Sunday, December 28, 2014


Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins be as scarlet
they shall be as white as snow..."
Coral, blush, rose, hot, salmon, fuchsia, magenta, fandango puce, amaranth, or lemonade, I love the color pink!  But I must say, it has a different meaning for me now that I'm engulfed in a novel that a sweet sister gave me over the holidays!  It's entitled, Living in the Pink, by Christian author, Sharon Tubbs.  When you get a chance pick up a's riveting, eye-opening, and well, if you're one of those people who seem to be constantly drifting spiritually...very convicting!

While the secular world is waiting with baited breath, for the film version of that scandalous novel, Fifty Shades of Gray,  premiering around Valentine's Day.  I thought I'd catch you a bit early and bend your ear toward something that might do you some real good!  The New Year is just around the corner and I already know that for the majority,  new year's resolutions have been rattling around in your brain!  

Yep!  I still plan on losing those same ten pounds I resolved to lose last January.  Going to get myself together and go back and finish my degree.  Even start having Quiet Time every morning, and for real now, I'm going to get up for Sunday school, morning service, and prayer meeting in 2015.
Sound familiar? 

That's all well and good... making spiritual-like resolutions puts you right with the norm for Christians this time of year and just like the average Saint, by Easter, you've backslidden  into your same old habits!  How about trying something different, like working on those things that need fixing on the inside first!  Those things that keep you living in the pink instead of the white, bright righteousness of Jesus Christ.  

Straddling the fence between worldly living and holy living is what Sister Tubbs calls living in the pink...just a tinge of Jesus' blood characterizes our life...we're not completely low-down and heathenish, we just slip in and out of sin periodically!  We show up for church every Sunday, but hide out in the corners and the balcony because we don't want anyone to smell the weed and liquor that still lingers after clubbing the night before!  (That's living in the pink!)

You really want to join a ministry, you know you have the gift and passion to help serve, but too many folks at church know that you're still living unwed with your boyfriend and you just ain't about to be confronted with that..they don't know that you're just saving up for the wedding!    (You're still living in the pink)

Where  in the bible does it say, you can't play the lottery?  It's just a bit of harmless entertainment.  After all when I hit, I swear, I'm going to pay the Lord big time! That'll make up for all those months I couldn't pay my tithes!!  (There's some pink dabbling 

 there too!)

Don't get me wrong...I know what it means to live in the pink!  Denying my faith for a season of fleshly pleasure...but as my Mama used to say..."When you know better you do better!" 2015 should be a time to do better --DON'T THINK PINK...THINK RED...THE COLOR OF CHRIST'S PRECIOUS BLOOD (Hebrews 9:22) Without it Where would we be? 

Ephesians 4:14-16 (Message Bible)
...God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


It's only a few days before Christmas and I haven't yet gotten around to decorating for the holiday!  No, I'm not a Scrooge or Grinch and I certainly love this time of year... I just haven't felt like dragging all the boxes from the basement!

The grandkids will be over tomorrow and I'm counting on them to give me the extra boost to get it done.  Still, they're in for a surprise if they're looking for a tree with ornaments.  I haven't put up one for years! Instead I've opted for the classic Nativity scene beautifully molded and painted with all the central characters of the bible under a wooden creche displayed in a couple of places in my home.

