Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jesus Calling prayer

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We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We have maybe three years

Wherever you stand on this issue, please take the time to read this; it should wake each of us from our slumber on this important truth ...
We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant.
Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, D.C., filled to capacity with many of America's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Davis Hansen talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia", explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.
Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America.
The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.’”
"Here is how they do it," Lamm said.
"First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.’ Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and Muslims."
        Lamm went on:
"Second, to destroy America, invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal; that there are no cultural differences. Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds."
"Third, we could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multi-ethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance, but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.' Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."
"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."
"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority placation."
"My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will "Balkanize" America as surely as Kosovo.
"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits. Make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bi-lingual/bi-cultural country, having established multi-culturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."
In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson's book 'Mexifornia.' His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."
There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America. Take note of California and other states. To date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."
Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation, and the future of this great democracy, is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.
If you care for and love our country as I do, take the time to pass this on just as I did for you. NOTHING is going to happen if you don't!
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under" - Ronald Reagan
Opinion is no substitute for the truth of God’s Word. – Matthew 16:15

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

At Last!

Genesis 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
(New Living Translation)
God has created an “At last!” woman for every man.  For that union to be what God designed it to be, both “Adam” and “Eve” must submit themselves to the reforming Hand of God by grace through faith in His Word. 
It’s vital that we understand that only the woman who is created by the Hand of God is worthy of “At last!”
I pray that God will help me live up to that exclamation, “At last!”
Has your husband found his “At last!”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Who wants to die?

Hebrews 9:26-28
New King James Version (NKJV)
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation
Let’s talk about death and dying.  Let’s go back a few verses in the Amplified Version of the Bible at Hebrews 9:24-28, with the focus on dying.
24 For Christ (the Messiah) has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true one, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself regularly again and again, as the high priest enters the [Holy of] Holies every year with blood not his own.
26 For then would He often have had to suffer [over and over again] since the foundation of the world. But as it now is, He has once for all at the consummation and close of the ages appeared to put away and abolish sin by His sacrifice [of Himself].
27 And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment,
28 Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
If I call myself a Follower of Christ and, indeed, I am a follower of Christ, then I am called to do as Christ did. The popular phrase, “What Would Jesus Do,” takes on a deeper significance to me, especially in the area of dying.
Romans 6:5-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
6 We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
7 For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].
What does this dying look like in reality?  How do I “wear” this death?
Does a dead person feel anything?  Does a dead person hurt anyone?  Does a dead person care what happens to them?  Does a dead person have an agenda?  Does a dead person control or manipulate?  Does a dead person fail in anyway?  Does a dead person disappoint?  Does a dead person sin?  Does a dead person know or care when they are rejected?  Does anyone even have the power to reject a dead person??
I begin to see how liberating it is to die.  I begin to understand how the success of a relationship, especially my marriage, depends on me dying.  Marriage is only completely successful when both spouses are dead.
Don’t laugh, even though the statement leads one to think that the only way a marriage works is if both are dead, literally.  In other words, marriage is doomed to fail if we are breathing.
That’s actually true and is the exact reason why each Follower of Christ has died to themselves.  Because I have died to my own will and way – crucified with Christ -- Christ has resurrected me with Himself into a new life, free from the bondage of sin.  When temptation knocks on my door, my response must be, “Don’t you see that door is closed? Go away.  That part of me is dead!  I am in Christ, I am surrounded by Christ, I belong to Christ and I choose not to open the door to you ever again.”
I told you! Death is liberating!
In my marriage, as a dead person, I am to always “do what Jesus would do.” 
In my life, 24/7, I am dead to myself and alive and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  That is my choice. 
I choose to be dead to myself each and every day. 
I choose to honor.
I choose to respect.
I choose to be an emptied vessel for Jesus. 
I choose to have no agenda, except His. 
I choose to never try to control or manipulate.
I choose to accept and love my spouse. 
I choose to serve. 
I choose to encourage.
I choose to guard my heart from sin. 
I choose to have no opinion of my own outside of the will of God.
I choose to die.
THESE ARE ALL THINGS CHRIST DID FOR ME AND MUCH MORE….. which answers the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Only in my choice to die is there abundant life for me in Christ Jesus.
Until I die to myself, I cannot be resurrected to follow Jesus.
I do not want to go anywhere without my LORD, my Master, my Savior.
My identity is in Christ.
My personality is in Christ…..
Romans 6:5-7
New King James Version (NKJV)
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Remember, it is appointed unto man, only once to die. (Hebrews 9:27) When I die to myself, when I have been crucified with Christ, I will never die again.  I will never be dead again.  I cannot ever be dead again. It is written:  It is appointed unto man, once to die.  Jesus only died once and He has promised that I can only die once. I have done that. I have died to myself and given my whole being, body, mind, heart and soul, to Him and HE has raised me up a new person alive for His purpose and plan, never to die again.  You may take my body, but you cannot kill me!! I have already died!! 
Wooo Hoooo!! Hallelujah!! \o/ \o/
Acts 17:31
Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A True Story I Read and Must Preserve Here for Myself

