Something About Angels


The topic of angels fascinates me, and today I’m sharing an edited version of a blog I posted May 24, 2014. Happy Saturday.

NED IS AN ANGEL

My angels are numbered.

Let me tell you how Ned got his number. It began with a book I read, The Messenger. In one chapter, titled ‘The 444’s’, angels were identifying themselves in the guise of number 444 to four different people.

In the book, a woman who professed she could talk to angels, told the main character that his special angel’s number was 4. This triggered a memory for me. Many years ago I had been told that the number 7 was very important to me. Could it be that my special angel was numbered 777? I felt that it was, and named the angel Celeste. Before long I believed that many angels were with me and I looked at numbers in a way I never had before.

Once aware of the angels in my life it was interesting the way they became available to me whenever I called upon them. As soon as that awareness crept into my psyche I noticed triple numbers on license plates, telephone numbers on billboards, or even a particular hymn number on Sunday morning. But back to Ned.

The writer of an angel magazine I was reading one morning described an incident where she was having difficulty with a computer program dealing with finances. She mentally asked for help, and suddenly the name ‘Ned’ came to her. Shaking her head at this imaginative voice, she continued trying to conquer the problem. Once again she found herself thinking, I need some help here, and the name ‘Ned’ popped into her mind again. She searched in a name book and found that Ned was a derivative of Edward, meaning prosperous guardian. With that, she found her thinking had cleared and the problem was solved.

Back to my angels. As yet I wasn’t aware of my prosperity angel and the number 999 suddenly came to mind. I wondered if Ned and 999 were connected and looked for that number on my drive to work.

I was vaguely disappointed as I neared my destination and my prosperity angel had not manifested yet. Due to a traffic tie-up in front of me I took a short cut and turned at the first corner I came to. There, parked at the side of the road to my right was a car with the license plate N E D.

I was astounded!

That afternoon a visiting business colleague who knew my penchant for angels and their numbers casually commented, “Incidentally, on my way over here the car in front of me had 999 on the license plate; thought you might be interested.”

That’s how I know Ned is and angel.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; Psalm 91:11

Life is Like a Book


Do you find that as you turn each page in your book of life the story gets more interesting? Does each chapter make you anticipate the next one? Do you look forward to a happy ending? Or do you forget what the story line is and find yourself turning back the pages? Well, here is some pretty sage advice for those of us who do just that.

70 Motivational And Inspirational Quotes To Keep You Inspired - Gravetics

 

Of Human Interest


Of the eight-hundred-and-seventy  posts I’ve written, it is the human interest factor that has prompted the most views. “Small Mercies, Large Mercies” on August 24th, garnered over five hundred views on Facebook.

Wedding stories such as “Barefoot Over the Bridge” September 9, 2016, and “Love in the Afternoon” June 5, 2014 were well received as were stories of funerals, memorials, special anniversaries and people facing serious health issues.

“On the Sidewalk of Life” July 31, 2014, spoke of a very kind fifty-two-year-old man, who, having a severe heart condition, got off the sidewalk of life and onto the stairway to heaven after fulfilling a final act of kindness.

It is heartwarming to know that despite the world’s woes and the front-line television and newspaper reporting of them, there is still an element of human interest in the everyday lives of ordinary people.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians  2:4 ESV

“Run For Your Lives!”


Here is an awakening anecdote as given to us by Matthew Ruttan in his March 30th devotional. He goes on to write:

  • The story in today’s “Up!” is told by Tony Campolo in Let Me Tell You A Story.

There’s a marine training facility called Parris Island. A young man signed up who was a bit out of step with the others. He was nice enough—but he just didn’t fit in. As a result he got picked on. A lot. 

In his barracks there were guys who were particularly mean. One of them came up with an idea to drop a disarmed hand grenade on the floor pretending like it was about to go off. Everyone would be in on the joke and know it was disarmed—everyone except the new guy. They figure he’d freak out and totally embarrass himself. 

So the next time they were all together someone out of view tossed in the disarmed grenade. “It’s a live grenade, it’s about to explode!”

But the young recruit, instead of running away, jumped on top of the grenade, hugged it to his stomach, and yelled, “Run for your lives! If you don’t you’ll be killed!” 

They all stood there, frozen in their own shame, marveling at what he was prepared to do for them without any regard for himself.  What they thought would be that young man’s moment of great embarrassment and humiliation turned out to be a moment of great self-sacrifice and glory.

Does this remind us of anyone? Hint: It was posted on Good Friday.

I enjoy Matthew’s daily devotionals and you can too at:

Stretch the Imagination


Wm. P. Young wrote a book, “The Shack”, in 2007 and this year it was made into a movie. I read the book twice in that ten year span and just watched the movie this week.

What a test for the faith concept and the depiction of God himself…not only God but his  counterparts, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They all come together in “the shack” to show the protagonist Mackenzie Phillips that the pain he is suffering over the loss of his five-year-old daughter, Missy, is mostly of his own making.

