Monday, June 30, 2014

Energizing with God

I loved introducing Asherel's friend to the joys of kayaking on the Catawba river yesterday. Rarely will my family accompany me kayaking. None of them love it like I do, but it was nice to watch Asherel and her friend enjoy three hours on the river. I left them alone most of the time, and explored the shore line alone. It was busier than I like it. On weekends, the river is crowded with kayakers. However, it is always magical to me, and the further I get from the launch site, the less people I encounter.

The peaceful solitude is critical to me. I am an introvert. It is not that I don't like people. In fact, I love people. But I get energy from being alone with God. Extroverts get energized being with others. I find that very draining after a while and need to rejuvenate in solitude. So I kayak as far as my arms can stand, and commune with the turtles and God. That fills my spirit with the fuel I need to interact again with a troubled world.

I am glad I kayaked yesterday because today is my day to volunteer as a sidewalk counselor at the abortion mill. I  need all the energizing I can get in preparation for that difficult work. Hubby Arvo will be joining me for the first time. He will be playing his guitar and providing live worship music at the "gates of Hell." Asherel, our daughter will be coming for the first time as well -- to observe and to pray. The two team leaders won't be there, so I am in charge of the microphone. Gulp. For an introvert to be the voice amplified in the back rooms of the evil abortion factory is a tad intimidating.

However, besides the kayaking refueling my soul, I am grateful for our Sunday sermon. The pastor reminded us that sharing the gospel of God's love and redemption is not optional. It is a command. It is often scary, and we often feel inadequate, and we will surely experience rejection. Nonetheless, those who love God will obey His commands, and He has commanded that we GO and teach others about Him.

So I GO this morning, but I am not alone. My husband and my daughter will be with me, but even more importantly, God is with me. Who else do I need? What He has asked of me, He will empower in me.
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Mark 16:15 

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Romans 10:10-17 

For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Matthew 9:37-38 

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

1 Corinthians 9:22 

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

1 Peter 3:15 

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mistaken Identity

A friend was on vacation, and the person who was supposed to take her father to his dialysis treatment was not available. So she asked if I would mind picking him up from dialysis and then returning him to his assisted living center. She warned me he would be weak afterwards, and perhaps even a little confused. I was happy to help.

When I arrived at the dialysis center, there was no one in the waiting room, nor any receptionist or anyone to verify if that was where I was to wait for Mr. D. After a few moments, a nurse wheeled an elderly lady out and I asked if I was in the right place to pick up Mr. D. She assured me I was and that he would be done in just a few moments. I told her I had never met him, so wouldn't recognize him.

As she returned to the back room, the spry woman in a wheelchair glanced up at the television, which was showing a pizza commercial.
"Pizza!" she said longingly, "I am not allowed to have pizza. Nor coke! My two favorite things and I can't have them. Can't have bacon, luncheon meat, tomato sauce..."
"That's a shame," I commiserated, "What can you have?"
"That list is a whole lot shorter," she laughed.
"Well at least you kept your sense of humor," I said, "I bet in heaven you can have pizza, and it will be the best pizza ever."
"I hope so," she said waving, as the nurse wheeled her out to her ride home. (Now if you pharisees are about to scream at me about my interpretation of eating in heaven, check out Mark 14:25: As Jesus is enjoying the last supper with His disciples, He says, “Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God’ ” Clearly, Jesus will be drinking wine in heaven. I assure you, so will I. And what goes better with wine than great pizza, heavenly pizza?)


A few moments later, the nurse wheeled out an elderly man. She nodded to me, indicating this was the man I was waiting for.
"Hello," I said warmly, reaching for his hand, "I'm Vicky and I am here to take you home."
"You are?" he asked, confused. My friend had warned me he might be confused, so  I just smiled and told him, "Yes. Though your daughter didn't tell me about the wheelchair. Do I take that too?"
"Yes," said the nurse, "It's his chair."

Now I was confused. I had specifically asked my friend if he was ambulatory and she had said he was. The man looked really confused now, and at that moment, his wife walked in and said, "Hi honey, ready to go?"
I looked at the nurse.
"Are you Mr. D?" I asked the man.
"No," he said, "But you are welcome to come home with me anyway."
I apologized to the wife for attempting to kidnap her husband.

The nurse looked sheepish, and disappeared into the back room, then reappeared with the real Mr. D. He was not in a wheelchair, didn't seem weak, nor very confused. In fact, he gave me exact and perfect directions to his home.

Mistaken identities! Mr. D was in good company. Jesus Himself was not recognized for who He really was. It didn't matter that He fullfilled every prophecy of the promised Messiah, performed miracles,  or spoke with unparallelled wisdom and authority. His true identity was questioned and rejected by many. It still is today. But let me give you some sound Biblical advice: if there is pizza in heaven, you will want a slice of it. And if Jesus is who He claims to be, THE way, THE truth, and THE life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him....don't you think it would be a good idea to make His acquaintance?

