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Pray for Rain!

21 Aug

Our friend, Rhonda Rhea, always amazes us with her creative humor. On Facebook a few weeks ago, Rhonda wrote about the tough weather.

“Looking at the temps and humidity, and calculating today’s ‘Hair Index’ … partly frizzy with a chance of a ponytail.”

With all the high temperatures this summer, weather forecasters and meteorologists have received some complaints. Reminds me (Dawn) of this joke:

A man who found a cell phone walked over to a weather forecaster and said, “Sir, I think this is yours.”

“Why do you think so,” asked the forecaster.

“Well, Sir,” said the man, “it says 20 missed calls!” (1)

And then there’s the sign seen on a telephone pole: “Garage sale this Sunday, 7:00 AM until 100 degrees.” (2)

Higher energy use with more air conditioners on full blast is one of the difficulties of the extreme high Texas Droughtweather we’ve experienced in our nation, but one of the toughest consequences of the severe weather patterns is the drought in Texas.

As farmers struggle with the parched planes that look more like a moonscape than fertile soil, and officials deal with their damaged infrastructure,  forecasters predicted that the drought may persist for another year.

Texas_pray for rainTexans need water. It’s that simple. Pastors in churches across the state asked their members to pray for rain.

The controversial August 6th day of prayer and fasting for America, The Response ~ organized by Gov. Rick Perry ~ also included prayers for rain. Certainly, the need for rain is causing thousands to turn to God in prayer, to ask for His mercies … and to send rain to bless the parched land. I even heard secular news announcers asking people to pray for rain for the Texans.

I am reminded of Psalm 63: 1  ~

“Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

And Psalm 143:6 says, “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like parched land.”

David cried out to God when he was in the desert of Judah. David longed for a stream of water to quench his thirst in the scorching desert heat.

Have you ever felt desperate for water? Certainly, the people in Northern Africa thirst for water and are starving for food. Though we in America may get a dehydrated at times, we aren’t normally desperate like those in third world countries (at least, not yet).

Just as your body craves and needs water, your spirit craves and needs the Living Water ~ the presence Water - blueof God flowing in and through you, satisfying your soul and then pouring out in ministry to others. Jesus is the Living Water that brings life to the soul.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” (John 7:38), and He told a soul-thirsty woman that He offered water that would cause her to never thirst again (John 4:1-38).

Are you thirsty for Jesus today? “Pray for Rain!” Ask God’s presence to flood your soul.

Spend time with the Lord. Drink Him in ~ in prayer and by reading about Him in the Word of God. Quench your thirst with Living Water.

(1) Adapted from Weather Jokes – “Cell Phone Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1261/cell-phone-joke/

(2) Adapted from “Heat Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1256/heat-joke/

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Are You Covered?

30 Jul

Regarding Insurance Protection:

  • Did you hear about the woman who bought a group insurance plan? She thought everything was fine until she discovered she couldn’t collect until the whole group was sick.
  • Needing insurance is like needing a parachute. If it isn’t there the first time, chances are you won’t be needing it again.
  • Life insurance agent to a would-be client: “Don’t let me frighten you into a hasty decision. Sleep on it tonight. If you wake in the morning, give me a call then and let me know.” (1)
  • You know it’s going to be a bad cay when you wake up in a hospital all trussed up, and your insurance agent tells you that your accident policy covers falling off the roof … but not hitting the ground. (2)

InsuranceCoverageCar insurance … home insurance … fire insurance … medical insurance. Many of us are “insurance poor,” with much of our paycheck going out to “insure” our health and well-being.

We are advised to take out sufficient coverage, because we never know when circumstances will change, or when we might need it to face a tragedy. Some years ago, a firestorm broke out in our county, and many homes burned to the ground or were severely damaged. Those with fire insurance rebuilt their homes relatively quickly; those without it are, in many cases, still struggling ~ some living in small trailers.

None of us like to pay insurance premiums, but what we’re buying ~ the potential benefits ~ are peace of mind and the ability to restore most, if not all, of the earthly goods we’ve lost, or the ability to obtain services to possibly restore our health. We’re buying a measure of  “protection” for the misfortunes of life. The benefits of our insurance “coverage” are worth the cost.