 A true story by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward  the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another  battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really  felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled  with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't  lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him  outside alone, straining to lift it.. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed  into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and  insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether.  Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh  air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became  frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had proved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens Each  contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black   dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too  much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles.  But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the  dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of  the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow."  He gestured helplessly.

As the  words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited  my decision.

 "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside  me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my  prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da!   Look what I got for you, Dad !" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had  wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better  specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm  scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me.. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples." You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's  staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood  glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then  Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad  named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the  community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent  reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and   Cheyenne  were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed.  I  wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried  him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the  pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had  made filling the church.. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to  both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect  to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels  without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article ... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter ... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father …. and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

[Many thanks to Bev Topper for sending this story to me.  I had so much fun searching the web for pictures to accompany this wonderful story.]

Friday, April 11, 2014


  For exact recipe, click here.


resurrection rolls

Recipe and Instructions for Easter Rolls that tell the true meaning of Easter, which is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is an inspiring family project that can be done on Easter Morning.
Ingredients needed:
Crescent rolls
Melted butter
Large Marshmallows
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Give each child one triangle of crescent rolls.

Explain that he crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.

Read Matthew 27: 57-61

1. Give each child a marshmallow.
This represents Jesus.

2. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter.
This represents the oils of embalming.

3. Now dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar.
This represents the spices used to anoint the body.

4. Then wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside.)
This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after death.

5. Place all in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
The oven represents the tomb--while you are waiting for the rolls to bake, read Matthew 27:62-66.

6. Remove rolls from oven and let them cool slightly.

Now the children can then open their rolls (cloths) and discover that Jesus is no longer there! HE IS RISEN!!!!
(The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)

~ Now read Matthew 28:1-10

Enjoy your warm rolls as you rejoice at the good news of Easter!
And then go and tell someone else the good news today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunday’s Coming

Sunday's Coming has been posted to Don's blog.

Thank you for your prayers for us and for sharing your prayer requests with us. God is still on His Throne and He still answers prayer.

Because He gave,

Don & LaVon Baker


Monday, March 24, 2014

Scriptures and prayer for marriages, good or bad…

Here are some scriptures that you might find helpful or encouraging.

Mark 10:7-9

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh, so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Ephesians 4:26-27, 32

"Be angry, and do not sin" : do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love suffers long and is kind;

love does not envy;

love does not parade itself,

is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely,

does not seek its own,

is not provoked,

thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity,

but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

Love never fails.

Matthew 6:33

Amplified Bible (AMP)

 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right),

and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

Directive Prayer for couples, most powerful when prayed together:

Heavenly Father,
In the name of Jesus, we rejoice and delight ourselves in You and in one another. I pray You'll draw us nearer to You so that we can know You more intimately, walk with You closely and experience greater intimacy together. I pray that we're conformed to the image of Christ, and that we may be one so that the world may see You in our relationship, and Christ will be glorified in us.
As Your Word says, may we be better together than apart and continually lift each other up. Please strengthen us by Your great power and fill us with all Your fullness so we may walk worthy of Your calling. Let us prefer one another always and walk in Your love.
I pray we're patient and kind to each other; that we're not envious or prideful. I pray we won't behave rudely, seek our own or be easily provoked. May we never go to bed angry, but let us walk in forgiveness continually towards one another, just as You have forgiven us. I pray we won't think evil of one another or rejoice in iniquity, but I pray we'll rejoice with truth. May we bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things together. Give us Your love that never fails! Be glorified in us, Lord.
In Jesus' name I pray,

LUKE 18:37 They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. (identifying His humanity)

38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (identifying His Divinity)

39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him.

41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

If your situation has seemingly reached a point of no return, this is a very effective prayer in many situations:


The Art of Forgiveness

**Faith When You Can’t See a Thing**  (audio message)

The Power of Forgiveness (powerful audio message)



Listen to this and hear it…

How to Divorce-proof Your Marriage

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s all about Christ

A good friend posted on FaceBook, at 3:00 A.M., 2 Corinthians 5: 17.  I needed that verse this morning, particularly, and felt that I needed to meditate on it for a while…

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

I love this verse. It’s one of my favorites. (I say that a lot about many verses.)

I have learned, from my preacher man, Don, if a verse starts with ‘therefore,’ or ‘For,’ or ‘So,’ or ‘and’, or ‘ Now then,’ or ‘However’ … you get the picture… that I should read the previous verse to keep the verse in context and get all out of it that God intended.

This morning, I got a good chuckle out of God’s method, as you notice 2 Corinthians 5:17 starts with ‘Therefore,’ my first clue to read the verse before it.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Among other things, here I learn that ‘the flesh is mentioned,’ confirming the mention of ‘a creation’ and defining ‘old things’ in verse 17. 

What? Verse 16 also begins with ‘Therefore,’ so I am intrigued to read verse 15.

15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

The big picture is becoming more clear. But, hey, this verse begins with ‘and’ and ‘and’ isn’t even capitalized in the NKJV, which means that I need to read the first part of that sentence, so I read verse 14.

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;

‘FOR?’ Now, I’m smiling. God is pointing me to verse 13… that’s 5 verses I’ve read thus far. (Yes, I said ‘thus.’) So, reading backwards…

13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

Do you see it?! Another ‘For!’ Now, I’m really smiling.

12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.

I laughed out loud. Not laughing at the content, but at how much fun I was having at the way God tied these verses together to keep verses from being taken out of context.  You think He knew we humans might be tempted to do that? You think?

 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

How creative, using the word ‘knowing’ to prick my interest to, once more read the previous verse. AND if that wasn’t enough…. ‘therefore.’

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


I am getting the whole picture of the content much better now.

9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

(Seriously?) I love this!! Stay focused on the content here, LaVon.  Yes! It’s about Him.

8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

I have just read ten verses ‘tied’ together to help me understand my life in Christ Jesus.

I love God’s Word!

Of course, now I am all in. This is fun!

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Ahhh, there is is again! I recognize this verse as one that is quoted often, but I must read the previous verse.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

Why ‘So?’

5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Oh, I see where my confidence comes from ‘now.’ Guaranteed by the Holy Spirit! Yes!

4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

This verse certainly not only causes me to want to read the previous verse, but it certainly indicates why I would need to read forward. “This tent?” “Burdened?”  “Unclothed??”  “Mortality?” Wow!

3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

(No capital letter.)

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,

Oh, how I want to go Home, but I must remain until God calls me. He’s not finished with me yet. More accurately, I am not yet fully prepared for my ‘job.’ in Glory.

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

He began a chapter with ‘For???’ Well, it is the fifth chapter, after all, and there are chapters before it.

2 Corinthians 4:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


Reading the chapters backwards is really fun. It gives a whole new meaning to:  “He (or she) knew the Bible backwards and forwards!”


Got to go now. Must read 2 Corinthians 4:… verse 15!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Kris update

March 14, 2014
Dearest family and friends!
          It has been another long month and so much to tell you about Kris and about my visit for a week with her in late February.  The photo above was taken when we visited her very favorite place, RED Arena Therapeutic Riding Ranch near Dripping Springs, Texas.  Kris goes there once a week (weather permitting, of course) to ride Sven, their beautiful Swedish Fjord horse.  While I was there that week, Kris and I had several opportunities to go places on our own and RED Arena offered two of those opportunities!

