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 ( 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. )


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.” 


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


“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) Retrieved June 6, 2011. Published in PLoS Biology Journal, peer reviewed, retrieved June 6,2011
[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.