Tuesday, December 18, 2018

SALVATION AT 70

This is really my younger brother's story - but I am very excited to share it.   In November 2017 he had a stroke, but chose to walk out of the hospital instead of stay to see what caused it.  In January 2018 he had another stroke, this time more severe.  They transported him to a larger regional hospital and did brain surgery.  What they found was an aneurysm in his brain that had created a baseball-size amount of clotted blood, which they removed.  

After the surgery the doctor told my brother that he was a miracle.  The Dr. said he had done about 400 hundred of those surgeries.  Of the 400, about 1/3 died on the operating table, another 1/3 lived in a vegetative state until they died, and the final 1/3 regained a little of their mobility and communication skills, but my brother was his very first patient to regain 100%.  

Shortly after the surgery my brother called me, and said, "Lola, I've had an epiphany!"  And then he shared that after our step-grandfather was not healed when there had  been a prophecy that he would be, my little brother took it out on God and blamed Him for not doing what 'he' promised.  My brother was 8.  

Now, 62 years later, his epiphany was that it wasn't God who got it wrong - it was people.  And 'baby brother' committed his life to the Lord.  He assured me it was not foxhole Christianity, and that he wanted to be the man he always should have been had he followed the Lord.  As we were talking that night, he said, "I want to be a Christian."  Then he proclaimed, "You know what?   I AM a Christian!  I just confessed with my mouth."  And he has been confessing ever since.  Praising God, thanking God, believing in God.  And that is the greater miracle!  His medical miracle?  Wonderful!  But the greatest miracle is a totally changed life.  

God never stopped loving him and pursuing him.  Incredible!  It is a very merry Christmas!  The prodigal is home!  


Thank you, Lord, for coming to earth as a little baby and spending time on earth growing up fully human, all the while being fully God....  Your miracles point us to YOU and we thank you with grateful hearts!  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The vitriolic hatred rearing its ugly head in the United States of America

October 25 my Facebook entry stated "I hate the vitriolic hatred in politics."  I followed that statement with the two following comments:


Lola Cain I know it sounds a little inappropriate to hate at all - but I sincerely detest the horrible way people in our country are behaving. I intensely dislike the negative ads we are forced to endure in the election season, instead of hearing what candidates stand for, and I despise the unkindness displayed, no matter who is doing it. I suspect that it is the far left and far right who are the worst, but this all started with leaders who should know better encouraging rudeness. We are supposed to express our opinion most saliently at the ballot box. And, it is definitely okay to have polite interaction of expressing differences, but this is ridiculous. Fomenting anger and hatred and disrespect. I hate it!

Lola Cain I do have opinions. I will exercise my right to vote to express them. One of my huge concerns is the plunge toward Socialism. Last summer I was on a whale watching tour and the family at the table my daughter and I were assigned was from The Netherlands (aka Holland). The man and I got into a conversation, and he told me that every few years he comes to a different part of the United States on vacation, with one purpose of the trip to buy a vehicle - that a car that would cost him $100,000. U S funds in The Netherlands costs him $40,000. here. He also told me that he pays 70% income tax in his country. I responded, "But you have great health care, right?" And he said, "Yes, it is very cheap, but we have had to close our borders because so many immigrants want to come in for our cheap health coverage." He also told me that Socialism doesn't work, and that if the United States isn't wise, we will follow their path. Gas costs the same for a liter there as we pay for a gallon. If the swing toward Socialism continues, we will pay the price in high gas prices, which makes every commodity higher because of the cost of getting products delivered, and we will pay higher taxes. A lot higher. He also told me that they have a death tax, and that the government gets the first 25% of all you have when you die. That's Socialism. What a horrible thing to pass on to our heirs.
............

And then, after the horrible week we had in our country, witnessing the outrageous hateful murder of worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the hatred of sending pipe bombs to multiple people and entities who disagree with the sender, I added the following:

Lola Cain What a week. I should have originally stated that I intensely abhor the vitriolic hatred that is raising its ugly head in politics, just to be clear that the political arena is not the only place the ugliness of hatred abounds. And what an awful week to make that point, with the man in Florida who sent pipe bombs to multiple Democrats, and then the horrific murder of people in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the case of the pipe bombs, thankfully none of the bombs actually exploded, but the intent was certainly present. Both were crimes of hate. What the Bible teaches us is: 'Love your enemies. Do good to those who despitefully use you. Do unto others as you would like them to do to you.' That 'Golden Rule' was the foundation of our society when I was growing up. We were taught to develop self control and to be polite. We were taught that civility diffuses anger and that a soft answer turns away wrath. We need that foundation restored. Respectful expressions of differences, and agreeing to disagree when necessary. I am praying for my beloved country. We need God!
...........

