Left to ourselves, beginnings are reliable predictors of endings. But God is”… not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b). He sends no one to hell. But we often forecast our own ending by our beginning. So be sure your directions come from someone who knows where they are going—lest you find yourself lost in the quagmire of a maze and cannot extract yourself.

GOD SAID:In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;… and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said let there be light and God saw the light that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness, and God called the light day and the darkness He called night. And evening and morning were the first day.” On the second day God said, “let there be a firmament, and He divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” DSCF6619 030 And for three more days He created the dry land, the Seas, grass, herb yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit, the sun, moon, and stars, birds, fish, living creatures…everything needed to sustain life on this earth. And God called all of it good. By the Word of His mouth, on the sixth day, God brought forth creatures after his kind, cattle and creeping things…and it was so. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion…So God created male and female in His own image and He blessed them and told them to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it.” And God saw all He had made and, behold, it was very good. And on the seventh day God ended his work and rested and He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.

ENTER THE SERPENT WHO SAID: “ Yea, hath God said….?” And from that point on the serpent still asks every man, woman, boy and girl, “…hath God said…?”

EVE REPLIED: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

AND THE SERPENT COUNTERED: “Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.”

EVE SAW: …that the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes, and she did eat and gave some to her husband. And he gobbled what she gave him. In spite of God’s instructions.

AND WE SAY: God couldn’t have possibly created this whole earth and everything in it in a week. “Did God really say six days?” So in this age of enlightenment, scientists, preachers, educators and scholars have set out to prove God wrong. Many theories have been pursued over the centuries and in this 20th Century, those created beings have decided we weren’t created—we evolved. Really? Many have gone so far as to say, “God is dead.” Or there is no creator, we evolved from a tiny, single slush pool of slime that multiplied for billions of years. sun and lightning And many Christians, caught in the middle of this battle for the heart and mind—not willing to take God at His Word—choose to blend the truth with the lie and proclaim those six days of creation must have actually been the multiplied thousands and billions of years of evolution and, like Eve they believe Satan’s lie. Is it easier to believe a lie rather than believe the truth? Look around you—is it really easier? A lie + A lie + A lie = More lies. This equation always ends with the same answer—a lie. Same answer, just multiples of how many lies have built the foundation you’re hedging your bets on. But God’s Truth never changes. It is His yesterday, today, and forever Truth. Shame on us! We’ve allowed lies from that serpent of old and those who refuse God’s truth to smear and sear the hearts and minds of our children so they are taught and now believe there is no absolute Truth. But. No. More.

The God of all creation addresses that error in the first Chapter of Romans: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse, because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:18-21 KJV). rainbow I live in the black land of east Texas, a geographical area where the ground heaves and splits, depending on conditions of heat and moisture in the soil. Imagine the ordeal of building a proper house with a solid foundation or roads on ground that always shifts. The only hope for a relatively stable foundation lies in the home owner’s ability to keep the soil around the foundation moist. Or just the right amount of rain. Not too wet, not too dry—just right—and that part of right is always a guessing game. The roads? Well, East Texans get used to bumps and potholes and road repair.

In the same way, we live in the black land of a pagan world, where life heaves and splits. If your house (your life) is built on the Truth of the Word of God, the moisture of the Holy Spirit’s continual conversation, between you, the Lord Jesus, and God the Father, holds your house (your life) firm in the rock solid power of God’s hand.

Remember the song we sang as children? “The wise man built his house upon the Rock, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down and the floods came up.” What happened to the wise man’s house? “The house on the Rock stood firm.” And folks, God’s Rock is Jesus! Albeit, the foolish man’s house—built on sand—in the midst of the storm, went SPLAT!

God’s Word is not a Sunday pick-and-choose buffet. It’s God’s forever Truth answering the who, what, when and whys of your life. Truth preserved from ancient times—eternal truth. Is it any wonder the world, perhaps even your family, and your life seem to be going splat? Perhaps you need to reassess what you are hanging your eternal destiny on and return to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, accepting the fact God doesn’t need to tell you everything—there are secret things belonging only to Him (Deuteronomy 29:29). And like Adam, Eve, Abraham, and everyone since that time, to be His adopted child, He requires you trust Him.

