Tag Archives: faith

Two Cocoons: a Love Poem… My Premature Twins on their Teeny Tiny Miracle Journey 

Two Cocoons

When I see your tiny red naked bodies

clad only in diapers the size of a Kleenex,

I think that nothing is more fragile, and

you’re just like the wings of a butterfly.

 

While one of you cries out like a hungry kitten,

the other cries out like a bleating sheep.

It hurts to see you suffering,

but I know God is good.

All the other newborn babies are giants

lying near your skinny, premature bodies.

I long to hold you in my arms,

my two little boys, and breathe in your warmth.

 

Already, you both have heads with hair.

Your daddy smoothes it down for you,

making you look like little men. He holds

your hands in his, no bigger than his thumb.

Deep blue eyes peep out to take a

look around at the world, but bright

fluorescent lights make you pinch them shut.

You frown, and we laugh at the wrinkles between your eyebrows.

And with our laughter, and time,

comes more light. This light from

God brings changes, which give

us more hope and double happiness.

Bare naked bodies are leaving soft downy hair behind.

Wrinkly elephant knees are going away.

You’re filling out, and I’m so filled with joy

that my milk is helping you to grow.

 

I can see your ribs beneath your skin,

starting to disappear, and your tummies are poking out.

The hollow of each chest pulls in,

as you both use all your strength to breathe.

I marvel at the sight of your hands in mine.

You can barely curl them around my

magnified pinky, but you try, and you succeed,

and your knuckles turn white, because you don’t want me to go.

 

When you are both finally four pounds,

you still look like peanuts in your isolettes

or happy lima beans when you are all curled up.

You are happy that you are no longer bare,

but wrapped up snug and safe,

like caterpillars in your cocoons.

I’m your mommy,

your butterfly,

holding you tight,

and I can’t wait to fly you home with me.

© 1999 Angela Royse Pelleman


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 New International Version). 

My babies have grown up before my very eyes. Today they are 18 years old, and no longer boys, but young men. I thank God for bringing us through our many trials. Their very lives are a miracle, for they were born 2-1/2 months early, at 29 weeks. The older by just 15 minutes was only 2 pounds, 15 ounces. His twin was not much bigger, at 3 pounds, 5 ounces. The older spent 1-1/2 months in the NICU, and his brother came home after two months. Our family was finally together!  Both babies spent five months attached to heart and lung monitors, and the second twin needed an oxygen tank. We had to learn CPR.  It was not an easy road for them, nor for our family; but God has never left our side. There has been trauma and severe illness along the way, but our God has been Faithful; and He has given us miracle healings through Jesus Christ. My young men are overcomers; victorious because their strength lies in Christ alone.

I am grateful for the many gifts and talents which God has bestowed upon them in His infinite mercy, grace, and love. As homeschoolers, they are now graduating from high school, and we look forward to what God has planned for their futures. God has given them some amazing gifts and talents in the areas of art, music, computer science, and politics; and we are excited to watch them fly!  But what gives me the most joy, is the comfort that both of them have knowledge, wisdom, and discernment in the Word of God. They chose to give their lives to Jesus at the tender age of four. So, as I struggle with a bit of sadness for having to say goodbye to their childhood years, I look towards the silver lining: My young men will always be children of God! They can go to Him in their greatest times of need, for they have privileges which are only given to children of God, through Jesus Christ. They have God’s protection and the ability to approach His throne without fear. They are cleansed by the blood of Jesus for their past, present, and future sins. Rejoice!

Thank you God for watching over my children who are men today. Thank you for watching over them as they get ready to make their way into the world as adults. Watch over them, guide them, and give them extra wisdom and discernment. Cover them with the blood of Jesus, and surround them with your hedge of protection, in Jesus’ name. Be their spiritual eyes and ears, as they go about working, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Give them courage and strength to reach the lost. like King David; bless them, Lord, and make them men after your own heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, and I thank you for the privilege of raising these two precious souls, who received you so young; and were baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit! Amen! 


