Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I'm scared to get out."

I don't know the answer. But I know there's a problem. And I've heard it before, more than once, just on Wednesday it was a new face that was saying it. 

I was meeting with the inmates before leaving for Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving. They were wishing me a happy and safe holiday and reminding me (for them) to eats lots of turkey. I left the prison in a bitter-sweet mood. I seriously love those ladies! And hated leaving them! I knew that as much as I looked forward to Thanksgiving and to celebrating with my family, they wanted to go home too and celebrate with theirs. I tried to imagine it, but couldn't, the thought of missing the holidays with family year after year after year for a whole lot of years. I can't imagine every year (some over a decade, some more than one) longing to go home... but knowing I couldn't. I know they committed the crime that put them there, but still that's a hard reality to swallow, a harsh punishment to endure.... especially when they're not the same person they were when they did the thing that they did. I know they should have weighed the cost earlier and considered the consequences.... but sadly, most don't.

While sitting there with them right before leaving, one lady told me, I want to go home. I bet she does. I know I would too. And then she said, "I want to go home, but I'm scared to get out. I've been here so long, as much as I want to, I'm scared to, all I know now is here."

Wow. I've heard about them being imprisoned so long that they become institutionalized. As much as they want their freedom, prison has become their way of life. They wouldn't know what to do, where to go, how to start. And starting from the beginning is not easy for anybody. But starting over again with nothing at all and so much already against them... many no home, no friends, no job, no income, no family to go back to...... What do you do when you leave with only the clothes on your back and $10 given to you upon your release from the system?

God loves the broken-hearted, the poor, the sinner, those with a contrite heart, the captive............ Do you?


Do you love them enough to help them? Because in reality, they really, really, really need for somebody to.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An exciting opportunity awaits...

I had just talked to my daughter about it yesterday. I told her that there was a place in our city where I am I told that you can find hundreds of homeless in one area. I told her I wanted to one day take clothes and blankets. Or do something of the sort.

That was yesterday afternoon.
I left after that for the prison. When I got back last night I got on Facebook... and one of the very first posts on my feed gave opportunity to do just what I'd been wanting!

I have left a message on the girl's page. But from what I gathered that was already posted there they will be making another visit on December 5th. And they had pictures posted from their visit on the 14th of November. From the looks of things, you pack your vehicle with all that you can and open it up to whatever they need. Here are some of their pictures from their last adventure:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"
Matt 25:34-36

Monday, November 22, 2010

I want MORE!!!!!

Thanksgiving.... a time set aside for giving-thanks! Thus, thanks-giving!

And maybe also something more....

I had a man recently get released from prison. He needed winter clothes for job hunting. Sadly, it was easier said than done... and took longer to find clothes for him than I felt it should. But finally, (in the most humorous of ways) I think we've finally accomplished the task, and I am to pick the clothes up for him tomorrow and deliver right after. I told the girl that did this, "Thanks-for-giving in this Thanks-Giving Season."

On top of that... I recently read an amazing story about a guy that got robbed (A Victim Treats His Mugger Right) on an empty platform after an hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one night. A teenager pulled a knife out on him wanting his money. The 31-year-old social worker give him his wallet. And then as the teen began to walk away, the guy asked him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm." The kid looked at him like 'what in the world!' And the man replied, "if you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me... hey, you're more than welcome." And believe it or not, the kid went to dinner with him!

After my oldest daughter listened to the man's story above, her response to me was, "Oh, wow! Now I want to get robbed." Hilarious! I understood her statement. I felt the same feeling she was feeling. Oh, that no matter the circumstances or situations around us (or done to us) that we would make it a Jesus-encounter and testimony of Him when done.

I loved that the guy didn't just offer his coat too, but he asked the boy if he wanted to go eat with him also. It totally puts clothes on the verses found in Matthew 5, "You have heard it said: An eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go a mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

I want to do something more this Christmas and Thanksgiving... other than just blessing ourselves with more when we've got so much already!

I want to help someone! I want to notice the one I pass in need! I want to have compassion for him! I want to DO something! I don't want to just talk it! I want to walk it. I want to be the hands and the feet of Jesus! I have been blessed so greatly, I want to be a blessing!

And while I'm at it... why don't you set aside some time on your calendar to "help" someone that needs it this season.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Your will, Lord! Not mine.

