Melania

My heart hurts today for a very lovely lady, the First Lady of the United States.I was not on the “Trump Train” in the beginning of the primaries, but before long, I recognized that God’s hand was on a Trump presidency. He was moved forward through a very difficult process to final victory. It had to have been an act of God. But this post is not about President Trump. It is concerning his wife who has been faithfully supporting him all along the way.

I know nothing, really, about Melania’s past. I do know that she is a legal immigrant who speaks five languages, that she is devoted to her husband and her son, and she loves the United States of America. I also know that she is a woman, and she is human, and I can imagine how devastated she must be under the weight of the horrible things that have been said about her this past week. She has been called ugly names, mocked for her (very charming) accent, and criticized for saying the Lord’s Prayer at the Rally in Melbourne, FL yesterday. She was mocked for reading the prayer instead of saying it from memory. How miserably critical and malicious does one have to be to do this to her? One poisonous tweet actually said she couldn’t possibly be a Christian if she couldn’t say the prayer from memory. Seriously? I would address these detractors and ask: “How many languages do you speak?” “Could you stand in front of thousands of people and speak without notes?” “Have you been given the authority to say who is a Christian and who is not?”

My respect for Melania Trump soared after seeing her step forward after being thus maligned, and with grace and humility, lead with, “Let us pray…” I was so proud of her! She continued:

“Our Father in heaven,  Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever (and ever). Amen.”

She said this with sincerity and feeling. The crowd joined in with her, and it was truly a holy moment.

I would like to speak a warning to those who feel it is their duty to tear down another. The scripture that includes this prayer (Matthew 6) doesn’t stop with “Amen”. Jesus felt it necessary to explain one part of this prayer. Do you know what the next verse says?

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

I never pray this prayer anymore without thinking about this passage. If I DO NOT FORGIVE, I will not be forgiven. The way I forgive is the way I AM ASKING GOD TO FORGIVE ME! Is the way I forgive the gold standard I want God to use towards me? Lord, have mercy on us all!

Melania Trump is a beautiful, gracious, classy lady. I’m sure she is not without sin, as none of us are. I admire our First Lady greatly and I pray for her. I pray that the weight of her new position and the ugliness of the attacks against her will not crush her. May these experiences, good and bad, serve to drive her further into the loving and accepting arms of Jesus. I believe she will serve us well in the White House.

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Why I love North Carolina Snow Storms

snow-day-2017I grew up in Maine. I know snow, and I remember what a snowstorm is supposed to look like. We had a long driveway that my father had to plow, sitting high up on his open-to-the-weather tractor. I remember him trudging into the kitchen, kicking off his snow-covered boots and removing his frozen-stiff coat. His eyebrows were frozen with little icicles hanging from them (yes, REALLY!) On one such day, I waited breathlessly listening to the radio, hoping to hear a snow day announcement for my school. Of course, I continued to get ready because the chances of a day off were very small. (I might add here that I lived 10 miles from town on a single lane dirt country road. Oh, and it was in the 1950s…) As I continued listening, I looked out the front window down the road. It was a virtual white-out that day. Around the bend, from that ethereal cloud of white, came the snowplow. Right behind the plow was the unmistakable bright yellow school bus punctuating the landscape. There would be school this day. In Maine, it snows, but life must go on. It was a way of life.
I now live in North Carolina after living in Florida for 30 years. I really missed the four distinct seasons of the north, so looked forward to experiencing them again, but in a milder form. We do have an occasional snow storm where I live in the Piedmont area of this beautiful state. Yes, people really do buy up all the bread and milk in the grocery stores and clean out the shelves of batteries. I know northerners make fun of this, and we laugh too. But it is sort of a tradition here, and grilled cheese sandwiches really taste better when you look out the window at a snowy landscape. We have the obligatory news report about the trucks going out to prepare the main roads (salt brining them) to help keep them dry. We see pictures of the salt barns, and are reassured that everything is under control, while being warned against going out on the roads. We split the firewood, check the propane tanks, and hope that the electricity won’t go out, praying that we will be blessed with getting the brunt of the storm! We WANT the snow! It is NOT a hardship to us here in North Carolina (I realize that I do not speak for all…) and we look forward to it with great anticipation. You see, here in the South, snow means time stops. It is an enforced Sabbath for a large percentage of the population. My heart goes out to health care workers and others who must get to their jobs, but there will be no school, and any business that can close, will. All is quiet and no one goes anywhere. Cocooned in our homes, we putter around, bake, read a good book, or enjoy family time without guilt. Kids pull out their sleds for possibly the only time this year. And, yes, you can make a snowman in a couple inches of snow.
Why, you ask, doesn’t life continue here just like up north? Are all southerners wimps? Well, no, that is not the issue. We only have snow a couple of times a winter. Our low yesterday was at close to 0 degrees. On Friday it will be 70. We will have been snow-bound for 4 days. Then it melts. Life resumes as usual. The purchase of all the necessary snow removing equipment is not economically sound here, and no one has snow tires. Also, when we get snow, it is usually preceeded with ice. “Just stay home” is the wisdom of the day. And the problem is??…
So next time you hear about snow in the south, just picture all of us getting ready for the sweet gift of snow days and remember: we like it like that.

