God’s Not Dead

Speaking of confusing light and darkness:

If you’re struggling over whether or not to believe in God, I’d like to recommend the series of movies God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2, and God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness.

God’s Not Dead came out in 2014 and got such a poor rating (4.7) that we didn’t watch it, but we watched it this past week and realized that the movie is actually excellent, and I’m convinced the low rating is simply a reflection of Hollywood and movie critics in general disliking Christian themes and material.

The first movie contains some helpful information concerning the origins of Earth and the universe and a clear gospel message.

God’s Not Dead 2 takes us to a courtroom, where a high school teacher is charged for answering a question about Jesus in her AP history class.

In this movie, Lee Strobel and Jim Wallace, both capable defenders of the Christian faith, show up on the witness stand. I’m in the midst of listening my way through Warren’s fascinating series on Christianity, written from his perspective as a cold-case detective on the Los Angeles police force, so I’m doubly a fan.

In both movies, the Newsboys make appearances, sharing faith and singing. If you’re not familiar with the Newsboys, they’re a Christian rock band from Australia that’s released 17 albums, 6 certified gold, and their catchy, clever lyrics have been captivating kids since 1985.

According to Wiki, Michael Tait (who now leads the Newsboys) “expressed excitement about the film to The Global Dispatch during an interview, saying that ‘The movie is powerful because of the whole stance of it…just trying to prove God’s existence…sharing the gospel, living the lifestyle, changing the mindset of people around them in this college, in this university’.”

“Duncan Phillips added in a similar interview that ‘Disney’s Shane Harper plays a college student whose faith is challenged by his professor, played by Kevin Sorbo from Hercules.

Dean Cain from Superman is in it, too. So we got to hang out with a bunch of superheroes. The movie raises a lot of questions and a lot of eyebrows from a culture that questions if there is a God’.”

So, the acting is excellent, the message is great . . . what’s not to love? I guess only the fact that the movies stand up for Christ and the Gospel in the midst of a culture that has become often openly hostile to people expressing their faith in Christ.

In God’s Not Dead 2, the lawyer (played by Jesse Metcalfe) points out that the term “separation of Church and State” is not in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. In fact, it first appears in a letter sent by Thomas Jefferson to a baptist congregation, explaining that they should have no fear of signing America’s formative legal documents because they guarantee religious freedom—which is the right for people to practice their religious faith without persecution. (Many of the first pilgrims came from Europe because they were persecuted for their faith in their European settings.) Somehow, America has inverted freedom OF religion to mean freedom FROM religion by excluding any and all religious expressions (at least Christian religious practices) from public spaces.

Talk about failing to discern right from wrong and good from evil!

God’s Not Dead Composed and Sung by The Newboys

Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35)

Meditating on the Commands of Christ (81): Confusing Light and Darkness

Trying to navigate this COVID pandemic is the perfect time to learn how to walk in the light rather stumble in the dark, don’t you think? “Shall I go here or there, or stay home?” “Shall I allow my children to visit or ask them not to come yet?” So many decisions, and one false move could literally cost us our lives! In today’s passage, Jesus warns us that we can think we’re doing what’s right when in reality we are doing just the opposite: “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35). How can we be sure what we think is a good idea is not really a bad choice, and what we think of as right is not really wrong?

For those who believe the Bible is true, there is an answer: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God” (Isaiah 50:10). If you’re not sure what you’re thinking about doing is “the right” thing to do, and if you are willing to obey God, then simply pray and ask Him for guidance. In my experience, God gives me a sense of peace if I’m pursuing “the right” path or a sense of disquiet and restlessness if I am not. If your heart is restless, then “trust in the name of the Lord” and wait patiently for Him to direct you. Don’t rush ahead and do whatever. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). Be patient. Keep praying for the Lord to guide you. Don’t make a decision before you really have to, but when it’s time, make the best decision you can, trusting that the Lord is leading you (which He will be doing if you are willing to follow).