Sometimes things are too big to be said. I find that to be true quite often. Some feelings are too huge to contain and press to conform to a word that won't hold it. Today, precious Lord, hear my heart. Read my thoughts. Know my wants, my desires, my dreams, my wonders. Make me into all You created and made and planned and purposed and willed me to be. Not one smidget less, Lord. I need You every step of my way. On this road, on this journey, light my path. Guide and direct and lead me each moment. Give me vision when I lose my sight. Give me want-to when my want-to wavers for less. Give me conviction when evil or the enemy tempts. Give me courage when I shy away with fear. Give me boldness when timidity threats. Give me direction when confusion baffles. Give me focus when distraction hopes to steal it. Give me determination when the journey gets long. Give me discernment when I need to know. Give me steadfastness when it's hard to stay steady. Give me strength when I grow weak. Give me eyes to see those in need. Give me ears to hear the heart that bleeds. Give me hands to reach all those You put in my path. Give me a compassion that can't pass by but has to help. Give me a craving, a hunger and thirst, for You above anything! Continually and constantly give me more of Your Spirit... more of Your Word... more of Your character.... grow me ever more like You... may I do as You would have me to do! May I be ever about My Father's business! Your will and not mine! May You remind me when I fail You! I thank You for never failing me.

Thank You for Your hand that always upholds and helps me. Thank for always going with and promising never to forsake me.

"For God Himself said, I will not in any way, fail you nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down [relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!]." (Heb 13:5b AMP)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Listen! His blood cries!

"What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground."

These words were said by God to Cain when he killed Abel.

"What have you done?" God's voice echoed to Cain. Can you imagine Him asking you?!

"What have you done?" and then (in King James' wording) "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground."

"Your brother's blood cries...."

"The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me...."

The victim's blood cries for justice!

Death seeks its revenge.

When defined in more detail it goes like this: The voice... the sound... the noise... the crying... the thunder... the call........ of the blood...... calls... cries... cries out for help.... cries in grief... summons...... God Himself!

I am not much of a televison watcher. But every now and then when I do, I love watching things like: Snapped, or Cold Bold, or Dateline on ID, or I (Almost) Got Away With It, or Forensic Files, or something similar. I am amazed at the crimes that are daily committed. I am even more amazed when they are premeditated and planned and schemed and much thought out before the plan is put into action. Also, the clean-up and to what extent a person goes to in hopes to hide any evidence.

Then still yet, I am even more amazed still at the evidence that lies left behind just waiting for someone to find it..... A drop of blood. Some DNA. A hair. A footprint or fingerprint. A piece of paint. But especially the blood that is almost impossible to get totally rid of.

It reminds me every time of this verse, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground!" 

It seeks its justice! It wants its revenge! Even when someone's life is taken, death still has its voice. It still cries out to its Savior!

I don't know this. This is totally my speculation. I've never heard it taught before. But everytime I study in Exodus about the Pharaoh that had all of the baby boys two years old and younger thrown to their deaths in the River Nile... And then, later, when the first plague of the 10 plagues that God does is that He turns the water in that Nile to blood...... I always wonder if that is symbolic of the blood that cries from all the babies that were thrown there?

Even as I type this Nancy Grace is on... the "Breaking News" is that a jaw bone has been found in Aruba and the speculation is that it may be Natalee Holloway's. It's been how many years since she's gone missing? Wow, it's been 5! The blood still cries from the ground.....

How sad! For all those that have died so senselessly and robbed by the hand of another, I'm so sorry!

"What have you done?".............. And has it made your brother's blood cry?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inquiring minds want to know...

I love how we're told in scripture of this person or that "inquiring of the Lord" and asking Him what they should do. I love even more how God was so quick and faithful to answer. And how He made no bones about it, but simply spoke truth.

He promises in James that if any of us lacks wisdom in a matter, we should ask Him who gives generously to all without finding fault when asked. He states that if we ask Him He'll give it (Jam 1:5).

"But, when he asks," He goes on to say, "he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man..." God wants you to believe Him once He's answered!

