Ironing the Wrinkles Out

During World War II, Mother worked at the Army base laundry where Dad was stationed and because she could iron so well, she was assigned to iron the officers’ uniforms. After I was born, Dad bought Mom a wringer washer, a sewing machine, and iron, so that she could take in washings for a living, while he worked as a mechanic. She washed and ironed clothes for the businessmen of Vinita.

For many years, an ironing board and iron was always set up in the front room of our house. The ironing board represented hard work for 10 cents a shirt. I could make more money than that waiting tables. No more ironing for me.

I was so happy when they started putting polyester in shirts and pants. The only time I ironed was to press the seams when I sewed. I trained my two kids to toss wrinkled clothes into the dryer and “fluff” them. Now I occasionally iron a dress for church or a funeral, but it is rare.

“That He
[Jesus Christ] might sanctify and cleanse her [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV.

Jesus washes us with the Word of God, in the agitator of life. He is turning up the heat on the dryer to get the wrinkles out of our life. Sometimes He can just toss us into the dryer to “fluff” us, but if the wrinkle is too deep then He gets that heavy iron from the top of the woodstove.

When you are agitating in the washing machine of God, sing “Hallelujah.”

When you are tumbling in the dryer, being fluffed, shout “Praise God.”

When the heat is on, rejoice.

When the intense pressure of that hot iron is removing the wrinkles from your heart, bow down in gratitude for His mercy.

And thank God, that He loves us too much to leave us in our sorry state, but will do whatever it takes to prepare us for that Special Occasion in heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God.
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Teach Your Children

When we kids were little, sometimes Mom took in kids to babysit. One time in particular that I remember, Mom took in a pretty little dark-haired girl about 3 or 4 who stayed overnight with us for a couple of nights. She really missed her parents and cried quite a bit. The first night she wouldn’t go to sleep. I think Mom was trying to get her to go to sleep in the baby bed, but she just kept crying and saying something over and over that none of us could understand.
Mom kept asking her what she was trying to say and finally figured out that she was saying she wanted to sleep on the “davenport.” Suddenly Mom understood and the little girl went sweetly off to sleep on our “divan.” The whole problem had been simply a matter of understanding the words she was saying.
 Mama loved little children. She was always glad to have children hanging around the house with us, and when she later went to work at the school cafeteria, she loved every little kid that went through her cafeteria line.
 
Mama taught Sunday School as well as teaching us Bible stories and songs at home. We learned the song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
 
 We held in our hands little Sunday School cards with a picture of Jesus on the front and the story and verse on the back. We gazed on the picture of Jesus holding the little lost sheep, and fell in love with Jesus while we were children. We were taught in a level of language that we could understand.
 
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 11:19 NIV.
It is easy to believe in Jesus as your Savior when you are raised from babyhood hearing about Him.
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Royal Blood

 

 Aethelwulf Birth King Of Wessex 839-861, Kent 839-858

photo from west facade Lichfield Cathedral in London

The PBS TV station has been showing movies of kings and queens of England. I have watched 3 shows of “Victoria” who was the queen of England, and a show called “Secret of Six Wives” the story of King Henry the 8th who had six wives. I love those historical shows. When I was in elementary school, I read through all the books of the kings and queens of England and France. I was mesmerized by the stories of their lives, the lavish lifestyles, and their impact on the present day.

And now I’ve discovered while doing my family tree that I have royalty in my dna. Oh it’s way back there a thousand years ago, and I’m not the only one who is a descendant, that’s for sure. If you figure that he is my 33rd great grandfather, then the possibility of being a descendant of his is astronomical. The way I figure it, there would be 8.5 million descendants, if he had 2 children and each child had two.  You wouldn’t recognize the name, so I won’t mention it but he really was a ruler of the area which became England.

I’ve had my dna tested and it shows 65% of my dna was from the British Isles, so I really am English and Irish. That’s proof, isn’t it? I am Eunice and Roscoe’s darling daughter and their dna flows through my veins. In addition to what I inherited in my dna, the physical possessions that belonged to my parents became mine and my siblings when they both passed away.

I am also a child of the Creator, the Lord God Almighty. I am His child and He is my Father.  I’m His favorite, but He has millions of favorites.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:16-17. NKJV.

I’m a descendant of God, His darling daughter, and His spiritual dna flows in my spirit.