“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15).


The Silver Lining is Always There!  Hope for Depression…

This week is a time of great trial, stress, and sadness for a precious family and their friends, who almost lost their lives in a horrific home explosion. They lost everything; their entire home and everything in it. They are faced with critical, life-changing injuries, which will change the course of the rest of their lives. Though a Go Fund Me campaign is in place for them, they need Jesus more than ever, to help get them through this trial. 

At times like these; when hopelessness and despair run rampant, it can be difficult to find the silver lining behind the dark, thick clouds looming in the storm. Of course life itself is a gift from God, and it is a reason to praise Him and give thanks. But sometimes it is difficult to live life; especially when we are suffering, in pain, depressed, and afraid about the future. Still, God promises to take care of us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

I’ve thought about how I would encourage my readers to “look on the bright side,” “think positive,” or “remember the light at the end of the tunnel;” when they are utterly drowning in deep sorrow, pain, and suffering. I know that words don’t help people who feel lost and utterly hopeless, because words didn’t help me either. 

Words don’t help hurting people, when they are too busy focusing on how to navigate their way through the darkness. I know, because I’ve been in that deep, dark, depressed place where I could not see the silver lining, either. The clouds were too thick and dense and dark. I needed to be rescued.  “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Ps. 69:1-2 English Standard Version).  Read: DEEP…A PSALM OF RESCUE…HOPE FOR DEPRESSION.

Words did not help; but truth, prayer and promises did. Truth provides hope. Prayer provides answers. Promises provide relief. They all work together, giving us God’s protection, and helping us to trust God, and grow in our faith. We begin to understand that our Almighty, Holy God loves us unconditionally; and this helps us to feel secure in believing His divine promises, which can never be broken.

We can pray for ourselves, and we can prayerfully intervene for others. Others can pray for us too!  The Bible promises us that God will never reject or abandon us in our time of need. Even if He’s silent, God is always there. Jesus promises hope which leads to healing, joy, and freedom. God promises to be our Rock; our Shelter from the storm, and a source of NEVER-ending protection. 

God’s Son, Jesus, is always lighting the way for us, even when we can’t see him. This is why searching for the silver lining gives us hope… because the sun never stops shining down upon us. The sun is still nourishing us; helping plants to grow, giving us daylight, warming our bodies, and providing energy to us here on earth… even when we don’t see it! The truth is still true, even if we don’t believe it! “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Heb. 11:1-2 New International Version).


God tells us to pray constantly, without ceasing. He promises to provide courage and strength. He promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it! God promises that when we pray together, He is in the middle of us! “‘For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst'” (Matt. 18:20 New American Standard Bible). God promises there will be no more tears or sorrow in Heaven. He promises us so many wonderful things! 

God is a promise maker, He is not a promise breaker! This is why we can put our entire trust in Him, even during our most difficult trials. Because God only tells the truth, we can look forward to the silver lining which awaits us in the next life. Our salvation is an absolute miracle, the greatest gift we could ever hope for, and that in itself… is enough. It’s FREE! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

But… God is also human; He is Jesus… so God understands that Heaven seems very far away from us. He understands that Heaven is simply incomprehensible for our feeble minds to grasp. So… God also has a plan laid out for us while we are still here, waiting to get to Heaven. It’s all meant to save more people, so they can come live in His Kingdom too! In His perfect timing; God transforms, heals, restores, calls, and blesses us… right here on Earth! How incredible is that? 

God takes our tears of sadness, and turns them into springs of gladness. Our depression is transformed to joy. Our hopelessness disappears, and is replaced by faith!  “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” (Isa. 61:3 New Living Translation).

You who are tired and weary of living; God understands! It is not His will for you to be depressed!  Pursue Him, and He will teach you how to grab hold of the lies which hold you down; and renounce them in the name of Jesus! Pray, ask for prayer, and seek out brothers and sisters in Christ who will pray for you. Cry out to God for HELP, in the name of Jesus! He will send you wise counsel, comforting scriptures, and truthful teachings to lead you out of the desert, and into the Promised Land! 