It's sometimes sad how quickly we will KNOW that God has just given us an answer. We felt it! It was a knowing-knowing! And then, I few minutes later, we begin to doubt that He is the One that has said it. That, my dear friend, is our enemy pulling his age-old subtle craftiness out that he's been doing since Genesis 3 in the very beginning... whispering his same song to us that he sang in the ear of Eve in the Garden of Eden, "Did God really say...?"!

No wonder, God hates when we doubt Him! Because when we don't believe what He's said, we then have chosen instead to believe the voice of satan!

Back to "inquiring minds that want to know"...... I have an inquiry! I need some wisdom!

Not wanting to step on any toes or hurt anyone's feelings, I thought about leaving everything well enough alone. And then I thought, if I don't say something then I am not standing up for my girls. I am not warring for the ones that God has given me. I was at a query of not knowing what to do. I've decided to go to my God, our Father, my Jesus, our Savior to ask His advice. To ask what I should do. And when I do... rest in the knowing that I'll know, because I trust and know He will tell me!

What comfort! What a great God that we serve!

This is no profound blogpost. Nothing new that we don't know. Yet, how often do we try to figure out things for ourselves, or discuss them with others for their opinions without initially just taking it and laying it out before the Lord inquring from Him His answer? It's just a reminder, that's all, to remember Who it is that we're to be asking. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A "Precautionary Lock-down"?

Twelve  minutes after the school bell rang I got a call on my home phone, cell phone, and an email stating that, "We have been advised by the Montgomery Police Department to go on a precautionary lock-down. They are in pursuit of a subject in the area. This means that we will not let anyone into the school; buildings until the lock-down is over. We will advise when this ends. classes will operate normally during this time.School Administration"

Well... needless to say, that's an interesting notice that perks up the ears, rises the eyebrows, beats the heart a little faster, and triggers the mind to its wander.

My Senior son has "delayed entry" so he doesn't have to be to school until second period each day. I advised him of the lockdown and his inability to go in until the lock-down had been cancelled. Another "needless" thing said, he wasn't exactly saddened by it.

At 8:51 the phones rang again... along with the "You've Got Mail"... which told us that the school was no longer in its lock-down. The coast was cleared. The doors back opened. Ta could go to school now.


My mind kept wandering....

"A Precautionary Lockdown"....? "

"A subject in the area"......?

How often do we (in our own hearts and minds and lives) go into a precautionary lock-down.... locking all others out for fear of suspects of subjects in the area?


How many times do we fail to do the precautionary lock-down when we need to... out of suspicion of the subjects before us? We see the signs... our ears perks to the suspicion, our hearts beat a little faster... but we're curious about (or like) this new feeling and so we fail to heed to the precaution because the desire inside us precedes on out of it's want-to?

Sometimes we lock-down when we don't need to, but sometimes we don't when we do!

"The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it."
Prov 27:12.

"A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."

What's your cheese?

I was sitting at my office on Thursday... thinking of Kimberly, the girl that we had just recently picked up from prison. And it was the weirdest thing. It was like all of the sudden I could see all these traps. Dozens of traps set everywhere! It's like I got a visual of the enemy saying, "She's out! Set the traps!"... in hopes that one of them would succeed and catch her in it!

And then a wondering voice said inside me, "What's your cheese?" What's the temptation that you (or I) will go after? I was so aggravated! So disgusted! So mad at the enemy!

I thought of how he'd trapped her before (drugs) and how many years she'd been trapped there (30!). And as hard as she would be trying, I knew he'd set traps everywhere... in hopes to trap her again! Drugs would be the 'cheese' he'd use.... but if that 'cheese' didn't succeed, he'd have some other options. All hoping to deceive, to trick, to trap... to rob, to kill, to steal, to destroy... not only her, but her friends, her kids, and her family!

I am so frustrated at how many the enemy has trapped with the same 'cheese'... like drinking or drugs or some substance! Or sex or greed or bitterness! It's amazing how many will so quickly still follow and fall for it after seeing what it's done to a whole world of others. I hate the deception in sin and the lies that it promises in hopes to ensnare us!

Christ died to set the captives free. And once we're freed from one prison, our enemy hates it and yells, "She's out! Set the traps!"... and sets traps all around us. What "cheese" is around you? What "cheese" do you see? What "cheese" will he set with hopes to seize?

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. RESIST HIM, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings" - 1 Pet 5:8-9.

"When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." - Jam 1:13-15.

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your word... Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.... Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find comfort.... Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.... Teach me, LORD, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end" - Ps 119:37,36,35,34,33.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


What does freedom feel like?

I'll tell you this... I watched it on Tuesday!

I didn't know her from Adam. Had never met her. Had never heard of her. Didn't know what she'd done. Didn't know how much time she'd been in for. Didn't know her temperment, her size, or her color. I just happened to be sitting in a meeting when I heard them mention her. I found out two things: she needed a ride and she was HIV positive. 

The prison had a bus ticket to send her from Wetumpka to Huntsville (a 3 1/2 hour trip... but at least 5 or more on a bus). She was to meet with her court-appointed probation officer (possibly having to spend the night if everything couldn't get done) and then she'd need a ride from Huntsville back to Birmingham (2 hours away). The problem is, she didn't have a ride for the second leg of the trip, the prison doesn't pay for that. 

My initial reaction was that I know several very kind-hearted Christian friends in Huntsville. Surely I could get her a ride. (Nice of me, wasn't it, to so easily volunteer someone else?) And then,... I thought.... 

"Well, I will take her!"

We were having this conversation on Friday. The girl that was talking about Kimberly had only met her the day before on Thursday. To jump through all the hoops, get all of the paperwork done, and get the "okay" from the prison was a lot to get done in the very short amount of time that we had. Though we did what we could on Friday and called so many people (that we weren't able to get in touch with), we accomplished nothing. Everything would have to miraculous worked out on Monday if this were going to happen. Plus, we needed to get in touch with someone from the prison... so that they could get in touch with Kimberly and ask if she wanted to ride with some strange woman that she'd never met before (that would be me!)... or, had she rather leave the plans as they were and ride the bus to Huntsville?

Monday ran us into one problem right after another. By as late as 2:30 it didn't look like we could get it to happen. Before the day was done though.... it all fell into place. It was a go! All okays were okayed! Kimberly said yes to me. And I had my first God-appointed newly released inmate transportation assignment!

I was so excited!

So excited!

I couldn't sleep.

As I was lying in bed Monday night I kept thinking about how excited this girl had to be! How anxious! How thrilled! How scared! How emotional! Surely she lie in her own bunk at that very same moment with her own heart pounding!

I spent most of the night praying for her. Prissy (my oldest daughter) had decided to go with us. As I was talking to her about my excitement she told me, "Mom, I'm afraid that you're going to freak her out." Okay... calm down! I told her, "I promise I'll act calmer tomorrow!"

We packed (overnight bags, just in case) and left the house by 7 a.m. to get to the prison by 8. We prayed for her on the way. A sweet lady from Aid-to-Inmate Mothers sent us with a suitcase full of clothes and things for Kimberly. I was so impressed! And it wasn't until we picked Kimberly up that we realized how greatly they were needed and appreciated! 

We walked quite a ways past razored wired fences before walking up the stairs to the entrance. We were buzzed through two barred gateways and went up to the officer sitting behind his enclosed control room. "We are here to pick up Kimberly ___."

He asked if we had brought clothes for her to change into?

No. Actually we didn't! We had some in my truck, but I thought that she would be given some to wear to leave the prison. I was so thankful that Carol had sent the suitcase!

Prissy and I walked back to our vehicle to dig through the case. It was sad. Somber. We wondered (though the choice had already been made by someone before us) what she might like? There was a sweatsuit to choose from, or jeans and a button-down shirt. Nice enough. We chose the latter. And literally prayed about that too! We prayed for God to please make it fit. We didn't want her to be ashamed or embarrassed.

Going back in, giving the officer the clothes, we were told to sit and we waited. We waited a while... grinning from anticipation. Praying that we wouldn't scare her, intimidate her, make her feel uncomfortable. We prayed for automatic liking and comfortableness! We prayed for the conversation. For what we'd do. For how we'd act. For where we'd go. For what we'd eat. We wanted ALL of it to be Divinely Anointed! And it was!!! From beginning to end!!! There is no way to put words together to tell of the wonder!!!

We saw her shyly walk through her own gated-area escorted by a woman officer that had taken the clothes and locked herself in the restroom with her while she changed. She never even raised her eyes to look at us. Coming out of the restroom (now dressed in colors and not whites!) we gladly noted that her clothes perfectly fit! She signed the papers that she had to sign. Was given $10 and a paper bag that held her belongings and turned to meet us.