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John 8:58 

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Isaiah 9:6 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Hebrews 2:1 

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

Romans 1:16 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

John 14:6 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 1:3 

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Micah 5:2 

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Where I Should Lie Down

Since we donated our extra twin bed to a needy family, Lucky and Honeybun lost the place they would occasionally sleep at night. The bed was in our bedroom, along a wall, with a bunch of fluffy big pillows. It was more decoration than anything, since used only by the dogs. However, to placate them, I put Honeybun's dogbed along the same wall where the bed had been. I left Lucky's dogbed in the living room, since at night, he rarely sleeps anywhere but on the bedroom carpet. He likes to plant himself exactly where I would step out of bed, so that I trip and smash my little toe and break it.

Honeybun never sleeps in her bed, however. She likes to sleep in my closet at night. I figure it reminds her of the earthen den her wild ancestors liked to dig. This morning, I awoke to see Lucky, who is double Honeybun's size lying in her bed. His paws and head all stuck out over the edges, since the bed is too small for him. I cannot imagine it was comfortable.

I have been studying how we rationalize God's word to fit our needs. Instead of reposing in the perfect fit of God's dictates for our lives, we force our desires into unholy spaces He never intended for us. We push and stretch against what we see as His restrictive confines...and then we wonder why we wake up sore and bruised, and hardly able to face the day. His commandments are for our protection. They are the perfect sized bed for us to lie in. His purpose for my life is completely different than His purpose for your life. We are uniquely and wonderfully made to fit exactly the space He has given us to occupy. I need to stop worrying about the spaces He has given others, and focus on the space He has given me.

Psalm 91 is only one of many that reminds us, when we rest in the Lord where He has directed us, we find peace.

Psalm 91: 1-6
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

**************************

Hebrews 10:26 

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

Galatians 6:7 

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

John 3:16 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Revelation 21:8 

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Psalm 91:1-16 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tired Cats

How do we help an emerging adult completely on the welfare system whose role model is a parent completely on the welfare system break the cycle? When these people are jumping from crisis to crisis, and spending all their energy trying to find what free program will feed them, clothe them, and give them shelter...how can they ever break out to something that will lead to a better future? We all know giving them one day's "fish" in the end is not the solution. How can we as a society give them tools so that they will become fishermen? Most importantly, how can we bring the only solution that offers eternal help, a living faith in a loving God, if we never take a step in their world ?

Christians, we can do better. If we would kick ourselves and our churches in the backsides to take action, we can change the world. If we would do something, anything, like offer free childcare a
few hours a week, these young, hopeless moms might have a shot at pursuing a college degree. If we would offer just an hour or two of our time to help mentor and give guidance to these young folk in how to be proactive in seeking solutions, setting up interviews, filing for grants, learning how to find and appropriate resources, making lifestyle choices that don't perpetuate the cycle of poverty and broken families.... many of these at risk young adults could be saved. This is not the duty of government. It is the duty of every one of us who has been given a new lease on life when we came to know our Lord and savior and His incredible redemption of our sorry souls. We can't do it all, but surely we can do one thing.

I would challenge you to go stand on the sidewalk of an abortion mill. There are girls aching for someone to stop them from the terrible track they are barreling down. Adopt just one as your friend, and love her, mentor her, encourage her. Show her there are better choices that don't lead to despair and destruction. Show her in concrete ways the love and providence of God. If one tenth of those who claim to love God would do this, I think we could begin to change an entire culture.

While pondering these i8ssues, I took Honeybun on a walk yesterday. We passed an old cat, sunning herself on a driveway. She didn't even attempt to run away as Honeybun stiffened, and turned towards her. She let out a long, low hiss, but didn't move. Honeybun was flummoxed. Despite being a dog with high prey drive, where is the fun in chasing a comatose cat? She glanced at me, utterly confused by the cat's ennui. This is not the way it is supposed to be!

This is what the welfare system does to people. It emasculates them, destroys the drive to better themselves and be all that they should be. Government dependence is not the answer. It makes a bunch of tired cats who can ineffectually hiss, but have lost all their lithesome grace and aerobatic movement forward, or even the skills to survive and thrive.

As Honeybun and I walked away, she kept turning back and looking at the cat in bewilderment. This is not how cats are supposed to be, she seemed to say.

*********************
If you would like to mentor some of these at risk young moms, please contact Lisa Metzger, outreach coordinator of cities4life at LisaMetzger@Cities4Life.org

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2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

1 John 4:4 

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Acts 1:8 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Luke 10:19-20

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Loaves and Fishes

I discovered a whole bunch of new things about food pantries trying to help a pregnant mama yesterday. This woman chose life through the efforts of the sidewalk counselors for Cities4life, and we had promised her help. So help her we would! Her family which included several children had no food in the house....not a bite....when I arrived with a bag of maternity clothes. I bought them groceries to tie them over, but found out that a pastor or doctor can refer a family to Loaves and Fishes, who will provide a full week of emergency food to the family. The pastor needs to report approximately 6 things about the family to refer them, with a simple phone call (those are copied at the end of this blog for Charlotte area folks who know of people in dire need.)

