Faith in Our One True God

Hebrews 11:6 (N)KJV—But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Please read Hebrews 10:26-12:2—These passages talk about faith.)

Believing that God exists is only the beginning; even the demons believe that much (James 2:19-20). God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of His existence. He wants a personal, dynamic, relationship with you that will transform your life. Those who seek God will find that they are rewarded with His intimate presence. God assures us that all who honestly seek Him—who act in faith on the knowledge of God that they possess will be rewarded.

When you tell others the gospel, encourage them to be honest and diligent in their search for truth. Those who hear the gospel are responsible for what they have heard. His Word is the lamp to our feet and a light to our feet. (Psalm 119:105). He lights our way to righteousness. When we obey His commandments and statutes, we are guaranteed a life of eternity with Him.

Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit guides us with a silent voice that only God tells Him to tell us. If we don’t listen to His voice—we will not make it far on our own. When a verse strikes your heart or perks your ears is a way that He talks to us. That is why His Word is so important to read every day—so we may have His guidance. It is His way of leading us through our life’s journey as we sojourn in this temporary world of ours. Our permanent residence is Heaven—if we choose Jesus as our Personal Savior during this life—our only life that we will ever have. We do not come back after we die, like some false religions say. We will be in the presence of the Lord of our life either in Heaven or hell. It is our choice our choice where we go for eternity. When we choose Jesus as Lord of our life, Heaven is our promised land.

There definitely is a hell for people who deny Christ throughout their lifetime and they are a fool who say there is no God. Buddah and Mohammad are not God. There is only one God—the creator of the world and universe and everyone and everything in it. He is the Alpha and Omega—the First and the Last. The one omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Almighty God. He is sovereign over all. His Word is the last word that we should listen and hear and obey.

There are some people out there – extremists who say they kill in the name of God (Allah) and they are wrong. God is all good and everything sacred and holy. He commands us not to murder and when things don’t coincide with the Bible—then they are wrong and downright evil.

Follow Jesus and be sure where you are going after death. Accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life and Personal Savior. Then follow his lead and imitate Him. The world would be such an ideal place if God had his own way.

LUCKY NUMBER “13” WITHIN GOD’S PROPHECIES!

I really enjoyed this article. The research is remarkable and I just had to share it and reblog it because there is so much information here–I want to study it more.I thought it was interesting enough to have on my blog to share with my readers. I hope you enjoy looking this over too. Check it out–it is very interesting and informative. Thank you “Humanity777” for your blog.

Seven Lies About Christianity

This is an excellent article. I agree with a lot of the points Stephen expressed. It will help others realize Christianity doesn’t buy us an easy road to prosperity. I liked this article enough to reblog it on my site. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Stephen Mattson

My recent piece was featured on Sojourners, and as of a few days ago it was their most popular web piece of all time! It garnered lots of interesting discussion. What do you think?

Dennis Kuvaev/Shutterstock

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Waiting

I love this story on a view of God’s perfect timing. Waiting for His return!

More Than Dreamt Of

The following was written for the Christian Flash Weekly Event #20 – please click through to see the eligible submissions (this is ineligible for the event itself as it borrows its characters and setting from the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett).

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’
– Ecclesiastes 3:11

Waiting Tree

“How long have we been waiting now?”

“Oh, for some time, to be sure . . . it has been a while.”

“Will He come soon do you think? We’ve been waiting a good while.”

“Oh yes, very soon, I’m sure. It has been a while.”

“The tree looks a good deal healthier now. It doesn’t seem that long since it was just bark, and twigs.”

“Indeed. Those leaves certainly give this whole place…

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There is Life after Death

John 3:3–“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot

    see

the kingdom of God.”

John 3:5–“Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot

    enter

into the kingdom of God.”

When we die, be assured
that it is not the end.

You must be born again
to be saved from eternal hell fire.

Being saved is when you believe in
and accept Jesus as your Personal Savior.

This way you will know
where you will be going.

Jesus is the only way home
to our Father in Heaven.

When we are saved
our name will be written in the Book of Life.

If you are not born again,
you still have life after death,
but you will not be going to Heaven.

There really is a devil
and a lake of fire.

If you are not written in the Book of Life,
you will be cast there.
(Read Revelation 20:14-15)

God does not send people to hell–
we send ourselves.
It is up to us where we will spend eternity.
It is our choice.
Either we believe in Jesus and accept Him,
or we don’t.

It is your choice,
It is that simple.

Here are some verses that back up my article:

Deuteronomy 30:19–I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

John 14:6-7–6) Jesus said unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16–For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Ephesians 5:14–Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

John 14:2–“In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

Revelation 21:1-2–1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. 2) And, I, John, saw the city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Psalm 139:8–If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Revelation 1:18– I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.

