Saturday, December 31, 2011

Knowing the End from the Beginning

Almost a new year.
The Omega will become the Alpha in a matter of hours.
The end will soon become the beginning. The cycle continues.

Psalm 31:1 “In You O Lord, I have taken refuge
v.14 “But I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.”
v. 15. “My times are in Your hands”

…for the end as well as the beginning
You are my refuge
You are my trust
You are my God
You O LORD, are my life.
Blessed be the LORD God, as you close out this year of 2011 and we delve into 2012, knowing that our times are in Your hands, we fix our eyes on Jesus, the AUTHOR and the FININSHER of our faith!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gathered Gleanings

I think that human life is much like road life. You stand on a hill,look down and across the valley, and another prodigious hill lifts itself upon the other side.

The day is hot, your horse is weary, and you are tired. It seems you cannot climb that long hill. But you had better trot down the hill you are on, and not trouble yourself about the other one.

You find the valley pleasant and inspiring. When you get across it, you meet only a slight ascent, and begin to wonder where the steep hill disappeared.

You trot along briskly, and when you reach the highest point, you find that there has not been an inch of the hill over which you have not trotted.

You see the impossible height to be illusory. The slight ascent looked almost perpendicular, but when you come to pass over it, step by step, you find it to be a good traveling road.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Personal Christmas Card

O LORD, I want to thank You for Bethlehem, even now war-torn.
Thank You for Jesus, The Bread of Life, Who was born.
Thank You for Mary, surrendered utterly;
(“As is pleasing to Thee, be it even to me.”)
for a donkey, beast of burden carrying them both, quietly.

Father, thanks for Joseph, both leading and following,
obedient to You though not allowing
his doubt to prevent fathering.

Sovereign LORD, how grateful am I
that Shepherds took note of a star in the sky.
For kings, curious, not knowing the reason,
drawn to a manger bringing gifts for pleasing.
Thank You for Angels, that sang out on high,
Glory! Alleluia! Both on earth and in the sky.

LORD last but not least
for a Baby who reigns as Prophet and Priest:
King Jesus! Eternal, Creator, Emmanuel,
a Babe from heaven to save us from sin and hell.

Praises be to the Great I AM
House of Bread, O, Bethlehem!
What can I bring Him?
Who owns and rules all.
Myself…as Mary, at His feet I fall.

Babe in a Manger, True Bread of Life
Asking on others you shine your great Light.
LORD, Most Holy, trembling I kneel at your feet
You, Lord Jesus, is all that I seek.
Bowing in Bethlehem, blest House of Bread,
Satisfied not with the world, only You, instead.
…Helen Lynn

Thursday, December 15, 2011


“We have seen His Glory, the Glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14b)

Back in the early ‘60’s, Bill Jarvis directed the choir at Pendleton Street Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina. As student nurses at Greenville General Hospital, just a few blocks away, a group us girls were coerced into singing one Christmas and discovered what this choir was all about…GLORY! Forever, Bill Jarvis wanted the choir to sing for God’s Glory.

Yes, I actually participated in singing The Halleluiah Chorus with that choir. I do not read music nor am I gifted with voice, just making a ‘joyful noise’ seemed sufficient, as my Daddy used to say.

But that year, Bill hammered ‘Glory’ into my brain. I was so afraid of messing the music up; I followed directions as closely as I possibly could.

Each time he said, “Glory”, he added, “Make it Shine!”

So, this Christmas, as you sing of His Glory---Make it shine! To the Glory of God.

Jesus prayed in His great High Priestly prayer in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see My Glory, the Glory you have given me because You loved me before the creation of the world.”

Addendum: The only other time I’ve seen that Glory by singing (though coerced) took place at McCormick First Baptist Church under the fervent leadership of Dave Becker.
Glory! Make it Shine!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Angels and Alleluias (from KNEELING IN BETHLEHEM, Ann Weems)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful
if Advent came filled with angels and alleluias?

Wouldn’t it be perfect
if we were greeted on these December mornings
with a hovering of heavenly hosts
tuning their harps and brushing up on their fa-la-las?

Wouldn’t it be incredible
if their music filled our waking hours
with the promise of peace on earth
and if each Advent night we dreamed of nothing but goodwill?

Wouldn’t we be ecstatic
if we could take those angels shopping,
or trim the tree or have them hold our hands
and dance through our houses decorating?

And, oh, how glorious it would be
to sit in church next to an angel
and sing our hark-the-heralds!

What an Advent that would be!
What Christmas spirit we could have!
An angel-filled Advent has so many possibilities!

But in lieu of that,
perhaps we can give thanks
for the good earthly joys we have been given
and for the earthly “angels” that we know
who do such a good job of filling
Our Advent with alleluias!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Some of us walk into Advent
Tethered to our unresolved yesterdays
The pain still stabbing
The hurt still throbbing.
It’s not that we don’t know better;
It’s just that we can’t stand up anymore by ourselves.
On the way to Bethlehem,
Will you give us a hand?
…Ann Weems

Friday, December 2, 2011

“Do not be like the horse or the mule…”Psalm 32:9 NIV

My Granddaddy Goodson’s horse, Dan, demonstrated to me what that verse must mean. His leathery mouth was so tough; it took a special bridle with two bits to control him. Even though Dan remains to this day the horse I loved the most, he challenged me at every turn.

I’m sure that I must be somewhat like Dan to my heavenly Father, even though He specifically instructs me not to be. My stubborn, headstrong will needs extra attention. In the verse prior to verse 9 we read: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

Thank you, Father, for Divine Counsel, Divine Guidance, Divine Teaching and being my Divine Teacher. Even as the ‘Horse Whisperer and trainer whispers in the velvety ear of his steed which way to go as he uses the bridle to turn the animal, stop the animal, urge the horse forward with his heels, You guide me, teach me and counsel me.

Addendum: The time finally came when I could ride Dan without bridle or bit for short distances. He could surprise me at any moment, however, and did quite often. I suppose the mighty animal wanted me to know that just because he allowed me to control him, his strength was not to be toyed with. “Don’t be like the horse or the mule.”

Perhaps that’s why the Lord chose a donkey to transport the Holy Family and a donkey to transport a KING into Jerusalem.
“Do not be like the horse or the mule…”Psalm 32:9 NIV
My granddaddy Goodson’s horse, Dan, demonstrated to me what that verse must mean. His leathery mouth was so tough; it took a special bridle with two bits to control him. Even though Dan remains to this day the horse I loved the most, he challenged me at every turn.

I’m sure that I must be somewhat like Dan to my heave...nly Father, even though He specifically instructs me not to be. My stubborn, headstrong will needs extra attention. In the verse prior to verse 9 we read: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

Thank you, Father, for Divine Counsel, Divine Guidance, Divine Teaching and being my Divine Teacher. Even as the ‘Horse Whisperer and trainer whispers in the velvety ear of his steed which way to go as he uses the bridle to turn the animal, stop the animal, urge the horse forward with his heels, You guide me, teach me and counsel me.

Addendum: The time finally came when I could ride Dan without bridle or bit for short distances. He could surprise me at any moment, however, and did quite often. I suppose the mighty animal wanted me to know that just because he allowed me to control him, his strength was not to be toyed with. “Don’t be like the horse or the mule.”

Perhaps that’s why the Lord chose a donkey to transport the Holy Family and a donkey to transport a KING into Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go

“Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother’s house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifting”

I’ve always loved that old song by Lydia Maria Child. Surely it conjures up sweet memories of doing just that, but without the snow, regrettably…and the horse…and the sleigh. You get my drift. The excitement of going home for the holidays, whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas or both, quickens the pulse.

As the LORD led me to His 23rd Psalm this morning, I prayed my way through it slowly, personalizing every word, every phrase. When I came to the 6th and last verse that promises, “and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” I saw that at some point in time I had penciled in the margin: “I’m on my way to Your House”.

During this holiday season, my desire is that you would read that dear and precious psalm as if He wrote it just for you…and I think He did. Rejoice in that Jehovah Rohi, The LORD my Shepherd; your Shepherd would pen such a love note to us. Ponder it, pray it, personalize it and as the Shepherd Himself anoints your head with His sweet oil, claim the promise that, “Surely, goodness and mercy will follow you (through the rush, the cooking, the shopping, the decorating, the tables set before you, laden with the feasts the Lord prepares, knowing every minute that you’re headed for the evermore dwelling place of our Shepherd Savior.

I’m on my way to Your House, Lord.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


When does traveling down ‘memory lane’ lead you to the wrong road and possibly get you stuck in the mud?

We’ve been cleaning out the garage…again. It seems never ending. Boxes of old pictures, scrapbooks (literally so old they are scraps), children’s pictures, greeting cards and on and on it goes. It takes me forever to look through the cards, ooh and Ahh over the pictures and tear up at the love letters and giggle at the Junior High School puppy love notes folded in that special way. Yes, I am a pack rat but refuse to be a hoarder, so no interventions necessary, even though Dennis might disagree.

I found love letters from my husband when he was at football camp, coaching. Yes, he can write those also.

There’s the picture of David with the bulletin dating back to August 8, 1976, when he responded to “Jesus is Tenderly Calling” and made a public profession of faith at First Baptist Church, Woodruff, SC. Todd’s funny (and serious) Mother’s Day cards and red heart with white lace and an “I love you” inside Valentine. Caleb’s first birthday, Jacob’s 3rd, Luke’s first, Catie, Boaz, Becca, Briana and Eliyah all precious memories. Pictures of the oldest friends, still in touch, always bring smiles. I CANNOT THROW THOSE AWAY!

The problem lies in how much to throw away and how much to hold onto. Which memories lead to paths better not traveled or even into the ditch? “Momma, who is that boy you’re dancing with?” Todd asked if his Dad minded me having pictures of other guys from the past. I’ve even found myself dreaming about some of these people and places. Not in a bad way, mind you. We both had lives before we met in 1967.

So, how do we keep from getting stuck in the mud? Obvious answer: Scripture speaks a lot about remembering; it also speaks about moving on. Isaiah 46:9 tells us to “Remember the former things, those of long ago”. Memorials were set up so that we would not forget how the LORD intervened in situations a number of times in the Old Testament Passages. Check out your Bible concordance for the word, remembering.
The Apostle Paul tells us: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Phil 3:13) I could list many more Scripture passages. Truthfully, I don’t mind throwing away a lot of the things I’ve saved, but I guess my children will just have to bear up under getting rid of the rest. Sorry, kids!

I remember the good, throw away the not so good and praise God for his infinite mercy in my life…right after I finish going through this box of saved poems and prose. I’ll ‘strain ahead’ to what’s next on the schedule “pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”(Phil 3:14 NIV)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Truths from "Tweens"

Saturday, my eleven year old grandson and I rode through Chick-fill-A drive through. Half way around I saw the car wash sponsored by/for Wounded Warriors Project. “Ahh, I wish I’d waited to get the car washed and let them wash it. I’ve wanted to donate to their purpose.”

Boaz asked, “What is Wounded Warriors?” I explained to him about the military that have been wounded coming home with major expenses and even more major challenges.
“I could just give them some money instead of having them wash my car.” I saw one of the groups with their bucket headed in our direction. From beside came the wisdom of youth, “Well, Nana, it’s not how much you give …but how much you keep.”
So, I immediately proceeded to dig deeper into my purse and donated to a very worthy cause. My car had already been washed but now my conscience got the wax job. Thank you, Boaz

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

T'uther Side

No matter what time of the year you go, Pretty Place, in northern Greenville County, can’t be beat for the gorgeous view. This time of the year is particularly beautiful. Once when we rode up Cleveland Cliff to enjoy the spectacular scene in the beauty of fall clothing, I noticed a small mountain home retreat with the sign identifying it as “T’uther Side”. Smiling, I thought about that a great deal en route down the mountain.

In my life I’ve often dreamed of being on ‘T’uther side’. Have you? If I had such and such or if only so and so would do this, that and the other (T’uther) then life’s view would be spectacular. The grass always looks greener on T'uther side. I wonder why we cannot be content with what we have or have not. There have been times in my life when I felt God had surely made a mistake and tried to fit someone else’s cross on my shoulders. This one surely isn’t for me.

Think about it! The Lord knows our frame. Either He is Sovereign or He’s not. ‘T’uther side looks good from here, maybe, but should I walk very far into that other side, I may fall off the cliff, because I am not accustomed to the terrain.
Maybe someday, we will learn to say with the Apostle Paul, “Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) I suppose some of that comes with age…or maybe that is T’uther Side.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Political Posturing

Way back in the middle sixties, while still single, I worked as a nurse in the Emergency Room at Greenville General Hospital. A good friend who interned there at the same time gave me some advice on how to attract the male of the species.
“Remember these three things”: Dee said.

1. Always smile
2. Maintain good posture
3. If at all possible, drive a sports car, he chuckled.

I did remember his advice and tried my best at the first two on the list. I never got the sports car.

These days in the News I read so much about political posturing, I began to wonder just how to define such a term. One definition states it relates especially to party politics and results from beliefs unacceptable to government. According to the Encarta Dictionary, it can be pragmatic or carried out for reasons that best serve a desired outcome rather than for other reasons such as morally justifiable.

So, as I look at the phrase, political posturing, my mind’s eye sees posture as how one stands or holds one’s body, standing, sitting, kneeling or lying down. Is political posturing standing straight in the political arena?

If candidates demonstrate good political posturing, will they attract voters?
If they present a photogenic “smile” will that gain favor with the electorate?
Does driving the politically correct bandwagon (bus) count for more than their character?

I can’t really say what attracted my husband to me, whether it was my smile, my posture or my blue 1964 Ford Fairlaine 500. I’d like to think it was Christian character, but you’ll have to ask him that question. I know that what I’m looking for in a presidential candidate is Christian Character, not POLITICAL POSTURING.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The ‘with you’ principle.

Recently I had the privilege of witnessing the ‘with you’ principle. Dennis preaches twice on Sunday mornings at Bellview Baptist Church about twenty miles from our home. I alternate my attendance in these services and opt to pray upstairs in the prayer room during the other service. Earlier in the morning I turned the oven on 350 degrees to cook the meatloaf I’d prepared on Saturday, planning to turn it off right before we left for church. Guess what!

While I prepared my heart for prayer with Scripture, the Lord brought me to Matthew 28:20...”…and lo I am with you always”. I proceeded to cross reference the term, ‘with you’.

. We have His Divine Presence with us in the pilgrimage of life (Genesis 28:15).
· His Divine Presence affords rest (Exodus 33:14);
· His Divine Presence gives courage in life’s battles (Dt. 20:1);
· His Divine Presence is a comfort in trials (Isa 43:2).

My prayer began for His Divine Presence to be manifested in the worship services. Suddenly, in the midst of my prayer I remembered my meatloaf. I also remembered I’d put it on at 7 am. It was 9 am and our oven is…well, it’s not new. My dog, Sadie, stays in the house while we’re gone! I jumped up, raced down the steps, left Dennis a note in his office, almost ran to the car and drove almost the speed limit home to turn off the oven and salvage what was left of meatloaf.

I confess that my thoughts ranged from… seeing smoke on the horizon… to charred lunch… to Sadie trapped in the burning house. And then, His Divine Presence reminded me over and over again, “Surely, I am ‘with you’ always”. His Divine Presence was ‘with me’ in my pilgrimage from Woodruff to Greer, His Divine Presence afforded me rest AFTER my pilgrimage, His Divine Presence reminded me of my error in judgment. His Divine Presence protected me and our meatloaf, our home and our dog. His Divine Presence made the pilgrimage back to the second service much less stressful.

The ‘with you’ principle played out in the practical issues of life, yes, evens the Sunday meatloaf. I am thankful for the ‘with you’ principle. Are you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God." (1 John 3:1) NIV

"I'm so glad our daddy can do so many different things. He can do just about anything!" Catie and Becca, two of Todd's four daughters, agreed with each other that their daddy is 'so cool'!

Children demonstrate the love their fathers lavish on them. Our boys loved to wrestle with their dad. Our grandsons love to wrestle with their dads. I used to wrestle the boys when they were small, but no more. I do have to admit losing an arm wrestling battle recently. Pictures of Dennis centering the football to David and Todd (and vice versa) dot our early family albums. Guess what! The crowd gathers during football season to see who can cheer loudest for their team while they eat Poppy's chili dogs.

Our youngest grandson, Luke, makes really good pancakes. He's a lot like his Poppy. He'll just have to work on his chili skills.

Our granddaughters come in the house hugging me. I like that! They wrestle sometimes too, but mostly they show their love in different ways even tho' Becca claims she's 'not a girly girl'. Our granddaughters sing a lot whatever they're doing. They dearly love to write notes and letters and they like to read. If I want to find my pencils or pens, I follow the clues to paper sources and there I locate my writing utensils along with loving notes. Occasionally I find a note to a sibling that isn't in the least bit loving. I shake my head and wait for an opportune moment to address the issue. All of our grandchildren are very bright. I don't think they got that from me.

My Daddy lavished his great love for me by teaching me stuff like horseback riding, driving the tractor, riding a bicycle and he loved throwing any kind of ball. We'd play catch and he taught me that when I needed something to do but had nobody to do it with, I could throw a tennis ball at the house and the house would throw it back to me. Good way to spend alone time. Our boys spent many hours shooting baskets in our drive-way. I can still hear the "whack, thump, whack, thump."

