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Posted By Harolene

Promises, promises…everyone makes them, everyone from politicians to potential lovers and everything in between. There are 224 references in the King James version of the Bible concerning the word truth. You think it might be important?    Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, 

                      and all liars                                              shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Think about the things you might say every day that are just out-and-out lies…

“Call me if you need me and I’ll be right there!”

You need a friend? You GOT a friend as long as I am around”,

 “I love you baby there will never be anyone else like you.”  That line has probably been used more times than toilet paper, only instead of cleaning a mess it usually creates one!  

I looked to see if there was a legitimate definition for the phrase “lip service” there were two! They are: 1) Verbal expression of agreement or allegiance, unsupported by real conviction or action; hypocritical respect: and 2) insincere support or respect expressed but not put into practice. Two scriptures address this, first is Matthew 5:33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” Then in James 5:12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you. One thing that is upsetting to me as a mom and grand mom who is concerned about the feelings of my children is the way little children are used by people, whether it is between divorcing parents or by someone trying to impress a single parent that has a child by getting close to the little one and then upon realizing the mom or dad of the child is not the person you really want to be with dump the poor unsuspecting child.

I have seen it over and over and that really makes me sick. The child doesn’t know why one more parent figure has disappeared from their life; it has to affect their self-esteem, thinking it somehow their fault. 

My children were 14 and 4 when my divorce was final, their dad was welcome to come into the home any time he could and took them out for lunch or dinner twice a week, it is a habit that still stands to this present time. What happened between us was not their fault and I didn’t want to deprive them of that father-child relationship. 

Children are not chattel to be moved, traded or bargained with for your convenience, period. Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 

Children are a treasure and should be treated as such. 

Psalm 139:13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit-by-bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. 

Bottom line on this little vent of mine is this, in fact they are Jesus’ words paraphrased…

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

We expect God to answer as soon as we call, isn’t that right? Live according to that one little statement and you will live a happier life and those around you will know that when you say, “Just call me“, you really mean it.

Posted By Harolene

I have been an avid reader since before I started school, of course when I started school there was no kindergarten…

My favorite things to read then were the comic papers, there used to be a whole section devoted to comic strips!  I started with Nancy, and then I would read Blondie and marvel at the amazing sandwiches that Dagwood was able to construct! I had learned to sound out the words on my own and amazed my mother when she realized that I was actually reading the words and not just making the up the stories from my own vivid imagination.

But I digress… 

the point was that I really loved to read stories that took me out of the little mill houses that the Pastor of the local church lived in and becoming the “knee” baby when my brother was born.

I went on adventures with Sacagawea as she accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition acting as an interpreter and guide in their exploration of the Western United States, then when my dad bought a few of the Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I got older and discovered the Nancy Drew girl detective series, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Cherry Student Nurse (what is it with the name Nancy, comic strips and book titles?), and then I discovered Gone With The Wind in my Junior High School library, now I really had died and gone to heaven as Miss Scarlett foolishly loved someone from afar who would never make her happy while ignoring the man who loved her body, soul, and spirit, yes that would be Rhett Butler.

As an adult I began to devour the biography and autobiography of every famous person available, then I moved on to the suspense novels of John Gresham, James Patterson, the series novels of Diana Gabaldon and many others.

The walls of my bedroom are lined with bookshelves that are double and triple stacked and now I have two Kindles and the pleasure of being able to read everything from the various versions of the Bible to obscure out of print books such as Christ in You, author unknown and others you may or may not recognize.

As I polished off the latest entrée of delicious book fare and brushed the final crumbs from my satisfied mind I began to think about why I have the need to immerse myself into all of these different thoughts and stories, when I finish one I am like a starving man looking for his next meal and I am not happy until I have another book lined up and ready for me to hit the magic little space that says “read now”.

Growing up living in tailers (that’s before they became mobile homes, it was a 16 foot trailer pulled by our car) maybe I just needed some outside stimulus. I grew up feeling that if I wasn’t able to see the whole world, all the wonderful places I had read about I would feel claustrophobic, but as I got involved in the life of being married to a man who was starting a company, raising two children, being needed at the church as music director, counselor, leading a prayer group, in charge of getting food for the needy and on and on… there was no time for anything else and it seemed OK with me. 

Then there came the time I was replaced, both as a wife and in my church activities and my world grew smaller. I wondered what lasting good I had actually done and what would happen from now until the time I would have my own “glorious day”, that time of transition that I no longer dread.

I was talking to someone today about their problems in life and instead of just listening to them I tried to come up with solutions…

It was then that I realized why I read so voraciously…

I want to know the end of the story, pure and simple! 

I am sure that when an author starts to write a novel, and some have such convoluted plots that I cannot figure how a human mind can come up with all the details, they already know what the ending is going to be and they just make everything they write lead to that one ending, hopefully for me a happy one!

None of us know how it will all end but I know this, I will continue to write my story as it happens, yes I have happy endings in mind that may never come to pass but keep on writing I will and the one thing I am very sure of is this…

“And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story saved by grace, And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story… saved by grace.” (I read about that in the Bible!)

Posted By Harolene

Let’s talk about what makes life interesting, does that work for you?

