Friday, June 26, 2009


I began to research the internet today for what happened 44 years ago on this day. I came up somewhat empty. I did discover that in Belgium a political party named Wallon was formed, and of course, we were already in the midst of the conflict in Vietnam, an ongoing news maker for some time to come. But on that day, it seemed the world found no other history of importance to record. It was almost as if there was a pause.

Now, I am not claiming that everything in the world was put on hold for me on that date, but there was a significant event that took place in the heartland of North America, in the Ozark hills of northern Arkansas, in a tiny little community known as Burlington. There, in a rural country church, surrounded by witnesses who would attest to what occurred, two lives were joined in what is known as Holy Matrimony. Yours truly became one with a very special lady, and thus began a journey that would indeed reach around the world during the next forty-four years. When you think about it, the empty space on the world scene on June 26, 1965 was not so empty after all.


I just had to include this one because it is "different" - She says "but we're not smiling"!
Personally, I was nervously glad we were finally "marching" out, and she, well, I leave it
to you. Who do you think she was winking at, and why? 44 years later and I still am
finding out she knows me "like a book" and I'm still finding "new pages" to read about her!
Been there, done that?

Dear friends, let me add that there is no better way to spend a life "in the Lord" than with someone who shares your faith, your call, and your walk. Be encouraged today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


…The neighbor’s dogs tree a raccoon on your deck…

· When life just seems to go-around-in-circles.

· When your ship comes in and you’re not ready.

· When you seem to be in someone else’s tea party.

· When life’s ups and downs leave you dizzy.

· When you can’t seem to get off the ground.

· When life’s heading for a drenching and you can’t stop it.

· When it seems your lifeboat can’t even save you from a splashing…
Just remember…

· To LAUGH because you’re NOT ALONE in the boat.

Our recent trip to Silver Dollar City with three grandsons gave us some thrills and WET chills as we experienced the various rides designed to either DIZZY-FY, FLUSTER-FY, MYSTIFY or DRENCH-A-FY (Pardon my words, for sometimes there is just no words to describe it.) And regardless of the nature of the rides or what it did to one’s insides, we lined-up for a repeat dose. Now, there’s a paradox! Of course, we “chalked” it all up to fun, and made some great memories with the grandsons.

It did put me in mind, however, of our lives and their seeming constant confrontations with that which doesn’t result in fun. Just the opposite! We get frustrated, anxious, fearful, and even sick in the midst of life’s variety of unwanted RIDES. And there are times when you see it coming and realize that you are powerless to avoid being hopelessly DRENCHED by it.

One paradoxical TRUTH that surfaced in my musings on the experiences of the day, was that sometimes that which we dread for its past affects on us, we will, with eyes open, STAND IN LINE to cause it to be repeated. Why do we do that? Do we forget, or are we waiting on God to keep us from doing that which we should not? I am afraid it is the latter. We like the excitement, the challenge of temptation’s draw upon us, but don’t want to pay the price of our yielding to its call.

The last picture of the lifeboat gives us a picture of what God would have us know about the experiences of life with its NEVER CEASING RIDES that challenge us. First, realize that we are not alone in the lifeboat. There are others who share our experience, so it is not unique to just us. Often, we cry out of such a crisis “WHY ME?” Well, it is not JUST YOU! Secondly, realize that there is ANOTHER WHO IS IN THE LIFEBOAT!. IN FACT, HE IS THE LIFEBOAT! You may be drenched, but IN HIM you won’t DROWN! It was His death on the cross that enables you to float above that eternal threat upon you. Finally, LAUGH WITH HIM as evidence of your ASSURANCE that regardless how rough the seas of our rescue, we ARE AND WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN HIM!

Oh, yes. What does the raccoon have to do with story? Well, after coming home to our house in the wild woods, the boys were sound asleep in the room just off the back deck. I was still awake, when suddenly the neighbor’s dogs began some serious howling. Amid this commotion, there was a lot of scratching, like something climbing on the vinyl siding. When I went to investigate…well, you see what I found. It was the first such critter we’d seen, aside from deer, squirrels and birds. YEP, WE LIVE IN THE WILD! The boys never woke up! In life, the wild need never destroy our peace and joy!

I Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above hat ye are able to bear; but will wiith the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

John 14:16-17, 27 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you...Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."


Monday, June 1, 2009


A model of strength, of submitted control,
The horse to his rider commits to his role.
If given his head he might charge on alone,
But trained to the reins he refuses to roam.
He responds to the touch of his rider's command,
The tug on the bit from the reins in his hand.
We, too, have the power that's given to us,
By our Rider and Lord, in Whom we can trust,
And when we commit our tongue to His rule,
He'll guard and will keep us from sin's speaking cruel,
And as did our Saviour to God's will commit,
We'll yield to His tug on our bridle and bit.
~jdb, 1-20-2007
A couple of years ago, I had the awesome opportunity to see a "Horse Whisperer" at work, taming an "unbroken" two-year old horse who had had little handling, and no contact with the "Whisperer" at all. As I watched the man go through the paces in the arena with this, at first, nervous pony with a stranger and a crowd to boot, I saw him gradually gain the confidence of the animal, indicate by gentle pressure and basic signals what was expected of him. The horse responded, took the bridle and bit without hesitation, then the saddle, and ultimately the weight of the rider without the bucking normally seen on the rodeo circuit. This done, the rider then guided with the reins, his steed around the arena. All of this took a total of about an hour and a half. Amazing. And what was even more amazing was that the "Whisperer" talked more to the crowd than to the horse. He kept a running commentary of what he was doing, and laced the whole of his presentation with a witness of how it related to the life of one who was, at first, not a Christian, but who, coming under conviction, began his move toward Christ. Every step he made with the horse he related in steps he'd taken in coming under the control of Christ in his life.
As I reflected on this scene and began to make a connection between the bridle and bit of God's control, I thought of the place where the control begins. There is nothing that creates more mischief in life than a person's tongue "out of control". What he or she says is most often the measure of how much or how little control they have on their whole body's action, good or bad.
How much control one has over his body total can be seen in how much control is kept on the tongue. It is the steering mechanism that moves the body one way or the other. The tongue out of control can ruin the Christian's witness, and its unbridled use can run over in destructive power the very ones who are the objects of God's love and life.
The control of the tongue, or speech, is pictured like the bridle and bit put into the horse's mouth. With it this most powerful of tamed animals can be guided and led to do the most amazing tasks. When tamed, a horse still has all his strength to do as he will, but he has placed his will under the control of the master of the reins, and has submitted to the bridle and bit which guide him in the use of his power.
In the same way, when the child of God has committed and submitted to the indwelling master of his life, he has received the potential of God's "watch" upon his lips, the bridle and bit of God's guiding Holy Spirit. Our supreme example of a life under control, with His reins secure in the will and purpose of His Father's hands, is Jesus. He, the righteous power and might, when condemned and abused undeservedly, opened not His mouth in defense or condemnation. He, Who had the bidding of angels, kept Himself under the controlling reins of the Almighty's will, and died upon the cross. Ho, all the earth, keep silence before such a One, and submit to the bit and bridle of God!
Psalms 141:3 "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips."
Ecclesiastes 3:7 "A time to rend, and a time to sow: a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."
Isaiah 53:7 "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
Titus 2:8 "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned: that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, have no evil thing to say of you."
James 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."
James 1:26 "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
Be encouraged today in all you say and do, that it is in responce to God's bridle and bit.