Revelation 20:10–And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

John 11:25-26 (Never Die)

This was such a beautiful, heartfelt story I had to reblog this to my site so others can understand the love of God through another Christian’s artistic view.

THE RIVER WALK

graveside

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26)

Read: Jeremiah 12:1 – 15:21

Relate: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…”

“That’s bull.” Jason thought. But then, when the preacher stopped and those closest to him turned to look in his direction, he realized that he had done more than think it. So he said it a bit louder and more clearly. “That’s bull. Carlie believed and she still looks dead to me.”

“Jason I’m…”

“No preacher, keep your false sympathy and your empty platitudes to yourself. It’s all bull. Believing in Jesus didn’t raise Carlie up. It didn’t protect her. Believing in Jesus…

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A Piece of Her Heart

Psalm 55:15(NLT)—Trust Me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you and you will give Me glory.” 

Matthew 5:4(NLT)—God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 Chapter 1

 It was the Fourth of July and Andrea’s neighbor Candy was having a cookout.  She invited about ten people.  Andrea was helping her set up the picnic table and chairs.

“It is a gorgeous day.  It is supposed to go up to 80 degrees today.  With the nice breeze we have, it will not be too hot.  What time is everybody supposed to be here?” 

Candy was cleaning off the grill.  “I told everyone to come around 1:00 this afternoon.”

It was 11:30 and everything was just about set up.  The soda and the beer were on ice in the coolers.  The hamburgers were made into patties and the hot dogs were on a plate in the refrigerator.  Five different salads were prepared:  toss salad, coleslaw, macaroni and potato salad and the three-bean salad.   There also was watermelon cooling in the refrigerator. 

Andrea said, “I made the baked beans last night.  All the condiments are ready to put on the table.”  The food was going to be set up buffet style on the picnic table.

“We will bring the food out after everyone is here.  Thank you so much for helping.”  Candy looked at Andrea and broke the news.  “Oh, Andrea, by the way, Sam is bringing his friend for you to meet.”

 Andrea made an unpleasant face and said, “Why do you and your boyfriend think I need a man in my life?”

“Andrea, you haven’t had been out on a date for over a year.”

 “Yes, but remember I have a four year old son.  Not many guys want to be strapped down with a ready-made family.  Here I am, twenty-six years old and still living with my parents.” 

“There is nothing wrong with that.  You are saving your money to get a place of your own,” Candy reassured Andrea.  “I think you are smart for doing that.” 

Andrea was curious.  “What is his name and how old is he?”

“His name is Alan and he is twenty-three years old.”  Candy was looking at Andrea to see if she minded that he was younger than her.

Andrea smiled and said, “Well, he won’t hang out with me for long after he finds out about David.” 

Candy surprised Andrea when she said, “Sam already told Alan about you and your son.  He did not have a problem with that.”

 With apprehension Andrea said, “Okay, I agree to meet him.” 

“Great!  They’ll be here in about half an hour.  Sam and I thought it would be better if you meet him before the others showed up.”

“Thank you, that was thoughtful, but you sure waited until the last minute to tell me.” 

“Well, I didn’t think you would come if you knew ahead of time.” 

“Okay, you win.  Everything is ready.”  Andrea was so nervous to meet a new guy.  “Candy, I’m going home for a minute, I’ll be back.”

 Chapter 2 

Candy had to change her clothes and fix her hair.  Andrea walked across the road to her parent’s red brick, ranch style, and three-bedroom home.  She loved growing up in this house.

“Mom,” Andrea called through the hallway, “Candy is going to introduce me to her boyfriend’s buddy at the cook out.” 

“Good for you Andrea.  Are you going to bring David over with you?  He is out back with Grandpa.”

“Not right away.  I want to meet Alan first.  Then I’ll bring him over when it is time to eat.”  Andrea was getting nervous again. 

Andrea went into her bedroom to find something nice to wear.  She looked through all her short outfits.  Nothing seemed to look right.  She finally picked out a blue and white flowered sundress and a cute pair of white sandals.  She touched up her make-up and took her straight long brown hair down from a ponytail, brushed it really quick and decided to leave it down instead of putting back up.

The phone rang.  Her mom knocked on her door and told her Candy called to tell her the boys were here.

“Okay, thanks Mom.”  Now Andrea’s stomach was really nervous and it was doing flip-flops.  She took a deep breath and walked to the front door.  Andrea looked out the screen to try to get a glimpse of Alan.  Candy saw her and waved her over.

“Bye, Mom, here goes.”