Jesus taught: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). This is a promise, but it is made to those who are following him. If you have not been following Jesus, then you may not be able to make wise decisions or discern good from a very bad mistake. In fact, you may have walked so far away from God that you have totally inverted right and wrong. As humans, we are capable of “doing that which is right” in our own eyes even though we are doing great evil (Joshua 17:6).

It is possible that our conscience will alert us if we’re heading into trouble, but if we continue ignoring the warnings, we can become hardened in sin. Isaiah 59 relates this grim warning: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear . . . The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness” (Isaiah 59:1-2,8-9).

What can we do if sense that our hearts are dark and we have no peace or direction? The Apostle Paul had an answer for this: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Paul was writing to the Church at Ephesus, so these were believers. Even those who believe in Christ and have been followers of Him can (often through inattention) lose their sense of direction. If you find that over time you’ve mindlessly walked out of the light and are now groping around in the darkness, come back to the light: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:6-9).

There’s a lot of instruction here, and it may feel like bitter medicine to swallow, but this is God’s remedy for sin and lostness for both those who have become children of God through faith in Christ and those who have not yet. #1. Get honest with ourselves and admit to what we know we’re doing that is wrong. #2. Confess our sins to God and stop “pretending” that everything is okay. #3. Ask God to cleanse us and restore us to spiritual health and wholeness. #4. Walk in the light that God provides through the Holy Spirit, through the example of Jesus, and through the Word of God.

If you’ve been feeling very much in the dark and this message resonates in your heart, please join me in praying this prayer written by King David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). If you have never asked Jesus Christ to save you and become your Lord, please do so now! He is the Light of the World and promises to give you the Light of Life to guide you! Wouldn’t you love to have a heart full of light and someone leading you safely from here to heaven? Jesus will do just that if you’ll let him!

Text for today’s meditation: “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.32 The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light (Luke 11:29-36).

An Answer of Peace

What’s the solution to racial injustice? The root problems are pride, hatred, and fear, and I don’t see an end to these evils until people—one by one—have a true change of heart about what’s good and what’s evil. God gave us each the color of the skin we wear, and it’s all beautiful, unique, and made out of the same stuff for the same purposes . . . just like the hides of cows!

Skin color is no different from flower color, and I’m sure some people prefer pink over red, but personal preference has nothing to do with intrinsic value, and in people, our preferences should have nothing to do with how we respect or treat anybody! We’re all made by God and in His image. There is no difference in our basic nature or in our human rights and responsibilities. “For he [Jesus] is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14).

Can we claim anything that makes us “better” than anyone else? Unique and diverse? Yes! “Better than?” NO! According to the Bible, none of us is morally perfect and without sin, nor do we seek God without his Spirit drawing us: “There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11). Likewise, every external gift we possess—be it beauty, strength, intelligence, natural talent, or charismatic personality . . . whatever we value about ourselves or admire in others is a gift from God! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

There is nothing innately “good” within or without us that is not a gift from God, which should be accepted with grateful appreciation and used for His glory, not as a point of pride. BTW, skin color is a gift too, and there’s no such thing as a bad gift from our gracious Father, who declared everything in his creation good and intends every circumstance to be for our good: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Black is every bit as valuable as white or brown or yellow or purple. If you don’t think so, take your prejudice to the feet of our heavenly Father and ask Him to help you see others from His eyes. Every person is precious in His sight!

And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me:
God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Genesis 41:16).

New Friends From Around the World: Meet Jérôme from France!

One of the unique privileges of blogging is getting to know people you’d never meet otherwise here on earth. What a joy to make new friends who live far away—sometimes even on other continents!—but with whom there is the precious bond of sibling kinship through our common faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and God as our heavenly father! In April I shared several poems by Carol Floyd, who is a newly found sister and soulmate from Kentucky. Today I want to share with you another such friend, this time from France: Jérôme Framery. Jérôme approached me initially about helping him find photographs to illustrate some of his work on the Song of Solomon. I was more than delighted to be a tiny part of his project, and we have quickly become friends. Today I’d like to introduce you to Jérôme and encourage you to see his lovely YouTube video on the Song of Solomon.



