Introducing my new little cookbook!

Hey everybody, I’ve spent the last month compiling easy, yet oh-so-good recipes into a new cookbook. This cookbook is made up of meals I have cooked for my family through the years. Some have been passed down through the family tree. I hope you enjoy it. Ebook, Large print paperback, and Large print hardcover are all available on Amazon and other online stores.

The Lord Protects Us

Genesis 30:25-31:55

After all these years, Jacob was still serving Laban (Rachel’s father). Laban believed that Jacob brought him prosperity in that the Lord had blessed him on Jacob’s account, and he didn’t want to see him go. Jacob was ready to go home, however.

They struck a deal in which Jacob would pasture and take care of Laban’s animals. In return, he would keep all the striped, spotted, and black goats and lambs as his wages. Laban tried to cheat him by separating and hiding the spotted animals so that Jacob’s herd would be smaller. Meanwhile, as Jacob took care of Laban’s animals, he took the strong animals and put poplar and almond and plane tree in their water to increase their fertility. He did not do this for the weaker animals. The white flocks belonging to Laban, in the care of Jacob, ended up giving birth to goats and sheep that were black, striped, and spotted. A deal’s a deal, and though Laban tried to cheat Jacob, the Lord turned things around and multiplied Jacob’s herd. Of course, this made Laban’s sons angry and they accused Jacob of stealing their father’s animals. The Lord told Jacob it was time to leave. Jacob took his wives, his children, his livestock, and all that belonged to him and headed to his father, Isaac, in the land of Canaan. Unfortunately, before they left, Rachel stole her father’s idols.

Laban was incensed and pursued Jacob for seven days and finally caught up to him in Gilead. However, the Lord came to Laban in a dream and warned him not to hurt Jacob. Laban questioned Jacob, asking why he fled with no good-bye, then he accused him of stealing his idols. Jacob had no idea that Rachel had taken them, and Laban did not find them since Rachel was sitting on them on top of her camel, but his suspicions did not wane.

At this point, Jacob exploded on Laban, pointing out all the years he’d served him, all he’d done for him. Laban didn’t see it his way, of course, but they made a deal not to harm one another, with God as their witness. Then early the next morning, Laban kissed his daughters and grandchildren good-bye and went home.

The Lord took care of Jacob when his enemies were trying to cheat him and do him harm. The Lord takes care of us too. Though bad things do happen to God’s children sometimes, He is always with us, protecting our hearts and our peace of mind. Besides, imagine all that He has protected us from that we don’t even know about.  

I’m Branching Out!

For those of you who don’t know yet, I’m jumping into the business of t-shirt design. I will be selling much more than just t-shirts though. Check out my stores on Redbubble and Spring. Links are on my website. Yes, I’m still writing. I actually have several novels in progress, and I’m still blogging. Thanks for your interest and support. I pray that the new year will be good to us all!

Genesis 29-30:1-24

Genesis 29

Jacob went on a journey and met Rachel while she was tending her sheep. He fell for her instantly and asked her father, Laban, for her hand in marriage. They made a deal that Jacob would serve Laban for seven years, then he would be allowed to marry Rachel.

After seven years, the wedding ensued. Unbeknownst to Jacob, however, he was tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s not-so-pretty older sister. Jacob was incensed, but Laban insisted that the eldest sister must marry first.

They struck another deal in which Jacob was allowed to also marry Rachel one week after his wedding to Leah. In return, he would serve Laban another seven years. So, Jacob married his beloved Rachel one week after marrying Leah, whom he did not love.

The Lord knew that poor Leah was unloved, so He gave her many children. Rachel, on the other hand, had not been able to conceive. Leah had four sons with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.

Genesis 30:1-24

Rachel was very jealous that Leah could bear Jacob children when she had not. Rachel threatened Jacob to give her children or she would die. Was she threatening suicide or just being overly dramatic? Either way, Jacob was angered by her outburst, claiming that he was not God. It wasn’t his fault.

Because it seems that no one ever learns from the lessons of history, Rachel gave her maid, Bilhah, to Jacob to bear him a child. Bilhah bore Jacob a son named Dan. Bilhah conceived again and gave Jacob another son, Naphtali, but then she stopped conceiving, and she too gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob who bore him two sons, Gad and Asher.

Leah ended up giving Jacob two more sons: Issachar and Zebulun, and then a daughter, Dinah.

Finally, God took pity on Rachel and opened her womb. She bore Jacob a son whom they called Joseph.

We’ve read this same story before when Sarah gave her maid to Abraham when she could not bear him children. Though God had promised her she would, she didn’t have enough faith. Abraham had a son with Hagar (Sarah’s maid) named Ishmael, and later God fulfilled His promise to Sarah who gave birth to Isaac. The descendants of these two continue to fight to this day. It seems when we stop waiting on God, when we decide to fix things ourselves, when we take matters into our own hands, we only mess things up, and not just for ourselves, but possibly for future generations.

Christmas 2022

Today is Christmas Eve, and I’d like to share with you exactly how my Christmas holiday is going. This is one of those stories in which one can choose to laugh or cry. I choose to laugh. It’s Christmas. I refuse to get all worked up about the truly unimportant things. Ya know, like running water. 

Let me explain. For Christmas this year, we decided to travel to our tiny house and have our immediate family over for a traditional Christmas dinner. My husband and I finished out the tiny house ourselves (a long and tedious process), and we always drain the water lines when we depart for home. 

Well, we arrived on Thursday just after the Arctic blast hit. It was already 28 degrees. My husband turned the water on briefly so that I could fill some pots full of water, and then he planned to turn it off again before nightfall. Unbeknownst to us, our wrapped pipes froze within the hour as the temperature plummeted. Too late, the hot water line froze solid. 

Today is Christmas Eve (Saturday). The temperature finally got above freezing and all you-know-what broke loose on our water lines. Lucky for us, Home Depot was open till 5:00 today, and lucky for me my hubby knows how to fix stuff. He fixed the main water line, but the ones under the house are still frozen and cannot be fixed until tomorrow—Christmas day, the day I’m having family come to Christmas dinner that I’ve been preparing for three days.

I’ve watched enough Little House on the Prairie to know how to work around the lack of plumbing, and I’ve somehow been able to cook and clean without it. It’s been a memorable, interesting week, and I’m thankful that we have electricity since we still haven’t installed our wood-burning stove. The Lord has a sense of humor and the ability to make us appreciate all the little things in life. My house is toasty warm, my husband and I are healthy and whole, and my son is coming to see us tomorrow to celebrate our lord’s birthday. What more can I possibly ask for…except for maybe a long hot shower.

So, for all you Scrooges out there, take a look around and notice the good things. Appreciate your family while you have them. Celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One who took your punishment for you. Watch an old Christmas movie and laugh and cry and just enjoy the holiday, and appreciate the little things (like in-door plumbing). Merry Christmas! 

The Importance of Family

The holidays are upon us! I just spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family (not all of them, but many of them), and I’m thankful for them, especially now, as my family members seem to be dwindling away.

That’s what happens as we get older. We lose our grandparents, then our parents. Our children grow up and their time is divided. Our siblings are married and have to divide their time as well. Our cousins have children, then those children grow up and get married and it all recycles again. It’s never the same as it once was. It never will be. 

Such is life, right? Enjoy spending time with those who share your blood, who share your memories. They are the ones who will be there for you when it matters. Don’t neglect those relationships. As I once heard someone say, “Home is where you go when you have no place to go, and where they have to take you in.”  Try to appreciate that, as imperfect as we all are.  

Happy Thanksgiving.


Do You Believe? By the creators of God’s Not Dead

Once in a while I stumble across a movie that really moves me. This is one of them. Therefore, I am challenging each of you to watch it this week, and to convince at least one other person to see it. I watched it on Pureflix, but I believe it’s also on Prime and other channels. 

This movie is about normal people, not perfect Christian-like characters that no one could possibly live up to, but about non-believers, ex-non-believers, sittin’ on the fence believers, and of course, big believers. No matter which category you fall into, there is one thing we all have in common—our time on this earth is limited. 

The end time prophesies of the bible are falling into place, and whether or not you believe in them, you cannot deny one single truth, you will leave this world one day. That day might be today. It might be on my birthday (September 27) hint hint, or it might be seven years from now. Who knows! Well, God knows, of course. The point is, where will you be going when it’s time for you to go? You have two choices. I think you know where I’m going with this, so I will spare you the hellfire/brimstone sermon (Yes, that is one of your choices). 

