Good Plan for Your Life

1910 my grandpa Ela Swift left Missouriela&gertie and came to Bluejacket, Ok. looking for work. He happened to see a pretty girl named Gertie Taylor who had moved with her family in a covered wagon to Oklahoma. Ela (we pronounce it E-lee) wanted to court Gertie but she wouldn’t go with him unless he was a Christian.

Ela was working in the hayfield with some other men. The men were talking about all the good things God was doing at the revival meeting that was taking place, so Ela said, “If your God is so good, will He heal my lungs?” The men gathered around him, prayed for him, and God healed him.

Ela went to the revival meeting that night and gave his heart to the Lord Jesus. His life was totally changed. He said the Lord delivered him from drinking, smoking, gambling, and a hard life, and he told everyone he came in contact with about what the Lord had done for him. The story was told that Ela would preach to a fencepost if there was no one else around to listen. Everyone loved to hear Brother Ela Swift testify. He’d get happy and start dancing a little. He’d holler,  “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord.” You could tell by the way he talked he was a changed man.

Gertie Taylor started going with Ela Swift and soon they were married, with 8 kids—4 boys and 4 girls. My mother Eunice Swift Hightower is the 4th child of eight.

Gertie and Ela raised their children in the ways of the Lord. All they knew was going to school and going to church. They drove a wagon pulled by mules with all the kids in the back. He told the girls, “You can fix your hair in the wagon on the way to church.” They all were well-thought of as adults and each one loved the Lord.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

God had a good plan for Ela and Gertie and as a result, the whole family has served the Lord.

Synchronize Your Watches

I had to search the internet to find the answer to a question. When was the end of Daylight Saving Time changed from the last Sunday of October until the first Sunday of November?

It all began when someone forwarded a post recently on Facebook saying that the Daylight Saving time change would take place in October, but I knew that wasn’t right. I found that it doesn’t take place until 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Nov. 1, 2015.

God set up the sun, moon, and stars to “serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.” Genesis 1:14 NIV.

Remember that famous line in spy movies? “Gentlemen, synchronize your watches.” Set your watches all to the same exact time. You have a mission, so your watches should all be synchronized for the purpose of keeping everyone on track.

Jesus gave His disciples an order, what we call the Great Commission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV.

Jesus sent the disciples all out at the same time. He said, “You go and make disciples. And remember that when you set your watches and go, I’ll go with you always, every time, because we’ll all be working in unison, synchronized, and on track.”

Each local church won’t have the same exact job, but when each church does its part and when they have “synchronized their watches to the heavenly time,” the whole world will be evangelized.

God set up the sun, moon, and stars to “serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.” Genesis 1:14 NIV.

It’s time that the church gets on track, set our watches, and get ready for our common mission. The church has been called by God to evangelize the whole world.




Important Keepsakes

I’ll never forget how excited I was to be buying my class ring when I was a junior at Vinita High School. I saved up my tips and paychecks from waitressing until I had the $25 it took to order one. There were no choices—you either bought a girl’s class ring or a boy’s. The Vinita Hornet blue was the color of the stone and it was rounded on top and oval shaped. On the sides were your initials and the class graduation year. My ring disappeared in the summer of 1968 and was never seen again. Someone probably pawned it.

I also bought a yearbook every year. I paid for my own yearbooks from 7th grade through my Senior year. Still have all those.

I have all the Bibles I have ever owned too. Mom gave me a Bible when I was baptized at age 9, a white leather Bible where I wrote my Baptism date and other important information I wanted to remember. She gave me one when I was in about 8th grade and another when I graduated high school along with a second-hand sewing machine.

In 1988, during church my good friend Nancy wrote me a note suggesting that I needed a new Bible since I was still using the one Mom got me in 1967. Of course, there were quite a few years in between when I didn’t use it very much, but after I rededicated my life to the Lord in 1977, I started reading my Bible every day and writing notes in a notebook that I kept. I also still have all those notebooks, year after year, where I wrote all the verses I studied and what God had shown me through those verses.

Maybe you all aren’t quite as sentimental as I am, but there are just some things that are important to keep. Now and then someone talks about giving your old Bibles to the poor in Africa, but if it’s all the same to you, I’ll keep mine and give you some money to buy those poor people their own new Bible.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV.

Shrek the Merino Sheep


There’s a story floating around the Internet about a Merino sheep which hid out in caves to avoid having his wool sheared. The sheep which has been named “Shrek” ran away from his flock, evading detection, and avoiding being sheared for 6 years.

Two weeks after his capture, he was shorn of 60 lbs of wool. If Merino sheep aren’t sheared, their wool continues to grow, unlike other types of sheep. A normal Merino sheep has about 10 lbs of wool but can grow up to 33 lbs of wool. The 60 lbs of wool from Shrek the sheep is said to be enough to make 20 large men’s wool suits. His shearing was televised live on New Zealand television. After that, he was a national celebrity. He wore a red and white blanket coat to keep him warm after all that wool was shorn. (Story from this website:

My favorite picture of Jesus is the one of Him holding the little lost sheep. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4 NIV.

The shepherds searched for Shrek the Merino sheep for 6 years before he was found. He was lost, not because something bad happened to him, but because of his own desire to avoid shearing. Maybe he got a little bit lost and then got used to being away from the herd of sheep.

Are you wandering away from the sheepfold, the Church? With every day that you are out in the wilderness, it makes it that much harder to come home. You can be a Christian, but still be wandering, out of contact with other sheep, and away from the sheepfold.

 “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” I Peter 2:25 NIV.

It’s time to come home to the sheepfold and the Good Shepherd.