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My First Blog

A Work of Biographical Proportion-In Progress

Miracles In The Sky? YOU Be The Judge!
Posted:Jan 16, 2016 5:24 am
Last Updated:Feb 7, 2016 3:11 am
I came across an article this morning and it piqued my interest. It was about spectacular images in the sky, recently being photographed across the country from New York to Hawaii, that depicted visions of angels and crosses. All of the images were captured at sunrise or sunset by seemingly normal, every-day people. But what stirred my curiosity was NOT the images or what phenomena may have created them, rather how people reacted to them.

How interesting it was to hear how these images inspired hope and comfort to most of those who viewed them. Isn’t it fascinating how the human mind works? Regardless of how the images were formed, probably by ice crystals or clouds in just the right places, it was amazing to read how many saw them as a sign of hope in the troubled times we live in. Just further confirmation of how desperately people need the reassurance and encouragement that ONLY Jesus can offer. The likeness of a cross or an angel or any other religious symbol (images of the virgin Mary) can offer so many promising optimism for the future.

What do you think?

There's Just Something About A New Year!
Posted:Jan 1, 2016 6:10 am
Last Updated:Jan 16, 2016 5:47 am
Happy New Year Y'all!

As I awoke this morning, something felt different. Even though I woke up in the same way and location as I did yesterday, there is something in the atmosphere that seemed distinctly unique. I love the way the first day of a new year feels, so fresh and clean, glistening with the possibility of hope. It can spark the opportunity for a new beginning, a second chance, and a new start. No matter what occurred in the previous year, a new year provides a distinctive timeline to let go of what lies behind, and press on to the good things that are ahead.

I'm so grateful that we serve a God of second chances, and third and fourth and fifth...for me, at least 59 of them, lol. It’s like every New Year’s Day is the first blank page of a 365-page (or 366-page for 2016) book, just waiting to be written and each of us are the authors. We can choose what we write on all of those pages. While there will inevitably be a sentence or even a paragraph of hardship or sorrow included, that will be beyond our control, we can continue writing it with the perspective of knowing, with great confidence, that we “can do ALL things”. The worst possible day with Jesus is better than the very best day, without Him. I love the fact that His Word has something to offer us for each and every day and I wanted to include just a few that seem applicable for today:

"Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19

The thought of a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert cause me to feel excited about the anticipation of what God will do in a new year. The idea of putting all the failures of yesterday behind me and contemplating the blessings and the promises that are ahead, give me confidence and expectation of a future filled with His mercy and lovingkindness.

"...old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17

It's kind of like the first day of the rest of your life, an expectant light at the end of a dark tunnel, and the promise of God's perfect will and the hope for fulfillment of the desires of our hearts.

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He Who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new'..."
Revelation 21:4-5

On this first day of a new year, God has given us a glimpse into our eternity and regardless of what happens in the upcoming year, we should seize and take hold of His glorious declaration of hope. Never let go of the joy in His covenant with us, as this joy will provide all that we need to cross the finish line. Hallelujah and Amen!

A Blessed And Merry Christmas To All!!!
Posted:Dec 24, 2015 10:33 am
Last Updated:Dec 29, 2015 3:29 am
Hi Y'all!

I haven't been here much lately, so much going on with work, family, and the holiday season. I hope you know that I miss you all.

But I wanted to stop by today and wish you a most wonderfully blessed Christmas.

May you have the joy of putting Jesus front and center of the holiday because He IS the reason for the season. Hallelujah! Thank You Father God for sending Your ONLY Son to be the Redemption for the world!

Don't forget just how blessed we are! Amen?

I also wish you a Happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, in Jesus' Name and for His glory!