“Bye honey, just be you.”

Chapter 3

As Andrea walked across the road everyone was smiling at her.  She looked at Alan and smiled at him.  Andrea’s first impression that she had of him was how handsome he was–tall, dark tan, dirty blonde, short hair.  He had long blue jean shorts and a red polo shirt on. 

Candy introduced Andrea to Alan.  They smiled at each other and shook hands.  She started to relax. 

Sam was the first to break the ice by asking Alan if he wanted a beer.  Candy brought each one of them a beer.  Andrea does not usually like beer but she thought she might as well have one to relax.

There was a lot of small talk.  Then people started arriving.  Candy and Andrea put all the food on the table, except the hamburgers and hot dogs.  We put them on a plate near the grill. 

Alan went over to Andrea’s parents’ house with her to bring David to the cookout.  Alan wanted to meet Andrea’s parents.  They seemed to like him.  Most of all David and Alan took no time at all to connect. 

David had all the food he could eat and he had a soda.  After he ate his watermelon Alan and David started playing kick ball.  David got tired and Andrea took him home and put him down for a little nap.

Everyone left around 5:00.  There was a lot of soda left so Andrea grabbed a Coke, Alan grabbed a Mountain Dew, Candy and Sam picked the last of the beer.  Candy and Andrea cleaned up while the guys relaxed in the living room.  By the time they were done, Sam and Alan were sleeping.  Candy and Andrea laughed out loudly and it woke them up.  Candy and Sam sat on the couch and Alan and Andrea sat on the two comfortable chairs. 

 All four of them enjoyed each other’s company for a long time.  Then they decided to go to the field day fair and watch the fireworks.  It was after David’s bedtime, so he did not get to go. 

They played games for a while.  Alan and Sam won a stuffed animal for each of them.  Alan won Andrea a stuffed dog and Sam won Candy a stuffed teddy bear.   They had fun.  The four of them went on the Ferris wheel.  Candy and Sam went ahead of Andrea and Alan.  So they got to watch them kiss.  Alan and she smiled at each other and held hands.

Alan asked Andrea if she would like to go on a date sometime.  She told him that she would like to see him again.  The fireworks were beautiful, all the brilliant greens and blues and pinks and sizzlers, and the booms were loud.

 By the time Sam drove us back to Candy’s it was midnight.  Andrea gave Alan her phone number.  She thanked Sam for introducing them.  She thanked Alan for a fun day and that it was nice meeting him.  He said the same.  Then the guys left. 

“Thank you Candy, for a wonderful day.  I like Alan.  I hope that he calls me.  Well, it is late, good-night.”  She walked home.  Her parents and David were sound asleep. 

Andrea fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.  The next morning David came in her room and jumped on the bed.  “Mommy, I liked Alan.  He was so nice to me.  He even played kickball with me.” 

“Yes, he was very nice, David.  He sure liked you a lot.” 

“Will we get to see Alan again, Mommy?” 

“We will see David.  I gave him our phone number so we will see if he calls.”

Chapter 4

Three weeks later Alan finally called.  He said he was not sure if he was ready to date.  He had just broken up two months ago with his girlfriend.  He had been dating her for three years.

After that they saw each other just about every day after work and all weekends.  They did a lot with David.  They all went to the beach and parks, drive-in movies, and amusement parks.  They had a lot of great times.  David was getting very attached to Alan.  Alan seemed to be very fond of David, too. 

Chapter 5

After Alan and Andrea dated for six months she told him that she thought she was falling in love with him.  It took him a little longer.  He said, “I do not want to ever get married.”

Andrea was a little taken aback.  “Alan, I didn’t ask you to marry me.  I am not ready to get married either.”

 Alan said, “Maybe we should stop seeing each other.  I do not want to hurt you.  I don’t know if I can love anyone right now.  I thought I was in love with my ex-girlfriend, but she started seeing another fellow and she broke it off.  I do not want to be hurt either.”

 “That is the risk everyone takes.  Why don’t we take it slowly?  I will not say I love you again.  I did not know I would get this reaction.   I thought you had feelings for me.” 

“I do a lot, and it scares me.”

They were in the middle of a hiking trail.  “Alan, I would like to go back to the car so you can take me home.”  Andrea was on the verge of crying.  It took about twenty minutes to get to the car.  It was a very long, quiet, and tense walk back to the car.  Andrea was upset that they couldn’t finish the trail because at the end of the trail was a beautiful, rushing waterfall.  Andrea loved waterfalls and was looking forward to seeing this one.

He took her home.  It was a very long hour ride.  At least the scenery was nice.  They just listened to the radio.  When they got to her house, he reached for her hand and said, “I did not want to hurt you, Andrea.  I hope you can forgive me for ruining our time together. I’ll call you.  It will probably be a couple weeks.  I care about you, Andrea.”

“Good-bye Alan, I do not know what else to say right now.”  (A piece of her heart was unguarded because she felt a little piece break off).

“Bye.”

Andrea went over to Candy’s house and told her what happened.  “Andrea, don’t take it to heart.  He needs time to get over his ex-girlfriend.  He is still hurting.  Give him time.” 

“Candy, I was so wrong to tell him I was falling in love with him.  But I am.  I didn’t mean to fall so fast and hard.  He told me he never wants to get married.  Maybe I should not see him anymore.  I do not know what to do.”

“When he does call, take it from there.  If he doesn’t you have your answer.”

“Thanks Candy.  I have got to go home and take a shower.  I amgoing to do something fun with David.  I will not tell him Alan might not call again.”

Chapter 6

 He finally called a month later.  “Andrea, I’ve thought about a lot of things and I realized how much I care about you.  Would you mind if I drove over?”

He lived about thirty minutes away.  That gave Andrea enough time to get ready.  “Yes, I would like to see you.”

“Andrea, Alan is here.”  Her mom was happy to see him.

 Andrea walked out into the living room.  “Hi, Alan it is so good to see you.” 

David came running out of his bedroom.  “Alan, you came back!” 

“Hi Buddy!  It’s good to see you.  I missed you.”

Everyone started talking at the same time.  It was a great reunion.

“Andrea, would you and David like to go for ice cream.”

They went to the ice cream place near the small lake, then to the park.  David and Alan played ball while Andrea sat there thinking about her and Alan.  Will we get serious now or will he just leave again if it starts getting serious again?  I better go easy and slow.  I do not want to scare him off again.  Oh, never mind just go with the flow.

After the boys played for fifteen minutes, David ran off to the swings and slide. 

Alan walked back to Andrea and kissed her cheek.

“I am so glad to see you, I missed you very much.  Do you still want to see me steadily?  Have you forgiven me, Andrea?”

“Yes.  I forgive you.  Yes, I want to be with you.  I missed you so much.”

Chapter 7

They dated for five years.  David was nine years old.   Alan and Andrea were deeply in love.  Andrea accidentally became pregnant.  They were so careful.  She didn’t understand what had happened.  All through the years they dated, Alan would say, “I will never get married.”  She would always laugh because she thought he was kidding and would outgrow it.  So when she got pregnant he told her he wanted to do the right thing and marry her.  Andrea was so surprised, and of course she said, “Yes.”

They got married on the Fourth of July because it landed on a Saturday.  They had met on the Fourth of July.  Neither of them went to church so they didn’t know a pastor to marry them.  They got married by a Justice of the Peace.  Their parents, brothers and sister and David were there, plus Tom, Alan’s friend who took the pictures.  It was at a nice restaurant in the privacy of the upstairs banquet room. They also had their little reception there.  Everyone drank to a toast, except David and Andrea.  No one knew that she was three months pregnant.

Alan and Andrea didn’t have a honeymoon.  They had found an apartment the month before they were married.  Alan lived there until their wedding.  David and Andrea moved in with him after.  Her Mom and Dad took David for the weekend.   She was happy to be married.

Alan was so good with David.  He was a happy little boy.  He joined a summer baseball team.  They went to watch all his practices and games.  So did Andrea’s Dad. He missed seeing David every day.  He was so used to having David living with him.

Chapter 8

Andrew Alexander was born on January 5th.  He was such a good-natured baby.  Everyone loved him so much.  Alan’s Mom got really attached to him.  They lived about five minutes away from Alan’s parents. 

 Her Mom and Dad lived about forty-five minutes away.  They came as often as they could.  Dad was always holding him when they came.  He loved his grandsons, David and Andrew.  My mom was always taking Andrew away from Dad.  It was so cute to watch them fight over him.  They saw him about once a week.

I took so many pictures of him.  I had five full books of David.  Now it’s time to fill some books of Andrew Alexander.

David loved Andrew.  He loved having a baby brother.  He would sleep with him in the playpen.  Andrew loved him, too.  He would smile whenever he saw David.  David could not get enough of him.  They were hardly apart.  Andrea got so many pictures of them together. 

Chapter 9

On May 10th Andrea got a phone call at work from a State Trooper.  He asked her to meet him at the hospital.  He said he had already called her husband.  Andrea thought, “Oh no, I hope Andrew didn’t get mauled by the babysitter’s big dog.”  She was so upset she could hardly breathe.

