Sunday, February 26, 2012


     This morning in church, when Pastor Derald asked for testimonies, a woman stood and told an amazing story that continues to haunt my thoughts. Her granddaughter shows horses and yesterday had to borrow someone else's trailer to transport her horse to an event. Though I don't know a lot about horses, I am aware that like most animals they are sensitive beings, and so was not surprised to hear my friend say that when "Dillon" was loaded into the unfamiliar trailer for the return to his home stable, he became "spooked" and began to rear and neigh wildly. Understandably, there was nothing anyone could do to intervene while this large animal flailed in the close confines. As he did so, a beam dislodged from the top of the trailer and fell across the horse's back, yet he continued to rear with a small crowd gathering to watch helplessly.
      As the horse's screams grew louder and louder, my friend's daughter began hearing a woman in the crowd praying for Dillon to be released from this demon. The louder Dillon's cries of distress grew, the louder the woman's prayers soared, as she turned to the only possible Source of help for the poor creature. Suddenly, letting our a chilling scream that everyone there presumed to be his death cry, the horse collapsed on the floor of the trailer, and silence fell over the crowd. Dillon had gone into shock, which probably saved his life. The beam could then be easily removed from his back, and when he recovered his vet found there was no significant injury to the beautiful creature.

     Have you ever felt tormented by a demon? I certainly have! Oh, it probably hasn't been life-threatening as Dillon's situation was, yet I am more and more aware that the closer we walk with God, the more Satan tries to distract us from doing the work God has given us. Recently I have been privileged to begin sharing the Gospel with a young lady. Last week I asked some friends to pray with me and for me in this exciting and challenging undertaking. One of the group immediately warned, "Be prepared to be under attack, because you are doing God's work."

     I have certainly experienced Satan's attacks in the form of depression and discouragement, and perhaps even physical ailments. Today I am indeed suffering all three. How blessed I am to have been reminded by Dillon's story of our Lord's faithfulness when we call upon Him. As often happens in our sweet church, Pastor Derald's sermon fell right into step with the uplifting story about Dillon. He preached on Jesus' temptation in the wilderness immediately after His baptism and the recognition of Who He was by John the Baptist. We were reminded that Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself, was attacked by the Evil One even as His true work on earth just began. (See Matthew 4:1-11)

     And so, when we feel we are under attack by demonic forces, we would do well to remember three things: first, we are in very good company, since our Lord Himself endured all the same temptations that we experience. Second, God has given each of us, not just some, the power to resist the devil, if we simply submit ourselves to Him. (James 4:7) Finally, it is on God's faithfulness, not our own, that we rely.

     "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is It Humility or Pride?

     Why, I wonder, do I find it so difficult not only to ask for prayers for myself, but even to pray for myself?  I began yesterday's prayer journal entry by exclaiming, "How humbling it is for me to know others are praying for me!"

      After several weeks of a lingering, albeit minor, illness, I have begun hearing the prayers of friends and family on behalf of my own health. The first time it happened I had to swallow the urge to shout, "You don't need to pray for me! My sickness is trivial compared to that of so many others around us!" And I truly still feel that way, when I look around me at the list of friends and neighbors battling various cancers, chronic illness, pain or other deadly disease. Oh, I have asked for prayer plenty of times, but it was usually for someone else's benefit: a sick or hurting friend, a loved one in a difficult or life-changing situation, an important decision. When I have asked for prayer for myself, or even prayed for myself, it was for wisdom in helping someone along in their faith journey.

     I also began wondering, though, if my reaction was an indication of some sort of pride. Do I think I'm too good or too perfect or too capable to need prayer? I certainly hope not, and yet the word that best expresses how I feel when I hear someone pray for me is "humbled." Does it not follow, then, that I must have felt some sort of pride before knowing I was being lifted up in prayer?

     In the Old Testament book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar ruled over a flourishing Babylon. He was understandably proud of his accomplishments. When he began having disturbing dreams, his Hebrew servant Daniel was able to interpret them, and they were a clear warning and condemnation of the king's wickedness and oppression of the poor. When Daniel's predictions came true, Nebuchadnezzar was wise enough to "praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble." (Daniel 4: 37 NIV). Of course, if "Neb" had known the Hebrew scriptures, he should have remembered Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

     Well, I hope my pride does not equal Nebuchadnezzar's, and I know my accomplishments are nowhere near his, BUT I pray that if this season has been a lesson in humility, I have learned it well. I find it interesting that in the midst of this examination of pride, I was directed by a Facebook friend to watch the attached video of Scott Hamilton on the site "I Am Second." Though it takes about ten minutes, I hope if you are struggling with some form of pride, you will take the time to watch it. It is quite a picture of humility!

     "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14 NIV)



Friday, February 3, 2012

Welcome to My Blog!

      You may ask, "What's it about?" Well, truth is, I'm not sure! For several years, since retiring, I've been asking God, "What do You want me to do?" I'm not really ready to stop being useful, but my primary "gift" is words. I was fortunate to be able to make a living writing for about ten years. I wrote magazine articles, primarily about travel. (Yes, it was fun!) But what does a retiree do with words?
      I've been blessed for the past seven years to be part of a wonderful singing group, Wing and A Prayer (You can find us on Facebook or on the web). Our talented leader, Phil Giallombardo, has generously mentored me through writing lyrics for a few of our songs. I fear this has been a much greater blessing to me than to anyone else, and yet, I pray always that our songs bless someone who hears them in some way.
      But lately I've been yearning for more. A way to share my thoughts, touch someone with my words, pass on a few things I've learned in my nearly sixty-five (!) years. It was either my husband Bill or my son Christian who suggested a blog, and so finding it not too difficult to begin, here I am.
      What will follow remains to be seen, but I invite you to join me on my next "journey" ....

                                         "Yes, happy are those who have it like this!
                                     Happy indeed are those whose God is the LORD."
                                                                                -- Psalm 144: 15 (NLT)