20140218_150847 - cropped - resized
          The next great news is that Kris no longer has to wear that cumbersome AFO, a leg brace, on her right leg!  The ankle surgery back in December to repair and lengthen her Achilles' tendon was so successful, the doctor has ruled she doesn’t need the brace anymore.  Hurray!!!  And, as of Thursday’s monthly care meeting, I learned by conference call to that meeting that Kris is now walking ALL the time while there at CORE.  Her wheelchair is available if needed, but she walks as much as seven hours a day or more with and without her walker.  Someone is always with her, of course, but that walking is amazing.
          Her posture is much better and she is now working toward tying her own shoes.  That has been helped to a great extent by the steroid injections she received a few weeks back in her right elbow and her right shoulder.  It means her right arm is working so much better.  Kris is amazing!
          With an increase in her nutrition intake amount from four cans to five cans per day, her stamina and her energy seems to be doing better, too.  Her walking and sit-to-stand has improved enormously and, believe it or not, they are working with Kris to walk backwards!  That, of course, is very tenuous but it serves to help her balance herself even more.
          Swallowing continues to improve with more and larger ice chips.  The more the better now and, hopefully, some real smooth, light yogurt may be tried again soon.  She is improving with the use of a communication board, as well, and her impulsivity is 80 percent gone.  I am simply amazed every evening when we Skype at the words she says and things she types.  Communication is so improved using her board that she can now contribute to a group therapy session for the gals.  How wonderful for Kris after years of not being able to say what she thinks and needs, or expressing her thoughts.  God is tremendous!  Kris is absolutely delighted with her accomplishments and rightly so.  She has earned every bit of praise and all the accolades are hers!!!
          As for John, please know that he finished his four rounds of chemo at the Cancer Treatment Center (CTC) near Chicago back in February and, as I write, he is there again now for implantation of a pain pump.  The surgery for that was yesterday (Friday) and other procedures and things will be done to relieve some severe pain today.  The outcome of the chemo will not be known until they do another scan, so pray, pray, pray.
He has done very well each trip out there for the sessions of chemo, but it really wears him down for several days afterward.  We are rejoicing, however, that his wife, Robin, did contact CTC back in the fall.  John is far better mentally and has great hope, as do we all.
We continue to be blessed with wonderful friends and loved ones who offer their encouragement and prayers.  I simply don’t know what we would have done or would do without that.  We rely on God’s strength day to day and keep busy: George is preparing to help put new siding on our house, and I am working part time again at The Palms of Sebring plus writing, writing, writing!
Please continue to pray.  It is our greatest encouragement through God.
Blessings and love,
Carol and George

Saturday, March 1, 2014

*Detoxing bath recipe*

Sweating is one of nature's ways of detoxify your body. The hot bath releases toxins out of your body onto your skin’s surface and, while the water cools, releases even more.

Detox Bath Recipe:

1/3 cup Epsom salts
1/3 cup sea salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Essential oils, if desired

Draw a bath with water as hot as you can stand it. As the water is filling the tub, add the dry ingredients and vinegar. Your water may change colors a bit due the ginger and vinegar.
Soak in the bath for 30 minutes. I bring a magazine with me. After soaking gently rub your skin toward your heart) to clear out toxins.
Epsom salts makes you sweat, reduce inflammation, and relieve muscle aches.
Sea salt helps to remove out toxins and heal skin.
Baking soda is alkaline and helps balance an overly acidic system and softens water and skin.
Apple cider vinegar helps restore the acid-alkaline balance in your body and softens skin.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“I need your prayers.”