“For we are saved by hope; but, hope that is seen is not hope. For what a man seeth, whydoth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24 KJV). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrew12:1 KJV). “And Abraham believed in the LORD, and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6 KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).



“…His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.’ And this expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:26-27 NAS).

The alarm clock beeped and I rolled over, filled with good intentions to accomplish so many things this morning. Then the phone rang, my email inbox burped indigestion, and something on FaceBook caughtDSCF5461 my eye before I realized it was 10:45 a.m. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was still in my jammies. And the morning was almost over.
My plans for the day shaken, but not lost. I could still catch up. Maybe. If I could just stay focused.
How many days do you struggle with this same jumble of junk? And the junk pile seems to grow babies every day.
Until I stopped reread Hebrews 12:1-2, that God brought to my attention yesterday.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”

Jesus knew He had a job to do. He would only be on this earth a short time. His assignment was clear and at the appointed time He would be reunited with His Father. So He kept His eyes on the goal and His assignment from God—not on the circumstances of His physical surroundings.
The clock ticked off each minute—the crowds, the miracles, those horrendous hours in the garden, Judas’ betraying kiss, standing before Pilate, before Herod—the stripping—the scourging—the imagemocking. The cries of the crowd who had praised Him, now eager to crucify Him. The weight of the cross. The piercing pain of the nails. Shredded skin, hemorrhaging blood, drowning in the shame and sins of the ages.
Yet Jesus looked beyond those hours to the joy God promised Him, before the foundation of the world, and He endured the cross, the separation, the fires of hell to lead captives free, and just as the Father promised, He heard His Father’s command Arise My Son! And Jesus sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Unshaken. Right now and for all eternity.

How about you and me? Do we stay focused on the mission God gave each one of us?
The writer of Hebrews tells us:
“…consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3 NAS).

DSCF4943And I must admit, I’ve grown weary this week. Weary and aggravated. I’ve struggled with writing this week’s blog in light of all that is going on in our nation and around the world. Until I opened my Bible and read this 12th Chapter of Hebrews.
“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline…then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Hebrews 12:4-8 NAS).

And my whining and ranting over our trampled Constitution, the lawlessness all over the world and here at home faded—in light of the mission. My mission. Your mission.

Things were basically in the same shape we are in today when Hebrews was penned. Lawlessness, rogue governments, evil hearts—when God, at the appointed time, sent Jesus. But thank God, unlike us, Jesus stayed focused.
And with this week of war in my spirit, God’s discipline has reproved my heart, my mind, and my mouth. DSCF4892Oh that I would be quicker to listen, slower to speak, and always ready to surrender my will to His will.
How about you?
Read these final words of Hebrews 12.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:22-25; 28-29 NAS).

And like Jesus, for the joy set before us—focus on the mission. So when the shaking on earth really begins we will stand firm in the assembly of the first-born.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

I braked the car just shy of the entering lane of traffic, waiting for a lady to back out so I could park in her space. Another car turned into this entrance lane, so I pulled forward indicating I had been waiting for the space.

The young man in the flashy sports car entering Chick-Fil-A’s parking lot inched closer.

I inched closer.

He refused to glance my way and as the lady pulled away, this hip young man gave his car the gas and zipped into the space. Hanging in the air between us, his inference I am king—you are nothing.

His rudeness normally wouldn’t have gotten under my skin, butDSCF8285 Texas weather had been less than pleasant the past few weeks. With ice and snow on the ground and a chilling wind blowing, this space was closest to the door of the restaurant.


I murmured, pulled around the building to another vacant spot, gathered my purse and coat, and groused all the way into the building.

But he was not inside.

I looked out the window to see he had vacated the sought after spot and was leaving the parking lot.