Combronde (France), May 3rd 2020.


Dear Kathi,


In your last message you told me that you would be honored to feature me on a blog post on your website. I’m honored indeed to get a small place here!

We met as per e-mail in March (it was just the beginning of the quarantine in the USA but the quarantine had already begun two weeks previously in France).

I was looking for information and photographs about the Song of Solomon in order to make and broadcast on my channel a video telling this passage of the Bible. Searching on the global Internet, not only in French, I found your website and the huge work you did. I wrote you and you immediately gave me a very friendly and optimistic answer.

For the past few months I’ve been producing short and funny videos on YouTube to teach the Christian religion to children. I teach religion to a group of 6 children (10-year-olds) in my village, but because of the quarantine the children stay at home so I decided to make more videos to help children of my group and all other children to continue to learn the Gospel “online”.

It is easier to find virtual material (pictures, clip art, coloring, …) in English than in French. For example I translated in French the “Pumpkin Prayer” which seems to be popular in the USA, and I used it with my group last Halloween.

A few words about me: I’m married and I have three teenagers. I’m a mechanical engineer and my wife (whose name is Catherine or Cathy!) is pharmacist, but she stays at home since we had our third child.

In France the government decided in 2013 to authorize “marriage” (I put the word in quotation marks) for homosexual people. There was no vote, no debate. My wife and I have been very shocked and disturbed. I tried to have a political commitment during 4 or 5 years, but it wasn’t going anywhere. So, I decided to teach religion to children to help them to be strong in their faith and get a critical mind so they can be confident in the Lord. Children are our future and THEY will change the society, not “aged” people like me. Maybe the children will make a better society because of the good example of the Lord. I don’t know if I’m a good catechist but I try.

I subscribed to you daily newsletter, and now I feel very close to you because your messages are so friendly. With you we feel like a member of the family.

Thank you, Kathi, for your help to make this video. For the first time but probably not the last, I made it in French and also in English. The English version of the video is dedicated to all your subscribers.

Blessings, from France.

Your Jérôme.
 

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3).

Meditating on the Commands of Christ (75): Go and Show

Have you ever found yourself doubting whether or not Jesus really was the Son of God? Let’s face it—maybe you’re among the many who even doubt whether or not Jesus really lived. Do you relegate him to the status of myth? Did you know that there are more extant written records concerning Jesus existing as a real, historical person than there are for King Tut . . . or probably any other famous person from antiquity? If you accept that Buddha, Julius Caesar, Muhammad, and Genghis Khan were real people, then you should not doubt that Jesus Christ was a real person who lived and died in space and time here on earth. He was legendary but not a legend.

But, who was Jesus? Was he really the Son of God as the Bible claims, or was he simply a good man who went about miraculously healing people and speaking words of wisdom? Even his cousin, John the Baptist, began to experience doubts about Jesus while sitting confined in prison. John became so discouraged that he sent two of his followers to ask Jesus, and I just love the answer Jesus gave them: “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Matthew 11:4-6).

If you are not sure whether or not Jesus really is the Son of God, then I would like to encourage you to make a scientific study of the evidence. I’m just finishing an excellent book called Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for Christianity, by J. Warner Wallace. Detective Wallace mentions one mysterious case where a woman disappeared and became a “cold case” until he picked it up years later. He gathered so much evidence that he was able to convict the true killer—who turned out to be the woman’s husband—even though the family could not believe the husband was capable of killing his wife. At the sentencing, the husband finally confessed to killing his wife, even telling the court where her remains could be found!

The remains of Jesus will never be found, because he rose again from the dead, but that’s not my real point. My real point is that there is so much evidence pointing to the reality of Jesus’ life of miraculous healings, his death by crucifixion, and his resurrection that I think an honest study would bring most people to believe there is enough evidence to “convict” Jesus of being whom he said he was: the Son of God. In the book of John, we read this discussion about the person of Christ, “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:19-21).

