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Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
The aging woman drew the window blinds even tighter. “No light,” she declared. “Light hurts my eyes. I mustn’t let in the light.”
She stuffed towels between the blinds and the glass window and taped the blinds to the windowsill. She lived alone, locked in self-imposed solitary confinement with little human contact. She wanted nothing—not love, not pity, not even comfort. Those emotions were for humans who still felt human, but she had become a fragment of humanness long ago. She didn’t want to feel. She only lived to conquer the terror that welled up in her heart during the day and the predator that invaded her room at night.
“Why did they construct windows in this room?” she lamented. “I could keep ‘it’ out if it weren’t for the windows.”
Tap-tap-tap. The knocking on the door alerted her that her meal had arrived. She grabbed some cash from her cash jar and opened the door to the delivery man.
“Keep the change,” she said, which was hardly a tip, but enough to keep him coming back the next day.
She wasn’t going to eat right away, but the smell of chicken and rice soon filled the room. She relented. Pulling up a chair, she sat beside the covered window—an obsession that filled her with dread, but her weak-willed spirit held her in bondage.
“I will conquer ‘it’ tonight,” she mumbled. “I won’t let ‘it’ into the room.”
Night came earlier in the winter months, and soon shadows filled the room, etching strange patterns on the walls. She heard whispers through the window, the rattling of the blinds, and the lisping tree branches scraping the window. The screen had long ago been mutilated by “it.”
“No,” she cried out. “You can’t come in.” She tried to hold “it” back, the monster that wanted her. All night she fought it—with every ounce of physical and emotional strength she possessed. But “it” always won. She would fall asleep exhausted when “it” left at the first ray of sunlight. “It” hated the light—more than “it” hated her.
“If only I could be set free of my misery,” she wrote on a piece of paper. “I don’t want anything except to get rid of ‘it.’”
Her husband had abandoned her, and her children had cut her off long ago. Somewhere on those streets below the window, they lived. “I must tame the window. I must keep ‘it’ out. I must conquer the enemy of my soul.”
She didn’t need love. She didn’t need anything; she was quite capable of taking care of herself. If only she could destroy “it.”
Then one day, she heard a different kind of knock. “Who could that be?” she muttered. Months had passed since anyone had come to see her. She timidly approached the door.
“Who is it?” she asked.
“I have a package for you, Ma’am,” the voice said.
“A package?” she asked.
The woman unbolted the door, and a postman who held a small brown envelope greeted her. “Can you sign here, Ma’am?”
The woman initialed the package receipt and closed the door. As she strolled toward the unkept bed, she read the name, “U.C. Little.” Her heart skipped. She hadn’t read that name in years—her ex-husband. Why would anyone be sending his package to her? She tore open the envelope to discover government papers inside.
Her ex-husband would need these papers, but she wouldn’t send them to him. He should have taken care of this a long time ago. “Am I my ex-husband’s keeper,” she smirked.
She took great delight in tossing the papers aside. “Another chance for me to get back at him. He took away my dreams. He doesn’t deserve anything from me.”
That night, the darkness grew fiercer, and nightmares invaded her mind. The intensity of the spiritual attack made it difficult to tell the natural world from the unseen realm.
The next morning, feeling tired and disheartened, she fixated her eyes on the covered window. “I can’t keep ‘it’ out. I’m lost,” and her defeatism brought her to her knees.
“It” is winning,” she admitted. “I’m dying.”
“If only…I could do things all over again.” She turned to the table where the government documents lay discarded.
Weeks passed as she lamented her inability to defeat “it.” With her strength diminishing, she was ready to give up. Living only to beat “it” was futile. She wanted to die, but that would mean “it” had conquered her. Never!
One morning, she heard a knock on the door. She recognized it as the knock she’d heard once before. “Another package?” she mused. “Surely not.”
She went to the door, and indeed, the same postman stood there with another brown envelope.
“Can you sign here, Ma’am?”
The woman complied and shut the door. But this time, she didn’t tear the package open and dump the contents on the table. Instead, she sat by the covered window with the envelope on her lap. Did she want to spend the rest of her life cut off from the world, from her children, from everything?
“What a waste,” she heard a voice say. Startled, she glanced around the room, but no one was there.
She stood and walked to the dresser, pulling out a pen and envelope. Where did her ex-husband live? She returned to the window chair and peeled back some tape from the window blind. Eclipsed sunshine peeked through the open crack. Dull from darkness, her eyes flinched at the intense brightness.
What would U.C. Little think about the package when he received it? She attached a note—unthinkable a few weeks earlier.
She smiled, delighted that she could see the light—bright, unrelenting light. It didn’t matter what U.C. Little thought—she could see the light.
Jeremiah 9:21 (KJV): "For death is come up into our windows, [and] is entered into our palaces..."
Saturday, December 11, 2021
I (Lorilyn Roberts) want to share the backdrop of this book. Linda Fields had written On That Starry Night a few years before I met her, but for a variety of reasons, she never published it. Then, in the fall of 2019, I sat beside her on a plane returning from a prophecy conference that we had both attended.
Christmas Carol: O’ HOLY NIGHT
Allow me to introduce myself, Placide Cappeau. My passion was quite the opposite of other “religious” songwriters. I was no preacher, nor could you refer to me as a spiritual man. No, I was a wine merchant described by clergy as “a social radical, a freethinker, a socialist and a non-Christian.” Occasionally, I tried my hand at poetry. Well, one hand anyway, as I had lost the other at age eight in a firearms accident.
My home, nestled in the small town of Roquemaure, France, was a safe fortress from the ugliness of the world. Or so I thought. The parish priest was not particularly fond of me; however, he praised me for my works of poetry. This one thing motivated him to persuade me to use my talents for the Almighty rather than foolish worldly pleasures.
He needed a song for his Christmas Eve mass. His skeptical tone told me he was not confident I could conquer the task. The truth is, neither was I. Even at that, I felt honored at the invitation to share my expertise.
I was inspired to write the song on a business trip to Paris on December 3, 1847. Pulling my mother’s tattered old Bible from my bag, I read the words from Luke 2. As the events captivated my mind, people and places came alive. Lyrics started to flow from heart to pen. I scribbled the words before they vanished from my thoughts.
Upon my arrival, I took the lyrics to an acquaintance and composer, Adolphe Adam. Being a man of Jewish heritage, Adolphe opposed the celebration of a mere baby for anything, much less for being called the Messiah, the Son of God. As a professional and honorable man, he dismissed his beliefs for a time and put the words to music.
I enthusiastically returned to Roquemaure and presented the song to the priest. Three weeks later, I was persuaded to attend Midnight Mass where the music was heard for the first time that Christmas Eve. The aahs and tears of parishioners told me the song had touched their hearts, and I was moved as well.
However, it was not well received by clergy in the area. They did not align with my way of thinking or living. One bishop denounced the song, declaring it “lacked musical taste and was absolutely absent of the spirit of religion.” My beloved Roquemaure was no longer a place of shelter, but one of tension and isolation.
The influence of church leaders soon faded. Before Christmas of 1855, the carol had been translated into German, French, Latin, and other languages and published in England. The song made history on different occasions.
Soldiers, reportedly, sang the song on the battlefield during the Franco-Prussian War. Their performance received a standing ovation in concert halls around the world. For two centuries, churches have weaved it into Christmas pageants. The most fascinating story connects men at sea with Christmas Eve onshore.
The night was bitter, the full moon hung brilliantly in the black sky, and the wind howled as it fiercely tossed ships at sea. Crew members longed to be home for the holidays. On December 24, 1906, Reginald Fessenden, a university professor and radio broadcaster from Brant Rock, Massachusetts, did something unspeakable. For the first time in history, he used a newly developed generator and microphone to broadcast over airwaves.
Fessenden’s voice was heard loud and clear through the speaker’s snaps and crackles as he opened the night by reading the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Astonished radio operators turned the knobs to get a clear message. After the reading, Fessenden played Handel’s “Largo.”
As the evening slipped away, the crewmen’s spirits soared, their hearts filled with peace, and their minds were set free to embrace the splendor and glory of the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The sailors cherished the moments as Fessenden played “O Holy Night” on his violin.
My heart filled with joy knowing the world celebrated the night of our dear Savior’s birth with a song that had been rejected by clergy. The song’s words tell the story of my heart and the truths I know of the Savior’s HOLY BIRTH.
TREASURES OF THE SNOW
The majestic elegance of an intricate snowflake swirling in the wind echoes the Holiness of God. Each storehouse of crystal reflects His purity.
Although a white candle beautifully represents the character of God, it is not pure. Wax candles are made from petroleum, contaminating them with impurities. Jesus came to Earth in holiness and purity. He has no contaminants. He is whiter than the new-fallen snow and is the only one pure enough to give Himself, through His Son, to those He loves.
Moses wrote in Job 38:22, “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow . . . ?” When Job walked the Earth, snow was, and still is, a mysterious miracle filled with treasures.
Each unique snowflake declares God’s artistic character. The human mind is finite. To comprehend the immeasurable power of God’s creative intelligence is inconceivable. He is like an artist sketching each snowflake as it emerges like a stunning six-sided star reflecting light, making the translucent wonder appear white. God is not overwhelmed as He delicately weaves each line, angle, and point. As steady as a jeweler’s hand, He gently layers tiny ice crystals and paints them as pictures of diamonds.
As crystals adhere to one another, a wonderland of elegance springs forth. Brown, barren tree branches glisten like crystal. Lakes and ponds sparkle as though a wave of diamonds have merged and settled above the waters. Fields of sunflowers and fireweed whither under a blanket of breathtaking loveliness. Like white wax, even the solid whiteness of the snow and its unique crystal composition are not pure.
Illustrations break down when attempting to describe the character of God. Old Testament authors tried to explain it.
They used the word “snow” to represent purity, depicting it as a contrast between black and white. In Psalm 51:7, David acknowledged his transgressions before a holy God. He pleaded for God’s mercy and great compassion toward “all” his sin and the darkness which had taken residence in his soul. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
Isaiah 1:18 records God’s voice, “ . . . though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Snow was the whitest white Old Testament writers had as a reference.
That is not the case in today’s world. In 1986, scientists developed a material designed to be used in medical diagnostic equipment. The substance enhances the scattering of light.
It reflects 99 percent of the visible light that hits it. Technicians refer to the material as Spectralon—“the whitest white.” It reflects a higher amount of light than anything else. The material must be free of contaminants to retain its reflective properties.
Opposite from the “whitest white” is the “blackest black.” Vantablack absorbs 99.965 percent of visible light. However, in 2019, engineers created a coating used on cameras, vehicles, and other products that demand an indestructible covering. It is ten times darker than Vantablack. The absorption rate is 99.995 percent of visible light. It is so black it emerges as a black void.
God is the whitest white. He is Holy. He cannot retain His holy character if the tiniest particle of contamination penetrates His Spirit, but that is an impossibility, or He could not be God.
On the contrary, man is not pure. Isaiah 5:20 says that man views good as evil and evil as good. Not only does man not see a Holy God, neither does he see his own sinful heart. To God, sin is the blackest black. It leaves a black void in the heart of man. Black happens when there is no light.
One might ask, “Who gave God the title ‘Holy’? By what right and authority is that name given Him?”
By His own authority, God calls Himself Holy. His spotless character gives Him the freedom to refer to Himself as holy. Is He, then, a narcissist? No, He knows His character and is comfortable with who He is. He proclaims His holiness to “all people, for all times, for all places,” as Josh McDowell wrote in his book Right from Wrong.
