Tag Archives: Daily Prompts

Don’t Teeter On the Edge

Today is the day that millions of Christians around the world celebrate Christ’s resurrection.  After suffering, bleeding, and dying for the sins of mankind, Christ descended into hell, to preach to those men and women who died in the great flood. 

18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit. 

19 So He went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.

1 Peter 3:18-20  NLT

1 Peter 3-18What a wonderful reason to celebrate!  Jesus suffered and died for our sins (yours and mine) once, for all time, in order to bring us safely home to God.  He suffered a physical death, and then He was raised to life in the Spirit.  And because His love for mankind extended even to those who were dead, He even went and preached to those spirits who were in prison, every single man, woman and child, who had died in the great flood.  The scriptures don’t say what came of that, and I’m not going to even venture a guess.  All that I can say for sure, is that those lost souls were blessed to hear the Good News of the Gospel of Christ.

Now, you may be wondering what any of that has to do with us, and rightfully so.  You see, even though this is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, I can’t help but think about the many people who are teetering on the edge of a great precipice.  For, although many faithfully attend church on Easter Sunday, dressed in their beautiful new springtime fashions, and many claim to be children of God, how many truly do know Him?  And does church attendance have anything to do with it?

The fact is that for many years, I went to church, took my children to Sunday School, was a fairly nice person, and whenever anyone asked about my religion, I said I was a Methodist or a Christian, even though I really had no relationship with Jesus.  I did my best to teach my children right from wrong, and I went to church, because I thought it was good for my  children.  I didn’t go because I needed to go to church.  I had no idea that I, like many of you today, was teetering on the edge of a steep cliff, ready to fall into the deep abyss of hell, below.

Deuteronomy 30-19

Beloved reader, do you know that it’s not enough to say you’re a Christian, if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus?  It’s not enough to go to church every Sunday, or only on the special Sundays, if you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins.  Beloved, it isn’t enough to be a good person, because the fact is, that no one is good enough to  be a child of God. 

10 As the Scriptures say,

“No one is righteous—
    not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
    no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
    all have become useless.
No one does good,
    not a single one.”

Romans 3:10-12  NLT

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Romans 3:23  NLT

Think about it, beloved reader.  What would have been the point of Jesus suffering and dying for the sins of mankind, if we were already good enough to get to heaven without Him?  If that was the case, He could have stayed in heaven, and we could have worked our way  there.  But that wasn’t the case, because as the scriptures clearly say, there wasn’t even one person who was good enough. 

Therefore, knowing that none of us could come to the Father on our own, Jesus made the way open to people like you and me.  He knew that based on our own merit, each and every one of us was condemned to death…

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23  NLT

Beloved, there is only one way to reach the Father, and that way is through Jesus Christ, His One and only Son.  You see, long ago, before the foundation of the world, God, through Christ, made this way for mankind.  Now, how is that for love?  Before He made us in His own image, He knew we would sin and rebel against Him, and He could have just changed His mind and said, “Forget it.  They’re too much trouble,” but He didn’t.  Instead, He made a way for us, the Only way.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6  NLT

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1:4-7  NLT

You see, beloved, God doesn’t care about your pretty new Easter outfit, or your new Easter bonnet.  He cares about you.  More specifically, He cares about your heart.  Whom, or What do you love best?  For that is your real God.  Do you love Jesus?  Or do you love family, friends, power or money more?  Beloved, it isn’t what we call ourselves that makes us a Christian or not.  WHO or WHAT we have placed first in our hearts that really matters.

Let me just briefly share with you the depths of God’s love for you…

16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

John 3:16  NLT

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8  NLT

Finally, beloved, the scriptures are very clear that salvation is found in Christ alone…

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts  4:12  NLT

Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11  NLT

Beloved, God has made the way of salvation very clear, and contrary to what many believe, there is NO other way.  Therefore, if you are teetering on the edge, I beg you to cry out to Jesus!  For if you teeter on the edge for too long, you may find that it’s too late.

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers


Edge

by Ben Huberman

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.

What Are You Worth?

Price

by Ben Huberman

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.


If you were to put a price on yourself, what would you say you’re worth?  Would you say you are worthy of all the love, joy and peace that every human longs for?  Or would you say you’re worthless?  How do you value yourself?  Is your value based on what others say about you?  Or is it based on what you think of yourself?  Do you think more highly of yourself than you should?  Or do you devalue yourself?  How should we value ourselves?

1 Peter 1-18-19

It makes sense to look to the One who created us.  He alone knows why He made us, and what we were made for.  How does God, our Creator value us?  In order to understand how God values us, it is important to know what our purpose is.  What were we created for?


Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory.  It was I who created them.

Isaiah 43:7  NLT


We were created for God’s glory.  Think about that.  We weren’t created to be garbage thrown in a rubbish heap.  We weren’t created to be nothing or no one.  We were created for God’s glory.  Do you know what that means?

It means that everyone who is reading this post right now, and struggling with his/her self-worth, must now realize that you were created for a great purpose.  Dictionary.com defines glory this way:


noun, plural glories

  1. very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown:  to win glory on the field of battle.
  2. something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride:  a sonnet that is one of the glories of English poetry.
  3. adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving:  Give glory to God.
  4. resplendent beauty or magnificence:  the glory of autumn.
  5. a state of splendor, magnificence, or prosperity.
  6. a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment, etc.:  She was in her glory when her horse won the Derby.
  7. the splendor and bliss of heaven; heaven.

This is life-changing.  If everyone, who calls themselves a child of God, could see themselves through His eyes, it could change the world.  When I see that I was created to bring the glory to God that is due Him, it changes me.  No longer am I content to remain stagnant, for I was created to give glory to God Almighty, my Creator, and the Creator of the universe.

Matthew 10-29-31

I can no longer view myself as stupid or worthless, (things that others have said about me), because God created me to bring glory to Him, and how can something with no worth glorify God?  Furthermore, how can something stupid accomplish the goal that God has set forth for him/her to accomplish?

What else does God say about our worth?  Let’s begin at the beginning…


26 Then God said, “Let Us make human beings in Our image, to be like Us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in His own image.
    In the image of God He created them;
    male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:26-27 NLT


Beloved reader, you need to understand this, not only with your mind, but with your heart and soul as well.  I don’t care if you were born with all of your limbs, some of your limbs, or none of your limbs.  It matters not whether you’re as smart as someone else, or whether you’re a slow learner.  It doesn’t matter if you like what you see when you look in the mirror, or if you don’t like it.  None of these things matter, because YOU were created in the image of God.  Do you understand this?  YOU were created to give God glory, and He created YOU in His image.  Therefore, when you look in the mirror, and hate what you see, you are not just hating yourself, you are hating the Creator who made YOU in HIS image.  You not only see yourself as worthless, but you see your Creator as worthless, because YOU look like HIM!

What else does your Creator say about your worth???


13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!

Psalm 139:13-18 NLT


Let’s really take the time to examine this passage, because it really shows our value in God’s eyes.  In verse 13, we read that God made all of the delicate, inward parts of our bodies.  He made the parts we can see, and the parts that can’t be seen.  He made the parts we like, and He made the parts that sometimes bring us shame.  He made every single delicate inward part of our bodies, and He labored over them too.

Psalm 139-13-14

For those who have ever knitted anything, or tried to knit, you know that it is a labor intensive skill.  In order to execute it properly, the one who is knitting must pay careful attention to each stitch, because just one slipped or missed stitch can ruin the entire piece.  Not only must careful attention be paid, but the knitter must also possess a high degree of skill, for the project to turn out properly.  Knitting is not something to be rushed through.  It takes time, patience, and skill.  Therefore, when you realize that God carefully knit you together in your mother’s womb, you realize that He was taking special care during the nine months that you were being created in your mother’s womb.


14 Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14 NLT


Just look at this!  God wasn’t just making some simple little sweater, when He created you.  He was creating a wonderfully complex being, unlike any other that He had created before.  He was creating the unique individual that is you, and His workmanship on you (and me too) was marvelous!  Go ahead.  Look in that mirror again, and take a really good look at the wonderfully marvelous person that God created to bring Him glory.


15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:15-16 NLT


Let this thought fill you.  While you were being created in utter seclusion, God was watching over you.  He saw you before you were born, and you were so precious to Him, that He wrote a book about YOU.  He wrote about every single moment that would happen in your life, including this moment, right now, as you read these words.  He didn’t just dictate what your life would be like.  He wrote this book about you, because He knew you, and He knew the things you would go through, and the choices (both the good and the bad) you would make.  He wrote this book, because you were so important, so valuable to Him, that your life was worth writing about.


17 How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!

Psalm 139:17-18 NLT


Understand this, beloved reader.  God thinks about you – alot!  In fact, He thinks of you so much, that His thoughts of you cannot be numbered, and each one of those thoughts are precious! In order for you to truly understand how important this is, let’s see how dictionary.com defines precious


adjective

  1. of high price or great value; very valuable or costly:  precious metals.
  2. highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality:  precious memories.
  3. dear; beloved:  a precious child.

Beloved reader, God’s thoughts of you are precious, because you are of great value to Him.  You are His precious child, created for His glory.  Indeed, His love for you is so great, that He willingly sent His only Son to pay the penalty for your sins (and mine!).  It was for you (and me too!) that Jesus willingly suffered, bled and died, so that we wouldn’t have to.  Jesus went to death, hell and the grave, and on the third day, He arose from the grave, so that you and I could live eternally.  And though it is appointed once for a man to die, judgment follows, and those who are called children of God, the ones whom He created for His glory, will arise to everlasting life…

So, beloved reader, what are you worth?

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

My Forever Friend

Friend

by Ben Huberman

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

I am a woman who is truly blessed.  I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are wonderful, and would do anything for me, and I would do anything for them too.  My husband of 35 years has been my best friend, and rock, through many trials in my life.  Frankly, I don’t know how I could have gotten through many of those trials, if it hadn’t been for him.

Yet, much as I love my husband, when I read the prompt, “friend,” the One that I thought of was Jesus.  Jesus knew me before I was born.

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. 

Ephesians 1:4 NLT

When I think about that, it blows my mind.  I don’t know you, but I do know me, and if I’m going to be totally honest with you, I was not born holy and without fault.  In my life, I’ve lied and cheated, cursed God and others, and murdered those whom I hated in my heart.  Yet, in spite of this, Jesus chose me!

16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name.

John 15:16 NLT

Not only did He choose me,  but He chose me to be holy and without fault in His eyes, and the only way for me to be holy and without fault, would be for Him to recreate me.  And, He did just that!

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through Him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through Him and for Him... 

…  21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.

Colossians 1:15-16, 21-22 NLT

Imagine that!  I was an enemy  of Christ, yet He chose me!  Then, through His death and resurrection, He changed me and brought me into His presence and presented me holy and blameless, without a single fault to His Father.  How amazing!

Yet, as wonderful, merciful and kind as all of this was, it wasn’t enough for my Savior.  I would have been happy to be His servant all the days of my life, but Jesus had a better plan…

John 15-9

I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. 10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in His slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. 16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. 17 This is My command: Love each other.

John 15:9-17 NLT

This scripture passage explains the relationship I have with my best Friend, Jesus.  The first sentence sums up His feelings for me, when He says, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me.”  Jesus is the One and only Son of God, the Father, and here, He states unequivocally, that He loves me (and all of His disciples), the same way His Father loves Him.

As a woman, I can’t say that I know for certain how a father loves his son.  However, I would imagine that a father’s love for his son would certainly be as strong as a mother’s love for her son, and as a mother, I have a fierce love for my children.  I would go to war to protect my children from harm, and when I think of the love God has for His Son, I know that it must be stronger than you and I could ever imagine.  Therefore, when Jesus said, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me,” He was speaking as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He was speaking of a strong and passionate love, that we cannot, in the frailty of our human emotions and thoughts, even begin to conceive.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Jesus then ordered His disciples (all who love Him and follow Him), to remain in His love.  The Greek word for “remain” in this passage is menō, which means:

    1. to remain, abide

      1. in reference to place

        1. to sojourn, tarry

        2. not to depart

          1. to continue to be present

          2. to be held, kept, continually

      2. in reference to time

        1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure

          1. of persons, to survive, live

      3. in reference to state or condition

        1. to remain as one, not to become another or different

    2. to wait for, await one

When we examine the Greek meaning for this word, we get a clear understanding of what Jesus meant when He ordered His disciples (those of us who follow Him too!) to remain in His love.  He was saying, “Stay here in My love.  Don’t depart from My love.  Tarry (wait) in My love.  Continually be present, here in My love.  Endure, survive, live in My love.  Remain as you are now, in My love.  Wait, here in My love for Me.”

He was essentially saying that He wants us to remain in His love, just as He remains in His Father’s love.  In other words, He wasn’t asking us to do anything more than He did, by remaining in His Fathers love.  Honestly, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be, than in the midst of His love.

So, how does one go about remaining in Jesus’ love?  He makes this abundantly clear to us…

10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.

John 15:10 NLT

The way to remain in Christ’s love is to obey Him.  Obedience isn’t a very popular concept in today’s culture.  Indeed, most people prefer to live in total rebellion to God’s word.  Yet Jesus says that if we obey His commandments, we remain in His love, as He obeys His Father’s commands and remains in His love.  Many people look at obedience as drudgery, but Jesus’ outlook on obedience was entirely different…

11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 15:11 NLT

He wants us to be filled with His joy, so He tells us to obey Him and remain in His love, so that our joy will overflow!  So, what exactly are we supposed to obey, in order to be filled with this overflowing joy???

12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:12-13

Jesus’ commandment is a very simple one.  We are commanded to love each other, the same way He has loved us, stating that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  We are afforded the hindsight to understand that Jesus spoke these words to His disciples on the night before He was crucified.  They had no way of knowing, as we do, that Jesus was getting ready to demonstrate His great love for His beloved friends, (which includes every disciple then and since then), by laying down His own life, for all of mankind…

Then, He finishes this discourse by telling His disciples how much they (and we) meant to Him…

14 You are My friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a Master doesn’t confide in His slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. 16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. 17 This is My command: Love each other.

John 15:14-17 NLT

If I remain in Christ’s love, by loving my fellow disciples, then I am no longer merely His servant.  When I am obedient to His command to love one another, I have become a friend of Jesus Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

It is as I remain in the love of my best Friend, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that I am able to love others, as He loved me.  It is because of His great love, (He calls me His friend!), that I am filled to overflowing with unending joy.  How thankful I am to have the Friend, who sticks closer than a brother.

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

Fight the Good Fight

Fight

by Ben Huberman

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate?


What does it mean to fight, and is there ever a good reason to fight?  Is there anything worth fighting for?  Or against?

There are several different definitions for the word fight, in dictionary.com.  However, for the sake of this post, I will use the following definition:


verb (used without object), fought, fighting.

7.

to engage in battle or in single combat; attempt to defend oneself against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an adversary.

8.

to contend in any manner; strive vigorously for or against something:

He fought bravely against despair.
verb (used with object), fought, fighting.

9.

to contend with in battle or combat; war against:

England fought Germany.

10.

to contend with or against in any manner:

We are currently living in a time, when many of the values that we hold dear in our hearts, are being turned upside down, and those of us, who call ourselves Christians, are expected to accept these changes silently.  If we don’t, we run the risk of being labeled “intolerant,” “homophobes,” “bigots,” “haters,” or worse.  So, we’re left with a question, “Do we strive and fight against these changes that seem to be inevitable, no matter what we do?  Or do we meekly accept the changes that grieve our very souls, in order to keep the peace?”

Fought the Good Fight
I’ve thought and prayed long and hard about these things, and, no matter what the world thinks of me, in the end, I have to be true, not to myself, but to the God and Creator of the universe, the One whom I serve, and love with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength.  When I am at the end of life, here on earth, as we know it now, and I meet with my Father, face to face, I want to be able to look at Him and say, the same words that the Apostle Paul said at the end of his life…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.


So, what things are worth fighting for?  Certainly the lives of those, who are unable to care for or defend themselves, specifically unborn children.  Although, those who have been pro-choice have tried, for years, to claim that life begins only after a baby is born and takes his/her first breath, ultrasound and many other tests that are done routinely, prove otherwise.

Those of us who are pro-life, know that the instant the sperm fertilizes the egg, life begins, because in order to grow, something must be alive.  We know this from a physical standpoint, when at 12 weeks, we are  first able to hear the heartbeat of that unborn baby, and we know this from a spiritual standpoint, because scripture tells us of this fact…

 


13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in Your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:13-16 NLT

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as My prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5 NLT


Psalm 139-16

According to  the word of God, we live before we are even born, because He already knows us, even then.  Now, whether someone shares my spiritual beliefs or not, is beside the point, because I believe this with all my  heart, and because I believe this, I must fight for the life of every unborn child.  An unborn baby is  not merely a parasite, he/she is a living human.  Therefore, according to the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, the fact is, that abortion is the murder of an unborn baby.   Whenever someone snuffs out the life of the unborn child, you are stealing the very rights that every man, woman and child has been endowed with.  With every life that has been taken by means of abortion, you are taking the place of their Creator, and saying that their life is not as important as the mother’s life.  With each abortion, that is performed in this country that guarantees these rights, the child is denied the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These are the very things our forefathers believed were worth fighting for.  Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are God-given rights (They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…), NOT man-made rights.  Therefore, mankind DOES NOT have the right to take away someone else’s rights, whether those of grown men and women, those of little children and infants, or those of babies, who have yet to draw their first breath, while they grow in the safety of their mothers’ wombs.

As a follower of Christ, I must fight the good fight for these precious children, who are unable to speak for themselves…  Jesus made His love for children very clear, and He also made it clear that those who harm children have a heavy price to pay…

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them. Then He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf is welcoming Me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Matthew 18:1-5 NLT

Beloved readers, when I think of the millions of abortions that have been performed in the United States, since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, my heart breaks, because for every single one of those millions of unborn babies who was not welcomed into this world, millions of mothers, fathers, nurses and doctors were not only denying the children their right to live, they were also telling Jesus that He was not welcome in their lives either.

So we come back to the word fight.  Are there things worth fighting for?  Absolutely.  It is certainly worth fighting for the life of every unborn child, who has yet to draw his/her first breath.  Is there anything worth fighting against?  Again, the answer is absolutely.  Until we draw our  final breath, we must fight against evil, no matter what form it takes.

We must fight against the evil of racism, whether it comes in the form of white men hating black, hispanics or other ethnic groups, or whether black men hate white men.  For, no matter what form it comes in, racism is ugly, and those who hate others because of their skin  tone, also hate the God and Creator, who created ALL MANKIND in His image.

We must fight against the evil of sin, in every form, because it, like cancer, kills.  Until we draw our last breath, we must fight against hatred, bitterness, cruelty, and anger.

We must fight against anything that is detrimental to the family, as God created it to be.  For, in order to truly create a family, there needs to be a father (a man), and a mother (a woman).  Since the beginning of time, this has been the only way for a child to be conceived.  Without a man’s sperm, and the woman’s egg joining, mankind will cease to exist, and the fact remains that no matter how man has tried to alter this fact, both a man’s sperm, and a woman’s egg are still required to create life, and it will always be this way, no matter how man may try to alter or procreate in other ways.

Perhaps many of you  are now calling me intolerant, because I say that homosexuality and lesbianism are abhorrent to creation, because no matter what attempts they may make to change this, it cannot be done.  Lesbian women still need man’s sperm cells in order to procreate, and homosexual men still need women’s eggs and their uterus, in order for procreation to occur.  I didn’t design it this way, God our Creator did.  In fact, the Apostle Paul felt that homosexuality was a battle worth fighting over, more than 2 thousand years ago…

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Romans 1:24-32  NLT

Now, more than 2 thousand years later, this is still a fight worth fighting.  Numerous children are being led astray by the lies the homosexual community spouts as they try to convince the public that homosexuality and lesbianism are normal, and should be accepted by all.  Yet, the fact remains that this lifestyle is not, nor has it ever been normal or right.  Those who choose to maintain this lifestyle choice do so, in rebellion to God, our Creator.

Ephesians 6-12

I’m sure that there are some, who are very angry and offended by what I have written here, but I don’t write these words to stir up strife.  Let me be very clear to all who question my motives, I do not hate homosexuals and lesbiansIndeed, I love them, for they are men and women, just like those of us who do not participate in that lifestyle.

My children have done many things that I didn’t like, when they were growing up.  Indeed, the truth is, that I hated some of the things they did, but I never once hated my children.  I never once stopped loving them.  The same holds true with those who call themselves gay.  Although I hate the homosexual acts they commit, and though I abhor many of the things they say, I don’t hate them.

Perhaps some of you reading, think me intolerant, and you’re absolutely correct.  As I have stated all along, in this post, there are some things that are worth fighting for, and some things worth fighting against.  Homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, beastiality, pedophilia and other sexually deviant practices are sin against one’s own body, and against the bodies of others, and should not be tolerated, much less encouraged, under any circumstance, and while I have breath, I will speak out against such practices, and I will write against them, because such lifestyles are unhealthy and deadly.

More importantly, I fight against these things, regardless of the consequences, because these practices are against God’s will, and when I stand before my maker one day, I want to be able to say these words to my Lord and Savior:

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

2 Timothy 4:6-7 NLT

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

Envy – A Deadly Vice

Envy

by Ben Huberman

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.


What is envy?  Dictionary.com defines envy this way:


Envya feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.


Have you ever felt envy?  I sure have, and I can tell you, envy is a horrible, sickening feeling that won’t allow you to rest or feel peace, because someone else has something that you feel they don’t deserve, or more accurately, someone else has something that you believe should be yours. 

Beloved reader, believe me when I tell you that nothing good has ever come from envy.  If you cultivate envy in your heart, you can be sure that bitterness will take root in your heart immediately, as you fixate your thoughts on why you, and not the other person should be the recipient of his/her bounty.  It matters not whether it is material possessions or emotional or spiritual possessions that you envy and desire, because all envy leads to bitterness, and bitterness leads to anger, wrath, hatred, and murderous thoughts.
You see, I know all too well that this is the path envy takes, because for years, I was envious.  And understand this, too, envy may begin with one lone instance and one lone person, but all too soon, it spreads to others as well.  I can remember envying my sister for our parents’ love, and then it spread to others, friends, neighbors, enemies, etc.  All too soon, I even envied people I didn’t personally know, because they had what I longed for and thought that I deserved.
There’s something else you need to know about envy.  When you allow envy to blacken your heart, it also blackens your vision, and all too soon, you are unable to see the truth that is in front of you, because your blackened heart only sees that it has been wronged.  When your heart is in this blinded envious state, you are unable to see that there are others who may offer you the very thing you long for (in my instance, it was love), therefore, you will ignore, overlook or even push away the very ones who truly do love you.
I remember being so envious of others, who were popular, and seemed to have it all, the love of their parents, good looks, riches, intelligence, etc., while I had nothing.  I was so blinded and bitter from my envious thoughts, that I couldn’t recognize the truth from a lie.  If someone claimed to love me, I was so sure they wanted something from me, and wanted to hurt me, that I doubted their love, and pushed them away.

16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.