Then Loaves and Fishes contacts the nearest church in their network (you can find all the churches on their website) and the family is eligible for a generous week worth of food for the whole family. I contacted the church nearest this family, who not only had a food pantry, but a generous clothes pantry as well, ( and a super nice pastor.) This info will really be a life saver for this family and I suspect could help a lot of the mamas we work with as sidewalk counselors for Cities4life.

When I arrived with the bag of maternity clothes, which were purchased by a lovely group of women who desire to help the mamas who choose life, I found out that the pregnant daughter had no bed. The other children in the family shared beds, and some slept on the floor. I certainly am not rich, but honestly, this is a world I have never been a part of. It filled me with grief. I remembered the twin bed in our home that no one uses any more. My boys are grown and gone. I called my husband to ask if we could bring this family the bed. He hesitated, not because he didn't wish to do it, but because that was the bed our oldest son had slept in for 18 years. It brought back a flood of memories of the joys of raising Anders, now in a distant city in a life of his own.

Nonetheless, my husband agreed, and with nostalgia, we took apart the bed, and lugged it to the family in need. The pregnant girl, L, met us at the door. She had been helping her family clean all day, and was exhausted, but had no place to lie down. She had been in terrible pain the day before, and it turned out, she had been sleeping on box springs...without a mattress. No wonder she had been in pain! Arvo set up the bed, and within moments,  L was lying stretched out on her new bed. Arvo poked his head in her room before we left.
"Comfy?" he asked.
"Yes," she said softly.

As we got back in the car, I asked, "Do you feel better now about donating Anders' bed to her?"
"I do," he answered, the memories of loving our own children swirling in the car about us.

******************************

GUIDELINES FOR MAKING REFERRALS 
TO LOAVES & FISHES 
The Loaves & Fishes’ office accepts referrals from 9:00 until 4:30 Monday through Friday.  We depend on the approved agency, congregation or school to determine that the client has an emergency need for food. Loaves and Fishes provides a week’s worth of nutritious groceries to individuals and families in a short-term crisis.  We do not provide food on an ongoing basis. A client may not receive food more than once in 45 days.  Often clients in this situation have begun a process that will eventually enable them to provide for their own needs. We trust the judgment of the referring agent for return visits after 45 days.   
When a referral is called in we will need the following information:  
1. Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Gender and Race of every adult in the household (we consider adults to be 19 and older)  2. Current address of the individual or family (including the zip code)  3. Total number of people in the home should include the number adults (let us know if any of the adults are 65 or older) and the number of children 18 and under (let us know if any of the children need diapers)  4. Monthly household income (this has no bearing on the clients ability to receive food or how much food they receive – it is used for internal accounting purposes only)  5. Client’s preferred pantry location and date of pick up – please have a second location in case the first choice is at capacity. Please go to our website at www.loavesandfishes.org under the Agency Materials tab for a printable version of our Pantry Locations and Hours of operations.    
You will be calling 704-523-4333 to make your referral.  Please have all your information ready and please call from the office phone so the agency name appears on caller ID.  No referrals are to be made from cell phones.     
Loaves & Fishes  P.O. Box 11234  Charlotte, NC 28220 704-523-4333 www.loavesandfishes.org

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Hebrews 13:16 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Luke 6:38 

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

1 John 3:17 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Do - Over

I had the honor of being contacted by a man who has a blog/podcast designed for Radio Tower climbers (http://wade4wireless.com/ ). He had read my book, The Tower Builder ( for you laggards that haven't gotten my book yet, here is the website: http://www.amazon.com/The-Tower-Builder-Vicky-Kaseorg/dp/1494434997.) He loved it, which was incredible to me since he is an expert in the industry and I am just a homeschool mom who knew nothing about towers when I started the book. Incredibly, he appreciated and understood the appeal of the book to people unconnected to the tower world as well as those in the industry. That alone endeared him to me.

He asked me if he could interview me for his podcast.
"You can," I wrote back, "But I want to warn you, I am no expert on towers."
"That's fine," he assured me, "I loved your book and would like to talk with you about it."

So, with some trepidation, as I am not a speaker besides not being a tower expert, I launched into the podcast. He recorded me, and told me after editing it, he would post it and send me the link. It was a great interview! He is such a nice man and so enthusiastic and encouraging that I felt instantly at ease. If I do say so myself (in case no one else does), I even felt that I had said some profound things that would play well on the radio! I finished the hour interview and settled back with a satisfied smile, playing back in my mind the wonderful things I had said.

Then I got an email from him. The recorder had malfunctioned, and he had lost all but the first few minutes of the interview. Would I be willing to do it again?

