the job done while maintaining her conservative values and principles.  I am urging my friends in Congress to support Congressman Marsha Blackburn for Speaker, and hope others around the country will do the same.
 Maybe I'm prejudiced, but I am all for someone who is straight-line conservative. What do you think?