I Don’t Want to Get Married!

November 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

My niece Chelsea will marry the love of her life on August 14, 2011. Chelsea was barely an adult when she and Rob met. He was more mature, with a bit more life experience. The couple dated a few months and sought the blessing of Chelsea’s parents before growing their relationship. Wonderful, loving ties have been established, and together they are planting a firm foundation for marriage.

Chelsea has asked all three of my children to participate in the ceremony. My eldest will usher, my daughter will scatter flower petals, and my youngest will bear the rings. The thought of Chelsea wedding warms my soul…and makes me feel really old! Chelsea was my flower girl back in 1993.

Back then, she was cute and confident (still is!). She said at the time that it was she who was getting married. After all, she was wearing a beautiful gown and walking down the aisle on the arm of a handsome young man donning a tuxedo. It would have been alright, except that right before they headed toward the alter, my ring bearer announced, “I don’t want to get married!”

I suppose the breakup was all for the best.

The Bible tells us that when a man and a woman marry, two become one. Seems like a crazy math problem: 1+1=1? But sometimes God’s wisdom makes more sense than it appears on the surface.

Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” For what reason? Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam; a marriage reconnects what had been separated.

As the 14th of August approaches, my prayer for my niece and almost nephew-in-law is a simple one. I pray that as they unite in this special bond, that they will be unified as one in Christ, that they would always place Him in proper position above all else—especially above each other and above their own desires. For it is only what God has joined together that “no man can put asunder.”

You Are Here

October 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

A woman approached a Cast Member at Walt Disney World’s Epcot with a map of Seaworld. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) She happened to be standing just under the monorail there and asked where to get on it to get to, yes, Epcot.

The Cast Member was tempted to tell the woman to close her eyes, click her heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Epcot,” and POOF she would be there, but instead she chose to replace the woman’s map, turn her around and let her know, “You are here.”

I get the feeling the visitor likely thanked her host profusely and was relieved she didn’t have to walk much further. I have been to Walt Disney World many times, and my feet sing praise and hallelujah when I let them take a break! It’s been estimated that Park Guests walk an average of 8 to 10 miles per day, per Park, and there are four separate Parks on the property. With Epcot’s World Showcase being more than a mile long itself, I’m thinking that’s a low estimate. Walt Disney World is called The Most Magical Place on Earth. As wonderful as it is, though, by the end of a week’s stay, it can become The Most Exhausting Place on Earth. Perhaps this woman was hoping the monorail meandered throughout Epcot. Now there’s a suggestion I should pitch to Disney!

Have you ever stood right in the middle of God’s will yet not recognized you were at your destination? Where the settings were right but looked all wrong? Or have you ever arrived at a station in life, worn and weary from the journey, holding a map to a different destiny? Have you ever asked God for direction only to hear Him say, “You are here”?

It’s times like those when we find we do not have as much control over this life as we thought we had. It’s times like those when we learn our best laid plans can still be trumped by God’s Master Plan. It’s times like those when we realize the Lord ordains each step we take, and He has “plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us], plans to give [us] hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I read of a man who was gravely ill and hospitalized. In extreme pain he beckoned the nurse to his side. She checked his vitals, adjusted tubes, fluffed his pillow, and said, “I bet you wish you were somewhere else.”

He replied, “No, not at all.”

The nurse thought surely the man’s mind had failed and reached to page the psych ward when the patient explained, “If this is where God wants me, then here I should remain.”

Next time you think you may be off the grid, stop and pray the Lord will “Direct [you] in the path of [His] command, for there [you will] find delight” (Psalm 119:35). Then open your eyes to see you are right where God wants you: You are here.

Learning New Ways to Listen

August 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

I guess I got too good at tuning things out, so God turned off my left ear. I’m hoping it’s temporary, but for the last three months my hearing has been lopsided.

I’ve had concerns for quite some time actually. My ears just don’t work as well as they used to. Often I need to lean in, tilt my head and squint my eyes—yes, that helps—when someone speaks to me. And even then, sometimes I receive the wrong words. Why, not long ago, my husband was conversing with a friend about taking a two-week trip on tandems (bicycles). I heard, “We’ll be traveling twelve days on camels.” Yeah, that’s a little different!

Reduced hearing is hereditary on my father’s side of the family. I remember a time my family visited Niagara Falls with my grandparents. We had spent the day on the Canadian side of the Falls, where my stepmom had purchased candlesticks. Well, Grandpa, whose ears had long before been turned off, was really nervous about crossing back into the States, because he didn’t want to check those gifts through customs. When he stopped the car at the gate, he expected the guard to ask about our purchases. But the guard instead asked, “Did you enjoy your time in Canada?” Grandpa quickly answered, “Oh, just a little candy!” Fortunately for us, the officer had a sense of humor.