My brain shifted to mental lecture concerning his selfish lack of consideration for others. After all, I was his senior by many years.
And God’s Spirit whispered, How many times have you been so self-absorbed you didn’t pay any attention to those around you? How many times have you shoved your way to the front of the line to get the best spot?

“But God,” was out of my mind’s mouth, when the truth of the Spirit’s words convicted my heart.

Yes, we’ve all allowed ourselves to be anesthetized by a me first way of life, so caught up in our own plans we don’t stop to assess someone else’s turn. Someone else’s needs. Someone else’s plight.

Jesus instructed, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”(Matthew 5:43, 19:19, Mark 12:31 NKJV).

What does that kinda love look like to you?

When I’m hungry, I like to eat. When I’m tired, I relish the comfort of my bed. When I’m lonely, I need a friend who will listen and care. If I’m wounded or troubled, I need help. During a storm, I need shelter. And all of the time I need Jesus.

’Cause I’m guilty of neglect. Guilty of failing to exhibit love and concern for those about me. Guilty of disobeying our Lord by displaying a me first attitude.

You get the picture.

But these attitudes begin in the heart; and God’s goodness can’t be imitated without the presence of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.

Always conscious of the needs of people around Him, when the woman with the issue of blood barely touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, He was aware she touched Him.


Think about the scene—crowds surrounded Him from morning ’til night. He had to have been jostled and bumped and tired. But The Spirit discerned this woman’s desperate need and Jesus stopped to focus on her needs, her separation from God, and He healed her.

“Yeah,” you say. “…but He’s God.” Scripture tells us we are to be conformed to His image. In simple English, we are to grow up and act like Him.

Is it any wonder folks are bailing out of churches? Why should people want to be associated with us? We’re just like ’em, only worse—because we purport to be Christ followers.

And therein lies the problem. Our priorities are out of order and many within the church are deceived and calloused to God’s absolute truth. Shouldn’t those of us who claim the name of Jesus be different?

The same afternoon of the Chick-Fil-A incident, I listened to a report on Fox News about a mother who it seems has murdered her baby. A liberal young woman reporter, discussing the matter with Sheppard Smith, uttered this anguishing cry, “How could a mother kill her own baby?”

Well, why not?DSCF2693

We’ve allowed this generation to be taught It’s not a baby, it’s a blob. And with a swoop of the sword of their pens, federal judges have slashed and shredded what God’s truth told us from the beginning—Life begins before and during conception.

“Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written. The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16 KJV).



Men and women have legally killed their babies since that fateful DSCF2691Rowe v. Wade decision and over 55 million babies have been murdered since 1973. And those who think they’re king have made abortion legal and normal in our generation.

Why should we be surprised when families rupture? When evil pervades this polluted nation. And when God’s word of judgment becomes our reality?

Now battles rage over another of God’s truths—Marriage is between a man and a woman. And federal judges stand with swords drawn and ready to continue slicing and dicing the Word of God and the fabric this nation was molded upon.

But again, these issues begin and end in our hearts.

DSCF2349Your way, my way, or God’s way?

And should Jesus tarry, I’m afraid the heart and mind of this period in history will best be remembered by the lie—I am king—you are nothing. Which retorts a truth many are too prideful to comprehend, but will spend eternity regretting—then you are king of nothing.



“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2-3 NKJV).

I pulled on my boots, checked my image in the mirror—White peasant blouse and skinny jeans. Lookin’ good, girl. Reached for my camera and was ready to Rodeo!

We arrived at the Rockdale Rodeo Arena, and I scanned the arena for a place to perch and shoot some great action shots of the TRA Championship Rodeo. Now these rodeos aren’t like the rodeos held in huge sports facilities. No, these rodeos allow a person to get up close and personal with the participants. And the stock.

No concrete walls, iron bars, or cushioned seats. Nope. It’s exciting. Tension thick enough to slice, and the aroma of everything fried saturates the air.

The cowboys and girls are stunning in their rhinestone-and-fringe-rodeo-finest while the music blares western.