It was crazy.  I hated my parents for not loving me enough.  I hated my sister, because I blamed her for taking all of my parents’ love away from me.  I hated children at school, who seemed to be loved by teachers, other classmates, and their parents, while I believed that no one loved me.  This crazy envy that had led to bitterness and hatred, also led me to do many other stupid things.

I began to lie, in order to win people over to me.  Now, isn’t that the craziest thing ever?  After all, no one loves a liar.  Jesus even said this to men who had lied and deceived themselves and others (I would have been included in this also).

44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.


You see, in my bitterness and envy, I had also become a liar, and I was indeed a child of the devil, who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, and had no truth within him.  Please don’t think I’m exaggerating, because this is truly the course that envy leads us on.  You see, envy led me on a murderous course, one that could only lead to judgment, condemnation, death and hell…


15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.


It wasn’t until I met and fell in love with Jesus, my Lord and Savior, that my eyes were opened to the truth about my petty little life.  I had been living a life filled with envy, anger, malice, hatred, and murder, which had completely blinded me to the truth.  You see, I even had the audacity to feel justified in my bitterness and envy, when the truth was, that I was just as guilty, and in many instances, even more so, than those who had sinned against me.

Proverbs 14-30
As Jesus began revealing these truths to me, through His Holy Spirit, I began to see that I was the one who needed to repent and to seek forgiveness from those I had sinned against, and the first one I needed forgiveness from was God, so I asked Him to forgive me in Jesus’ name.
The next one I needed forgiveness from was my sister.  You see, the things I blamed her and envied her for, weren’t true.  She didn’t steal my parents’ love from me.  She couldn’t control the actions of the adults in our lives as a child, nor could she control our parents’ actions as an adult.  She was a little girl, caught in the middle of what must have been a horrible situation for her too, but envy had blinded me to this truth.  I am truly sorry for the envy, bitterness, hatred and malice I held against my sister for far too long, while at the same time, as crazy as it seems, I loved her like crazy.  You see, I deluded myself into thinking that it was okay for me to be angry and bitter towards her, but it wasn’t okay for anyone else to hurt her.
It took the love of a merciful Savior, to show me that it was never okay for me to have anything, but love for my sister.  And, do you want to know something amazing???  When I allowed Jesus to strip the envy from me, bitterness, hatred, malice and murder left my heart.  In its place was pure, unconditional love for this sister whom I had envied for far too long.
We’ve never had a close relationship, and for that, I share some of the blame.  Maybe, we’ll never have a close relationship, because the fact is we were never encouraged to cultivate one as children.  Indeed, we were often pitted against each other as children and even as adults, but I can honestly say this.  The envy I once felt for my sister is dead and gone, as is all bitterness against her.  She will always be my baby sister, and I will always love her, even if it’s from afar.
Beloved reader, if your heart is filled with envy and bitterness against someone or against many, I urge you to relinquish that envy and bitterness, because it will only destroy your life, and you will miss out on all the love and joy that God has for you.  Please ask for God’s forgiveness, and for the forgiveness of those your envy has harmed, then stand back, and wait for the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, to fall upon you.  Finally, beloved reader, remember this:

 


12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,
    but love makes up for all offenses.

Proverbs 10:12 NLT


© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

Legacy

Legacy

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I’ve thought often about the legacy I will leave when I’m gone, especially as I grow older.  I want to leave a lasting legacy of good.  I don’t have to be remembered by a lot of people.  What’s more important is that people remember that “Jesus Led Me All The Way.”

Jesus Led Me All the Way

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NLT

I want to leave my children and my children’s children the great gift of knowing and loving Jesus.  I would be beyond happy, if when people spoke of me after I’m gone, they would say, “The only thing I can remember about Cheryl is that when she prayed for me, I felt the powerful presence of God.”   It would bless me if someone said, “She reflected God’s presence in her life.” 

As crazy as this may sound to some, I want to leave behind a world that hates me, not because I was hateful to the world, but let them hate me because they hate my Lord and Savior.

If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to Me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of Me, for they have rejected the One who sent Me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates Me also hates My Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate Me and My Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated Me without cause.’

John 15:18-25 NLT

11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.

2 Peter 2:11-12 NLT

I want to leave a legacy of honor and truth, not only to those who love me, but also to those who hate me.  I want to share the unfailing love that I have received from God, to all that I come in contact, whether they return that love or not.  My hope is that with each day and each year that passes, I will be more and more like Jesus, so that those who know me, will see past my flaws, and see Christ, who lives within me.  Finally, when my time in this life is over, let this  song be sung at my funeral, and let this phrase from the song, by Fanny Crosby, be written on my tomb:  “Jesus Led Me All the Way”

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

Don’t Tell a Soul!

Evasive Action

by Michelle W.

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?


Don’t Tell a Soul!

I grew up in a house of secrecy, where things weren’t what they seemed.  To the world outside, we seemed to be a normal, happy family, but inside, was a different story.  That’s not to say there weren’t happy times, because there were.  However, the abuse within, made my happiness fleeting.

Within the house, there was a lot of fear, anger and bitterness, which was hidden from the rest of the world.  The most significant secret I ever kept was when my stepfather began molesting me as a little girl, and for several years after.

The first time it happened, I did exactly what they tell children to do in school…  I called my mother at work, and told her what he had done to me.  Thus, the biggest secret in our household began.  I called my mother at work, around 3:00 that afternoon, as soon as the man I called “Daddy” left the house.  As soon as Mom answered the phone, I burst into tears and told her what my “Daddy” had done to me.  She spoke softly, so no one else in the office could hear her, “Did he rape you?” she queried.

“No,” I responded as I tried to hold back my tears and listen to her.

“Okay,” Mommy replied.  “Your sister will be home in a few minutes, so you should be alright until I get off work.  He won’t do anything else to you, while she’s there.  Now don’t say anything to her, because you don’t want to hurt her, right?”

“Yes Mommy.  I won’t tell her.”

“Good.  We’ll talk about this more, when I get off work tonight. Okay?”

“Okay, Mommy.”  I was disappointed that she wasn’t going to come home right away and hold me, because I was so scared.  I then began to imagine what would happen when Mommy got home from work.

I pictured her coming home and telling my “Daddy” to leave, and never come back.  Things would be hard, I figured, but I would help my Mommy with the cooking and cleaning, and I would take care of my little sister, too.  It would be hard, but we loved each other, so it would work out.

Isn’t it sad that things seldom turn out the way we hope and imagine they will?  When my mother got home from work, instead of confronting my stepfather with the truth, she kept the fact that she knew the truth, secret.  Instead, she simply told him that I had called her up and told her that I was afraid of him.  He then, kept His secret from her, and responded that I was afraid of him, because I had been bad, and he’d had to spank me.

My mother, then came to my room, and asked if my stepfather had spanked me for being bad.  I was genuinely confused.  “No Mommy.  I told you what happened.”

She nodded her head, and then said, “I don’t think you have anything to worry about anymore.  I told him you’re afraid of him, and he said you’re afraid because he had to spank you.”

“But Mommy, that’s not true!”  I cried.

She nodded and continued, “Now, don’t tell your sister what happened.  You don’t want to hurt her, do you?”

“Okay,” I choked out, but inside, I was crying, “What about me???  Don’t you care about hurting me?”

“One more thing,” my mother said.  “Your daddy wants to talk to you.  Okay?”

What could I say?  Did I really have a choice?  “Okay,” I said, trying not to cry.

Mom walked out, and a few minutes later, my stepfather entered my room.  I had a hard time looking at him.  My eyes stared into the distance, at nothing.  I just couldn’t make myself look at him, as he told me that he had talked to Mom and told her that he had spanked me, and that’s why I was afraid of him.  He told me not to say anything else to Mom or anyone else, because I didn’t want to hurt my sister, did I?  I’d already been through this with Mom, so I just nodded my head in agreement.  He then left my room, and Mom entered the room again.

“I don’t think you have to worry about anything happening again, but if it does, just let me know, and we’ll figure out what to do next, okay?”  I nodded silently, as she continued.  “Let’s not tell anyone about what happened, okay?  You don’t want to destroy our family, do you?”  I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, as I agreed to keep the horrible secret.  It was abundantly clear that my feelings, and my safety weren’t as important as everyone else.

And so, I kept my secret for more than twenty years, because I didn’t want to destroy my family.  Meanwhile, over the years, I felt as though my life was crumbling around me.  I felt unloved and unlovable, until I met Jesus, who began to rock my world.

As I came to know and love Jesus, He began to speak truth to me.  It was He who told me my worth…

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Psalm 139:13-14  NASB

As He began speaking life to me, He also spoke the truth to me.  It was He who led me to let go of the lies and the secrets that had bound me for so many years…

Layout 1

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Psalm 51:6  NLT

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32  NLT

Jesus wanted me to let go of all the lies and secrets, and to begin living my life in truth.  I wanted to obey Him, but I was extremely frightened.  After living for most of my life shrouded by secrets and lies, I was afraid to let go of them, and begin living a life of truth.  What if I destroyed the family?  Finally, after living a life of secrecy and lies for most of my life, with the love of the Lord enveloping me, I broke the vow of secrecy that I had been forced to agree to, as a child.

I was terribly afraid that when I revealed the truth, I would destroy my family, but it didn’t.  When I first revealed the truth, my family drew closer together, in their anger and rage against me.  It broke my heart, as it became clear that my pain didn’t matter to them.  Yet, although my family turned against me, God was closer to me than ever before, as were my husband and my children…

Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

Psalm 27:10  NLT

I can truly say that during that difficult time, God remained close to me.  And though my family forsook me, He held me close.  Eventually, over time, I was able to make peace with my family, though my stepfather never repented or apologized for the sin he had committed against me.  He went to his grave without apologizing to me, even though he had claimed that I had caused him to molest me.

Now, twenty years after revealing that terrible secret that I had held onto for so long, I can honestly say that I am thankful the Lord helped me release that secret.  You see, as long as I held onto that secret, I also held onto the lies that I had been told…

… the lie that it was my fault that I was molested.

… the lie that if I told the truth, I would destroy my family.

… the lie that my feelings didn’t matter.

… the lie that I was unimportant.

I no longer hold onto secrets and lies, because I’ve been set free from the terrible secrets and lies that destroyed my life for so many long years.  That’s why I’m so grateful to Jesus for setting me free…

32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32  NLT

36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

John 8:36  NLT

© 2016
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

by Krista on February 16, 2014

Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.
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Image Credit: Brandy Oliver
Image Credit:
Brandy Oliver

When I’ve gone on to glory, and people remember me, my prayer is that I will be remembered as a woman after God’s own heart. I want to leave a legacy of love behind, just as Jesus did…

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. 10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. 16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. 17 This is My command: Love each other.

~ John 15:9-17 — NLT ~

Image Credit: His Treasure Seekers
Image Credit:
His Treasure Seekers

Jesus loved His disciples so much, that He called them His friends, and He shared the things that God had spoken to Him, with His disciples. Not only that, but He willingly laid down His life for them, and for us, knowing that some would betray Him, some would deny Him, and some would bring about His death. He did this because He loved them unconditionally.

He had seen them when they argued over petty things. He had seen them when they lost their tempers. He had seen them speak when they should have been silent, and He had seen them when they were afraid. He had seen them at their worst, and He had seen them when their best wasn’t good enough. In the same way, He has seen all of the worst things about my character and yours, and He knows that our best isn’t enough to earn God’s mercy and grace, and yet, He still chooses to love us despite our shortcomings. This is the kind of love for others that I want to have. But you see, there’s so much more to His love than this. This is the love that He has for His friends, but what about His enemies?

Image Credit: junctionforjesus.blogspot.com
Image Credit:
junctionforjesus.blogspot.com

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

~ Matthew 5:43-48 — NLT ~

I want to have so much of God’s love running through my very being, that I love my enemies, just as Jesus loved His enemies. Did you know that His love for us was so great that when we were sinners — enemies of His, Christ Died for us? I want to love like that. When people see me, I don’t care whether or not they remember me or my name. It is Christ that I want them to remember. 

Image Credit: sacredsandwich.com
Image Credit:
sacredsandwich.com

What legacy do I want to leave when I die? The last verse of an old hymn written by Fanny Crosby, a woman, blind from infancy, but with a deep love of the Lord, sums it up best. The title of the song is “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” and this is final verse:

All the way my Savior leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His grace!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s blest embrace.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

The legacy I would like to leave — the thing I want people to say about me, when they remember me is “Jesus led her all the way.” These are the words I would like written on my tombstone.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Tongues of Men and of Angels

Daily Post: Take That, Rosetta!

by Ben Huberman on February 10, 2014

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TONGUE.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 
~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 — NASB ~

Image Credit: getacoder.com
Image Credit:
getacoder.com

If I could wake up tomorrow with the ability to speak any language that I am not currently able to speak, I would want to speak in the one universal language that is understood by every human being — the language of love. Although each of us is born with the capacity to understand this language, sadly, we aren’t born with the ability to speak it. Indeed, very few people ever truly learn the language, and though we were born with the ability to understand love, by the time we reach adulthood, most people have a distorted view of what love is.

Before one can truly speak the language of love, he/she needs to understand exactly what love is. To gain an understanding of what love is, we first need to wipe the slate of our minds clean from the lies we’ve been led to believe from the time we were children. You see, love has nothing to do with the gifts people bestow upon you, although many have come to equate love with that. If love was about the presents given to us at Christmas, then those who are too poor to afford gifts would be unable to love, and that certainly isn’t true, now, is it?

Image Credit: easy4us.wordpress.com
Image Credit:
easy4us.wordpress.com

Love also has nothing to do with sex, although many people have given their bodies to others in the name of love. Now, I’m not saying that sex is evil, or that no one having sex loves his/her partner. What I am saying is that many people have sex without loving the person they are with. Those who pay for prostitutes feel no love for the person they are paying to have sex with them, and likewise, the prostitute feels no love for the person he/she is charging to have sex with  him/her. 

Also, there are people who move from one lover to another, over and over again. This is not love. Love is not a temporary or fleeting emotion, regardless of what you may have experienced or seen on television, or in your life, or the lives of others. This is what true love is…

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 — NASB ~

Image Credit: truthforlife.org
Image Credit:
truthforlife.org

Love is patient. That means no matter how many times the person I love irritates me, I will still love that person. What’s more, because I love this person, I will learn to control my temper. Because I love someone, I will forgive him/her when they wrong me, calmly enduring any pain he/she may cause me. Because I love this person, I will strive to be understand him/her, and why he/she acts out in certain ways. This is an example of true love, but there is more…

Image Credit: QuotesDonkey.com
Image Credit:
QuotesDonkey.com

Love is kind and is not jealous. For every man or woman who has ever had a  jealous boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse, read those words again. Love is kind and is not jealous. If there is someone in your life who is jealous of other people who love you, understand this… jealousy is not love. And for those reading this post who are jealous of your significant other’s loved ones, I’ll say it again, jealousy is not love. Jealousy is not a proof of your love for someone, or their love for you. Jealousy is evil. Jealousy destroys relationships. Jealousy destroys people. Jealousy can kill.

Love is kind. To love someone is to be tenderhearted toward him/her. To love someone is to put that person before yourself. To love someone is to treat them the way you would like to be treated. Love is kind.

Image Credit: sandwichink.com
Image Credit:
sandwichink.com

Love does not brag and is not arrogant. Are you getting this? If someone claims to love you, and then puts you down, he/she does not love you. If someone says that he/she loves you, and treats you as anything less than his/her equal, then this person does not love you. If this person brags about him/herself, and thinks more of  him/herself than he/she thinks of you, this is not love. 

Love does not act unbecomingly. Love is not boastful or proud or rude. If someone treats you disrespectfully, this is not love. This bears repeating, because sadly, many people are confused about this. When someone treats you with disrespect, or as though you are less than him/her, no matter what they may claim, they are not acting in love.

Image Credit: kerenthrelfall.com
Image Credit:
kerenthrelfall.com

Love does not seek its own. Love does not seek its own way. When you love someone, do you have to have your own way? Are you willing to let the person you say you love have his/her own way? Or do you demand your own way? If you always demand your own way or the highway, then you do not love. If the person you are with always demands his/her own way, the he/she is not loving.

Love is not provoked. Is the person who claims to love you easily angered? Do you walk around on pins and needles because you fear angering this person? Are you  easily angered by the ones you say you love? Do others tread carefully when they are around you, fearful of your anger? If so, my friend, this is not how love acts. Remember, love is patient and kind.

Image Credit: DNA Connexions
Image Credit:
DNA Connexions

Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Do you remember every wrong done to you by the person you say you love? When you and this person have a disagreement, do you throw other wrongdoings in their face, even though you say you’ve forgiven them? Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. True love forgives completely, and though it is very hard to forget, we must choose not to remember, if we truly love someone.

Image Credit: pinterest.com
Image Credit:
pinterest.com

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Now this is really difficult, because our human nature likes to see others get what’s coming to them. It’s very natural for us to want to see someone get the punishment they deserve, and yet, if we want to walk in love and if we want to speak the language of love, then we can’t rejoice in another person’s suffering, not even if they deserve it. We can and should rejoice when the truth comes out, this is good and right. But there’s a fine line between rejoicing in the truth and rejoicing in someone’s suffering. If someone commits a crime against you or someone you love, and that person is brought to trial and found guilty by the jury, rejoice because the truth came out, and this is good. BUT we must not rejoice because the person will now have to suffer for his/her crime. To truly love and speak the language of love is indeed difficult, which is why so many choose not to love, but the rewards of truly loving far outweigh the cost.

Image Credit: Christianbook.com
Image Credit:
Christianbook.com

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. To truly walk in love, means that we must bear all things… No matter how difficult it is to love someone, no matter how mean or contrary the person may be, if I want to speak the language of love, I must be willing to bear their abuse, believing and hoping that all things will work together for my good, because I love God and He has called me according to His purpose, and therefore, come what may, I will endure all things. The best example of true love that I can think of is the example Jesus gave us.

1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 8 He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:1-11 — NLT ~

Every word Jesus spoke, every breath He took, every glance He gave, was done in love. He alone, was able to speak the language of love fluently, without a flaw. In fact, it is only in His name that anyone is able to truly speak this language, which has very little to do with the words we speak, and everything to do with our actions. 

You ask me what language I would speak, and my answer is the ancient language of love. “Why?” you ask, and my answer is, “Because God first loved me, so I want to love Him and others, with that same love.” What is the first thing I would do with my new linguistic skills? I would seek the bitterest, most unlovable, hopeless person, and I would begin to demonstrate the love that Jesus gave me… the love that I described above. 

Lord, hear my prayer and let me love others as You love them, with the love that You have given me. Let me speak to them with the tongues of love. Let me demonstrate that love to them by being patient and kind to them. Help me not to be jealous or boastful or arrogant. And help me not to be rude or disrespectful to them. Father, help me not to seek my own way, rather, help me to submit to others. And Lord, help me not to be easily provoked or to take into account the wrongs others may do to me. And Father, please help me not to rejoice in unrighteousness, but instead, teach me to rejoice with the truth. Strengthen me and help me to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things, just as Jesus did when He suffered and died on the cross for my sins. Lord, let my love for others never fail, just as Your love never fails, never gives up and never runs out on me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Truth or Dare

Daily Prompt: Truth or Dare

by michelle w.

Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?

Image Credit: http://www.jamesaltucher.com
Image Credit:
http://www.jamesaltucher.com

What a world we live in! Does anyone seriously think this question  is worthy of consideration? Is there anyone who would rather live a lie, and consider that the best choice? Since this  is the question posed by today’s Daily Prompt, let’s ponder this together…

Let’s just start with the small stuff, and work our way up from there. When I get dressed to go somewhere, since he’s the only one I live with, and since I value his opinion, and since I trust him to be completely honest with me, I often go to my husband and ask, “How does this look?” or “How do I look?” Now, because I value his opinion, when I ask my husband this question, I expect an honest answer from him. If something looks ridiculous on me, I trust that he will point it out to me, thus saving me the embarrassment of going somewhere dressed inappropriately for the occassion. 

Image Credit: icannascheezburger.com
Image Credit:
icannascheezburger.com

Because I’m his wife, and a reflection of him, when I ask my husband if he thinks I’m dressed appropriately for an occassion, I trust that he will be honest with me, because he does not want me to be hurt by appearing somewhere looking foolish. Sometimes, when he gives me a negative response to what I’m wearing, it hurts my feelings, but I do understand that though we are married and have become one, we are also still two individuals with two different opinions, and our taste varies. The thing is, when my husband looks at me and says, “Honey, you look good,” I know I can take that to the bank, because he doesn’t lie to me.

So, what do you think? Are there times when honesty is not the best policy?

Some people claim that it’s kinder to tell a white lie to someone than to hurt them with the truth. But I can’t agree with that. To convince someone to believe in a lie is to set them up for failure. If I ask my husband how I look in a certain outfit, I’m asking him to tell me the truth. If he lies to me about little things, how do I know if he will be honest about other, bigger things?

Image Credit: financefox.ca/35-money-lies-people-tell-regularly/
Image Credit:
financefox.ca/35-money-lies-people-tell-regularly/

If someone is consistently honest in both little and big things, then I feel I can trust them in all things. However, if someone candycoats the truth, or avoids telling me the truth, for fear of hurting me, then I have to wonder if this is a person I can really trust…

Let’s break this down… What is a lie? According to dictionary.com, a lie is:

noun
  1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. Synonyms: prevarication, falsification. Antonyms: truth.
  2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
  3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
  4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie: He flung the lie back at his accusers.
verb (used without object), lied, ly·ing.
  1. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive. Synonyms: prevaricate, fib.
  2. to express what is false; convey a false impression.

According to Jesus, lies originated with Satan, who is the father and inventor of lies, and those who lie, are the devil’s children…

You belong to your father, Satan, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar — indeed, the inventor of the lie!

~ John 8:44 — CJB ~

Furthermore, those who live a life of lies, live in bondage. The only way for a person to be truly free is to walk in the truth. If you don’t know the truth, you are bound — enslaved — by lies. Prior to telling the Jews who refused to follow Him that they belonged to their father, Satan, Jesus (Yeshua) said this about the truth…

31 So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you obey what I say, then you are really My talmidim {disciples}, 32 you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

33 They answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?” 

34 Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever. 36 So if the Son frees you, you will really be free! 37 I know you are the seed of Avraham. Yet you are out to kill Me, because what I am saying makes no headway in you. 38 I say what My Father has shown Me; you do what your father has told you!”

~ John 8:31-38 — CJB ~

Is it better to enslave a person in lies or to set him/her free with the truth? The truth isn’t popular in this day and age. It’s much more comfortable for people to be politically correct… But that doesn’t make lying the right thing to do. No matter how you color it, a lie is a lie, whether it is black or white, and all lies are spawned by the father of lies, the devil himself, because the truth isn’t in him. 