"God Isn't Fixing This"
Posted:Dec 10, 2015 4:50 am
Last Updated:Mar 30, 2018 5:03 am

The age-old question: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that question asked, I’d be a millionaire, lol.
Of course, that’s an overstatement but in reality, that seems to be the first question asked by those struggling with the existence of God. They struggle to reconcile all of the bad things that happen to seemingly good and innocent people, little children starving and dying from deadly diseases, the helpless going through hopeless situations, and those that appear to be good, going through tragic and horrific circumstances. Where is God in all of this? Why doesn’t He fix all of this? Is He even capable of fixing this broken world? Believe it or not, there ARE answers to these questions.

Last week, the New York Daily News presented front-page headlines that stated, “God Isn’t Fixing This”, while blatantly condemning Republicans whose “meaningless platitudes of prayer” is simply something that they hide behind, in response to the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 innocent people. While these provocative headlines were written to garner media attention, and they have, I believe that they deserve a response. Do you think that the editors would consider publishing this post as a rebuttal? Me neither.

So many people have these preconceived notions about God and how He works. They think that He is a genie up in the cosmos, there specifically to do our will, when we need Him to. Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem comes in their lack of understanding and all it would take for them to comprehend Who God is, is to pick up His Book and read it. First of all, in order for there to be good, there must also be evil. That’s the balance that God established in the world when He gave all of us the gift of “free will”. It’s our choice, we get to choose on an individual basis, whether we will do good or whether we will do evil. It’s so much easier to just blame God for all of the evil in the world than to face our own choices and the responsibilities that come with them. Inevitably, some will choose evil and the good and innocent will suffer as a result.

What many don’t realize is that God already fixed this, over 2000 years ago, by sacrificing His only Son, Jesus Christ, as His solution to all of the evil that exists. If/When we accept this redeeming Gift, we have been provided with the Way to overcome all of the sin, evil, death, and suffering that is ever-present. Jesus said:

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Where is God amidst of all the suffering? From all that I have learned and experienced about God, I believe that He is on the throne, grieving with those who grieve and mourning with those who mourn, and always ready to answer the prayers of those who pray for comfort and strength for all who suffer. God is good and His mercy and lovingkindness endures forever. If you really need a scapegoat to blame for all of the world’s problems, read John 10:10. Now, there’s the answer to that age-old question.
First Round Of Syrian Refugees Arrive In New Orleans
Posted:Nov 16, 2015 5:17 am
Last Updated:Dec 11, 2015 6:52 pm
Just in case you’ve been living in a cave over the weekend, Paris has just experienced the worst terrorist attack since WWII. In a highly co-ordinated and well-planned scheme, eight Muslim extremists pulled off these attacks in six different locations, killing 129 people and wounding 352 more, 100 of them critically. Just to be clear, at least two of the terrorists were Syrian refugees, holding Syrian passports. One of the attackers was a woman and another was as young as 15 years old.

On the very same day that 129 were being massacred in Paris, Obama announced he would dramatically escalate and expand the refugee resettlement program here in the US, bringing in hundreds of thousands of potential terrorists to set free in America. The president’s plan is to bring in 10,000 refugees by the end of the year and another 200,000 in 2016, all to be deposited into 180 different American cities. Some of those cities include Phoenix, LA, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Boston, Baltimore, NY City, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, and Milwaukee, just to name a few. They will be placed in all 50 states in a community near you. Here’s how the plan will unfold:

The 10,000 Syrian refugees are first flown to the United States, according to the French news wire Agence France-Presse, with the State Department paying the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the airfare. Then, once the refugees arrive in the country, they will be dispersed across the 180 cities, where they are to be assisted within the first 30 to 90 days in settling and finding employment in the area, at a cost of approximately $16,000 per person. After approximately 90 days, refugees are no longer eligible for the State Department-funded support that they were receiving through migrant and refugee services. However, they are then able to receive additional support through the Department of Health and Human Services, including food stamps, welfare, medical assistance, and housing assistance.