On my refrigerator is an old black and white photo of a five or six year old blond headed little girl sprawled out on her daddy's lap in her Sunday best. Lavished love on a Sunday afternoon. There's another old black and white photo of Dennis' dad in what looks to be a basketball or track uniform with a Mountain View School logo. My goodness, we've come full circle.

How does our Heavenly Father lavish His love? ..."that we should be called the children of God". What does 'lavish' mean? It means: plentiful, generous, abundant, extravagant, over-the-top, unrestrained.

Allow me to personalize this somewhat. 'How over-the-top my Abba lays bare His love for me by allowing me to be His child eternally'. My Heavenly Father loves me so extravagantly that He allows me to use His Name and become like Him. Everybody knows that the children resemble the parents at some point or another whether by nature or by nurture. I'm told I favor my parents. My sons resemble their parents somewhat and their children surely do resemble them in more ways than one.

My soul and body! Maybe one day I'll resemble my Heavenly Father. Seems it's a long way off, but the WORD clearly states:"we should be called the children of God". "...and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." (Col. 3:10) Over-the-top LOVE!
My Daddy can do anything! Who's your daddy?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thoughts on Lying

"...God, who does not lie" (Titus 1:2) NIV "He doesn't break promises" (THE MESSAGE)
"Admit it. You lie. And if you say you don't, you're a liar." (Andy Simmons in Reader's Digest, August edition)

Have you ever had someone break a promise or lie to you? I dare say everyone can point a finger at someone else who did that quicker than they see those other fingers pointing back at themselves. We've all been there, done that and gotten the T-shirt.

This article in Reader's Digest entitled, LIAR, LIAR, caught my eye recently. Simmons lists the ways to recognize a lie. I won't list them, because I may get caught in one or may catch you. How do you react when you discover someone has lied to you?
• explosively,
• cynically
• silently
• revengefully
• seethingly

Invariably we hear from children, "You promised!!" or "You broke your promise". And they don't forget it, either! I've broken many promises in my life and I probably will break a few more. I don't intentionally set out to break them or to lie, but sometimes it happens. Sometimes I 'stretch the truth' so as not to hurt someone's feelings.

"You can't stop lies entirely," University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman states. Oh my, that is not encouraging. So, who can you trust?
I've been reading the tiny Book of Titus in the New Testament recently and this phrase in the first chapter jumped out at me this morning.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a young Titus encouraging him in his duties to the folks in Crete. Apparently he had his job cut out for him because in verse 12 he says, "The Cretans are liars from the womb, barking dogs, lazy bellies" (THE MESSAGE) Now, I don't know about you, but that's not very heartening. We've served three churches in our entire ministry and two as interim and I surely would not say that about any of them. The fact, however, is that I've experienced broken promises and been shocked to discover liars in the congregation as well as the community. It always cuts to the core, doesn't it?

What about our family? Have you ever lied to them or caught them in a lie? Oh yes!
"Did you take that quarter out of my drawer?"

"No, Ma'am!"

"Then how come I found it in your pocket?"

"LIAR! She lies; she's a liar!" That makes sense.

"Does this tie go with this suit?"

"Um, sure, but let me see if there's a better one."

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing." NOTHING??????

Come on! And we won't even touch the politicians. That's a whole 'nother article, or maybe a book or a library.

So, who can you trust? Certainly not the Crete's. That's why Titus was left with such a task, to tell them they didn't have to lie; they didn't have to break promises. God who doesn't lie or break promises has provided a way of salvation that enables us through His Spirit to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that life without end is ours through Jesus Christ. He also helps us live a God filled life and put our lives back together and live in honest fellowship with Him. AND THAT AIN'T A LIE.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Ezekiel 36:9 "I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown".

Our garden flopped. It's been a number of years since we attempted to plant a vegetable garden but decided to try it this spring. My husband knows how to grow a garden; his last effort resulted in more vegetables than I knew what to do with. But that was in another place in another time long ago. This year we decided on just a small plot of ground for a few tomato plants, squash, bell peppers, cucumbers and hot peppers.

We plowed, we planted, we fertilized, we watered, and we waited. The plants came up nicely, all but the cucumbers which succumbed to dogs and a resident rabbit. We trellised the tomato plants. The squash bushes did bear fruit until our hail storm. The tomato plants grew and produced tiny tomatoes which never got much bigger. Some ripened but they've all been small. It's been a disappointment over all. We've come to the conclusion that we failed to prepare the soil as we should. There's always 'next year', right?!

In the garden of my life, I wonder if I've been a disappointment at times. Scripture gives so many illustrations of gardening, but I love the one from John 15:1especially: "I am the True Vine and My Father is the gardener." Consulting with the Master Gardener always pays off. Perhaps my soil needs plowing. That's not a pleasant thought but gardens must be plowed each season. It's not that one turning of the soil will do for life.

This morning I ran across this verse from Ezekiel 36 that spoke to me. "I am concerned for will be plowed and sown." The Lord God, our Gardener cares enough about us to plow us under seasonally. He knows our soil and just what fertilizer it needs to grow the crop He has in mind.

The plowing isn't fun, unless you're the one doing it, and not the one being plowed. Reminds me of the poem of Amy Carmichael:
The toad beneath the harrow knows
Exactly where each tooth point goes
The butterfly upon the road
Preaches contentment to that toad.

Father, Gardener of my soul, thank you for plowing and preparing me for what you have prepared for me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heart thought…from Helen

Our Golden Retriever, Sadie, discovered her hunting, retrieving and stalking traits. Unfortunately, she also uncovered a nest of baby bunnies under our storage building. We had noticed for a few weeks a rabbit hopping in and out of our fenced in back yard and I figured it was because we planted a small garden. It seems now we have a family of rabbits and a problem. The baby bunnies found their way out from under their safe haven and Sadie discovered a new play thing. While sitting at the table with Todd as he ate a late supper with us recently, I glanced out the back door to see our dog with a very small animal in her mouth, tossing it about and playing with it.