Christians are told to go forth and make disciples, to be fishers of men, to lead others to Jesus that they would be saved. I must admit, I’m not good at it. People just don’t want to hear about it. Well, people, I’m here to remind you, our time is almost up. It’s time for you to get interested. It’s time for you to choose, and please watch this movie. It’s wonderful. 

Remember the Sabbath or Worship on Sundays?

I came across some interesting information this week regarding the Sabbath which made my head spin. I’ve always known that historically speaking, the Sabbath was practiced on Saturdays. What I never understood was why church is held on Sundays. The fourth commandment tells us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Do we? There is little evidence of that. In fact, many people party pretty hard on Saturday nights. I’d hardly call that keeping it holy. Where did the tradition of Saturday night partying come from? The pieces are starting to fit together…maybe.

This past week, I watched a biblical documentary which discussed the Sabbath and how the church got away from it. By the time I finished watching it, I was floored. According to certain theologians, we are worshipping our God on the very day the pagans worshipped their “Sun god” (Sundays), so apparently we are doing it wrong. We are not following the fourth commandment, we are not remembering the Sabbath, and we sure aren’t keeping it holy. 

The change supposedly occurred when the emperor of Rome, Constantine, brought Christianity to his people. They already worshipped the sun god on Sundays, so Constantine thought it would be an easier transition if he left worshipping day as Sunday, but switched out the god they worshipped. What a politician. In the 4thcentury, the Council of Laodicea urged Christians to honor Sunday by abstaining from work on that day and prohibited them from abstaining from work on the Sabbath. Prohibited Christians from following the fourth commandment? Exactly what were they up to?

To this day, we worship on Sundays because that’s when churches offer services, and now we know why they offer them on Sundays. So, are we doing it wrong? According to the fourth commandment, yes, but most churches don’t have Saturday church, and most of us probably won’t start a Saturday church. The disciples worshipped God on the Sabbath and also other days of the week, including Sundays. So, it’s true we worship God on pagan holidays, but they were God’s days first, so I see no problem with taking them back, and really, any day that we worship God is the Lord’s day. Everyday can be the Lord’s day. He did create them, after all.

According to my research, the Sabbath began on Friday at sundown and lasted until Saturday at sundown, during which many people would fast. At Sabbath’s end, the people would end their fast and break bread together and worship God. Did this spark the Saturday night out tradition?  What was the Sabbath established for anyway? 

According to Jesus, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath—so man could rest just like God rested on the seventh day. He knew we’d need it. If we choose to neglect something God says we need, then it hurts us. The Sabbath is so important to God that He included it in the ten commandments. Having said that, we are not to be like the Pharisees who focused so much on the law they completely missed the Son of God standing right in front of them. We are to focus on God Himself and build a relationship with Him. If we listen, we will know with certainty His instruction, which according to Micah 6:8 is this: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

We are not perfect. We are not sinless. That’s why we need grace. We are expected to follow all the commandments. However, the focus should not solely be on the law itself, but the God who wrote the law to help us, to keep us from earthly troubles, the God who loves us as we love our own children, who wants to protect us and keep us safe, as we want to keep our own children safe. So, what’s the bottom line here: rest on Saturdays, keep it holy, and worship on any other day of the week you like. 

My Testimonial (Part 3)

The moment I was baptized, I was washed by the blood of the Lamb. I was clean for the first time in my life. I was guilt-free and sinless, spotless like Jesus. I look back now and realize God had moved Mona to say those things to me about baptism. I was thirteen. I was of the age of conscious choice. God knew it was time I started on my journey from newborn to mature Christian.

God has shown me the way throughout my life, and I finally learned the reason Christ had to die on that cross so painfully. I finally asked, and I was finally given a straight answer. So simple, yet I hadn’t known. Somebody had to pay for our sins, MY sins. Either it would be me, or someone else. Jesus was the only One with enough power, enough perfection, and enough love to take the punishment for our sins. He had to do it. He chose to do that for us. In the Old Testament, the sacrifices made to purify the people of their sins had to be perfect, blemish-free, the best of the lambs. If you can’t give up your best to God, give up something you want/need/love, then what is the sacrifice? Jesus was the only human to have never sinned. He was spotless, without blemish. It had to be Him.