Jesus, on the other hand, speaks nothing but the truth, because He is truth…

Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

~ John 14:6 — CJB ~

Because I serve the living God, I choose to live in truth, rather than be enslaved by lies. Though speaking and living in truth may be offensive to some, there is life in the truth. Wouldn’t you rather have someone speak the truth to you in love, rather than to look you in the eye and lie to you? Though the truth is sometimes painful, there is health and freedom in it… But though a lie might feel good for a time, there is danger from living and believing a lie, and most certainly, bondage comes from lies… 
© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
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holytrinitypm0

As all should know, long before time or anything else, God was.
Brilliant in splendor and wisdom, God had a plan;
Christ crucified before earth’s foundations were laid.
Destined to die for the redemption of man,
Eternal life with Father God was the gift that He gave.
Freedom was given to all who confess and believe;
God’s grace would save them by His gift of faith.
Holy God commanded, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,”
In the image of God, He had created mankind, though man turned to sin.
Justice would not allow sin to prevail, and as
Knowledge increased, man’s love waxed cold, as he
Loved evil and hated good, calling good evil and evil good.
Many have been the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivered him from them all.
Never leaving or forsaking men, Jesus made the way to God 
Open to all who would follow Him. He is now
Preparing a place for God’s children to live in 
Quintessential love, joy and peace in God’s presence.
Redeemed by the blood of Christ, and
Saved from sin and death, believers are
Transformed by renewing their minds, no longer conformed to this world.
Until Jesus shall one day return in the clouds in
Victory and splendor; He will set the
World straight, making it much more lovely than
Xanadu, for He is altogether lovely!
Yes, Jesus Christ is returning soon, for He is
Zealous for His bride.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Morality Play

Daily Prompt: Morality Play

by michelle w. on June 24, 2013

Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us THE SOURCE.
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As soon as I saw this prompt, I knew I just had to respond. As I was growing up, my moral compass was set by my parents. Some of those morals were good ones…

  • Work hard to earn everything you get in life
  • When you have children, spend time with them and take them with you when you go out to dinner and on vacations
  • Don’t steal
  • Always do your best at everything you do Continue reading Daily Prompt: Morality Play

Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

by michelle w. on June 13, 2013

You’re asked to nominate someone for TIME’s Person of the Year. Who would it be, and why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BIG.
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I would like to nominate Jesus Christ as TIME’s Person of the Year for 2013. Now, some would argue that Jesus is more than a Person of one year, and you would be correct. He is actually the Person of the Ages. He is the Rock of Ages and the Ancient of Days, but I would argue that He is also 2013’s Person of the Year.

You see, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, He should be TIME’s Person of the Year for 2013, for every year prior to that, and for every year thereafter as well. You see, in 2013, Jesus has already accomplished many wonderful deeds. Just last month, He blessed me with my eighth grandchild, a little boy, and in July, I’m eagerly awaiting the birth of my ninth grandchild, another little boy! Continue reading Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

by michelle w. on May 31, 2013

When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?
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When I read this topic, I had to respond, because I’ve been dealing with guilt for several months now, because I didn’t respond as I wish I would have, and I am so deeply ashamed and disappointed in myself, that sometimes I just can’t stop crying. Even now, I tremble, because if I write about this, family members that I love could read it and be very offended by it. Regardless, many of them think the worst of me anyway, so I’m not sure why that worries me. Perhaps, there is still a part of me that hopes beyond reason that all of the old wounds will one day be forgiven, and there will be restoration between my family and me. Then again, how can there be restoration, unless everyone is willing to face our past openly and honestly?

I will give you back your health
and heal your wounds,” says the Lord.
“For you are called an outcast—
‘Jerusalem for whom no one cares.’”

(Jeremiah 30:17 NLT)

Anyway, back to the questions… When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction? Continue reading Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

by michelle w. on April 14, 2013

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.
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TOP 10 REASONS TO LOVE JESUS CHRIST AND ACCEPT HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR

10.     Salvation only comes through Christ

There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.

~ Acts 4:12 NLT ~

9.      In Him is life

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.

~ John 10:10 NLT ~

Continue reading Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

Daily Prompt: Alma Mater/The Path of Life

Daily Prompt: Alma Mater

by michelle w. on April 7, 2013

You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.
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Greetings to each of you, students, faculty and board members of the Seaford School District. I’m sure one of the first things you’ll notice about this copy of the speech that I will be presenting to you is the date of submission. I am fully aware that this copy should have been submitted to you yesterday, April 7, 2013, and that I missed the deadline by one day, and all I can say to that is that I guess some things never change. I’m sure those of you who went to school with me, or taught me, remember that I was notorious for missing deadlines, however, I offer a different excuse to you this time.

Since I no longer own a dog, and since I am a minister, I can’t lie to you and tell you that my dog ate my homework assignment. Instead, I will just stick to the truth. Yesterday, when I received this request, I was stunned. As a student of Seaford Senior High School, I was at best, a mediocre student, and without a doubt, a member of the “unpopular” crowd. I wondered at first if this were some cruel practical joke, like the kind that many of my former classmates used to delight in, and I wasn’t sure how or if I should respond. On top of that, yesterday, I was having internet issues, which made responding impossible. Finally, after much deliberation, I decided to respond to your invitation, regardless of your motives, because the subject matter, the Path of Life, is one that is near and dear to my heart. Continue reading Daily Prompt: Alma Mater/The Path of Life

Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn

Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn

by michelle w. on April 8, 2013

For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?
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Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Spring-daisy-fleabane_-_Virginia_-_ForestWander.jpg

Spring is my favorite time of year
Petals burst forth in a glorious example of
Resurrection from a seed once dead

Imitating God’s glorious gift of
New life for all who will believe in His
Grace and His Gospel of Life

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Third From the Top

Daily Prompt: Third From the Top

by michelle w. on April 6, 2013

Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.
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Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.

~ Psalm 72:1 ~
Third Sentence in Third Post on My List
“A Psalm For Saturday”

In Love With The Lord Poetry and Prose

This is a prayer that King Solomon, son of King David offered up to  the Lord. It is a beautiful prayer asking the Lord to help him lead his people in righteousness. Let’s take a look at this powerful psalm.

1 A psalm of Solomon. Give justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. 2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful, because the king does what is right. 4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. 5 May he live as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon continues in the skies. Yes, forever! 6 May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains — like the showers that water the earth. 7 May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time. 8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 9 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and the islands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him. 12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. 13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. 14 He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him. 15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundant crops throughout the land, flourishing even on the mountaintops. May the fruit trees flourish as they do in Lebanon, sprouting up like grass in a field. 17 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. 18 Bless the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Bless His glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen! 20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)

~ Psalm 72 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/
mending-the-nation/

I wonder what kind of world we would live in, if every king, president, prime minister, and emperor sincerely prayed this prayer? I wonder what kind of world we would live in if our congressmen, senators, governors and mayors sincerely prayed this prayer?

What would it be like, if President Obama began to pray this prayer for himself and the people he has been ordained to lead. Now, I know that many Christians may disagree with me about Obama being ordained to lead this country, because he has so obviously proven himself to be a man who stands on his own selfish principles, and against the statutes of God. However, my beloved brothers and sisters, I would admonish you to read the following scriptures and pray about it.

1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. 3 For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well. 4 The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong. 5 So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due.

~ Romans 13:1-7 NLT ~

Now that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, isn’t it? Not only did God place Obama and all of the U.S. Senate and House in their positions, but He also placed Korea’s dictator,  Kim Jong-un and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office. What’s more, it was God who placed the Emperor Nero into his position of power, and many centuries later, He placed Adolf Hitler in charge of Germany… So what’s up with that?

Image Credit: http://www.vice.com/en_za/read/ win-a-chance-to-be-at-hitlers-trial

Are we supposed to obey a corrupt government, like Hussein’s Iraq or Hitler’s Germany? After all, Romans 13:1 clearly states that we are to obey the government and that all governments are placed in power by God. The answer to that question is yes, unless that government commands you to do things that go against the law of God, such as denying Christ as Lord, murdering, and harming others or stealing from others, etc.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

~ Acts 5:29 NLT ~

I must address another question that must be on many minds… Why would a holy and righteous God place a corrupt leader to rule over a nation? Now this might now set well with many, but I can live with that. You see, the answer to this question can be found in 1 Samuel 8, which I’ll paraphrase for you, along with a bit of history from the book of Judges in the Old Testament as well. (click the link if you’d like to read the chapter that I’m paraphrasing)

Back in Old Testament times, long before the nation of Israel had kings, God placed judges over the people. Some of the judges were good and obedient to the Lord, leading the people in the ways that they should go, but then, there were others, who were wicked, leading the people astray. The people of Israel would walk in obedience to the Lord for a while, but then, they would turn from the Lord, and instead of obeying Him, they would do what seemed right in their own eyes. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Wouldn’t you say that is how we Americans, and indeed, much of the world now lives?

Image Credit: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ enoch-the-prophet.html

When the people lived in obedience to the Lord, He never failed to bless them and their nation with success. However, when the people turned against Him, He placed evil leaders over them, and those leaders treated the people harshly, causing other nations to war against them, and often to rule over them. During these times of tribulation, when the people were oppressed, they would begin to think back on other times, when their people prospered, and it was then, that they would remember the Lord, and they would begin to follow His ordinances, and cry out to Him for mercy. And here is the most wonderful part — no matter how many times Israel turned her back on God, whenever she repented and cried out to Him, He forgave her and delivered her from bondage.

Now, Samuel was placed over Israel as a judge, and he was a good judge, who loved and served the Lord faithfully, but already, the people were beginning to turn from the Lord, as they looked to other countries. And when Samuel got old, he placed his sons as judges over Israel… the problem was, Samuel’s sons were not faithful to God like he was. They were completely and totally corrupt, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. So the people came to Samuel, and pleaded with him to give them a king, like all the other nations had.

Samuel tried to warn the people that a king would not be good for them, but the people insisted. They didn’t want the righteous Samuel to lead them any longer, nor did they want his corrupt sons to be their leaders, and Samuel was very upset with their request and went to the LORD for advice, telling the Lord everything.

“Do as they say,” the LORD replied, “for it is Me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want Me to be their King any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually forsaken Me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about how a king will treat them.” (1 Samuel 8:7-9 NLT)

So Samuel, though brokenhearted, did what the Lord had ordered him to do. “This is how a king will treat you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons into his army and make them run before his chariots. Some will be commanders of his troops, while others will be slave laborers. Some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, while others will make his weapons and chariot equipment. The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own servants. He will take a tenth of your harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will want your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but the LORD will not help you.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18 NLT)

Image Credit: http://entretenimento.r7.com/rei-davi

Now with a warning like that, you would think the people would see that it would be better for them to serve the Lord as their King, rather than a man. But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will govern us and lead us into battle.” (1 Samuel 8:19-20 NLT)

So Samuel told the LORD what the people had said, and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home. (1 Samuel 8:21-22 NLT)

So the people got what they asked for… They got King Saul, and if you read the scriptures, King Saul turned out to be a lunatic, and he did everything that Samuel had warned the people he would do…

So, what does all of that history have to do with 2013? I believe that the Lord has heard the cries of the majority of people in this country, and in other countries around the world, and He has given them the leaders they and we desire in our hearts. Those countries and our country, like Israel in the Old Testament, have rejected Almighty God, and chosen to do what seems right in our own eyes, and men and women throughout the world are reaping what we have sown.

Image Credit: http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/content/ Obamanation.html

Having said all of that, I do not believe that mankind is doomed. I believe that as long as there are men, women and children who do still love the Lord and serve Him, they will be lifting their voices and crying out to God for mercy, and He hears those who love Him. I believe that as long as Jesus tarries, delaying His return for the sake of mankind, there is hope…

The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.

~ 2 Peter 3:9 NLT ~

Even though the kings, presidents, prime ministers, senators and congressmen throughout the world do not pray the prayer that Solomon prayed in Psalm 72, all is not lost. What if the men and women of God throughout the world began to pray for their leaders, as scripture commands?

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.

~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT ~

I believe that if Christians all over will pray for their leaders and one another, God will honor their prayers. If we will join together in praying Psalm 72 over our nations and our nations’ leaders, God will answer our cries, just as He did in the days of old, when He spoke these words to Solomon:

“Then if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT ~

Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/ GatewayPrayerandIntercession/ posts/300418160071370

How about it, men and women of God? Instead of griping and complaining about the terrible state our country is in, why don’t we quit murmuring and complaining (God hates murmuring and complaining anyway)? Instead, let’s join together and humble ourselves and pray, for our president, our congressmen, our senators and legislators, the judges, and the kings, dictators, and rulers of other countries. And let each one of us examine our own hearts and repent, turning away from our wicked ways. Then, just watch and see how God responds to our prayers! For He is still the same God who parted the red sea, turned water into wine, cleansed the lepers, made the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, and the  dead to rise. He has not changed, and His eyes run to and fro throughout the entire earth, seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him… Let us join together in prayer for our countries, and then watch in awe, as God heals our lands, just as He promised to do.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy

Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy

by michelle w. on March 28, 2013

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness. When was the last time you shed tears of joy?
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I haven’t responded to a Daily Prompt since March 18, because I’ve been sick and tired and depressed for quite a while, but when I saw today’s prompt I had to respond!

Since you don’t know me well, let me start off by telling you that for many years, I was unable to cry. I learned years ago to stifle my tears, out of fear, pride, bitterness and rebelliousness. As a child who was made fun of for having “buck-teeth” and the last name of Payne, I learned to swallow my tears, because even though my classmates tormented me, I refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing just how badly their words wounded me.

Image Credit: http://mybedsidemanner.blogspot.com/2012/07/ kind-word-turns-away-wrath.html

And then, there was my home life… All too often, if I would cry, my mother would warn me to, “Shut up or I’ll give you something to cry about!” And she would too. I can remember getting beatings from my parents, and nearly choking on my tears, trying not to let any escape past the huge lump in my throat, sometimes with success, and sometimes unsuccessfully. 

Did you know that you really can will yourself not to cry and not to feel? The problem with that is when you begin blocking one emotion, it inevitably leads to blocking all emotions. When that happens, we become so out of touch with our feelings, that we really don’t know how we feel about anything. I remember not knowing how I felt about things, and so I would carefully watch how others responded to certain situations, to see how I “should feel.” I eventually came to the point that I was unable to cry — whether I was happy or sad. The tears just wouldn’t come.

It is a good sign if a person is able to shed tears. An individual who had had much experience in spiritual matters once made this statement: Giving your love to a person who cannot shed tears is like handing over your money bag to a thief to keep. This is quite true. A person often feels uneasy about giving his love to one who cannot shed tears. For tears are the one thing that is indispensable in this world. It can rightly be said that a person who is unable to shed tears has lost something of the very essence of man: he can no longer be considered as being human.

~ Practical Issues of this Life ~
by: Watchman Nee

To be unable to cry was a terrible thing. As a child, I learned to repress my emotions as an act of self-preservation, but by doing so, I killed something inside of me. You see, tears are an outlet of the heart. So what do you do, when that valve has frozen and will not let any tears escape? 

You could do what I did. I remember reading the following verse from Psalm 56, and how it caused me to begin to ponder and pray to God about it.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.

~ Palm 56:8 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://waitingatthewindow.blogspot.com/2012/10/tears-in-bottle.html

Isn’t that amazing? God keeps track of all our sorrows. He knows how deeply wounded I was as a child, and He cared. I can’t help but be amazed about this every time I read it or think about it! He has collected all of your tears, and all of my tears and placed them in His bottle. Imagine that! Your tears and mine too, are so important to God, that He has collected each and every one of them. Isn’t that awesome? And get this — He has a written record of every single tear that you have shed throughout your entire life, because those tears mean that much to Him. Do you remember every single tear that you’ve cried? I don’t, but God does.

When I read that scripture and realized how important our tears are to God, I began to pray, first, asking God to forgive me for quenching my tears, and then, asking Him to give me back my tears. Lord, help me to cry again. Restore my tears in Jesus’ name.” I won’t lie to you. It took a few years for me to have the privilege of crying again, but I got those tears back.

Having said all of that, 2013 has been an especially difficult year for me so far. Lord willing, the worst is behind me, and the best is yet to come! I lost my mother in February, the day after Valentine’s Day, and my heart has grieved for her. I never dreamed it would be so painful, and though I knew I loved her, I never realized how much I loved her. I’m sitting here weeping as I share this.

Anyway, January and February were both difficult months, as I dealt with my own physical issues, and my mother’s dying. Then, in the beginning of March, I got terribly sick — to the point that I thought I was dying. I had a horrible infection called Clostridium Difficile. It was terrible, and I was hospitalized for several days because of it. After returning home from the hospital, I was extremely weak and nauseous for several weeks — actually up until just a couple of days ago. 

Image Credit: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/eyes/images/
16143904/title/tears-photo

It was horrible. With all that has gone on in these first few months of the new year, I was unable to attend church during this time of trouble, and I fell into a dark place, as the spirit of heaviness oppressed me. During the last few months, I’ve wept more tears of pain and sorrow than I ever remember crying. You would think those tears would just dry up, but they just keep coming. However, if I have to choose between shedding those tears or repressing them, I choose to shed them, because there’s a release that comes after I’ve cried, as though those painful things have been cleansed. It also helps, knowing that my dear sweet heavenly Father values my tears.

I shared all of this so that you can truly appreciate my answer to the question, “When was the last time you shed tears of joy?” The last time I cried tears of joy was last night, when I attended a very special worship service at my church, as we celebrate this holy week in remembrance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. As I walked into the sanctuary with my pastor, who drove me to church, because I was unable to, I felt the joy of the Lord wash over me. As I helped prepare the communion, pouring the juice into the individual cups, and then helped to prepare the altar for the service, my heart was filled with contentment.

Have you ever been homesick? That’s how I’ve felt these last three months, and when I entered the sanctuary, I felt as though I’d come home. And then, my pastor asked me to open the service in prayer, and overwhelming joy flooded my soul as I realized that in spite of everything, I had been through, the Lord could still use me to bless others. When it came time for the foot washing, in remembrance of when Jesus cleansed the disciples feet, my pastor called for the ministers to come forward to wash the feet of the least among us, the children, and so, the other ministers and I knelt at the feet of the children in our congregation, and washed their feet as we prayed over each child. 

“But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.”

~ Mark 10:31 NLT ~

What a privilege to humble ourselves and serve the children and the youth! My pastor then had the ministers sit down, as she humbled herself and washed the feet of the adult members of the church and the ministers. After this, she singled out one of the children, a girl who is often angry and rebellious, a girl who reminds me a little bit of myself as a child, in that she feels overlooked and unloved, and so she acts out sometimes. It was this girl that she asked to wash her feet, as she told her that the Lord had chosen her over the adults and ministers, to pray for her and wash her feet. You could see how seriously this girl took this invitation, as she soberly looked into her pastor’s eyes, with tears glistening, and then knelt at her feet and slowly, solemnly and gently washed first one foot and then the other, quietly praying.

After this, we sang together as the Spirit led. My heart was flowing over with joy, and last night, for the first time in such a long, long time, I wept with joy, and as I wrote this post, I was again, weeping with joy!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

You’ve Got Mail…

Creative Writing Challenge: 2AM Photo

by Michael Pick on March 18, 2013
It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.
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Image Credit: http://theperiledsea.ning.com/profiles/blogs/horse-rider-made-of-fire-what-i-saw

“You’ve got mail!” The sound loudly clamored repeatedly, jarring me awake from a dead sleep, as I reached over to grab my cell phone, wondering why it kept repeating over and over again. Usually, when I received a text or notification, it only sounded once, and I never had the volume as loud as it was now. 

“It must be some kind of a stupid glitch,” I thought to myself, as I sat up in the bed, squinting to see who could be texting me at 2:00 in the morning, and what kind of malfunction was causing my phone to vibrate and continue repeating, “You’ve got mail!” at full volume. Finally, unable to silence it, I decided to open the stupid message, hoping that would shut it up.

As I opened the message, my heart began to beat violently in my chest. There was no “Sender”, nor was there any message, just the grim picture of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. My heart felt like wax, as it melted within me, and a sudden weakness washed over my body. “Oh God,” I whimpered, as the image on the cell phone shook in my hands.

Suddenly, it seemed that time had run out. As I stared dumbly at the image on my cell phone, I saw the future begin to unfold, as other images raced across the screen, showing the impending doom of mankind and the earth as we now knew it. It was both great and terrible, as wars, famine and pestilence flashed across the screen, with each of the four horsemen leaving a horrible wake of destruction as they passed…

We were about to face the war that ends all wars, as families and friends would be pitted against one another. Children would turn against their parents, and mothers would betray their very own flesh. The love of many would wax cold, and it would soon be nearly impossible to tell friend from foe.

Indeed, this photo of the four horsemen was a call to war, and I knew immediately what I needed to do, as I dropped to my knees and began to pray fervently, crying out for God’s mercy and grace. I couldn’t deny that I’d already seen the signs — oh, who was I kidding? I knew that the first of the four horsemen had already arrived, and that it was only a matter of time before the second rider followed, as Antichrist set his evil plan into motion, winning the trust and adoration of many as they turned further and further away from Christ, calling His gospel of peace a gospel of war.

I had already witnessed the terrible toll that was taking place on believers throughout the world, and yet, like a foolish ostrich, I had buried my head in the sand, hoping that this terrible evil would just vanish if I didn’t look at it. “Oh Lord, forgive me for not taking a stand,” I now prayed, as I began to put my war clothes on.

Image Credit: http://taniarubimenglish.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html

Then, grabbing the breastplate of righteousness, I fastened it tightly, carefully guarding my heart. “Lord God,” I now prayed with purpose and fervency, “guard my heart and keep me righteous. In these last and evil times, Father, I ask You to protect my heart, so that I won’t stray from You, nor lead anyone else away from Your saving grace.”

Next, with purpose, I lifted the belt of truth, carefully examining it for any breaks or flaws that may have occurred during my time of cowardice, as I refused to face the truth before me. Thankfully, the Lord had guarded it, and I carefully fastened the belt of truth tightly around my waist, as I vowed, “Lord, from this day forth, with Your help, I will walk in truth, looking neither to the left nor the right. And though it may lead to my death, I will speak the truth in love, boldly to the men, women and children You place in my path, no matter who stands against me, because I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and that every lying tongue that rises up against me shall be brought to justice.”

Image Credit: http://www.123rf.com/photo_15082883_old-and-dirty-military-boots-isolated-on-white-background.html

Even though it was now well past 2:00 a.m., I stooped down to slip my feet into the shoes in readiness of sharing the gospel of peace. “Lord, Jesus, send me to the streets, the prisons, the bars, the crack houses and the whore houses, so that I may share Your gospel of peace with those who are desperate for a Savior. Let me speak to them in Your love, so that they will be ready to face the trials and the tribulation that all must face. And Lord, I ask that You snatch them from the fiery grip of the enemy, saving many in these last and terrible days.”

Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-shield-of-faith-booker-poole.html

I knew that my faith would need to be strong for me to endure until the end, and so, as I lifted my shield of faith, I entreated the Lord to take the faith He’d already given me, and to increase it, so that I would be able to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. The helmet of salvation came next, and I carefully tied my hair up and out of the way, before resting the helmet on top of my head. It fit snugly and perfectly, and I breathed a deep sigh as I continued to pray, “Lord, let the mind of Christ be in me. Let my thoughts be Your thoughts, and Your thoughts be mine. Lord let me have the same attitude that Christ had, because even though He was God, He didn’t demand or cling to His rights as God. Instead, He made Himself as nothing, becoming a humble slave and suffering for the sake of many. Lord, help me be willing to humble myself for the sake of others, let me care more for their lives than my own. Oh God,” I cried, “Let me be a woman after Your own heart.”

Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/products/sword-of-the-spirit-jeff-haynie-poster.html

Finally, I was fully armed, save for one last weapon. I carefully picked up the sword of the Spirit, transferring it from my left hand to my right, placing it in its sheath, and then quickly removing it and assuming the warrior’s pose. The sword of the Spirit — the word of God… “Oh Lord,” I softly breathed. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. As I prepare to leave the warmth of my apartment to go into battle with my brothers and sisters that You have also armed and called for such a time as this, order my steps, for Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.”

“It is time now,” I sensed the Spirit commanding me, as I stood at attention. Then, without so much as a final look at what I was leaving behind, I walked out of my apartment, locking the door behind me. I would not be returning, for I had received my orders, and I was off to wage war against the enemy of the souls of men and women. “Remember this final thing,” I heard a voice speaking from beside me, as I continued to walk toward the city’s red light district, “This battle belongs to the Lord!”

“Hallelujah!” I shouted loudly, as I set my face like flint and sprinted to my destination.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Impossibility

Daily Prompt: Impossibility

by michelle w. on March 18, 2013

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

Thanks for the great ideaZen A.!

Image Credit: http://dornob.com/impossible-wine-glass- 3-casually-clever-tableware-designs/

I was very excited when I saw this prompt questioning the six impossible things that I believe in, because to many people, I believe in a whole lot of impossibilities, although I don’t see it that way. You see, it’s all a matter of perspective. In fact, in answer to a question from the disciples about the possibility of salvation, if even wealth cannot save a person, Jesus responded this way:

He replied,“What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.”
~ Luke 18:27 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.debmacministries.com/stepstopeacewithgod.htm

1.   Therefore, the first impossibility that I believe in is the salvation of mankind, not by our good deeds, because the truth is that none of us could ever do enough good deeds to earn forgiveness from God Almighty who is:

  • Creator of the heavens and the earth
  • Holy
  • Righteous
  • Just
  • Without any sin

Now, if it is impossible for me to do enough good deeds to earn my way into heaven, and it is impossible for any amount of money or status to earn a way for me to be saved from the laws of sin and death, exactly how do I think I can be saved?

Image Credit: http://i-training.info/?page_id=204

2.     The second impossibility that I believe in is that salvation is a gift from God:

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 6:23 NLT ~
8 God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
So, if I believe the impossibility that God gives salvation as a gift, who then, is this gift for? 
Image Credit: http://www.oocities.org/mulraine/TheWorldKnewHimNot.html

3.     The third impossibility that I believe in is that salvation is a gift that God offers to the whole world…

    • To the rich
    • To the poor
    • To the wise
    • To the foolish
    • To those imprisoned
    • To those who are free
    • To every tongue and tribe and nation
    • To every race
    • To every culture
    • To people of every religion

What do I base this impossible belief on?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
4.     The fourth impossibility that I believe is that although God offers the free gift of eternal life to everyone in the entire world, there are many who die apart from God, because they choose to reject the gift of eternal life that He freely offers them.
Image Credit: http://kingdavid.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/easter_1024x768.jpg

It’s crazy to think that people would turn down this wonderful gift that is offered, because they don’t want their lives to change. People would rather hold on to that which they are familiar with, no matter how bad it may be, rather than to risk losing that, which will ultimately lead to their death… Think about it… People know the risks involved in smoking, but because it is a habit that they are comfortable with, they are willing to risk all of the horrible consequences that are involved, for just one more drag on the cigarette… I watched my birth father suffer from congestive heart failure, emphysema and repeated heart attacks, and yet, even knowing the risks involved in smoking while on oxygen, he still chose to smoke 5 packs of cigarettes a day! How crazy and impossible to think that people are so foolish!

And yet, how many of you, when faced with the truth that God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to suffer, bleed and die in exchange for  your life, will accept the free gift of eternal life that He offers you? Or will you be offended and refuse to accept that gift, choosing death instead, because of these words that Christ spoke? 
Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
You see, as sad as it is, and as impossible as it is to believe that anyone would reject the gift of salvation, Jesus tells us that it is so, and He tells us why too:
18″There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. 19 Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished.”
5.     The fifth impossibility that I believe in are the miracles of God…
Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/ the-miracles-of-jesus-walking-on-water- clive-uptton.html

I believe that all believers have the power to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and a voice to the mute. I believe that all believers have God’s Holy Spirit within them, giving them the power to set the captives free, loose the chains of fear, addiction, bitterness and anger. I believe that all believers can do the same miracles and even greater miracles that Jesus Christ did. I do not believe that God only uses people with big names and big television ministries to do His great work. I believe that God uses ordinary men and women like me and you to accomplish His miracles…

12 “The truth is, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask anything in My name, and I will do it!”
~ John 14:12-14 NLT ~
I believe that the only thing holding any of those who love and believe in Jesus back from doing these greater works is our unbelief… Too many of us think that God can do miracles in, through and for other people. Too many of us have bought the lie from the devil that God can’t work through ordinary people like you and me, and it holds us back from accomplishing all that God has called us to do. Read the bible and see what kind of people God chose to work through… He chose itinerant fishermenhateful tax collectorsthieveswhores and adulterersdemonized peoplea man with a speech impediment
6.     There are so many other impossibilities that I believe in, but alas, I was only asked to list six of them, and so, the sixth impossibility that I believe in is the Resurrection of the dead.
Image Credit: http://www.eborg2.com/Jesus/ Jesus-Second%20Coming/ Jesus%20Second%20Coming-10.jpg

I believe that Jesus did indeed suffer, bleed and die on the cross, and that three days later, He was raised (resurrected) from the dead. I believe that forty days later, He ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God, interceding for me and all other believers. I believe that He is preparing a place for us to dwell with Him one day, and that He will once again return to the earth, not as a sacrifice this time, because He already fulfilled that calling. This time, when He returns, He is coming as a mighty warrior, to conquer the enemy once and for all, and to reclaim the earth as His own.

I believe that I too, will be resurrected when I die, because it is appointed once for me to die, and after that, I will be judged, not by my works, but my heart… Have I truly loved Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Or have I loved man more? Has my heart remained steadfast to Him, or have I gone astray and chased after other lovers? 

15 “Take note: I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for Me, who keep their robes ready so they will not need to walk naked and ashamed.”

~ Revelation 16:15 NLT ~

1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

~ Psalm 1 NKJV ~

I have no doubt that there are many who disbelieve the possibilities of God, choosing to believe that they are impossible. I am also sure that many think those “impossibilities” that I hold fast to are foolish, but I can live with that, because I’m also foolish enough to believe and close with this statement:

27 Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29 so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and He gave Himself to purchase our freedom. 31 As the Scriptures say, “The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done.”

~ 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 NLT ~

Many blessings to you, my beloved readers and friends, as you ponder the  endless impossibilities of man vs. the unending possibilities of God.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Silver Screen

Daily Prompt: Silver Screen

by michelle w. on March 13, 2013

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!
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“Do not cite the Deep Magic to me Witch. I was there when it was written.”
Aslan – Chronicles of Narnia
“The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”

Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia: Th...
Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If ever there was a show stopper, this was it. In case anyone wondered what this story, this allegory was about, it suddenly snapped into focus, as everyone suddenly realized that the character, Aslan, Lion of Narnia, was truly an allegorical character for none other than Jesus Christ, Lion of the tribe of Judah, and that the witch was merely an allegorical characterization of Satan himself. My heart rejoiced at this famous line in the movie, as the white witch tried to explain the meaning of the words, written by Aslan, much in the same way Satan tried to twist God’s Word to Jesus as he tempted Him in the wilderness, until Jesus, also known as the Word of God, had finally had enough!

10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only Him.'”

~ Matthew 4:10 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://hbiblecommentary.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/john-11/

If only everyone could see that as beautiful as this allegorical movie is, there is even more beauty in the true story of Jesus Christ, who was both the Lion and the Lamb. My heart’s desire is that all who enjoyed this movie would know the true joy of knowing the truth about Jesus Christ, who was the very Word of God.

1 In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make. 4 Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone. 5 The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

~ John 1:1-5 NLT ~

He was in the beginning with God, and He created everything there is. In fact, nothing exists that He didn’t make. 

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. 16 Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. 17 He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together.

~ Colossians 1:15-17 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/god-and-math-prove-that-nothing-is-greater-than-the-love-of-god/

My friends, you can go ahead and call it gravity if you want, but the truth is that everything was created through Christ and for Him, and it is He that holds all of creation together. It was He, who knew before He even laid the foundations of the earth, that man would sin, yet He chose to create us anyway. He knew that we would be tempted by the devil, and that we would choose to lie, cheat, steal and kill, rather than follow in His ways, but He chose to create us anyway. 

He knew that the only way to pay for sin would be death, but He had a plan.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 6:23 NLT ~

He knew the only way to save us from death and eternal damnation would be for Him to leave His throne in heaven and come to live here on earth as a man, and He made up His mind to do just that. He knew that no one else could do it, because there was no one who was just and holy. Everybody had sinned, so it would have to be Him.

10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is good — not even one.”

~ Romans 3:10 NLT ~

23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

~ Romans 3:23 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://petehise.com/2010/02/jesus-carried-the-weight/

He knew that Him living a perfect and holy life would not be enough to save  us from the penalty of our sin. He knew that He would also have to suffer for our sins. He knew that He would have to carry the weight of every person’s sins on His shoulders. He would have to suffer the pain of every man, woman and child who had ever lived before, and who ever would live. He would have to carry the sins of people who would never repent, and He would have to pay for them. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been? 

21 God made this sinless Man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with Him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”

~ 2 Corinthians 5:21 CJB ~

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirationalimages/4484580976/

Have you ever been punished for something that someone else did? Have you ever felt the righteous anger that rises up as you are falsely accused? Do you know what it’s like to experience rejection because of something you were wrongfully accused of? It’s hard, but you can tolerate the rejection of strangers, but what about those that you love? Do you know what it feels like to have those that you love turn their backs on you, knowing that you have truly done nothing wrong? Have you ever felt the pain of someone you love looking at you with disappointment and shame, knowing that nothing you say will convince them that you didn’t do what you were accused of? That’s what Jesus endured, and yet, He didn’t even try to defend Himself against the false accusations. Instead, He chose to lay down His life, so that you and I could live.

As I watched Aslan die on the stone slab, I thought of all of this, but inside, my heart was rejoicing, because you see, I know the ending of the true story… Jesus did suffer dreadfully. And unlike Aslan, people didn’t see the Lion of the tribe of Judah when they saw Him. They just saw a plain, unimportant man…

1 Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal His saving power? 2 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him. 3 He was despised and rejected — a Man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God for His own sins! 5 But He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! 6 All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all.7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth. 8 From prison and trial they led Him away to His death. But who among the people realized that He was dying for their sins — that He was suffering their punishment? 9 He had done no wrong, and He never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave. 10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush Him and fill Him with grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s plan will prosper in His hands. 11 When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of what He has experienced, My Righteous Servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. 12 I will give Him the honors of One who is mighty and great, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.

~ Isaiah 53 NLT ~

Oh my friends, the people of His day totally missed who He was! They didn’t put two and two together — and sadly, many people throughout many generations since have not been able to put two and two together. They too, have missed who He is!

Beloved, do you recognize who this Jesus is? Do you know this Lion of the tribe of Judah? He is the King of kings and Lord of lords! He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end! He is the Savior of the universe! He is our hope… our peace… our joy… He is Jesus Christ and He is Lord.

Image Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/every%20knee%20shall%20bow

There is also one more thing that I must share with you, beloved, so that you will know the whole truth. Yes, Jesus suffered, bled and died on the cross for your sins and for mine. And yes, He was buried in a borrowed tomb. BUT, on the third day, He arose from the dead, and He is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father, Almighty, and He is coming back again one day, to reign and to rule forevermore. Therefore, whether you acknowledge Him as Lord now, or whether you reject Him now, know this… There is coming a day, when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

6 Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. 7 He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God raised Him up to the heights of heaven and gave Him a name that is above every other name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Erasure

Daily Prompt: Erasure

by michelle w. on March 12, 2013

You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?
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Image Credit: http://www.dickblick.com/products/soft-pink-beveled-eraser/

If I had the opportunity to erase one incident from my past, as though it never happened, what would I erase and why? This is actually a question that I’ve given a great deal of thought to. In fact, I’ve even ministered to female inmates about this very subject, and the truth is that if I could erase one incident from my past, I would pass on that opportunity. 

If I could erase one instance of pain, abuse, rejection, abandonment or fear, I would refuse to do so, because every terrible, horrible incident in my life was ordained by God, to help mold me into the woman that I am today. 

2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. 3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

~ James 1:2-4 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://gallery.mobile9.com/f/952728/

If I could go back to that day so many years ago, when as a scared little girl, I experienced the unthinkable, as my stepfather molested me, leaving behind a traumatized little girl with some very serious issues that would take more than two decades to resolve, I wouldn’t change a thing. For you see, that frightened little girl learned to cry out to God, seeking safety in Him, because there was safety in Him alone. Certainly, my earthly parents didn’t protect me.

If I could go back and pinpoint the time when I first felt unloved and unlovable, I would not erase that time, because when the Lord revealed to me the height and the depth, the width and the length of His love for me, I appreciated it so much more.

 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 8:38-39 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.c28.com/streetteam/contentdetails.asp?ContentID=318

Shall I give you an illustration of how God revealed His great love for me? My whole life, I felt unloved and unlovable, and I remember from the time I was a little child, having a deep longing to be loved. I used to hug my mother tightly and tell her I loved her, and though she said she loved me too, I couldn’t believe it, because I felt unlovable… Then, many years later, I remember riding in my car with my daughter, who was expecting her first child, a little girl, and we were talking about baby names and their meanings. Suddenly, as we rode along, I said to her, “Do you know what my name means?” When she said no, I told my daughter, “My name means, ‘Beloved.'” 

Suddenly, the Lord began to speak to me, and I began to weep. “That’s right Cheryl,” He said. “Your name means ‘Beloved,’ because you are My beloved. It was I, who named you in your mother’s womb, and your whole life you longed to be loved, not knowing that I loved you all along. I loved you before you were born, and I loved you after. I loved you when you were rejected, and I never forsook you. I loved you when you were molested, and when you thought you were unlovable. You have always been My Beloved, and you always will be My Beloved.”

If I could go back and erase any instant or any day, I would erase none, because every step I’ve taken has led me here. I am now in a place where I know I am loved, and because of the pain, the abuse, the rejection and abandonment that I’ve suffered, I am not only loved, but I am able to love freely. Because I’ve been forgiven much by God, I am also able to forgive much. Because I know what it is like to be miserable and depressed, apart from Christ, I appreciate the joy that I’ve found in Him all the more.

Therefore, although I appreciate your kind offer of erasure, I must decline.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors (and bonus assignment!)

Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors (and bonus assignment!)

by michelle w. on February 27, 2013

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!

Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.
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“Who is this Murphy anyway?” she thought as she angrily wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to focus on the task at hand. It seemed that no matter what she did, it was wrong. She had spent her whole life trying to win her family’s love, and it seemed that no matter how hard she tried, she always came up short. 

at the Crossroad by ~Hermanne-Allan-Poe Photography / Conceptual ©2010-2013 ~Hermanne-Allan-Poe

And now, she was at a crossroad. She could make one more last-ditch effort to win everyone’s love and approval. She could make this all or nothing play, and maybe, just maybe, everyone would see that she really wasn’t so horrible. Maybe, if everything went just right, maybe if nothing went wrong, her family would finally see that she was indeed, worthy of their love and affection. 

Perhaps, if she played by all of their rules, she would finally win their approval. “Oh God,” she wept in misery, “why does it always have to be so hard?” She thought back to all of the years when she had tried so hard to make them love her, even though it meant losing herself in the process. 

Image Credit: http://dtsing5.blogspot.com/2010/10/straight-as.html

She remembered the time her mother had made a bet with her. “I’ll quit smoking if you bring home a report card with straight A’s,” her mother told her. Oh, how desperately she had wanted to win that bet. She had worked and studied so hard, not only because she wanted to win the bet and have her mother quit smoking. The truth is that was just icing on the cake. What she really wanted was to win her mother’s respect, but if anyone lived according to Murphy’s law, it was her. When her report card came out, she saw that she had once again fallen short… She got all A’s and one B.

Her mother had laughed with derision when she saw her report card. “I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about,” she told her daughter. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to pull it off,” she said as she launched into yet another story of how she had gotten straight A’s all year when she was in the third grade. Her daughter felt like such a loser.

Throughout her childhood, she tried to fit in, but again, Murphy’s law followed her wherever she went, and she always fell short of what she tried for. She wanted to sing in the County Chorus, but her nerves got the best of her, and her singing fell flat. She tried so hard to be the funny one, so people would like her, but again, she always seemed to miss the mark. 

Image Credit: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=163855

The only place that she ever felt acceptance was at church. For some reason, no matter how badly she messed up, those people seemed to care for her, and they tried to tell her that God loved her too, but she knew better. If her own family couldn’t stand her, how could a holy and righteous God love her? Though she wanted to believe that He loved her, she couldn’t believe it, because she knew the evil that lurked inside her heart, and she knew that God knew the evil within her too, so how could He love her?

She was a funny little child. No matter how many times her family rejected her, she was always able to find a small reservoir of hope within her that never ran dry. “Maybe this time, they’ll love me,” she’d think as she tried again and again to win their love. 

When her stepfather molested her, she was told that it was her fault, and she believed it. She was told that she must keep the secret so that others wouldn’t be hurt and so her family wouldn’t be destroyed… And she kept that secret, too, because she didn’t want to destroy her family, and she didn’t want to hurt them either. “If I let him do this to me,” she foolishly thought, “maybe he’ll leave my sister alone.” 

She got married at a young age, to a young man she’d only known for a few months. Her mother told her it would never last, and a part of her was afraid that this would prove to be true, after all, hadn’t her whole life been a prime example of Murphy’s Law? But thankfully, in this area, she beat Murphy’s Law… 

Image Credit: http://www.citelighter.com/philosophy/philosophy/knowledgecards/murphys-law

It seemed that after she married, Murphy’s Law seemed to have a far lesser hold on her, as though it didn’t operate outside of her relationship with the family she grew up with. She discovered that she didn’t need to work hard and jump through hoops to keep her husband’s love. For some crazy reason that she couldn’t understand, he seemed to love her whether she was good or not. He loved her when she burned his dinner or forgot to take his laundry out of the washer and caused it to get moldy.

And then, she began to know Jesus. It was a relationship that began slowly and gently, as He wooed her and drew her to Him with gentleness and love. He began to speak words of love to her heart, erasing Murphy’s hateful Law, and writing His Law of love on her heart. “You were created in My image,” He spoke to her, “and it was I who formed you in your mother’s womb. I knit you together, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Before then, it had never occurred to her that there was anything good about her. Indeed, whenever she looked in the mirror at herself prior to this, she saw nothing but ugliness, but after He spoke those words to her, she began to see herself as God saw her.

“Beloved,” He gently spoke, “You are precious in My sight. I have redeemed you and called you by name,” He said. “You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Christ gave her the strength and the courage to be all that He had created her to be. She was no longer a slave to her past… She was no longer a slave of Murphy’s Law… And now, these many years later, as she stood at this crossroad, she had a choice to make.

She could go back to her remaining family, back to the life that she had escaped from, and become a slave once more to Murphy’s Law, as she tried to earn the love and approval of those who were left, knowing that no matter what she did, she would never measure up to what they wanted and expected from her…

Or, she could walk away from all of the rules and expectations that she could never live up to, and walk to the life that God offered her… a life where she was free to be the woman He created her to be… a life where she was loved and accepted by her husband and her children, and the family of God… a life where she didn’t have to work and struggle so hard to earn the love of others, because God caused them to lavish their love on her regardless of what she did… Really, it wasn’t such a difficult decision for her to make.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

by michelle w. on February 26, 2013

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?
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“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)

Happily ever after here on earth is a fairy tale. How do I know this? I know it is true because Jesus said so. He tells us that here on earth, we will have many trials and sorrows, and so far, that has proven to be true for me. How about you?

This has been a particularly difficult time for me. Just a little more than a week ago, my mother passed away, and though I knew it was coming, it still left me broken-hearted. My greatest hope and prayer is that Mom went home to the Lord, and that we will meet again one day, in the heavenly realms. Until then, though, I have many memories like this to comfort me…

I was the cute little blonde in the pictures, which were many years and many pounds ago. 🙂 

Eeyore Watch_v1
Image Credit:
Cheryl Showers

1 There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT)

So, is it reasonable for us expect perpetual happiness? Of course not…

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)

Image Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/1136.html

It would be pointless for me to strive to live happily ever after, because there will always be circumstances and things that happen to knock me down. I understand that there will be mountaintop times in my life when I am very happy, and that there will also be the deep, dark valley times, when I am very unhappy. Still, I’m content with that, because I love God, and He has called me to fulfill His purpose while I am here on earth.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
(Romans 8:28 NLT)

Image Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/1863.html

Therefore, although there will be periods of unhappiness in my life, and though I must face many trials and tribulations, I can still rejoice, knowing that everything is working according to God’s plan for my life. Even though there will be times when the pain knocks me to my knees, I will still take joy in the fact that God is causing even those horrible, painful events to work together for my good, and if God is for me, who can be against me?

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.
(Isaiah 54:17 NKJV)

Image Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/174.html

You see, I know that there will be good times and bad times, for as long as this life continues, but I can handle that. Because there is coming a day, for all who believe in Christ, when there will be no more sorrow and no more tears…

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. 4 He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.”
(Revelation 21:1-4 NLT)

Hallelujah! While there is not happily ever after for me in this lifetime, I persevere in all my circumstances, hopefully and joyfully looking toward that beautiful day, when I will no longer suffer from death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old things will have passed and behold! All things will become new. Until then, I will endure until the end…

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground

A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.
Daily Prompt: Ode to a Playground

I couldn’t believe it when I heard it on the news. I must have misunderstood what was said. Surely the church of my childhood… the church that held such happy memories for me… the church where I first came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior couldn’t have burned. I hadn’t been there since I was around fifteen or sixteen years old, but I always had such fond memories of it.

Image Courtesy: http://meadesbranchfwb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Church-bus.gif

I remember the first Sunday I attended Gethsemane United Methodist Church, in Reliance, MD as though it were yesterday. The day before, some stranger and his wife came to visit my mother and father, and invited my sister and me to ride on a church bus to this church. I couldn’t believe my parents said yes! They didn’t even know these people, and they had agreed to let them take my sister and me on this bus.