We made the introductions as she walked out to her freedom! There was an instant liking and bonding between us. Though she said that she had worried about who this person would be that would be picking her up, she couldn't thank us enough for coming. She had been terrified of riding the bus and dreading the extra hours it would take her.

The first thing she wanted to do was stop at the closest gas station. Another inmate when asked what she might would like to do first had guessed this. The inmate had told me it probably wouldn't really be for a specific reason... but more because of the freedom to get to do so... and just because she'd not been able to for so long.

Kimberly wanted cigarettes. Too my horror I bought her some. How could I argue? How could I not? I did. I don't regret it.

Next stop, McDonalds... for an egg mcmuffin... she'd not had one in years.

But her biggest craving, her greatest want, the thing that she'd dreamed of most was Taco Bell! She wanted that for lunch, and was saving the moment until we met her sister.. who was meeting us from Tennessee in Huntsville.

There was never a moment of silence between us. You would have thought that we had known each other forever. Prissy mostly sat in the back in awe and just listened, interjecting at just the right moments to share some of her own hopes and story and testimony. Saying exactly what needed to be said! Seriously, we all knew that the whole thing was Divinely Driven!

She was open about where she had come from, what she had done, how long she'd been in. She was in for drugs and for robbing a man. She said that this is the first time she'd been "clean" in 30 years. That drugs held her in bondage that long. It was her second time incarcerated. This time, she said, she wants to do it right. This time she wants to stay changed... stay clean. This time she doesn't want to go back. We prayed together several times. Our prayer is that she won't!

We got into Huntsville at 12:30. Met her sweet sister. And went to Taco Bell to enjoy the lunch Kim had been craving. It was such fun watching her eat it. You don't think often of the small things that we should be thankful for until there are snatched from us and not so readily accessible.

Afterward we went to the probation office and were there for a pretty long while. It ended up that we would need to stay the night, her arrangements in Birmingham still wasn't 'arranged.' We went to a hotel where Kim's son (that she hadn't seen in 3 years) met us. It was a beautiful moment! A Kodak one! The embrace between them a priceless one! A Hallmark moment if only it had been captured! We left them alone not wanting to steal even one second from between them. We knew that the time with him (for now anyway) was limited. We'd meet back with them in the morning.

The next day was just as incredible. If only I could have capsuled the conversations we had. If only I could tell all she told us. If only I could share what God gave us to say. If only I relay the lessons she'd learned. But like most God-moments, they're often too spiritual to stuff into words. This whole adventure was one of those moments!

We left our house on Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. and didn't pull back into our drive until 7 p.m. on Wednesday. A 36 hour trip that brought us back: Awestruck. Changed. Forever moved. Wanting to be different. Wanting to do more. More enlightened. More compassionate. More aware. More tender-hearted.

Crazily (at her request... and as was in her plans) we dropped her off at a Homeless Shelter in Birmingham. Not the home that she plans to live in, but as a temporary place until the arrangements were made. She should only be there a couple or a few days. Prissy and I debated about whether we could leave her there or not? But upon our arrival there we were impressed with the place that she'd be staying. You could feel a tender-spirit upon entering. Prayers and scriptures were plastered all over the walls. Children from somewhere in the back were laughing. It felt safe. Secure. Caring. God-owned.

As Prissy told Kim when we left, I don't think that this is the last time we will see you. I don't either. A bond had been made. Numbers and addresses exchanged. The home she'll be living at is a rehab center that will help her transition from being in prison and back to the outside world again... this time without drugs and the things that are so horrible and life-changing. She won't be able to have outside contact for a while.... but one day she will. And we'll be here when she does! But sweeter than that, she has a great family at home that loves her and is waiting for her... that wants her well and home with them! With God's grace in only a matter of time, she'll be there soon! Helping someone else whose shoes she once walked in!

I wrote on Prissy Facebook wall when we got back: What a wonder we've shared in the last two days!!! We have been so richly blessed!!! Who could have imagined??? And I am blessed even more to have gotten to share it with you! (I'm so glad you came!!!!) Words will never describe my feelings and that whole experience! What a priceless treasure our new friend is! It couldn't have gone any better... any sweeter... been any richer!!! I love that God let us be a part!!!