On the other side of the arena, I spied an old field judge’s platform and seat on top of a chain link fence, next to an empty cow pen. My husband, Richard, walked over and helped me up into the ringside seat and I’m thrilled giddy with this unobstructed view of the action.
I pulled my camera out and tossed the case down to my husband, who patiently waited below me in the vacant pen. Now if Dick had to choose, Friday night rodeo would not be on his short list. Especially since cricket season was in full swing and they crawled and flew in and out of everything like a plague of locusts.

The grand entry paraded all the contestants and horses around the inside of the arena for cheers and pictures. Then we moved onto the serious stuff. With my camera focused and ready, I captured action shots of team roping and barrel racing.

“Aren’t you ready to climb down and let’s get some nachos and sit this thing out in the stands?” Dick slapped at a dozen crickets and I knew he was miserable.

“Just one more event, honey. Please?”

The P.A. system crackled and the voice announced, “Next up—bull ridin’.”

“Don’t you think you ought to come on down before the bulls?” Dick rattled the fence. “You hear me?”

“Sure honey, but I’ll be fine up here. There’s a big puddle of water down in front of me and the bull can’t run through the chain link. Right?”

“Like it wasn’t even there.” He reached up to give me a hand down.
But I brushed off his request. “I’ll just get one or two shots, then I’ll come down. Okay?”

The announcer drowned Dick’s comment as he called the cowboy’s name, but the only name I remember to this day is Booger Daddy.
I focused on the chute where the cowboys had the rope taunt and ready to pull the gate open. The chute where all the clanging and banging racket originated. Booger Daddy obviously didn’t have the personality of his distant cousin, Ferdinand.

The gate swung open. Booger Daddy charged out, bucked and went into a full body spin. The cowboy left the bull’s back and the clowns went into action. And I snapped the shutter fast as my finger would click.

‘Til I blinked and realized as I looked through my lens, Booger Daddy was glaring right back at me. He pawed the ground with first one hoof, then the other. Snot poured from his nose like a busted fire hydrant. A ton of hamburger-on-the-hoof and a half-mile-wide.

“Throw that camera down and jump. Now!” I’m sure Dick wanted to run, but ever faithful he stood firm and yelled my name. “DiAne. Get. Down. Right. Now.”

Booger Daddy lowered his head and went from zero to sixty with me in his bulls-eye. The sound of his hooves pounding the ground echoed in my ears.

I jumped up and my mouth opened to scream. Nothing came out, but a zillion crickets flew in as a pick-up man wheeled his Paint into action and galloped to save this foolish photographer whose feet were planted like cement on this not-too-sturdy wooden platform just above the bulls’ horns.

And yes, your life does flash in front of you.

Booger Daddy and my cowboy prince arrived in orchestrated unison from opposite directions—the cowboy next to the fence galloping one way through the mud puddle, and the bull charging the other way, also through the puddle of liquid nasty.

And my pretty, white, peasant blouse, my magnificent camera, boots, and jeans were splatted, splattered, and coated with yucky Texas muck.

When reality struck I was still alive, unharmed, and standing, I heard Dick’s voice, “Are you ready to come down now?” Though the pitch of his tone said something entirely different.

Climbing down off an eight foot chain link fence with noodles for legs, feeling like a disobedient child was nothing short of a miracle.
Dick offered his hand to steady me and took my camera with his other one. “Well, did ya get a shot of Booger Daddy up close and personal?”

I looked at his face for any sign of snarky, but found nothing but concern. “I’m done for the night,” I whispered and headed for the car.

Now what do you suppose I learned from this sour pickle moment?
I should have listened to my husband? Right.

From the beginning God gave the line of authority to Adam. You see, Eve was deceived. But Adam disobeyed.

Contrary to those ‘60’s songs, I am woman hear me roar, roaring is not God’s plan for our lives, ladies. But we’ve been deceived and bought the lie. God’s plan is order in the home, in the church, and in our nation. And it’s take-to-the-bank-certain there will be order in heaven.

God set husbands as head of the home. No, it’s not the I am king you are nothing mantra, it’s a line of accountability. The chain of command. God is the head of the home. When He’s not—look around you to see what happens.