There is an ice cream flavor, I can't remember the name, but the base flavor is creamy vanilla and it has ribbons of caramel and dark fudge running through it. Those ribbons of flavor are thick and rich and make the vanilla special by just being in it.

Life is like that particular ice cream flavor. We have an everyday routine of coming and going and doing and undoing that is simply vanilla, 

nothing outstanding, smooth but bland. 

Then there are times that a great love will come along, we will call that the band of dark chocolate fudge, so good and so sweet but sometimes bittersweet, it is so dark… 

Other flavors or toppings represent marriage (sprinkles), or children (bits of marshmallow), relatives (nuts), and…

                                      death which would be that bitter piece of nut that sometimes finds its way into butter pecan ice cream, I know you have found one, it makes your mouth pucker and you have to spit it out!

But without all the things that happen to us our life, like the vanilla ice cream, would remain sweet but bland. Do you quit buying Butter Pecan ice cream because of the rancid nut you found in it? No, and it is the same with life, you just keep experiencing all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In ice cream and yogurt shops you can mix and blend your own flavors, but in life you can’t do that and I think it is hard to find the perfect blend in a person with whom you want to share the rest of your life.

I am happy that Jesus Christ loves me just the way I am, scars, wounds, warts and all, He embodies the perfect example of how love should be that includes all the flavors, nuts and whipped cream of a very tasty sundae!

1 Corinthians 13 tells us how to have this perfect sundae in our own life, keep reading...

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first, "Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears, and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then; see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: 

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Enjoy all the flavors of your life, the best flavor of all is love,

love for God, 

                        love for our fellowman and 

                                                                           love for ourselves…

Posted By Harolene

Can you, do you remember the feelings of first love? There’s nothing like it. 

I wonder if that’s why so many people become unfaithful in their marriages, are they trying to find that feeling one more time? 

We let our marriage become life as usual and we long to feel the excitement and that rush of adrenaline that comes with new love. 

I guess we are all looking for change and something new all the time, which would account for so many different types of restaurants, grocery stores and clothing stores, etc. 

I don’t like change, so when I get used to a grocery store, I stay with it and it really upset my little world recently when the Publix that I frequent went through a face lift, now I don’t know where anything is! 

Fads come and go from hair teased so high you can stick an unsharpened pencil in it one year, to being straight and parted in the middle the next and we, like sheep, follow the trends. Did you wear long skirts and platform shoes in the 70’s? 

Not that old?

I am sure you have gone through other fashion changes too. I am not so upset with changing fashion in clothes and hairstyle, it is adultery that gets to me. Adultery in the flesh is one thing and yes, it is a sin but more than that it is the adultery of the church that bothers me. People are tired of the “old time religion” and feel it doesn’t offer solutions so they look for other “powers that be” which also cannot give you a solution for your life’s troubles. 

In following Jesus Christ, as the only door to salvation, at least I know that I have a hope for an eternal life. 

Is there life after death? 

It has been my experience to see into that realm and know that life goes on in the spirit. 

Are you looking for love? 

How much more could we be loved than to have Jesus give His life for us? That is the love that should never get old to us.

To go looking for a new way or a mystic secret is stepping over the blood of Jesus to go in another direction. 

It doesn’t feel good to us when we are left because someone is seeking a little excitement or another way of life, so I know that Jesus, having given so much for us, weeps over us as He did over Jerusalem, because He loves us so. 

Galatians 5:7-10 You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.  Keep your mind stayed on the Word of God and be faithful to Him, He has always been faithful to you.

Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.

Posted By Harolene

If you’ve read me for a while, you know that I am a normal woman who is sometimes funny, often times corny, a sloppy sentimental who still believes in romance and holds to the thought that there is good in everyone, whether they want you to know it or not…

I am always full of faith and the knowledge that if I fight the good fight and keep the faith, I will make heaven my home. 

I accept Jesus as my Lord and I believe that He is the only way to God.

I said all of that because I want to say something that I want you to take very seriously and know that I know what I am talking about. I face spiritual battles every day and my only defense is to know I am covered by the shed blood of Jesus because He redeemed me when He died on the cross for my salvation.

Here’s something to know that should give you confidence and comfort:

Ephesians 6:10-12 “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So, take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

I am distressed that so many Christians are struggling to make it day after day, and I’m not talking to "sinners" here, but to the church! 

Why are we so weak? 

I think it is because we don't take the words of the Apostle seriously when he said that we are fighting against flesh and blood (your boss, spouse, or your worst enemy) but against the spiritual forces of the devil and his angels! 

To not realize that would be like walking into a lion's den carrying a bloody side of beef and thinking that the lion will be satisfied with eating just that and not attack YOU! You are a goner if you think that. 

What makes you think you can go out into the world of work and everyday life without the proper attire? Would you show up for work naked? 

Then you shouldn't leave your house without putting on all the equipment that God has given us with which to fight! 

Here is the scripture that you need to know: 

Ephesians 6:13-19 “Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long…

Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

The NIV puts it this way: 14-17 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

This is the fashion statement that you need to make if you want to be able to walk through the day without getting beat up in the spirit!

Now that you know what to wear, pray when you get up and then get dressed, you are ready to face the day!