Mack relives his own painful childhood, including the murder of his father which he himself committed. He dwells on the guilt he feels about leaving Missy alone while he ran to rescue his two other children from a capsized boat. He blames God for it all.

The unfolding tale shows Mack coming to grips with his beliefs, his doubts, and most of all his faith.

This story has a way of opening the mind to new concepts of how we perceive the triune and how we can relate Mack’s pain to the pain in our own lives and how we deal with it. This story is a real eye opener, but it is the way God is portrayed that stretches the imagination.

Some of Life’s Lessons – #4


Okay, so yesterday’s lesson was remembering those who serve. Today it is about obstacles as you will see in this internet series of life’s lessons.

The Obstacles in our Path – In ancient times a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. The he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse laying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Tomorrow: Giving When it Counts

That Darned Ark


The story of the flood and Noah’s ark (Genesis 6-9) appears to be giving a lot of people a lot of trouble.

For instance, how could a loving, caring God drown the whole world except for one man, his family, and a pair of every species of animal…just enough to repopulate planet earth.

Is it purely allegorical and if so what is allegory? Here is one explanation from the internet.

Allegory Definition 

Allegory is a figure of speech in which abstract ideas and principles are described in terms of characters, figures and events.It can be employed in prose and poetry to tell a story with a purpose of teaching an idea and a principle or explaining an idea or a principle. The objective of its use is to preach some kind of a moral lesson.

So, I kind of see it as God creating this beautiful planet filled with beautiful people and other creatures for the purpose of living in harmony and good will, and expecting them to be thankful and obedient to him in return. After all He’s the parent…we’re the kids.

Isn’t that what we expect from our children? We provide them with love, shelter, food, clothing, lessons for living life, and in return we expect co-operation, respect, obedience…not to mention a reciprocated love. Who of us hasn’t punished, or threatened to punish a wayward child for not living up to their end of the bargain? Except we don’t go as far as God is depicted to have done.

So, I’m thinking that whoever wrote that story, supposedly Moses, had a vivid imagination, a keen (if not warped) sense of justice, and pegged God as someone not to be tangled with. In other words, is the story of the flood one big empty threat…just like the dad who told his son, “Don’t touch that (whatever) or I’ll chop your hand off!” Really? Is it simply meant to make us pay attention to what is expected of us in God’s world?

The sad part about the people who let the flood story stop them from reading any further is that they missed the beautiful ending to the story…the part where God promised he would never do anything like that again and sent a beautiful rainbow as a sign of that promise. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing that rainbow in the clouds (Genesis 9:13).

So why am writing about that darned ark? It makes me sad that so many people are missing the rest of the story, God’s story, and all that it entails for our earthly sojourn, simply because they cannot let go of that segment with all it’s depicted horrors. All I can say is read on…you don’t know what you’re missing.

 

 

Thinking Outside the Box


I love to think, and love to collect great thoughts when they come my way. The following came from the internet a few months ago. It’s about a graduating class in Nova Scotia, Canada and is claimed to be a true story. It proves that old adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It’s title is “The Sneeze”

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they  felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it “for fear of Offending non-Christians”.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the  guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave  inspirational and challenging speeches, but no  one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked  for blessings on the graduates or their  families.

The speeches were nice,  but they were routine until the final speech  received a standing  ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED in unison!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said,

‘GOD BLESS  YOU’ and then walked off the  stage…

The audience exploded  into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their  future, with or without the court’s  approval.

Isn’t this a wonderful story? Please pass it on to all your  friends ……… and
 
GOD BLESS  YOU!!!!

This is a true story; it  happened at Eastern Shore District High School in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia.

I  hope this goes around Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.

 Whether or not anyone shares this is immaterial, I just thought it was a great example of thinking outside the box.
 
 

God’s Social Club


Sometimes I wonder where my next blog will come from because they are mostly spontaneous rather than planned.

I spoke to someone yesterday who referred to church as a social club. It caused me to ponder the statement, which is how I came up with today’s title.

In a way this person was correct. To begin with, each man, woman and child is warmly welcomed as they enter the building. Next they find a comfortable (or not so) place to sit and pass pleasantries with the person next to them in the pew.

After the final formality of the worship service is completed in orderly fashion, the pastor is praised (or not) as we, the congregation, file out to gather for tea, coffee, goodies and socializing in the meeting hall.

As people catch up on each other’s lives since the previous week, stories are exchanged, jokes are shared, hugs are plentiful (a boon to those who live alone) and parting words are usually a cheerful “See you next Sunday, if not before.”

I’m very happy to belong to God’s social club where we come together for praise and worship, tea and coffee, and a chance to pass the raisin bread.

 

 

 

A Touch of Fiction


I’m still waiting for my book, “My Precious Life” to hit the stores, and have been blogging bits and pieces of my life that didn’t make it into the book. This post is a work of fiction, which I normally don’t write. Feedback would be good.

 

THE ELEVATOR

Running for the elevator, Elsie quickly glanced at her watch.

Damn, late again, she muttered to herself as she flew through the door just as it was closing.

