Some people are happy with the outcome, Many, however, are fearful of America’s future; even demonstrating in the streets. Some colleges have gone so far as to cancel classes, hand out soothing hot chocolate and even assign comfort dogs to students.
No matter what side of the discussion you’re on, we are all responsible from here on. We need to be responsible to not spew rhetoric but to listen to and speak Truth.
How many times have we questioned why sand has been kicked in our face on the Beach of Life? Circumstances doesn’t go as planned … we suffer an incredible loss … our words get twisted then used against us. We stomp our foot and scream to God, “This is not fair! Where are you, Father? Why don’t you make this right?”
But we hear nothing back—radio silence from our Heavenly Father. What do we do? We want to roll up our sleeves and fix things. We know exactly what we’d do to fix things. But Scriptures begin to come to mind: “Never will I leave you nor forsake you,” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” “In all your ways submit to God, and he will make your paths straight.”
August 1983 The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
I remember spending hours collecting soda-pop bottles from alongside the road and returning them to the store for two cents apiece. It didn’t matter how long my friends and I were out. We’d be gone on our bikes for hours with one goal in mind: to stand in front of the general store counter and peer up to all the colors and wonders that were held in the clear glass jars. Continue reading →
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11 – 12
Elijah—a powerhouse for God—experienced one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament. He was invited to see God. But he had to experience destruction before he heard God’s voice.
Isn’t that how Life turns for us? When life’s winds and storms fill our world, we call out to see the power of God. Somewhere in our heart we hope He’s greater than our current storm.
Would you be bold enough to challenge God with your life? Helen Bancroft did in Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption.
It’s a story of Helen’s self-justification and self-indulgence. She is both hero and villain. I loved her and hated her. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her by her shoulders, then I wanted to hug her close to protect her. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was closing into the end of the story that I realized I had seen myself—my own life—reflected in parts of this story.
Roeleveld’s use of scripture soothed, guided, and enticed me as a reader. She also expertly offered example after example how Helen tried to look God in the proverbial face, only to blink and turn away. Just as I had tried in the past, and if you dare to read this, you may see yourself, too.
I rarely give five stars ratings. I think five-stars are reserved for mothers to give their children. But this book has what it takes to change lives. A tall order for a piece of fiction. Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption is slated to be a beloved Christmas Season staple for years to come.
J. G. Gilbert & Robin Gilbert Luftig at Lake Lavine, MI, Summer 1958
Even though my family of origin was pretty dysfunctional, one of my favorite pastimes when I’m feeling a bit low is to remember stories about my dad and how he honored my feelings and held them close to his heart.
I always jumped at the chance to be with Dad in his room—the Gun Room. It was a treat to steal away with him when he went upstairs to his room. He kept guns, cameras, family photos and film equipment, and special sentimental pieces from his childhood there. I am certain he kept us out for our own protection when it came to the guns. We were all told the only time we were allowed to go in there by ourselves was if the house was on fire and we could safely get the family’s 8mm films out and save them from being destroyed. Other than that, the Gun Room was strictly off limits. Whenever I saw him in there, I would beg to join him. And he always obliged. While he worked away on whatever project he was concentrating on, I looked around his private sanctuary with marvel. I would fold my arms behind my back holding tightly on to my wrists, just to make sure I did not touch anything. I did not want to run the risk of inadvertently grabbing for something and causing harm.
I felt the clamminess of my palms as I rang her doorbell. She and I had been friends years ago, but the choices I had made now separated us. Would she entertain rekindling a relationship with me again?
I went to her house to tell her I was sorry for doing the things I had done—that I hoped she could forgive me for all my foolishness and sinful behavior. I wanted to tell her I realized I hadn’t taken into consideration how others would be affected by my actions. That I had made a real mess of things—my life. I wanted to say I was sorry.
I wanted to tell her there was good news! I had learned from my mistakes. I had turned the corner. I was on the way to becoming the person God intended me to be. I had hoped she’d be happy for me. I thought she’d celebrate a Prodigal Daughter finding her way back home.