“Oh, no, she’s killed a mouse and brought it to the door!” Taking a closer look, the ‘mouse’ had no ‘mouse tail’. “Oh, NO! SHE’S GOT A BUNNY RABBIT!” I bemoaned.

Todd calmly continues to fork his chicken while Boaz, (almost 10) and Dennis and I run to the rescue. As soon as we open the door, Sadie takes off for the back of the yard with bunny in her mouth. By the time the guys reach her, she had swallowed it whole. YUCK! I could not stand the thought of it, so I just stood at the patio rail and watched as Dennis and Boaz searched for what we figured Sadie continued to search for…more bunnies for dessert. I didn’t speak to my dog for a whole day, I was so upset.

Todd slices off another piece of warm homemade bread, butters it and never moves from the table, assuring me that; “That’s what dogs do, Momma, they hunt. Lizzie (their Dalmatian) killed a chipmunk yesterday”.

Sadie did find another bunny, played with it, punctured it and finally gave it up to Todd who handed it into the tender hands of Boaz who put it in a box to take home and nurse back to health?? At first they tried to put it over the fence so Momma Rabbit would come get it and take care of it. Momma Rabbit wasn’t coming near the fence with canine carnivore anywhere near.

Baby bunny became ‘Hoppy’ and grew, thriving under the attention of five children…for about two weeks, at which time Hoppy passed away, much to the children’s grief. He joined Duke and a plethora of other pets in the Lynn menagerie memorial park cemetery.

Lessons to be learned from observing pets, parents and grandchildren: Just a few from this instance intrigued me. I was horrified when our Retriever followed her natural instincts, bringing her catch home. I like bunnies! I love my dog, but I couldn’t bear the thought of one killing the other and swallowing it whole. Why am I so shocked at normal canine behavior?

Why am I so shocked at the behavior of people who just ‘do what comes naturally’? Because there but for the grace of God go I! This ole girl is only a sinner saved by grace. There is a hymn our choir used to sing in McCormick entitled, WERE IT NOT FOR GRACE. Oh, what a testimony it is for our day and time.

Why am I so shocked when my children remind me of things that we taught them? Or, perish the thought! Maybe they learned it without us. The parent becomes the pupil and the child pontificates truths. The young shepherd boy, and Psalmist, David, demonstrated ‘spiritual warfare’ in the face of Goliath much to the chagrin of his king, then later learned to soothe King Saul by playing and singing to him.

Why am I so shocked when my grandchildren show a natural, tender desire to ’rescue the perishing’? Do you remember the little boy who gave his loaves and fishes to rescue a hungry crowd? My grandchildren reveal a generosity of spirit that warms my heart.

Thank You, Father, for teaching me such lessons from everyday experiences in such a profound way. Keep my heart open and receptive to see and hear voices of truth you have for me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My First Cup of Coffee Is the Best

May 24, 2011---HEART THOUGHTS…from Helen

The first cup of coffee in the morning is the best! If you have a timer on your coffee maker, you can rise to the wonderful aroma of fresh brewed java. I like to heat our cups before pouring. As my arthritic fingers fold around the warm cup, the heat soothes the stiffness first thing at the break of day. In these latter days my taste buds really like half and half in my brew, but just to ease my conscience, I get fat free half and half. I know, I know, that defeats the whole purpose, but it makes me feel less guilty. When I sit down and sip the first sip, there’s just nothing quite as full flavored and satisfying early in the morning. The first fruits of the day…the first cup of coffee…the first thoughts in my minds turn toward having a little talk with Jesus. Thanking Him for the blessings of that first cup of coffee comes first. Now, I’m not a real hardened coffee aficionado and I don’t drink it all day nor in the evening, but I do like that first cup. None tastes as good as the first.

It reminds me of how the Lord instructed us to “Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil”… (Exodus 23:10). I rather understand that in a finite fashion. If I enjoy the first cup of coffee, the first biscuit out of the oven, the crusty hot piece of cornbread straight from the pan, the early morning tousled heads of grandchildren climbing in my lap, the early glow of daylight as the sun creeps in from the eastern sky, why wouldn’t the God of all grace, the Creator of coffee beans and cups and creamer covet the first and best of me, the crown of His creation? Think about it the next time you pour your first cup.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Elderly Examples

May 13, 2011
Daniel 9:2-3 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. “

Last night I read the streaming message on the bottom of the television screen that ninety-two year old Billy Graham suffers from pneumonia and is hospitalized in North Carolina. Always interested in his ministry and family, I prayed for all of them during this difficult time. Just this week I received his daughter, Anne’s, newsletter. I read with great interest all that goes on in AnGel Ministries. Also, the news media seems to seek out Franklin Graham more and more for political opinions. Praise God for the witness and godly example of this entire family. My family has been influenced by that family.

The Old Testament prophet, Daniel stands among the greatest of examples that God gives us when it comes to men of strong godly character in the face of overwhelming odds even in their later years. After seventy years in Babylonian exile, Daniel demonstrates how standing tall is done. The first three verses of chapter nine describe Daniel’s continuing character into old age. While studying that chapter this morning I thought immediately of a modern day Daniel…The Reverend Billy Graham.

Daniel knew his politics. Whether or not he sought out the political arena, he seemed to have been ‘thrown into it’ a number of times. I found it interesting that the news scroll that stated Mr. Graham’s physical condition, included the fact that he had met with almost every U. S. President in office during his ministry. I’m quite sure that whatever influence he had stands out in their minds, whether or not they followed any counsel he offered.

The prophet Daniel obviously knew God’s Word. He searched and knew the prophecies of Jeremiah so well that on his calendar, the time of his people’s exile was about to expire. So, what did he do? Daniel turned to the Lord God and pleaded for his people. Daniel, an old man, demonstrates the dire circumstances of a nation, and a people that need deliverance.