What do you think? Have you met anyone who could actually restore sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, heal the lame and lepers, raise the dead, and preach the gospel? IF someone really did this, wouldn’t you tend to want to follow him . . . to figure out who he was and how he got his power? Wouldn’t you be likely to believe him when he said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:9-11).

If you’re feeling confined at home during this COVID-19 pandemic (maybe just a little like John the Baptist was 2,000 years ago), this might be the perfect time to investigate the claims of Christianity and make sure of your faith! Several of J. Warner Wallace’s books are available on Amazon, or if you have Scribd, you can listen to them as audio books. I would like to recommend these three:

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels

God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe

Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for Christianity

Once you’ve confirmed your faith, then you’ll be in a position to follow Jesus’s admonition: “Go and show!”

Texts for today’s meditation: Matthew 11:2-6 “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. ” Also from Luke 7:18-23 (although I’ll only quote verse 22 here): “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

*Photo credit: The beautiful painting by Yongsung Kim is used by permission of Haven Light Ministries:

https://www.foundationarts.com/yongsung-kim

So Will I

On this last day of April, I would like to share one of my all-time favorite poems/songs. The lyrics and music are beautiful beyond description, like the God about whom it is written, and the visuals on this rendition leave me breathless and overflowing.

So Will I (100 Billion X)
Words and Music by Joel Houston Benjamin Hastings & Michael Fatkin
© 2017 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7084123

VERSE 1
God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light

CHORUS 1
And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapour of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will I

VERSE 2
God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice

CHORUS 2
And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I

BRIDGE
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times

VERSE 3
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die

CHORUS 3
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I

TAG
Like You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire
You’re the One who never leaves the one behind

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them
by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:11-12).

Sabbath Meditations: “Dragon Slayer” and Other Such

Here are three last luminous poems from the pen of Carol Simpkins Floyd~

Dragon Slayer  
                                             
Dragon-Slayer is his name….a white horse is his steed
He killed the dragons in her life…by meeting all her needs
Dragons large and dragons small…..spiritual…..unseen
Monstrous things…their evil claws…muffled all her screams
His heart could hear her crying…from her dungeon heart of stone
Captive…scared…her one desire was not to die alone
“Oh, help me God if you are there….please show me what to do
Free me from this awful place….and I will live for you”
He alone was full aware…how fierce her chains were bound
More fierce his Love that loosed them all…they fell without a sound
Not by sword or shield or spear…no weapon of this earth
He set her free by Love alone…her heart was virgin-birthed
He saw in her a promised bride…who’d one day be his Queen
Fair as the moon….clear as the sun….reflecting whom she’s seen
And she in all amazement….can scarcely comprehend
Her Dragon-Slayer is her Lord…. her Savior…and her Friend
Yes!…Dragon-Slayer is his name…he rides a charger white
He wears a vesture dipped in blood…his eyes a flaming light
He’s terrible in power…He took death’s blow and won
The Bridegroom and his Bride shall wed…The Church…and God’s own Son                  
 © Carol  Simpkins  Floyd, 2001    

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,
King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

Sabbath Rest
“A  Nuptial  Ode”
Song of Songs

Sabbath  swept…my  soul  is  drenched  in  rest
A  willing  slave  to  peace  extreme…held  captive  by  excessive  

Love  and  pardon  mingled…mercy  pouring  down
The  dew  of  Heaven  saturates  this  dying  soul  it  found

Gates  of  brass  are  lifted  up…iron  bars  lay  at  my  feet
The  all-embracing  grace  of  God  reigns  in  triumph  sweet

Crimson  flow…acceptance  of  his  death
And  resurrection  causes  me  to  enter  in  his  restful

Sacred  pause  and  loss  of  time…seat  of  calm  repose
Trusting  him  with  all  my  sin…knowing  that  he  knows  me

Threats  of  death  fall  impotent…scarred  hands  now  own  the  keys
That  opened  Heaven’s  floodgates…bringing  Sabbath  rest  to  me

