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Posted By Harolene

In this life it seems that everything is about competition, when you pull up to a light the car next to you tries to get off faster than you, or when you try to change lanes it seems like everyone speeds up to keep you from getting in front of them. In the grocery store it always seems as if everyone waits until I get ready to check my groceries out to come and crowd into the lane before I do! Do you watch reality shows on TV? Well I watch several of them, Dancing with the Stars, Amazing Race, Survivor, Top Chef, the point is that everyone wants to get ahead and win! The Apostle Paul says:  1 Corinthians 9:24-27 You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.  Whenever you are doing your best, it seems that the devil steps in with something to try to stop you or embarrass you into shutting up! You know I have an example here, right? My grandfather had preached a sermon at a great revival on the healing power of Jesus! He had a wonderful response, the altar was filled with people seeking healing and giving their hearts to the Lord, he was very happy as he went into his house that night. There he saw his wife sitting with their toddler on her lap by the fireplace. The child was burning with fever, the fever that had taken the lives of other children in their 1930's community. In his heart he heard the devil mocking him, saying "Where is your healing Jesus now?" The town doctor got word of the sick child and stopped to see her, and sadly he told them that she wouldn't live through the night. My granddad began to cry out to the Lord, reminding Him of every scripture he had used in his great sermon, asking Him to heal his baby in the name of Jesus. My mother was ten years old and was so frightened seeing her dad praying so earnestly, kneeling there by the fire. Finally, exhausted, he fell asleep, with Mama still sitting there with the baby on her lap. About the time the sun came up, so did the little one, her eyes were bright and she was asking for cereal! "I'm hungry,” she was saying, "I want cereal." As she was eating, there was a knock on the door, it was the doctor coming to give his condolences and see if he could be of any assistance. My granddad invited him to come in and see the miracle! She was eating; she looked up and began to sing him a song! As he left that house, there were tears rolling down his cheeks and a new belief in the "healing Jesus" of this young evangelist! Anytime you give a testimony, expect to be tested, for where is the proof of your testimony without the test? We are competing with the devil every day of our life to keep our joy, peace and even our eternal salvation! Don't give up the fight. Paul asks the question, "You did run well, who hindered you?" Don't let anyone stand in the way of your victory you are in this fight for your very life! You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you! Philippians 4:13  After getting my patience tried several times in the past few days I think I will just say: "Have thine own way Lord" and trust Him for what He brings! Remember, you can’t win if you give up the fight!

Posted By Harolene

Every person reading this is now, or has sometime in the past gone through problems that made you cry and wish someone could just solve it for you. I’m talking now in the sense of wishing a parent were around to help, to listen, and to give an encouraging word. Since both of my parents are gone I do miss that very much, but at this point in time I am more concerned with being that for my own children and those who look to me as a “mom” figure in their life for one reason or another. This morning I was listening to a song on a CD I had slipped into the player in my car. As I listened I wished that I could have both of my children captive in the car the way it was when they were growing up, I wanted them to hear the words to this song and know that it was as if they were coming from my very own heart. When I got home I looked up the lyrics to see who wrote this song from my heart, there were three names, Songwriters Miller, Ron / Hirsch, Kenneth / Sharron, Marti

I have prayed many prayers and shed a lot of tears for the children of my flesh and some who count on me to pray for them and I know God hears and sees, matter of fact Psalm 56:8 tells us, You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? I am thinking there are several bottles in heaven labeled with my name printed boldly on the side! I know that God loves us as we love our children and if we hurt for our babies then I know that God hurts for us, I’m sure of it!

Are you curious about the song? I’m not sure how much trouble I would get into, obscure as this little article may be, if I printed all the lyrics, but I can put some that touched me and then provide a link for you to go listen to the song for yourself on my YouTube channel. It begins, “If I Could I'd protect you from the sadness in your eyes give you courage in a world of compromise yes I would If I could”

If I would want to protect you don’t you know that God does, and will if we only ask Him to do it? He gives us angel protection (Psalm 91) and He hears us when we pray!

Please hit the link and give it a listen!

Posted By Harolene

I always had a problem when I heard the scripture Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  I say problem, it’s more like an “OMG” reaction of “How in the world would I be able to be perfect?”  Then I read in the notes of my Dake Bible where he described the word ‘perfect’ as ‘mature’… MATURE?? What does that mean exactly?  I looked in the Merriam-Webster to find a definition and there were five! The first one said “based on slow careful consideration <a mature judgment” , ok I’m already in the hole because slow and careful are not usually in my vocabulary! I go headlong into situations and then think, or my mouth says something before my brain has processed it! That doesn’t sound very mature of me does it? I think that to be mature is to be able to handle a situation with tact and consideration for another person’s feelings. I have always tried to do that, and it has gotten me in trouble because I have not found a way to speak my mind in some cases, without being blunt, but I digress, back to being perfect, or mature. I looked up Matthew 5:48 in the Message translation,  "In a word, what I'm saying is, grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."  Now that I can live with, in other words (and Jesus had already said it) "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Mine is a three-generation household with a wide range of age, if we didn't "do unto others" in our home there would be mayhem at all times! I have watched the relationships between my children, them with their spouses, and my grandchildren in the relationship they have with each other and their friends and I honestly see a lot of genuine maturity in them, does that mean we are perfect? I laugh to think of it, but it is something to strive for isn’t it?