Rules For Success

In the process of discussing the workplace with my daughter, the observation was made that many young adults seem to have no idea what it means to do a job well. Why is this? Do we not have enough self-improvement books out there? Do people not care?.. or do they simply not know how to work? Did their parents not teach them?

Whatever the reason, there is an apparent void in this area of education. Therefore, here are some simple rules for success in any field. These rules are best learned as children, but can be learned later in life. Before we go to the rules, one overall absolute must be followed: SHOW UP! – – ON TIME! The one who always does this will be ahead of the pack.

Rules for Success LEVEL 1:

  • Do WHAT you are told. (No argument)
  • Do it WHEN you are told. (Not later)
  • Do it HOW you are told. (Don’t have a better idea)
  • Do your BEST. (Not just enough to get by)
  • Do it CHEERFULLY. (Without complaint)

Rules for Success LEVEL 2:

  • Do what needs to be done (without being told).
  • Do it promptly (without being told).
  • Do it right (without being told).
  • Do more than is expected of you.
  • Keep that smile.

Rules for Success LEVEL 3:

  • Accept responsibility for actions.
  • Admit when you’re wrong.
  • Be teachable and correctable.
  • Let your work be worship (do it to the glory of God), and always take a day of Sabbath rest. I said, “Let your work be worship,” not, “Worship your work.”

Now is that so hard? God will bless this kind of steady effort – no “luck” involved here. This is no easier for one than it is for another. When you get to levels 2 and 3, new doors open up to better jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities.

These rules for success are as old as the earth itself.  Parents have been teaching these simple tenets for generations. It is so sad that today’s designer children have such a push-button mentality. They are set up for failure and an entitled mentality.  Let’s take this simple wisdom off the shelf, dust it off, and give our kids this very excellent, ageless gift that will bless their lives.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Mat 20:28

Lesson Learned – I HOPE!

Publication1Have you ever noticed that things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would? Last Saturday I went to Charlotte to attend an informational summit (a different story), and had a great time right up until I stepped out in space and fell two steps, breaking my left upper arm. Now, for those who do not know, I am left-handed. In one careless misstep I became pretty badly impaired (at least for the time being.)

Some lovely new friends helped me to the first care, and as I proceeded to fill out papers with my right hand my new friend said, “Oh, you’re an independent one…”

That comment started me thinking, though. I am independent.  I grew up with the idea that if I can do it myself, I should, and I should not expect another to do it for me. I still think this is generally a good rule, but we all need to be willing to ask for help when we need it. We also need to admit that we can’t do everything.

Two weeks ago I painted the living room – by myself. Why? Because I insisted on it. I did not want to interfere with anyone else’s schedule. My husband tried to help in various ways, wherever I let him, but I knew he had a lot of things to do, so I didn’t let him do much. It took me all week, doing one wall a day. This 69 year old body ain’t what it used to be! My husband has been trying to gently correct this independent stubbornness in me for years, but he has been patient… and I have maintained my stance…

I do believe this issue becomes more obvious and pronounced as we age. It’s hard to accept that we may have limitations we did not have before. I am still in good health, (praise the Lord!) so my arm will heal and I will eventually be back in business. Hopefully, though, I will be more willing to humbly ask when I need someone to give a hand. At least I’ll have plenty of practice in the next few weeks!