 Aethelwulf Birth King Of Wessex 839-861, Kent 839-858

photo from west facade Lichfield Cathedral in London

 

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Loving to Read

Mother let me walk by myself to the library one summer when I was about 9 to get a library card and check out my first book. The librarian Mrs. Moss suggested a book for me. Three days later I was back to get another book. Then a few days after that, I was back. Mrs. Moss told me then that I could take more than one if I would be very careful and bring them back on time.

I started taking home two books and then three.  The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, plus Black Beauty and all those books that were available for my age.

I have often wondered just how I developed a desire to read at such an early age. Our daddy was a voracious reader, but he worked out of town all the time. Mother didn’t seem to have time to read, but she always had newspapers and books at our house. My older sister had been a very good reader, the teachers told me, so they expected me to like to read too.

One thing I loved to read from the beginning was the little Bible story cards we received in Sunday School, with a picture on one side and a scripture verse and lesson on the other.

Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul…. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. Deut. 11:18-21.NKJV.

God used these little scripture cards to develop the desire to read in my heart, so that I could learn His word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Framing Your World

Have you ever watched concrete being laid? They build a wooden frame around the area they are going to pour into, building it up to the depth they want and the shape they intend for it to become. Then they pour the cement and smooth off the top, working the bubbles out and let it set up.
 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” the Bible says in Hebrew 11:3.
This is how God made the world, framing it up with his word through faith. We are living life today exactly as we have framed it with our words. You are today what you have made yourself to become by the words of your mouth.

Don’t blame your parents or society or religion. Of course, bad things happen even to good people, but the outcome of your life depends on what you say. After all, your ultimate eternal salvation depends simply on your believing in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and confessing with your mouth that He is Lord.
Maybe you don’t like what your world has become. Maybe you are ready for a change. How can you change it? Reframe it.
Start building your frame. Speak the Word of God.
If you have wayward children or a spouse that isn’t serving God, for instance, here is a good scripture to frame with. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Josh 24:15. Another good verse is Acts 16:31 which
says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
If your body is sick and you need healing, frame your healing with these words: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matt 8:17.
Here is another good one. I Pet 2:31 “By whose stripes ye were healed.”

We frame our world just like God does, with our words.
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The Prodigal



Luke 15 tells the story of a prodigal son who squandered all his inheritance and ended up slopping hogs in a foreign country, with nothing to eat but corn husks.

But the Bible says he came to himself. He came to his senses and suddenly realized what was going on. He thought to himself, “The servants of my father’s house are better off than I am. At least, they have food to eat.”

He prepared his speech. “I’ll tell my father, ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; just make me one of your hired servants.’ ”  Half-naked, barefoot, starving, smelling like hog slop, the son turned in the direction of home.

The father’s heart yearned for the son’s return. Every day the father watched the road, expecting his son to return. Watching. Waiting.
Even while he was yet far off, the father saw him, ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him fervently, all over his unshaven, dirty, smelly face. The son started his speech, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son….” But the father stopped him right there.

It didn’t matter if he was worthy or not, he would always be the father’s son. The father told the servants to bring the best robe, a ring, and sandals. Prepare a feast with that calf they had been saving for a special occasion. This was a celebration! The son had come home.

Do you know a prodigal son or daughter? Pray that he will come to himself, come to his senses. Ask the Lord to open his eyes.

Paul prayed a prayer for the Ephesian church, in Eph. 1:17, that “the eyes of their understanding may be enlightened,” that their spiritual eyes will be opened to the truth.

When you pray this prayer for your prodigal, you better start getting the calf fattened up, the musical instruments in tune, the balloons inflated, the confetti prepared. Get the “Welcome Home” banners strung across the front of the house and the yellow ribbons tied to the trees. Call all your friends and prepare the banquet room.

The prodigal will come home.
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The Day After Jesus’ Birth

Mary woke up early the morning after Jesus was born with the glow of His birth lingering around her. The memory of the shepherds’ stories of angels singing in the night sky brought back memories of the angel who stood before her and told her she would conceive and give birth to a son who would be the Son of the Highest. “And you shall call His name Jesus.” Luke 1:31 NKJV.
She pondered in her heart that early morning the words the angel had spoken to her and remembered how she had replied. “Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38.
And now in the light of day, looking down at the newborn Baby who had come into the world just as the angel had said he would, she had no trouble believing that the Baby was the Son of God. She knew she was a virgin when she conceived the Baby Jesus. She knew and God knew. She still didn’t know how it had taken place. She only knew that God had done what He said He was going to do. He had fulfilled His promise to her through the words of the angel that day.
She must have wondered just what was expected of her now that the Baby was born. Maybe she expected the angel to return and give her more instructions, but when he didn’t, each day she did what every other new mother did. She fed her Baby, dressed Him, and taught Him day by day. And when He was old enough, His step-father Joseph began teaching Him and taking Him to the synagogue. And she pondered in her heart the ability of Joseph to raise a son who wasn’t his as if He were his very own.
“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:40
All because one woman Mary in faith said “Yes” to God.
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O Come Let Us Adore Him

 

Our family tradition revolved around the music of the Christmas. We sang it at church, at school in the special Christmas program, and all around the house.