Dear God, please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering today. Remove from us our strongholds, and the lies which persist and plague us. Lord, heal our physical ailments that cause us pain and frustration. Heal our emotional hurts, which cause us depression; due to a build up of guilt, anger, and fear. Heal our mental challenges, which stem from disabilities and hardship. Heal spiritual injuries brought on by abuse and false prophets and false teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray, and we ask for Your will to be done; not ours. We know Your plan is perfect and Holy, and so is Your timing. Thank you that the silver lining is always there! Please bless us, in Jesus’ name!

Be encouraged! God promises to provide light and love for His children; both here on Earth, and in Heaven!

Guest Post by Brandon Adams: It Can Come Out Of Nowhere

God’s miracle can come after decades of nothin’. “I haven’t given up hope, but…”

I was catching up with a friend. She and her daughter have seen a rough stretch. Death in the family, countless unanswered prayers. Though my battles were different, we reached the same conclusion: the last fifteen years had not gone as we’d hoped.

When you go that long with something wrong, your mind finds ways to deal with it. The most common is to assume that this is how things will always be. This is how God operates; this is his modus operandi for you. Every year offers hope. But it always ends with disappointment. The last go-around didn’t bring any breakthrough, you reason; why would this one?

“I haven’t given up hope, but…”

We know in our hearts that we shouldn’t throw in the towel. Still, our hope features a “But”. We’re not sure we want to put our hearts out there. Not again. It might just be easier to Gethsemane this one and move on.
And yet…

“…a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering” (Mark 5:25-29 NIV).

We read this story and go, “Wow, all she had to do was ask Jesus and he helped right away. One ask, one touch. If only.”

But that’s not the lesson at all.

Think about it – this woman went through twelve years of the hope-and-disappointment roller coaster. Every doctor she’d visited had promised a cure, along with fervent prayers that at last God would move on her behalf. Every time, the hope crashed. No explanation.

This woman, right up until the moment she touched Jesus’ cloak, was me and my friend. Years of desolation. Not only was she stricken, but the search for a cure had left her destitute – and ceremonially unclean on a daily basis. Trial spawning other trials. She was alone and shunned. Thousands of prayers fallen on seemingly deaf ears.

And then…one brush of Jesus’ robe and all was well.

After twelve years of heartache, none of which seemed to point to anything ever being right again…the rules changed in a touch. A new life in every way.

Because of her uncleanliness, she risked everything by entering a crowd. Had she considered that this prophet, this healer from the very God who had implemented the Mosaic law, might not appreciate being seized by an unclean woman?

Well, she went anyway. There was no “but” affixed to this woman’s hope. Only audacity could have pushed her through the disappointment and the crowd, an unbowed “maybe this time,” made stronger, not weaker, by the years.

The crippled woman from Luke 13 suffered at Satan’s hands for eighteen years. The man who washed in the Pool of Siloam had been blind from birth. Veterans of disappointment.

For the man at the Bethesda pool…thirty-eight years. In that society, thirty-eight years brought a man right to the twilight of one’s life expectancy. Yet there he was, beside the pool, when Jesus showed up. His years hadn’t keep him home.

I want that faith.

I cannot predict what God will do in your life. Gethsemane is indeed the end of some prayer roads.

But I can tell you what kind of hope Jesus wants in us: no “buts.” These stories of double-digit-year waits weren’t canonized by accident. Whatever breakthrough you’re praying for, it can come out of nowhere, unexpected, even on the heels of years of wearying, mystifying frustration. Indeed, I might even dare to say that it’s really more about the faith then the breakthrough.

I want my dear friends to see that, to jettison the “but” and look to each day with hope. It may be tiring; it may require courage to hope again.

But if this is how Jesus wants us to live…

                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~

By Brandon Adams, blogger for millennials seeking the abundant life of Jesus!