She commented back: You're so right! No words will ever be able to describe what God did the past two days! I loved seeing Him work through all of us! The whole trip was an experience Ill never forget ever.. I have a feeling that won't be our last time, just saying :)

‎"The whole trip was an experience Ill never forget ever.. I have a feeling that won't be our last time, just saying" Me either!!! And me too!!! I KNOW it won't be the last time!!! I think we were 'made' (knitted by our Father in our mother's womb) for this! :)))) Awesome! And wildly incredible!!

Thank YOU, Lord, for letting us be such a part of Your blessing!!!! We're blessed beyond measure! We love You so much!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So much going...

Until the last couple of days, I have been uncharacteristically quiet. I suppose the reasons vary. But the main one is due to the overwhelmation of busy.

I'm a "stay-at-home-mom"... that likes to stay-at-home... that hasn't had much time to stay-at-home-as-I-normally-would lately. And one that doesn't see much staying-at-home in the forecast. Life is busier than ever and it isn't about to be slacking.

A good-busy, mind you. But busy, nonetheless. I love what I'm doing. But definitely sometimes I mourn my lack of "staying."

I'm excited though... for the road that God has me on... and the opportunites that He's placed in my path.

Other than the doors that God has opened for me in ways that no man can make sense of... and the jobs that these doors present... and the training of this thing or that that He's offering generously and giving freely... and the roles that He's putting me in..................... He is sweetly and kindly and graciously doing even more than all those as well.

I am becoming a greater and greater believer in (because of the mounting of evidence) of "Knock, and the door will be open".... "Seek, and you will find".... "Ask, and you will receive"....... Because He is proving it to me! He's opening... showing... and giving! 

I used to often ask God to not let me pass by the "robbed-and-beaten-and-left-for-dead-man" on the side of the road that Jesus tells about in the parable of the Good Samaritan. I don't want to be too busy, too side-tracked, too involved even in good things like Bible Study or worship, or too blind to see the man-in-need that is in the middle of the road that I'm on. Well.... God is making sure that I see them. He is loudly and very visually placing many of them in my path... and having people to tell me about them to make sure that I don't forget to look, to see, and then to care in someway for their need. It's the most exciting thing!

I have more opportunities that I can tell about, but today I'll share just one.

Tomorrow morning I am picking up a newly released inmate and transferring her to another city about four hours away and then taking her to another town that is about a hour and a half. I don't know her from Adam. Have never met nor seen her before, and don't know but one thing about her. And that's that she's HIV positive. I'm not sure why that was the only thing told to me about her, but I am so very much anticipating my time with her. Depending upon the probation officer, it may call for an overnight trip.

I must get to bed! Lord, I can't wait to see what You've got planned! Thank You so much for such opportunities!...........

Updates to follow! I'm sure I'll have lots to share!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'll trade ya!

Friday I was walking through the Criminal Justice Building to a meeting with one of the Commissioners and a few other people. I was grinning from ear to ear.... Soaring a bit from a new found pleasure. (I can get excited about the simpliest of things.)

I was recently given what I've deemed as "keys to the kingdom".... a card whose swipe gives me entrance into the barred parking lot, all of the locked entrances, and every locked hallway on all the floors of the building. I called the Re-Entry Coordinator on my way in telling him that this was better than candy! And I was still pondering upon that statement as I walked alone down the long corridor to the Commissioner's office.

Candy. I've been craving it lately. So for some silly reason that thought popped into my head. If someone came and offered me a trade... "I'll trade ya! Candy for the card (keys)!"... I was too excited, I wouldn't take it.

That thought (as most thoughts do) prompted another one. I remembered Esau's trade of his birthright to his brother for a something to eat, simply because he was hungry. I was saddened by how quickly we make trades... without first thinking of and considering or weighing the outcome or cost of it.... and usually because we're hungry and our bellies (or our heart's desires) are growling for something.

As kids we will trade this toy for that one.... an apple for an orange... a bag of chips for some cookies.... a favored possession to be included in the "club" that our friends are in.... or I'll tell you a secret if you'll tell me one.... or I won't tell on you if you won't tell on me.....

The list goes on...

And the trades get bigger as we grow older... We make bigger trades with bigger things at stake...