You want to be perfect? Then grow UP!

Posted By Harolene

On March 26 1924, sixteen year-old Addie Mae Tomberlin Paulk gave birth to a nine-pound baby girl. I have often heard the story of how she looked at her husband, nineteen year-oldEarl Pearly Paulk, and said, "What in the world are we going to do with her? I am afraid we will never be able to raise her," and then put her face in her little hands and cried because baby Myrtle was born hungry and Addie Mae was at a loss as to how to feed her. When mother was young she would tell it while laughing and say, "I am still hungry". In later years she would tell it and cry for her Mama, who had gone on to be in heaven. In thinking about how to honor her on her birthday I remembered writing this article the last Mother's Day she was alive and compared her to what she really was, A Tower. So I am re-posting this and saying Happy Birthday to you Mother, have a wonderful party in heaven! I typed the word "Tower" into my Google search and more than twenty-one pages of pictures came up! There were towers of every description, the Mile High Tower, the Eiffel Tower and an old landmark, the Leaning Tower of Pisa along with towers carved by nature's deft hand, such as the Devil's Tower, towers from all over the world! The description says, "Towers are tall structures almost always taller than they are wide (almost always?)." There are radio and TV signal towers, cell phone towers. There are smaller tower type structures called "Lighthouses", getting closer now. The one type of tower I didn't see mentioned was a tower that, in most of our lives, are towers of light, strength and an unchangeable love, it is the tower of hope, encouragement and help that is our Mother. My mother has been the source of all the above-mentioned elements in the lives of my siblings and me and most of all she was all those things to my dad. There have been times when I saw daddy, back bent from working all day physically building our church, come in so tired he could hardly put one foot in front of the other. A few moments of mother hovering over him and admiring how hard he had worked then placing a big plate of food in front of him and he was a new man. She is fiercely loyal to the ones she loves never wanting to believe anything bad about them. For awhile when some family members made the national news, she firmly denounced the stories saying that she had been told they weren't true, so that meant they were all just lies perpetrated by jealous people. When, down the road, the reality hit her that there was truth in them, she nearly broke under the grief of it all. But she is resilient and was always able to pop up back like the clown we had as children that you could knock all the way to the floor and it would spring back up smiling! Moving from church to church, visiting the sick, cleaning church toilets and helping cook dinners to raise money, she has done it all. Without her, life for our family would have been a lot more difficult. God used woman to bring us His own Son in the flesh. In Judges we read about Deborah, a woman who actually judged Israel and without whom Barak refused to go into battle! Women are the "kingpin" (the most important person in a group or place) in a lot of our social endeavors, and for all the good we do, without guidance from the Holy Spirit we are nothing.

If you are able to have a conversation with your own mother today tell her you love and appreciate her, I tell mine every night and I know she hears me in heaven! 

Posted By Harolene

You can do something you know you're going to regret, but you do it anyway... then comes the guilt, that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, wishing you could hit the re-wind button and fix it, but knowing that is impossible... then what? Your light goes out, maybe not completely out, yet, but dims a little. John 1:3-5 Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out. Jesus came into the world and he was the Light. Before I say anything more, one more scripture, Matthew 5:14-16 Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Every now and then there is a phenomenon in the sky called an eclipse. That is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, completely blocking our light. Even chickens will begin to roost, thinking it is nighttime! When we let the 'cares of this life' come between us and the Son shine, our light goes out! I was watching the light play, reflect, and change colors in the diamonds on my hand, the light playing off those diamonds was brilliant and I was enjoying the little fireworks display, the elevator door opened and I stepped out into the dark garage still looking at my rings and suddenly without light there was no sparkle, fireworks all gone, why? The light had gone out, they are only reflectors of light, there is no light within them, they cannot shine without being shined ON, therefore, the diamonds were no longer beautiful, they could have been simple pieces of glass.

Reflector: a body, surface, or device that reflects light, heat, sound, or the like. If Jesus is the 'light of the world', then He shines on us. As Christians then, shouldn't we act as reflectors of that light so that the light is then shined on others around us? Whenever you let anything come between you and the "Light", yours automatically goes out, and you are no different than a piece of carbon lying within the walls of a cave, undiscovered to be the diamond that you really are. In the NKJV Matthew 5:16 says Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!