Oh no! How would I ever be able to say all those things in such a way again? How would I be able to keep it from sounding rehearsed? How could I do it any better? Oh well. I agreed to a second interview.

In many ways, it was quite different from the first interview. As in the first one, I felt that he brought out many aspects of the book that I hadn't really thought of until I was talking with him, but different ones this time. New insights emerged. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent talking with him, and almost hoped the recorder fizzled out again. The second interview surpassed the first interview. I would really have my subject down pat with a third interview! If only I could keep recording my life until I got it just right!

It wasn't till later that I realized I had been down in the dumps earlier in the day wishing just that, that I could re-record my life, have a do-over, live the first half of my life over again knowing what I know now. If I had known Jesus before age 29, what a difference it would have made! I wanted to "try the interview a second time."

Of course, I can't. I am stuck only with the remorse of the years I spent in disobedience and disregard of God. Mercifully, God gave me His own version of a "re-record." When I accepted Jesus' sacrifice on my behalf, and proclaimed my allegiance to Him, God washed away my sin. It was as though it had never been recorded.

I hope the new interview will be much better than the old.
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2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ephesians 4:22-24 

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

John 5:24 

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 3:3 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Revelation 21:5 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Ezekiel 11:19 

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

Romans 6:23 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mission Field

I am always astonished when cars heading to the abortion mill stop as I flag them down in my volunteer work as a pro-life sidewalk counselor. One woman rolled down her window, and smiled at me. That is not the usual response. I noticed a young teen in the back seat, and a man in the seat beside the driver.

I remembered fellow veteran counselors' advice to always tell them my name, and get their name right away. I usually forget to do that but this time, remembered. "F" was very pleasant, as she told me her name with a heavy Spanish accent. I asked her how far along she was. She shrugged her shoulder. I asked if she was here for an abortion. She nodded. I told her about our free ultrasound and then launched into a good fifteen minute spiel, showing the page of Cities4life community resources for crisis pregnancies, showing the pictures of preborn babies at different stages of development, telling the horrific record of the doctors in the abortion clinic and how it has been shut down in the past, and then the piece d' resistance, pulled out my little fetal models. I talked about how God created each little baby with a unique purpose that only that child could fulfill.  She smiled and held the little fetal model. I launched into my spiritual discussion now, of how I could see she was conflicted with the thought of aborting, and that God put that check in her conscience for a reason, and it was God that had put us in her path. She looked beseechingly into my eyes.

"Can you pull over and park and I will walk you to the ultrasound?" I asked, certain that we had a likely "save" on our hands. I was ready to break out the cymbals and trumpets.

She then spoke in a stream of Spanish to the girl in the back. The girl  said, "She doesn't speak English. But she isn't here for an abortion. She can't have a baby. Her tubes are tied. She is here for an interview."
"At the abortion clinic?" I asked the girl.
"No, at the agency down the street."
"Oh."

Never mind.

I told the girl she could hang on to our literature in case she ever knew of someone considering an abortion. The family smiled and waved and drove on, past the abortion mill, to their interview in the offices at the end of the street. I still chuckle in between my bouts of embarrassment at how congenially the whole family listened to my pleas to not get an abortion when no one in that car was interested in an abortion. It was perhaps my most eloquent 15 minute speech ever..laid on completely uncomprehending ears, and non-abortive ones at that.

Sigh.

Since I heartily believe that every car God stops for me, He stops for a reason, I know that there was a purpose that I am not privy to. Perhaps that young teen absorbed the message and she will never drive that road one day with intent to destroy her baby. Or maybe I just needed a dose of humiliation. A little humiliation goes a long way in dampening a prideful spirit, which is always of value. I may never know the full reason for the car pulling over.

My wonderful fellow counselor Celia reminded me that it is not just the abortion-minded women that God brings to us. Our "mission field" is everyone who comes into our sphere of influence. We can have a positive impact for a culture of life and of faith to everyone we meet. One never knows the seeds that are planted when one is standing for the love and glory of God.

It was good she reminded me of that, as the Spanish speaking family drove away. I wondered how God would use my words to His glory when two out of three of those people had no idea what I was saying. Fortunately, God speaks all languages, and can turn the most useless words into nuggets of gold.

****************************

John 8:32 

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Proverbs 12:19 

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Zechariah 8:16 

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

Psalm 5:6 

You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Ephesians 4:15 

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Never Doubt

Today I head back to the abortion mill, to try to convince the desperate mothers that there is another way, a better choice, a choice that does not do irreparable damage to their soul and their baby. I pray that God will soften their troubled hearts, and fill them with divine comfort and assurance that if they choose life, He will bless them far more than they can imagine. After those few hours counseling and cajoling and pleading, I have a wonderful delight awaiting me. I will be bringing a full large box of maternity clothes to a mother, "Z", who chose life a few weeks ago. She has nothing. No job, no maternity clothes, no husband, and no baby supplies. Still, she saw her baby on ultrasound, chose life, and since that time, texts me nearly every day, joyful with her decision. She does have a mother who was heartbroken when Z was going to abort the baby, and is now overjoyed Z decided to let her baby live. Z just found out she is having a little girl, and she sent me the ultrasound picture. Cities4life will help her in every way...except maybe finding the husband. But she says that the boyfriend seems to be warming to the idea of the baby and a family. Sometimes one righteous decision begets others.