Andrea arrived at the hospital first and the State Trooper met her at the emergency entrance door.  Andrea asked to see Andrew, but he said, “Not until your husband arrives.”  She was extra upset now.

When Alan finally got there ten minutes later, the State Trooper brought them into a small room and told them that Andrew was dead.  “He died at the babysitter’s home.  The babysitter put him down for a nap.  Twenty minutes later she went to check on him.  He was face down on the waterbed.  She went to pick him up and he was not breathing.”

Then the State Trooper started to interrogate them, asking if they had shaken him or thrown him or bumped his head.  Of course, Andrea said, “No” and Alan said, “No, why are you asking us these questions.”  It was so upsetting.  It sure was not the right time for the questioning.

The State Trooper took them in to see Andrew Alexander.  It was the worst thing they ever went through.  Andrea went hysterical and went to hug and pick Andrew up.  All Alan could do was stare straight at him.   Andrea thought that Alan was in shock.  She knew she was.  She went to hold Alan and he walked away from her.

They drove their separate cars home.  She didn’t even remember driving.  When they got home she regretfully called her Mom and Dad, then his parents.  David was at Alan’s parents’ home.  Alan’s Mom picked David up after school every day until they were home from work. 

Alan’s parents arrived with David first.  Right away David asked where Andrew was.  Alan and she just stared at his parents and started crying.  David went over and hugged Andrea and she told him Andrew was in heaven now.  It was pouring outside and David said, “Look Mommy, God is crying, too.”  

Everyone was crying when Andrea’s parents arrived.  Then they told them about Andrew.  They could not believe that that beautiful, vibrant baby was dead.  He was too alive to think of him any other way.  They held each other then went over to Andrea and hugged each other and cried. 

Later that evening Andrea called the babysitter and asked her to come over to their apartment.

The babysitter, Barbara, explained what happened.  They all started to cry and Barbara and Andrea hugged each other.  She said she wasn’t going to continue babysitting the other children.  She was watching five other children at her home as a day care.  Alan thought that was a good idea for her not to baby sit again.  He didn’t think she should be around children again.  He was so upset.

 Barbara wanted to be helpful so she said she knew someone who could do the funeral.  She knew Andrea and Alan didn’t go to church.  “I have a wonderful Pastor at the Christian church I go to.  Here is Pastor Brown’s number.  Call him; he will be pleased to meet with you.

Chapter 10

Andrea called Pastor Brown the next day because she had no one else.  She told him how they never had Andrew Alexander baptized.  Pastor Brown said that it was okay because Andrew Alexander was with Jesus.  Andrea was relieved, then surprised.  “When I was a little girl I remember the Priest saying that babies had to be baptized or they wouldn’t go to heaven because it was a Holy Sacrament.” 

Pastor Brown reassured her that Andrew Alexander was in a better place now, and in the presence of the Lord.  I told him I hadn’t been to a church for over fifteen years.  He said it was all right and they asked her if she wanted to know more about Jesus.  She said, “Yes, after the funeral is over, sometime next week.” 

They had Andrew cremated.  Alan wanted the ashes to remain in their home after the funeral, until they found the perfect place to release them.  Andrew’s ashes were placed in a beautiful black marble box.  Alan’s Dad paid for it.

The funeral was comforting.  Pastor Brown said how Andrew’s soul was with Jesus in heaven now.  He wasn’t of age to be accountable for anything.  He did not need to be baptized.  He said God knows where his body was, no matter if it was in ashes.

The only people at the funeral were David, my parents, Alan’s parents and his brother, Andrea’s brother and sister-in-law, and Andrea’s favorite Aunt and Uncle.  They were going to Aunt Peggy and Uncle Ernie’s home afterward.  That is where their relatives would meet with them.  Pastor Brown would come, too. 

Andrea and Pastor Brown made an appointment to get together the following week to talk about Jesus.  Andrea was ready to learn about Jesus.  She knew about Him, but never knew him as a personal Savior.  She knew God was His Father. 

Andrea met with Pastor Brown.  He told her how to invite Jesus into her life so He could be her Personal Savior.  It took Andrea two weeks to come to the decision of asking Jesus to become Lord of her life.

David and Andrea started going to church every Sunday after that.  Alan did not want anything to do with church.  Andrea could not make him.  She did not know why he was so adamant.

Then Andrea was baptized in June.  People at church watched while she made her public confession of making Jesus the Lord of her life.  She felt so new.   Alan did not care about her baptism and never acknowledged it.

