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Sunday, May 27, 2007


The story of Barak and the prophetess Deborah in the book of Judges fills me with some amusement, as well as food for thought. Deborah was judge over Israel at a time when they had been sold into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan. The commander of Jabin's army was a man named Sisera who cruelly oppressed the Israelites.

Deborah sent for Barak and told him that the Lord had commanded him to take ten thousand men and go up against Sisera, and the Lord will deliver him into Barak's hands. Barak's response? "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." Now I could just picture Barak telling his buddies, "I'm going to fight Sisera, and Deborah is going with me." Their hoots of laughter would most likely ring out across the Kishon River. Then they would sober up and ask, "You're kidding, right?" But Barak's serious face would show he wasn't kidding.

Why would a man abandon his male ego and risk ridicule from his friends to ask a woman for help? I believe it could be one of two things: Deborah was a woman of power. As a judge, she settled disputes and people looked up to her. As a prophetess, her word could be trusted. But the other reason could be that Barak knew the anointing of the Lord was upon her, and he needed that if he was to succeed. But to ask a woman for help still seemed a bit cowardly. Nevertheless, the story goes on to say that Deborah accompanied Barak, and they defeated Sisera.

I think we could all, men and women, learn something from Barak. When we face tough issues, we should not be too proud to ask for help. And if it means asking someone who we might consider beneath us in station, let's do it. However, sometimes we might not find anyone we can ask. But Jesus is always there. He is the Christ, the anointed One. All power and wisdom reside in Him. We do not have to face our battles alone. We can say like Barak did: "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." It's the only sensible decision to make.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Some of the things I hear on the news never cease to amaze me. This week a case was brought before the court against a mother who gave false information about where she lived in order to get her kids into schools in another city. The prosecutor asked that the woman be sent to jail for one year because of this. However the woman pointed out that while she and the kids did not live at that address, her family did, and they would be able to provide after school care for her kids when necessary.

My heart filled with compassion for the woman, and I could see no earthly reason for such harsh punishment. Had the prosecutor ever lied in his life? How many criminals are walking about scot free because they and their attorneys lied? What happened to mercy, understanding and forgiveness? Our court system is based on the laws of the Bible, and I think that prosecutors should consider this before bringing certain cases before the court. I thought about Jesus and the compassion He felt for mankind. He forgave sinners and commanded us to forgive.

I'm not saying that everyone who lies should not face the consequences. What I'm saying is that each case should be judged on its own merit. I'm happy to say that the jury found the woman not guilty on all counts and she was set free. After the hearing the D.A. said his office never intended for her to be sent to jail. So why tie up the court's time with matters that could be settled otherwise? Do taxpayers have time or money to waste? Not with gas prices at over $3.00 a gallon. Are we being told the truth about the reason for those hight prices? Hmm.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Prayer For Mothers

This is a prayer for all mothers, young and old, single or married, divorced, widowed or otherwise. As long as you are a mother, biological or adoptive, this prayer is for you.

Dear Lord, I thank you for gving me the gift of being a mother, the opportunity to love, cherish and nurture the precious human being you have loaned to me. Help me, Lord, to always remember that I'm not in this by myself. You are with me when I go into the delivery room, when I nurse that infant at my breast, when I sing him to sleep, and when I walk the floors at night. You are with me whether I feel pride at some small achievement, or whether I feel exasparated, overwhelmed or confused.

Help me to remember, Lord, that I am not perfect. You are the only perfect parent. In you lies all wisdom, strength and patience. So Father, when I don't know what to do or where to turn, remind me that you are there. That you see that child when I can't see him, because he is also your child, a heritage from You, and You guard your own fiercely.

So Father God, I thank you for this Mother's Day. A day that celebrates the most priceless miracle of all times - the birth of a human being. I do not take this miracle lightly, and everyday I fall on my knees I say thank you to My Heavenly Parent for the honor of sharing the joys- and the sorrows- of parenthood with You. Thank you, Lord.

Monday, May 07, 2007

One for the birds

Every morning I drive through densely wooded areas on my way to work. Nature lover that I am, this affords me the opportunity to enjoy God's creation in all its virgin beauty. Fall, with its varying shades of orange, red and yellow leaves, fills me with awe, and when the leaves begin to fall off, I feel a sense of personal loss. Winter offers little here in Atlanta by way of snow, so I wait eagerly for spring. This year, however it seems that the trees put out their decorations one morning and took them down faster than we do our Christmas decorations. And with the present drought, color is few and far between.

However, the birds are there. Flitting, swooping, zooming in and out, they attract me with their calls and their swift movements. One of my favorites is the red bird. I don't know the scientific name for it, but it's just red all over. It flits by and is gone quicker than my eyes can follow it. A friend told me she also loves the little creature. She said when her sister had to undergo an operation she was so worried, she prayed constantly that the surgery would be successful. She said while she sat on her porch praying, a red bird flitted by. On impulse she prayed, "Lord, if my sister is going to be allright, let me see another red bird." Not long after her prayers were answered. Since she told me this story, every time I see a red bird I ask the Lord to let me see another. And always, without my thinking about it, I would see another one before I get to work.

What does it mean? Maybe nothing. Or maybe God is just assuring me that He is there. Just as my friend prayed for that sign and God answered, I believe God is telling me, "I am here whenever you need Me. You may not see Me all the time, but I am here." In Isaiah 65:24 he says, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear."