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Saturday, December 25, 2010

His Father's Eyes

Here is a Christmas story I've written and thought you might enjoy.

Swallowing hard, Samuel never took his eyes off of the faded photograph of his mother. “Mama, why did you have to go away? I miss you.”

The dingy walls of the orphanage, combined with the musky smell, sent a wave of nausea sweeping over him. His eyes clouded from deep blue to somber gray. Quick footsteps interrupted his tormenting thoughts.

“The Christmas Eve service is in the chapel in ten minutes.” Christopher stuck his head in the door and grinned. “All of us orphans get a bag of candy after the service. Come on! Let’s go!”

Samuel chewed on his bottom lip for a moment. “I’ll be coming in a second.”

Christopher slipped through the door and hollered over his shoulder, “Sam, you better get moving or somebody else is going to get your bag of candy.”

Samuel moseyed to the chapel and sat down just in time to hear the minister recite Matthew’s account of the Christmas story.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.” Matthew 1:18-19 KJV

Samuel couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His heart pounded so loud, he was sure everyone could hear it. He resisted the urge to groan and pressed his leg against the pew in front of him so he wouldn’t drop to the floor in sobs. I must speak to the pastor immediately after the service. Mary and Mama have a lot in common. I just never saw it before.

When the service ended, Samuel marched toward the minister. “Pastor Dan, my mama was kind of like Mary. She wasn’t married when she was expecting me. But my dad wasn’t like Joseph, he deserted us and left us to fend for ourselves.”

The pastor patted the young lad’s shoulder. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I never met my father. I don’t have a clue who he is or where to look for him.” Samuel’s lip quivered. He exhaled slowly and a frown crossed his brow. “I’ve heard the women whispering when I walk by. They’re always trying to figure out who my father is.”

The pastor’s tone was soft. “People can be cruel.”

“Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I wonder if I resemble him, but I guess I’ll never know.” Samuel’s jaw stiffened.

The young boy’s words spoke straight to the heart of the pastor. “When I look into your eyes, I see your Father – your heavenly Father. You have His eyes.”
S
amuel lifted a skeptical brow. “Really?”

“Yes, sir! No doubt about it. You’re a child of God.” Pastor Dan cupped the young man’s face in his hands. “You have your Father’s eyes.”

Samuel wondered if his heart might burst within his chest. He shook his head. “Wow!”

“Remember what we read tonight? God made a promise to Mary and He kept it.” Ambling over to the nativity, the pastor plucked the Baby Jesus from the manger and tucked Him in Samuel’s arms. “He promises to adopt us as one of His own children if we believe in His Son.”

“You mean I’m part of a family?” Samuel gave a brilliant smile.

“That’s exactly what I mean.” The pastor tousled the young boy’s hair. “God will be the Father you’ve always wanted and that’s an eternal promise!”

Samuel squeezed Baby Jesus and choked, “I believe.”

“Sam!” Christopher called, walking toward him clutching two brown paper sacks. “Here’s your bag of candy. I grabbed one for you before they ran out.”

“I think I’ll give mine to Titus. He didn’t get to come tonight because he was sick.”

“Are you sure?” Chris shot back.

“Yep.” Samuel’s head bobbed. “I think that’s what my Father would want me to do.”

“Like I said.” Pastor Dan winked at Samuel. “You have your Father’s eyes.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hidden Heroes



A few weeks ago there was an ice storm in our neck of the woods. A precious elderly woman (Arlene is in the white sweatshirt in the above picture. My mother Bonnie is beside her.) from our church had a car accident and suffered a compressed fracture in her lower spine. She was placed in a nursing home where she could receive some physical rehabilitation.

Today my mom and I took a road trip to the nursing home to check on Arlene. We were blessed by her grateful attitude. She shared about a new friend Lucille, who was a retired missionary nurse, and wanted us to meet her. We traipsed down the hall and found Lucille.

Words are inadequate for describing this ninety-year-old seasoned saint. We felt like we were sitting in the room of some Bible character. She radiated authenticity and humility.

As we left, we were once again reminded that God has His hidden heroes everywhere - even in nursing homes. Somehow we knew that God had another missionary journey for dear Lucille.... No longer in the jungles of Nigeria, but the halls of a nursing home. And she was finishing strong for Jesus - blooming where she was planted and making a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Paul!




On June 18, 2008, our only son John Drake gave his daddy a kidney. Yesterday Paul Franklin celebrated his 58th birthday. Our family still rejoices over John's gift of life. Because of his sacrifice, we are able to have some more time with Paul.

I've uploaded a couple pictures. I think you will be able to recognize Paul, but I also want you to meet our son John. He is standing to the left of his daddy and has a little girl beside him.

We haven't stopped giving thanks for the Lord's mercies and faithfulness.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother



I am excited to announce that my newest children's book Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother has been released by Guardian Angel Publishing. My friend Kim McDougall made an adorable book trailer for promotional purposes. I thought I would post it here and let my friends enjoy seeing it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Rachel Michelle



Happy birthday to our firstborn - Rachel Michelle Phillips Nolt!
We love you and are so proud of the godly wife and mother you are.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

III John 1:4

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Interview



While attending the 2010 Write2Ignite, I made a new friend - Terri Kelly. (That's her in the above picture.) She was teaching a class about writing Christian devotions for children. After I returned home, I contacted Terri and she invited me to take part in an author's interview. You can find the interview here http://devokids.com/category/authors/. While you are there, take a look around at Terri's amazing website. She is helping shape small souls for Jesus.

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