I cannot count the times The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seeks prayer for this nation and the nations of the world to come back to the Lord God Almighty. The overwhelming example of prayer through the years goes beyond the pale.

I am humbled and unashamed to say that the Lord God of Daniel and the Lord God of Billy Graham is my Lord and God. Will I follow their example to be a devout example and intercessor even into my old age?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


When Preacher Blalock prayed, we stood in a circle and held hands. I could literally feel the power of the Holy Spirit through the touch of this God’s aged saint.

We visited in his home on various occasions while we served our first church and Dennis attended seminary. J.C. Blalock’s wise and Godly counsel always encouraged us, but it was his prayers that strengthened us for ministry. Have you ever pictured how our prayers come to the Father? Perhaps you feel that some prayers never rise above the ceiling, or if they do they’re lost on the wings of chance. I found a passage of Scripture that speaks beautifully to that question. It shows me just how precious to the father are the prayers of His saints. Revelation 5:8, “When he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each of them had a harp, and they had golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Prayers in golden bowls rising as sacred perfume to the senses of God are our feeble utterances offered in faith to the Father, bringing Him pleasure. Amazing!

I can see Preacher Blalock smiling now from on High as he remembers filling so many golden bowls of incense. Perhaps he even enjoys the sweet smelling savor as our prayers rise even now.

O Father, accept these pitiful prayers as golden bowls of perfume offered on behalf of your present day disciples.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

The Highway Department resurfaced our section of Highway #101 north. It needed it badly. Potholes and rough road characterized the passage of vehicles of all sizes and shapes along our stretch of road. A lot of travel on a relatively narrow road lends itself toward much wear and tear.

My heart goes out to those flagmen who stand, holding that sign, SLOW! STOP! For hours on end noisy highway department trucks backed up, stopped, hauled, men shoveled, doing their job. “LET ‘EM WORK; LET ‘EM LIVE” takes on new meaning if you’re one of those who holds that sign or if you’re the one working in the middle of the road while all the traffic rolls past you giving you the jaundiced eye and more dirty looks than you can shake a stick at. You’d think the world had come to an end because the road is ‘under construction’ and you have to slow down.

I had to sit for at least five minutes, waiting to drive ¼ mile to get to our subdivision because of the resurfacing crew. HORRORS! The lady in front of me couldn’t turn into her own driveway because of the construction crew. You’d think they’d be more considerate, huh?!

Well, the road roughened considerably before the work crew finished it’s thankless task. At first they addressed the specific potholes in the road, which caused sections to be resurfaced. That caused bumps in the road, not to mention the aesthetics of the thing. It looked really awful. One lane of traffic for a mile frustrates the driving public unbelievably. Stop and go; stop and go. ROUGH ROAD AHEAD

And then it was finished! Ahh, the pleasure of riding on smooth surface.
Life is so much like that. Continual wear and tear on life, marriages, parenting, and church politics creates dangerously rough roads. Stop and go, slow down, be patient, let go and let God. LET HIM WORK, LET US LIVE. You think it can’t get any worse and then of course, it does. It gets worse before it gets better.

It happened like that on crucifixion day. The Via Dolorosa took on a macabre procession of Stop and Go traffic, loud shouts, gut wrenching grief and horrible dread of what lay ahead. We know that the worst was yet to be on that ‘Good Friday’.
And yet, the best was yet to be on that Resurrection Sunday when Jesus paved the way for our resurrection. God the Father knew what He was doing in spite of what everyone thought. Because life became unbearable for Jesus, my Lord, life in Christ is possible for me …and for you.

It had to get worse before it got better. Can you wait three days? “It is finished!” (John 19:20 NIV)

Monday, April 4, 2011


"Daddy's Corn"

“For in Him, all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you are complete in Him.” Colossians 2: 9-10

My daddy grew the best corn ever! Silver Queen and Seneca Chief, primarily, thrived in the black loamy soil of my folk’s home in northern Sumter County. I can still see him out in the corn field, checking the ears on those short stalks. He perfected the art of pulling corn at precisely the right time, when the ears matured to fullness. Then, he shucked it in the field, brought it in with a grin from ear to ear (pun intended), proud of the fullness of his corn crop. He spaced out the planting of his corn so that all didn’t come to fullness at same time. Two reasons prevailed: (1) So Mother wouldn’t be overwhelmed freezing it, either off or on the cob. (2) So we enjoyed eating fresh corn crop after crop.

Not only did Daddy grow corn, he gave away corn by the dozen of full ears, each dozen shucked and fresh from the field. I never knew him to sell his corn; he gave it away…fresh full ears, ready for enjoying. Mother had ceramic corn bowl/holders so we could keep corn off the plate and swimming in melted butter. Then there were the corn sticker things that went in each end, so as not to burn your fingers. None of this semi-warm corn on the cob. It was HOT.

My grandchildren love corn. When I don’t have fresh corn, I like to buy it frozen in those corn cob frozen shapes, because it reminds me of my daddy. I mix the creamed corn with the fried corn and they gobble it up like we did growing up and fuss because one of them got more than the other.

As I studied the second chapter of Colossians this morning and the fullness of the Deity dwelling in bodily form in Christ, the word study used the example of the corn and wine offered to Jehovah as tithe or the first fruits. (Unger’s Bible Dictionary) The word used for fullness is pleroma: total quantity, with emphasis on completeness. The whole nature and attributes of God are in Christ. In Ephesians 1:23 Paul speaks of the church, the body of believers called the fullness of Christ as it is the Church which makes a complete and perfect Head.

Seed corn put into the ground, nurtured, natured (rain/sun), and grown to completion, harvested in its fullness feeds the world. In the ‘fullness of time’ God came. In the ‘fullness of time’, Christ died and rose in completeness. His Word, the Seed, the Manna, THE CHRIST, HIMSELF, feeds us, fills us and completes us.