But back to those maternity clothes. A group of women contacted me when I put out a facebook plea for supplies for baby showers Cities4life hosts for the women who choose life. The organizer of the group said her group would LOVE to sponsor and buy all the supplies for Z's baby shower, but when she heard of the need for maternity clothers, her group went out and bought a whole boxload! She handed it off to me after church yesterday, and thus, today I get to bless Z with all she will need to get her through the pregnancy. I texted her today to arrange our meeting, and told her the clothes were donated by a group of women who love Jesus, and love her without ever having met her.

In church yesterday, we had a guest pastor who works with Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse. He said that if a Christian's life looks no different than anyone's life...one would have to doubt that person's faith. He preached a wonderful sermon and then made a quiet altar call. With no music or fanfare, he asked that if anyone wanted to dedicate their life to Jesus, to come forward. He would wait.

No one moved. I felt panic rising. Dear Lord! Don't let no one decide to choose eternal life !!! And then one by one, they started to come forward. Soon the altar area was brimming with people. My eyes filled with tears.

Never doubt the power of God, and the sincere heart of a believer who loves lost souls with all his heart.

As I collected the box of clothes from the kind woman, selfless love streamed like living water from her spirit. Her group had been praying for how they could intervene in the lives of women who chose life, but they did not feel called to be sidewalk counselors. When the idea of helping the mothers through baby showers materialized, they knew God was speaking to them.
"We are so excited to do this!" she told me.

Never doubt the power of God, and the sincere heart of a believer who loves lost souls with all her heart.
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Cities4Life has the need for people willing to step in once a women choses life for their unborn child. We will provide the resources and guidance to these "mentors", and the mentor will help guide the mother in best utilizing the many options available to her. If God is speaking to you, please contact Lisa Metzger at  LisaMetzger@Cities4Life.org .

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2 Timothy 1:7 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Acts 1:8 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 6:14 

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

Ephesians 6:10 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

2 Timothy 1:8 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Envy

I went on my last vacation bikeride on the beach in the early morning yesterday. The beach was empty, and the tide was going out. It was magical, with the sun sparkling on the waves. Then I spied some sunglasses rolling in the surf. I pedaled quickly over and snagged them. They were miraculously unscathed, and looked expensive. Not a soul was in sight, so rather than sacrifice them to the ocean, I washed the sand off, and took them with me. They were a little large on me, but free is free!

Later, I googled the name which was stamped on the temple: Envy. I gasped when I saw the price for Envy aviator style sunglasses, which is what I had: $225! They no longer looked large on me. They fit me perfectly, with the chic oversized sunglass look of Jackie Onassis. These were not just any sunglasses; they were designer sunglasses. Suddenly, just stuffing the sunglasses unprotected in my purse seemed foolish. I pulled them carefully from my purse and found my old glass case in the car. I tossed my old glasses unprotected into the glove compartment. Then I lovingly laid my beautiful, expensive, new sunglasses in the lined case. I closed it gently. However, throughout the day, I opened the case and gazed upon the sunglasses. I would, of course, not wear them. They were WAY too expensive to wear.

Later, I googled Envy sunglasses again, just to smile at the retail price listed. What's this?  A new window popped up with Envy sunglasses at Overstock.com for $13.99. Suddenly, my beautiful new sunglasses looked cheap. I took them out of the case and looked them over. Were they the $225 Cadillacs of the sunglass world, or cheap knock-offs? I found a contact email for Envy Sunglasses and wrote to them, asking just that very thing.

Funny how my attitude about the sunglasses took a 180 degree turn depending on how valuable the world deemed them. I admit, I am waiting breathlessly to hear from the Envy corporation. And frankly, God is being a bit too obvious, don't you think? Did I need sunglasses? No. Did I want sunglasses? No. Not until I thought I was in possession of extremely outrageously expensive sunglasses. Suddenly I realized I would be the ENVY of anyone who knew anything about sunglasses. I wanted those sunglasses more than anything in the world. I had never been envious about anyone who owned designer sunglasses till that very moment when I realized that I might not be in possession of designer sunglasses.

And what does the Bible have to say about envy?
Just take a gander:

Proverbs 14:30 
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Lovely. My bones are rotting as we speak. Gee, I wonder what God is trying to tell me? Sometimes the message just slams me in the face. Anyone who thinks God isn't communicating with us on a regular basis is just not listening.

Still, forgive me as I check my email to see if Envy wrote back about my sunglasses.....


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James 3:14-16 

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Philippians 2:3 

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

James 3:16 

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hello, Goodbye

video


I have always wanted to see a sea horse in the wild. I got lost on my bike ride yesterday along the ocean bikepaths, and chanced upon this sea horse in the picture below. Close enough! He lives on the edge of the sea, and he is a horse. It was a fantastic cap on a wonderful day. I kayaked with the dolphins one last time, and one finally let me get a decent video of him. This is the first time I have added a video to my blog so I hope you can see the dolphin when he surfaced. He swam with me for about ten minutes, leading the way back to the dock. After my kayak fun, the hubby and daughter and I went for a brief visit to Savannah. It was beastly hot, so not as charming as it might have been, but we did get first-class ice-cream there.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. My week at the beach ends today. We pack up and head home to our dogs. We say goodbye to the dolphins, the sharks, the sea urchins, the macaws, and the sea horses. We kiss kayaking, and long bike-rides on the beach, and bobbing in the waves adieu. We say hello to responsibility, and bills, and dirty laundry.

Our last dinner is a Hilton Head tradition for us. Every year, on our last night on Hilton Head, we watch a Beatles tribute band at a fun little restaurant near our condo. The Beatles have such a unique way of capturing the human condition, the source of our angst. While I am very sad to be saying goodbye to the beach, I miss my dogs, my recliner, and my fellow counselors at the sidewalks of the abortion mill. Vacation is wonderful, but it would be meaningless without the balance of work. This is true of the spiritual realm as well. How wondrous it would be to have no more struggle, no more pain! To say Hello to God and never have to wonder again, never have to say Goodbye to anyone or anything again. To say Hello to eternal bliss and Goodbye to suffering.

But He has a different plan. We are here for a purpose, and sadly, that purpose right now entails not only Hellos, but also Goodbyes.

Goodbye Hilton Head.

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"Hello, Goodbye" by the Beatles

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello

I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don't know, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
(Hello goodbye hello goodbye) Hello hello
(Hello goodbye) I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello
(Hello goodbye hello goodbye) Hello hello
(Hello goodbye) I don't know why you say goodbye
(Hello goodbye) I say hello/goodbye

Why why why why why why do you say goodbye goodbye, oh no?

You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello


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Genesis 24:56

56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”

Philippians 1:22-2

22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

Friday, June 20, 2014

An Elusive God

You just never know what you might find at the beach. I went exploring on my bike and ended up at South Beach Marina, which in all our years vacationing here, I had never seen. In an outdoor tree perched two macaws.  They seemed perfectly content swaying on their swing beneath the Spanish moss. I tried to engage them in conversation, but they ignored me. Fortunately, unlike the dolphin I have encountered, they were amenable to a photo opp, and sat perfectly still while I took a picture.

Speaking of photographing dolphin, or lack thereof, I went out right at low tide on my kayak. That is the time when I am most likely to see them. As I drifted past the launch site, I decided to have my camera all set to video. I carefully got it all ready, hung it in a waterproof pouch around my neck and turned it off. Now all I would have to do when I was on the trail of a dolphin was hit one button after turning it back on.

Just as I turned it off, a dolphin surfaced not 3 feet from me. I almost died of fright. Then, before I had time to react, he was right next to my boat. I think he was as surprised as me! With a plunge, he disappeared, under my boat. My camera swayed ineffectually in its waterproof pouch.

So I turned my camera on, and waited. My heart slowed to 206 beats a minute, but no dolphin reemerged. I decided to leave my camera on and continued up Broad Creek, the inlet where I always kayak. After a half hour of no dolphin sightings, I turned off my camera. Just as I was turning it off, a dolphin surfaced, again only 3 or 4 feet in front of me, heading my way.
"Hey, I'm here!" I warned him. He dived and by the time I got my camera on, he was nowhere to be seen.

So, stupido, I told myself, if you want to see a dolphin and have him stick around, you can't be such a chicken.

I tried to send out welcoming vibes to any of the dolphins out there, but alas, no more came near. One swam about 50 yards away, keeping pace with my kayak, but when I stopped paddling (again reaching to turn on my camera), he disappeared.

There is no doubt about it. The dolphins seem to be purposefully elusive. Or perhaps it is just their nature. I have similar thoughts about God. I mean, really, wouldn't it end a whole lot of strife and angst if God just showed Himself to everyone, did  a few unmistakable miracles, and then posed for some authentic photographs? Why is He so elusive?

Well, lots of folks have written whole books on the subject so I won't even attempt to answer that question. I have determined that most "why" questions concerning God are a waste of time. God does things His way for a reason but rarely clues us in. Still, from my albeit limited and unscholarly perspective, I have noticed a few things that may explain the positive ramifications of an elusive God.