Although I was only around ten or eleven at the time, I had a vivid imagination, and I was very distrustful of people and their motives. I was certain these seemingly nice people were going to get my sister and me on that bus, then kidnap and murder us. The whole ride to church, as the bus would stop and pick up more and more children along the way, Mr. W. stood at the front of the bus, singing songs about Jesus and laughing and smiling. It was really a lot of fun, but I wasn’t about to let my guard down. I didn’t trust these strangers, not one little bit.

I was surprised and relieved when we reached the church, but I was still suspicious. “They probably brought us here in case our parents call to check up on them,” I thought to myself. “They’re probably going to kill us on the way home from church.” Praise God, they obviously didn’t kill any of us, or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing my story for you. Nevertheless, when we were safely delivered to our house that afternoon, after enjoying Sunday School, church and snacks afterward, I continued to be suspicious of them. Perhaps their plan was to win our parents’ confidence, and then, after several months, they would kill us. I remember, I was so distrustful, that I imagined different scenarios of our kidnapping and murder, and I would daydream, imagining different ways in which we might escape.

Eventually, over the months, I began to let my guard down and trust these people, who seemed to genuinely love us and care for us. I couldn’t believe that they really cared for me… my sister, yes, because she was cute and sweet and everything that I wasn’t. I remember how I hung out with some of the tougher girls, those who at the tender young age of twelve or thirteen had already had many boyfriends — and some of their boyfriends were actually men, not boys. I remember that I envied those girls, because they were so much prettier than me, attracting grown men!

As I reflect on these memories now, I am grateful to the Lord for guarding and protecting me, at a time in my life when I was so vulnerable and needy. I remember cursing and swearing with one of the girls, and going behind the community house to smoke cigarettes, because I so wanted to be cool and fit in… and be liked by the boys. I tried to act tough like one of the other girls in particular, whose name, like mine, was Cheryl, and I would be so disrespectful, because I needed to be accepted by someone… And there on that church bus, was Mr. and Mrs. W., who continually showered their love on me.

No matter how bad or disrespectful I was, they treated me with love. I can remember Mrs. W. looking up at me one time, when I had behaved so terribly, with such a look of unguarded love on her face, that it left me feeling ashamed… She acted like she really loved me, but how could that be? At home, when I was bad, my own parents cursed me and called me stupid, dumb@$$, worthless… But here, at church, when I really behaved terribly, Mrs. W. still acted like she loved me. When I misbehaved, she didn’t act like she was angry with me at all… Instead, she looked at me with her pretty, expressive brown eyes that looked as though she was hurt and ready to cry, and continued to love me.

I didn’t understand these church people, but I admired them and loved them, and I wanted to be like them. I remember one Sunday in church, when I was around twelve or thirteen years old, the minister preached a message, and I was compelled to move forward toward the altar, while the hymn, Just As I Am, was being sung by the congregation. There, at that wooden altar, with the red velvet cushions, I knelt on my knees, and asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me and deliver me from evil.

That afternoon, I couldn’t wait to get off the church bus and share the good news with my parents. I remember running into the house and breathlessly telling my mom that I was born again. That really irritated her, and she told me that if I was going to start acting religious like Mr. and Mrs. W., she wasn’t going to let me go to that church anymore. I was devastated. Mr. and Mrs. W. were good, loving people. Why shouldn’t I be like them?  I didn’t talk about Jesus to my mom and dad until many, many years later, when I was a grown woman.

I have such fond memories of Gethsemane United Methodist Church, in Reliance, MD, and although the fire completely destroyed the church on May 11, 1998, my memories of it remain intact. A couple of years later, the church was rebuilt, not on the same site as the original structure, but across the street from it. The new church is quite lovely, and although it is a brick structure, it bears no resemblance to the original. Nor does it invoke the same feelings that the original one did.

I pray that the people in this new Gethsemane will impact the lives of men, women and children as the people from the old one changed my life. To the old structure, I reluctantly bid a fond farewell.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Musical

What role does music play in your life?
Daily Prompt: Musical

Music has always played a critical part of my life… I am one of those fun (some say annoying) people who has a song for just about every topic or occasion. Shall I share a musical sampling of my life’s story with you? Yes. I think I must…

First of all, I was born in Delaware, the first state in the U.S.A…

My mother and my birth father got a D-I-V-O-R-C-E when I was just a baby…

After that, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I saw my father as I grew up…

When I hit puberty, I fell madly, passionately in love with Donny Osmond…

I was an outcast as I grew up lonely and depressed…

Eventually, as circumstances and life became too much for a young girl to handle, I ended up on the psychiatric ward of a local hospital, due to panic attacks… Funnily enough, this song was extremely popular at the time, and I remember whenever that song was played on the radio, those of us on the psychiatric unit would crank it up and sing along loudly!

Within a few months after leaving the hospital, I met the love of my life, and after dating only 5 months, we married…

Many people said we’d never make it, but we’ve been together for more than 31 years now…

My husband and I had two children together…

I began to take my children to church when they were little, thinking that this was something they needed…

I was right. They did need Jesus, but I discovered that I desperately needed Him too…

When I met my Savior, He broke the chains that bound me…

Like David, I danced for joy when He removed the shackles that imprisoned me…

When He set me free, it was a happy day…

Hallelujah! Now I am free to run…

As I began to walk in new found confidence and joy, I was amazed by the love that Jesus has for me…

As He lavished His love on me, I began to fall in love with Jesus…

The more I grew to love Him, the more I sought to worship Him and enter into His presence… 

And when I entered into His presence, I was struck by His holiness, for there is none like Him…

There is coming a day, when every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!

I truly cannot imagine a world without music… I am so thankful that the Lord gave mankind this gift of music… Without it, life would be very dark and dreary.

Daily Prompt: Dearly Departed

Write your own eulogy.
Daily Prompt: Dearly Departed

For years, I’ve said that I would like to preach my own funeral. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, but I’m very serious about that, so when I saw today’s daily prompt, I got excited. No, this isn’t my funeral sermon, which I may share with you someday, but what follows is the eulogy that I hope and pray I inspire others to think of me when my time on earth is through.
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Greetings Everyone! In case no one can think of anything good to say about me when I’m gone, I’ve written my own eulogy to be read, so sit back, my friends, and remember me while whoever decided to read this, reads it to you. I know how hard it is for my husband and my children to make a decision about where to go for dinner or what to do on their day off, and I’m guessing that you had a hard time deciding who should read my eulogy at my funeral…

Photo Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/178.html

I’ve already taken care of making arrangements so that I can preach at my funeral, which has hopefully relieved some of your burden, and knowing how difficult this decision is for you to make, I want you to get two dice, and roll them, and the one with the highest number is to read my eulogy… As you’ve probably figured out by now, I couldn’t decide who should read the darn thing either, or I would have told you so. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Anyway, sit back and relax for awhile as I share my memories of me with you…

Oh yes, one more thing before the reader shares my eulogy… You may notice that I am speaking in the present tense, although I’ve passed away, and there’s a very good reason for that. You see, my beloved family and friends, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Although my former dwelling (my flesh, my body) has died, my spirit lives on.

Photo Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/114.html

Hallelujah! No more glum faces! This is a celebration, because ever since I came to know the Lord, I’ve longed to see Him face to face. I’ve longed to touch His face, to feel the warmth of His embrace. I yearned for Him to wipe every tear away from my eyes… I desired to touch His nail pierced hands, and put my hand in His side, not to prove that it really happened, but just because I want to honor Him for all of the suffering that He endured for my sake…

The most outstanding thing I can reveal to you about myself is that I truly love the Lord, my God with all of my heart… indeed, my heart beats for Him… Oh! How I love Jesus…

I love the Lord, my God with all of my soul… Every emotion I have comes from Him… He is my joy… He is my peace… I am angry at the things that make Him angry… My heart breaks for the things that break His heart… I yield my soul to Him…

Photo Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/466.html

I love the Lord, the King of Glory with all of my mind… Although I had many battles within my mind while I traversed the earth, I can now tell you that the battle has been won! I truly hold every thought captive for Christ… I now fix my thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. I think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. I think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

I love the Lord God Almighty, with all of my strength… In my new glorified body, I worship Him in song and in dance… I worship Him in battle — oh yes, my brothers and sisters… those of you who walk with the Lord, and those of you who don’t yet walk with the Lord… The Lord is preparing His saints (hallelujah — yes, I am a saint) for that great and glorious day, when we shall ride with Him, armed for battle, as we are engaged in that great and final battle with the enemy and his demons! My friends, get ready, because the time is drawing near.

Do you remember how I loved to sing — whether it sounded good or not? Do you remember how we would be talking about something, and suddenly I would burst into a song that fit the topic? I used to say that  I have a song for every occasion, and it was pretty much true. You should hear me sing now… My voice is beautiful now… it is strong, yet soft and melodious, and guess what? Sometimes, Jesus lets me sing with the angels!

Photo Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/525.html

Do you remember how I loved to laugh? Some people loved to hear the sound of my laughter, while others hated it. Do you remember my witty sense of humor? Ok, I thought I had a witty sense of humor, while some thought I was a cornball. Anyway, you know what? I still have that same sense of humor, and I just crack the angels up! The Lord even gets tickled with me sometimes.

I might as well talk about some of my struggles as well. Many times, I was much too quick to anger. All too often, I spoke before I thought. Too many times, I hurt people with my sharp tongue. I know this is supposed to be a eulogy, and it’s supposed to be uplifting, but I always did march to the beat of a different drum. Therefore, since it’s my eulogy and since I wrote it, I can say whatever I want to say in it, right?

So, for every person I lost my temper with… for every one who was hurt by my razor sharp tongue, for every person I hurt, either intentionally or unintentionally, I humbly apologize, and I ask for your forgiveness. There is never a good reason for hurting anyone, therefore, I offer no excuses for my bad behavior. I was wrong to hurt you, and I am truly sorry for everyone that I hurt.

In closing, the most important thing that I could ask anyone to remember about me is this:

Cheryl Showers loved the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength… And Jesus led me all the way!

God bless everyone who took time out of your busy schedule to come and honor me, and please, don’t cry for me I am happier than I ever dreamed I could be! Please, just sit back, listen and enjoy this song, and then go, eat and spend time with one another.

And one more thing… I just have to say this before you bury me. Seek the Lord today, while He may still be found. Call on Him… cry out to Jesus, because I long to see each one of you again. Please don’t harden your hearts!

Many blessings to you, and much love,
Cheryl

Daily Prompt: Ready, Set Go

Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish.
Daily Prompt: Ready, Set Go

So, it’s 12:39am, and I’ve just now gotten home from the hospital with my husband. He had to go to the ER, because they thought he either had a dvt or gout. Praise God, it wasn’t a dvt… Bad news is it was gout, which is extremely painful.

My dad suffered from gout, and when I looked at my husband’s foot this morning, I told him that I thought he had gout. LOL – I could have saved us the emergency room visit, but nobody listens to me. 😀 Bless his heart, he has been in serious pain today. It broke my heart seeing him struggle to walk to the car earlier today, when we visited his doctor’s office, before going to the ER.

I love that man. He is such a good man, and he’s never mean or hateful to the doctors and nurses, no matter how bad he feels. As a matter of fact, sometimes, he worries that he’s bothering them. God really blessed me with the best husband in the whole world. I think that’s why it hurts so bad to see him hurting.

For those of you who are also believers, please keep my husband in your prayers. Pray that the Lord heals him quickly, and relieves his pain. I really appreciate your prayers, and the prayers of all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I’m supposed to write for 10 minutes, and since I’ve shared my day with you, I guess the next thing for me to do is to talk to Jesus. 🙂

Lord, I thank You that there was nothing more serious with my hubby than gout. I thank you that he did not have a blood clot as the doctor feared, and that he will take his medicine and recover quickly. Lord, I thank You for protecting our family, and I thank You for watching over each one of my beloved family, friends, and blogging friends too.

Father, I pray that You would watch over each one of our grandchildren, and protect them from all harm. Lord, Keep them safe, and draw them close to You. Father, I pray for each person who is reading this post, that You would watch over them, and heal any broken hearts. I pray that where there is sickness, You would give them health, where there is heartache, You would grant peace and comfort.

Lord, I pray that You would fill each person with Your love, give them a revelation of how wide, how long, how high and how deep Your love for them really is. Lord, I pray that You would speak to the hearts of men and women, and that You would fill them with an unquenchable hunger for truth and righteousness.

I pray, Lord, for the unborn.

Daily Prompt: Shipwrecked!

Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?
Daily Prompt: Shipwrecked!

OK – I almost didn’t respond to this prompt, because it is so reprehensible, but then, as I thought about it this morning, at 4:40am, I realized that I should respond to this prompt, just because it is so terrible.

I’m going to approach this from a biblical point of view, simply because that is how I live my life. In everything that I do in life, I try to live in obedience to the God who created me and gives me life. Therefore, when I read this story, I was appalled.

I am well aware that not everyone is a Christian, and therefore, not everyone lives their lives according to the biblical precepts that God has given us. However, even though you may not know scriptures, God writes His law on the hearts of all men, so that all may know what is right and what is wrong. Although not everyone is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, He has given each one of us a conscience (unless your heart has become so hard that your conscience is seared). 

Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right. (Romans 2:14-15 NLT)

Therefore, there is something innate, within the hearts of all men and women that is disgusted and repulsed at the thought of killing and eating another human being. This is because God’s law has been written on our hearts, and we know that to murder another human being is sinful and wrong.

Do not murder. (Exodus 20:13 NLT)

This is why cannibalism is sinful and wrong. It is also why abortion, infanticide, and all other types of murder are wrong. We have been given permission by God to eat of any and all other meat in order to survive, but to kill another human being in order to eat him/her is sinful and wrong.

One of the things that struck me as I read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley was the fact that the men in that life boat had not gone without food for a long period of time. Indeed, the very longest that they had gone without any food was seven days at the most. I’ve fasted for much longer than that, and I certainly didn’t suffer!

Therefore, for them to plot to murder Richard Parker, a seventeen year old youth, and justify the murder because they were afraid of going hungry was ludicrous. People do not starve in seven days. There is no excuse for murder.

As far as I can see, this act was nothing more than a selfish, pre-meditated murder, and in answer to the question:

What would you have done?

I would like to believe that I would not even consider such a debased act. As Dudley and Stephens discussed and plotted to murder Richard Parker, it is obvious that neither considered the sanctity of life. Instead of being willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to save the lives of their friends, they sought to sacrifice the weakest person on that life boat. I would never want to be like either of them. Instead, I choose to model my life after that of my Savior, who said:

 I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it — the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. (John 15:12-13 NLT)

It is obvious to me that these men had no love for anyone other than themselves… Look at the contrast between these men, who plotted to kill one another and eat one another for their own sake, and Jesus… He set the standard for how we are to live.

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.  And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NLT)

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. (Hebrews 12:2 The Message)

You see, because of His great unselfish love for us, Jesus willingly laid down His life, so that we could have eternal life.

“The Father loves Me because I lay down My life that I may have it back again. No one can take My life from me. I lay down My life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it again. For My Father has given Me this command.” (John 10:17-18 NLT)

In the garden of Gethsemane, on the night that Jesus was unjustly arrested, Peter tried to defend Jesus by grabbing a sword and cutting the ear off the high priest’s servant, but rather than trying to run or fight against the enemy, look what Jesus did when Peter cut the servant’s ear off:

When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them slashed at the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “Don’t resist anymore.” And He touched the place where the man’s ear had been and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51 NLT)

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. Those who use the sword will be killed by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” (Matthew 26:52-54 NLT)

Do you see? Jesus willingly laid His life down for mankind, and He calls those who love Him to do the same… Therefore, as a child of the Most High God, and friend of Jesus, I would rather lay my life down protecting the more than 3000 unborn children who are brutally slaughtered in legalized abortions daily… I would rather lay down my life protecting  those who would murder themselves… I would rather lay down my life to protect the many murder victims in this country, and around the world… and yes, I would have much rather laid down my life for young Richard Parker, than to murder him and feed off his body… 

You see, mankind was created in the image of God, and every man, woman and child was created for a purpose God only knows, and it is He alone who has the right to give life and to take life… I firmly adhere to sanctity of human life.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: I Got Skills

If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?
Daily Prompt: I Got Skills
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Photo Credit: http://oksanalbe.tumblr.com/post/22246575560/jesus-loved-the-outcasts-he-loves-the-ones-the

If I could be the mistress of any skill in the world, I would choose language. Scripture calls this the gift of tongues, and sometimes, even today, the Lord gives people this gift of speaking in other languages, with no formal training, so they can share the good news with all of the nations of the world…

On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Godly Jews from many nations were living in Jerusalem at that time. When they heard this sound, they came running to see what it was all about, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. (Acts 2:1-6 NLT)

The Lord has given me the gift of communicating with people, but I would love if He would give me the gift of tongues, so that I could speak to people of every tongue and tribe and nation, and share the gospel of Christ with them. I would love to be able to share with men, women and children of all nations the wonderful news that Jesus loves you with an everlasting love. I would share with everyone the hope of glory.

Photo Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/christ-for-the-nations-deborah-brown.html

I would be able to say to each one, Come now, let us reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. I would tell them, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and that there is none who is righteous, not even one. Then, after sharing this with the people, I would also share this truth… The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

I would tell all, the good news that God loved the world so much, that He sent His only Son to die and pay for our sins, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I would say, that while the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came that we might have an abundant life. I would share the truth with all, so that they would know the truth, and the truth would set them free.

Photo Credit: http://www.gospelgifs.com/categories/animated_01.htm

The most important thing that I would verbalize with this gift of language is the love of Christ. You see, though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, if I have not love, I would be nothing more than a clanging gong or a noisy cymbal. Even if I prophesied, and knew all things, and could tell you great mysteries and things, if I have not love, I am nothing. You see, this gift of language would profit me nothing, if I do not love the people I am communicating with. 

Therefore, in requesting this gift, I don’t want to use it for my own benefit, for that would profit me nothing. I would like to have this gift so that I can share the love of Christ with all mankind… However, since I don’t currently have this gift of language or tongues, what a blessing that God has given me a forum right here on WordPress, where I can share His love to people of every tongue and tribe and nation. I guess this means that I already am the mistress of the skill of language!

Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen

When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen
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I’ve always been a dreamer. I believe God created me to dream so that I could not only survive the pain of my youth, but also thrive, in spite of many obstacles. From the time I was a child, I was picked on and rejected by my peers, my teachers and my family. I lived in fear and loneliness, and you would think that I would be miserable, but I wasn’t.

You see, God blessed me with hope and dreams. I could be anywhere, in almost any sort of situation, and be able to imagine a better life and a better world. I would dream of ways that I could escape the situation I was in. And the Lord blessed me with perseverance as well. No matter how many times I got knocked down, no matter how many times I was beat or punished, I would still dream of a better life. I still hoped for something better, and I believed it would happen.

At sixteen, life was hard. In order to “teach me” how to drive better, my stepfather would take me for rides in our old green Pontiac Bonneville station wagon, and I would have to sit on his lap, while he gyrated and breathed heavily beneath me. I hated it. Like any teenager that age, I desperately wanted to learn how to drive, but the cost was much too high…

I had all kinds of dreams. I loved to sing, and I would envision myself on stage, singing to millions of adoring fans… I planned to start out as a cosmetologist to the stars, and then Donny Osmond, my true love, would come to me and as I styled his hair, he would fall madly, passionately in love with me, and he would rescue me and marry me, taking me on stage with him… I dreamed that one day, my birth father, my Daddy John, (a man that I  had only seen a handful of times) would come swooping in, like a knight in shining armor and rescue me from the life I was living… I dreamed that my mother would stand up for me and leave my stepfather, taking my sister and me away, to start a new life… 

Photo Credit: http://www.pics22.com/pics/bible-quotes/page/8/

Did any of those dreams that I envisioned at sixteen come true? No… not a single one of those dreams came true. However, I got something so much better. You see, three years later, when I was nineteen years old, after spending twenty-one days on the psychiatric ward of a local hospital, I went to work at the jewelry counter of a chain store called Ames Department Store. It was there that I met a hard working young man who became my husband just a few months later.

This young man was my hero… my rescuer. After dating for only five months, we got married, two days before my twentieth birthday. My mother and stepfather predicted that the marriage would never last more than six months… I’m also happy to report that none of their predictions for my life came true either.

You see, I have been married to that same young man, (who is no longer so young) for more than thirty-one years, and he is still my hero. Many times over the years, I have had to face changes, and my husband has been there by my side, encouraging and believing in me. When the Lord led me to go to school and get my associate’s degree in ministry, my husband, who does not yet know Christ personally, was with me, encouraging me to go for my dreams, believing that I could do it. When I told him of my dream to write a book recently, a dream that I had kept secret for many years, he didn’t laugh at me. He believed I could accomplish it.

I’ve faced many difficult times since I was sixteen years old, but I give thanks to God, who has given me hope in the midst of trials… I give thanks to the God, who has given me dreams for the future… I give thanks to the God, who has held me in the palm of His hand, protecting me and guarding me, ensuring that I would become everything that He created me to be.

Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law

Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?
Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law
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In today’s world, some might not see this as a big deal. In fact, many call it a rite of passage, but the truth is that we are living in a world that calls right wrong, and wrong right. Sadly, many in our culture believe that there are no absolute rights or wrongs.

Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. (Isaiah 5:20 NLT)

Photo Credit: http://realtimeunited.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/bt175-calling-evil-good.jpg?w=288&h=162

When I was eighteen, my parents and my sister went away for the weekend, leaving me behind, because I had to work on that Saturday morning. My parents asked my uncle and his wife to keep an eye out for me while they were gone, so after work, I called them up to see if they would mind if I stopped by for a little while, since I had no plans that day. As I recall, (and please remember, this was more than thirty years ago) they said that they would be drinking and partying that night, and I was welcome to join them, but if I thought I would be offended, I shouldn’t come.

I decided that since my life had thus far been pretty boring, that I would join the party. I remember that this happened in the summer time, because it was still light out for a long time. When I walked into the house, many, including my uncle and his wife were already drinking exuberantly. They were loud and obnoxious, and in my foolish sight, they were pretty awesome. They asked if I wanted a tequila sunrise, and I said yes… and yes again… and again… and again… 

Before long, I was feeling woozy. Everyone was laughing and having a great time, and they were laughing at me too. I felt everyone’s approval, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was the life of the party. Therefore, when they asked if I could keep a secret, I immediately agreed. I wasn’t going to spoil anyone’s fun, and I liked being so popular with everyone.

Photo Credit: http://robandmichelleharris.blogspot.com/

That’s when they brought out the bong. I’d never seen one before, and I had no idea what we were going to do next, but I thought it involved some kind of party game. I was pretty naïve, but as they began deftly rolling joints, and lit the bong, I was soon up to speed on what was going on. They offered me a toke, and said I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to. It was cool, but I was drunk and enjoying my new party girl status, so I toked and smoked with the best of them.

Then, at some point, as everyone was laughing and partying, it was decided that we would take our party to one of the bars everyone loved to frequent at the beach, some forty-five minutes away. My uncle loaded his vehicle with several of his closest friends, and I was left to ride in another car, with his other friends. The crew I was riding with were pretty rough and scary looking, and I was beginning to feel really woozy, and a little nauseated.

