Monday, June 27, 2016

IS GOD FINISHED WITH THE U.S.?

Christopher Columbus believed God called him to make his voyages. He openly shared his wish to spread Christianity to the pagan nations. He also had a heartfelt passion for the displaced people of Israel. For that reason, our post-modern society chooses to demonize this brave explorer.

The book of Genesis reveals how the Lord provided an incubator for the Israelites to grow in strength and number in Egypt. Thousands of years later, in 1492, He tapped Columbus on the shoulder and sent him westward to set up an incubator for a strong brand of people who would be called Americans. Columbus’ discovery of a new world produced an unexpected consequence for the Middle East nations. The trade routes shifted to the west, leaving them to remain in 11th century darkness while the rest of the world flourished through numerous inventions that followed.

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower landed in the “Cape Cod fishhook” carrying sixty-five passengers who sought to escape from religious persecution. A hundred and fifty years later, descendants of those passengers, along with new settlers to the colonies, took up arms to defeat the religious tyranny harassing them from across the Atlantic.
 
The U.S. Constitution, ratified on May 29, 1790, was drafted using language from Deuteronomy.  Our own Liberty Bell bears the inscription of Leviticus 25:10: “And proclaim freedom throughout the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” God inspired the framers with His words to build a new nation. Why? What purpose did He have for this new strong breed of people?


While the Jewish people suffered unconscionable persecution throughout the Middle East and Europe, God nurtured this new country of Judeo-Christian citizens. John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation.”
Our incubating period continued.
 
In 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought us into World War II. We’d already proven our mettle in the World War that ended in 1918. God had strengthened and prepared us for this global conflict that would determine the fate of His chosen people.
 
Our incubation was over.
Thirty-one years would pass between the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the establishment of the State of Israel in Palestine in 1948. Exactly one year after the end of WWII, President Truman contacted the British Prime Minister; petitioning Britain to lift its barriers to Jewish immigrates to Palestine. The United States officially recognized the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.
Mission Accomplished.
Since that date, we have fallen away from our Judeo-Christian roots. The downward spiral in the moral character as a nation beginning in the 1950s and 1960s had a gravitational pull on all branches of our government, dragging us into a vortex of wickedness. Preachers in our mainline Christian churches have shied away from preaching the consequences of sin. Public schools no longer teach the true history of our beginnings. We traded the sin of slavery for the slavery of sin as we fly the multi-colored flag from our government buildings. Morbidly initiated abortion is the norm, despite evidence of its connection with breast cancer. Anti-Semitic viewpoints are again prevalent throughout the world. 
Perhaps these signs prove that God is indeed finished with us. We fulfilled His purpose of helping the Jewish people return to part of the Land of Promise. What further usefulness do we have?
Could we bring the Lord back to us by returning to Him?
 
Could we regain His favor by proclaiming freedom throughout the Land… the freedom from sin through Christ the Savior… unto all the inhabitants thereof?
Could we, once again, be the light shining on a hill, to give hope to all who look at us that they might say, “God is in their midst.”
As we recognize 240 years of the existence of the United States of America, please pray fervently with me for our nation's return to the patiently-awaiting arms of Almighty God.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dr. Lou Barbieri

10AM Biblical Living in a Non-Biblical World
http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20671777

On Sunday, May 8, 2016 (Mother's Day), in the Sunday School hour at Bayside Community Church, Dr. Lou Barbieri (former professor at Moody Bible Institute) offered great direction to living Biblically in a non-biblical world. Using Psalm 78, a Maskil (i.e. contemplative poem) of Asaph, this wonderful professor showed us three ways to maintain our Biblical prospective.