Wedded  hearts…solitary  rhythm
Beating  to  the  Song  of  Songs…revelation  given

Of  choicest  fruits  and  Spirit  wine…Love’s  inebriation
Mandrakes  fuel  intense  desire  for  Holy  consummation

Focused  now  with  face  upturned…I  wait  for  Heaven’s  best
Till  my  Bridegroom  comes  to  take  me…we’re  engaged… in  Sabbath  Rest

© Carol Simpkins Floyd, 1998

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adam to Image

Single  egg  and  seed
Mingled…..male  and  female  breed
Atom  to  Image  

To  behold  God’s  Son
We  the  church…..transformed  become
Adam  to  Image                   

© Carol  Simpkins  Floyd,  1990

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid” (Romans 6:14-15).

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

P.S.—It’s not too late to share a poem! National Poetry Writers’ Month doesn’t end until April 30. 🙂

A Spring Carol

REST

O wrath of God…you’re quiet now and
God has rest…sweet rest
His only Son…our sacrifice
God gave his best…his best

O wretched death…Christ felt your sting and
Now he lives…he lives!
Inside of us and sings his songs
And we are his…we’re his!

O Sacred Love…forgiveness pours and
We are blessed…we’re blessed
Our sin is gone…our soul is saved and
We have rest…sweet rest

©—Carol Simpkins Floyd, May 10, 2016

Zephaniah 3:17- “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy He will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Hebrews 4:10…”For he that is entered into God’s rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

This striking poem (and verses) were shared with me by Carol—a newly discovered sister in Christ! She authored the poem I posted a couple of days ago (“I Do”), and I will share two more of her poetic gems on Sunday. One of the special joys of blogging is discovering new friends and family in Christ from around the world! I asked if I could share a little bit about her, and this is what she offers us—

April 20, 2020

Kathi and I came to know each other through e-mail correspondence. I was on line searching for hidden treasure in the Song of Solomon when I noticed Kathi’s blog. I thought her comments might have a softer heart touch than the other listed references. I opened her blog and began to read. I was amazed at the beautiful artistry and the clarity she paints with her words and photographs. So beautifully transparent! I saw a celebration not only of our Creator but I saw too, a celebration of the life He’s given us. I sent this correspondence to her, including the footnote.

Hi Kathi,

My name is Carol Simpkins Floyd. I found your posts on the Song of Solomon and I am blessed to see the revelation that God has given you. The Song has been and still is the rejoicing of my heart. I’ve memorized the 8 chapters. Here’s a little bit about me—

I married at 16 . . . which had its own set of problems. I was unable to finish high school. I earned my GED and worked at a lot of different jobs before I settled into the medical field. I became a Christian in 1975 at the age of 29. My husband Jack became a Christian 8 months later on Easter. He walked with the Lord for 2 years and we were so happy. But the storms and the trials and the cares of this life were too much for him and he slowly chose to go back into the world.  

We had 3 beautiful children (1 daughter and 2 sons ) and 17 years of marriage when he walked away.  I was devastated! I couldn’t believe it was happening! We’d been so happy serving the Lord together. 

But in my brokenness and confusion Jesus became more real to me than ever…His Holy Spirit drove me into his Word for my comfort. He began to give me songs out of His Song of Songs and poems from his heart.

After Jack left, I found a job working as a unit clerk and 2 years later at age 39, I went to school and received my certification for Respiratory Therapy. I transferred to Sleep Medicine the last 8 years that I worked. I received my Registry in Sleep 2 years before I retired. God is amazing to help us when we step out in faith!

I was single for 24 years before I remarried. Jim and I happily serve the Lord together and we’ve been married for 16 yrs. He is a wonderful man. He preached 14 years before he was filled with the Holy Spirit in 1972.  He traveled as an evangelist for 2 years and in 1974 the Lord directed him to build the church he still pastors (Christian Fellowship Church at Bowling Green KY).