Our Lord God appointed our husbands to protect us, to shield us, to love us. When we refuse to listen, we remove ourselves from the protection of his care. And divorce courts are full of the wreckage of these chaotic families.

It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, being that ‘60’s girl who knew God’s way is always best, but pride in me wanted control. And this was one of those p.j. moments, staring down the horns of a charging bull, knowing I was not in control of anything. Especially myself.

So yep, now when my husband tells me to do something, I do it!
Has your husband ever asked, demanded or suggested you abandon an activity and you refused? What was the outcome of your failure to heed his wisdom?

Well, I’ve learned the hard way—never, never, never sit on top of a chain link fence when Booger Daddy’s the first bull out the chute.



“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17 NKJV).


Photos of Texas Youth Rodeos by Nelda Blassingame

If I met Benjamin Netanyahu on the street I would point and gasp, “I know him!” But I don’t know him—I know about him.

When my friend Barbara pulls her car into my driveway for lunch, I’m thrilled to see her. We’ve been friends for many years and I know more about her than I do casual acquaintances. But when it all boils down—I only know about her.

My husband and I have been married thirty-eight years and like any wife, I know his habits and have watched his responses to me and to other people. But do I really know what’s in the recesses of his heart? After all, there is no Book of Richard to tell me.

Since early childhood, I sat in Sunday School and church, and came to know about God and about His Son, Jesus Christ. I knew God created the world. I knew God loved the world. I knew His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world. But I didn’t know Him. I knew about Him.

At age twelve, with a group of other pre-teens, I walked the aisle and got dunked in the pool during a revival. But I still didn’t know God’s greatest gift to me. For years I tried to do good, to act good, to be good, but regardless how hard I tried I didn’t know Jesus. In my mind, it was all about following the rules—but I still kept going to church. But there was no personal relationship, and I cycled worse as sin’s clutches grabbed more and more of my life.

One divorce and many heartaches later my life teetered on the brink of chaos. I was ready to chunk the whole marriage deal again and walk out the door. When in a desperate moment I looked up and cried “Help me, God!”

After years of seeing my backside of rebellion, God heard those three words and immediately responded, even though I didn’t realize at the time.

Our lives were still in chaos when one Sunday in early January of 1989 we walked into a new church where Life Action Crusade was holding revival services. And fourteen days and fourteen services later, Richard and I met the Lord Jesus Christ and understood why those nails were hammered into Jesus’ flesh, why the sword pierced His side, and why He was crucified and died a tortuous death—as payment for our disobedience, rebellion, and rejection of God—our refusal to allow Jesus to come down off that cross and become our Savior and Lord.

The Holy Spirit of God came to live inside me and inside Richard and He began the arduous task of remodeling our hearts and our home.

And I developed a ravenous appetite for the Word of God.

Jesus tells us we must be born of the water and the Spirit. But what does that mean? We kinda know or have read God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us at the moment of salvation, and we’re okay with that—long as He behaves and doesn’t require too much change. You know, nothing radical.

But did you know God’s Word warns us in Ephesians 4:30 not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Hmmm? Ever given any consideration about what might grieve God’s Spirit? And how much you’ve grieved Him? For starters I’d suggest you read the five chapters of 1 Peter.

Then what did Jesus mean by being born of the water? Many have said that refers to our natural birth, but that’s not water. Many times God’s Word refers to the washing of the water of the Word. Sooo, we don’t take one bath to be clean for life—or even for the week. We bathe every day to wash away the outside stink. How much more should we wash in the water of the Word every day to clean the odors inside—offensive odors lurking in the darkness of our hearts?

The more I read and study the Word the more I’ve come to know God, to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and how to listen to the Holy Spirit. Because God has preserved His written word, so we can know them. And the more I know them, the more I desire to be like them. And the more I desire to be like them, the more time I spend time washing in the water of the Word.

Being born again occurs when you realize you can’t save yourself—regardless how hard you try to be right in God’s eyes, you can’t—and you respond to God’s call to you and accept His mercy and grace (salvation) through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the first step. You are then saved from the penalty of sin.