Brandon Adams is a millennial who’s passionate about finding the Jesus of the Bible, without manmade filters, the blessings and the burdens both, and sharing him with a thirsty generation. He especially has a heart for Christian singles, as the church’s last twenty years of singleness teachings have not done them justice. You can find his hopefully coherent blurbs over at http://brandonjadams.com.

To find out more about Brandon and his Christian singles’ ministry, and to contact him, or subscribe to his blog;  click here:

About Brandon J. Adams

For the link to Brandon’s original blog post, click here: 

It Can Come Come Out of Nowhere

Thank you, Brandon Adams, for giving The Silver Lining the privilege of guest posting your beautiful work! I find your blog to be: powerful, inspiring, and encouraging to both single, and married Christians!  Readers can look for more of your posts to be shared in the future, on The Silver Lining Facebook page.  May God continue to bless you, Brandon, with wisdom and knowledge, in the name of Jesus Christ! 

Blessings, 

Angela Royse Pelleman 


The Unexpected Joy of REST

I never expected God would fill me up with so much joy, at the exact same time I’d be recovering from major back surgery! I’m two weeks into recovery, and God has been lighting up my life! Now don’t get me wrong… it hurts! The pain is intense. Just when I think the pain is beginning to diminish, it either comes back, or starts up again somewhere else!

But God has a sense of humor, and He knows what He’s doing ALL the time! I wasn’t listening as God tried to convince me to slow down. I needed rest, and it just wasn’t happening. As my body kept breaking down, God continued to urge me to rest in Him, but I believed rest was a waste of time. I did NOT believe God was a waste of time, and I’m so in love with Him for being patient with me. I just could not sit still and allow myself to soak up His Holy Presence; but I needed it… His rest… more than sunshine. I know that now.

I wrote about God, I looked up His verses and studied them, I listened to the words He said to me and wrote them down to encourage others, I sought counsel for things I didn’t understand, and thanked God for my elders wiser than me. I humbled myself and admitted my shortcomings, forgave others even when it hurt, and continued faithfully trusting God, even when it didn’t make sense… but I refused to… rest

I told myself there wasn’t time; there was too much to do, and moments of rest were moments I could be accomplishing something. But the accomplishments were never enough, and every night I was still filled with self-condemnation, even when I had worked my fingers, or my back, to the bone.  The voices from my past always left me feeling guilty and unworthy, like I must keep going to prove myself. But I was now at the breaking point. I was exhausted, and truly tired of suffering, and I just couldn’t break the cycle. No one in my precious, immediate family pressured me to keep going; in fact they all insisted I take a break and… rest. So did my dear friends. And I knew they really meant it. And I knew they were right. But the green light always said, “GO.”

And finally I began to get the message. I wasn’t taking care of myself, because I had never really learned how. During childhood, I’d been made to feel ashamed for doing well and for doing nice things for myself. So somewhere along the line; a long, long time ago, I had given up. I hadn’t given up on caring for my family, but I realized I had stopped caring for myself. I didn’t take the time to enjoy a book, write poetry, eat healthy, paint my nails, and just “stop and smell the flowers.” 

I was doing everything for others, and nothing for myself. When I had time to myself, I didn’t use it wisely, because I felt it was useless. As a child, I’d taught myself not to get my hopes up, because I was constantly let down, and penalized for doing things that made me happy. Of course my children gave me great joy, so my focus was there. I just found our family seemed to be always doing something on everyone else’s agenda, and never anything on our own; or mine. If I didn’t start taking care of myself soon, I wouldn’t be able to take care of those I love the most…my family members. And I wanted to be there for my friends and sisters and brothers in Christ, the way God has helped me to be there for them before. 

I began to make the necessary decision to take things off of my plate, and get serious about my surgery, and get serious about dividing my time equally in caring for both my family, and myself. This meant saying no to lots of things. I wasn’t concerned about not being liked, for I had discovered boundaries a long time ago, and am no longer into people-pleasing. I’m into pleasing God!