On the drive to the beach, my nausea was increasing at an alarming rate. At some point, in an effort to stop the nausea and the spinning in my head, I laid down on this woman’s lap and closed my eyes. It didn’t help. “I’m going to die,” I moaned as she gently rubbed my hair and assured me that I was going to be okay. Her touch was comforting, but I really did feel as though I was going to die… and then, “I’m going to be sick!” I said as I began retching. They quickly pulled the vehicle over, and gently opened my door and helped me lean over, as I threw up all over my feet. I can’t remember if I got sick in the vehicle or not. I only know that I was miserable, and that these strangers (including this great big burly man, who was really scary looking with tattoos and a red bandana), who I did not even know were so gentle and kind as they cared for me.

Photo Credit: http://ubdavid.org/advanced/greatsalvation/great-salvation_12.html

Meanwhile, my uncle and his wife kept their distance from me, leaving the strangers to care for me. I was really hurt by that at the time, but I was also so grateful to the strangers who gently cleaned me up, as my uncle and his wife looked on from about fifteen or twenty feet away, so as not to be touched by the stench of the barf. After cleaning me up, the gentle giant and his wife helped me back into their vehicle, laying my head gently on his wife’s lap, and speaking to me kindly and soothingly, as we continued on our way to the beach. Needless to say, I drank no more alcohol that night, for fear of getting sick. Instead, I stuck to Cokes for the rest of the evening… This certainly was not a night that I was proud of…

So, in answer to the question asked, “Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?” from my lawbreaking evening, I say yes. Was I burned? Yes on a couple of different levels… Firstly, I got so dreadfully, horribly sick, which took away my desire for alcohol and a party life… Secondly, my conscience was pricked. 

Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right. (Romans 2:14-15 NLT)

For months, I carried this secret shame within me, while it gnawed away at my conscience. I knew that what I had done was wrong, and every time my mother would tell me how proud she was of me, because I could be trusted while she went away, I would feel intense guilt and self-loathing. 

Finally, one night, probably around six or eight months following that shameful night, my mom came to my room for something. It’s been so long ago, I don’t remember the small details, but I do remember the larger details. Mom sat on the side of my bed talking to me and telling  me how much she loved me, and how proud she was of me, while I wept like a baby. I was so ashamed, and finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and so I told her why she should not love me or be proud of me, and I told her every detail of that horrible, wretched night, when I had gotten drunk and high. 

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Knowing our past relationship, I fully expected my mother to beat me mercilessly, and curse me, and tell me how worthless I was. Then, I could feel some justification for my sins… but this time, she fooled me. She looked at me, and with tears in her eyes, she hugged me and told me how much she loved me, and that she forgave me. I tell you, I felt such an overwhelming love for my mother that night, and I still do, as I remember that.

I am so thankful for the love she shared with me when I confessed my sin to her. So you see, yes I was burned, but not by the law. I was burned by my own conscience, as God’s Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin, and yes, it did indeed work out for the best. You see, I was able to understand that despite our rocky, abusive relationship, my mother does love me, and I love her deeply. I also learned that drunkenness and being wasted are not the fun that everyone thinks they are. Quite frankly, they only serve to harm and destroy us.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

American Pastor Imprisoned In Iran To Go On Trial Next Week

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.
Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines!

I visited the Fox News website, and as soon as I saw the following headline, I knew that I must participate in this prompt. The link below will take you to the fox news website, where that article can be read.

American Pastor Imprisoned In Iran To Go On Trial Next Week

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/14/trial-date-set-for-american-pastor-imprisoned-in-iran/?test=latestnews#ixzz2I09Tx4ny

What follows is my telling of this story, but before I continue, I want to cry out to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to please join me in praying for this young Pastor, Saeed Abedini, as well as for other Christian men, women and children throughout the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

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Photo Credit: Pastor Saeed Abedini (COURTESY OF ACLJ)

And when the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their witness. They called loudly to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before You judge the people who belong to this world for what they have done to us? When will You avenge our blood against these people?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters — their fellow servants of Jesus — had been martyred. (Revelation 6:9-11 NLT)

In July 2012, Saeed Abedini, a 32-year old Pastor and United States citizen, was arrested in Iran while working on an orphanage project that was not affiliated with any religion. However, because Mr. Abedini, a former Iranian citizen, had been deterred and interrogated in Iran once before, in 2009, for converting from Islam to Christianity in 2000, and for helping to create a network of underground churches in Iran, he is now being held for trial, which is to begin on January 21, 2013, for trying to convert Muslims to the Christian faith, which is punishable by the death penalty.

My friends, this is a gross injustice and a violation of Mr. Abedini’s human rights. Let us not forget that while Saeed was once an Iranian citizen, he abdicated his citizenry to that country, and is now a citizen of the United States of America. It saddens me greatly that the United States government has remained silent regarding this matter. There has been no action from any of the U.S. government agencies on Saeed Abedini’s behalf. It’s as if he doesn’t exist.

(Photo: American Center for Law and Justice) Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini with his wife, Naghmeh, and his two children. While visiting his parents in Iran in July 2012, Abedini was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for his previous Christian work in the country. Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/us-pastor-saeed-abedini-faces-notorious-hanging-judge-in-iran-88027/#oj7lu77c2oUlwuOk.99

This man is not only a Christian, but a husband and the father of two children. Surely he deserves our prayers at the very least. It has also been reported by Mr. Abedini, in a letter (please click link to read) that was written to his wife, that he has been abused by his captors.

When I first determined to write this Daily Prompt, it was just another opportunity for me to share the gospel in my writing, but as I’ve been researching this story, it has become more than that to me. This is a very personal issue. Men and women of the United States, do you realize how very blessed we are to live in a country where we are free to worship as we choose? Whether you are Christian, Buddhist, Islam, Atheist or whatever religion you are, if you live in the United States of America, you have been granted your God-given right to practice your faith in this country. I don’t care what your faith is or is not, every U.S. citizen who reads about Mr. Abedini’s imprisonment should be outraged by it.

And if you are not a U.S. citizen, but you have been granted the freedom to worship as you choose, you too, should be outraged by his incarceration as well. For those who are living in a country that does not afford you the right to freedom of religion, please know that my heart goes out to you, as well. No one should be imprisoned, beat, tortured or put to death for practicing your faith in God.

This is why I am urging everyone, aged 18 and older, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or a citizen of another country, to sign the Petition to Free American Pastor Saeed Abedini, by clicking the link.

I’ve never before written a post where I asked people to take action, but I strongly feel in my spirit that I must do so now. Saeed Abedini’s case has been turned over to Judge Pir-Abassi, and his court date is next Monday, January 21, 2013. His trial date and the charges against him were withheld from his attorneys until less than a week before his trial. He desperately needs our prayers and action now.

Judge Pir-Abassi, who was named in 2011 by the European Union as an individual subject to sanctions for human rights violations. The judge has reportedly presided over a number of cases against human rights activists, often handing down long prison sentences and even several death penalties – with some calling him one of Iran’s “hanging judges.”
Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/us-pastor-saeed-abedini-faces-notorious-hanging-judge-in-iran-88027/#I5vljeXtx1VHQg2X.99

Therefore, I am doing something I’ve never done before. I am asking every person who reads this article to sign the petition, and you have my permission to either reblog what I’ve written, or copy from it. I don’t care or worry about any copyright infringements on this article. What matters most is that we unite together as human beings to free this man of God, who was simply trying to start an orphanage for Iranian children when he was arrested.

Many thanks for reading this, and many more thanks and blessings to all who take action. May God bless you all!

Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Clean Slate

Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?
Daily Prompt: Clean Slate

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“Oh my,” I think to myself as I’m greeted by the short overweight woman’s friendly smile and she invites me to sit at her dining room table, which is covered by a gaudy lime green  Christmas table-cloth covered with red and white striped candy canes. The table-cloth matches nothing in the room… It doesn’t match anything in the entire house, but this woman doesn’t even seem to care. 

Directly across from me sits a pellet stove atop a beautiful deep dark red brick hearth, which is approximately five feet by five feet. It looks very old fashioned, and the lovely brick hearth rests in the right hand back corner adjacent to the kitchen and climbs the two walls around five and a half feet in height. The hearth is capped by a brick mantle about six inches wide, on top of which rest black framed photographs of the woman’s many grandchildren. 

Photo Credit: http://shareyourwallpapers.com/upload/wallpaper/photo-art/christian-wallpaper/christian-wallpaper_7a8ffcbf.jpg

Above and beside the hearth is unfinished drywall. It’s as if someone began a home improvement project that was never completed, but again, the woman who sits at the table across from me doesn’t seem to mind it. Next to the hearth is a single window, which is covered by white mini blinds, which are closed. The woman explains that the window and pellet stove are on the north side of the house, which is the coldest, and receives the most wind in the winter, so the mini blinds stay closed. “Besides,” she grins at me, “it’s not like there’s a great view. The window overlooks my neighbor’s driveway and house, and I don’t want them to think I’m spying on them,” she laughs gaily.

Photo Credit: http://www.desktopbackgroundsfree.net

In the next corner is a lovely beech wood china hutch, which sits caddy corner, holding her husband’s great-grandmother’s china, which consists of white plates and bowls with turquoise and red willows, lined in silver trim. The sugar bowl, and the coffee cups have turquoise exteriors, and white interiors, again, lined with silver.

All in all, the hutch and the china are lovely, which is what makes the next wall seem completely out of place. On the next wall, which faces the front, west side of the house, are twin windows, side by side, covered with white mini-blinds, which are closed. These blinds are also kept shut year round, because they are drafty in the winter, and in the summer, they allow the air conditioning to escape. The wall on either side of the windows is a beautiful, aged knotty pine wall. Directly in front of these windows sits a dusty, plush green recliner that has clearly seen better days, and is loaded with books and dvd’s. The woman laughingly explains that her husband and son-in-law forgot to load the chair when they went to the dump a couple of months ago, and so there the chair remains, collecting books and dust.

Beside the chair is the woman’s printer, computer tower, and a telephone with a very short cord. Above the computer rests a cordless phone. Again, the woman laughs as she explains that the cordless phone no longer works, and the corded phone was given to her, and since she can’t afford to buy another phone right now, she makes do with the short-corded phone. I’m not sure why the broken phone remains hanging on the side of the woman’s bookshelf, unless, like the green recliner, her husband and son-in-law forgot to take it to the dump also.

Next, is the spot where the woman says she spends most of her time. The combination desk with bookshelves is built into the knotty pine wall and is also knotty pine. The prior owner from many years ago had built this, and it is quite lovely. I note right away that this woman must be an avid reader, as the shelves are filled to the ceiling with books. Also, as I look at the books on the shelves, as well as the ones in the green recliner I see at least ten different bibles. 

I look at the woman in askance, “Why so many bibles?” I question.

“Oh, I love to read the different versions,” she replied. “Sometimes the wording of one translation speaks to me more clearly than another might.”

“But don’t they all say the same thing?” I question.

“Sure they do, but even though they say and mean the same thing,” she replies, “the wording of one translation may bring things to light in a clearer way.”

I nodded. That makes sense. Anyway, continuing, I notice that most of the books are religious. I ask the woman about that, and she smiles and says, “I’m a Christian, and I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. He is my passion, and I love to talk about Him, read about Him and study His word. 

“Do you see that chair in front of the desk?” she queries, then continues when I nod in acquiescence, “I spend a lot of time there. Sometimes, I waste my time and play silly computer games, but other times, I write. I write posts for my blog. I write poetry, and I work on writing my book. I also spend a lot of time burning worship cd’s which minister to me and to others.” Indeed, as I look closer, I see that she has a stack of cd’s on the stand next to her desk.

As I look around, I also can’t help but notice that the woman has papers strewn about in various places, and I have to ask, “How can you find anything?”

Photo Credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Again, she bursts into gales of laughter. “Sometimes I can’t,” she replies. “If you ask me to find something on the computer, you will find that I am extremely organized. Everything is organized in files and folders. But alas!” she says dramatically, “I’m horrible with paper. I just can’t seem to organize myself. I try, and I will go through like a whirlwind and clean things up, but within a short period of time, I will again have this disarray to contend with.”

As I look around the room, and then look behind me into the living room, I’m struck by the contrast, and I question her about it. “My husband is just the opposite of me,” she replies. While I have a very abstract-abstract personality, my husband has a concrete-concrete personality. I think he has OCD,” she confided. “He has to have things very neat and organized, or it throws him off kilter, while I, on the other hand, am simply scattered. Therefore, in order for him to have some semblance of peace, I’m careful not to leave a mess in the living room.”

Again, she grins mischievously, “At least I try most of the time. There are too many occasions when I miss the mark, but praise God! I’m married to a good man who is very forgiving.”

I peruse the room one final time before I must leave, and in spite of the clutter, despite the seeming chaos of papers, there is a warmth here and a peace that I am loath to leave. “You’re welcome to stay awhile,” the woman lovingly invites, and as she offers me a drink, I find myself accepting her offer. “That’s what it is,” I think to myself. “The warmth I feel in this house is love. I believe I’ll abide in the warmth of this woman’s abode for a little while longer.”

And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

(Colossians 3:14 NLT)

Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.
Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life

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What a great prompt! What if I was to tell you that there really is a book written about me, you, and every other person who has ever existed, including those who don’t yet exist?

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.


(Psalm 139:16 NLT)

Before anyone is even conceived in their mother’s womb, God already knows us, and has a plan for each life.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My spokesman to the world.”

(Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)

Photo Credit:
http://0.tqn.com/d/christianity/1/0/N/H/BookOfLife298x313.jpg

It really amazes me when I think about it. And for those of you who may think that this allows us no opportunity to make our own decisions, think again. You see, God in His Sovereignty has indeed created each and every man, woman and child with a specific purpose, tailor made just for that person. He has placed longings and desires within each one of us, and given us dreams and visions for what could be.

He has gifted each and every person that He has made so that they are equipped to accomplish all they were created to accomplish in their lives, but then, He throws something else in there, which has the potential to either fulfill or destroy our destiny, depending on what we choose to do with all that He has given us. You see, man, who was created in God’s image, has been given a free will, by God, so that we can choose our own destiny.

“Now wait a minute,” I can hear some of you saying. “You just said that He recorded every day of our life in His book, and that each moment of our life was laid out before a single day passed, so how does that account for free will?”

Thank you for asking. Just because God, who is omniscient (all-knowing), knows what you are going to do before you actually do it, does not mean that He has rigged you to do something. For example, have you ever watched a television show, and known what was going to happen, before it happened? Did your foreknowledge cause that to happen? Of course not.

Photo Credit: http://wordincarnate.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/woundedheart.jpg

In the same way, God knows our hearts, better than we ourselves know them. In fact, before the foundation of the earth was laid, He knew us, and just like you knew what would happen on that television program, He knows every breath we will take, every move we will make, and every thought we will think. When He created us, He had already recorded our life in His book, because He had foreknowledge of what we would do, and what would be done to  us by others. Some of us will fulfill the destiny we were created for, while many others, will fulfill their own destiny, that they create for themselves, and because of His great love and respect for us, God will allow each one to choose which destiny they fulfill. 

Therefore, if you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. My answer is yes, because as I said before, there already is a book written about me, and in order for me to read that book, God would have to open it up for me and reveal it. I trust God, so if He wants me to know what will happen, He must have a good reason for it, and I will gladly read it.

Actually, there are times, when He reveals things that are about to happen to me, things that He’s recorded in His book about me, and then there are many other times, when I am completely surprised by what is happening to me or around me, and that’s okay. Whether I know in advance what is going to happen, or whether I’m taken completely by surprise, I find it comforting to know that God is never surprised or taken off guard by what is happening, because He had already seen it happen in His book about me.

In the end, when it’s all said and done, I’ve decided to fulfill the destiny that God created me to fulfill, rather than my own destiny, because there is abundant life in Him, and my plans just can’t measure up to His. My plans will eventually kill me. And just look at the plans He has for us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

(Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

As long as I stick with the plans that He has for me, even without reading the book He has written about me in advance, I know how it will end… 

And she lived happily ever after.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

One of My Most “Spiritual” Moments

You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.
Daily Prompt: 1984

Isn’t it funny how the Lord works? I wrote this post in the wee hours of this morning, before the Daily Prompt was mailed, and in it, I talked about fear. Since the Lord set me free from fear (see the post below), as unbelievable as it might sound, I have no fear. Does that mean I never get scared? Yes, there are times when fear will creep in, but they’re usually short-lived. Anyway, please see the post below, which dealt with my fear once and for all!
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What was your most spiritual moment?

This post is in response to the question above, raised by Tilda Swift, at Swift Expression.

I’ve had many spiritual moments since I began walking with the Lord, and the one that I’m about to share with you now is only one of many. How do you rate an encounter with God? Every encounter with the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, Father of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, through His Holy Spirit is powerful and exciting, as well as transforming.

Photo Courtesy Of:http://godisgood.info/2009/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/2009-10-prayer.jpg
Photo Courtesy Of:
http://godisgood.info/2009/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/2009-10-prayer.jpg

This encounter took place around sixteen or seventeen years ago. (I’ve had many other encounters since, but this is the one that the Lord placed on my heart to share with you) At the time, I was dealing with many issues from my past, and I was in a lot of pain. I was also held prisoner by a spirit of fear, that had enslaved me since childhood. I know this may sound crazy to some, but I’m sure others of you may be able to relate to this. I lived in fear of what might come in the mail.

From the time I was a child, I lived in fear of the mail. Do I sound like I was a little bit crazy to you? Perhaps I was, but teachers sometimes mailed letters to the parents of their students, and more often than not, those letters were not letters of praise, but of condemnation. I was not a model student, and so I lived in fear and dread of what might show up in the mail and get me in trouble.

Photo Courtesy Of:http://restministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/god-has-not-given-us-a-spirit-of-fear.jpg
Photo Courtesy Of:
http://restministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/god-has-not-given-us-a-spirit-of-fear.jpg

Therefore, I used to pray that my mother hadn’t come home for her lunch break at work and gotten the mail before I could check it and intercept it if need be. I had learned to forge my mother’s signature quite well, and if I got home and found a letter from one of my teachers, I would open it and sign it if necessary, to avoid beatings and punishment. I’m not proud of my actions, nor do I condone them, but I was a scared little girl, living in a constant state of fear and anxiety, and rather than risk getting a beating and facing the wrath of my parents, I chose to lie and cheat.

You see, I had a spirit of fear, and it had become a stronghold in my life from the time I was a child. And here’s the thing about spirits — the longer you carry a spirit, the stronger it gets, and the more powerless you are to overcome that spirit, and one spirit will also invite others to take up residence within you, which is what happened with me.

As the spirit of fear grew stronger in my life, I opened the door to the spirit of deception. I became a chronic liar. I told so many lies while I was growing up, to my parents, my teachers, the children at school and even myself, that the line between fact and fiction became blurred, because I lived in constant fear.

When I was around seventeen or eighteen years old, I began having panic attacks. I was even admitted to the psychiatric ward of a local hospital right before I turned nineteen. Of course, the psychiatrist who saw me at the time, was a quack, who told my parents that my problem was just immaturity. I knew that it wasn’t safe to confide my fears to him, and so whenever I had to meet with him, I would sit there in stony silence, while he stared at me, like a cold fish, notepad in hand, writing who knows what, until our hour was up. Then he would collect his money and send me on my way, while he reported what had transpired to my parents.

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Photo Courtesy Of:
http://quotespics.com/trust-in-the-lord-with-all-your-heart-bible-proverbs-35-2/

Anyway, I got married two days before my twentieth birthday, and I figured once I left that fear-filled environment, I wouldn’t have to be afraid anymore. I was wrong. That spirit of fear had attached itself to me, and it wasn’t letting go. Even after having two children, and seeing that the man I was married to was a good man who loved me very much, I still lived in fear. At that time in our marriage, I was the one who took care of paying the bills that came each month.

I remember a time, when there wasn’t enough money in the accounts to pay a bill. I panicked. What was I going to do? I look back on this now, and I can see how irrational and foolish I was back then, but my life was spinning out of control, and I couldn’t see anything past my fears. Logic and reason tell me that I should have gone to my husband right away, the first time this happened, but I didn’t. Instead, I did something stupid. I hid the bill.

And each month, for many months, the bills kept coming, until we owed over $700. Now, more than sixteen years later, I can’t even remember what bill or bills caused me such anxiety. All I knew is that I loved my husband, and I didn’t want to lose his love. As crazy as it sounds, I was afraid that he would leave me, and I would be forced to return to my parents’ home to live, and I just couldn’t risk that happening.

Now, somewhere, in the midst of all of this, Jesus began to woo me with His love. I was drawn to Him, and I wanted to please Him. I wanted a chance to pray to Him, and worship Him alone, without any distractions from my husband or the children. So, one Saturday, I left the children at home with my husband, while I went to the church. I believe that was my first attempt at fasting, and I went upstairs to my Sunday School class, and sat there alone with God and my bible, and I began to pray.

Photo Courtesy Of:http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/john14_18.jpg
Photo Courtesy Of:
http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/john14_18.jpg

Then, in the midst of my prayer, I felt the Lord’s presence, and He spoke to my heart, reminding me of the $700 we owed, and urging me to tell my husband about it. I remember telling Him that I loved Him and I wanted to obey Him, but couldn’t I do something else for Him? Couldn’t I do anything else rather than confessing to my husband that I had been lying to him for months about the money we owed? Holy Spirit was very firm, as He urged me to confess to my husband. I remember crying, and telling the Lord that I really did love Him, but I just couldn’t tell my husband.

I felt the presence of the Lord so strongly, and yet I just couldn’t do what He was asking me to do. I was too weak. I was controlled by fear. I went home from that encounter with God, feeling severely depressed. I felt like a loser and a liar. I felt like I just wasn’t worthy of God’s love or anyone else’s love.

Two days later, on Monday morning, I had to take my husband to have an endoscopy. When I brought him home that day, he was feeling really nauseated, and I remember him laying his head on my lap while I sat on the sofa. A fierce wave of love for my husband washed over me as I sat there smoothing his hair, while he rested on my lap.

Suddenly, my husband’s eyes flew open, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, “I love you, Blondie.”

Guilt washed over me as I told him that I loved him too.

“No,” he said, “you don’t understand. I really, really love you Honey Doll.”

Now, I have to tell you, my husband doesn’t usually verbalize his love for me. It was totally out of character. He verbalizes now more than he used to, but back then, he usually only told me he loves me on special occasions, and then, he seemed embarrassed and awkward as he said it. He prefers to show me his love by doing things, but this day it was different.

He continued, “You’re the best wife any man could ever have.” Tears began to rain down my face, as I told him to stop it. “Why?” he asked. “It’s true. I’m really lucky to have you in my life. You’re always honest with me and –“

“No I’m not,” I wept. “I am a terrible wife. Please stop saying I’m good.”

“What’s wrong Honey Doll? I love you and you are a good wife.”

“No, I’ve messed up so bad,” I blurted out, as the tears were freely flowing, and fear kept trying to squeeze the life out of my heart. I was having difficulty breathing, as I confessed our $700 debt to him, fully expecting him to demand a divorce on the spot.

