The Grumpy Christian

June 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Candace McQuain –

There is a staff member at my church who I see often and every time I do he is filled with joy, and always smiling and laughing. The man is perpetually happy and I must confess, I longed for that same unceasing joy, time and time again. Then it hit me, “Hey grumpy, you can have that to.” As a matter of fact, your God very much so wants you to have that very same joy and happiness. “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful” (Psalm 68:3 NIV). I had to make a change.

I vowed to take His word to heart and really try to be a happier, more joyful person. Unfortunately, it only lasted about 10 minutes. Why? Because I don’t live in a bubble, I live in a big world filled with little annoyances and daily struggles. So now what? Should I stalk the happy staff member and see what he does on a daily basis to ward off the joy-stealers of the world? No, of course not. It’s back to the Word I go.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV).

There it is! Without having to peer through a window or eves drop during a telephone call I can tell you right now how and why that cheerful staff member is the way he is. He is joyful in times of need. He is patient when his heart is suffering and when he raises a prayer to his Father he is faithful that it will be heard. With all of this, the sky is the limit as to what he can let roll off his back or better yet what he knows he can give to God to handle for him.

We have that same joyful hope, patience and faith available to us; it’s just a matter of how and to what degree we are going to use it. Will we continue to use it sparingly, using just enough to get us by day by day? Or will we dedicate our lives to obtaining true happiness and joy? Let’s show that big world around us that we have the power and the strength to not let it get us down.

I want my God to see His daughter smile more than frown. Laugh more than cry and simply live a life that is a joyful example of His love and kindness so that people see Him in me, and not a grumpy Christian. So as the Partridge Family put it so eloquently, “Come on get happy!”

Candace McQuain, founder of Believers Empowering Believers, is a mother of 4 beautiful children and married to the love of her life. She is very active in her church where connecting believers with other believers is her passion. She was called to leave her job of 15 years in the Aerospace industry to provide support, encouragement and knowledge to her fellow brothers and sisters who are struggling or new to their faith.

A Horn, A Drum, And A Gun

December 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Christian Life, For Him

By Ed Crumley

In the early years of my life, at least the ones I can remember, I wanted the same three things every Christmas: a horn, a drum, and a gun. Not sure why. We were in the midst of World War II, so at least the gun could’ve had something to do with the war. Maybe I wanted the musical instruments to make my war games sound more dramatic. Or, perhaps I could blame Roy Rogers, our musical cowboy hero, who always got the bad guys with his nickel-plated revolvers blazing.

During those times you couldn’t buy many toys, so Dad made Christmas presents for us. He got out his tools and built things out of wood. Big things like a rocking boat or a rocking horse complete with mane, bridal, and saddle. Those were fine secondary gifts as long as the three required items mentioned above also came in Santa’s bag.

In later years, our Christmas present requests migrated more toward clothes. My brother and I both had to have SMU football jerseys with the number 37, the number of our local hero, Doak Walker. I don’t know why Ken couldn’t have had some lesser player’s number instead. In junior high, my gift request reflected fashion. There was a cool kid at school who was the original Fonz. I had to have the same jacket and scarf that he wore. Funny, but when I put them on, I didn’t look like The Fonz. 

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Microwave Stalactites

December 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Rhonda Rhea

I opened the door to the microwave to reheat my coffee a few mornings ago, and then realized I just didn’t want to put it in there. Ew. Before the coffee was going in, somebody was going to have to clean out that microwave. It looked like someone had a tiny little ticker tape parade. So much food-confetti, so little space. Worst of all, there were a couple of spaghetti sauce stalactites in there. I like my coffee with lots of sweetener and plenty of creamer. But call me picky, I like it completely without spaghetti sauce drippings. And speaking of “picky,” I thought I might actually need a pickaxe to get to the root of some of those stalactites. Do they make a microwave cleaner that has dynamite as its main component? 

Life can be a little like my microwave. Anytime I’m wondering why it doesn’t taste as sweet, I really have to look at what I might be hanging onto, stalactite-style. Hanging onto self-centeredness, bitterness, laziness—any of those kinds of things—will zap the deliciousness right out of life.

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Daisy Chain

December 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Reviews

Written by Mary E Demuth

Reviewed by J Renee Archer

Zondervan, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-310-27836-8

Mary Demuth’s Daisy Chain, is the tender coming-of-age story of a hurting boy set in the late 70s. Jed is at the point in his adolescence when questions and confusion out number answers and clarity. When Daisy disappears, 14-year old Jed is left without his best friend. Not only is Daisy missing but, Jed blames himself. As Jed searches for answers regarding Daisy’s disappearance he discovers what it means to be a man and the value of trusted friends and family.

Daisy Chain was my first encounter with Demuth’s writing, and a pleasant one for sure. She creates dramatic descriptions that leave me in awe of her talent. Demuth takes mundane thoughts and conversations and adds the sparkle that makes for entertaining reading. This novel is full of peculiar tidbits. Here are a couple of my favorites: “…Jed scatted the air with a wave of his hand…an aerial Etch A Sketch.” and a few pages later Miss Emory says, “…you’re sticking to me like Elmer’s until I find out.”

Demuth does a tremendous job introducing us to Daisy and developing her personality even though Daisy soon becomes a secondary character. Throughout the book enough details and descriptions are given of Daisy to understand why Jed misses her greatly. I only wish Daisy was a prominent character for more of the book so the reader could enjoy her flamboyant and vibrant personality.

My only nitpick; Demuth left me hanging with the last word. The last page does not give up the answers to my questions, no matter how long I stare. Although, this is a sure way to persuade me to read the sequel. A Slow Burn, the second in the trilogy, is set for release in November of 2009.

A broad audience will enjoy Daisy Chain. Demuth’s writing style is such that young teens through older adults will enjoy the novel. For those who face struggles beyond their years, you will connect with Jed and his attempt to make peace with his world. For those who lost someone dear at a young age, you will understand Jed’s sorrow and guilt. For those who have ever questioned God, you will relate to Jed’s doubt and distrust.

Where Do Those Angels Come From?

December 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith Articles

By Janet Perez Eckles

Crazy, isn’t it? When life goes undisturbed, we stroll through the garden of prosperity and bask in the sunshine of success. Our feet sink in the green grass of hope while inhaling the sweet scent of anticipation for more good things to come.

But suddenly, a loud clap of thunder halts our steps. And a storm of adversity shakes our world. We wonder what happened. What went wrong? Where had we failed? How did we allow the rain of misfortune to pour on us?

But in the midst of our bewilderment, something totally strange, bizarre, actually, happens—an angel appears. Unannounced, often unseen, but definitely felt, angels show up in mighty and sometimes simple ways.

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