The hard part was giving up the couple things I had chosen to keep, like my Sunday School class and freelancing for Child Guide magazine, where I’m both a columnist, and a regular contributor. But God met me here too! I saw my daughter light up when she went to my friend’s Sunday School class and was welcomed by name with a cheerful smile. Yes, she wanted to go back! And my friend and editor of the magazine, kindly worked with me, as she always has, so I could have this season of rest and recovery, without any pressing deadlines.

Even though I was getting the message, the week before my surgery, I was frantically cleaning the house and calling in the troops to help me. Though I knew I should probably be relaxing, because my body would be enduring a lot of stress from the surgery, I stayed up late into the night two days prior to my surgery, instead of… resting.  Though my family promised to take care of me and did indeed do everything  I requested, I was determined to make sure my bedroom would be a sanctuary of peace for my recovery. When I got home, I wanted to make sure I would be able to… rest

Besides,  Pshaw! I could rest in the hospital after my surgery! Um… no. I didn’t realize then, that the post-operative pain would be so unbearable, I wouldn’t sleep a wink! Yet, I found myself joyfully writing a blog in the hospital that night instead. But this time, in spite of the excruciating pain, I could feel my body… resting. Even though I couldn’t sleep, I felt relaxed in my mind, because I knew that I was finally going to get a chance to… rest… and I was desperate to do so. 
 
If I could easily kneel down; all the love, support, and encouragement (which is still coming my way) would have already humbly brought me to my knees. Instead, our family has appreciatively gathered, and bowed our heads each evening, thanking God for warm home-cooked meals;  made by loving hands, and serving hearts. We’ve asked God to bless these beautiful women and their families, from my church and town. We’ve told God how very grateful we are for His provisions of delicious food, enjoyable visits, and playdates for my young daughter who is homeschooled; so she can remain happy, busy, and active with friends while I recuperate.

I’ve been able to bask in the warmth of the sun, while enjoying God’s beautiful flowers as they spring forth during my favorite season;  in anticipation of my favorite holiday… Easter!  What could be a more perfect time for rest and rejuvenation?  I’m so thankful that Jesus died for me, so that no matter what lies ahead; my future, my family’s future, and the future of my Christian brothers and sisters; lies secure in our salvation through Jesus Christ!

Why am I so surprised about the immense joy which has come my way in the midst of pain? This isn’t some crazy coincidence; for God’s timing really is the best; and He knows when we most need the presence of joy. He prepared me for it, and without a doubt He gets the glory for the healing he is bestowing upon me, both inside and out. Because, the fact is, hundreds of brothers and sisters in Christ have been praying for me for a long time, and I’ve been anointed by both my pastor and my husband. Anointing is powerful, and we should expect good things when we receive the gift of it. After all, it’s a holy blessing from The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit!  

In the pain and suffering, God has provided the silver lining: family, friends, fellowship, food, and… rest. I hoped for it… and it came… just when I needed it most! So as I heal, I continue to TRUST HIM, because hope in Jesus does NOT disappoint! “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5 New International Version).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).


Spring is a time of joyful, new beginnings! I pray you know the truth; that our hope lies only in Jesus, so you can find healing, joy, and freedom in Christ! May you enjoy the warmth of the sun, the beauty of colorful flowers, the hugs from friends, and the joy of holding a soft, downy baby chick! May you receive Jesus, and have peace in knowing you have eternal life! AMEN!


Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Family that Prays Together…

Trusting God through Trials

Dear readers of The Silver Lining

Today is my surgery day! I’m finally headed in for a lumbar fusion, after years of suffering with severely intense, chronic back pain. My God is in control, and I have peace and hope, because Jesus is at the wheel! Thank you to everyone who is praying for, supporting, and encouraging me; may God bless you in Jesus’ name for lifting me up to The Great Physician! 