According to the FBI and anti-terrorism experts, there is no way to accurately vet these refugees. In fact, our own DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson actually said “we don’t know a whole lot” about Syrian refugees coming into America, and that DHS has “no active protocol” for properly screening them. In light of the recent attacks in Paris, does this sound like a good idea to you? ISIS just sent a message through social media, after the Paris attacks, saying, “America is next.” Obviously, our president thinks they’re only kidding. The citizens of Europe would strongly disagree. One Syrian ISIS operative has claimed that more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen have already been smuggled into Western nations – “hidden among innocent refugees”.

So, what do you think? Will you feel safe and comfortable having these “refugees” for neighbors? Since I live only 40 miles from Louisville and Lexington, where some of these refugees will be placed, I know that I will be paying very close attention to my surroundings from now on.

The Words You Speak Reveal Who You Are
Posted:Nov 13, 2015 4:43 am
Last Updated:Feb 13, 2018 10:28 am
Words are containers of power, there is such a great authority and influence with what we say or write. If you have a propensity to write, as many bloggers do, that talent comes with great responsibility. Not only to engage with your readers, but also to offer something they’re in need of. Interest and relevance may initially draw the reader to consider your viewpoints, but encouragement and edification is what will keep them coming back. You may never realize the affect that your words can have over others, in a positive way or a detrimental way.

The world has become a very dark place over the last decade, with the constant threat of terrorism and persecution. Poverty and the lack of essential basics to survive, such as food, water, and a roof over your head have caused many to lose all hope. Mental and physical health ailments are responsible for countless suffering from depression and despondency. A light needs to shine in the vastness of darkness upon the earth. We are that light, we have hope to offer the hopeless, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer for those who are seeking some sort of meaning to their lives.

I read a blog title this morning: “Thanksgiving the only day believers act Christian”
My first thought was what a horribly negative statement this was. Morbid curiosity caused me to click on it just to see how it was followed up. “And then the rest of the year they go back to being themselves.”

What does this say for believers? I was caused to wonder how anyone could possibly have no one in their life that lives the Christian life. Could anyone actually believe this to be true? No, it’s not possible that not one shred of goodness can be found in all of the professing Christians in the world. All of us on this site have been given so much—running water, food to keep us nourished, a warm bed to sleep in, the freedom to speak what’s on our minds, and on and on we could go. All of these are gifts from God and along with them comes a responsibility-
“To whom much is given, much is required.” Do we not have a moral obligation to offer some tidbit of goodness to those who are sorely lacking in so many ways?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29

The very least we could do is to offer some encouragement, to present the Gospel in hopes of lifting up the fallen, to let people know how much God loves them. Please, as you go about your day today, consider giving something back, offer someone hope and kindness. There are so many that are starving for something good and we are just the ones to give it to them. May God continue to bless you, so that you may be a blessing wherever you go.
Autumn In The Appalachians
Posted:Oct 26, 2015 5:30 am
Last Updated:Nov 10, 2015 5:59 am

There just aren’t adjectives adequate enough to accurately describe the beauty and brilliance I experienced this weekend, on a road trip to the Appalachian Mountains, in nearby West Virginia. We set off at 6 am on Saturday, seven of us in a packed SUV, to have an encounter with God’s awesome creation. And encounter, we did. I can’t say with certainty that I have ever experienced more illuminating hues of colors, than what I witnessed the last two days. The reds, yellows, and oranges were so vibrant that it was like candy to the eyes. The mountain ranges stretched for miles, majestic and magnificent, each one bragging of its beauty. If I had a dollar for every oooooo and awwwww that was uttered in that vehicle, I would be a wealthy woman. Many times there were just gasps of excitement and every jaw was on the floor.