But he didn’t. Instead, he sat up and held me in his arms and proclaimed his love for me, telling me that we would work things out, and that I should never be afraid to talk to him or tell him anything.

And while he was speaking his words of love to me, I felt the presence of the Lord, and the Lord spoke these words into my heart…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

I began to see just how much the Lord cares for me. He was showing me that if I will just obey Him, He will watch over me and take care of me. Then He spoke these words to my heart as well, loosing the chains of fear that had bound me for so long, and setting me free from fear, and for the first time that I could remember, I no longer had any fear.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NKJV)

That was more than sixteen years ago, and my life has changed entirely. For several years after that, in order to ensure that I did not revert back to a life of fear, I would not retrieve the mail from the mailbox, lest I fall into temptation and open the door for fear to return, by hiding something. I also stopped taking care of the bills for a while, again, so that I would not open the door for fear to return to my life.

Perhaps, as you read this, you think that I’m loony. That’s okay, because fear makes a person loony, but the Spirit of the Lord gives us liberty. That day, I got a glimpse of God’s love for me, as He set me free from the spirits of fear and deception. That’s just one of my most “spiritual” moments.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

My first response when I read this prompt, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding,” as my mind flew back to unpleasant memories of grade school. But then I thought, “Wait a minute! This didn’t say anything about a childhood teacher. This just said to talk about a teacher who had a real impact on my life.” Suddenly, this prompt didn’t seem like such a chore.

I remember the first time I saw him, in September 2001. I had enrolled in Christian World College of Theology, established by Dr. Ray Chamberlain, and I was very excited for my first class. The Lord had led me here, and I was anxious to see what would come of this.

My friend Jean and I had arrived a few minutes early, because I am one who likes a front row seat because, firstly, I don’t want to miss anything, and secondly, I’m very distractible. If I sit behind anyone, I’m likely to pay more attention to the people in front of me rather than to the instructor. Also, generally, people who sit in the back rows tend to chat more, and that completely wrecks my concentration. Therefore, we arrived early, and got front row seats.

Bro Ray ChamberlainAs I said, I was really excited about this new endeavor that the Lord had led me to, until I saw the elderly white-haired gentleman step up to the podium. My heart sank. “Oh Lord,” I prayed, “please don’t let him be our teacher.” Now, instead of excitement, I had a sense of dread. I was expecting a younger instructor, one with some fire and passion for the Lord in his blood. This pale older man with the red rosy cheeks didn’t look like he could have much fire in him. I was afraid that I was destined to spend the next three hours in boredom.

I know how bad that sounds, but I’m just being honest about my feelings. The older man walked to the podium and told the class to gather together into groups of 5-10 people and begin praying. Wow. I had never been a part of a prayer group like that before! Everyone asked if there were any needs to be prayed for, and then, holding hands, everyone began crying out to God all at once. This was no quiet circle, where each person takes a turn praying, and then the next one and the next one, so that everyone has a chance to think up a nice sounding prayer to offer up. Ascending up to the heavens were the heartfelt cries of men and women seeking the Lord.

Coming from a very conservative Methodist church, this was quite an assault to my senses, and yet, I felt strangely warm inside — and hungry for more. After that time of prayer, my hopes were dashed as the elderly gentleman called the class to order. Silently groaning inside, I got my pen in hand, preparing myself to try to stay awake and take notes. I was now secretly sorry for choosing a front row seat because I have this problem. When I get bored, I tend to fall asleep. I try to fight it, but for some reason, when I am bored, my eyelids get extremely heavy, and to make matters worse, I’ve been known to snore in public…

Bro RayThe elderly gentleman, who reminded me of Santa Claus with his white hair and rosy red cheeks, introduced himself as Dr. Ray Chamberlain, founder of C.W.C.T., and then opened his mouth and began to teach with more fire and passion than I had ever witnessed in any younger preacher or teacher. I was enthralled as he taught us, hanging on every word that he spoke. I had to remind myself to write notes, because I was so mesmerized by his passion and his instruction. I also had to repent for judging a book by its cover.

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Photo Courtesy of:
http://www.bountytowels.com/

The three hours of class slipped by so quickly that I was both surprised and disappointed that it was over. I couldn’t wait for the next class, and the next and the next and the next… During the two years that I sat under his tutelage, I learned and grew strong in the Lord. I soaked up the biblical history like a dry sponge soaks up water, and I absorbed the ways of the Lord and His word better than Bounty® Paper Towels absorb spills.

There is one subject area that Brother Ray (this is what he liked to be called, rather than the more formal Dr. Chamberlain) taught that changed my life forever. It was the section on Praise and Worship. Now, maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but it was to me, because it forever changed my relationship with God. You see, I loved God, but this class would change that love, as I began to fall in love with Him. He opened the class with a song, and his love for our Savior was clearly evident, as tears rolled down his cheeks and he sang, “Without Him.” I am truly not a Southern Gospel fan, but something about the lyrics, something about his love and passion for the Lord spoke to my heart.

Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I?d surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail

Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I?d be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don’t turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be

Then Brother Ray began to teach about the difference between praise and worship, and where they could be found in scripture. And as he talked, something inside of me awakened. I had to have what he had. I needed it desperately and I couldn’t rest until I got a taste of it, and so, the following Sunday, I attended Brother Ray’s church for the first time. 

I’ll never forget it. I was fine as I walked inside, but the instant I stepped into the sanctuary,  I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly that I began to weep. No one had said or done anything to me, it was just that the presence of the Lord was so thick in there, that I couldn’t contain myself. I wept through the whole service, but they weren’t tears of sorrow. I’m sitting here weeping even now, as I type this, because they are tears of joy. Oh what joy there is in the presence of the Lord!

When I left the church that day, I determined in my heart that I would visit again the following Sunday. I wasn’t planning to leave the church that I had been a part of for seventeen years — I just needed to taste of this joy again. The following Sunday, I came to church with my son, daughter and her friend in tow. Again, though I had made up my mind not to react as I had the previous Sunday, as soon as I set foot into the sanctuary, the tears began to flow, as I was enveloped by the Holy Spirit.

And then, while sitting in the pew, waiting for the service to begin, I heard the audible voice of the Lord saying, “This is your home now.”

“But Lord,” I silently replied to Him, “I can’t come here. What about my Sunday School class?” I was a Sunday School teacher at the church that I had been a member of for seventeen years. “This is a big church, Lord,” I continued to argue. “I need to have a ministry.”

“Your ministry will be here,” He replied to me.

“But Lord,” I silently spoke to Him again, “my children won’t want to come here. My daughter would never agree to leave our church, you know hard it is for her to be around people she doesn’t know.”

At that point, the praise and worship music started, and my daughter turned to me, beaming and said, “Mom, I don’t care if you ever want to come here again, but I do!” She didn’t know anything of the conversation I had been having with the Lord, but He had moved on her heart as well as mine. My son also confirmed that this was where he wanted to worship as well.

My arguments with God seem so silly now. You see, God has called me to be a worshiper, and He led me to this church so that I could learn how to worship Him freely, and my life has never been the same.

I live and I love to worship the Lord, in spirit and in truth, and it all began because of a very special teacher and pastor, Dr. Ray Chamberlain, who has since gone home to be with the Lord. Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude. Thank you, Brother Ray. I look forward to seeing you and my Jesus again very soon!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Helpless

Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
Daily Prompt: Helpless

It was Friday, August 31, 2012. I had applied for intermittent FMLA due to chronic and acute back pain, which frequently rendered me unable to work. I remember speaking with my boss that Friday afternoon, before I went home for the day. At that point, she wasn’t sure if I would be approved for intermittent FMLA, or whether I would be forced to go out on disability, because company policy does not allow for modified schedules and workloads unless it is a workman’s comp injury, which this was not.

Photo Courtesy of:http://www.autostraddle.com/playlist-when-youre-feeling-helpless-148190/
Photo Courtesy of:
http://www.autostraddle.com/playlist-when-youre-feeling-helpless-148190/

In my heart of hearts, I knew what the outcome was going to be, and I don’t mind telling you that I was fearful and a little sick to my stomach. If I was forced to go out on disability, I would receive a short-term disability check for 60% of my current pay for no more than 3 months maximum, but likely, for a shorter term, since I had already been out for 30 days that year due to the back pain. For someone who lives from paycheck to paycheck already, the prospect of receiving only 60% of that pay was overwhelming… And the fact is, I didn’t foresee any likelihood of improvement if I was out for the full 3 months. In fact, I suspected that if they chose to place me on short-term disability, I would likely not be returning to my job, and that in 3 months or less, I would have no income.

It was all disheartening and frightening, and I drove home that day feeling very gloomy, as I shared the news with my husband that this may have been my last day of work. I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with such a good and loving man, who simply said that we’ll just do the best that we can do. During this whole ordeal, he has shown me love and patience when I am not able to do the things that I need to do.

Shortly after 5:00 that evening, I got the phone call that I had been dreading, and I was informed that effective immediately, I would be receiving short-term disability, and that I was not allowed to return to work until I was released by my physician and could resume my full duties. Light duty was not an option. I won’t lie. For the first month, I battled with depression. The pain has been bad, and at this point, I have no income at all coming in, as the short-term disability ceased in November.

Photo Courtesy of:http://kellyannglupker.blogspot.com/2011/10/jesus-makes-me-clean.html
Photo Courtesy of:
http://kellyannglupker.blogspot.com/2011/10/jesus-makes-me-clean.html

I like to be in control of things, but this is all out of my control, and I have had to learn to really trust in the Lord. That’s a nice sentiment, and so easy for us to advise others to do… “Trust in the Lord to take care of your needs.” How many times have I told others to do this? And now, what could I do but trust in the Lord?

After allowing me to have a month of feeling sorry for myself, the Lord spoke to me around the beginning of October. He told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to begin writing again. He told me that I was to write everyday for 30 days. I hadn’t written in oh so long, because after working all day, in addition to the other activities that I’ve been involved in, there wasn’t time to write, and I just didn’t have the gumption to do it. However, now, there was no excuse for not writing.

So now the question was what would I write and where should I write? The thought that immediately came to my mind was that I need to start a blog. Ha! I wasn’t 100% sure what a blog even was, but a friend of mine from church has a blog, and so I looked her blog up, saw that it was on WordPress, and signed up. On October 9, 2012, I began my blog and submitted my first post. Since that time, I have submitted 148 posts… This one will be 149. I have been blessed with an outlet to share my hopes, my dreams, my loves, my dislikes, and myself.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson during this time. While I cannot control my circumstances, I can place my trust in the Almighty God who loves me with an everlasting love, because He alone controls my future. So far, though things have been extremely difficult, He has provided for every one of my needs. I am thankful, because even though everything seems to be spinning out of my control, He holds my life in His hands, and He comforts me with His word.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me in earnest, you will find Me when you seek Me.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)

Though this is out of my control, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to change it, I know that while I was surprised by the circumstances, God knew about it long before the foundations of the earth were laid. He knew that this would happen in my life long before He placed me in my mother’s womb. He knew, and He had a plan for it — a good plan.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

Just knowing that calms me. I have peace. I don’t know where my next penny or dollar may come from, but God does… You know, I love my children and my grandchildren more than anyone could ever imagine, and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for their good, if it was in my power. And this is how my heavenly Father feels about me. He loves me even more than I love my children and grandchildren. He loves me beyond measure, and there is nothing that He won’t do for my good, including this.

I don’t understand why or how, because His ways and thoughts are not mine, but I trust Him, because He’s never let me down, and He never will… So, what did I do about that helpless feeling? I rested in the arms of my Savior, and I’ve cast all of my cares on Him, because He cares for me.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael

Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.
Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael

As long as there has been God, there have been God chasers. ~ Tommy Tenney, “The God Chasers”

Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. ~ Max Lucado, “God Came Near”

Okay. I know I was instructed to take the first sentence from my favorite book and make it the first sentence of my post, but the truth is I have a lot of favorite books. Therefore, I looked through my collection of books and chose two (I couldn’t choose just one) of my favorite first sentences.
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Cover of "The God Chasers (Special Editio...
Cover of The God Chasers (Special Edition)

As long as there has been God, there have been God chasers. In fact, Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. So many people are searching for that one “thing” that one “person” to fill a void that has been gnawing away at their very souls. “There must be something more to life,” they reason, and yet they struggle to figure out what that “something more” might be.

Many people look to other people to lead them in their quest to find “something more,” and when other people fail them, they become disheartened. Because of this, some struggle with depression, while others may become cynical and bitter. Others may continue their quest for “something more” by turning to religion.

Now, when I say “religion,” I am speaking of just that. Religion is not only Christianity. Religion can be Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Mormonism, Judaism or any number of other religions, including Atheism. Sadly, religion cannot bring that “something more” into focus either. Again, as before, some will struggle with depression, and others will become cynical and bitter.

god-came-nearHowever, there are a few who will not be satisfied with depending on another person to lead them to “something more”. There are a few who will not settle for what religion has to offer. These are the people who will determine in their hearts that they must not stop until they have found the One, their reason for living. They cannot, will not stop until they find Him.

These people realize that He will not be found in rotes and rituals, so they don’t bother looking for Him there. They understand that it’s not enough to have what someone else has — they want NO they need to find Him, to see Him for themselves. You won’t find these people chasing after televangelists or gurus. You won’t find them doing the same things that other “religious” people do.

You may not find these people in “church” as you know it. In fact, you’re more likely to find these people in the bars and the prisons, and street corners, ministering to the homeless, the tired, the afflicted, the criminals and derelicts that everyone else has written off as worthless, because it was in these unlikely places that they found the God they were chasing after. It is in these places, that they see Jesus.

So, for those of you who have become disgruntled and discouraged, I have a word for you. Do you want to find GOD?  Do you want to see Jesus?  Do you really, really want this? If so, He’s easy to find. The Lord says to you today, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NASB) 

Isn’t that awesome? I want everyone to understand this, because people and religion make finding God much harder than it is supposed to be. People and religion often times make finding God, and seeing Jesus impossible. That’s why it’s best to see what God has to say about it. He didn’t say you have to get your life straight first. He didn’t say you have to memorize and obey the 10 Commandments first. He didn’t say you have to stop drinking, smoking, swearing, and fornication first. (Mind you, He commands us to stop those things, and we will want to stop those things when we find Him) God simply said we will find Him when we search for Him with all of our heart. 

Jesus said pretty much the same thing, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NASB) Do you see? Jesus doesn’t ask us to jump through hoops. He doesn’t tell us to dress a certain way or follow a bunch of rules and regulations. He just says,  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

Friends, there is something more” out there, and His name is Jesus, and He wants you to find Him. There’s also a whole lot of charlatans, who claim that their way is the way to find Him, but don’t believe any of that bologna, because Jesus Himself said that He is the only way to the Father. If you want to find God… if you want to see Jesus, just seek Him with all of your heart, and you will find Him.

Many blessings to all of you, and I’m praying with all of my heart that you do find Him!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
Daily Prompt: Quote Me

 

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell. ~ C.S. Lewis

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I have a lot of favorite quotes, but this is one that I return to again and again. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell… There it is. It speaks for itself. A man can deny God… He can hate God… He can shout from the mountaintops that there is no God… but he will never negate the fact that God is, because God’s glory covers the earth… So what is the glory of God?

Scripture says that God created man for His glory:

All who claim Me as their God will come, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them. (Isaiah 43:7 NLT)

Think about that for just a minute. Have you ever heard someone say they want to see the glory of God? Have you ever wanted to see the glory of God? I have, and then, when I read this verse, I got a revelation. Do you want to see the glory of God? Look around at those who love God and honor Him with their lives.

Do you honor God with your life? If you do, go look in the mirror, because His glory rests in you, no matter what your circumstances are… “Yeah, but you don’t know how bad I’ve messed up,” you might say, and you’re right. I don’t know how badly you’ve messed up, but I do know this:

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

Do you love God? Has He called you for something? If your answer is yes, then His glory rests in you, and He makes all things work together for good for you. Isn’t that awesome? 

And it just gets better:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)

So perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t care what you say, I say there is no God.” My response to you is this:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that we are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen. 

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they no only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:20-32 NLT)

Please understand, our belief or unbelief does not change or negate the truth. Truth is not based on the opinions of man. Truth just is, and it doesn’t change just because my opinions change. Jesus said that He is the truth (Romans 14:6), therefore, all things pertaining to the truth must be measured against Him and His word. The truth does not change because I believe in some other religion. The truth remains long after I and my opinions have died.

Perhaps that is why C.S. Lewis said:

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell. ~ C.S. Lewis

Many blessings to you, and I pray that you will not waste your time scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of your cell. 🙂

Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence
“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”
Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

She looked at the clock for what surely must have been the millionth time. “It shouldn’t be taking this long,” she muttered to herself, as she paced the floor of the waiting room. She had grown tired of trying to read, and the television couldn’t hold her attention either. As desperately as she wanted to be distracted, her eyes kept looking toward the clock, which kept ticking the time away, second by second… minute by minute… hour by eternal hour…

“How much longer, Lord?” she prayed. “How much longer?”

As fear tried to dig its miserable talons into her heart, she fought to maintain control of her emotions. “I will not panic… I will not cry… Lord, I will trust in You with all my heart, and lean not on my own  understanding. Father, I don’t understand! Help me! Be near me, O God, and hear the cries of my heart! Keep him safe, Lord, because I don’t know if I could stand losing him,” she prayed, as she choked back a sob, drawing a deep breath slowly through her nostrils, and then releasing that breath slowly, slowly, through her mouth.

English: Original Artwork by James P. Gray, M....
English: Original Artwork by James P. Gray, M.D. 2007 (author) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She thought back to that day a couple of weeks earlier, when she and her husband met with the doctor. “The Nissen fundoplication is a common procedure, that usually only takes us around one to two hours perform, barring any complications. We will perform this surgery laparoscopically, unless we run into any complications, in which case, we will have to open his stomach to complete the surgery. Of course, we’ve performed this surgery numerous times, so it is very unlikely that we will have to open him up.”

She didn’t worry when the clock passed the two-hour point and moved to three hours. After all, she had been with enough family members to know that surgeries often times took longer than they were projected to take. Still, at the four-hour mark, though she tried not to, she began to worry, and now, after more than eight hours, her calm facade had dropped, and she had begun pacing the floor of the waiting room, looking again and again to the clock, which had somehow grown into an ominous enemy, as the hours continued to tick by.

Day Services Unit waiting room
Day Services Unit waiting room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She felt the panic within her trying to gain control, as she tried to stamp it down. She was alone in the waiting room, except for her fifteen year old daughter, who had made the hundred mile trip to the hospital with them. It was only her daughter’s presence that kept her from giving in to her mounting fears. Finally, after nearly nine hours, the phone in the waiting room rang, and she pounced on it, fearful of losing whoever might be on the other end.

“Mrs. Hopkins?” the impersonal voice on the other end asked.

“Yes,” she said breathlessly, her daughter looking expectantly at her.

“As you know, we ran into some complications during the surgery –”

“Complications?” she interrupted. “What kind of complications? Is he ok?”

“Didn’t anyone come out and talk to you?” Now the voice on the other end wasn’t as impersonal as before.

“No one has come to see me. My daughter and I have been here since early this morning,  and no one has told us anything. Is — he okay?” She lowered her voice, not wanting to upset her daughter.

“He’s doing much better now,” the voice on the other end spoke gently, comfortingly now. “He’s in recovery, and this is against our normal policy, but would you like to come down and see him?”

Monitor
Monitor (Photo credit: Thirteen Of Clubs)

“Oh yes,” she whispered gratefully, looking at her daughter and nodding with tear-filled eyes, that she fought to keep at bay. “Our fifteen year old daughter is here too, and I can’t leave her alone. Can she please see her daddy too?”

The person on the other end acquiesced, and after receiving directions, she and her daughter hurried to the recovery room to see her beloved. As she pressed the button to gain access to the recovery room, she was met by a nurse, “Mrs. Hopkins?” It was the voice she had spoken to on the telephone.

She nodded and hugged the nurse in gratitude, as the nurse explained the complications that had arisen during surgery. “The wall of his diaphragm was so thin, that the laser punctured it, collapsing his left lung. Therefore, we had to abandon the laparoscopic procedure and open him up. He looks pretty bad right now, and he’s in a lot of pain, because we had to open his stomach up, but we expect him to make a full recovery. He also has a chest tube on his left side, to keep his lung from collapsing again. We expect him to be here for at least a week before he can go home. Now, would you like to see him?”

She and her daughter both nodded, as the nurse led them around the corner to the only occupied bed in the recovery room. There he was, her beloved. The man who had captured her heart almost twenty years before, laying there with tubes coming out of his chest and his stomach, groaning in pain. She grabbed his hand, and he opened his eyes, smiling at her and their daughter. And though he wasn’t strong enough to tell them, his love for both of them was evident in his eyes.

Though she requested it, she and her daughter were not allowed to spend the night with him, so at around 11:00 that evening, they drove back to their hotel room, planning to be back to the hospital early the next morning. His recovery was slow, requiring him to remain in the hospital for more than two weeks, before he was well enough to make the two-hour drive to their home. Her daughter had gone home with her grandparents the day after the surgery, but she stayed behind with her husband, to nurture and encourage his recovery.

Finally, after what seemed a lifetime, he was discharged, and the two of them began the long journey home. It was a difficult ride for him to endure, because he was still so sick, but both were glad for him to be out of the hospital. Perhaps once he got home he would heal quicker. When the two finally arrived home, and she helped him to settle in the hospital bed that had been donated to them for  his recovery, he grabbed her hand, looking into her eyes with great love and said, “I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: The Early Years

Write page three of your autobiography.
Daily Prompt: The Early Years

I love participating in these prompts. I actually have started writing my autobiography, so what follows truly is page three of it, and since you only asked for page three, that’s all that I’ll include in this prompt. I’ll probably share more of it some other time…
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He passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the LORD, I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 34:6-7 NLT).

When I began to make a written record of my life, I said I would start at the beginning, because that’s what made sense to me, so I started with my birth. However, before I can continue to move forward with my story, I feel pressed to go back even further than my beginning… Before I can share my life with you, I need to share what I know of my mother’s, my father’s and my stepfather’s lives before I was born. You might say that I need to tell you my pre-history in order for you to understand my history and my present life.

English: Antique Persian Mashad rug measuring ...
English: Antique Persian Mashad rug measuring 12’9 X 14’7″ and signed by the master weaver “saber” in perfect condition, truly a masterpiece. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lord even gave me a beautiful illustration to explain why it is necessary to go back and share their story. You see, we are all like the silken threads in a beautiful finely woven Persian Silk Tapestry, and God is the Master Weaver who weaves the fabric of our lives into a beautifully ornate design. Just as each individual silken thread is absolutely necessary to create each exquisite detail in the fabric, so is each person involved in the story of someone’s life.

Therefore, it is necessary for me to share the details of each person who has touched my life, insomuch as I am able to do so. It is also important for each person who chooses to read this story of my life to understand that you too, as you read this story or any of my blog posts, are an essential silken thread that is being woven into an intricate design created by the Master, just as I too, am but a thread being woven into this precious work of art as I write my autobiography and my blog posts, and as I read your blog posts. Though we may all come from different parts of the world, each one of us is a precious and essential part of the Master’s design.