I knew Jesus had suffered on the cross, but I hadn’t realized the full extent of that suffering until I went to see the movie “The Passion of the Christ” with Jim Caviezel. With people all around me in the theater, I wept. I had never known. My Lord, my Jesus went through all that—for me! What had I ever done for Him? This movie changed me. It matured me in my faith. It upped my game.

I’m still a sinner, though I honestly try not to be. The more I grow in Christ, the less I desire to sin. He loves me. Just like my mom, I don’t want to let Him down, but instead of hearing her words, “I just hope you’re ready,” I hear His, “I will make you ready,” and through every struggle I face, He is making me ready.

Are you waiting to be ready? To be spotless? Well, the wait is over. You will never be ready on your own accord, but come to Jesus, and He will cover you with His righteousness and make you spotless.

My Testimonial (Part 2)

Fear is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)

My friend Mona had given me a new, more pressing reason to think about baptism. A short time after our conversation of Heaven, hell, and being a Christian, I told my mom I wanted to be baptized. I told her at church on Sunday morning—no time for discussion. I completely caught her off guard. Honestly, I’d thought she’d have a bigger reaction. I soon understood why she was holding out on me. 

My mom was the one on the other side of that baptismal water, holding out the towel for me, open arms, waiting to enfold me. I came out of that glorious water completely pure and sinless. For the first time in my life, I knew I had no sin. What an amazing, unbelievable feeling that was! In my young, immature heart, I vowed to remain sinless, too.

As I walked up the steps toward my mother’s loving arms, I asked her, “Are you happy?” 

Her response, “I just hope you were ready.” 

Well, that deflated my pure, sinless ego right quick and in a hurry. Talk about someone peeing in your Cheerios! I didn’t know why she would say it. I thought she’d been waiting and waiting for the day I’d be baptized. I thought it would make her happy, but I was wrong in my thinking that day. The inciting force of my sudden baptism was the wrong motivation for my actions, or so I thought for most of my life.

In church, people always want to know your story. You know, the reason you committed your life to Christ—the moment you chose Him. Truth be told, I never had that one moment. I never had the before and after of choosing Christ. Why? Because I had always known Jesus. My whole life I knew I belonged to Him. I was taught all the Sunday school Bible stories. I knew Jesus died on the cross so we could be saved. I knew I needed to be baptized someday. Maybe I had put it off because I knew I wouldn’t get through my teenage years without sinning, and I would want to wash those sins away as well. There was so much I needed to learn. I was a child of God, but immature in my faith. Of course. I was only thirteen. 

I had gone to church my whole life, but I didn’t get it. I can’t ever remember any preacher explaining WHY Jesus had had to die in order to save me. I didn’t understand that baptism wasn’t just a one-time bath that washed away my previous sins. I got it, but I really didn’t get it. 

It would be a long time before I would truly understand. I’m still learning, but looking back on my baptism, though I realize I may not have done it for all the right reasons, I remember the feeling I had coming up out of that water. My logic and reasoning might have been a little off, but my heart was right on track. 

To be continued…

My Testimonial (Part 1)

I remember when my family was thinking about placing membership at a church we had been attending for quite some time. We sat through a class that explained what the church was all about, specifically what they believed, etc. We had to fill out some paperwork, and in that paperwork was a space to write one’s testimony of faith. What’s that? Well, we were supposed to explain the moment we had decided to follow Christ, and they wanted it turned in before we left the class. 

Are you kidding me? I not only had no idea of the moment I started following Christ, but as a former English teacher, I was not prepared to turn in a first draft essay! Therefore, we decided to take the paperwork home with us. I never did fill out the testimonial. I was stumped. Then we moved, so it really didn’t matter that we had never pledged membership to that church that we so loved. By the way, we still visit that church sometimes when we are in the area. 

Years later, thinking on this testimonial thing, I finally know what to write, and I’d like to share it. It all started in the seventh grade. I was thirteen-years-old, sitting on my bed with my friend Mona. We were probably chatting about school, or records, or most likely boys when the conversation took a turn.

