Loss of a Very Dear Friend


Although these scriptures are not specifically addressing death, sorrow, crying or pain concerning our pets, knowing God, they very well could include them. This is Van Gogh. She has been my dearest little friend for nearly 19 years–with me through thick and thin since she was a barely-weaned, orphaned feral kitten in Key Largo, FL. She passed yesterday. My heart is really heavy with sorrow over her passing, but I can’t help but see her curled up and purring in God’s lap, waiting until we see each other again. (photo of Van Gogh by Charlie Carroll)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes!

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes–and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever!” Revelation 21:4

This is but a glimpse of the glorious state upon which all the people of God will hereafter enter! There will not only be the absence of all evil–there will be the eternal enjoyment of all good. There will be perpetual vigor, perfect purity, happy service, joyous praise, eternal friendship, holy communion, and unmingled and everlasting bliss!

Suffering Christian, a few more pangs–and your last moment of anguish will be past!

Bereaved one, in Heaven you will never wear the garments of sadness–you will never lose a friend!

Sorrowing one, you will soon heave your last sigh, and have all tears wiped from your eyes!

Weary one, your journey is almost ended. Soon you will cross the threshold of your Father’s house, find yourself at home, and enter upon the enjoyment of your everlasting rest!

“A few more storms shall beat
On this wild rocky shore,
Then we shall be where tempests cease,
And surges swell no more.

“A few more struggles here,
A few more partings o’er,
A few more toils, a few more tears,
And we shall weep no more!”

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I want those You have given Me to be with Me!

flock of plovers on rocks

This is beautiful. I am sorry I haven’t been posting the past few weeks. I brought my mother out of assisted care and back up here to live in Gloucester with me. We are in a lovely home that God has provided and she has settled in very nicely. God is so good, Our Lord is so precious, our sanctification is ongoing, and although challenging at times, something we should always be grateful for, as we move closer day by day to beholding Him face to face. 

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory!” John 17:24

Precious Savior, how does Your love to Your own redeemed people appear in these words! Nothing will satisfy You short of the eternal possession of those whom the Father has given to You, whom You have redeemed with Your own most precious blood, and sanctified by Your Spirit. It is Your will that they should be with You. You would have them in Your presence and in Your home–that they may behold You face to face, and share Your glory and Your joy!

And the love of Your redeemed people answers to Your love to them–their chief desire is be with You where You are. The visits of Your love to them here on earth, are their seasons of highest enjoyment–but they are transient, and they see You only as in a glass darkly. They desire to be with You far away from this world of pollution and sin–with You in the place which You have prepared for them! They desire . . .
to forever abide with You,
to forever dwell where You dwell,
to forever behold Your glory, and
to enjoy continual manifestations of Your love–and so forever be with their precious Savior.

from www.gracegems.org

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Be of Good Cheer

white beach rose


In this World today there are times when we may feel overwhelmed by what is going on all around us.  After all with wars and terrorist’s threats, and even children killing other children, it can make one wonder what is happening to this World today.

If all of these events cause you to feel overwhelmed, and the tribulation of this World is weighing heavily on your mind, remember that God is in control and that these events are unfolding as prophesied. Also remember that our Savior Jesus Christ said, “LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED; FOR YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.”  (JOHN 14:1)  For when we put all of our trust in Jesus’ hands, we will find peace for; HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE.   EPHESIANS 2:14)


After all it is then that; THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. (PHILIPPIANS 4:7) and you will know true peace as you have never known it before.  Amen,


From http://www.godsminute.org

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God’s Testing Room

cypress grove

His testing room of suffering!

(John MacDuff)

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction!” Isaiah 48:10

I stood once in the test room of a great steel mill. All around me were little partitions and compartments. Steel had been tested to the limit, and marked with figures that showed its breaking point. Some pieces had been twisted until they broke, and the strength of torsion was marked on them. Some had been stretched to the breaking point, and their tensile strength indicated. Some had been compressed to the crushing point, and also marked. The master of the steel mill knew just what these pieces of steel would stand under strain. He knew just what they would bear if placed in a great ship, or building, or bridge. He knew this, because his testing room revealed it.

It is often so with God’s children. God does not want us to be like fragile vases of glass or porcelain. He would have us like these toughened pieces of steel–able to bear twisting and stretching and crushing to the uttermost, without collapse.

He wants us to be, not hot-house plants–but storm-beaten oaks. He wants us to be, not sand dunes driven with every gust of wind–but granite rocks withstanding the fiercest storms! To make us such, He needs to bring us into His testing room of suffering.

Many of us need no other argument than our own experiences to prove that suffering is indeed God’s testing room of faith. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds—because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3

“When He has tested me—I will come forth as gold!” Job 23:10

from www.gracegems.org

This is such an important lesson for us to learn and be completely at peace with. The more we find we are being tested, the more we should give thanks, because in the process, we are being transformed into the image of Christ. We are not intended to be fragile hot-house flowers, but like palm trees and the cedars of Lebanon, standing straight, unwavering and tall—reaching up to Him in the midst of any storm. No tree withstands a hurricane like a palm tree, and the cedars of Lebanon, which symbolize strength and magnificence, are extremely durable and were used to built ships, the Temple and King Solomon’s palace. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Psalm 92:12

The image is of a cypress grove, another very durable tree that can withstand floods—the wood which God directed Noah to use to build the arc. “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.” Genesis 6:14.