The largest one lights up with a warm glow and that really puts me in the Christmas mood but it also reminds me how wrong the manufacturers got the bible story!  You may have too!
So let me tell you five things you need to know about the Christmas story from the New Testament gospels:
  • Although the song goes We Three Kings...there were probably more who came to visit Christ. They brought three kinds of gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh and that's why I guess they limit the number of carriers to three.  The Wise men  visited the Christ Child not in a stable but in a house when He was nearly two years old (Matt. 2:11).  I imagine it would get pretty crowded in that stable with the shepherds, wise men, angels, and animals in one small space.  But isn't that what most Nativity scenes show us?
  • We sing Hark the Herald, Angels Sing....but does the bible say that they were singing? When they appeared before the shepherds they spoke, they praised (which we know could mean in a way other than in song) glory shone all around them (Luke 2: 8-14). In fact there's only three places in scripture were angels are singing --Job 38:7, Isaiah 14:12, and Rev. 5:8-10.   Here's a side note though...did you know that God sings???  Read Zephaniah 3:17.
  • We celebrate Christmas, Christ's birthday during the winter....December 25, but we don't actually know the season Christ was born.  Shepherds certainly wouldn't have been tending their flocks in the middle of winter! Like many Christian observances, Christmas has it roots in paganism. It comes from the the Roman holiday Saturnalia, the birthday of  the unconquered sun.  It was observed with feasting, parades, special music, gift giving and green trees and candles and lasted for seven days.(sounds like now doesn't it?)  In 336 Emperor Constantine christianized the celebration and declared Christ's birthday an official Roman holiday.  We've been celebrating on December 25th every since.
  • Christmas is typically known as a time of extreme emotional stress, strain, and greater acts of crime and violence.  Some would describe it as a season of bedlam, meaning noise and confusion akin to that symbolized in an insane asylum.  How ironic that this word has the same etymological root as Bethlehem, the place of Christ's birth. This certainly describes the scene in the shopping mall doesn't it? Still, it's a comfort to know that the Hebrew word for Bethlehem, is House of Bread.  Jesus the Bread of Life was born in the House of Bread!
  • Christ's birth split time in half!  Yes His birth was so significant that all the world chronicles time periods according to it.  B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (anno domini, in the year of our Lord.  However, I must say that in recent years the world is trying very, very hard to erase that from the minds of latter generations.  More and more you see modern history books referring to B.C.E. (Before common era) and C.E. (common era) giving recognition to historians that may not be Christians!
So there you have it, five things not commonly known about this time of year!  Do me a favor, pull this up and read it while you're stuck in those long check-out lines or waiting for that ham to come out of the oven.  Maybe take a break  and steal away Christmas day for a moment of quiet from the bedlam of noisy children playing with toys or the incessant chatter from relatives you wish would go home after Christmas dinner!  Hey, there's always a good time to learn more about our Savior.  

Merry Christmas, I hope I gave you something to think about!


Sunday, December 14, 2014


D uring my tenure as a marketing assistant with a large pharmaceutical company I had the opportunity to learn a lot about psychological diseases and their symptoms.  One in particular caught my interest.  It was a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  You may know it as The Winter Blues or as researchers dub it... S. A. D.

Generally, it is treated with anti-depression meds, life style changes and sunlight therapy.  Although it can occur almost any time it is more prevalent during the dark, cold, and activity prohibitive winter months. People who suffer from S. A. D really are sad and depressed, so I guess that explains some of the moods we're seeing lately!  But I'm beginning to see a bit of it among a particular group of individuals and in one particular place....The Church!

Here are the symptoms: Lack of focus; sleepiness; irritability; don't care about spiritual things, i.e., bible study, prayer, morning devotions.  If not in the acute stage one can make it out to church, but barely.  Once you sit down the hearing becomes dull.  You're too tired to stand for praise; no clapping or hallelujahs during worship and you can't remember a thing the pastor said even between the dozing!

I don't think it would be much of a stretch to call this S.A.D too...Spiritual Apathy Disorder!  With all the hustle and bustle this time of year it's just too doggone hard to get excited about Jesus!  Too many parties to attend, too much shopping and of course the extra weight we gained from eating all that free food has more than our butts dragging!

No worries my friends.  If you take heed this can be only a temporary condition.  All you've got to do is apply some SON THERAPY to your day. I'm talking about a big dose of JESUS!  Similar to the medical one, exposure to the Light works wonders!  In John 8:12 we find that Jesus is the Light of the World.  Like natural sun light, a dose of Jesus releases spiritual serotonin in your body which means He's an automatic mood lifter.  You just want to smile more!  Gone is moodiness and depression.  Just a few minutes talking to Him in prayer each day makes all the difference!  Wake up early and join us on the prayer line!**

Having problems getting those skinny jeans on with all the cakes and cookies consumed since Thanksgiving?  How about fasting some of those heavy meals and feasting on God's Word the Bible!  John 6:35 says that Jesus is the Bread of Life.  I know you think you could live on bread alone but from one carbohydrate junkie to another...believe me you can't! Extra pounds make you sluggish and sleepy in church. Your clothes become too tight and you get subconscious, so you plant your self on the pew and don't get up until it's time to go home and take them off! Now THAT'S when the church really says AMEN!!