However, there is a second, much longer process—you are being saved from the power of sin—each day. As you study the Word of God the Holy Spirit guides you into all truth and you come to know who Jesus Christ really is and as you obey (putting off unrighteousness and putting on righteousness) you are transformed to be like Him. But precious friend, this is your choice.


And statistics tell us a great percentage of church members refuse to take this necessary step. Oh they’ll come to church every Sunday, but never open the Book during the week.

The Book of 1 Peter assures us one day, when Jesus Christ returns, we will be saved from the presence of sin. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign from David’s throne and there will be perfect righteousness.

But at the beginning of that Kingdom, every believer must stand before the judgment seat of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to give account for the deeds done from the moment of salvation to the moment we stand—just me and Him—face to face. There will be no do-overs. No pleading for mercy. No excuses. Only rewards or salvation-as-if-by-fire as we watch all we’ve worked, worshiped, and spent our lives clinging to burned up.

Could it be our nation, the world, and our families are in such a mess because we have chosen to ignore this daily walk through the cleansing water of the Word? Chosen to grieve the Holy Spirit of God by ignoring the Word, and chosen to cling to the old stinky stuff the Word tells us to lose, the stuff Christ died to save us from?

Maybe it’s time to take a long, cleansing shower in the Word. Maybe it’s time to do spring-cleaning in your life. Maybe it’s time to realize the clock is ticking and the hour is late. Look around you, God told us the beginning and ending of all things. He told us the signs to look for. And it sure looks as if God’s story is moving rapidly toward the end of this age and the beginning of the Millennium and Eternity.

The Spirit and the Word bid you come. Jesus’ died so you and I could be free. God’s mercy and grace through the sacrifice of Jesus blood are still available. If you feel the slightest stirring of conviction in your heart, please come now, before it’s too late. Then share your decision with a member of God’s family. Or share with the readers of this blog, so we can pray for you as you begin this important life journey.

This Generation


This is written by friend, blogger, and member of ICR. If you read only one post on my blog site, let this be the one you read and heed.


Originally posted on Ernie's Musings:


Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.   (Matthew 24:34)

The cross loomed menacingly just days away. Jesus’ mind was already on that fateful day as He traversed the crowded streets of Jerusalem. As His disciples marveled at the grand architecture of Herod’s Temple, Jesus’ thoughts were on the future of His impending death and beyond.  “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). This prediction literally came to pass just 40 years after His crucifixion when the Roman general Titus razed Jerusalem in 70 AD and leveled the Jewish Temple. Not a single stone of that edifice remains. For those who unknowingly point to the Wailing Wall that stands next to the Muslim Dome of…

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DSCF8231Remember those moments? That first bite of a luscious dill pickle that dripped juice down your chin and pulled your lips to a full face pucker.

When I was young, corner grocery stores always had a pickle barrel where a dime would buy an afternoon’s worth of sour delight. And every foodie, cook, or grandma knows pickle juice is a tasty addition to many recipes, and the spicy brine can be reused as a preservative.

But as we grow older, even though we don’t suck the juice from those pickled cucumbers, we still have pickle juice moments. Moments that give our lives flavor, humble us, or teach us lessons of strength that linger long after the zing and snap of the moment has passed.

Years ago the Lord allowed one of those p.j. moments in my life. A horrifying and humbling one, but one that served and preserved me.
I worked as secretary to one of the senior partners in a prestigious law firm in Florida. Years before the dictating machine. Years where shorthand was the venue for transcribing one’s thoughts onto the page.

My boss decided to vacation, leaving his work with the CEO of the firm—the Senator. And my worst nightmare became my reality. Up to that moment I’d never even spoken to the man. He was an icon—a genius who scared me witless.

Our switchboard operator (you’ll have to look up the word, takes too many words to describe here, but you’ve seen them in ancient hiding(2)movies) would notify me when Senator was on the way down the hallway and I’d dash for the ladies’ bathroom to hide. And I managed to avoid him for three days of that week. Whew!