But when is the last time you thought about SPIRITUAL insurance? I’m not talking about spiritual assurance here (knowing that we are Christ-followers, based on the Word of God), but rather, the promises of protection and provision in our times of need.  It’s God saying, “I’ve got you covered.”

We see this concept in Psalm 91:3-4. God “covers” us like a bird covers her babies under her feathers ~ MamaHenWithTwoChicksprotecting us. And also, in Deuteronomy 33:12, Moses said of Benjamin (representative of his tribe), “The Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”

No matter what comes our way, God has the exact “coverage” we need. Spiritual insurance is a word from scripture that we know we can claim when troubles come. We know that God will give us encouragement, help, support, etc., to deal with our struggles and, if necessary, rebuild our lives. We don’t have to live in defeat.

We can’t avoid suffering and troublesome circumstances, but we can know that God will be with us, and out of His presence and promises come everything we need.

Mama Bird Covers with her WingsJust as many people failed to buy fire insurance (or couldn’t afford it) and they now struggle after the firestorm, many put off getting into the Word of God and discovering His plan for “coverage.” It’s far better to store up promises God has for us in the Word before we need them, so they are ready for us in times of trial. The only cost to us is to believe and receive the Word of the Lord. We can live this adventure of life with peace of mind and heart.

How’s your spiritual insurance policy, Friend? Can you quote at least three promises from the scriptures that relate to the protection, provision, and peace of God?

(1) http://www.barricksinsurance.com/insurance_jokes.html

(2) Michael Hodgin, 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, #496, p. 194

In the Pits?

9 Jun

You’ll love this explanation by young “George Washington.”

“George Washington, did YOU chop down the cherry tree?”

“No, Dad.”

“I think you are lying.”

“No, no, no! I swear I did NOT chop down the cherry tree.”

“Son, I saw you out here with your ax. Your punishment will be much worse for you if you lie. Now, tell me the truth!”

“Dad, I answered your question truthfully. Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions. While my answer was legally accurate, I did not volunteer information. Indeed, Dad, I did cause the cherry tree to be lying on the ground. To do this was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. I know my answer to you gave a false impression. I misled you, my own father. I deeply regret that.

“I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First, by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct. I was also very concerned about protecting Mom from this shock. What I did, Dad, was use a saw to cause the cherry tree to fall. Only after the tree was already down did I go get my ax to chop off individual branches. So, I chopped off branches, but sawed down the tree. Look at the saw cut on the stump and the ax cuts on the branches.

“Therefore, legally, I told the truth. I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of this fallen tree and to return our attention to a solid family relationship. Thank you.” *

George Washington was a lawyer, so this imaginary conversation makes perfect sense!

I (Dawn) climbed an old cherry tree as a little girl so my Grandma Parks could make scrumptious pies. I remember the long hours pitting those cherries, though. Pits. Ugh. Not fun! Now I have a wonderful “pit-er” that makes the job more tolerable.

Humorist Erma Bombeck often wrote about life “in the pits.” In fact, she made her career on jokes like those you’ll find in her book, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?  Bombeck wrote, “I worry about getting into the Guinness World Book of Records under ‘Pregnancy: Oldest Recorded Birth.’ I worry about what the dog thinks when he sees me coming out of the shower, [or] that one of my children will marry an Eskimo who will set me adrift when I can no longer feed myself.” **

Bombeck’s book title aside, “in the pits” has nothing to do with cherries. Some say that the origin of “in the pits” is the deep holes or chambers where prisoners were confined ~ perhaps even an underground dungeon. The Oxford English Dictionary even suggested that “in the pits” came from the concept of “the pit of hell.”

What does it mean to live “in the pits” in American culture? When my husband thinks of “in the pits,” he thinks of speed car racing. The “pits” is defined as “any place of pain and turmoil” by one source.  Another says it’s a place where we become upset and despondent. We become anxious or at the end of our rope. Still another says it’s a place where we find ourselves needing comfort or encouragement. 

Oh, yes. I identify with that one. When I’m in the pits, I sure need an encouraging word.

Actually, when I think of the phrase “in the pits,” I can’t help but remember Continue reading

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