In the ‘fullness of time’ I died, was buried with Him in baptism, and raised in completeness with Him Who is the Head of His Body the Church. In the fullness of time, when we are exactly ripe, the Head will unite with His Body and we will dwell forever in His presence, united in Him. Until then, we rejoice knowing, “For it was the father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” (Col. 1:19 NAS)

“And in Him you have been made complete” (Col 2:10)
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heart Thoughts from Helen

HEART THOUGHTS...from Helen- March 17
...that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's cross..." Colossians 2:14 (THE MESSAGE)

There it came, the dreaded blue flashing light; and it was RIGHT BEHIND ME. I glanced quickly at the speedometer. My speed was not over the limit. What in the world have I done now? As my brow furrowed, I took my foot off the accelerator and pulled slowly into the dirt parking lot of the roadside nursery, thoughts flashing through my mind.

Who is passing by that knows me?

What have I done?

Lord, we don't have the money for this...whatever it is.

What a morning!

Cars sped by as the young patrolman slowly approached my side of the car. I could have assured him that I wasn't going to shoot him as so many news reporters dreadfully testify. Their caution is surely understandable. These things flittered through my consciousness as I began to search for my license, watching my rear view mirror inadvertently.

"Ma'am, may I see your license, registration and insurance card?"

"Certainly", as I started digging through the glove compartment. This one...expired, that one...expired.

"I'm sure it's here somewhere." I handed him what I thought was the correct information only to find out that our tag expired in '09, the year we moved from McCormick to Greer. OH, GREAT! No up to date sticker on license plate. My heart beat faster and my face turned crimson. "Dumb old woman"...I just knew his thoughts toward me bordered on my own.

Long story shortened: Ticketed ...150 bucks. Show up in court next month with proof of insurance and maybe the judge will pardon. Don't show up, pay the fine.
For a month that blue ticket ticked me off. Turns out there had been a snafu in our records when we moved, resulting in us not receiving a tax notice, which led to our failure to pay taxes, blah, blah, blah. Now I had to go court. Since Dennis handles paperwork in our home, he immediately went to highway department and took care of the problem, and went with me to Summary Court in Simpsonville to appear before the magistrate to explain the situation.

We arrived on time. A lot of other people did also. I thought, "There's a lot of folks going through the same hassle we are; our taxes are at work on the highways and in the patrol cars". We waited and as the room filled up, I took my place in line to present my explanation and rectification of the problem. The kind faced judge sitting behind the elevated huge desk in his black robe listened to each case in this traffic court. As I waited with my manila envelope containing proof of paid taxes and my blue summons ticket I couldn't help but think of the ultimate judgment of my soul, taken care of long ago. I approached the man in black, smiled and handed him my ticket and explained the circumstances surrounding it. He looked at the ticket, and he glanced at my insurance, registration, proof of taxes paid and said, "I'll take care of it. Next...."

I turned around, smiled at my husband and we walked out of the traffic court room, freed of penalties, reconciled with the law of the land.
Praise God my debt has been paid. Jesus 'took care of it' on the cross. I accepted His judgment of my failure to pay the penalty for my sin. My soul is worth much more than $150 and He died for me, releasing me to live for him who died for me, not dreading the enemy of my soul riding up behind me, flashing his blue lights and accusing me of failure. "I'll take care of it", is music to my ears.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Just in case you forgot to get your loved one(s) a valentine, I just happened to find one in my notes. Perhaps you can use it.

I am patient with you
because I love you and want to forgive you..

I am kind to you
because I love you and want to help you.

I do not envy your possessions or your gifts
because I love and want you to have the best.

I do not boast about my attainments
because I love you and want to hear about yours.

I am not proud
because I love you and want to esteem you before myself.

I am not rude because
I love you and care about your feelings.

I am not self seeking
because I love you and want to meet your needs.

I am not easily angered by you
because I love you and want to overlook your offenses.

I do not keep a record of your wrongs because I love you,
and "love covereth a multitude of sin".

...Jerry Bridges (a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13

Friday, February 4, 2011

HEART THOUGHTS..... from Helen


"Luke, the beloved physician..."
Colossians 4:14 AMP

Luke: Light-giving or luminous
David: Beloved

Luke Speir Lynn enlightened our lives ten years ago on January 24. His proud parents, David and Lisa, added their third son to our family on the day prior to David's own birthday. Weighing in at 8 lbs, 13 oz, 20 inches, the obstetrician delivering him dubbed him the 'linebacker', from the get-go. He still looks like a linebacker and he loves to play the game. Luke's physique and many of his characteristics bear an uncanny resemblance to his Poppy. Not only does he love to play football (and basketball) he knows statistics like his Poppy, watching ESPN and all the other sports channels he can find. He predicts Heisman Trophy winners with pretty good accuracy and Luke Spier Lynn's blood does run ORANGE. The boy wears Clemson shirts, shorts or shoes or jacket or tiger paws every day. To say he is an avid fan would be to understate the facts. During tryouts this past fall, Luke determinedly dieted. Each time he came to our house, he would run on the treadmill, then run to weigh on the scales. He made his weight goal with sheer determination. Seems like I remember his daddy doing something similar at that age. His MaMa told him he was getting fat after he'd visited my parents in the lower part of the state so David made up his mind not to be. He dieted and jumped rope every day, inside and out and lost weight, never to be called 'fat' again.

They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Our beloved David, whose birthday, falls on the 25 is overshadowed by his third son's and he hasn't seemed to mind in the least. He is a proud father of his three sons. When David was around Luke's age and older he acquired orange everything. My mother made him orange curtains and bedspread for his room. He wore his orange overalls until they wore completely out. The orange sweat suit he acquired somewhere along the way went with him all the way through high school and beyond. To say our eldest loves football is quite the understatement. During the season our house is college football headquarters. There's nothing the Lynn men would rather do than gather and cheer for their teams. David involves himself in every aspect of Blue Ridge Youth Association sports where his sons participate.