Recently, I sheepishly posted a request to a private FaceBook prayer group that I am a member of… “I need your prayers.”
      I didn’t want to say why I needed prayers, but I am so grateful that I listened to the whisper of God and asked for help. God wants to involve as many as He can in answering our prayers because it grows our faith, it’s good for us and He is for us. When His family prays together, this brings glory to Him. 
      I am happy to report that within a day, the depression I was feeling was gone.  I knew it was an attack of the enemy and I could feel my perspective “floating out to sea.”  I could feel the waves crashing in around me and I just could not seem to get my mind off of myself.  To be honest, I wanted to go Home.  Heaven is such a sweet thought to me and I wanted to be there, now. I wanted to be rid of this old world and all of it’s wickedness and pain.  Do you hear all the “I’s?”  But what I need to do is be here now until it is God’s perfect time for me to come to Him.  I need to focus on Jesus and who He wants me to encourage and share His love with. 
     So I asked for help.  Help came.
     Prayer partners are so vital to the family of God.  More and more as Satan’s end draws closer and closer, he is battling God’s children with no holds barred.  But greater is He Who is in us than he that is in this world!
     I can not say Thank You enough to the prayer partners who prayed for me. 
     So we put on our full armor and ask His blessing to lead us to the Divine Appointments He has for us today. 
    “Father, where are You at work?  Let me join You there.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kris Update: Great Report!!!

[I know I haven't blogged anything in a long time, but I am rejoicing over this update and must share with you.]

February 11, 2014

To all our dearest family and friends!

          It has been a long month and the need to write another update has me chomping at the bit!  Rather than send so many, I try to wait until Kris’s monthly care meeting is held at CORE.  That way, I can truly give you a full update on how she’s doing.  It gives me the greatest joy and utmost happiness to tell you all that Kris is progressing tremendously and doing better than she has for some time.

          While away from Kris, we are able to sit in on the monthly care meetings via conference call.  When the meeting began today, the first therapist announced Kris is doing extremely well with the motorized wheelchair.  Her OT person then explained the medical director feels Botox injections to her right shoulder and elbow may increase movement and help her to straighten and use her right arm more. That’s especially important now that Kris is using her right hand to tie her own shoes.  It’s still a little shaky, but what a feat in her will to “do it herself!”

Truly amazing, however, is her walking.  Standing straighter and with better balance for longer periods: that is just fantastic!  Since the surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon in her right ankle, we now are told she is walking so well and that right foot lifts and bends with each step.  What’s more, the CORE medical director now says she can walk without her AFO (leg brace) for at least four hours each day while walking, and may eventually do so without it all together.  What a prayer answered!

          She has been steadily improving in forming words and even with her Skype texting and typing.  When we Skype with Kris every evening, we often work with her to form words, especially to use her jaw and tongue and lips.  Two nights ago, Kris was able to say “My name is,” then pretty closely said, “Kris.”  We have to work on the “k” sound, but those words were clearly audible.  We are just so amazed and thrilled, and her speech therapist confirms she is doing very well with all the vowels as well as the letters “v, y, w, r, m and n.”  Wow!

What has been so remarkable, however, over these past weeks is that she is now asserting herself more as she tries so much harder to speak, and now is putting several words together.  Swallowing is greatly improved as well.  Kris is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and she wants a life of her own again.  After all that she has been through, I have no doubt of that.  She is so amazing!

From the Pennsylvania note-worthy news, it’s all good, too.  Son John has now traveled to the Cancer Treatment Center near Chicago for three chemo infusions and, while experiencing nausea and stomach pain afterward, he is far and away better than he has been.  A CT scan of his head shows no melanoma there!!!  And the doctors feel the pain in his abdomen area might be the cancer shrinking.  Can you imagine our joy over all that news?!!!!

He will go for one more infusion and then he will have a pain pump implanted to automatically dispense pain medication as it’s needed.  This should take care of the truly frightening amount of pain medications he has had to take for so long, and slowly cause his need for those to dissipate.  For all of it and for the truly outstanding care he has received from the CTC, we thank God every day.  There is no better way to say it: God is good… all the time!

Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of rejoicing, yet prayers for continued healing for both Kris and John are truly appreciated.  The photo above of Kris was taken back on December 8, 2013, as we were enjoying a Sunday afternoon movie (one of those great old ones).  These are moments so special and so treasured.   

Blessings and love,
Carol and George
 “Once we choose hope, anything is possible!”  -- Christopher Reeve

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).