January 2014 - New Year
The best place to find thoughts for the new year is in the Bible. I have chosen Psalm 90 from "The Living Bible, by Tyndale" (my favorite translation):
"Before the earth was formed, You are God without beginning or end. You speak, and man turns back to dust. A thousand years are but as yesterday to You! … We glide along the tides of time as swiftly as a racing river, and vanish as quickly as a dream. We are like grass that is green in the morning but mowed down and withered before the evening shadows fall … You spread out our sins before You -- our secret sins-- and see them all. No wonder the years are long and heavy here beneath Your wrath … Seventy years are given us! And some may even live to eighty. But even the best of these years are often emptiness and pain; soon they disappear, and we are gone. Who can realize the terrors of Your anger? Which of us can fear You as he should? Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. O Jehovah, come and bless us! How long will You delay? Turn away your anger from us. Satisfy us in our earliest youth with your loving-kindness, giving us constant joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us see your miracles again; let our children see glorious things, the kind You used to do … favor us and give us success."
It was super wonderful spending eleven days of Christmas with my children in New Port Richey, a suburb of Tampa, Florida. Wanda and Dexter's home is truly a paradise on earth! All my children were together (Dortha and Dale, Ronnie and Ethel Rose). Also, two of my four grand-daughters were there (Rachel and Mike, and Sarah) and my two great-great-grandsons, Jacob (age 3) and James (8 months). My only grandson, David, came on Christmas day to share our celebration of the birth of Christ. Wanda read the story of Jesus's birth from the Book of Luke, and followed by an inspirational Bible study on God's plan of our salvation through Jesus.
We take turns, one by one, opening the gifts -- beginning in age order with the youngest, which was Jacob. It was difficult to get him to open them one by one, because he wanted to play a while with each one he opened, before reaching for the next one!
Golfing is Wanda and Dexter's favorite pastime…and they are very good. They just won the first stage of a tournament -- the second and final to be held in April. If they win it, the prize is an all-expense trip to Europe!
There's not much excitement to Wanda and Dexter's gifts of golf balls and socks each year. SO, I dreamed up a fun plan. Dexter opened his beautifully wrapped gift of not a PAIR of socks but of three identical single socks lying in the box. Words below them: "In case you get a
hole in one." (For you non-golfers, this is a term for hitting the ball into the hole in ONE stroke
-- a feat very few golfers accomplish in their lifetime of playing the game.)
Wanda's gift was wrapped in shiny white paper with pretty ribbon and bow. On top were words "Fragile", "Handle with Care", "Do Not Drop." The package was gently handled and opened: An egg carton…inside atop of Easter tissue green grass were 12 white golf-ball "eggs!"
David gave me a BIG heavy gift! The size of a TV tray! 23"x15"x3"! It was the biggest box of Whitman's Sampler Assorted Chocolates I had ever seen! It took us all three days to eat.
Every night, we had one or two tables of our favorite card game, "Play Nine." It is so much fun, we never want to quit! Jacob kept busy with his new toys and watching real good Walt Disney movies (much to my enjoyment, as well, as my card game). James was a delight,
playing on the floor, turning each toy over and over, trying to figure out what they are.
One night, we were busy playing "Play Nine." Rachel was having a problem telling Jacob to do something. He just quietly stood there. She kept asking. He didn't move. Finally she asked, "Would a spanking help?"
"No, it wouldn't" Jacob replied immediately. We all burst in loud laughter! We'll never know, since they immediately left the room!
It was quite a contrast leaving delightfully 70-75 degree weather to return to 28-degree Houston! On Saturday, January 4, my family met again at Rachel and Mike's home to share Christmas with the two grand-daughters, Jennifer, Clint and Sammy, and Jessica, who couldn't make the Florida trip.
I praise God for giving me a loving, caring family. I can see each one, from year to year, having a closer walk with God. Jesus taught us to love one another. No matter what our disagree- ments may be sometimes, we keep the love for each other. Regardless of the resolutions we make, the most important of all is to become "better people." To be more caring; more under- standing of choices made; more motivation to seek a closer walk with our Creator…to finish the work He has given us. This new year, take time to consider your "number of days" and how you can effectively use the time for His glory.
My only resolve is to read my Bible through from cover to cover again. It's been quite a while since I did this. Once begun, it's hard to stop! Poor health can sometimes be corrected; lost possessions or money can often be regained; but time wasted is gone forever! Recalling the story of Jonah, the devil will always have a ship ready if we want to drift away from God.
This year, I have read and written much about the life of Billy Graham. God used him to call our nation to repent. The TV broadcasts in November told of his going to nations all over the world to preach the Bible. It was fabulous! One nation where no one could mention the word "God" outside of a church, allowed him to hold a revival there in the capitol of the largest city.
He was first to ever have speakers outside of buildings in the USA and world for people to hear his message who could not get inside because of the crowds already there. I listen to his church services every Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. on TV Channel 14 (TBN); then Channel 13 news at 10:00; back to 14 for tours of the Holy Land and movies so wonderful I never want them to end!
Last week, they had the entire history of Station TBN…about 12 hours! God performed miracles! Paul and Jan Crouch were called by God to speak to the whole world. He REALLY moved a mountain interfering with their TV station! I can't find my notes about this night!!!
Sin is rampant! Just when we think our nation could not be worse, it suddenly IS. Crime and sin against God usurps the daily newspaper headlines and top stories on TV newscasts with molestation, rape, torture, murder. Did you read about this "Freedom From Religion Group" who plan to place a huge statue of a horrible beast next to the Ten Commandments display? I wish I had kept the story. It was in the Houston Chronicle. God cares! Sprinkled among the unrighteousness are miracles that could only be from God. He is still in charge, just as He was throughout the Bible, working on Jesus' return. Do not be discouraged. Better days are ahead.
Remember the group that boycotted "Chick-Fil-A" restaurants for being closed on Sundays? NOW, this restaurant's business has doubled! And they are still closed on Sundays.
Joel Osteen's congregation was too big for his church. They had two Sunday morning services. I wrote in my "Happenings" of Nov. and Dec., 2000 about my cousin Don Causey from Alaska and I visiting this church while his brother, Skipper, was here undergoing cancer treatments. We were treated like family; like "royalty!" When Skipper died, Joel showed the funeral possession in Alaska on their church movie screen. Joel did not enlarge his church: he bought the biggest stadium available in Houston! He said, "When you think about God, think BIG!" He preaches all over the USA! God is getting His Word out in many directions!
"Lord Jesus, increase my faith! Help me to be faithful when your presence seems far off. Strengthen me for the days when rivers of blessing seem to flow out, but don't seem to flow in. keep me in the center of your will. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen"
TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.
> January 2014 - New Year