We often think, "I wouldn't trade you for anything".... then before we realize what what we've done, we've traded our spouses, our children, our families and homes for our jobs... or some moment's pleasure... or for another someone.

We'll trade our lives (years of our lives) for a season of drinking or drugs or some substance that one day lands us homeless on the streets or in prison.

We'll trade our joy and happiness and close relationships because some silly thing offended us and we refuse to let the offense go and so loom in and wallow til our dying death in our bitterness.

I thought about Cam Newton (which hasn't been proved true... so I am definitely not saying this is so) which happens to be that morning's rage possibly trading his reputation and career and a huge penalty for years for Auburn for some money illegally passed to him to play there for football. I hope it's not so. And think that it might not be. Yet, even if he didn't, it happens all of the time. Money is passed under the table illegally for a trade of something else all over this world all of the time. Money... and our greed for it... often costs us a LOT more in the long run!

We make trades. We're good at trading. We trade everyday. But do we weigh (and think first) about what we're trading?

I lost my train of thinking the minute I stepped into the office. The conversation there had already been started, so their conversation took me elsewhere.


After a while they begin discussing different judges and their sentencing. Some counties are harsher than others. Some sentences harder and longer depending upon the judge who is sentencing the one that's offended. They were talking about some who were sentenced heavily upon their first felony conviction. And then they gave a recent example...

Just the other day a 63 year old man (who was said to be "a very old 63 year old".... "he looked more to be in his 90's") went into a store to fill his prescription for Hydrocodone. He came out of the store and sold two of those pills to someone in the parking lot. I don't know the details. I don't know if the man knew the guy he sold it to... nor why? I don't know if the man was a friend who suffered great pain and he was selling him two pills in order to help him? I don't know if it was a stranger? I don't know if it was to make a little money because of his great need of it?... Or if it was an act of compassion? Regardless, the trade was a bad one. However much money he got for it, it cost him more than two pills. He got caught. And the judge sentenced him (first offense!) to 10 years in prison! 

Wow! Talk about bad trades and a clear example of one that represents one!

I am not at all saying that what the man did was right. I am not condoning what he did. I am just saying that often we do not ever consider the real price and how much our trade will truly cost us. I am saddened by how quickly we fall for the trades that our enemy offers... for a moment's stupid reasoning and a our dulled-senses that failed to recognize the trap hidden behind the deception!

Oh Lord, give us eyes to see! Teach me to follow Your decrees, then I will keep them to the end.. Give me understanding and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart... Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I will find delight... Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain.. TURN MY EYES AWAY FROM worthless things and preserve my life according to Your Word - Ps 119:33-38.

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" - Matt 16:26.

What are you trading???

And in the end will it be worth its trade?

(Click here to read about 'SOLD' - "What one girl said".... )

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My heart swoons at His voice...

I LOVE the wonder of God's Word!!! I love Him speaking... showing... revealing... enlightening... giving new insight... more correction... more direction... more clarity! I love what His Word does! How it compels us... moves us... heals us... mends us... equips us... empowers us... fills us.... makes us feel.... burns within us!... and makes us yearn for more!!

There is no-thang that compares with the Holy Breath of God's Word!

IF His Word had not been my delight... I would have perished in my affliction (Ps 119:92)!

‎"When Your Words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your Name, LORD God Almighty" - Jer 15:16.

As King James puts it, "Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of Hosts."

Woe... what a scripture! And how it speaks my heart's feeling! For indeed, I have eaten and continue to eat the Words that my Savior has spoken and still speaks to me... They are my joy (my gladness) and the rejoicing (the gaiety, the pleasure, the happy) of my heart! They are my heart's delight! What a wonder to be called by and bear the Name of the LORD God Almighty.. the LORD God of Hosts!

"Did eat"..... It's a Hebrew word that means exactly that: to eat. It is further defined as: to devour, to feed upon, to be consumed with. The hunger within me compels me, I must eat! I cannot help and cannot wait to devour it... to feed upon it... to be consumed with it! May His Word burn up and consume everything else that is not of Him within me! I must eat... or I will waste away to nothing and be wretched!

I LOVE the wonder... and the unadulterated purest thrill... of God's Word! Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You came (the Word wrapped in flesh) upon this earth... and that You still come... and still speak! These are not mere words to me... Your Words are Life!... and Life in abundance and to the FULL!