Chapter 11

Alan kept growing farther away from her.  He started going to the bars more often by himself.   She used to go with him before she was baptized, not often, but once in awhile.  Andrea waited up for him.  Sometimes he wouldn’t get home until 2:00 a.m.  She needed him so much to ease her pain.

Andrea started praying every night—something she hadn’t done since she was a little girl.  Jesus became real to her and she started talking to the Lord in her mind most of the day.  She needed His strength to get her through minute by minute.

Andrea did not go to work for a month.  She took a leave of absence.  Her boss was so understandable that she needed time after Andrew’s death.  She was glad because she had time to read the New International Version Bible that Pastor Brown gave her.

Alan drifted farther away from Andrea.  She became closer to Jesus.  Andrea put him first in her life and Alan second.  David started to understand about Jesus more and more, but he did not make the decision.  She could not push him into it because it had to be his decision to ask Jesus into his heart.

Chapter 12

Andrea’s life with Alan didn’t change, but her own life was changing.   She still cried over Andrew.  Andrea was comforted knowing he was in heaven with Jesus.

She started going to bed instead of waiting up for Alan to come home, or worrying about him.  Andrea had as special peace, even though things were falling apart in their marriage.  Andrea knew it was the peace Jesus gave her.  She kept getting stronger every day even though the pain was still there.

Andrea went back to work and everyone was walking on seashells around her.  She guessed they didn’t know what to say.  Eventually they started coming around again.  

July fourth came and went.  Alan didn’t even remember.  I said Happy Fourth of July and Happy Anniversary.  He just said, “It has been a year already.  Yes, it’s our first anniversary.  I’ve got to go out for a little while.  See you in a couple hours.  Bye.”  Andrea drove up to her parents’ home and wanted to be with David.  He loved being there for the summer.

Chapter 13

In October, Alan and Andrea thought they would try to get back in sync with each other.  They planned an overnight trip to a nice to place where the waterfalls had a beautiful light show.  Andrea had wanted to see these waterfalls for a long time.  She was excited.

 On the way, they had a car accident.  The car ahead of them did not have a blinker on, so Alan did not know he was turning left.  Alan was going to pass him and the driver ahead turned right into us.  Andrea was in the passenger side where the car hit.  The accident totaled Andrea’s car.  Andrea couldn’t move.  The ambulance came about fifteen minutes later.  They took them to the hospital.  Andrea ended up having a broken pelvis in three places.  Alan was fine.  The other man had some scratches on his face and arm.

Andrea was in the hospital for four days.  She had to learn to walk all over again with crutches.

Andrea’s parents came to be with her.  They took Alan home.  Andrea’s parents came every day.  Her parents were both retired so they were able to drive two hours every day.  Alan had to work and didn’t come see her.  Her parents were able to bring her home on the fourth day.       

Chapter 14

She was laid up for three months.  Her boss said that Andrea’s job would still be there when she came back.  What a relief.  All that time off is definitely a hardship because it was without pay.  Ladies from church brought them hot meals.

Andrea had a lawyer to help her get a settlement.  The other man’s insurance company tried to give her a settlement, which was way too low.  And because it was not their fault and it was Andrea’s car, she was to get the settlement because she is the one who was hurt.

Andrea received the money in April.  She thought maybe they could finally have their honeymoon.  She asked Alan where he would like to go.  They agreed on the Bahamas.  Andrea had a travel agency set it up.  

The travel agent got them a fantastic deal.  They were to go in May for nine nights and ten days. This was two months before their second anniversary. 

They had a wonderful time.  They did a lot of swimming.  They even went to a casino one night.  Andrea played the slot machines.  She won and then put all the quarters back into another machine.  It was exciting.  Alan played the roulette wheel and lost, but had fun. 

Andrea thought they were going to have a better marriage.  She felt like it was improving.  Alan was talking to her more and was not going to bars as often.  He was even more intimate. 

Chapter 15

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in June.  Andrea was sitting on the couch watching a cooking show.  Alan came out of the bedroom carrying a big box.

“What is that?  Andrea asked.

I am moving out, Andrea.  I cannot stay married any longer.  You were pregnant when we got married and our baby died.  There is no reason to stay married any longer. Tom is here with his truck to help me.  I will be moving in with him until I can find a place of my own.”

“How long have you been planning this?”

“About three months.  I went to the Bahamas because I thought maybe it would change my mind, but it didn’t.”

“It is not my fault Andrew died, Alan.  He died of Sudden Infant Syndrome.  It is no one’s fault.” 

They had only been married one year and eleven months.  So much had happened during their marriage, it seemed like there was so much against them.  How could they not fail?

Alan defensively said, “You have got your Lord and church people now. You are not alone.  You’ve changed.  You do not drink with me anymore.  You do not seem to have any emotions about Andrew.  You are always reading that Bible, and you do not care about me.”

“That sounds like you, Alan.  You are the one who has no feelings about me and you do not show your feelings about Andrew.  Just because I told you I put Jesus first in my life and made Him Lord of my life does not mean I do not love you so very, very much.  I thought we were going to make it.  Things seemed to be getting better.  You were not going to the bars as much.  I know you are hurting about Andrew, too.  But you never talked to me about it or showed me your pain.  I want you to stay. 

“Andrea, you know I do not talk about my feelings.  I’m so numb.  I do not have any feelings.  I do not love you.” 

Andrea tried not to cry but she started crying out loud anyway.  “It has only been one year and eleven months—next month is our second year anniversary.  How can you break our vows and leave like this?  You feel like that because you miss Andrew Alexander.  Let’s go to a counselor.”

“I don’t want to try anymore.  I only married you because you were pregnant.  Andrew was the reason I married you, now he is gone.  I cannot handle this.  Every time I look at you I see your pain.” Alan said without any feeling.

“Oh, Alan, you do not mean that.  Please think about what you are doing.  We should be working out our pain together.  We have gone through so much together.  We’ve gone separate directions.”  Alan did not say anything and continued taking boxes of his stuff out to the car. 

All Andrea could do was sit there and silently cry with tears pouring down her face.  Alan never looked at her once.  She started praying, “Oh, Father, I am so scared, what am I going to do?  Thank you for being with me.  I need your strength.  Please be with Alan.  May he change his mind?  Please, help me understand him and why he is leaving.  I love you, Father.  In Jesus name I pray.”

Alan took his stereo equipment.  He left the furniture except his favorite chair, plus all his music-albums and C/D’s; all his clothes and personal belongings, too.  It was so devastating.  When he was at the door with his last box, he turned around and said, “Good-bye, Andrea.”   And he just walked out.

Andrea called her Mother and told her everything.  She said, “We will be right there.”  Mom and Dad lived forty-five minutes away.  Andrea thought she cried it all out before they got to her apartment, but she didn’t.  She started crying all over again when they arrived thirty minutes later.  David was with them and he cried with me.  He missed Andrew, too. 

They comforted her and prayed with her.  Andrea’s Mom prepared a meal for Andrea before they left.  They stayed for a couple hours and left when Andrea had calmed down.  Andrea went to the food, put it on the plate and picked at the potatoes and pork steak, ate the corn and went to bed.

Chapter 16 

It was a very hot summer.  David was staying at her parents’ home.  Alan and Andrea had met when David was four years old.  He left them   He left Andrea when she was thirty-two.  She felt old.

Andrea worked, went home, ate, and went to bed.  She was so depressed.  She tried to snap out of it, but even praying did not help her.  She talked to David everyday on the phone; he was so upset about Alan leaving.  He did not want to come home to me.

Andrea’s Mom and Dad were worried about her.  They brought David up to see her, hoping it would cheer her up.  It would while they were there.  She didn’t want to show them how depressed she was.  It wasn’t easy.  She loved David so much but didn’t know how to be a Mom to him at this time.  The depression was getting worse.

One month had passed and Alan didn’t call Andrea.  It was August now.  Today was her birthday.  She called his Mom and asked for Tom’s phone number.  His mom didn’t keep in touch with her and David.  Alan’s mom thought Andrew Alexander’s death was her fault and she thought Alan left because Andrea didn’t take care of him. So there was not any support there.  Thank God for her parents support.  They helped David and Andrea.  David stayed at her parents’ house all summer.  He’ll have to come home the end of this month for when school starts.  She called him everyday.

She called Alan and he answered.  He seemed happy to hear from her.  After they talked for about ten minutes he remembered it was her birthday, and asked her if she wanted to go for a birthday dinner.  Of course she said, “Yes.”  Andrea thought that was a good sign.  She thought maybe he wanted to come back home.

Andrea was so happy to see him.  They hugged each other for a second.  They were talking small talk and she finally brought up, “Are you coming home?” 

Alan said, “No, but I want to stay friends.  I do not hate you.”

Andrea said she did not hate him either and that she would never stop loving him.  She said desperately, “I cannot live without you, Alan.  I want you home.” 

He said, “You will always have a piece of my heart, but I do not want to stay married.  I have been to a divorce lawyer, and he is working on the paperwork.” 

“Alan, you are not even giving us a chance.  I know we could make it.  What can I do to make you want to come back?”

“Andrea, there is nothing that will change my mid.  It is me, I have changed and I have met someone.”

“Who, someone I know?”