This morning (All Saints Day) I decided that my expressions need to be in my blog, not just on Facebook.  We have witnessed a horrible change for the worse in the televised reports of the lengths to which some people are going to express their disagreement with others.  It's not okay!  And I don't believe the majority of people feel that way.  I have lots of people I dearly love who disagree with me on politics, but that doesn't influence my love for them.  And, truth be told, I've never considered myself to be very political.  Until recently I voted the person, not the party.  I called myself an Independent.  Now, sadly, one party has moved so far toward Socialism that, for now, I cannot in good conscience vote anyone in who will vote with them.  That is sad to me.  That being said, I don't think we have a right to complain if we don't vote, and I think we need to make informed choices.  Virulent lies and deceit abound.  We are better than that!  

As I have said before, my hope is not in the donkey or the elephant.  My hope is in the Lamb, and I pray He will have mercy on this country this voting season and nudge people to pray and vote for what is best for our country....  

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Did Jesus Know?

Not long ago our pastor preached a sermon in which he retold the story of the woman with an issue of blood who believed that if she touched even the edge of Jesus' garment she would be healed - - and after years of illness and a drained bank account, she was miraculously and immediately healed when she reached through the people crowded around Him and touched his clothing....  The miracle happened precisely as she believed it would be.

And even though there was a crowd pressing in around Him, when she touched Him, according to the report recorded in the Bible, Jesus asked, "Who touched me?"  

I believe the reporter of the incident made some assumptions at that point....  He assumed that when Jesus asked who touched Him that He didn't already know who had caused power to go  out of Him.  But I believe Jesus knew precisely who touched Him in faith, believing in His healing power.  And, I suspect that when he asked the question, His eyes were lovingly locked with hers.  Why did He ask?  Because in her confession and His public declaration of her healing she would become socially healed as well as physically healed.  

I know the Bible doesn't specifically provide all that information, but I believe our translation of and understanding of the Bible is found within its pages.  When Jesus 'saw' Nathanael under the fig tree before Philip even called Nathanael, he demonstrated His divine power to see what others don't see.  When Jesus 'heard that Lazarus was ill' he intentionally stayed 2 additional days before heading back to Bethany.  In His explanation to the disciples with Him at that point, he initially told them that He was going to go awaken him - - but then was absolutely clear that Lazarus had died - - and by the time they walked back to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days.  That corroborates that Jesus knew circumstances that were not shared with Him by others.  

So, with those 2 instances as examples, and allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible, it is logical to believe that Jesus knew precisely who touched Him.

With that established, the question is why did He ask her?  The answer:  because she was unclean.  She had been totally isolated for years.  She shouldn't have been out in the crowd at all, because according to Jewish law, no one could even sit on a chair she had sat on.  And the only way people were determined touchable again after being an untouchable was by going to the priest and having him corroborate and declare it.  Jesus did that for her.  

In another healing example, when Jesus healed the 10 lepers, he instructed them to go to the priest so their purity could be established.  Only one came back to thank him...but it wasn't because he was the only one filled with gratitude, it was because he was a Samaritan and wasn't eligible to go to the priest.   

When we sift through the layers to see what is meant behind the words on the page, there is so much depth to be plumbed....

Jesus knew!  

And that gives me enormous comfort.  He knows me, my circumstances, my needs, my future.  And He has it all in His very capable hands.... 






Mark 5
Luke 8
John 1: 48 - 50
John 11
Leviticus 15:19 - 33

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mass Murder in Texas - the answer

When my children were little one of the summer VBS themes was:

Who's the answer?  Jesus is!

There was no theme song - - so I wrote one:

What's the question?  Who's the answer?
What's the answer?  Jesus is!
Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is!

When my life is dark and dreary
Who's the answer?  Jesus is!
When I'm feeling weak and weary
Who's the answer?  Jesus is!
Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is!

What's the question?  Who's the answer?
What's the answer?  Jesus is!


And He is!  Jesus is the answer to all of life's longings, all of life's needs.  He doesn't just hold the keys to our future - - He is the key!

He is the One I run to when I don't understand why the world has gone topsy-turvy.  This was one of those weeks.  Sunday morning while I was worshipping in my own church, the majority of the congregation in a little white Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was gunned down by a madman, and people ask, "Where was God?"  The answer:  He was there!  He was with them as 25 people took their last breath.  He was with that little unborn baby boy who was the 26th life ended, and he is still with them in eternity where they have gone to their final home.  He is with those who are grieving, those who are recuperating in the nearby hospitals, and those who wonder how they can go on after such horrific loss.  

But go on they must.  If they don't the madman wins.  When we succumb to fear and insanity we lose.  

There is no rhyme or reason to this.  He had threatened his mother-in-law, but she wasn't even in the church on Sunday when he went with killing on his agenda.  

The tragedy touches all of us.  If it could happen there, it could happen anywhere....

However, in our shocked reactions the outcry against guns is the wrong response.  He would have found a way - - whether with a pressure kettle bomb or some other means.  People kill.  Guns are just one of the options as a tool for achieving their goal.  Having said that, I do believe magazines that hold more than 8 rounds of ammunition should be outlawed.  I believe in having guns for hunting and self-defense - - but being able to discharge interminable numbers of bullets from an automatic rifle is absolutely unnecessary in my opinion.  Still, if law-abiding citizens do not have that kind of guns, the criminals still will....  And that's the dilemma.  

We should enforce our already tight gun laws.  We should have a better system of reporting and flagging individuals who should not be able to purchase guns legally.  We, as citizens, should report people who seem "off" and who should be red-flagged as a concern.  

This is not just the Texans' problem, it is America's problem.   It is something that has to be addressed...but for now, we mourn.  In this and other killing incidents we have witnessed horrific carnage and  totally unnecessary loss of life.  

The only sliver of silver lining in the dark cloud that hangs over Sutherland Springs is that their loved ones are with Jesus....  And He is with those who loved them in their pain as they mourn.  Beauty will come from the ashes.  Right now that is hard to fathom, but the beginning of that was the heart-rending report of the young mother who shielded her children's bodies with hers, giving up her life to spare theirs.   That's what Jesus did.  He gave up his life to spare ours.  The promise of a perfect life is not for this world, but the next - - if we only let Him in.  

We must all forge ahead - - continuing to go to church, continuing to help others in need, continuing to be a community of believers who bear each other's burdens, continuing to place our faith in God.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Candy!

Yesterday was one of those days!  My candy, I call it!

Three friends and I had the privilege of leading the Seasoned Saints of my church in a Singspiration following the bi-monthly potluck yesterday at True Grace Church.  Fun to prep for, and anticipate, and then sooooooo fun to be part of!

We did a fun flashback section at the beginning, followed by a journey down memory lane, which elicited memories for all whose history as a Christian took them back to the same roots those of us leading share.  

This was the list of songs we sang:

SELECTED SONGS for OCTOBER 18, 2017
SEASONED SAINTS MINI-SINGSPIRATION

A little fun flashback section at the beginning:        
                  Hallelu, Hallelu                                                                       
                  We Are Christ’s Ambassadors                                             
1870          Hold The Fort                                                                       
1868          Pass Me Not                                                                      
1946©       Room At The Cross For You                                             
1897          Count Your Blessings                                                             

SPECIAL MUSIC SELECTION:
1931         *All That Thrills My Soul Is Jesus                                      
                  (Trio)

1890         *He Hideth My Soul                                                              

AUDIENCE CHOICE:  2 of the 4   (The middle 2 won the vote!)                                
1910         *He Keeps Me Singing                                                    
1905         *My Savior’s Love (How Marvelous)                         
1939         *Victory In Jesus                                                               
1885         *A Shelter In The Time of Storm                                       

+-1950      Not By Might/ aka By My Spirit                                             
I have seen guesses all the way from 1930 - 1957

1970         Something About That Name                            
                 (Jesus, Jesus, Jesus)
                         

1924         Jesus Is The Sweetest Name I Know   

Pure joy!!!!!  My candy!                                        


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Perspective on the NFL "Protest"

I have to assume that the players who were caught up in this NFL drama just don't know our country's history, or they wouldn't use disrespecting the flag as their mode of protest.  The flag is a symbol that demands we display respect. 