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Pray Earnestly

anhinga at sunrise silhouette5x7

He prayed earnestly!

(Frederick Marsh)

“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly . . . ” James 5:17

The thing which made Elijah pray as he did, was the man that he was. When our Great High Priest comes with the lighted torch of His grace, and ignites the wood of our being into a holy flame–then the sweet-smelling fragrance of our requests ascend acceptably to God, and bring down the benediction of His love.

The art of prayer, is a sense of desperate need! There must be a sense of need, and an earnest desire to have that need met.
“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.”

Prayer is a sin-killer. No one can sin and pray; for prayer will either make us cease from sin–or sin will make us cease from prayer.

Prayer is a power-bringer. It is the hand which touches the hem of the garment of Divine grace, and causes the life which is in the Divine One to flow into us.

Prayer is a victory-giver. Bunyan’s Christian found that the weapon of “all-prayer” was sufficient to wound and defeat the adversary who would stop him in his progress as a pilgrim.

Prayer is a holiness-promoter. It is like the gentle dew which falls upon the thirsty plants and causes them to be refreshed and to fructify.

Prayer is a dispute-adjuster. Let any two brethren who are at loggerheads get on their knees, and ask the Lord about any disputed matter–and they will find the Lord saying to their troubled spirits, “Peace, be still.”

Prayer is an obstacle-remover, as Peter found when an angel came in answer to the prayers of the saints, and delivered him from the prison of Herod’s hate.

Prayer is a Christ-revealer, for it clarifies our vision, and enables us to see unseen spiritual realities.

Prayer is the secret of a holy life! We cannot do without prayer. The spiritual life is born in prayer–and it flourishes, and is strong, as it lives in that same atmosphere!

It is not the arithmetic of our prayers–how many they are;
nor the rhetoric of our prayers–how eloquent they are;
nor the geometry of our prayers–how long they are;
nor the music of our prayers–how sweet our voice may be;
nor the logic of our prayers–how proper they may be;
nor the method of our prayers–how orderly they may be;
nor even the theology of our prayers–how good the doctrine may be,
which God cares for. It is only fervency in prayer, which will make a man prevalent with God. Fervent prayer hits the mark, and pierces the walls of Heaven! “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” James 5:16

from www.gracegems.org

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Wings of Faith

swan bathing


We all have crosses to bear in this life.  Perhaps your cross  may seen like a heavy one, however if you look around you will  find others carrying a much larger one. Therefore when your “Cross” seems to heavy remember  that God is there helping you carry it.  After all God has said:


So put your faith in God, and remember that Jesus said,

Then let the wings of faith uphold you.

May the wings of faith uphold you
When your cross is hard to bear,
As temptations surround you,
And no one seems to care.
May the wings of faith surround you
And shield you from the pain
When sorrows overcome you
And teardrops fall like rain.
May you know that God is with you
In times of deep despair.
May the spirit, who’s within you,
Confirm that He is there!
May the valley of the shadow
Provide angels unaware…
May the wings of faith uphold you
When your cross is hard to bear.

Poet, Clay Harrison


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Stop Believing in God (For my Atheist and Agnostic Friends)

Stop Believing in God

Atheist (A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods, or one who believes that God does not exist.)

Agnostic (A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.)

This recent book was written, I thought, to primarily speak to people who identify themselves as Christians, but live their lives believing in rather than knowing God. After reading these quotes by a well-known agnostic and atheist, I think it was written for them as well. These are dictionary definitions–I have had a hard time getting atheists I know to give a personal definition of what they believe or do not believe, and why. American Atheists (www.atheists.org) state that “atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.” Using their definition, I guess I could call myself an atheist, since I also lack belief in gods, and goddesses too; however I do personally know the one true and living God.

Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences, and presenter of popular PBS show “Cosmos”. He did not identify himself as an atheist or an agnostic, but based on his stated beliefs, he was more agnostic than atheist. These are some quotes by Sagan.

An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no God.” Sagan obviously never read the American Atheists’ definition of atheism, which says nothing about knowing anything, only about lacking belief in. We know from this quote that Sagan did not consider himself an atheist, and did not even know the correct definition of one. Had he known, maybe he would have become a member. For $35 you can become a member and attend conventions, Atheist Pride marches at state capitals, and other atheist focused events.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” So true—and that incredible something waiting to be known is God. Unfortunately, Sagan spent his life believing in sciences, but never came to know God—although from these quotes, he knew at his soul level, but refused to acknowledge at his limited scientific mind level.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” No scientist could ever create the universe, or even create an apple from scratch. No thing can be created except as a re-creation, reconstruction or re-purposing of something that has already been created. No man ever has or ever will be able to create something from nothing. That ability belongs exclusively to the Creator of all.