We stopped for a picnic on Saturday, at a little roadside park with five or six picnic tables, next to a stream of crystal clear flowing water. My grandkids had a blast jumping from rock to rock in the small creek. The sandwiches and fruit we ate never tasted so delicious, lol. It was so surreal that it felt like we were walking through a portrait of something only the mind could imagine, rather than the reality we were experiencing. We ended a perfect day at the summit of a mountain, at Snowshoe, West Virginia, where five deer were feeding on the side of the road. We slowly and carefully pulled the car over and they began to approach us, cautiously at first. Of course all of the cell phones and cameras came out as we attempted to document our encounter. Knowing that the deer loved corn, we reached for a bag of cheese popcorn and began to throw it out the windows, to lure them closer. They took the bait and we had the most amazing time while they ate up every little piece.

We got a hotel room for the night and awoke early on Sunday to continue our journey, which led us to Coolville, West Virginia. Before we arrived, I wondered why they named the city, “Coolville”. By the time we got there, I had the answer to that question. We came to a place, along a rural stretch of road, where dozens of cars were pulled off on the side. I was curious as to why??? And then I saw it-“Hillbilly Hot Dogs”. I have never seen a place like this before, it was like a small city made up of dilapidated buildings made of raw trees and old school buses, converted into tables with school bus seats, where people were seated while eating the most comprehensive menu of hot dogs I had ever seen. There were paper menus in a basket where you could choose any kind of hot dog you could imagine, and then some. There was the signature Hillbilly Dog, Snuffy Dog, Pizza Dog, Whaaz Up Dog, the Coal Miner, Chuck’s Junk Yard Dog, the Strickly Business Dog, Taco Dog, Man On Fire Dog, and the Home Wrecker, just to name a few. The Homewrecker intrigued me, at a cost of $19.99. It was a 15 inch hot dog, weighing two pounds, 100% beef, with jalapenos, sautéed peppers and onions, nacho cheese, habeneros, chili sauce, mustard, slaw, lettuce and tomatoes, and shredded cheese. And if you could eat one in less than 12 minutes, which is the standing record, they gave it to you for free along with a Homewrecker T-shirt, to verify your victory. They also had a “Widowmaker Dog” which was priced at $32.50. Most were about $3 and were all made from 100% beef. I wasn’t quite as extravagant and only had a corn dog, which was excellent. It took over an hour to see everything and there were literally thousands of autographs from other visitors and they provided the Sharpies where you could write your name anywhere you wanted. Yes, we did. The entire place was laden with old country artifacts and antiques, an old still where “moonshine” flowed into a bathtub, an van stuck up in a tree, a hillbilly gas station which was an old outhouse consisting of three toilets, and so much more that it took us a whole hour to see everything. Yes, Coolville was REALLY cool.

We arrived back home very late last night and it was one of the most memorable weekends I’d had in a long time—God’s amazing creation and Hillbilly Hot Dogs—what more could anyone ask for?
Did Jesus REALLY Go To Hell?
Posted:Oct 18, 2015 2:33 am
Last Updated:Oct 23, 2015 4:44 am
Over the past 25 years, I’ve heard many passionate arguments and have read dozens of different articles on this topic. One that recently appeared in the Christian Post persuaded me to dig a little deeper. From what I discovered, the answer depends a lot on what denomination you are. Some denominations, including Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians, do endorse the teaching that Jesus descended into hell between His death and His resurrection. Others maintain a myriad of explanations that seem to indicate that there is a misunderstanding in translation from the Hebrew to the Greek. Yet others seem to have made up their own interpretation to explain what was intended, to what is actually documented.

First, I did a little background and found that this teaching originated mainly from the Apostle’s Creed, an ancient church document, written about 50 years from the last writings of the New Testament. But the original text did not include the words, “He descended into hell” until years later, when it was added. These words were based in fact to a few different scriptures, translated into various ways, i.e. Ephesians 4:8-10, I Peter 3:18-20, Romans 10:v7, Acts 2:27, and Psalm 16:10-11. I’ll let you look them up and decide for yourself.

