For what it’s worth <3

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I am choosing today to add my voice to the many being lifted about the most recent death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police. 

I would think any person with half a brain who watched the video can see that four armed officers was adequate to complete an arrest of an unarmed man without forcibly holding him to the ground with a knee on his neck until he died. 

To think that police officers would consider all of this in the line of duty; four in agreement as a crowd of people gather and beg for the man’s life while he himself pleads for relief, is beyond shocking. 

I know there are many policemen and women who would not do this, but we have on video four who did and we have multiple instances where similar things have happened.

A friend posted, these are just the ones caught on video. We know it happens and it has to stop. Our first responders must be people we can trust, that all people can trust.

To know that parents of black children have to teach them how to act beyond simply following the laws that are set in place for all citizens is an indication that we have far to go in understanding how deeply we have allowed racism to infect us. 

It is beyond my understanding how this continues to happen. 

All I have to use is my voice of influence, and knowing the hearts of those who read my stuff, I am sure I am preaching to the choir.

But if I can offer any kind of support to not only the black community but also to all people of color, then please know, I am deeply sorry for the inequity and injustices that are so much a part of our past and continue to inflict pain in our current story. 

I am, above all, a follower of Christ; and I know that all of us will one day stand before Him accountable for how we lived here. There is nothing in His teachings that condones racism.

While I speak out here against what continues to happen in our country; I do realize that because I am white, there are aspects and perceptions that I am not aware of. 

When I am made aware of my own sin and my own flawed thinking, I will repent and I will pray for God to lead me in His path of righteousness as I share this journey with all people who travel alongside me. 

I believe the ideal that all men and women are created equal in the image of God, but I am very much aware that there have been and still are people who would qualify that with their own parameters.

I pray to have a heart that is sensitive to pick up on any overt or covert or subtle racism in myself or any one around me and that God would give me the conviction to repent for my own sin and boldness to speak up on behalf of what I know is right and true when I hear it or see it in others. 

If you agree with this, humbly bow in prayer and ask Him for help to live out the love of Christ in this world in whatever way He has gifted you to do it. Pray to speak in your sphere of influence and to willingly become uncomfortable with those who are comfortable with injustice.

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Because He does these things…and I know it <3

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I hope this is an encouragement to any weary warriors out there that our God is very much present and very much about encouraging His people. 

This story begins on Saturday evening as Russ and I began working on a puzzle our son-in-law bought for us. We set it up in the dining room and turned on a National Geographic program in the adjoining family room. 

As we worked, we listened to a young journalist who was on the search for evidence of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. He was hoping to discover the proof of their existence and to verify in his mind this story of a people and the miraculous work of their God. 

It was interesting to hear that the world can know there is proof of their existence and exit from Egypt, but things took a turn when he began trying to solve the “mystery” of the Red Sea parting. 

At one point he literally said, we can be thankful to technology that allows us to really explain that this parting of the water was actually just a natural occurrence that happens on this particular body of water and that it was not, after all, a miracle. 

Thanks be to the god of infrared photography (yes, I am being sarcastic…sorry) – he could determine that the “Reed Sea” would have followed the same path as the Exodus in that time period, even though now it is shifted to a new place. The water has been seen to pile up but in location noted in Bible it is no longer a deep place…however it would have been back in that time.

The phenomenon of the winds causing the sea to back up and then rush in again is something that has been seen since that time and so it is just a natural thing, he surmised.

Also he (in my opinion, rather condescendingly) explained that …bless their hearts, the Israelites would have wanted to attribute this to their God since they had been fleeing and all from the Egyptians and were understandably stressed and emotional. 

I was slightly irritated that the parting of the Red Sea, which is something used throughout Scripture as a reminder to the Jews that God would take care of them and was their deliverer, had been logically reduced to a naive little legend that could now be explained away by science and technology. 

But I was mostly sad for this guy and for all the people who might be convinced that God doesn’t work miracles for His people. They just luck into coincidences of nature that work to their advantage. I feel sick typing those words. 

So since Saturday, I have been mulling over this post and last evening I went for a walk while Russ mowed the lawn. 

I prayed about what to write as I walked and then as I was coming down the last stretch of road, the sun was setting and I could see a magnificent cloud in the distance.

It reminded me of the verse that says the clouds are the dust of His feet and so I stopped to take a picture as you see at top of this story.