“Are you a Christian?” she asked me.

“Yeah, of course.”

“How do you know?”

“What do you mean? We go to church every Sunday. I believe in God.”

“But have you been baptized?”

“No. Not yet.” 

I hadn’t, although I knew that I would someday. That was never in question, but I was thirteen-years-old, and it had not even been on my radar. I was too busy thinking about thirteen-year-old girl stuff, I guess. 

In Mona’s tell-it-like-it-is, seventh-grade logic, she said, “Well, you can’t be a Christian if you’re not baptized. And if you aren’t a Christian when you die, you go to hell.”

Ouch! That got my attention! I mean, no one wants to go to hell. Of course, I had already known all this, I just never applied it to my life because I was just coming into the age when I was old enough to choose, and I had chosen. I had always chosen to follow Jesus. I’d just neglected to obey Christ and make it official, which we are called to do. I probably didn’t appreciate my friend’s harsh words at the time. Being convicted to hell isn’t something anyone wants a part of. However, she spurred me into action. 

I doubt Mona has any memory of this. We were just kids and just beginning to understand the Bible, but this was a moment that changed my life, and she was a huge part of it. It only takes a seed, and you never know how big that seed will grow unless you plant it. Thank you, Mona.

To be continued…

Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea

Revelation 3:14-22

Laodicea is the seventh church that Jesus asks John to write to in the book of Revelation. Though these seven churches were actual churches in John’s time, I can’t help but think they also represent many churches of today.

Regarding the church of Laodicea, Jesus says that they are lukewarm. They are not hot, nor cold, though He wishes they would pick one over the other. They are rich and have need of nothing, but they are unknowingly in a miserable state. He encourages them to repent so that their shame not be revealed. Those whom Jesus loves, He will discipline. He stands at the door knocking with his promises for those who hear His voice and open the door, for those who overcome. 

The problem with having it all is that we sometimes forget the One who gave it to us. We become lukewarm. We lose the fire we once had for Jesus Christ. We forget that we need God. We go through the motions, but lose heart, and that’s just not good enough. Jesus says He will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth. He wants us to have passion in our convictions, not go with the flow of this world. He doesn’t want us to be tolerant. He wants us to love and show compassion all while sharing the truth of God’s word. For one day, according to scripture, the time of loving compassion will end, and Jesus will return with his armies. He will return with a sword.

This world is not our home. It’s not for us. So, do not conform to the ideology of the day. We are in Revelation, and soon the trumpets will sound.

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by believers and unbelievers alike. Here we are trucking along, doing our best to do the right thing, trying to live by God’s word, when BOOM! Life happens. 

Life is hard (extremely hard), and though if we’re honest, here in the United States we are pretty spoiled. We have so many more rights and freedoms that others don’t have, but that doesn’t mean life is easy. We worry about the state of our country. Death visits our door. Illness creeps in. Injuries happen. We worry about our kids, what they are being taught by the world, what choices they make. We definitely have pain. So, why does God allow this? 1 Peter Chp. 1 answers that question. 

1 Peter 1:4 

First of all, where is your inheritance? According to Peter, your inheritance is “kept in Heaven for you” and can “never spoil”. Your reward is not here in this world. 

1 Peter 1:6

“…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” ALL KINDS OF TRIALS. Have you suffered all kinds of grief? Well, I can tell you that I’m a lucky girl who has had tons of blessings bestowed on my life, but I have also suffered all kinds of grief and trials—stuff that would knock me on my hind end had I not leaned on God to help me through. Even now I suffer through trials that I would rather not be dealing with, but such is life. So, back to the question, Why God? Why? 

1 Peter 1:7

“These [trials] have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold…may be proved genuine…” How is gold made pure? By fire, right? So too is your faith. After all, how could we ever prove to ourselves and to the world that our faith is genuine if it hasn’t been refined like gold?  Why do we even need to prove our faith? So that it “may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” How else can souls be won over to Christ?

1 Peter 1:8-9

Even through trials, “…you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Let’s admit it, when we first started our walk with Jesus, many of us probably did it in order to be saved. We want to go to Heaven, right? Peter has no problem pointing this out. “The goal of your faith [is] the salvation of your souls.” Scriptures also tell us that “Fear is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). We don’t want to go to Hell. Fear may sometimes be what gets us in the door, but that’s not what keeps us here. 