The Enemy works extra hard to keep Christians from focusing on God at church but he takes a vacation during the holidays because we distract ourselves!  Yes, there's lots of things to do and it seems that everyone and everything demands your attention.  Even the most organized soul finds it hard to keep wonder we're irritable and stressed out.

 So why not pick up the bible, turn to John 10:10-11.  Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd.  Sheep don't go to psychiatrists!  They don't worry or stress out over Christmas lists and dinner preparations.  They just follow the Shepherd's voice and they know that Green pastures are straight ahead.   Jesus came to give us a life of Peace...we've just got to stop long enough to enjoy it!

Listen  up people! If the Lord tarries we have two more Sundays before Christmas.  Send up some deliberate praise the next time you meet with the saints...Don't let Winter blues steal your joy...TELL THE ENEMY YOU'RE NOW IN THERAPY...SON LIGHT THERAPY AND YOU'RE GOING TO PRAISE JESUS UNTIL THE NEW YEAR COMES IN!

Until Next Time..

**E.M.B.C. Prayer Line is in session Mon-Fri. 6:30AM-6:45AM - 712-432-1212, Meeting ID: 181-134-529#  (Don't forget to mute your phone until you place your request)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

SPEAKING OF GIFTS...Here's some FREE Stuff?

Encourage One Another - I Thess. 5:11 
If you're like me every year it's the same old thing.  What do I get for those special people in my life?

I tell you I'm just about over it all.  Not the giving part. I love to give, but trying to pick that perfect present is nearly impossible.  After all, I'm no mind reader and most of the people that I do give a gift to, already have everything they need.  Isn't that a blessing?

A few years back my husband and I declared a moratorium on Christmas gifts from our children and grandchildren. In fact, the only ones who receive Christmas gifts in the family are those under the age of 12 years.   Teens would rather have money and any more I'd rather give it.  Sure beats getting my feelings hurt after finding out they never wore that sweater or other article of clothing I thought was so cute and fashionable!

These days instead of risking my life and limbs fighting traffic and mall rage.  I'm keeping my list very, very short for material things and adding to it for spiritual things!  Taking a tip from the talk shows, I'm giving everyone in my audience of family, friends, and acquaintances MY FAVORITE  THINGS!  And guess what...they're all free:

  • Friendship - There are approximately 7 billion people in the world.  I don't know how many are lonely but probably more than you think. True friendship is a powerful gift to give and you don't have to go far.  Your grouchy neighbor, the cleaning woman who looks sad all the time; or the rude cashier are prime candidates.  A smile, a handshake of appreciation, or a simple Merry Christmas will do.  Maybe an invite to church. All can become gifts of friendship.  Just the fact that you noticed them could make their day! (Prov. 17:17; Prov. 18:24; Matt. 25:40)
  • Reconnecting - All of us have relationships that we've let go fallow (uncultivated).  Nobody got mad, no misunderstanding,  you just for some reason lost touch with one another. Christmas is a good time to go through your contact list, call, text,  or email  just to say hello; I miss you; let's get together soon.  Hearing from an old friend can be more precious than the most expensive gift. (Ephes 4:32a; Gal. 6:10)
  • Encouragement  - Suicides increase this time of year; folks go in debt trying to outdo each other with elaborate parties and decor; grief seems especially heavy and guilt and depression because you can't fulfill the wish list of loved ones sucks all the joy out of life.   How about spending a little time telling your family or friends how much they mean to you.  Instead of a Christmas card (that's expected).  Surprise someone with a note of thanks for something they've done for you that they've long forgotten.  (Heb. 10:24-25;  2 Cor 13:11) 
  • Eternal Life - Sadly, recent events are proving that people desperately need Jesus!  You of course can't save anyone...we know that.  But you can give lost souls an opportunity to accept Christ for themselves.  Hearts are especially open during the Christmas season when generosity tends to be at its peak.  Folks are just in a giving mood.  Instead of throwing a few coins in the red bucket of bell ringers everywhere, why not spend a few hours visiting homeless shelters, nursing homes, or serving on food lines.  As you give of your time you'll hear many thank you's.   Turn those  into an opportunity to explain why you're there--because of the love of Christ who also loves them.  Why not make the real meaning of Christmas a topic of conversation everywhere you go. (John 3:16; (Rom. 5:8;   John 3:36; John 1:12) 

Okay, this is the end of my Christmas list.  Check back next week for some help with S.A.D. and I don't mean (Seasonal Affective Disorders)!!