  1. REMEMBER -
    1. Remember the wondrous works of our Heavenly Father.
      1. His leadership as He led His people out of bondage.
      2. His protection as He shielded them from the hot sun of the desert with His pillar of cloud, and warmed them at night with his column of fire.
      3. His provision of Manna (which translates means: "What is it?"). He gave them enough to eat for each day. When they grumbled and demanded meat, He gave sent birds into the desert. He ordered Moses to strike a rock to bring forth water to drink.
  2. INSTRUCT -
    1. Teach the children about Him.
      1. Pass the Word to those who come behind us so that they will put their confidence in God. 
      2. Teach our children and grandchildren about His strength and the wondrous works He has done.
      3. Teach them His laws that they may obey His commandments and not turn away to worship false gods.
        1. If we don't have children, we have opportunities to teach others who don't know about Jesus.
  3. TRUST IN HIM -
    1. Theocracy = God rules. The Israelites demanded an earthly king. They chose Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin. A tall, handsome man, he knew nothing about leadership.
    2. God chose David, a shepherd from the tribe of Judah, to rule His people. Sheep are defenseless without a shepherd. 
      1. He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds; From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people,
        And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands. - Ps. 78:70-72
      2. "For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." - 1 Peter 2:25
    3. God wants us to stay the course. Our non-Biblical society will continue regardless of who wins the next election.
We can live Biblically in this non-Biblical world if we remember what He has done for us, teach our children and grandchildren, and about Him, and keep our eyes on Our Good Shepherd. Putting our trust in Him, instead of government or elected officials, we can set the standard. We must shepherd the flock of God.

"All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him." - Isaiah 53:6

11AM Lou's Top 10 and Why
http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20671767

Monday, May 2, 2016

Would You Read This Novel?


MISS ELLIE’S ORANGE TREE

 
 




“Three can keep a secret …
if two are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin

 
How deep do the roots of an orange tree grow – deep enough to sustain a sixty-six-year old secret?

 
Miss Ellie, now eighty-eight years old, looks out the window of her empty kitchen and views the towering orange tree in her back yard. “They’re going to tear down my house, aren’t they? And my orange tree, too?” She turns to leave and with a quick glance back, whispers, “And won’t they be surprised when they do.”

While war ravages Europe in the summer of 1944, eighteen-year old Ellie Miller must fight her own battles in the peaceful city of Tampa, Florida.
 

Lieutenant Joey Clement declares his undying love to her before boarding the train that takes him away to his Flying Fortress. 

She waits…and waits…and waits for a letter from him. The sprig of an orange tree she and Joey planted together from a seed offers her the only consolation in his absence.
 
 

Ellie’s tendency to panic throws her into a loveless marriage. Her drunken and abusive husband resents the baby she carries. And the worst onslaught of all – knowing the only man she’ll ever love is due to return to MacDill, unaware of her unbearable situation. Worn down from her own combat, she hasn’t the courage to face him.

Will Joey forgive Ellie when he returns from the war and learns she’s married to a man he despises? Will he forgive himself when he discovers that he, not Ellie’s husband, is the father of her child?

Is his love deep enough to cover her buried sin? 

Miss Ellie’s Orange Tree is an 80,000-word historical love story that moves from present day to the 1940s, and back to the present.

 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Peace Offering to the Middle East

Tom and JoAnn Doyle gave their amazing testimony and uplifting message of hope at Bayside Community Church in Tampa, FL on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

Links to the Audio messages are below.
10AM Power Surge
http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20645054
11AM God's Transforming Power
http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20645045

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NCIS explains St. Valentine's Day to a T!

NCIS, one of my favorite programs, sprinkled some St. Valentine's Day notions into their intriguing story line last night. Tim McGee and Tony DiNozzo made an enlightened observation: the pressure is always on the guys, who would be happy with "Wizard tickets," to provide a never-thought-of-before romantic scheme for their ladies. Should they write a poem, buy roses & chocolate, and/or treat the lady to a special supper at an expensive restaurant? Why isn't the gift-giving a two-way street?
 
I agree. So I buy my husband a card and ask only a card of him. We don't have to prove our love for each other with special treats or goodies. I don't want roses, or chocolates, or an expensive supper (well...maybe the chocolates can stay) to celebrate this special day. A simple "I LOVE YOU" exchanged between my beloved husband and myself will suffice to honor St. Valentine, who suffered torture and execution for his devotion to the sanctity of marriage.
 
Thank you, NCIS script writers, for giving Tony, Tim, Bishop, and Abby the right lines to slip a thought-provoking nugget into the story line of murder on the high seas.
 
(Love that series!)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Did You Have A Holiday Meltdown?