I absolutely defend players' right to protest - on their own time - and applaud all of the players who are truly making a difference by donating their time and resources to inner city communities who need their help and need responsible role models to show kids in dire circumstances that there is a way out - and it comes through hard work and dedication.  

But I do not agree with the method many players have chosen as their mode of protest.  They are at work.  What if, to protest inequities in the Justice System,  a group of lawyers decided to sit instead of stand when the Bailiff says "All Rise!"  They'd be in contempt of court.  And disrespecting a judge is not as awful as disrespecting what our flag and national anthem stand for!  "On the job" is not the place to stage a public protest.(However, if there are indecencies occurring as part of the job, then those need to be handled appropriately - but not as a public forum.)

We are not a perfect nation - we have lots of flaws - but the flag and National Anthem are the representations of the hope of what we want to be, and thousands have died to give us the freedom of free speech...but that freedom has to be exercised in a way that generates the possibility of a positive outcome.  

And just a little postscript for those who want to get on the bandwagon of how abysmal the inequities are in our country....you should go to a third-world country and see people living at the dump, eating whatever scraps they can find!  It is very possible that many who are Americans have been spared that fate by their ancestors coming here - whether or not that was by choice....

And just one more pertinent aside - I was at Evergreen as a Senior taking a class titled "The Harlem Renaissance" when I learned that it was not white people who captured black tribal members and sold them.  It was black people.  Yes, they sold them to traders, who were white, but the captivity began with their rivals of their own color.  So - get over it.  We are all here now.  Together.  Black, white, brown, and every combination imaginable.  We can work together to be strong, or we can be our own worst enemy and implode.  It's up to everyone of us to make that choice!

There have been multitudes of horrible atrocities that have happened throughout the span of history of man's indecency to man.  In the relatively brief history of our own country many Chinese were brought to work in forced labor under terrible living and working conditions....  Upstanding hard-working (with many being fully-American) Japanese were crowded into camps and their land was stolen from them because of the attack of Japan on the United States....  There were multiple inequities done to the Native Americans who lived here before we arrived....  Many of the Scotch and Irish who came here as laborers were treated abysmally.  And, yes, we have the horrible stain of black slavery tainting our history....  That was then, this is now.  We all have to take personal responsibility for navigating the future and quit blaming the system and the past.  Those who think it is intolerable here could opt to leave America and go to where they think things will be better...but that place doesn't exist.  If you even have running water, you are better off than the majority of the world.  

All lives matter - and all people need to get to work to help make a difference!  And that is my perspective....


Saturday, September 9, 2017

In the beginning....GOD

Genesis 1:1-3
John 1:1

That's my foundation for belief.  God initiated Time.  He was there in the beginning and will be with us through the end.  And then we will be with Him for eternity if we hold fast to our faith in Him.  As we see so much that is awry in our world I cling to the good news that God is with us and holds us close to Him - in life and in death.  

'And God said'...and that's enough.  My confidence is in Him and Him alone.  

Of course the best good news is that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for Sin and redeem us through the blood Jesus shed as the final sacrifice ever needed.  Truly, God loved the world so much that He literally took on flesh and came to earth to become that sacrificial lamb....  What amazing love.  

In praying for those who are being devastated by the current massive disasters of Harvey, Irma, fires and other storms He is the only one we can turn to, and our faith is distilled to the basics:  He is God. He loves us.  He is still in the soul-saving business.  He contends for mans' souls.   

My prayer is that in the hour of desperation, many hearts will be inclined to Him and find His ultimate peace and comfort.  He truly cares....and is there in the midst of the storm.  In times of trouble people either turn to God as their only source of strength - or they turn away from Him in anger and blame Him for their circumstances.  

None of these storms come as a surprise to Him.  In His Word He has forewarned that terrible times would be the beginning of the birth pangs that usher in the end of the world and His return to gather those who believe in Him.  

I am praying for those who are affected by the storms, and those who are going to storm-affected areas to help - to be God's hands extended to the oppressed.  We have never seen such a time of devastation.  

I have been tenderly touched by the outpouring of kindness and care that I have observed in the Texas weather crisis.  People  being the America I have always known and love - - and it gives me hope for our country!