“You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.” This quote by Sagan is such a wonderful confirmation of the truth contained in this book. From the time we are children, our own parents, teachers, and others we look to for truth about life, intentionally and unintentionally lead us astray by presenting us with all sorts of false and deceptive things to believe in. Beliefs are fickle, changeable things. Throughout our lifetimes, our beliefs are constantly being challenged and often proven to be untrue—that goes for our beliefs in the sciences, religion, politics, history, country, government, friends, spouses, parents, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, tooth fairies and pixie dust, to name just a few. As one belief is disproved, people who do not know God look for the next thing they can believe in, that can give their life meaning and purpose, if only for a little while.

The following quotes are by Stephen Hawking: the first from a 2007 interview with BBC News; the second and third are from his book The Theory of Everything.

I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.” I find this quote by Hawking, an avowed atheist, to be wonderful on two levels. First, he speaks from the level of what he believes (that “deep-seated need to believe” that Sagan spoke of), not what he knows. Second, he acknowledges God, who he says he lacks belief in (assuming he abides by American Atheist’s definition). How can someone who lacks belief in the existence of God say that the laws of science may have been decreed by Him, but that God does not intervene to break His own laws? In his book The Grand Design, Mr. Hawking says: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” I wonder where Mr. Hawking thinks the law of gravity came from, and is that not one of the laws of science decreed by God that he spoke of in his BBC interview? It is sad that a mere man who is deemed to be smart by the insignificant standards of worldly knowledge of men, can lead others to believe even the most damning theories. Just because they believe him to be smarter, they will follow him to eternal damnation. But then look at what Hitler, a psychopathic narcissist, was able to encourage people to do and believe, as well as Osama bin Laden, Joseph Stalin and many others throughout human history.

A scientific theory is just a mathematical model we make to describe our observations. It exists only in our minds. So it does not have any meaning to ask: Which is real, ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’ time? It is simply a matter of which is a more useful description.” A theory is “a supposition (an uncertain belief) or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.” There is no absolute knowing with science—it is nothing more than an uncertain belief, which is changeable with the introduction of new observations that contradict and disprove previously held theories. As for time, it is a construct that only applies or has significance to us on this little blip in the physical realm. In eternity, time has no purpose.

If the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would be neither created nor destroyed. It would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?” I particularly love this Hawking quote, as it so beautifully describes God, who has no beginning or end. Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” God, of course, is so much greater than the universe as we know it or could ever know it, and is impossible for man to quantify—which must bug the living daylights out of Mr. Hawking.

I was thinking about the many people I know and love who call themselves atheists. Not all, but most grew up in homes where the religion of Catholicism was practiced—some even went to parochial schools. Knowing this about them makes it easier to understand how they can self-identify as atheists—they never got to know God personally—they were not encouraged to read and study God’s Word, they were never taught to follow the Way God clearly lays out in His manual for us to know Him and be in relationship with Him, through Jesus and Jesus alone. They were being told by mere imperfect men that they could only reach God by going through them and practicing legalism. It is no wonder they ran from religion; but in the process, they ran from God, and from their salvation. Once someone comes to know God, there is no unknowing Him. We can, however stop believing in all sorts of things, especially those things we are taught to believe which are follies, or downright manipulative deceptions intended to control and lead us astray. Many churches, not just the Catholic Church, have led multitudes astray with their non-biblical “religious”, pagan teachings, legalism, traditions and practices. That is why God repeats over and over again throughout His Word, “Know Me”—He is God, His existence is in no way predicated on our believing in Him. His desire is that we know Him, personally and intimately. He calls us to know Him, and the only way we can know Him and walk in relationship with Him, is to know Jesus, who He sent so that we might know and be reconciled with Him. He cannot be known intellectually; He cannot be proved or disproved by science, argument or debate. He can only be known Spirit to spirit, at the level of our true and eternal essence, that part of us that was created in His image. John 4:23-24 “But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

There is one thing we must all agree on, and that is that all of us will die—some sooner, some later, but we will all die (except those followers of Jesus who are alive at the time of His return). Whether you believe in Him or not, everyone will stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account for their lives and the choice they made concerning Him. Those who chose to be in relationship with Him in this life through Jesus Christ will be with Him for eternity, made pure and redeemed by our acceptance of His sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. Those who chose not to be in relationship with Him in life have chosen not to be in relationship with Him for eternity, and will be cast into outer darkness “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. We have been given free will to choose where we want to spend eternity. Hebrews 9:27-28 “And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly awaiting him.” Be eagerly awaiting Him—you could die at any moment, and he could return at any moment. Psalm 103:14-16 “For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer.”

Stop Believing in God

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God’s Glory

Gods glorious morning at niles pond

John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Revelation 19:1 “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;”
Habakkuk 3:4 “His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.”
Psalm 104:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,”
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 13:31-32 “Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.'”
John 17:5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
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The Master

Gods glorious morning

What artist could ever even begin to claim such mastery over light, color, shape, form, beauty and dramatic magnificence—ever changing, never to be seen again the same way, and there for the enjoyment of whoever takes the time to look and see. Our God is awesome.

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Our Light

sunrise walker at good harbor

Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LordHear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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