Back to Luke. My daddy died when Luke was five months old and he attended the wake in his little carrier. Honestly, he smiled, charming every person coming through the line and was such a sweet and happy blessing at such a difficult time. Luke is a loving and considerate young man. Even though I know those moments of public affection will soon depart when adolescence rears its head, he still hugs his Nana in public and will sit and talk to me at games, when I'm sure he'd rather be with the guys. Luke also is observant. He noticed that I had trouble keeping my coffee hot in the mornings, so for my birthday he got me an insulated coffee cup. For Christmas this fella purchased a heating, vibrating, neck pillow to soothe the muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders. Luke is a straight "A" fourth grade student at Mt. View Elementary and a terrific kid! Whether or not he becomes a physician like the one in Scripture, I don't know; he will however, do well on whatever he sets his mind. We are his proud grandparents. And David, our oldest? He's a beloved keeper too!!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

HEART THOUGHTS... from Helen


"...wash me, and I shall (in reality) be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7b - AMP)

"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;" (Isaiah 1:18 AMP)

As a girl growing up in the lower part of the state, we seldom enjoyed a real snow. When we did, my Mother and I enjoyed walking down our country road on the outskirts of Oswego, leaving our footprints on the "unadulterated snow", as she called it.

Last week we watched it snow and snow and snow, loving every minute of it. It's mesmerizing. So is the opposite, watching the flames of a fire burn relaxes me. When you can watch it snow in front of the fire, it soon becomes paralyzing. The older I get the less I want to do anything when it snows, but sit and watch it and stay warm. I've read numbers of comments about the snow on Face book. Many are so similar to my own feelings that we should put them in a book and call it, Snow Soliloquy. Then we could sit by the fire, watch it snow and intermittently read everyone's snow sayings. In actuality a lot of us did that yesterday with the aid of technology.

But then, we walked on it, took Sadie, our Golden out in it, tromped across the 'unadulterated snow' on our patio and messed it all up. We took pictures of the beautiful 'unadulterated snow' from the road, on the road and from the front/back doors. Now it's not pure and pristine; the stunning snow is 'adulterated,' pock marked with footprints and a lot of other things. Why do you think we feel we have to mess up a perfectly beautiful snow white scene by tromping on it? And then there's the snowmen, snow ladies, snow children, snow angels, and my grandchildren dug a snow tunnel or Alaskans call that an igloo. Five children crawled in, turned around and smiled out at the camera. Definitely a Kodak moment! My other three grandchildren entertained every male child (their parents did) near and far, feeding them all pancakes. Can you imagine all that testosterone in one place? Thoughts and prayers to Lisa.

Beauty and the Beast: Snow and Sin: The beauty of the driven, 'unadulterated' snow and the beast of sin polluting us all. We loved watching it fall and cover all the ugliness: the barren tree limbs, the asphalt road, the dead grass, the un-raked leaves, everything. Now, many want it gone and want it gone NOW. Scrape the roads, shovel the walk ways, and "LET ME OUT OF HERE! I want to be about my normal business". It was fun for a few hours but let's not get carried away with this white stuff. We're southerners; we're not used to it and we've done all the snow things we can do, eaten all the snow cream we can eat, eaten everything we can get our hands on and our mouth around, had a day off from work and school, now let's get on with life as we know it". It is a temporary fix, this snow event.

The Psalmist and the poet prophet, Isaiah, saw snow as quite another metaphor. Sin and snow. Not a thought we care to think about. "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow". What is whiter than snow? ME! All washed and covered from the stain of sin. Abba Father says, "Come on, let's talk about this sin thing, let's reason together. I can cover your sin as the snow that covers the southeast. You become pure, pristine and 'unadulterated' when you come in repentance, confessing all the ugly, dirty, dead stuff and claiming your snow status"(my paraphrase) This may take a daily cleansing from walking and playing in the world, but my crucial cleansing, my snow is 'unadulterated' and not temporary.

Go find a spot of snow on the ground that is untouched by human or animal. Look carefully at it and thank your Abba Father for providing His Son, the ultimate in snow covering for your sin.

Friday, January 7, 2011


"Let my one desire to be still before you." (Andrew Murray)

"For this reason ever since we heard about you (from Epaphras), we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual understanding." Colossians 1:9 (NIV) parenthesis is mine.

Ever wondered about Epaphras? His name means 'charming or foamy'. Not phony, but foamy.

He labored alongside Paul and in some way served as fellow prisoner. Herbert Lockyer calls him the man who was a giant in Prayer. I'd like to be known for such qualities. Do you have an Epaphras in your life? Epaphras, the Colossian, ministered to Paul in his need and to the church in her need. His prayer ministry is what is most notable about him.

Lockyer: "This giant in prayer knew how to lay all before the Lord, and laboring in secret, made the saints to be perfect and complete in their standing through his kneeling. He "strove earnestly in his prayers" for the Colossians." When is the last time you strove earnestly in your prayers for the saints?

Paul regarded his friend's perseverance as well as his prayers; he was a practical as well as a prayerful man. This man encouraged the imprisoned Paul with wonderfully charming good news of the saints in Colossae, probably resulting in the letter to the Colossians.

I've thanked God many times for persevering, powerful prayer warriors in my life. I honestly don't know what I'd do without them. I'd name them but would not want to omit any of them. Some have gone on to glory, but some still callous their knees in helping me to stand. Of course, my GREATEST INTERCESSOR is Christ, Himself. (Romans 8:34)

At the close of an old year, we succumb to some old habits, perhaps. Along with feeling much older, I've discovered that my prayer time suffers from insufficient time, insufficient listening as I should, over-sufficient distractions of everything and anything. Instead of choosing the better part like Mary, I resort to old Martha's busyness. It's been called the 'tyranny of the urgent'. I've confessed that and am determined to rename and recommit myself to being a Mary... Epaphras in this New Year. (Do you think it possible that they might have known each other?) Should I be successful, I'm thinking I'll see more of heaven in two thousand eleven.