The misunderstandings and a great deal of the confusion, comes when interpreting the Hebrew word, ”sheol”. It simply means “the place of the dead” or “the place of departed souls/spirits.” The New Testament Greek equivalent of “sheol” is “hades”, which also refers to “the place of the dead.” Other Scriptures in the New Testament indicate that sheol/hades is a temporary place, where souls are kept as they await the final resurrection and judgment. Revelation 20:11–15 gives a clear distinction between hades and the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the permanent and final place of judgment for the lost. Hades, then, is a temporary place. Many people refer to both hades and the lake of fire as “hell,” and this causes the confusion. Jesus did not go to a place of torment after His death, but He did go to hades.

Now that we got the historical context out of the way, I’d like to express my personal opinion. The thing that causes the conflict for me is what is written in Luke 23:43, where Jesus tells the thief on the cross next to Him that he will be with Him in paradise, ON THAT VERY DAY. Now, I don’t know about you, but paradise and hell seem to be two distinctly different places.

I’ve read other explanations that state that Jesus, for a short period of time, was separated from God, because of carrying the sins of mankind and that is what hell is all about after all, the separation from God. Those explanations didn’t really satisfy my curiosity though. So, what do you think? Did Jesus REALLY go to hell?

Why Are YOU Still Here?
Posted:Oct 10, 2015 4:50 am
Last Updated:Oct 18, 2015 2:49 am
Do you ever talk to yourself? Well admittedly, I do and I do it often. There are times that it’s the only intelligent conversation I may get in a certain day. Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “Why are you still here?” Of course, when I ask myself a question, I always answer myself too. Wouldn’t it be rude NOT to? However, the answer to this question is often elusive. Why AM I still here? What’s here that causes me to return, day after day, for the last eight years?

All of those who have posted about this place not being what it used to be are correct. There was a time, in its heyday, when BC was a huge family of mostly believers, that edified and encouraged others with their words of wisdom and fellowship, each day. But, that is no longer. Now, we’re but a small handful, perhaps a couple of dozen of us, that even care to post and read posts. So, what’s the attraction? Why do YOU keep coming back?

I’ll go first—for me, this is where I discovered my passion to write. It’s a shame that I didn’t discover it sooner, perhaps I could have done something with it when I was 30, rather than finding it when I was over 50, lol. Nevertheless, I found this to be a perfect forum to express myself, to learn and to teach, to warn my brothers and sisters in Christ of what is going on in the world, to witness to others just Who God has been in my life, and often, as an avenue to vent my frustrations. Sorry, but don’t we ALL get frustrated from time to time? AND, don’t we ALL have some form of mental or emotional issues as a result of living life?

YOUR turn, what keeps you coming back here, even if it’s only every few months? What qualities does this place have that causes you to log in when you do? Is it the personalities? The content? Or is it for entertainment purposes only? Is it simply a habit that's too hard to break? Does it provide solace to find that there are people who are more messed up than you are? Lol

Don’t be shy, please reply! Inquiring minds want to know. Why are YOU still here?

"Do You Believe"?
Posted:Oct 8, 2015 2:57 am
Last Updated:Oct 10, 2015 8:17 pm
There was a movie that came out a few months ago called, "Do You Believe?" and the advertisements for it encouraged me to see it. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go, but it recently came out on DVD and I rented it to watch with my grandkids last night. It was one of the best movies I have ever seen! Even my grandkids admitted to being brought to tears at several different points. It was truly inspirational and made by the creators of "God's NOT Dead".

It's the story of 12 different souls—all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ … even if they don't believe it. Yet.

When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate.

This stirring new film from the creators of God's Not Dead is more than a movie, it's a question we all must answer in our lifetimes: DO YOU BELIEVE?

It contains all of the elements that make a movie really GREAT! There is drama, action, suspense, love, hate, and will bring hope to the viewer. The ending will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, screaming, "No! No! No!" And the final statement was so profound that I was left speechless. I would highly recommend it to everyone! If you have friends or loved ones struggling with their faith, or with no faith at all, invite them to see it with you. You'll NOT regret seeing it.

Do YOU believe?


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