Down…Set…Hut!

July 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

Some say life is like a roller coaster zooming full speed through loop-de-loops, up steep hills, then down and backward with herky jerks and lilting hills. And it can be. Often is, come to think of it. But I view life more like a game of football.

If you’re the offense, you control the game. Let’s say you’re the quarterback. You call the plays. You determine who’s open and able to catch what you throw their way. Or perhaps you hand what you carry to a teammate. You entrust valuable cargo to his sturdy grasp. You depend on him to carry it through a minefield of aggressors and across the goal line. Sometimes it takes several attempts to get where you aim to go. Sometimes you need to call an audible and change the play on the fly. You need referees to moderate sticky situations. You rely heavily on your pals to protect you. Yet often you’re knocked flat on your back. Sometimes you even lose your bearings or suffer injury. Some games find you victorious; others see you fail.

If you’re the defense, your job is to stop your opponent’s forward progress because their progress means your defeat. Whether you’re a solid, stable defensive tackle or a quick, fleet-footed cornerback, your goal is to keep the other team from achieving their goals, lest you meet destruction.

If you’re the ball, now that’s most like a roller coaster. You’re constantly tossed about, unstable. You may have direction but not always go the distance. Sometimes you’re fumbled, knocked around, fought over. For a while you head downfield one direction, then you’re handed over to the other team who runs you the opposite way. You’re kicked, batted, grabbed…held close, valued, celebrated. It’s a veritable storm of upheaval.

As rough and tumble as life’s game can be, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:7-9).

Be strong in the Lord. Remember He is on your side: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b). So call the audible, block the charge, catch the “hail Mary,” and run toward victory in Jesus.

In Your Anger Sin Not

July 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Judy Davis –

Recently my husband bought a new Nook reader. To hook this reader up to our router he needed a password. He asked, “Honey, I need the password for our router, can you pull it up on the computer?” I thought to myself, “Where is this password?” as I looked in my file of passwords and it was not there. Oops, I hated to tell him I had no idea where this password was. After searching all day on two computers, I found absolutely nothing. Needless to say he was upset.

To make matters worse, our daughter, Cindi, walked in the door. She searched diligently looking for the password to this router. She said, “Mom, dad is so mad, you need to find the password.” I told her, “Cindi, I have searched every document looking for it and cannot find it. Dad is just going to have to get over it. He needs to take the Nook back to the place he bought it and buy his books from their site.”

My husband and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary that same week. It was a blessing to receive so many beautiful anniversary wishes especially from our Facebook friends and family. God has blessed our marriage with three children, five grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

Later, we took Cindi out to lunch trying to forget the whole situation. We went to her favorite Japanese restaurant. When she left to go home she looked back at me, and said, “Happy Anniversary, Mom!”

On top of everything, our dog got a hold of my ballpoint pen. She got ink all over my new carpet. After trying to clean it I finally had to call a carpet cleaner costing $71.00.

What do you do when anger sets in? And it can quickly. The key is to forgive, move on, and learn to cope with the situation. Also, after it is all over, take a few minutes to laugh at the whole thing. Have you ever had to forgive your dog?

Never did find the password. We even tried installing the CD for the router and this did not work. However, we learned a valuable lesson: Always write down any passwords. We ended up taking the Nook, laptop, router and CD to a computer shop and the problem was resolved costing us $75.00.

It has not always been an easy journey, but we know the importance of not holding on to anger. It causes bitterness, unforgiveness and illness. Later, my husband apologized for getting so upset over such a trivial matter.

Knowing the importance of beginning our day with devotional and Bible reading, we also know the importance of praying for our day.

Our marriage has been an adventure! We make sure before going to bed to not have any anger in our heart towards each other and any one who may offend us. “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” Ephesians 4:26.

Cop Magnet

June 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

by Liz Cowen Furman

A cop magnet. That’s me! Once those flashing lights even appeared behind me when my cruise control was set. Go figure. Recently, I whined about my plight to my Mom-in-Love’s doctor. He suggested maybe this phenomenon occurs because I am a redhead. Ha!

He went on to say, “You know what a redhead is, don’t you?”

“No, pray tell what is a redhead?” I asked.

“A redhead is a hot blonde.”

Double Ha! I told him his theory was seriously flawed. A person trying to pick someone up would not give her a speeding ticket. Giving someone a ticket would not be very conducive to romance in my book.  Besides, most of the policemen I’ve met lately are young enough to be my sons. I think maybe I am just in too big a hurry. Tote that barge, lift that bail; or in my life, pick up that kid, make that dinner. On and on it goes. What I discovered in the last few years is that I need to make a conscious effort to slow down. Not just behind the wheel, but in my life; and especially in my relationship with God.

In January many folks make New Year’s Resolutions they have every intention of keeping, until life happens. In light of this I thought I would share a great idea our pastor, Pastor Jeff Clark, gave us a few January’s ago. He proposed that in lieu of some empty resolution to lose a hundred pounds or exercise forty-five minutes every day, as good as those may be; maybe we could start a quest to know the heart of God.  He made the case that if we want to know the heart of God we need to learn about the kingdom of God. When we learn about the kingdom of God we will find it to be all about righteousness, peace, salvation and it will all point to the Glory of God. Knowing this, it occurred to me, would make it easier to trust the Savior with all that concerns us today. Pastor Clark suggested we could learn this information by reading the Bible.

His idea? Get a journal and every morning (or evening depending on your personality) search through the Bible looking for a nugget aimed at you that day. Start in the Psalms, he suggested. When you find a verse that speaks to you, write it in your book and journal what it is telling you.