As I rounded the corner, I saw another cloud off to the side that looked just like a lion’s head with its mouth open so I stopped to snap that picture and then caught my breath. Because now I could see on the first cloud what looked like the figure of a man almost as if climbing a mountain. 

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If you zoom in on it, it appears he has a face … and a beard. 

I was overwhelmed and to me it spoke as if God had made the picture for me and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I sent the picture to our family and also posted on social media. 

John said he saw a man surfing and a porpoise. Rachel said she saw an alligator and Sarah said she saw the alligator that also could look like a porpoise. 

Well…with their help, I realized that the “mountain” definitely resembled a large wave of water and also noticed the “alligator”.

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If you ever had me for a teacher, you know I immediately googled “alligator god of Egypt”….and I was not disappointed. 

He has a name…and a face…and is a crocodile…not an alligator.

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so blurry…took pic of my computer screen <3

He was Sobek, the crocodile god of the Nile who protected the Egyptian Army and controlled the waters. 

Not even kidding. 

You will notice in the cloud, he is underneath the feet of the man and it would appear the breath of the lion is moving the waters. 

And yes, that is my interpretation…I get it. 

And yes, scientifically, clouds form all kinds of shapes all the time. 

But I do not for one minute believe it was just an act of nature that placed this picture in front of me as I finished my prayer for how to say that I believe the Lord parted the waters for His people to pass. 

No. I am quite certain God heard my prayer and pretty much made a flannel graph out of clouds to show me that He did, indeed part the Red Sea so His people could pass. 

Nor am I believing for one second it was a coincidence that the last Psalm in today’s reading from a calendar set by our church many months ago was from Psalm 135 and includes this verse:

For I know that the LORD is great; our LORD is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. 

Psalm 135: 6-7

and yes…it goes on to retell the story of the Exodus for good measure. 

So I tell you now, your beliefs and your faith are not foolish. They are not the emotional tales of a motley crew. They are the true accounts of the faithfulness of our God through the ages.

My signature verse on my emails is this one: 

For the Word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

So you are not foolish, even if the whole world says you are.

Knowing this, be of the mind of Christ and pray for those who are perishing.

Pray hard for them today.

Stand firm in your belief that He is who He says He is…and from your position of humility that He has saved YOU…pray for those who have been blinded. 

Blessings dear friends! 

Keep your eyes open…He is making Himself known to us <3

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Life lessons <3

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Good morning! 

I have been launched full scale into going from drive by, outdoor only events on the front lawn and facetime/zoom meetings with our grandchildren to spending full on days with them this week as Rachel headed back to work and ended up having to pick up some days for one of her fellow nurses.

And if there are typos or missing words, can’t help it. Read for sense because they are running around me as we speak. 

This means I have been picking up the last week of “school from home” and trying to get back in the routine of staying on my toes from the minute I arrive until I am back on the highway and headed home. 

Since they have been with their mom 24/7 for sooooooooo many weeks and we have no where to go for a diversion, I have been packing my bag each morning with lots of activities to choose from.

On Tuesday we cleaned pennies with various methods. One of these was to rub the pennies with ketchup and then use a tooth brush with a baking soda/water paste to finish the job. 

Later as I was cleaning up the experiment and trying to fish the next project out of my Mary Poppins carpet bag stashed in a closet while pulling Caroline out of the bathroom sink before she fell off the stool, I heard Graham say something that sealed me to believe the boy just may end up being a preacher or a teacher or a writer. 

I could hear his voice coming from around the corner and strained to catch every word. I even had to ask him to repeat his thought over again when I went up Wednesday because I wanted to make sure I got it right to pass on to you. 

He told me he was thinking about how that tooth brush didn’t do any good without the baking soda paste, but once you dipped it into that goo and started applying, the work became easy and made a difference. He said, you know Lola…it’s like us and God. We are the toothbrush and without God we really can’t get a lot done. But with Him, we can do a lot of good things. 

Yep. 

Yep we can. 

I told him he was going to be my youngest guest blogger on record. But he will get paid the same rate as everyone…including me <3 

Have a good day, little toothbrushes. And don’t forget to go dip yourself liberally in God and apply His wisdom generously before you set out the make the world a better place today <3

And full disclosure I have had two near misses on accidents that could have been bad; currently three are covered in grass clippings and some mud and I am praying the fourth is still on his Zoom class grand finale and not surfing the internet for you tube videos…time to reapply the baking soda of God to this Lola. 

 

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