1. That which we can't easily grasp becomes instantly more valuable. We all know this to be true. We all cherish most that which we had to work hardest to secure.
2. We seek more ardently that which we only catch rare glimpses of. Case in point: I spend two hours every morning in my kayak scanning the deep blue sea for the most transitory moments, seconds really, of a dolphin's back. I am in near ecstasy if I get to see his tail.
3. There is comfort in knowing something is always there, even when we can't see Him. If He was always in sight, when we lost sight of Him, we would feel bereft. Brief glimpses give us hope, and reminds us He is always lurking near, especially when He appears at the most unlikely times.
4. We take for granted that which is always before us. No matter how spectacular the scenery of a new place, after a few days, I have grown used to it. It stops registering as "spectacular." On the other hand, brief visits to beautiful places tend to leave me awestruck. God knows our limited capacity for ongoing reverence. I am assuming this failing of ours is transformed in Heaven...or really, Heaven will be wasted on us.

This is just a short list off the top of my head. Whatever the "why" may be, God is largely hidden from us. But interestingly, we are not hidden from God. Far from it. Here is a small portion of verses that remind us that God sees us, even when we don't see Him:


Psalm 38:9
All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.

Psalm 69:5
You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you.

Psalm 139:15
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

So, I guess we need to be satisfied that we won't likely see God face to face, till perhaps we get to Heaven, but He definitely sees us.  AND we know He is there, like the dolphin, just under the boat.

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1 John 4:12
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Seeing-God#sthash.vQ15ZeXb.dpuf
1 John 4:12
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Seeing-God#sthash.vQ15ZeXb.dpuf


1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Seeing-God#sthash.vQ15ZeXb.dpuf
1 John 4:12
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Seeing-God#sthash.vQ15ZeXb.dpuf

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Eater is Eaten

Interesting bike ride on the beach yesterday morning. I saw this floating in a tide pool. In case you can't tell what it is, it is the top half of a shark. The bottom half is...gone. It appears to have been chewed away, my guess is by another shark. As far as I know, nothing else eats sharks except other sharks. Ironic, isn't it?

Many biblical verses warn us of this logical extension of behavior:
*those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
*you reap what you sow
*with the measure you pour out for others, you will be measured
*forgive as you are forgiven
*love as you are loved

We could on one hand, end up like a half-eaten shark. Lord knows, most of us deserve it if we are to be judged by our selfless sacrifice to others (not!). How much more pleasant to sow love, kindness, gratitude, and mercy....for Lord knows, we have been given all that in abundance.

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Matthew 7:12 

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Luke 6:31 

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Matthew 7:1-5

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Mark 12:31 

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Leviticus 19:18 

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

1 John 4:20 

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Romans 2:21-24 

You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Romans 2:1-4 

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My New Self

I forget I am an old lady when I bike on the beach. I know pushing 60 is the new 20, but still...
I have long, flowing brown hair again...well, ok, I never had long flowing brown hair...I always had frizzy, rat-nest kind of hair...but you get the idea....

Anyway, I forget about the crotch full of sand and  how it is causing some nasty raw spots in places where no one wants raw spots. I forget about the strong likelihood of melanoma reoccurrance given the rate of burning skin. I forget about the crick in my neck from turning my head for an hour straight to scan the ocean for dolphins.

I am young, and carefree. There are no financial concerns, troubling issues, emotional upheavals, or worries about tomorrow. There is just a long, flat beach, a cool breeze, and a sparkling ocean. Next week when vacation ends will be soon enough to call those other things to remembrance.

I love how the Bible tells us that when we find new life in Jesus, the old things pass away. We are renewed and reborn to a new life. Our heart of stone is removed. A new self is created after the likeness of God....And God remembers our sin no more. Our old self is cast away like yesterday's coffee grounds.

So I am off again to the beach that is calling the new me. As I pedal the glistening miles to the roar of the surf,  I have long, supple limbs again...well, ok, I never had long supple limbs...I have always been short and inflexible. But you get the idea....

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2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ephesians 4:22-24 

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

John 5:24 

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 3:3 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Revelation 21:5 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Ezekiel 11:19 

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Seeking the Elusive

I could live here. On the other hand, a certain teenager lay on the sand and moaned, "There's nothing to do." I glanced around. In our little beach cart alone, we had sand castle building tools, a skim board, two boogie boards for wave surfing, some beach games. This is not to mention the beach bicycles and the several miles of flat beach to ride on or the shady bike paths that criss-cross the entire island, or the kayak in the car. Then I looked at the wide open ocean, the tiny shells kicked up by the surf, the countless birds and sea life to gaze upon in wonder.

Wisely, I remained silent. Some things must be understood for oneself.

I had kayaked in the morning and a dolphin surfaced near me. I stopped paddling and sat bobbing in the water, watching him. I tried to take a photo, but once again, was unable to time his surfacing with my shutter clicking. He was magnificent, but elusive. As soon as I thought I could capture him on film, he would disappear. All my efforts were futile. In the end, I put down the camera and focused instead on just enjoying his presence, the brief moments when he broke out of the deep and the droplets of water sparkled on his sleek back in the sun.

Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived, found that despite having sumptuous palaces, all the women and possessions he desired, and limitless wealth, he could not quite grasp the purpose of life.  He wrote the famous Bible verse: "vanity, vanity, all is vanity...striving after the wind." How could such a man, with all he possessed and understood, be so struck with the futility of life? What would make him lose all sense of joy and wonder?

In the end, Solomon recognized that the only thing that brings meaning to life is to love, honor, and serve God. To try to find happiness in any other endeavor would ultimately lead to futility and despair.

The dolphin surfaced a final time, arched his beautiful back, and slipped into the sea, waving his tail at me as he disappeared. I put away my camera and paddled back to the dock. Although I could not see him, what a thrill to know he was still there! Maybe tomorrow he would appear again!

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Ecclesiastes 2: 24-26

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. wFear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.3 14 For xGod will bring every deed into judgment, with4 every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Run to Your Father

Well, on my early morning kayak trip, the eye was quicker than the hand on my camera. I saw a pod of dolphins feeding twenty feet off my bow, and then in the distance, saw something I have never seen in the wild before. A dolphin leaped at least ten feet into the air, and then crashed back into the water. I hurriedly paddled over, hoping to see it up close, but that single moment of exquisite ballet was all there was to be. Thank you Father for that incredible blessing!

When I saw it, I wished my mom and dad were here on the boat with me to see it. I know they would have felt the same sense of wonder and delight as I did. I didn't snap a photo, but I drew the picture above to give you a sense of the incredible grandeur of what I saw.

Why do dolphins do that? It looked for all the world to me like ecstatic joy. Were that me instead of the dolphin, joy would certainly be my motivation for such a spectacular leap towards Heaven. It turns out, I am not the only one to question the motivation of such splendor. Scientists really don't know why dolphin leap. Some of the theories are: to get a better view of where food might be, to communicate with mates or the pod, to crash away parasites...or to have fun.

I'm going with the having fun theory. That's in part why I was out there too. The other part might be something else me and the dolphin shared. We were both reaching up to Heaven. I never hear God more clearly than I do when surrounded by His creation in a peaceful, beautiful place. He is there always, of course, in the struggles, the ugly places, the noisy places as well....but my heart is most in tune with the blessing and joy of knowing God when I am in the midst of quiet beauty.

When I saw the dolphins feeding right near my boat, I was awestruck, but also a bit fearful. They are huge creatures, and could easily overturn my boat if they wanted to. I never hear of them doing so, and realize that they are supposedly friendly to humans, but nonetheless, knowing their power, I have a healthy respect for them. It is again, not unlike my feeling for God.

But my adventures at the beach were not over. As I sat with my family later on shore, a nearby fisherman caught a baby shark. Here is the shark's picture:
Fortunately, my family was done swimming because then, a few minutes after the baby shark was released, I saw a fin...and a dorsal fin...not 3 feet from shore. It took a moment for me to think, "That is big...and it is a SHARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I jumped up and began yelling, "Shark!!! Shark!!!" A little girl was in the ocean, near her father who was fishing, and the shark was between her and shore.
"Go to your father!!!" called my husband. Good advice for any of us when we are in trouble. We should all go immediately to Our Father.

The little girl began sobbing and climbed onto her father's back. The shark wasn't interested in eating the little girl though. He was after the fish at low tide. He cruised away and I called out to the crying little girl that it was ok, the shark was gone. The Stupid father kept fishing. (forgive me Lord for calling the stupid father stupid, but you know the truth....)

A moment later, my daughter, Asherel, pointed in the distance.
"A shark just jumped."
I looked over. I saw the giant fish as it crashed back into the water.
"Dolphins!!! Sharks don't jump!" I cried excitedly.
We watched enthralled as dolphins leaped into the air, four or five in a row. Wow! Twice in one day I was to be blessed with such magnificence!

I learned later that the vast majority of sharks at Hilton Head are Black Tip sharks. While generally shy, when food is around, they can become aggressive and are responsible for many human bites.

Great.

Also, they are the one shark species which will leap out of the water, like dolphins!! Maybe Asherel did see a shark leaping, though the things I saw leaping were definitely dolphins.

After the shark incident, Asherel and my husband biked back to the condo. Not me.  I sat on the beach watching the tide continue to recede, eying the horizon for glimpses of any leaping fish, shark, or dolphin. I saw a few. I didn't want to leave. I sat there another hour, recalling how I had thought of God in very opposing scenes that day. First, during the peaceful grandeur of the dolphin leaping that morn- I thought of His incredible gifts and provision. Second, that afternoon, I pondered God and His protection when I saw the frightening specter of the shark between the little girl and shore.

Run to your father! Oh beloved, do not be afraid! Run to your Father!

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James 1:17 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 91:1-16 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

2 Timothy 4:18 

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.