Twice I pulled my car over this morning to take these shots.  I seem to have caught the click and shoot bug, and it's making me late for Bible study, prayer meetings, and all sorts of things.  What's a compulsive picture-taking great-granny like me supposed to do?  Keep driving and make it on time, or miss capturing a moment I might never be able to capture again?  It's becoming more and more of a dilemma.



The clouds in my neck of the woods have been just amazing lately.   Maybe they always have been and I just never noticed before? Maybe not.  But  this batch, in particular, made me think of a verse in 1 Corinthians 13:12--"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."



...who when He was betrayed and Peter tried to defend him by striking the servant of the high priest and cutting off his ear said, "Put your sword in its place.  ...do you think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?  How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus (Matthew 26:52-54)?"  And so "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7)."

The incident that caused me such indignity and outrage today was minor by comparison, and yet if I had had even a fraction of a legion of angels at my disposal, I would surely have called them down and wreaked havoc in that store, whose name I will not mention.  Since I couldn't do that, I threatened to write a letter to the local paper.  I would have done anything in my power to inflict some pain.

Of course my outburst did nothing except get me all riled up.  The owner told me to go head and write the letter, and even gave me his name to include, which only enraged me further.  And my question as to whether community minded meant you are all gracious and smiley to customers until you get their money, and then you don't give two hoots about how they're going to get the merchandise out of the store didn't seem to phase him at all either.

I stomped out with one final retort. "I hope you sleep well tonight and like what you see when you look at your face in the mirror in the morning."  Then I raged all the way home, promising myself I would never set foot in that store again, and composing a letter in my head to the editor of the local paper, an article exposing them on FaceBook, and a post on our Mayor's wall, all intended to make the community aware of what truly lay in the hearts of  these supposedly civic-minded folks .

Of course, by the time I got home I had cooled down and decided to limit myself to just this one blog post in which I wouldn't mention any names.  I thought of an e-mail our Bible study teacher, Barb, had sent out to us this morning on humility and how Christ gave up the right to his rights as God when He became man and was willing to assume all the indignity, hurt, and rejection of the world.  He was the only man who ever lived who didn't have to die, and yet He did.  Instead of giving up or walking away from us, He willingly chose to suffer death on the cross to pay for our sins.  Then Barb ended her e-mail by asking us to consider this when we are tempted to withdraw from other Christians.

I wonder if that store owner is a Christian.  He surely didn't act like one.  But then, neither did I.  Just saying.



"For false christs and false prophets will
rise and show great signs and wonders 
to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
(Matthew 24:24)

Growing up I desperately wanted to be accepted, to be one of the crowd.  I hated feeling 'different,' and as though I was always on the outside looking in.  I hated being made fun of and being picked last for teams.  I hated not having the kind of family everybody else seemed to have.

Later, in my teens, I dreamed of falling in love and getting married to someone I would grow old with.  I dreamed of having a solid, close-knit family that enjoyed each other's company and did things together.  And I did fall in love and get married and have a family, but my husband and I did not grow old together, and the many mistakes I made as a single mom pretty much killed any chance for the strong, bonded family I had yearned for.

After my husband passed away, I went through a time of searching for roots, for something that would make me feel grounded, that would give me a sense of purpose.  Long story short, I discovered New Age and the occult and felt as though I had finally come home. Astrology, metaphysics, the concept of karma and reincarnation,  opened up a whole new world that seemed to provide all the answers that had heretofore eluded me.  I had finally found my roots, and what I sincerely believed to be truth.  My days of searching were over.

I embraced these new ideologies with a passion and eventually became a numerologist.  As such, I started doing readings for folks and was even published, which brought me the acceptance I had so craved in my early years.  Now, all of a sudden, I was seen as an expert.  People were actually seeking me out to tell them what the future had in store.

How I got from there to here is not really what this post is about.  If you are interested in that part, you can check out the My Testimony link on my sidebar or click here.  This post is about how my vulnerability led to my believing a lie, and how that led to my misleading other people and getting them to buy into that lie too.  I was not consciously deceiving anyone, I was just sincerely wrong, and if I can reach even one person through this post who is living under the same kind of deception I was back then and help you see the light, then baring my soul like this will have been worthwhile.

If I were to see you headed towards some imminent danger, such as a gaping hole in the sidewalk ahead of you, it would be unconscionable of me not to warn you of what lay ahead, and I would not hesitate to do so--even yanking you aside if necessary.  So why the hesitation when the danger is spiritual, and therefore invisible?  I guess, in my case, it's fear of rejection, of being judged, all the things I struggled with at the beginning of my life, but I know that I can't let those things stop me any longer.  There's too much at stake.

Don't be deceived, as I was, into thinking that there are many paths to God, or that we get to Heaven by being 'good.'  Although we were created to have fellowship with God, Adam and Eve's sin caused us to be born into a fallen world.   The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and "The wages of sin is death."  Because of sin there is a great gulf that separates us from God, and there is no way we can cross it through our own efforts.  There is only one path that can lead us to eternal life, and that is Jesus, "the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through [Him]" (John 14:6).

The good news is that "God so loved the world (you and me included) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).  In fact, God loves you so much that even if you were the only person on this Earth, He would still have sent Jesus to die for your sins so you could be set free.

This gift of salvation that is being handed to you can only be received by grace, through faith.  It cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).  And as much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose His will on you or force you to accept it.  The choice is yours.

Jesus stands at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting for you to answer (Revelation 3:20).  I pray that you would open the door before it is too late, and accept His invitation to enter your life, forgive your sins, and make you a new creation.



At first I thought these were unusual cloud formations I hadn't noticed before, but then I realized they were not clouds at all. They are long streaks of smoke(?) trailing behind planes that spend hours flying back and forth across the skies in my neck of the woods.

Back in the day when I was young, there were planes called skywriters that used to do that too, but they would write stuff in the sky--not just create thin white lines that start looking like clouds as they start to disperse. 
Do any of you know what the purpose of these planes might be today? It must be pretty boring doing nothing but draw line after line all day every day. But then who am I to say?



Thank goodness for digital cameras.  I think I'd be broke and in debt by now if I were still having to buy film.  ☺