I took piano lessons so I learned to play all the Christmas carols. I was in chorus in school so I learned to sing all the Christmas carols, at least the alto part. Of course, to learn the alto you have to hear and learn the melody of the song.

The songs made up of sounds and words are the songs of the birth of Christ. They were written by men, empowered by the Holy Spirit, for people to sing.

We sing, “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright, ….Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.”  What a proclamation of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

We sing, Gloria in excelsis Deo,” meaning Glory to God in the highest, and we are, in fact, giving God the highest praise.

We sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King,” and we are joining with the angels who sang to the shepherds on the hillside that night.

“O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Let me translate that into Okie English from Old English.

O come, all ye faithful. That means “Everyone who is full of faith in Christ Jesus, you come to Bethlehem. Come and see Him, the one who was born as the King of angels.”

O come, let us adore Him, let us love Him, let us sing give the glory and honor and praise to Christ the Lord, Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords, the majestic God of all creation.

O come, let us adore Him, let us praise Him, let us magnify His Holy Name, Jesus Christ the Lord.

 

 

 

 

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Word Pictures

 

The last time Mama took a picture was using my iPhone camera to take a picture of me after I had taken a picture of her. Mom’s uncle gave her a box camera when she was 13 years old and she still had all of those pictures when she died.

When she was about 85 years old, she quit taking pictures. In fact, even before then, she often told us girls to take the pictures for her. I bought her at least two cameras that she gave back to me. Both were point-and-click 35mm film cameras that took great pictures, but she just “passed the torch” on to us.

I’ve been looking through lots of old pictures the last few months. I have most of her pictures, and every time I come home from her house, I bring more pictures. My dining table is full of shoe boxes and plastic bags full of photos.

Mom had one pet peeve. If she turned a photo over, she expected the names to be written on the back. And now I am so glad she did that, especially if the photo is someone I don’t know.

I have often wondered why our family is so attached to photos, but I’ve decided it’s because photos are memory joggers.

The authors of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—drew word pictures of the events in Jesus’ life. They were able to show us, in words, the way Jesus lived His life, from birth till death, involving the plan God laid out for our salvation. Even those Old Testament writers used word pictures to reveal God’s plans to us.

God knew that we would grow forgetful about the things in our life that were vitally important for us, so He made sure that those things were revealed to us in His word, and then He told us how to remember, since we couldn’t take a photograph of them.

“Always remember what is written in that book of law. Speak about that book and study it day and night. Then you can be sure to obey what is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything you do.” Joshua 1:8 ERV.

 

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The Best Thing

What do you believe is the best thing that can happen to you this year? Winning the lottery? Falling in love with Mr. Right?  Graduating? Moving into that special Dream House? Having a baby? Lose Weight? Get out of debt? “If I could just have _____, I would be happy.”
We all have hopes and dreams, longings to be fulfilled which we hope will bring happiness. We believe that if this or that happens, we can finally be happy. The word ‘happiness’ and the word ‘happening’ both come from the same root word. These words indicate that circumstances determine how we feel. We expect to find happiness based on our circumstances.
However, God steps into the midst of what is happening when we pray “Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. And that changes everything.
This is one of the most powerful prayers, because you are handing the whole thing over to God. When you pray this way, you are telling God, “I trust you to give me the very best thing for me, the thing that maybe I wouldn’t pick out for myself. I trust you, Father, to know more about me and this situation than I do, so I will leave it all up to you. Lord, let it be unto me according to your will, your word.”
I choose to be happy, right here, right now, this very moment. Happiness is a choice. In spite of the circumstances, I can love my spouse. In spite of troubles, I can have joy. In the midst of war, I can have peace.
This is the best thing that could ever happen to me, not just this year, but the next, and the one after that, and the one after that, until the day I die.
I choose God’s will and then I choose to be happy.
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