Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I am directionally challenged. I openly admit it. Take me to a new part of the country and I struggle to figure out north from south and east from west. I’ve learned to limp along with my “disability,” but I’ve also discovered if someone gives me a landmark I can usually find my way anywhere.

 Did you know we have spiritual landmarks too? Defining moments in our lives that help us find our way through the darkest places of life.

In 2008, our family faced a crisis. My husband was dying. He needed a kidney transplant to live. Fear terrorized me. The “what ifs” plagued me until I found some “landmarks.” Many times it was the Word of God. Other times, the Holy Spirit spoke into the depths of my soul.

I would like to share one of my spiritual “landmarks” with you. I wrote this piece in the midst of the storm. I pray it helps someone groping in the night find their way.

Mary Was the First One to Carry the Gospel

“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV

My husband has been battling chronic kidney failure for the past twenty-five years. It’s a silent killer and doesn’t have many symptoms until the final stages. This year the disease has progressed to a critical point, and in order to keep him alive, he will need to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant in the very near future. Many unknowns loom on the horizon.

We have labored together for the Kingdom for 30 years. We met at East Texas Bible College in 1976, fell in love, and consecrated our marriage to the service of the Lord. We have served our present congregation for 26 years. It has been an amazing journey—carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We haven’t regretted a single mile.

Today we had our first visit with a dialysis nurse. “When the doctor sends you to me, it means he is expecting you to be on dialysis in the next twelve months.” The news was overwhelming. Fear gripped us. Once again all the “what ifs” swarmed our thoughts like bees to honey. The nurse was so compassionate and attempted to ease our anxieties by cramming our heads with as much information as she could. The distraction seemed to work, as she filled our laps with pamphlets, charts, and lab results to take home and study.

As we drove home, we tried to keep emotionally afloat by naming all the blessings in our lives. It worked for a few minutes, but then my husband’s cell phone rang. While he chatted, I peered out the window of our van. Scalding tears stung my eyes. I cried out to the Lord in the depths of my soul and tried not to let my husband know the anguish I was in. “He’s only 54 and he’s been so faithful, Lord. He’s such a humble servant of Yours.” I quietly wept and continued to pray, “We’ve done all we know to do. We’ve prayed for a healing, anointed him with oil, and called for the elders of the church just like Your Word teaches. Lord, where are you?”

Suddenly, a ray of hope pierced through the fog in my soul. Spirit ministers to spirit. I could see so clearly over two thousand years ago, an unknown peasant girl. The Holy Spirit whispered, “Mary was the first one to carry the Gospel.”

Thoughts of a simple carpenter named Joseph swirled in my head.

The Holy Spirit continued to minister to me. “I was faithful to this couple, who carried out my will, and I will be faithful to you too.”

At that moment Heaven changed earth. I felt God breathe hope into my hopeless soul. We carry the Gospel. The same God who watched over Mary and Joseph would watch over us.

I felt ashamed for doubting. “Forgive me, Lord. When will I ever learn?”


UPDATE: On June 12, 2008, our son gave his father the gift of life. Both father and son are doing well. Great is His faithfulness!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


May the Lord make each one of us “professional praisers” this Thanksgiving. Here is a little story to help "jumpstart" our Thanksgiving spirit.

Sir Gabriel’s trumpet blared up and down the golden streets of Beulah Land. Multitudes of people from every kindred shouted in unison, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory and honor forever and ever. Worthy is the Lamb upon His throne.”

As the corridors of Heaven rang with the praises of the redeemed, Sir Michael whispered to his friend, “Sir Gabriel, look at the white-robed throng! Isn’t it strange? No nation has a monopoly of saints here in Heaven and no tribe is unrepresented.”

Sir Gabriel smiled. “That’s right, Sir Michael. King El Shaddai has seen to it that all people can understand the greatest story ever told.”

Prince Emmanuel sat on His throne as the praise and worship filled the Celestial City. Zoe, a cherub, trotted towards Him, crawled on His lap, clutched His nail-scarred hand and gently kissed it. “Mama told me that the scars in Your hands are the only thing made by man that King El Shaddai would allow in Heaven.”

The beloved Prince patted her chocolate curls. “That’s right, Zoe. Your mother has taught you well.”

Zoe’s dark eyes darted as she scanned the masses. “Mama says the reason the people’s robes are so white and shining is because they have scrubbed them sparkling clean in the Blood of the Lamb and there’s nothing that can take dark spots out of a human soul like the Lamb’s Blood.”

Prince Emmanuel planted a kiss on the little angel’s head, as heavenly harmonies floated with crystal clarity. “Your mother is very wise.”

Zoe cooed, “She sure is! She said that the tiniest people on earth learn about the Lamb in their grandmother’s rocking chair. Did you know that, Prince Emmanuel?”

“I believe that is very true, Zoe.”

The smoke from the incense billowed around the holy court. Sir Gabriel shouted, “It’s the prayers of the saints. Pray on! Oh, Christians, pray on! Though your voice may be feeble, you have a High Priest who has been touched by your infirmities and He lives forever and makes intercession for you.”

Waves of spontaneous praise flooded the streets of the New Jerusalem.

“There’s just one thing I don’t understand, Prince Emmanuel.” Zoe crinkled her freckled nose. “Why can’t angels sing these beautiful songs?”

“Because, little one, these are songs that are reserved for only those who have been redeemed.”

“Oh, I get it.” Zoe cheered, “The redeemed are singing songs of praise to the Lamb, who rescued them.”


“And I know how they got so good at praising the Lamb, too.”

“And how is that?” Prince Emmanuel tilted his head slightly.

Zoe lifted her hands and squealed. “They praised the Lamb together in church every Sunday, week after week and year after year. They bowed their heads and thanked Him for His blessings day after day. With all that practice, they have become professional praisers!”

Prince Emmanuel chuckled. “Indeed they have, Zoe!”

“And they even have one day out of the year that they set aside to give thanks.” Zoe waved one finger in the air. “They call it Thanksgiving.”

“Very true.” Prince Emmanuel’s head bobbed. “And all of heaven is sweeter because of the praises of the saints.”

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