The Stranger

18 08 2013

Read about this welcome guest – like no other we would permit by Nightlight Blog. Be sure to read his other posts. They’re very, very good! \o/


[This was e-mailed to me by a long-time friend, who received it from someone else via email.  My friend mentions seeing something like this about 30 years ago.  Some of the things as it must have been originally written have changed.  I’ve edited it a little because of that.  Nevertheless, it’s still true.]

A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town.  From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.  The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.  In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were complementary instructors:  Mom taught me good from evil and Dad taught me to obey.  But the stranger…he was our story teller.  He would keep…

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Jesus Said “Go Away”

1 08 2013

My first and foremost responsibility, as a Christian, is to get my family “saved” – isn’t it?

Or is it?

Not if we follow Jesus’ example.

Very little of His ministry was done in His hometown…in fact, He was a “failure” there.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

The townspeople knew Him; had seen Him grow up. They knew His parents and His brothers and sisters.

“He was unable to do many works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)

It gets worse –

Jesus’ mom and siblings came to where He was teaching.


They thought He was nuts, and wanted to take Him home where He wouldn’t be such an embarrassment. (Mark 3:21, 31-35)


If Jesus was to approach salvation the way we do, He would have stayed home and tried to get His mother and siblings to believe in Him. Yet, we find that He was rarely in Nazareth. The three years of His ministry were spent everywhere but Nazareth.

He taught His disciples the same thing. In Matthew 10, He gave the twelve their ministry orders. They were to travel throughout Israel and preach, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons.

While they were gone, did Jesus just “kick it” on the shores of Galilee?

Let’s read on:

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and preach in THEIR cities. Matthew 11:1

While the disciples were about the Father’s business, Jesus took care of their business at home.

Why didn’t he assign the disciples their own towns, their own families for ministry?

“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”

(Matthew 13:57)

So, are we about the Father’s business, going wherever He sends us?

Or are we beating our heads against a wall at home, trying to save our family members?

News flash!!

We do not have the ability to save anyone.

Very often our determined “ministry” to family members only gets in Jesus’ way. After all, they’re not going to listen to us…

…they think we’re nuts!

It wasn’t until His family saw Him as the risen Lord that they believed in Him. The same is true of our family and friends. It takes an encounter with Jesus before they can see Him for who He really is. We cannot do this for them. Instead of helping, we may be standing in His way.

Let’s obey Jesus, minister to those He sends us to, and entrust our loved ones to Him.

Go away, and let Jesus do His work!


Thank you, Sue, for pointing out a couple of obvious things I failed to include concerning lost loved ones:

1. Love them well

2. Pray for them whenever they come to mind

WordPress Family Award

10 06 2013

This is probably my favorite award!

Thank you, Melanie. If “tag-backs” were allowed, you’d have been at the top of the list. You bless my socks off on a regular basis! 🙂 If you haven’t visited her blog, you’re missing out on a real treat. The stories she shares about family and life in general are heartwarming and inspiring.


A message from Shaun, the creator of this award:

This is an award for everyone who is part of the “WordPress Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award. Thank you, Shaun @


1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

I nominate these ones because they have truly made me feel welcomed and part of the blogging family here. I may not know them face to face but through their blogs and comments, they have allowed me into their friendship circles. I could have quadrupled the list. It was hard to choose from among the many dear family members I’ve met since Lessons by Heart began in March.

1. – I love this sister’s courage to face her fears, and her sweet support and encouragement.

2. – Toni is like the sister I never had. I can’t wait to get to heaven so I can raid her closet and “borrow” her shoes!

3. – Heidi (Wings of the Dawn) always has an uplifting comment, or encouragement. Sometimes she’s the wind beneath my wings!

4. – Ann is a kindred spirit. Her courage to put one foot in front of the other when there doesn’t seem to be a point inspires me to “go and do likewise.”

5. – My dear brother whose humility challenges me.

6. – Larry, a Hearer of the Word who is also a true Doer, a trait I admire. He also challenges me to live beyond myself.

7. – my dear sister who has Ephesians 4 dialed in – through her words I am frequently better equipped for my ministry.

8. – Elizabeth, another sister who’s history parallels mine. Consequently, she knows shares some of the things I have yet to learn on the path to healing. Thank you!

9. – My dear “twin” sister, whom I’ve never seen in my life (not even before birth – :)). The similarities we share in tastes, thought, and the world in general are uncanny!

10. – Kevin, the most “real” fellow I’ve ever met. (Miss you, bro. You’ll be back soon, yes?)


30 05 2013

Priorities are crucial to life. To take each activity and weigh its importance against others, then attend to them in their order of value can save us heartache, as I learned the hard way…


With all the self-righteous gusto of a “good” homeschool mom, I posted a note on both doors into our home. It stated,

“We value our study time and appreciate it when you do as well. Please do not interrupt us between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.”

This was done primarily because of “inconsiderate” family members who would drop in, not understanding how their “quick” visit disrupted the rest of the day. We were unable to resume studies with the same enthusiasm once we were interrupted.

I hate to say this, but my mom was the greatest (okay, she was the only) violator of our study time. She frequently showed up during those hours because it was the only time she didn’t have her six-year-old great-granddaughter with her. (Mom was her guardian.)

I felt a “catch” in my spirit when I put up the signs. Every time I saw one of them, I sensed the Lord saying, “Take that down!” To obey His instruction seemed counter-productive. I ignored that small inner voice and left the notices in place.

By October, I couldn’t take the feeling of being disobedient anymore. Besides, my “polite” request was completely ignored by my Mom. She showed up several days each week.

Because my dad was out of town, she was left with a half-acre of oak leaves and acorns to clean up by herself. It felt wrong to keep our noses stuck in books when I knew she was trying to rake and dispose of the fall mess. (That year there were 50 trashcans full of acorns alone!) We opted to spend time giving her the help she needed, and let academics take back seat. Am I ever thankful.

How I wish I had those first two months to do over again…permitted my mom to drop in for a cup of coffee whenever she felt like it without feeling like a bother. Soon she wasn’t “interrupting” us anymore. She moved to heaven on March 5, 2005.

I learned a valuable lesson the hard way that year. Loved ones are infinitely more important than any amount of learning. Obedience, especially when it makes no logical sense, can save us a great deal of guilt, grief, and shame.

Don’t make the same mistake. As it is said: A word to the wise is sufficient.


Praise Jesus