Together we have 6 kids, 11 grandchildren and soon to be 20 great-grands. All the sons and daughters in law that we’ve been blessed with are as precious to us as our own children.  If the Lord allows, we may be able to see our 4th generation. Looking forward to that!

I will celebrate my 74th birthday next month and the journey so far has been real. I say that on this side of mountain-top joys and darkest-valley sorrows. Amazing how tears seem to accompany both walks. Through happy tears and sad tears, we keep breathing and life happens. But we’re never alone and we’re never unloved! Jesus leads the way. We breathe in his love with each breath we take.

I look back now at how things happened and I see God’s hand in my life. So precious! I love that he shares life with me! The ups and the downs! He’s my best friend! And he has an amazing sense of humor! I had only written one poem in my life and it was about a witch! When he began to move me to write, I knew the words that flowed from my pen were anointed with his Spirit. I treasure that…my words would have no life if not for Him. I pray these poems will be a blessing!  God Bless You!  Jesus Loves You!

Thank you Kathi for the opportunity to share,

Carol

Footnote: Thirty-two years after our divorce, Jack returned to Jesus. He served the Lord 4 years before the Lord took him home. He was a changed man….wild horses couldn’t have dragged him away from his Savior.

I Do

“How beautiful the sorrow
How exquisite all the pain
Without these tools of mercy
I could not have known your name

“For in my senseless journey
Strong needs were driving me
Each path I chose brought heartache
And still…I couldn’t see

“Your higher purpose for my life
The plans you had in mind
You saw the things that I would see
When I became un-blind

“Relentless love…O violent grace
Sweet heart of love so true
My tears were merely stones that
Paved the pathway back to you

“Royal groom…your very blood
Bought back your faithless bride
A marriage contract sealed the day
That you were crucified

“Thank you for our pain Lord
That betrothed my soul to you
I LOVE you Jesus … Savior. … God
I do . . . I do . . . I do !!!”  

—Composed and shared by a blog follower and sister in the Lord, Carol Simpkins Floyd, while reflecting on Hosea 2 and Revelation 21:9. Copyright 2011.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Revelation 21:9).      

And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God” (Hosea 2:19-20 and 23).

Unlike Any Other

This Easter will be unlike any other.


For the first time in 2020 years:

*Believers will not congregate to worship our risen Lord on Easter morning.
*There will be no early morning gatherings for Easter sunrise services.
*There will be no family gatherings around dinner tables after church.
*There will be no Easter egg hunts in the afternoon—at least not in my backyard.
*There will be no corporate vesper services or celebration of communion within the wider body of Christ.

*But, around the world, believers will still worship our risen Lord.
*The sun will still rise, and we will rejoice in the Son of God, our Savior.
*We may be isolated from loved ones, but we can commune with El Shaddai—our all-sufficient God.
*We may not be able to hunt for candy, but we can hunt for better treasures in God’s Word.
*We cannot worship corporately, but we are the corporeal Body of Christ.

This day is unlike any other,

*But our faith and hope are also unlike any other.
*Our Savior is unlike any other.
*Our God and Father is unlike any other.
*Our holy Word is unlike any other.
*Our spiritual unity is unlike any other.

*3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
*4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
*5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
*6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
*7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:3-7).

P.S.—If you don’t already have “just the perfect” opportunities for worship today, I want to share a few that I’ve heard about and am thinking should be excellent:

9:16 am EST (Eastern Standard Time) This is a mega church near Detroit (which is the COVID hot spot in the world today), where our son-in-law works; I am always blessed by the services: https://northridgechurch.com/experience-services-events/watch-live/

10:45 am EST This is our home church, here in Grand Rapids: https://livestream.com/calvarygr

This is the Jesus Film, about the life of Christ: https://watch.tbn.org/sight-sound-theatres-presents-jesus

For children especially:

The Easter story for children: https://www.crossway.org/articles/free-to-stream-the-biggest-story-animated-video/

Animated version of Pilgrim’s Progress: https://www.revelationmedia.com/watchpilgrims/SWNWP1/