During the early years of the created world, God said to the new nation, Israel, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). God allowed other voices to speak of His character. The Psalmist praised God because of His justice and holiness. “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD, our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9).
Jesus confirmed God’s holiness when He prayed, “Our Father who art in heaven, ‘Holy’ is Your name.” Jesus was fearless. He made the stunning announcement that not only was His Father holy, but He was holy. In proclaiming this, He acknowledged Himself as equal with God. Jesus was unashamed to equate Himself with the Father. The supreme God released Himself to leave the grandeur of heaven and make His journey through the blackest black world in the form of the Man, Immanuel.
When visible light hits Spectralon at the strike point of a surface, light scatters and bounces back at different angles. A canopy of brilliant light forms as the light bounces back. The blackest black absorbs visible light. Any light that hits the strike point is immediately absorbed and snuffed out. Jesus is the luminous light from heaven. Unlike the blackest black absorbing any light that hits the strike point, the light of Jesus cannot be snuffed out.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Dear John 3:16 Authors,
I pray that this Thanksgiving is sweet for you as we remember what our Lord and Savior did for us on the cross.
May family, friends, and furry babies be remembered, including those loved ones that are no longer with us.
May God find us always faithful, filled with gratitude for His blessings, helping us to glorify Him by our good works.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
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Wednesday, October 6, 2021
On The Right Path, Books 1 and 2, by Brett Gunning and Stacy Padula - New Book Releases for Basketball Enthusiasts
Join Jayden, Jordan, their little sister Jasmine, and their friend Shai as the group experiences their first basketball camp and learns lessons about life along the way. Parents will love this uplifting book, which encourages children to love others and teaches the importance of making people feel welcome and loved.
NBA Coach Brett Gunning and award-winning author Stacy Padula have teamed up to create the On The Right Path (OTRP) book series. OTRP is also a non-profit organization created by Brett Gunning to guide youth basketball players on the right path to achieving their maximum potential through education, mentorship, and skill development. The core principles of OTRP are guidance, inspiration, and creativity. The book series focuses on six life-skill pillars: Loving Others, Being Unselfish, Staying Healthy & Strong, Showing Respect, Showing Forgiveness, and Having Fun.
- South Shore College Consulting & Tutoring
- Briley & Baxter Publications LLC
- The Gripped, M.L.H., & On the Right Path Book Series
Monday, September 13, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Saturday, August 28, 2021
The United States is on a shocking pathway to totalitarianism; Socialism is just a milestone. Growing numbers of conservatives AND liberals have publicly warned of the numerous, increasingly conspicuous signs. Lethargic, apathetic, largely silent Judeo-Christian believers and their leaders have been among the most profound enablers of America’s modern flight away from God.
The common refrain, “I keep my politics and religion separate” is a powerfully deceptive delusion. America’s freedom, greater than any since the Garden of Eden, is a gift from God, not a grant from government. His great gift must be actively protected by believers, who are the conscience of the nation. When believers are silent, the nation has no conscience. A nation without a conscience is on a suicidal path.
Nearly four centuries of seamless observations, by the most prominent American leaders have compared America to the Biblical Promised Land. God’s overwhelming blessings have been historically unprecedented. Until recently, love of God has sustained a United States envied worldwide. As America increasingly runs away from God, His hand of blessing is slowly withdrawn. The coming collapse can only be prevented by energized, fervently praying, awakened and fully engaged believers; without them America will collapse.
Lloyd H. Stebbins, Ph.D. has been a lifelong Christian having extensive experience in a broad range of ministries. His private work spans several industries and included over 20 years as an environmental consultant. Since then, he has taught both science courses and MBA courses in several universities. His publishing experience includes a doctoral dissertation, hundreds of articles for periodicals, and four previous patriotic/Christian books: 1) America: Dark Slide—Bright Future, 2) Target America—Target You! 3) Wake Up America or Die! The Undeniable Crisis, and 4) Wake Up America or Die! The Awesome Remedy
Dr. Lloyd Stebbins