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NLT    (OUCH!!)

Jesus is Coming Back – Yes, REALLY!

One of my earliest memories takes me back to the small dairy farm where I grew up. I was probably about four or five at the time. It was a sunny warm summer day, and I was trying to keep up with the long strides of my father as he went to the pasture to bring back the cows for evening milking. At that time in my life I followed him everywhere and pummeled him with questions constantly. He was pretty patient with me, but, as I remember it, he did frequently say, “Doreen, why don’t you go in the house and help your mother?” I would whine, “But I want to help YOU!”

This time, however, he did not try to shake me off. I was skipping about happily looking to the soft blue afternoon sky and asking, “When is Jesus coming back? What is it going to be like? I can’t wait! Is He coming soon?” These conversations were never rejected. He would talk to me about Jesus any time I wanted. He never turned me away. This was a precious time of a child’s desire to know Jesus, and a longsuffering daddy’s love. My Dad would smile and say, “I don’t know when, but I know it will be soon.” And he would describe to me what the Bible said about that wonderful day when loved ones would be raised from the dead and we would all go to meet Him together in the air. Doctrine was simple then. Just the facts: He is coming soon because He said He would.

Throughout my life, this theme has not been far from my core. I was brought up in a church that preached the Second Coming faithfully. My husband and I have ministered the truth of this Blessed Hope over the years. Now, about 65 years since that frolic in the grassy fields of Maine, we are proclaiming the truth of that promise now more than ever. My father didn’t live to see the occasion like he thought he would, but he will surely be there!  We are currently in a world of turmoil, wars, uprisings, riots, political intrigue, deception, and evil beyond comprehension. Sound familiar? Read Matthew 24. We are closer than ever. We need to be watching….

But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. Revelation 2:4 and 5 NLT

I remember one morning when I was a teen sitting at the breakfast table. My Mom was telling us about a dream she had the night before. She dreamed that the sky rolled back like a scroll and Jesus appeared. She saw me running around, quite beside myself, as that five year old child, wearing a red plaid dress she had made me….

I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 NLT

This convicts me. I can be so distracted by the cares and “shiny” things of this world. We all become “grown-ups”.

One of the beauties of getting older is remembering the value in the simple things. This, I believe, is the “wisdom of age”: becoming childlike in faith and love for our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus….

Happyendtimer

When thinking about a name for this blog, I immediately knew what I wanted to use. It’s a favorite story  of mine and I love telling it.

While on a ministry trip with my husband in New England, we had the opportunity to take a side trip to attend a Tea Party convention. It was just before the 2012 election, and I’m sure you remember how tense things were getting (sort of like right now….).  A local journalist/blogger asked to interview me. Now, I am your non-threatening mid-sixties grandmother type at the time, so I didn’t think anything of it. I answered his questions, saying that I was conservative and I agreed with the speaker on the issues. I told him that we were travelling to churches speaking about the near return of Jesus. We finished our little interview, and I enjoyed the day.

Later, when I was tagged on his website, I was amazed at the hate-filled comments on my interview!  They REALLY don’t like us out there! One comment I remember went something like, “It’s that Doreen that scares me! But she’s a happy end-timer….” She was right about that: I AM a happy end-timer. I am looking forward to Jesus coming back to rule and reign on this earth.

I never, before or since, had such notoriety. I usually don’t like the spotlight, but this time was kind of fun.

After all, Jesus promised that we will be persecuted for His Name’s sake. We have also asked people over the years, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Apparently I was convicted that day.

Defining the purpose for this blog is a bit difficult for me. It is not a devotional blog, but I’m sure there will be devotional posts now and then. It is not political, but I’m sure I will not keep my mouth shut regarding politics. There will be posts about my family, but this is not a mommy blog (maybe a grammy blog?) You may see some recipes, chickens, garden stories (probably failures…) and Bible references. I have always been a “Jill of all trades” so whatever I am into at the moment will probably show up. Please join me in my lane.