December came upon me this year; not as a walk through the park, not a pleasant trot along a pathway...but as a full gallop, jumping over high hurdles on a steep and craggy hill. Here's a partial list of the aforementioned hurdles:
  • We received some not-so-good news from the oncologist (stressful, but manageable)
  • Discovery of a purchase our late father made - and subsequently forgot about - in the 1950s sent my siblings and me on a journey with the Courts (as if I don't get enough court-time fun at work)
  • My day-job office moved its location after 14 years to an office park 10 miles further north, doubling my commute (adding to my already high stress levels)
    • Note to the Feds: The search continues. I did NOT find Jimmy Hoffa stuffed away in my old office
  • Tom finished installing the new countertops in the kitchen, then had to move all the furniture out of the kitchen to finish the trim moldings and baseboards
    • which meant my computer was not accessible during this time
    • which also meant I had boxes of stuff packed away at my office and boxes of stuff packed away at home (almost hair-ripping screaming-meemies)
  • My day-job work is time-sensitive, and several cases had briefs, petitions, and motions all due within days of each other
    • which meant I had to file and/or process these lengthy documents while packing and unpacking my essentials during the move (didn't have to rip my hair out. It began to fall out by itself)
  • That naughty little Mexican boy (the one our weather forecasters call "El NiƱo") gave us hot, humid weather - a true feeling of Christmas in July
    • which meant I came home to a hot, humid house after a 40-minute commute to work, a "hit-the-floor-running" workday, then an hour commute home
    • Tom finally agreed to turn the A/C on 12/22. Our furnishings needed time to dry out before family came for dinner on Christmas Day
  • We had an issue with the pharmacy. During the day on Christmas Eve, Tom had to go way out to the UPS facility in east Tampa to get his meds.
    • We both worked like a pair of whirling Dervishes cleaning the house, washing several loads of laundry, and sweeping up construction dust.
The festive sense of the season was not lost in all this stress. I managed to decorate the tree, set up part of my old English villages, and "pixilate" the yard with a strand of lights hurled at the jasmine minima.

I held the reins of my steed tightly during all these issues and actions, until Tom reminded me for the third time that the load in the dryer needed to come out so the load in the washer could be loaded into the dryer.
I lost control, threw my sopping wet dish rag across the room, and stomped into the laundry room to tend to that low hurdle. Those little hurdles always trip us up, don't they?

At the Christmas Eve church service (which was fraught with screaming babies - adding yet MORE stress to my already strained nerves), my friend confided with me she'd had her annual holiday meltdown. I felt comforted knowing that other people, even people I love, have meltdowns, too. We seem to hold all the tension inside, then a tiny spark makes us explode into a mini-China syndrome that drills all the way through the core of the earth.

What about you? Did you have a holiday meltdown you'd like to share?
Let's hold a "can you top this" meltdown contest. The winner gets to drink a glass of eggnog...guilt-free!

Wishing you many blessings in 2016!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First Place in Tapestry Writing Awards!


Tapestry Award - 1st Place
Historical Fiction
My yet-to-be published novel, “Miss Ellie’s Orange Tree,”  won First Place in the Word Weavers State-wide Tapestry Awards! Tampa Chapter President Sharron Cosby presented me with the award (one of three my writing won) at the monthly meeting, Saturday, October 17, 2015.
Here’s the synopsis:

“Three can keep a secret …if two are dead.”
– Benjamin Franklin

How deep do the roots of an orange tree grow – deep enough to sustain a sixty-six-year old secret?

In 2014, eighty-eight-year old Miss Ellie looks out the window of her empty kitchen and views the towering orange tree in her back yard. “They’re going to tear down my house, aren’t they? And my orange tree, too?” She turns to leave and with a quick glance back, whispers, “And won’t they be surprised when they do.”

While war ravages Europe in the summer of 1944, eighteen-year old Ellie Miller must fight her own battles in the peaceful city of Tampa, Florida.

Lieutenant Joey Clement declares his love to her before leaving to join his Flying Fortress. The sprig of an orange tree she and Joey planted from a seed provides the only consolation in his absence. She waits…and waits…and waits for a letter from him.

Ellie’s tendency to panic throws her into a loveless marriage. Her abusive husband resents the baby she carries. And the worst onslaught of all – knowing the only man she’ll ever love is due to return to MacDill, unaware of her unbearable situation. Worn down from her own combat, she hasn’t the courage to face him.

Will Joey forgive Ellie when he learns she married a man he despises? Will he forgive himself when he discovers that he, not Ellie’s husband, is the father of her child? Is his love deep enough to cover her buried sin?

Miss Ellie’s Orange Tree is an 80,000-word historical love story that moves from present-day to the 1940s, and back to the present.