Several years before his proposal, I began praying that the Holy Spirit would put a burning desire in my heart, and the hearts of those I love, to be in the Word daily. While reading the Bible regularly, honestly, often I didn’t get much out of it. Knowing I needed to be in His Word daily became a habit of hurrying to read and get that job done. Did you ever get to the end of a page and think, “What did I just read?” only to have to then go back and read it again?

Taking the good pastor up on his idea has transformed my life. Now a couple years in, I have moved past the Psalms and currently am loving Isaiah! These days, if I don’t read my Bible every day it feels like I didn’t get dressed; like walking around without my clothes on. Not a good sensation at all, feels very vulnerable. That visual image gives a whole new meaning to putting on the full armor of God doesn’t it? And strangely enough the busier the day before me, the more I need to take the time to spend some with Jesus.

I find it amazing that just changing my reason for reading the Word has transformed the way it speaks to me. Many days I just open the Book and start reading, looking for that nugget. Often I am shocked when a verse I read addresses an issue that I am dealing with that very minute. Also, some days reading a verse I’ve read hundreds of times in my life speaks to me on a whole new level.  Guess that’s why the Bible is called a living document. I have definitely slowed in my quest for growing my relationship with my best friend JESUS, and as odd as it seems that has been just the ticket for going deeper in our relationship. Wish I could say the same for my driving.

Getting Fit With Jesus

June 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kim Stokely –

Jesus waved to me while I rode along the bike path this morning. He showed up at my step aerobics class too.

I blame my kids. Not for driving me insane (although they’ve come close) but for creating an animated Jesus that appears on my Wii Fit game. I bought the system as part of my resolution to exercise more. For those of you who don’t know, the Wii computer lets you create cartoon versions, called avatars, not only of yourself, but anyone else you’d like to populate your virtual world. So along with our two dogs, King Tut, Sean Connery and Sarah Palin, they made a Jesus character that periodically appears while we’re playing the various games. They did a good job with the avatar. He’s dressed all in white and sports the long brown hair, beard and mustache I’ve always pictured Jesus as having.

I’ll admit, it’s a little strange and at first I thought it might be sacrilegious. But I soon noticed something, my heart lightens when I see the Jesus avatar waving at me as I jog in the virtual world. And when he’s clapping for me at the goal of the obstacle course, I’m reminded that Jesus really is cheering me on to the finish line.

It’s also served as an eye opener in my spiritual life. I realized as I jogged with Jesus the other day how much I try to compartmentalize my faith. I may have a morning quiet time and attend Bible studies and church, but I often forget that the Lord is with me through every moment of the day. It’s easy to remember that when I’m reading scripture or singing a praise song, but when I’m making dinner or folding the laundry I tend to forget.

Psalm 139:2-3 says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (NIV). Seeing the avatar of Jesus is a great reminder of that passage. It helps me keep my focus on God, not on the minor irritations of the day like traffic jams, overflowing laundry hampers and burnt dinner rolls.

Of course, I still find it strange when Jesus knocks me down with a direct hit in the “Snowball Fight” game. But my kids just laugh and tell me I’m being purified and made white as snow!

Being Real, Fake Nails and All

June 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Connie Cavanaugh –

Needing accountability to stick to regular exercise, I asked four women to walk with me, one each day, Monday through Thursday every week.

Last week “Wednesday” called to see when I wanted to walk that day. I snagged the portable phone between shoulder and chin and continued sanding my heels.

“Sheesh!” I wailed, “I don’t know if I can make it today!”

She pressed me for details.

“Well, I’m the keynote speaker at a women’s event tomorrow night so today I have to get a haircut, wax my eyebrows, shave my legs, bleach my teeth, tweeze my chin hairs, borrow an outfit from ‘Tuesday’ and stick on fake fingernails.”

She agreed that I had a lot to do and asked what I planned to talk about.

“Being real, you know, being yourself,” I replied.

“Fake fingernails and a borrowed outfit so you can talk about being yourself?!” She couldn’t stop laughing.

She quickly convinced me I needed some fresh air and exercise and a friend to share it with so an hour later we were on the trail. She gently probed to find out why I was sounding stressed.

“I thought you enjoyed public speaking,” she began.

“I do. I love it,” I replied. “But I feel so inadequate…surely there are thousands of people out there who have deeper insights, more varied experiences, a richer prayer life, a more disciplined Bible study regimen than I do. What I do best is make people laugh. Anybody can do that.”

“I can’t,” Wednesday replied, stopping and looking right into my eyes.

We stood there, looking mutely at one another.

“You can’t?” I asked, doubting I had heard correctly.

“Nope, I can’t,” she said.

“But you wrote an Old Testament study manual for seminary students in Hungarian!” I countered. “You lived overseas as a missionary. You don’t need to make people laugh. You’re a scholar and an educator and a Bible study teacher and…”

“And you can do something I can’t do,” she interrupted. “You can make people laugh. How is your God-given gift any less than mine?”

I had no answer so we resumed our tramp.

We continued on in silence and, as God so often does, He spoke to me through the voice of a godly friend. His message, as always, was simple: recognize your gifts as coming from Me and use them for My sake.

As soon as I got home I made a cup of tea to take off the chill and grabbed the nearest Bible; it was The Message. I opened it to where a bookmark had been left and my eyes fell on this highlighted section:

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…Hebrews 6:19, 20

I was humbled and in awe of God who is personally involved in our lives. I thanked Him for Jesus who was running on ahead and I thanked him for making me the person I am. I promised to encourage others, as “Wednesday” had encouraged me, not only to be who they were created to be but to be thankful for who they are.

And while I sipped the last of my tea, I glued on my bright red nails.

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