So what happened to my ears? Well, to be completely honest, I lived life my way. I made some decisions I thought were alright with God, despite the fact I never truly had peace about them. I marched forward anyway thinking it was an opportunity of a lifetime. I thought surely since the door had been opened I was meant to walk through.

But not all open doors are held by the hand of God.

I’m not saying God physically punished me for disobedience, although He is capable of such things. He did, however, allow certain consequences to occur in response to my lack of faithfulness.

So I am learning new ways to listen:
1) I am attentive to God’s voice. I make conscious effort to hear Him speak. And He almost never shouts.
2) I request discernment. I want to hear His voice and none other. The voice of truth, not of deceit.
3) I get Satan behind me. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV). Satan is “a stumbling block to me,” so with Jesus’ help I send him away (Matthew 16:23, NIV).
4) I get myself behind me. Personal pride just trips me up. “…not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42, NIV).
5) I obey. I repent and ask forgiveness and then I DO. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22, NKJV).

When it comes to hearing the Lord’s instruction, jumbled reception is not a laughing matter. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) tells us how it works: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

My ear will heal, be it now or when I get home to heaven. In the meantime, I will listen intently.

The Untrodden Path

July 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

A little cat and his friend Dog set out on an adventure. To and fro and here and there they went about exploring. They marveled at the nooks and crooks and creeks and streams of the forest and the wood. Then roundabout a tree they paused as Dog exclaimed, “Footprints!” On close exam the two agreed the steps would lead them north.

So north the two friends trekked following the tracks. A curve ahead and to the right. Again a curve and right. “Egads!” shrieked Dog. Now on the path where had been one were marked two paw prints more.

North again walked the two friends. Again a curve and right. Once more a curve and right. “Gasp! My-my!” said the little cat, for instead of three trails, they found five.

Yes, north again, a curve and to the right. Round and round and round they went til more tracks were found than they could count. No ground was gained as on they walked and tired they became.

Upon the ground the two friends sat to rest and ponder plans. “Say,” said the cat to his friend Dog, “those tracks look much like mine.”

“And mine beside,” replied the dog, much to her surprise.

The tale turns, when following one’s own footsteps one neither leads nor follows, as the little cat and his friend Dog discovered on their quest.

So the little cat and his friend Dog left the beaten path. South this time and to the left where few before had trod. A happy end to this close draws: They walked the straight and narrow and were lost no more, but found.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).

Loose Connection

June 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

My daughter’s television pixilates. Turn it on to watch a show, and every few minutes the action stops. Like a game of Red Light-Green Light, actors freeze in odd poses. Their faces blur. Sometimes the audio continues, giving the frozen frames a storyboard effect. So, naturally, we worked that into a homeschool lesson on the art of animation.

Despite its educational value, interrupted programming is annoying and hard on the eyes. My husband tried troubleshooting. He replaced the cable. No difference. He traded boxes from another room. No difference. He reset the entire system multiple times. No difference. When all else failed, he called for help.

The cable guy was scheduled to arrive between 8:00 AM and noon. You know what that means—he arrived at 11:59 with a few seconds to spare. He proceeded to do all the things we had already done. No difference. He then checked the main connection upstairs. It was so loose the cable detached when he touched it! He tightened some wires, and voila! Big difference.

All that for a loose connection.

Sometimes life gets pixilated. I go along my merry way when suddenly my forward progress halts. Images become unrecognizable. The continuous audio is the chatter in my head, the noise of me making my own plans.

I troubleshoot. Did I skip something on my schedule? No difference. Did I neglect to pay a bill? No difference. Did I leave the iron on when I left the house? No difference. Time to reset the system and call for help.

In John chapter 15, Jesus gave an illustration regarding the importance of staying connected to Him. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15: 5). When we disconnect from Christ, our lives pixilate and our signals scramble, much like a faulty TV. The scene gets fuzzy, and despite our own best efforts, nothing makes it any better. Clarity is not restored until we reconnect to the Source.

Don’t miss the educational value of the pixilation. Go to the Man Upstairs and tighten your loose connection.

Jodi Whisenhunt is an Amy Award winning freelance writer and Senior Content Editor of The Christian Pulse. Find her editing services at www.jodiwhisenhunt.com, and let her show you how Disney IS school at www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com.

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