I’ve been anointed by my pastor and by my husband. My family, friends, and church have prayed for me. I’ve prayed for myself! I’m ready! Please continue to pray for quick and complete healing for my entire back, so I can keep caring for my family and ministering to God’s children (that’s you!).  I want to give you hope in Christ, so you can find the goodness of God’s healing, freedom, and joy; as we keep pursuing Jesus in our lives. 

God gave me this verse for my surgery:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ ” (Jer. 29:11 New International Version). Pass it on to a friend who needs The Lord’s comfort today! 💙

Here is a past post depicting a small part of the suffering my family and I have endured: God Pulls Us Through Trials of Suffering; but the silver lining is that it’s nothing compared to the HUGE REWARDS God has in store for us, including eternal life! 💙 

Trust God!



“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Wisdom says Do Not Mock the Poor

When I was a child I was often made fun of for being too sensitive. When I was eight, I lived in Brindisi, Italy. There were breads and cheeses and fruits at the marketplace. There were beggars too, in extremely great need. I wanted money to give to the beggars, and was told we couldn’t help them all. Couldn’t we help just one? I wanted to put some lire in the cup held by the dirty woman propped up against the stone wall. I knew her life couldn’t be easy; for she had only one leg. She was a mama with a baby on her lap, and a toddler hovering nearby. From what I understood, we were not to look at them, or engage with them; we were to pretend that they were not there.

But I stole a look behind me anyway, wondering how her family would eat and drink, and how she would take care of her children if she couldn’t even walk! All I could offer to the beggars as a child, was a smile to their toothless smiles, and it was hard to do that when my heart felt like a damn about to burst from holding back all my tears.

The mocking of my sensitive soul continued as I got older. Even as an adult, I was again made fun of, for my concern over whether someone who had entered a restaurant in Washington DC, was hungry and in need of a meal. I was gauging the situation by watching a disheveled woman’s behavior, trying to discern whether my asking if she wanted a meal would be offensive to her, or accepted with relief. People who should have been guiding me all my life, laughed at me instead, joking by claiming that the woman actually worked in the restaurant; all while stuffing their faces with the overly expensive food. I was no longer hungry.

Another time, I was greatly distressed to find that the homeless, in a city in North Carolina, were being forced to wear orange vests if they wanted to ask for money or work, while standing at medians in busy intersections. While understanding that the fluorescent orange color could protect them from getting hit by cars, I remarked on the cruelty of these people having to make themselves even more visible, as if was not already humiliating enough to beg for work, money, and food. I didn’t care if they had their own camp over yonder and had “chosen” this way of life. I was angry about their plight, and disgusted with the city of Durham for being willing to pay for orange vests, when that cash could instead be used towards sheltering cold homeless people, putting warm coats on cold bodies, or filling hungry bellies with delicious comfort food.

I was mocked and laughed at for speaking my caring thoughts aloud. Unkind words were said about the homeless. It hurt my ears. When, I objected, I was told it was all “just joking.” Then why wasn’t I laughing too? I sat sullenly in the back seat, not caring two cents about being the party pooper. Didn’t anyone else care about the poor? This wasn’t funny. At. All. And I knew by then how to think for myself. I had already been helping those less fortunate than me. I had a heart for helping the poor; it was a part of me, and I was glad. “Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished” (Proverbs 17:5 New International Version).

Several years later, I found myself joyfully fixing food and serving a community meal at a local church. The poor came, and the homeless. They were hungry; in need of clothing, toys, supplies, and most of all… Jesus. My favorite part was after the meal had been served, when I could take a seat across from, or next to these broken people and listen to their heartbreaking stories. I got to know their names, pray for them, and hug them. It got to the point where I would recognize them on the street if I passed through town. One even came to the library to read books one day while I was there with my children. I was able to introduce my daughter to Miss Carol, who seemed to find great comfort in reading children’s books, so we talked about our favorites.