As we mature in our Christianity, we develop a relationship with God. We lean on Him and He helps us with “peace…which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). That peace is real. So, though Christians aren’t excluded from the pain of this world, we are held up and comforted by God. Even Jesus, who was sinless and perfect, had to endure the crucifixion. So, next time you ask God why, remember what Peter said, “…so that your faith may be proved genuine.”

Jacob Has a Dream

Genesis 28:10-22

Following his parents’ instructions, Jacob headed out toward Haran in his journey for a proper wife, but the sun was setting so he stopped for the night. He lay on the ground and used a stone for a pillow. Then he had a dream, but not just any ordinary dream. This dream would change his life.

In Jacob’s dream, a ladder reached from the earth all the way to the heavens, and the angels of the Lord were using this ladder to ascend and descend from one to the other. The Lord stood above and declared that He was the God of Abraham and of Isaac, promising the land on which Jacob lay would be given to him and his descendants. 

God told Jacob that his descendants would be like the dust of the earth, spreading to the north, south, east, and west, and that in him and in his descendants all the families of the earth would be blessed (spoiler alert: Jesus came through the line of Jacob). God also promised Jacob that He would be with him, that He would take care of him, and that He would bring him back to his land. God promised He would not leave him until fulfilling that promise.

Jacob woke up, but he knew this was no ordinary dream. He knew that God had been there with Him, but he was afraid. He felt like this place on which he stood was some kind of gate to heaven. Jacob took the stone (his pillow) and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on it and called it “Bethel”, replacing its previous name “Luz”. Jacob then made a vow that if God took care of him and provided for him, and returned him to his father’s house safely, then he would commit himself to God and make that stone which he set up as a pillar God’s house, and he would give God back a tenth of all God gave him. (I guess that’s where tithing comes from.)

This was not a deal Jacob made with the Lord. This was the promise of the Lord, and Jacob recognized and accepted that promise. God promises us too that He will always be with us, no matter what may come. God doesn’t promise that the road will be smooth. In fact, the Bible assures us that we will have troubles in this life. The only trouble-free life will be the life that begins when this one ends…but only if we accept the promises of the Lord.

God bless and stay in the Word.

It Is Not Well with My Soul

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord, because sometimes it truly is not well with my soul.

Do you ever have those moments in your life, you know, those truly devastating moments when you’ve experienced a great loss and you can’t breathe? I’m a Christian woman of strong faith, but I’ve had those moments when I just look to God and say why? Why didn’t you answer our prayers? How could you let this happen? There is so much pain in this broken world. God’s answer: In this world there will be trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.

My friend lost her son. He was only 22. Devastating. It is not well with my soul. But I trust the Lord, and she does too. So, it will be…eventually. Please pray for her, for God to fill her heart with peace, to wipe away her tears, to give her the strength to endure, and for it to be well with her soul.

God Uses Bad for Good

Genesis 27 through 28:9

Rebekah (wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau) forms a plan for Jacob to trick his father into giving him the blessing saved for his eldest son (Esau). Jacob goes along with it and steals his brother’s blessings: heaven’s dew, the earth’s richness, an abundance of grain and new wine, lordship over his brothers and other nations, that those who curse him be cursed, and that those who bless him be blessed.

My first inclination after reading of this trickery was to be incensed at the injustice done to poor Esau. However, when I read a little more, then read a little back, I realized the reason this happened. Esau was just not fit for the blessing. Yes, Rebekah was deceitful. She’s a little unlikeable to me at the moment, and Jacob was tricky too, but what were their motives? Selfishness? Perhaps. Or maybe God used something bad to bring about something good. After all, the nations that came through Jacob became Israel, God’s blessed nation. The nations that came through Esau would live in hostility.

Look back to Chp. 25. The Lord had told Rebekah that the twins in her womb were two nations, two peoples who would be separated. One would be stronger, and the older would serve the younger. Esau was older. Also, Esau so willingly sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Was he really that hungry, or did he despise his birthright as the scripture says? Esau is not innocent in this story.

In Chp. 26, Esau married two Hittite women. (The Hittites worshipped many gods). This grieved Rebekah and Isaac. So, Esau was no sweet smelling rose. Does that make it okay for Rebekah and Jacob to cook up a plan to steal his blessing? My opinion is no. However, it makes sense. Plus, God already knew this was coming (The older will serve the younger).

So, Jacob gets Esau’s birthright and blessing from his father, Isaac. What does Esau get? Isaac tells him that his dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above, that he will live by the sword and serve his brother, but that one day he would throw his (Jacob’s) yoke from off his neck. What does that mean? Eventually, the nations of Esau separate in rebellion from the nations of Jacob. That comes later in the bible.

Back to the story, Esau is seriously mad at his brother, so Rebekah sends Jacob away with instructions to go find a proper wife. What does Esau do? Just for spite, he goes to Ishmael (remember him?) to obtain even more wives. Remember that God had told Ishmael that his offspring would live in hostility toward all their brothers. Esau’s bloodline was tainted by the bloodline of Ishmael’s offspring. It was important for Jacob’s bloodline to remain pure, for his is the bloodline from which Jesus comes.

There are many instances in the bible in which God uses bad to create good. In our world, many bad things are happening, and we need to pray about them, but if you are a child of faith, you will be able to see the blessings that God can bring out of such things.

God bless, and stay in the Word.

Excerpt From My Novel

Excerpt from Remember Me [Copyright  2021 Walker Lane]

Tears welled up in Lily’s eyes again. How many times had she cried today? She looked around at the mourners all dressed in their Sunday best, amazed at the throngs of people who came to pay their respects. She turned and gazed at her mom. She looked so pretty this morning. She had refused to wear black, and instead had worn a dress the color of spring bluebonnets — his favorite flower.

The gray sky loomed overhead as the solemn voice of the preacher brought Lily back to attention. At the words of the Psalms, her throat thickened. She hated crying in front of people. Lily leaned forward and looked down at the green turf, bright against her black shoes. Nearby, a caterpillar ambled toward his destination. How odd that the world had not stopped after all.

Men in dark suits surrounded her father waiting for the signal to lower him. Apropos of the fire and ice roses that sat atop the simple pine box, she felt as if she were in hell, shivering. She leaned her head on her mom’s shoulder and the sobs subsided momentarily when a green butterfly flew in front of her and landed on one of the roses in the spray. It hovered there for a moment then fluttered off into the sky as “Amazing Grace” filled the air.

Her mother reached out and took her trembling hand. Her mother — shouldn’t Lily be consoling her? But at that moment, her own despair took charge. Though Lily was all grown up, right now she was just a little girl crying for her daddy. She would be strong for her mother tomorrow.

Lily’s mom squeezed her hand as the men gently lowered her dad to his final resting place. She said a quick prayer for her mother who would face an empty bed in the night and loneliness in the morning. It was time to come home. Her mother would need her.


Genesis 26:12-35

Peaceful Isaac

Isaac sowed in the land of Gerar and reaped the same year a hundredfold. The good Lord blessed him mightily, and Isaac became an extremely wealthy man.

The Philistines grew jealous and filled up his ancestral water wells with dirt. Abimelech (the king) told Isaac to leave for he was afraid of Isaac’s power. Isaac did leave, but he didn’t go far, dwelling in the valley of Gerar. Isaac dug up the wells of Abraham, which had been filled by the Philistines after Abraham’s death, and Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, but the herdsmen of Gerar fought Isaac’s servants over the well. There were many arguments over territorial rights, and each time Isaac peacefully moved on, digging another well and another well until finally no one contested him. Then he declared that the Lord had finally made room for them.

Afterwards, he went to Beersheba where Abraham had also once dwelled. The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him to fear not, that he would bless him and multiply his seed for Abraham’s sake. Isaac built an altar to the Lord right there.

Then Abimelech showed up asking for an oath between them, for Abimelech knew that God was with Isaac. They made their oath of peace. Then Esau (who was forty years old at the time) married Judith and Bashemath, who were both daughters of the Hittites. Isaac and Rebekah were not pleased.

Isaac seemed like a peaceful man. He trusted in God’s promises, but though he was mightily blessed, he obviously did not lead an easy life. Someone was always waiting to agitate him, including his own son. Like Isaac, we have many blessings and many problems. We can ask God why, or we can accept it and move on and continue to trust Him. After all, even God’s favorites had their problems. Who are we to question ours?

Gaggle of Friends

My mom had a circle of friends she called the Steel Magnolias. I envied them. Her generation led such a different life than mine. I have friends too, but I do not surround myself with a gaggle like she did. It’s a generational flaw. My generation of women has led the task of “having it all”. We had careers and husbands to take care of and children to raise. We didn’t have time for afternoon coffee or shopping sprees. We didn’t have time to chat on the phone. We missed out.

We are the transition generation. We were expected to live the lives of our mothers while having the careers of our fathers. We cooked, we cleaned, we counseled, we dragged our families to church, we were accountants and chauffeurs, all while leading demanding full-time careers. We had no time to nurture our friendships. We were spent.

Now, our children are grown. They have moved on. Life is a little bit simpler, a little slower. Do we now become our own group of Steel Magnolias? No. We are busy once again trying to find our place in the world, for our old place has moved on.

I taught school for fifteen years. I resigned seven years ago because my mother needed me. She had brain cancer, and though I helped her after school and on weekends, it became increasingly clear that she’d needed more, so I left my career of teaching teenagers, and moved onto a position of caregiver.

My mom’s gaggle of girlfriends quickly became mine. For the first time since I was in school, I was surrounded by giggly females who enjoyed each other’s company. We had bible studies, cake and coffee, went on outings. I was there to help my mom, but these ladies became my ladies, and I loved it. I became their daughter too. What love—what a support system. I miss them.

The year my mom was diagnosed with her brain tumor, she was put through surgery and radiation and still only given months to live. Well, she outsmarted those doctors! She lived nearly five more years. During those years, life was difficult, but we found joy in the little things. My mom was a tough woman, and she was tough on me, but she had a way of finding enjoyment in her last years, whether it was watching an old movie, or just eating a bowl of ice cream, she laughed and joked, and her gaggle of friends never left her.

But before my mom passed, the women of her generation started to falter. One died in a car accident. One died of cancer quickly after being diagnosed. One’s husband died, then another. One moved to live closer to her children. My mom was losing her friends as she was losing her life. It all seemed so fast to me. They were all healthy and vibrant and helping me care for her. Then they were gone, one by one. Along with them, my support system, my gaggle of friends, my extra moms. My husband and I moved some time after my mom died, then stupid old covid hit like a ton of bricks keeping us all apart, separating us even further. I miss the ladies, the lunches, the cake and the coffee—the support system. I wonder if they know how much they meant to me, or what a gift they were.

One of these ladies called me the other night. She had bad news. A friend of my parents, a man I knew since childhood, the man who married my husband and me, the man who dedicated my baby to God, whom I sat beside at high school football games. The man who counseled me as a teenager, a glowing bride, a frustrated wife, and a grieving daughter. The man who sat next to my mother’s death bed and assured her of her salvation, who spoke at her funeral, who hugged me and told me he loved me every time I saw him, a man who was part of my dwindling support system—has gone to be with the Lord. Suddenly, by surprise, with no warning.

My heart is broken once again. It breaks for his wife, who is one of those special ladies everybody loves, for his children, for his grandchildren. It also selfishly breaks for me. I’m sad that he is gone. Not because he was part of my everyday life. He wasn’t, other than on Facebook, but because I have once again lost part of my support system. I’m happy for him. He gets to live in Heaven. But us? We are left here without him, such a positive force in our lives. I am not the only one who depended on him. I wonder if he knew how much I did.

My mom’s generation is passing quickly. They are not living to be a hundred. We are losing them decades earlier. It’s scary because my generation now has to step up. We no longer have a support system. We have to make a new one, and we have to be one. I guess that’s the moral of this story. I wish it were more positive, like, God is in control and all that, and I know that He is, but this time, my heart just hurts, and it’s tired of hurting. I’m tired of losing people I love. So, make sure your loved ones know how much they mean to you, and become part of someone’s support system.

One more thing, I was reminded this morning that “Jesus is a friend who walks in when it feels like your world has walked out.” Amen to that! Prayers to you all.