He did not answer her question.  “Andrea, it’s time that I bring you home.  I’ll keep in touch.  The divorce papers will be delivered in about two months or so.”

 After Alan dropped her off, all she could do was cry.  She remembered the pain pills she saved from her accident and drank them down with some whiskey.  She thought this was the answer now that he left her for good.  “Why not end it. She took them.  She felt sick, she closed her eyes, and everything went black.

God must have had something in mind for her because she woke up in the hospital.  They called her parents because they found a sheet of numbers on a piece of paper that was for emergencies in her purse which was on her kitchen table.   The hospital kept her for a month.  The behavioral department ward was a blessing.  They had mental health counseling classes.  The doctor finally let her go home because she was not a danger to herself any longer.

She was more in control of her emotions.  She put things in perspective.  Her son was her first priority, then her job.  He had to come home at the end of August.  They had to prepare for school.  Her boss was letting her come back to work the next day.  She was content. 

Chapter 17 

It has been twenty-three years and a piece of her heart was still broken.  No matter how much Andrea prayed and tried to get over Alan, she could not and still felt pain whenever she thought of him leaving her.  She never took pills again.  Instead she would call someone and prayed, or prayed by herself.

They had quit staying in touch twenty-five years ago.  The last Andrea had heard back then that he had remarried.  That really hurt because he said he didn’t want to be married.  Andrea thought, “Maybe it was just me that he did not want to be married to.”

Andrea got married six years after their divorce.  The problem is, a piece of her heart still belonged to Alan.

Eight years later she divorced her new husband because she couldn’t let go of Alan.  She still loved Alan and could never give her whole heart to her second husband.  He deserved someone who loved him.

The best thing from her second marriage was their daughter.  Kayla was five years old when they divorced.  David was twenty-three.  Andrea brought their daughter with her when she left.   Her ex-husband saw Kayla once a month. .

Chapter 18

During all the following years, God was with Andrea.  He kept her under His loving shield.  He is the only reason why she is still alive.  Her depressions were so intense at times.  During all the devastating and tragic, painful times in Andrea’s life, God was in control.  It did not seem like He was, but he saved her from worse times.  God had to let her choose the things she did because He gave people free will.  Taking those pills was her choice.  But the things that happened afterward were in God’s control.  He let her meet the right people to help her.

When Andrew died, God made something out of the sorrow.  He brought Andrea to Him.  Now she is a child of God.  Andrew is in heaven with Jesus.  Maybe he saved Andrew from a tragedy or some chronic disease.  We don’t know why God does what He does, but there always is a reason.  We may not find out until we meet Him, but we will know someday.

God’s Word comforted her.  The Holy Spirit led Andrea to the right verses at the right times for comfort and wisdom.  He is in control of her life now.  She has a peace about life now and an inner joy because she knows God loves her.  He is always with her, especially through the hard times.  Andrea also knows that her home is with Him, not on the earth.  She knows she will go to heaven when she dies.  While she is on earth a piece of her heart will still ache.

John 14:27(NLT)—“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Romans 8:28(NLT)—and we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

THE END

(A true story, names were changed).

The 4 W’s

Walk with God–obedience to God

Worship God

Witness for God

Willingness to change for God, to be there for Him when He calls on you.

Remember these 4 W’s and you will be a person who is full of joy, living in peace, love a lot, having compassion for others, kind, gentle, and who has a lot of self-control. You will be full of the fruit of the Spirit!

Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)– If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, iff any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain  conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 

 

FaithWriters Great Multitude Christian Daily Devotional

 

Hidden Pride – by Sharon Dow

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV

Most of us are familiar with this verse describing the consequences of pride, and most of us are uncomfortable with the person who emanates pride. It is wearisome to be with people who constantly boast and brag about themselves and their accomplishments. We don’t want to be like that!

However, pride might be hiding in our most secret places. I became aware of this recently when I asked God to shine his light into the secret places of my heart and search out thoughts and actions not in accordance with his will for my life. Imagine my surprise when he found pride lucking in the deepest corners. This led to an awareness of things I had not even considered as the sin of pride.

It always amazes me when he begins to peel back the layers of our minds and reveals things that we need to deal with; small things maybe, but still things that keep us from a close relationship with him. His desire is for us to be like Jesus. What a monumental task; one we cannot do without the grace of our Lord.

Have you asked God to search your heart? You may be surprised at what he finds. Don’t be discouraged with the results; just surrender them to him and he’s promised to remove them. As children of the Father, we no longer have to face the eternal consequences of our sins. He has covered that.

Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:19. NIV

Today’s writer is the author of three Christian Fiction books and resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband. Contact

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