But one afternoon my friend had taken a break when his entourage arrived.

Senator strode past my cubicle, never stopping or slowing his stride. He instructed, “Miss Nickels, bring your pad.” Terror assaulted my heart and by the time I reached his door (corner office with a view) tears cascaded free-fall down my cheeks. And before I had taken two steps inside he was half through dictating the first paragraph of a letter—before I sat down.

He never slowed down, never looked up, just kept dictating.

Tears made messy puddles on my shorthand notebook and I knew I would be roasted and fired when this moment was over. Minutes, hours later. I don’t know, I heard, “That will be all. Bring them for my signature before 5 o’clock.”

Sobs strangled in my throat. 5 o’clock which day? Which year? Running in the ladies room wasn’t an option. I stood and prayed my legs would carry me to the door before crumbling in pieces.

Senator’s secretary and another senior partner’s secretary stood just outside the door like EMT’s and rescued this scaredy-cat mess of a secretary. These wonderful ladies had recorded every word he dictated and assured me they had experienced a similar event in their younger years and there would be no roasting ceremony today.

They mopped my tears and Senator’s secretary smiled and hugged me again. “My very first week working for the Senator, he called me into the conference room to record a news conference When I walked in that room there were more dignitaries and cameras than my brain could comprehend. I froze. Another older, wiser secretary did for me what we’ve done for you today. Then she shared a trick for surviving future shocks-and-awes.”

The ladies chuckled and Senator’s secretary continued, “If you’re ever in this situation again, just picture these icons of pomp and dignity in their underwear, smoking cigars.”

We laughed, my tears and fears vanished, and I thought of the scripture that instructs, “The older women shall teach the younger women…” I know the rest of this passage has a very different application, but these older women rescued me and taught me a valuable lesson that preserved and carried me through many pickle puckering events in the following years.

However, the Senator’s secretary retired a few months later and a friend of the family took her place. A beautiful butterfly of a lady, totally opposite from his wise and proper secretary of many years.

Late one morning, Senator sent this secretary to Stand ‘N Snack for an early working lunch. She returned with the lunch and spread it before him as he continued his telephone conversation.

Now Stand ‘N Snack made the most wonderful kosher dill pickles, wrapped them in tissue, and packed three of them with each lunch order.

Lorraine pulled the pickles from the bag, unaware the juice from the pickles had dissolved a hole in their tissue wrapper. As she ripped picklesthe package of dripping pickles from the bag, leverage sent these pickled weapons flying from their wrapper, across the desk, splattering against the middle of this shocked congressman’s forehead, bouncing to his nose, sliding down his tie, and landing on a stack of legal papers, while pickle juice dripped from his nose, drizzled down his chin, and puddled on his tie.

She grabbed napkins, trying to sop up the damage and blot him dry, but the Senator’s always-all- together decorum crumbled. He changed from statesman to little boy whose hands still held the phone, but his big eyes appealed why’d ya do that to me?

No, he didn’t fire her. But his austere attitude vanished after this p.j. moment. And bouncing pickles and dripping juice replaced cigars and underwear in the secretarial pool.

So what did I learn from these p.j. moments? Had I spent as much time sitting before the Lord, pouring out my fear and asking for His strength, as I did stressing and hiding, I wouldn’t have been gushing fear and could have accomplished what I was paid to achieve. God never gives you a job He doesn’t equip you to accomplish—if you trust and obey Him.

I am learning the moment fear attacks to drop and pray. God tells us hundreds of times in the Word “fear not—fear not.” Yet what is the first thing we do? Collapse into anxiety and fear at the first glimmer of change.

Have you ever had a pickle juice moment or been an EMT for a younger employee at work? At home? At school? What p.j. lessons can you share? And how did God add flavor to your life or teach you in that p.j. moment?



“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV).
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).

Illustrations are by my good friend and edit partner, Katie Meyer. Check out Katie’s work on Tumblr at Legend of Zouzam.


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