“Where to, young lady?” the voice was phlegm-filled.

“Fourteen,” she panted, “And make it quick!”

As the last few inches of space closed behind her, the ancient elevator lurched into its ascent.

“You think I control the speed?” The sarcastic reply was accompanied by a racking cough.

Elsie eyed the only other person on board.

He was wearing faded Levis with a blue plaid flannel shirt half tucked in, and black sneakers that looked like they had seen a marathon or two.

His pudgy face, under a balding head, was as gray as her kid-leather briefcase, and showed beads of perspiration which he mopped with an even grayer handkerchief. His full-lipped mouth was missing a couple of teeth.

“I was kidding,” she retorted, unconsciously pressing herself against the wall. “I’m late for an appointment. Of course I know you don’t control the speed!”

But I wish I could, she thought, noticing an unpleasant odor coming from the old guy’s direction.

Come on, come on, she eyed the slow moving indicator above the elevator door. Four, five, six.

Why is it so slow, she wondered, and when is he going to get off?

Suddenly, there was another lurch and then–no movement.

“Push fourteen again, please,” Elsie was agitated.

But his arthritic fingers were already pushing the buttons–nothing.

“What’s going on?” She was beginning to panic.

“Don’t know, young lady, but looks like we’re stuck between floors,” the old man wheezed, and then broke into another coughing fit.

Oh, no, Elsie moaned to herself, this can’t be happening.

“Well, push the emergency button!” she almost yelled at him.

“You think I don’t know what to do?” He glared at her and mopped his face again. “This here’s an old elevator. I’ve been stuck in it before. Last time it took ‘em an hour to get it goin’ again.” His gravelly voice rasped on the young woman’s fraying nerves.

The odor was getting stronger and Elsie didn’t know how she was going to cope.

“What do you mean, an hour! That’s preposterous!” she exclaimed, “I must get to my appointment!”

The old man started to speak, but instead, a rattling cough shook his body.

Elsie watched in horror as he doubled over, coughing uncontrollably.

Next thing she knew he was on the floor gasping for air. Her two-piece, light linen suit suddenly felt like a fur coat.

Her feet swelled in the high-heel shoes she had chosen so carefully for their comfort.

Her own body became sticky with perspiration.

The leather briefcase seemed to be filled with bricks rather than the manuscript she had been studying so hard for the past few weeks.

But now she was hopelessly late. Her dream of becoming a star was dying on this stifling elevator.

Elsie looked down at the ashen face and wondered how often he had these attacks, or if this was a first. She felt totally helpless and frustrated.

As she watched the old man struggling for breath, she suddenly realized how self-centered she was.

Instead of trying to help this poor soul, she was only concerned with her own discomfort, and the fact that she was missing the audition of a lifetime.

She had found him so repugnant it didn’t occur to her that he might be suffering. Elsie knelt down and loosened his collar.

As her hand made contact with the clammy skin of his throat he stirred and muttered something unintelligible.

She remembered a bottle of water tucked into a loop in her case.

She tilted his head, put the water to his lips, and he slowly opened his puffy eyes. “Thank ye kindly, young lady,” he croaked, and tried to sit up.

“It’s okay.” Elsie forced a smile. “Will it really take an hour for somebody to get us going again?” Her tone was now conciliatory.

“Nah,” he said, “any minute now.”

With that, the elevator started to move, and suddenly the air didn’t smell so bad after all.

“You’d better have that cough checked out, Mister.” Elsie told the old man.

“Yep, an’ you better book another appointment, young lady.”

The elevator came to an abrupt stop at the fourteenth floor, and the old man waited until Elsie was off before he followed her.

They headed in the same direction and stopped at the same office.

Elsie smiled uncertainly as the old man held the door open and ushered her inside.

He motioned to a chair, and as she slowly sat down he removed the blue plaid shirt, revealing a stark white tee shirt with the logo – DUO.

“Now, young lady,” he said with a grin, pulling off the bald latex wig, and removing two black patches from his teeth, “you’re here to audition for the lead part in the Angel in Disguise production?”

He wiped the gray-toned makeup off his face and pulled puffy patches from beneath his eyes. He leaned across the desk and offered his hand. It was not arthritic, and he was not a bald old man with a hacking cough.

Elsie’s heart raced as she placed her hand in his.

“What’s this all about?” she asked.

“I’m Daniel Bayes, producer and director of the upcoming TV series, Do Unto Others.”

“I’ve played the elevator scene with every hopeful applicant so far and believe me, there were no angels among them.”

“But you, although you were repulsed and frightened, overcame your feelings and tried to make me comfortable. You showed concern for my well-being, and when we reached the fourteenth floor, didn’t rush away to make up for lost time.”

“I had my doubts in the beginning, but when the elevator began to move again I knew my search for the lead angel was over.”

“The part is yours, young lady, if you want it. Your audition was on that elevator.”

Elsie smiled at this pleasant man who was not much older than herself.

“Thanks, old man,” she joked, “I think I’ll take it.”