Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Caregivers

About forty-nine years ago I was in need of a caregiver. I was privileged to have been given two wonderful caregivers. Without them I couldn't have lived. Every bit of nourishment I received was dependent on them. My every need was met by them. These two caregivers were Momma and Daddy.

As I grew I could do lots of things all by myself, but I still needed Momma and Daddy. Daddy went to work almost daily to earn wages that supplied my needs as well as some of my wants. My Momma would prepare meals that kept me nourished. For these and so much more I will always be grateful.

My parents are still very much alive and doing well. For this too am I thankful. Although, I have not always been what I should have been as a daughter, they have always loved me. I love them and will always be thankful to them for being what I needed. Forever I will strive to honor them. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," Exodus 20:12.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



You've Got a Friend In Jesus!
GOD LOVES YOU! He wants you to know how to spend eternity with Him in Heaven after you die.

Do you know if you died today if you would be in Heaven tomorrow? You can! To go to Heaven, you must be SAVED. That means you have been born again, or born spiritually. Let's see if you qualify to be saved.

First, do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God?

Secondly, do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins?

Thirdly, do you believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after He died?

If you answered "Yes" to all three questions, you are qualified to be saved, according to the Bible.

The Bible teaches that you and I are sinners by birth. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

The Bible further teaches that there is a penalty for being a sinner - namely, death in Hell. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I don't like that, but that's why I'm telling you how to be saved. I don't want anyone to go to Hell, and you don't have to go to Hell.

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, paid your penalty of Hell for you. Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Because we are sinners by birth, we have no perfect sacrifice to make for our sin. Even our best efforts are stained by sin, so that no matter how good we try to live or how hard we try to make up for our sins, we fall short of what a holy God requires. But, Jesus Christ is perfect, and His death on the cross was a perfect sacrifice for all of our sin, and God will allow Jesus' sacrifice to pay for all our sin.

The Bible teaches that we must receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour by faith. John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Much like a bride and groom receive each other when they exchange vows, you and I must receive Jesus Christ, trusting Him to forgive us of our sins and trusting Him alone to take our souls to Heaven when we die.

Salvation is not found in a church or a good deed or in baptism or any religious act. Salvation is found in a Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ.

Would you like your sins forgiven? Would you like to know you would go to Heaven when you die? Would you like to be SAVED? Let me help you receive Jesus Christ right now.

"Dear God, I admit I am guilty of being a sinner in Your sight. I am sorry for my sins. I believe Jesus Christ is Your perfect Son and that He died for my sins and rose from the dead. I want to be saved. I want my sins forgiven, and right now, I receive Jesus Christ and trust Him to save me. I believe You love me, and I ask You to forgive me of my sins and to take my soul to Heaven when I die. I trust You, and I thank You for saving me. Amen."

Congratulations! And thank you for allowing me to share this good news with you!
Pastor Jack Schaap

Friday, July 11, 2008

Some Storms You Cannot Flee From

Hurricanes, the largest of all storms, are familar to this South Louisiana native. Vivid are the memories of many hurricanes, at least the running from them. For the first ten years of my life I lived in the Mississippi delta town of Buras, Louisiana. Buras is located on the pennisula of Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Here the land mass is approximately one mile in width, the Mississippi River on the eastern side and the eroding marshland on the west.

In 1969, God allowed Hurricane Camile to destroy most of our little town. My childhood home was found about one mile from it's foundation in a canal. Life as I thought it would always be was now much different. My parents decided to rebuild in another town about fifty miles upriver from Buras.

Not every hurricane season was as eventful as the 1969 season. Some years we didn't have to pack up and flee from hurricanes at all. Some years we fled from hurricanes that veered away from us or from those that were not as severe as we thought they would be. When hurricanes were approaching we had ample time to evacuate. It was never fun leaving our home not knowing whether it would be there when we returned, but at least we knew that our lives and those that we loved would be safe from the destruction of the storm.

In South Louisiana tornadoes are not as common or powerful as in the Midwest where we live now, but a tornado did hit our home one February night in 1985. This tornado picked up our home and then dropped it as my husband and I hovered over our two young children. I had never experienced such fear as I did that night. My husband and I prayed like we had never prayed before making life changing decisions in split seconds. God spared our young family from injury. HE was beginning to teach me to trust Him even in the storm.

We were able to flee from hurricanes but not from the tornado in 1985. Likewise, we cannot flee from mantle cell lymphoma that suddenly stormed into our lives in December 2007. Nahum 1:3 reads, "...the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm". The winds began to blow and the seas became rough when Jesus and His disciples were in a boat. Jesus was calmly sleeping in the hinder part of the boat while the disciples "feared exceedingly". The disciples woke Jesus up and said unto him "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Jesus then got up and "rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still." The wind suddenly ceased and there was a "great calm". Jesus then asked the disciples, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" The disciples must not have really comprehended who Jesus really was. So often, I believe that we are no different than the disciples.

Shortly after my husband was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma our pastor talked to him from the pulpit as the congregation of First Baptist Church listened. Our pastor and friend told my husband that mantle cell lymphoma in his body was not a surprise to God. God knows the purpose behind it. I can't say that we have not been fearful at times. This is one problem that we cannot fix. This is one storm that we cannot flee from. Running to the ONE that can fix the problem and can calm the storm is our only hope. Psalms 107:28-30, "Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven." Our desired haven is peace in our heart that no matter what happens it will be alright because Jesus is with us.

Many songs and hymns have been a comfort to me in recent days. One such song is "Peace in the Midst of the Storm" by Stephen R. Adams (copyright 1978). Here are the words to this song:

When the world that I've been living in collapses at my feet
When my life is shattered and torn
Though I'm windswept and battered, I can cling to His cross
And find peace in the midst of the storm

There is peace in the midst of my storm-tossed life
Oh, there's an anchor, there's a rock to cast my faith upon.
Jesus rides in my vessel, so I'll fear no alarm
He gives me peace in the midst of my storm.

When in twenty-four hours, years of living are brought to moments
And when life's final picture is taking form
In the dark room of my suffering there's a light comes shining through
He gives me peace in the midst of my storm

For there is wonderful peace in the midst of my storm-tossed life
Oh, there's an anchor, there's a rock to cast my faith upon
Jesus rides in my vessel, so I'll fear no alarm
He gives me peace in the midst, perfect peace in the midst
Peace in the midst of my storm, peace in the midst of the storm

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Ant and the Contact

A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona.

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock.

Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She w as desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the cli mber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on it's back.

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him...I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)