If these kinds of people and situations were supposed to be ignored, dismissed, mocked, and joked about; why did my heart swell with such tenderness when I had the opportunity to meet these people’s needs? Why did I feel such joy at being allowed the privilege of giving a little part of myself to hopeless, hurting people? It wasn’t the kind of happiness that comes from a perfect day, like your birthday when you eat your favorite foods, with your favorite people, and go to your favorite places. It was Holy Spirit Love for others, which fills your heart with joy and peace, because you’re fulfilling God’s beautiful, divine purpose. For Jesus came to bring life to the lost, and hope to those in despair. He lives within me, and nothing compares to being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, and loving others the way he does!

And who is to say that my life couldn’t have been like their lives? What if I was the one in their circumstances? How would my life turn out? Yet, I realize now that though I never lacked for food or clothing or shelter, I was truly poor in spirit, for I lacked the nurturing, care, encouragement, support, and unconditional love; that a child needs to become a whole, happy, healthy adult. The silver lining is God knows exactly what we need. He will provide it through other people, resources, the Holy Bible, churches, or if needed… a miracle. And best of all, is God’s promise, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:13).


God commands us to take care of the poor, minister to orphans and widows, and to uplift and encourage the broken-hearted. It’s because God values everyone as part of His Miraculous Creation. You can’t be a Christian without caring for those less fortunate, for the Bible says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (Jas. 1:27)

When we become part of the family of God, we become part of God’s greater plan. I can’t help but think that if everyone obeyed God and gave a part of themselves to those in need, that no one would be poor at all, and then we wouldn’t have all these problems in the first place! But we are dealing with the fall, and sin, and broken people. Nothing will be perfect ever until we reach Heaven. But in the meantime, can’t we give a little, or a lot, of our resources to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to help those who need to know Jesus to find him?

Someone’s greatest need may financial, physical, educational, or spiritual. A person may need food, shelter, Christian counsel, friendship, a bible to read, or a ride to church. We can use our gifts from God to minister to the poor. And if we don’t have much; we surely have our prayers to offer, which bring great results and rewards. Surely, we would not want others to make fun of us during our greatest time of need. We all want our basic and greater needs met. Isn’t God a good God to notice when we aren’t being treated right, when we are made fun of for being poor, or mocked for caring about poor people? It’s insulting and unacceptable to God!

So, do not heed the lies, all you compassionate and brothers and sisters in Christ; keep on caring, giving, sharing, encouraging, and loving others! Be beautifully sensitive! These are gifts from God to share with others! For we are ALL made in His image! God will bless both the giver and receiver, and everything will be used for His glory!

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).



When People Don’t Play Fair…God Is Our Just Judge

“Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you” (Prov. 20:22 New International Version). 

It’s hard waiting for God to reveal the truth when you’re innocent. It’s even harder when you have evidence that someone has done you wrong. But even with evidence, people will choose to turn a blind eye. They don’t want to face the truth. That would mean admitting their own sin. We live in a sinful world. People are comfortable living in sin, and they don’t want to acknowledge when they are wrong. They don’t want to admit that they have hurt someone or that they have contributed to it in some way. They don’t want to say sorry to the people they’ve offended. Most of all, they don’t want to humble themselves before God and ask for His forgiveness.

It feels so unfair when we see somebody getting away with a sin, especially when we end up suffering because of it. The silver lining is in God’s timing for justice. God is a just judge, and His timing is always best. It may feel like forever, but God does not abandon us. He will see us through the pain, heal us, and grow us to be more like Jesus. His plan is always meant to bring more people to Christ. If we are in truly in Him and we have the privilege of seeing this plan come to fruition, we will end up rejoicing! Why? Because our will has become one with God’s will…for no one to perish. We don’t want anyone to be left behind.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Just as Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery, God will see us through our unjust stay in prison. He will bring us to a place of privilege and authority in Him. We will have a choice to harden our hearts, or to forgive and pardon our enemies when they come to true repentance. Hold fast to your Savior, Jesus! He loves you and will see you through!

” ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him” (Matt. 20:33-34).