Since I know very little about my grandparents’ history, and nothing about the generations prior to them, I’ll begin by sharing my mother’s history with you. My mother was born prematurely on December 15, 1938, in her parents’ bedroom, which was in back of the small Mom & Pop grocery store my grandfather owned.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.
Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful

Hallelujah! I was really excited when I read today’s prompt, and I started to write this long dissertation about what I believe, based on the Apostle’s Creed, but it came out sounding so cold and… boring! And my faith is anything but cold and boring. So, I left the computer, took a shower, then sat down and fell asleep. (I’ve been sick since Christmas, on top of having chronic constant back pain, and the meds leave me feeling exhausted.) Anyway, those who have read and/or follow my blog, can immediately see that my faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is everything to me, and after trashing what I wrote earlier (I’m so thankful for the delete option computers have :D), I’m going to share from my heart, rather than my brain, the role my faith in Jesus Christ plays in my life.

Have you ever been in love? I mean really, totally head over heals in love with someone? Have you ever had a friend who is totally head over heals in love with someone? When someone is completely madly, passionately in love with someone, what does that person spend nearly every waking moment thinking about? The one they love, right? Not only do they spend every waking moment thinking about the one they love, they also talk incessantly about the one they love, whether someone wants to hear about it or not. 😀

That’s how I feel about Jesus. I love Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. I think about Him in the mornings when I wake up. I think about Him throughout the day, and my dreams are filled with Him. Almost always, whenever there is a prompt or challenge that I participate in, my thoughts turn immediately to my Lord and Savior, the Lover of my soul. You see, to put it simply, He has ravished my heart, and everything that I do, reflects that.

Now, some people might ask, “How can you love someone that you’ve never even seen? How do you even know He exists?” And you know what? I think those are fair questions. I’m not at all offended by people who raise those questions, because there was a time when I had questions too. To be perfectly honest with you, there are still things that I question, not because I doubt Him, but simply because I don’t understand. You see, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. As a matter of fact, as high as the heavens are from the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts.

So back to the questions… I know He exists just as I know the wind exists. Even though no one has ever seen the wind, we know it exists because we have felt it and seen its effects. I know Jesus Christ exists, because I have felt His presence, and I have seen the effect He has had in my life and in the lives of others. I’ve heard His voice as He speaks directly to my heart through Scripture, and I’ve also heard Him speak audibly to me. He has whispered words of love to me, when no one else cared, and He has quieted me with His love.

I love Him because He loved me first. I love Him because He has changed me. I’m not the same person I once was. He has delivered me from all fears. And let me tell you, I had many fears and phobias. He has taken my low self-esteem and replaced it with confidence in Him, and in myself. You see, I now know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

He has taken this woman, who spent so much of my life feeling anxious and worried to the point that my hands constantly shook, my heart raced, and I had trouble catching my breath… a woman who once spent twenty-one days on the psychiatric ward of a local hospital because I suffered panic attacks, a woman who constantly battled depression, and He gave me peace. He didn’t change my circumstances — He changed me. You see, even now, as I’m dealing with chronic back and leg pain, and am unable to work right now… even though I now have no income, and there seems to be no way that things will work out, He is with me, and He has given me peace.

I wanted so badly to get my seven grandchildren Christmas presents this year, but my income has ceased… I wanted to have my children and grandchildren come for Christmas dinner and Christmas cookies, but again, there was no money to provide for this… I went ahead and invited them to come anyway, by faith, trusting the Lord to provide, but I wasn’t sure there would be enough food on the table. Then I got a message on December 20, that I had one more check from work. Suddenly, I had $200, which enabled us to get each grandchild a gift, and put food on the table for Christmas. Do you wonder why I love Him?

Jesus loves me and takes care of all my needs. He was the One who told me to begin writing again, which is why I started this blog. He is the One who gives me life, and even though I’m in a lot of pain, I can still give Him glory, because even in the midst of the pain, He is with me, comforting me and encouraging me to press on.

It is my faith in Christ that gives me hope that I will one day be free from this chronic pain, whether here and now, or when I pass on. It is my faith in Christ that removes my fear of death, because if I’m alive in the flesh, I get to spend my life loving and being loved by Him. And if I die, I’ll finally get to look upon His glorious face, to behold Him in all of His glory, to caress His nail scarred hands and touch His brow that bore the pain of the crown of thorns.

I’ll get to finally gaze into the eyes that have gazed upon me and loved me, even when I was unlovable. I think that’s one of the things I love most about Jesus. He has loved me through good times and bad. He loved me when I didn’t love Him. He remained faithful to me, even though I was unfaithful to Him. He never gave up on me. When others looked at me and saw nothing worth loving, He looked beyond my sin, beyond my failure and He saw the woman that He created me to be.

And do you know what? He looks at you the same way. Each one of us was lovingly fashioned and knit together in our mother’s womb by His hands, and each one of us was created for a special purpose. Not one of us were accidents, though our parents and the rest of the world may have thought so. No, you see, He knew us before the foundations of the earth were laid, and He created each one of us to accomplish something. We were created for His glory. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT) 

Isn’t it good to know that God Himself created each one of us, and no matter what we’ve been through, no matter what we’re going through now, and no matter what we will go through, He has a good plan for those who love Him, not for disaster, but to give us a future and a hope. Are you struggling? Are you hurting and in pain? Are you fearful of what may happen to you? You don’t have to be. You see, Christ gives hope to the hopeless. He gives peace and forgiveness. In fact, we are told to cast all of  our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

Are you weary and heavily burdened? Jesus says, “Come, and I will give you rest.” Do you feel as though you’re all alone? Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I’ve shared with you the importance of my faith, but here’s the thing… Jesus loves you just as much as He loves me. He doesn’t promise that the road to Him will be easy, but He does promise to be with us and to strengthen us, and all He asks for in return is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and forgive others as He has forgiven us.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: It’s Alive!

Write a Q&A-style interview with an inanimate object.
Daily Prompt: It’s Alive!

Current title card
Current title card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What follows is a transcript of Dr. Phil’s groundbreaking interview of an inanimate object…

Dr. Phil: Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the Dr. Phil Show. Have any of you ever wished you could be a fly on a wall and be a witness of some of the world’s greatest news stories? How would it feel to live for thousands and thousands of years, bearing witness to the world’s greatest triumphs as well as her greatest tragedies? What would this kind of knowledge do to your psyche?

Well sit back, and prepare yourself to meet someone who claims to have done just that. Today’s interview promises to be one of the most inspiring, provocative shows that we’ve ever done, and I promise, even though many of you won’t believe what you’re seeing, and hearing, after this program, you’ll never be the same, and neither will I. As a matter of fact, this episode is so vital to mankind that for the first time in the history of the Dr. Phil Show, we will be airing commercial free.

http://www.churchleaders.com/children/free-resources-childrens-ministry/149930-free-object-lesson-idea-the-rocks-cry-out.html
http://www.churchleaders.com/children/free-resources-childrens-ministry/149930-free-object-lesson-idea-the-rocks-cry-out.html

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you a rock, discovered just outside of Jerusalem. Now, you’re probably wondering if I’ve taken leave of my sanity after all of these years of trying to help others with their personal and emotional issues, but in just a moment you’ll understand why I’m interviewing a rock.

Thank you, Rock, for agreeing to this interview.

Rock: The pleasure’s all mine, Dr. Phil. I’ve looked forward to one day having an opportunity to share all that I’ve seen and heard in my lifetime, and I’m just glad that day has finally come.

Dr. Phil: If it’s okay with you, I’d like start from the very beginning. Exactly how old are you, and what are your earliest memories?

Rock: I can’t give you my exact age in years, because I don’t know it. I came into existence on the third day, when God created the land and seas. I was there when He created the sun and the moon and the stars on the fourth day. I saw the first fish, and the first birds when they were created on the fifth day. And yes, I watched the creation of all of the land animals, and even more importantly, I witnessed the creation of mankind on the sixth day. I also heard God bless the seventh day, declaring that this was a holy day, because on this day, He rested from creating the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

Dr. Phil: Do you mean to tell me that you were there when the first man and woman were created? What was that like?

Creation of Manby: roejae
Creation of Man
by: roejae

Rock: Dr. Phil, I was just a small pebble in a stream of water in a beautiful garden place called, Eden. I watched and listened, as God began to form that first man. I heard Him when He said, “Let Us make people in Our image, to be like Ourselves. They will be masters over all life — the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.”

And then I saw Him reach down with His hands, scooping up some dirt and molding it into the image of a man, just as a sculptor molds clay, only this first man was much more beautiful than any sculpture created by human hands. And the man was an inanimate object, just as I am.

Dr. Phil: What do you mean man was an inanimate object? Look at us. We have flesh and blood. We live… we breathe… we think… we —

Rock: You didn’t allow me to finish, Dr. Phil. As I said, man was an inanimate object, just as I am, but then God did something wonderful that changed all that. You see, He picked up His beautiful sculpture, and He breathed life into it — much like you humans do when you administer CPR.

Dr. Phil: I see. So the creation account we read in the Bible is true and accurate then?

Rock: Yes, I know that it is true, because I was there, and I witnessed these things that I am telling you.

Dr. Phil: This is fascinating. What about the story of Adam and Eve being tricked by the serpent? Is that true as well?

Rock: I believe that it is, although I didn’t actually witness that event.

Dr. Phil: What about the first murder? Did you see that?

Rock: Again, I can only speak of that which I was witness to, and this event didn’t happen in front of me, so I can’t testify of that to you.

Dr. Phil: I appreciate that. Well, what other historical events were you witness to?

Noah's Ark - Global Flood Deluge
Noah’s Ark – Global Flood Deluge

Rock: I was in the great flood.

Dr. Phil: I’m sure there have been many great floods since you were created. Can you be more specific?

Rock: Yes, there have been many floods since my creation, but only one Great Flood, which covered the entire earth, because mankind had grown so wicked, that the Lord was sorry He had created man. I saw the first rainfall, as water fell from the sky in great torrents, while thunders rumbled and exploded, and lightning lit up the sky for forty days and forty nights. I felt the earth quake and tremble beneath me, as hell expanded itself, and geysers shot up out of the ground, and molten hot lava came rushing down from the mountains.

There was a loud cacophony as the sounds of frightened animals cried out, joining the already terrible noise, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Above all of those sounds, the sounds of the people crying out was even more horrific. Many were wailing loudly, begging and pleading for their lives, while others were enraged and cried out in bitterness and anger. Many were murdered during that dreadful flood, and many committed suicide, but most were swept away by the raging waters, except for a man named Noah and his family, because out of all the men on the earth, Noah was found blameless in God’s sight.

Dr. Phil: There really was a flood? And Noah really existed? And you knew him?

Rock: Yes, there really was a flood, and I was one of the stones Noah used to build an altar to the Lord when he and his family came out of the ark on Mt. Ararat. When Canaan, Noah’s grandson eventually left Mt. Ararat, he took me as a memorial of the altar his grandfather built after the flood. Of course, after a few generations passed, Canaan’s descendants forgot how and why I came to be in their possession, and I was eventually tossed into a stream near the Elah Valley, not far from Jerusalem.

A young shepherd boy named David, who would one day be king of Israel found me many, many years later, and used me in his slingshot to bring an evil giant named Goliath down.

Dr. Phil: This is fascinating. Let me ask you another question. Have you always had the ability to talk, and if so, why has no one heard you speak before now?

Rock: I’m so glad you asked me this question. Do you mind if we travel back in history?

Dr. Phil: Not at all. Ladies and Gentlemen, do you find this as intriguing as I do? Just listen to that applause. We would all be very interested to know about how a rock gained the ability to speak.

Rock: Very well, are any of you familiar with the One named Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God? He is the Word that was spoken in the beginning, and it is He who holds all creation together. I met Him in the wilderness hundreds and hundreds of years after David used me to help him bring the giant down.

I was lying there on the ground, and I witnessed the Son of God praying and fasting there in the wilderness, because God’s Holy Spirit had led Him there. And after He had fasted for forty days and nights, Satan picked me up from the ground and walked toward Jesus. Although I am an inanimate object, I felt the need to shudder in revulsion when this embodiment of evil lifted me and held me before Jesus’ face, saying,  “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” I felt sick at being used by this horrid creature to tempt my Creator.

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,'” Jesus replied, as He took me and threw me far away from Him. Never had I felt as dirty as I did then. I eventually found myself on the road to Jerusalem.

I was laying by the roadside on the road just outside of Jerusalem, a few years later, as Jesus approached.

http://ilifejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/act3-scene28-01l.jpg
http://ilifejourney.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/act3-scene28-01l.jpg

I had seen Him pass by many times before on this road, but this time was different. This time, the air was charged with electricity, and everything stood at attention to what was unfolding before us. This time, Jesus didn’t come walking into the city, as He had on every other occasion. No, this time He came riding on a colt, and all of nature watched as the King of kings made His way up the road to Jerusalem.

I watched in awe, as the people danced and bowed down, giving homage to their King, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven!” The people seemed to have some kind of revelation that Jesus was more than just an ordinary man. The flowers and the trees trembled at His glory, and yes, even we rocks rejoiced to see Him in His splendor, longing to join in with the throng shouting His praises, for we had known all along that Jesus was none other than the Word of God in the flesh, Creator of the universe and all that is therein… Indeed, we, along with the sun, the moon, the stars, and all of nature, including the winds and the rain, as well as the animate and the inanimate recognized our Creator. It’s a curious thing, that the only ones who seemed not to recognize their Creator were the ones He had created in His own image — mankind.

http://touchyaneighbor.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/15a.jpeg
http://touchyaneighbor.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/15a.jpeg

But there, in the midst of that joyous crowd, was another group. They were known as the Pharisees, and the evil that enveloped them caused even a cold hard rock to shudder, as they approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

I still rejoice when I remember Jesus’ response to those hateful Pharisees when they ordered Him to silence His worshipers, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” 

And it is this that brings me here today. You see, worshipers of Jesus are being silenced throughout the world by their governments and various religious leaders. Even some who call themselves Christians are no longer glorifying Christ as God, because they are afraid of losing their income and their tax-exempt status. Many of these would rather be worshiped than to worship the true and living God.

Love Wax Coldwww.torrentsofglory.org
Love Wax Cold
http://www.torrentsofglory.org

The church has become a sleeping giant, no longer willing to stand up for what is true and right, and the men and women of the church have become anesthetized to the gospel of Christ. They act as if they are religious, but they reject the power that could make them godly. Sin is rampant everywhere, and the love of many has grown cold, and this is why I now have the ability to speak.

You see, since the church has become silent, I have been granted the ability to cry out and proclaim the glory of the Lord. Because so many of you refuse to cry out, I, a rock, an inanimate object have been granted the favor of God, and I am here to proclaim the truth to you. Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna! Glory to God in the  highest!

Ladies and gentlemen, listen to these words that I speak, and as you hear these words today, do not harden your hearts like the people of Israel did when they rebelled against God in the wilderness. Because their hearts were hardened against God, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and were not allowed to enter into His place of rest. Hear these words today, and take heed. For there is soon coming a day when at the name of Jesus, every knee, in heaven and on earth, beneath the earth and under the sea, will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God.

Thank you, Dr. Phil, for allowing me to come on your show and share this with the men, women and children all across this nation, and perhaps in the world.

Dr. Phil: Thank you, Rock. I’m not sure that everyone will agree with what you’ve said, but you’ve certainly given us much to think about… so in essence, what you are saying is that if the church, the people who call themselves Christians would have spoken out, you would not have this ability to speak?

Rock: That is correct, sir.

Dr. Phil: Well, there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen. Because Christians have been silent, a rock has been sent to speak for God, and whether you agree with what this rock said or not, you will have to admit that this has been very fascinating. I’m not sure where I stand in all that’s been said, but I must say that I will be giving this some serious thought, as I’m sure you will too.

Also, before I close, I would like to thank our sponsors and the networks that aired this show for allowing us to do this commercial-free broadcast. Now, for Robin and myself, as well as everyone here at the Dr. Phil Show, thank you for joining us today.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Just a Dream

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.
Daily Prompt: Just a Dream

As I walk along with him, I’m enthralled by all of the glorious colors. There are hues and shades that I’ve never seen or even dreamed of before. The grass is so lush and rich, like a brilliant green gem, almost glowing in its beauty. It’s like a lovely green luxuriant carpet, and though there is a sign forbidding me to walk on the grass, I must confess that I’m sorely tempted to do just that. It just looks so lovely, so inviting. 

Alice in Wonderland1951 Wallpaper
Alice in Wonderland
1951 Wallpaper

Oh! And just beyond the gentle curve ahead is a water brook such as none I’ve ever seen before. Its water fairly sings as it rushes by over perfectly smooth and rounded pebbles. I’ve never heard water sing before. And it’s so clear, so transparent that I can see all the way to the bottom of it. I can see the multicolored myriad of fish that swim beneath its surface, while it continues to sing, beckoning me…

“Come hither, my friend
And you will receive
More money to spend
Than you can perceive”

In awe, I watched as the kaleidescope of fish changed into silver and gold and precious jewels. Dazzled, I stretched my hand towards the water, only to have him quickly reach out and smack it. In ire, I looked back at him, tense and ready to fight him, but he just shook his head at me, whispering direly,

“Stay on the path
Touch nothing,” he said,
“Lest you feel the wrath
And then lose your head.”

I looked at this mysterious man, with wonder. “Curious,” I thought for perhaps the millionth time. “Everything and everyone here just gets curiouser and curiouser.”

“Look,” he resumed,
“We came here as two…
If parted, you’re doomed,
So what I say, you must do!”

“Then come with me,” I replied, while he shook his head. “I want to explore, for never have I seen such loveliness.” But there he  just stood, firmly shaking his head.

“The Wicked Queen lives here,”
He said in a rush.
“And she is very near,
Beware! Or your body she’ll crush.”

“She won’t rest till you’re dead.
And her army she’ll loose.
She’ll cry, ‘Off with her head,’
You’ll suffer abuse!”

Still, the water and the grass they beckoned to me, and then I saw the flowers! A glorious, beautiful abundance of purples and blues and reds, yellows and greens. And the smell that wafted from them was like none I’d ever smelled before, so fragrant and lovely, and as their leaves and their petals rustled, I heard them sweetly whisper…

“Come closer and sniff,
And gather a cluster
Breathe deeply and whiff
Come enjoy our great luster.”

Queen of HeartsWallpaper
Queen of Hearts
Wallpaper

I couldn’t help myself! They were so lovely, and they called me… Without saying a word, I turned from my worrisome friend and ran on the grass towards those splendid blossoms. Suddenly, the brilliance of the sunlight was gone, and as the sky turned a dark and fearsome gray, the luxurious jade of the grass became brown and dead, while the flora instantly withered and died. I watched in fear and foreboding, as the once clear waters of the water brook turned murky and dark, and the waters churned and boiled. As though in a cauldron, the waters began to rise quickly and dangerously.

Suddenly, my mysterious friend grabbed my hand saying,

“Oh no! Now you’ve done it!
The Queen’s armies will come
Let’s go lickety-split!
Please! Quickly! Let’s run!”

And then I heard it, a most horrible sound… it sounded like thunder as the Queen’s armies came forth, and above all the thunder, I heard a shrill, terrible scream, “Off with her head! Off with her head!”

My heart pounded crazily, as my friend and I ran, faster and faster, we had to escape. We came to a maze – round and round, in and out we ran, with the Queen’s armies on our heels. We came through the maze and we ran up a hill, as fear gave me flight. As we started down the hill, my friend pulled me to the right and into a castle we ran until we came to a room, and my friend pulled me into this room that had three doors, and solemnly spoke these words to me,

“This room has three
Very magical doors
Be careful, choose wisely
This choice must be yours!”

Three Doors to Choose Fromhttp://www.guardian.co.uk
Three Doors to Choose From
http://www.guardian.co.uk

My heart was filled with foreboding as I looked at the three magical doors, and tears began to spill down my cheeks as fear overwhelmed me. My friend and I were in grave danger all because I had refused to listen and allowed myself to be overcome with greed and curiosity. The thunderous sound of the soldiers grew closer, and the wicked shrill of the Queen drew ominously closer too, as my wise friend cried out,

“Please! Make haste and be quick!
The wicked Queen draws nigh,
She’ll place your head on a stick
For all to see and pass by!”

And so, holding his hand in mine, I closed my eyes and stepped forth, choosing our escape through this door:

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Dear Leader

If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing in 2013, what would you like that to be?
Daily Prompt: Dear Leader

If my government were to accomplish one thing in 2013, I would want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, and the sanctity of human life upheld. I realize that this is a very touchy topic with many, but I truly believe that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. For the sake of argument, this is the definition of life from dictionary.com:

  1. the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
  2. the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, especially metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaption to environment.

Now, many purport that human life doesn’t begin until after birth, however, this is simply not true, according to the definition of life listed above. From the instant of conception, a human being begins to grow within his/her mother’s womb, as many changes occur throughout the baby’s nine months of gestation. It is my contention that because our government places such little value on human life, in all stages of life, that many of the people of this nation also devalue human life.

Week 11 Unborn Baby BBC Health Tools
Week 11 Unborn Baby
BBC Health Tools

Don’t you find it ironic that this nation places little to no value on unborn human children, and yet they enforce strict penalties for violating animal rights? The Bald Eagle has been removed from the endangered species list,  yet according to The Daily Retort, “The original penalty for violating this law was $5,000 or a year in prison. However, under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, as amended in 1987, the fine soared to $100,000 for guilty individuals who tried to “…pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb…a bald or golden eagle, alive or dead; or any part, nest or egg of these eagles….”

Now for those of you who are animal lovers, please understand that I too, love animals, and I abhor animal cruelty. However, I also believe that human beings, whether the unborn, newborn, toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged adults or elderly adults are of much greater value, and their lives must be protected.

So many of us question how such atrocities as mall shootings, the Batman movie shooting, the Newtown massacre and so many other horrible cruelties against men, women and children can occur, while turning a blind eye to the millions of unborn babies whose lives have been terminated since Roe vs. Wade, in 1973. According to an article written by LifeNews.com on January 23, 2012, “A new estimate published by the National Right to Life Committee indicates there have been an estimated 54,559,615 abortions since the Supreme Court handed down its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision allowing virtually unlimited abortions.”

We live in a society that has so devalued human life in the last 40 years, that mass killings have become the norm. No longer do we see the occasional random acts of violence. We are now witnesses to an epidemic of murders, tortures, suicides and other forms of cruelty.

I truly believe that if our government and its citizens do not amend its ways, we, like the fall of the Roman empire and so many other barbaric nations, will one day cease to exist. This is why, my prayer… my dream… my vision for the United States of America and its government is that we will realize the sanctity of human life, and overturn Roe vs. Wade. It is my prayer that every man, woman and child will come to know that each one of them has been created in the image of God, and that He has created each one of us different, but equally precious in His sight. It is my prayer that the government and the men, women and children of this country will once again realize that we have all been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers