Preview of “Satan’s Worst Nightmare”

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.      Psalm 118:24

I am in the final stages of my latest book, Satan’s Worst Nightmare. I am awaiting the final cover design, some endorsements, and contributions for the final chapter where there will be other people’s perspectives and memories of the production that presented the gospel to our community every Halloween Night for fifteen years.

I’d like to share with you a portion of one of the early chapters, when the inspiration first hit. The rest of the book is about the outreach, its evolution (pardon the expression), the trials and tribulations, answered prayers, lessons learned, and the faithfulness of God as He took a handful of “nobodies” and used them for His glory.

                                                     Not-so-hallowed Eve

As a Christian I have almost always been uncomfortable with Halloween. As far back as my early college days (as a normal college student, not the “will-this-ever-end?” years of working at staying certified) I was hearing about the evils of celebrating this unholy day. Some were saying it was rooted in Wicca, others pointed out that for Satanists it was one of their highest (un)holy days, and why would any God-fearing Christian want to take part in pagan rituals associated with witches, corpses, and evil spirits?

Some pointed out that it was actually “All-Hallows Eve,” the day before All Saints Day, but I failed to see the connection between the saints of God and skeletons and zombies demanding treats from their neighbors and vandalizing the property of those who didn’t comply.

Various churches had celebrations, benignly labeled “harvest parties,” and advised the parents that their children should be dressed in “nice” costumes. But invariably there would be at least one visitor dressed in something “icky,” and the adults would be left with the dilemma, whether to compromise and allow the evil influence, or kick the visitor out and leave the impression that Christians are not a very friendly bunch.

One Halloween alternative was proposed by a speaker at a women’s conference. She told us that to make sure their children had fun and didn’t regret missing the parties too much, her family started their Christmas shopping on October 31. I thought how hard it was for my children to wait for Christmas, even starting around Thanksgiving. A two-month wait would be agonizingly impractical for our family.

When Ben and Joanna were little, I did conform a little to the traditions, keeping the costumes benign and taking the tykes only to the homes of friends. The first year Joanna was aware of the costume idea, she insisted on being a refrigerator, and we had a good time covering a cardboard box with shiny white contact paper and decorating the front of it with pictures of food from magazines. I then added a cardboard “door” that opened and closed `over the collage, which we appropriately adorned with children’s drawings and report cards, stuck on with “magnets.” What I hadn’t factored into the planning was the difficulty of getting the small refrigerator into and out of the car as I drove her around town to my friends’ homes, a task made more difficult by the fact that I was at the time eight months’ pregnant with Ben.

In the ensuing years Joanna and Ben always came up with some creative ideas, such as an ear of corn, a crayon, and a turtle, for which we made use of Ben’s flying saucer before the snow began to fly.

Halloween then was a time of church “harvest parties,” cute costumes, and having Christian tracts on hand to give to anyone who came to our door on the big night. As we lived on a busy street with very few children, there were always ample treats leftover at the end of the evening, and I could breathe a sigh of relief as I turned out the lights and handed the bowl of sweets to the rest of the family, happy that I could avoid the questionable holiday and its accompanying guilt for another year.

                                                  The “AHA!” Moment

Years later, when Joanna and Ben were too old to trick-or-treat, and Kelly, our third child, was still a tiny tot, I was driving to the home of Kelly Tucker, my prayer partner, for a prayer walk, and something got on my last nerve…

As I made the trip from Port Huron to St. Clair, everywhere I looked there were symbols of death – tombstones, skeletons half buried in the ground, mummies, fake corpses hanging from trees, and of course the ever-present “Grim Reaper,” all draped in cobwebs, (My house has enough of those, thank you.) and creeping spiders, rats, and other vermin.

As Kelly opened the door, I blurted, “If Christians celebrated life half as much as the world celebrates death, we could really make an impact!”

I don’t think Kelly had any idea what I meant by “celebrating life” – I certainly didn’t. But she caught the fire in my eyes and the passion in my voice and declared,

Let’s do it! We can use my yard.”

Prayer: LORD, we know that You are the Creator, the Source of everything good. Thank You for giving us inspiration and letting us share the pleasure of creating. As we keep our eyes fixed on You, continue to fill us with the inspiration for fresh new ways to tell the world the greatest story ever told, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

Famous Last Words

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.'”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Luke 12:20

When my sister and I were having our yearly “sisterly adventure” out West in her RV, we encountered some beautiful sights, some of which in our overactive imaginations presented potentially life-threatening possibilities. During the hours of driving through these gorgeous, albeit hazardous places, we amused ourselves by compiling a list of

                                 LAST WORDS: 

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

“Watch this!”

“How hard could it be?”

“You did get the brakes fixed, didn’t you?”

“This isn’t loaded, is it?”

“Just one more step back …”

“Aw, how cute! Here kitty-kitty!”

“Does this fuse seem a little short to you?”

“Uh… I don’t think that light is the end of the tunnel.”

“Stop nagging! I’m not driving THAT fast!”

“It’s not that long a jump. I’ll make it.”

“This always worked before.”

“What semi?”

“I think I parked far enough off the road …”

“Moose aren’t aggressive, are they?”

“Don’t worry, that bear’s not interested in my sandwich.”

“The fence is to keep the animals in, not me out.”

“I think it’s sturdy enough.”

“The coast is clear – let’s go!”

“Are you sure this is a safe neighborhood?”

“This plant has a great safety record – 28 months without an accident!”

“Ha! I can beat that!”

“Those berries tasted great, but they have a funny aftertaste.”

“I know my way out. I’ve been exploring caves for years.”

“Wheeeee!!! I feel like a circus performer!”

“This ski slope is bigger than the pictures.”

“I’ve had it with this slowpoke, I’m passing!”

“Don’t worry, it’s more afraid of us than we are of it.”

“I’ll be right back. I just want to get a good shot of the canyon without this stupid railing in the way.”

“I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but what the heck…”

“OK, what idiot packed this parachuuuu…..   !?”

“You don’ suppose those orange cones mean I can’t go there, do you?”

“What does ‘Verboten’ mean?”

“What’s ‘non-potable’?”

“I think pirates made this drink – check out the label.”

                                    FAMOUS LAST WORDS:

“Not even God himself could sink this ship.”
— Employee of the White Star Line, at the launch of the Titanic, May 31, 1911

                                 NOT-SO-FUNNY LAST WORDS: 

“I know, I should get right with God, and I’m going to do it soon. Right now I’m so busy …”

“I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ ”                        Luke 12:18-19

 

Prayer: Lord, we are so easily distracted by the trivial, the immediate, the materialistic, and the shallow. Our minds are drawn away from the most important things – eternal things. We forget that we are not promised next year in this life – We’re not even promised tomorrow. Help us to draw close to You today, and to encourage one another today, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of us will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. [Hebrews 3:13] In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

“Undercover Bag Lady”

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”

                                                                                               Revelation 3:17

Kim had worked with the homeless for decades, but recently she took on a “project” that took her more deeply into their world.  Disguising herself as a “bag lady,” she created an alter-ego named “Jean.” For several months this author went out incognito into her city in North Carolina, visiting churches of various denominations, from Catholic to Baptist to Pentecostal, from main-line denominations to non-denominational churches. She documented her experiences and compiled her findings in her newly-released book, Undercover Bag Lady: An Expose of Christian Attitudes Toward the Homeless.

This was a quick-read, even for this notoriously slow reader, not only because it’s not a lengthy book (less than 100 pages), but also because I found it so hard to put down. There was a chapter for each church/denomination “Jean” visited, and I was always eager to find out what she was going to experience the next week. (I was especially interested to see how she was received by the  denomination I belong to.)

For the most part, the way she was treated was deeply disappointing, especially considering that this region is considered part of the “Bible Belt.” Kim very candidly shares her fears about stepping into a different church each week and the devastation she felt from the rejections she received from those who are supposed to the most loving people on the planet.

(This book is convicting.)

Kim also relates some delightful surprises, such as the occasional person who extended great grace amid others’ cold and judgmental stares. She tells of the offers of help and gifts from individuals who possessed the compassion we should all have. She even confesses prejudice on her own part the day she fully expected terrible treatment from one individual based on her appearance, only to be proven wrong by a startling display of generosity.

(This book is inspiring.)

There was irony in the timing of a number of church visits; often the sermon dealt with caring for the needy, “being the hands and feet of Jesus.” Afterwards the congregation would file out, avoiding eye contact with the most obvious “Exhibit A” right in their midst.  I found myself silently coaching the church people –  Come on, guys, let’s think about what the pastor said today. Were you listening? Look around, what do you see?? What should you do???? But more often than not I was disappointed. – >AAUGH!!!<

(This book is frustrating.)

I’ve been praying for years that we would see a great revival in America … and waiting… After reading about Kim’s experience as a “bag lady,” it’s painfully obvious that one of the main things hindering revival is the Church. (What’s wrong with this picture??)  I doubt any revival is going to materialize as long as the Church on the whole is oblivious, if not outright hostile towards the needy. When the compassionate ones are the exception rather than the rule, people are going to have a hard time recognizing Christ in us. And if they can’t see Him in us, where will they see Him?

Jesus spoke of the Day of Judgment, as He will be judging His flock:

“Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did  not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.  …Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.”                                                                                                                                                                    Matthew 25:41-43, 45

Sobering words. (Did we think He was kidding?)

Kim is a dear friend of mine. When we both lived in Michigan, I would go with her and her husband to the Motor City Pride Parade to “love on” the LBGTQ community. The main reason for going was to share Christ with them, but the first objective was to try to undo the deplorable treatment so many of them had received from the Church. Step One is remembering that we are all sinners, and that we are agents of grace only because we ourselves are recipients of that grace. When there’s a sense of humble gratitude, rather than prideful superiority, there’s a much better chance those around us will see the Light and be drawn to it.

I wish I could get a copy of Kim’s book into the library of every church in America, better yet, into the hands of every person who calls himself/herself a follower of Jesus Christ. That being unlikely, I do want to urge anyone reading this blog, especially those who claim the name of “Christian,” to purchase a copy of Undercover Bag Lady: An Expose of Christian Attitudes Toward the Homeless, by Kim Bowman. Read it – you could easily finish it in one or two sittings. Then pass it on or order more to give away. Then act on what you’ve read. Pray about how you can make a difference. (P.S. You can invite Kim to come speak at your church, maybe start a tidal wave.)

What kind of revolution would take place in America if the “Body of Christ” actually started behaving like Jesus? Would we ignite revival?

There’s only one way to find out.

Prayer: Dear Lord, You have said that what we do to “the least of these,” we have done to You. Forgive us when we have been so wrapped up in our own lives that we have passed You by. Help us to remember that we are Your hands and feet. When there’s opportunity to show someone what You are like, may we rise to the occasion, raising others up as we go, in Your name.  Amen

 

You’re in the Army Now.

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”                         Luke 10:19

A woman at our church was telling me about some tragic circumstances in her family, and the family members that didn’t have the benefit of the faith that was sustaining her. As two other women came up, she asked for prayer, as she would soon be joining her family for a few days. Rather than say, I suggested we all pray together on the spot, not only because there’s power in agreement, but because when I say “I’ll be praying for you,” I often forget or get sidetracked.

We joined hands and prayed that our sister would be strengthened, for God’s angels to surround her on her travels, that those needing God would be drawn to her, and that the LORD would guide conversations, giving her the right words to say. As I thought of the spiritual vulnerability of her unbelieving relatives, I asked the LORD to bind every demon away from the family.

After we had prayed and exchanged hugs, one of the other women took me aside and said sternly, “We are not allowed to bind demons here.”

I’m afraid I gave her a blank look. Not just because I hadn’t “bound demons,” (I had asked the LORD to.) but also because I had never sensed from the preaching there that we aren’t to engage in spiritual warfare.*

As I was processing what she had said, she continued, “If you read the gospels, you will see that they are very clear about that.” Again, stunned silence. I had been “reading the gospels” for over fifty years, and had seen otherwise.

“That’s a charismatic doctrine,” she concluded, as if that were the final nail in the coffin.

She spoke with such an air of authority that I simply said, “Well, I’ve come to a different conclusion, so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” (See “Mud Wrestling,” June 15, 2018.) This time she was the one at a loss for words, and as the conversation was fizzling, I smiled, said “Have a good day,” and walked away.

This wasn’t the first time someone has said to me, “Scripture clearly tells us…” and gone on to state an opinion that contradicts what I know is biblical. Sometimes the subject is not worth arguing about. But since I consider spiritual warfare of major importance, especially in these times, I think it’s worth while to examine what Scripture does tell us on the subject. When confronted with the enemy of our souls, should we roll over and play dead, or do we fight back? – More importantly, are we able to fight back and win?

In our own power, absolutely not. But when the One with the power over death and hell is backing us up, we have no reason to be intimidated.

So, how much authority are we talking about?  According to Matthew 28:19 Jesus told His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” [emphasis mine] I’m sure that comes as no surprise to most of you. But has He shared that authority with His followers?

When Jesus sent the Twelve out to preach the kingdom, He gave them authority to drive out demons. (Matthew 10:1, Mark 6:7, Luke 9:1) In case we begin to think that those twelve were the only ones Jesus gave that authority to, there’s another account in Luke 10, where at least once He sent out seventy others (some translations say seventy-two). They were all given authority over the enemy, as well.

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.'” (Luke 10:17)

Their statement is backed up by the words of Jesus Himself.

“He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the demons are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'” (Luke 10:18-20)

Please note: That last statement does not negate our authority as believers, it is a statement of priorities. Too many people get so excited about fighting demons that they get out of balance and lose sight of the fact that salvation and the promise of eternal life is by far the greatest blessing. I suspect that these fanatics are a major reason some believers back away from spiritual warfare altogether.

I have yet to find a Scripture saying that the original believers were the only ones endowed with Jesus’ authority. On the contrary, I see in the Great Commission that all of His teachings extend to believers everywhere, and in every era:

“Then Jesus came to [the Eleven] and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. [emphasis mine] And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Everything. Jesus didn’t add,  “… except for that thing about demons, they won’t be able to do that stuff.”

If we obey everything that Jesus commanded, we have no scriptural reason to doubt that we can resist demons. The danger comes when in some way (such as pride or disobedience) we forget our dependence on Him and step out from under His authority.

If we do that, all bets are off. [Acts 19:13-17]

Prayer: LORD, what a blessing to know that You are for us, not against us! Help us to remain in You, so that nothing will hinder You from using us in any way You desire. In Jesus’ name, amen.

* I spoke about this with my Sunday school teacher after class. He said that if any of the pastors had heard me pray that day, none of them would have batted an eye. So apparently the woman was misinformed.

 

My Two Wonderful Fathers

“If you, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him?” Matthew 7:11

June was my dad’s month – Father’s Day, his birthday – he even married a lady named June. (Their anniversary is in June.) So I’m dedicating one more post to him today.

Just before flying to St. Louis to join my father for his big 65th birthday celebration, I composed this poem during my morning run. I am now one year older than he was then – Where does the time go???

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

 

                           To Dad

You told me that God was my Father;                                                                                                   As a child I believed it was true.                                                                                                      I wanted to know what this Father was like,                                                                                         So the man that I studied was you.

Your eyes were so warm and so merry;                                                                                               We laughed all the time as we played.                                                                                        And knowing that laughter’s created by God,                                                                                       He seemed not so stern as I prayed.

You punished sometimes; it was for my own good,                                                                           And I knew that your love was still there.                                                                                    And knowing that’s God’s even wiser than you                                                                                 Makes suffering less hard to bear.

You gave much away, still we prospered,                                                                                             And it was then I decided                                                                                                                That God’s wealth is different from that of the world –                                                                     It’s multiplied as it’s divided.

And so, through twenty-nine wonderful years,                                                                                 I’ve seen what you told me was true.                                                                                              If one who is human can love me so much,                                                                                         I’m confident God loves me, too.                                                                                                      I’ve seen with my own eyes that “God is Love.”                                                                                 I’ve seen His love living in you.

6-10-82

 

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for being a loving Father to us – for blessing us when we don’t deserve it, for comforting us when we need it, for disciplining us when we have violated Your rules, and for forgiving us when we need a fresh start. Most of all, thank You for giving us Your Son Jesus to purchase our salvation when we were spiritually bankrupt and would have been lost forever. We are eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name, amen

That Passenger

“… forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”  – Mathew 6:12

Why do people insist on carrying their bags?

I was waiting to board the flight to St. Louis and marveling at people’s willingness to lug heavy bags on board, when I never hesitated to check mine.

OK, I admit my real concern was that I was in boarding group “C,” carrying a precious possession – a $1,000 12-string guitar. I was not about to turn that delicate instrument over to baggage handlers to be thrown around like a sack of potatoes.

Ordinarily I’m never in this position, but I had received the call hours earlier: my father was dying, and I had better get there soon if I wanted to say good-bye.  I had booked the first flight available and grabbed the essentials. First on the list: my guitar, so I could possibly play and sing to Dad one more time…

“You’re going to have to check that.” I can’t say the order surprised me.

“Can you guarantee it will arrive undamaged?”

“No,” came the predictable answer.

“If it’s damaged, will the airline replace it?” (I knew this script.)

“No.” Surprise, surprise.

“Then I’m not checking it.”

Please know that I don’t usually behave this way! I am the one who tries to get along with everyone. But this involved my chance for my father to have a few more minutes of pleasure before leaving this world. Push had definitely come to shove.

The irritated attendant showed me that every last bin was stuffed with other people’s junk, and there was no room. I spotted one unopened compartment and asked, “What about that one?”

The attendant opened it; it was filled with pillows.

“Perfect. I’ll take it.”

By this time a second attendant had come to find out what (or who) was causing the delay. I looked around, saw all eyes on me, and realized with horror that I had become “that passenger!

The second attendant, no doubt just wanting to get going, yanked pillows out of the compartment until there was room for the guitar. He stuffed it in, buried it in the pillows, slammed the bin shut, and sternly ordered me to take the last seat, right next to the sky marshal. (I don’t remember if I knew that because the attendants mentioned it – lest I cause more trouble – or because I noticed his gun.)

The sky marshal stepped into the aisle so I could take the window seat (securely confined). I meekly buckled myself in and stared out the window, not wanting eye contact with anyone.

As we took off, humiliation soon gave way to sadness as a thousand bittersweet memories tumbled through my mind: the view of a parade from the shoulders of a tall, strong man; laughing around the dinner table at his antics and the playful scolding of my mother; the traditional fire he would build on Christmas morning; I remembered the silly songs he’d make up spontaneously (Paul McCartney he was not.) and the awesome flying saucer runs he’d build out of the deep snowdrifts in our back yard. I remembered snuggling in his lap, and his asking if I had any kisses left. I remembered valuable lessons he’d taught me about saving, spending, and investing money. (And I’d thought we were just playing Monopoly.)

I had flashbacks of my birthdays, graduation, and moments before he walked me down the aisle to give me away. I smiled as I remembered him with his grandchildren and his delight at the excuse to be “silly” again.

The silliness had come in handy with the encroaching Alzheimer’s. After the first stressful months of confusion, he had finally slipped into the mindset of a little child. I remembered the day he declared, “Ann! I realized what I forgot to do! I forgot to grow up!” and how my impatience had melted away as I hugged him, realizing I still loved him, just the way he was.

I recalled the confusion and devastation on his face when my mother passed away, like a little lost puppy, and the last time my sister and I had seen him, when he had mumbled, “I love you so much… Wherever you are … wherever I am … I will always love you…” I remembered looking at my sister as we both silently wondered, Is he saying goodbye?

As the plane descended, the knot in my stomach returned.

“It looks like we’re on time.” It took me a moment to realize that the sky marshal was making a last-minute attempt at conversation.

“I hope so,” I replied, and I wondered if he noticed the catch in my voice. Suddenly I felt the need to explain myself.

“I got the call late last night. My father’s dying.” Our eyes met, but he didn’t say anything more. Glancing at the overhead bin across the aisle, I explained with a shrug, “He likes to hear me sing.” I turned back to the window, so he wouldn’t see the tears spill over.

It seemed like forever before the announcement came that we could deplane. To my surprise, the sky marshal jumped out of his seat and fetched my guitar. Handing it to me, he said kindly, “I hope you get to sing to your father.”

I thanked him. I don’t know if my words were audible, but I think he understood. As I exited, I didn’t make eye contact with anyone else; I was painfully aware that I was probably still “that passenger.” But it felt good to know that there was one person that understood why I had acted the way I did.

Christian, would you like to stand out from the crowd? Here’s a radical suggestion: Next time you see one of “those people,” remember that “that person” has a story. And I doubt that anyone’s story is that they woke up and said “I think I’ll be a jerk today.” Make a point of being kind to that person, even if – especially if – everyone else is totally exasperated. I guarantee that you will make an impression. If not on the crowd, it will definitely affect “that person.”

Prayer: Jesus, forgive us for being jerks, and help us be kind to other jerks. Amen

“Sacrifice,” Part 3

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.                Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.      Psalm 63:6,7

[This is the conclusion of a 3-part testimony that started two weeks ago. Last week’s post contained a dream that hinted that I would be taken away from much of what had become normal in my life and taken to a remote place where there were no distractions and where my only Companion was God.]

I lay in bed thinking about the dream with all its implications until it was time to get up and go to church. The sermon that morning was on “the wilderness.” We were reminded that Moses received his calling in the wilderness through the burning bush. We were reminded that the children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness in preparation for entering the Promised Land, and that even Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness before beginning His ministry. I sat there overwhelmed with a sense of God’s presence, wondering what kind of ministry He was preparing me for – and whether the wilderness for me would involve the kind of isolation I had experienced in college.

The morning of the surgery I had a sense of déjà vu as I surrendered my wallet, my keys, my cell phone, and my jewelry, feeling strangely naked without them. I tried to dismiss mental images of waking up with no voice and my husband Marty’s crying exultantly, “There is a God!” (Just kidding, but that was a running joke in those days.) Still, I was holding onto the fact that God was with me and was not going to leave me, whatever happened; if He was taking one thing from me, He would give me something else, something better. And with these thoughts, I drifted into unconsciousness.

Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room with a bad sore throat. Marty was beside the bed, and when the surgeon came in and asked how I was feeling, I hesitated before trying to answer, not sure I was ready to find out if anything was missing.

But as I said “Pretty good,” I was thrilled to actually hear the words. It was over, and my “sacrifice” had been accepted and given back to me to keep using, though (with God’s help) never again taken for granted.

I was taken back to my room, where I had a roommate I couldn’t see on the other side of the curtain. We said “hello,” but we were both so worn out there wasn’t much conversation. I slept that night with no dreams, or if I had any, they were immediately forgotten.

The next morning I awoke early. The room was still dark, except for the TV on my roommate’s side. The sound was off, but I had a good view of the picture, and I gasped in recognition.

The night before, there had been a magnificent display of the Northern Lights, magnificent enough to make the local news.

I smiled, and I felt God smiling, too.

Prayer: LORD, thank You so much for giving me life and breath and a voice. Help me to use these gifts – whether speaking, singing, or praying – to glorify You for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.