Blog

A Florida Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord,
I pray this year Thanksgiving will be a good one: The turkey will cook through. It wouldn’t be too hot outside and strain the A/C. Our electric bill will survive. I can wear a sweater instead of a t-shirt.
And, help my pumpkin pie and eggplant casserole to cooperate in my mom’s fickle oven. And I’ll be able to cook both meals (at my mom’s and my house) without too much trouble. I pray my sister’s turkey turns out all right too. And she doesn’t put too many pecans in her green beans. (I hate when she does that!) And she won’t have any problems preparing it. And that she remembers to bring the cheese cake. (And I remember the cranberry sauce!)
Thank you for all you’ve given us… Thank you for the beautiful weather. Thank you for the mobbed roads and packed attractions. Thank you for family and friends…and for surviving 51 years in the late, great state of Florida.
I am truly blessed by more than I deserve. Thank you for the nice house you’ve given us. Thank you for the pool. May it not turn green but stay for blue for the big day… May everyone get along and we don’t get into any heated discussions. May it be a nice, sunny, but cool day.
May my husband have a blessed day at work. He has to work at “Dizzy World” on Thanksgiving Day. He goes in in the afternoon, after a quick turkey lunch. Lord, bless them even though they are stingier there than Scrooge…Bless the quarter-an-hour raise they are promising him. Pray that the little bit Bob makes stretches…especially with Christmas just around the corner…
Pray for mom to stay well. Pray she survives the next three days with my goofy brother swooping in from Colorado for a visit that ends on early Thanksgiving so he and his family won’t have to eat any of our food… And leaving before I get over there… Thank you for him even though he is a pain in the arse. All of us need someone like him to keep us humble…
And bless our left-overs, Lord. Let them be delicious and stretch til Christmas. Help me be as creative as Chef Ramsey.
Thank you, Lord. I knew I can count on You… In Jesus Name, Amen!

Always Something

It’s always something. Like last month, I got a letter. It was from the DOD saying that we owe them 500.00. And I know what it meant.
It all started in 2013 in Germany. It was my birthday. My husband Bob and I drove up to the castle which overlooked Landstuhl for dinner. It was a rainy, foggy afternoon and the sun was quickly setting when we got there. The food was delicious and we were the only ones in the restaurant, sitting by a cozy fireplace. And it felt like, after 9 months there, we were finally settled down and doing a little better. We both had jobs and it seemed all was well on that cold, already autumn, evening as we looked down into the town. A sense of well-being pervaded our thoughts.
Well, that image was shattered the next day when Bob bent down at his work as a janitor and –“snap!”- the meniscus in his knee broke. He came home limping and in pain. He immediately went on “workman’s comp” since his job was through the U.S. military.
A few days later, we went to a hospital and we paid $500.00 for an MRE. Then, we got the run-around for about 3 months until we realized they weren’t going to do his operation in Germany.
Finally, we prepared to go back to the United States. We were so disappointed. We loved Germany and had many good friends there… However, my mom wasn’t feeling good and neither were his parents so we had to return to Florida to take care of them.
I bid Germany “good-bye” on a cold March day and arrived in Florida to 80 degree temperatures. That felt good; to feel the sun on my face again. And the bathroom floor was warm instead of cold… I liked that, too.
However, with a lot of red tape to go through, it took Bob 10 months later to finally have a 20-minute operation to repair two broken meniscus’s. And, all that time, we lived with my Mom and took care of her. It was a real struggle for us, financially, physically and spiritually. But the Lord saw us through, and, after he recovered, found a job at Disney World in 2015 and he’s been there ever since…
But now we have to pay back 500 which we don’t owe… And trying to contact them has been a real bear. I think I’ll just give up and just let it go. An extra 50 dollar a month tax for 10 months is really not worth the hassle.
I tried and couldn’t get through to a human being… par for the course, isn’t it? So is life. It’s always something…
But I’m thankful the Lord is always there. He’s got everything under control even when things can get out of hand. And especially when life doesn’t make sense.
That’s something to be thankful for. Remember, He’s always got your back if you are a child of God. You can always trust Him even in the bumpy places. Even when we question everything and nothing makes sense.
Trust. That’s something you can bank on with God. Just try it sometime. He’ll never let you down…

Moving Day

Moving is something I just hate as much as going to the dentist! In fact, I had a dental appointment on the same day and had to reschedule it…
We moved from Winter Garden to Davenport which is about 20 miles away… I didn’t realize how much I had yet to pack that Monday morning… It started slowly enough and then gained momentum as the day wore on. I began to rush and try to get every last thing packed. I didn’t realize how much Bob and I owned and wished most of it would just go away… But we have trouble parting with all our “sentimental junk”.
Finally, the two guys who were our movers, arrived at about 5:30 that afternoon and I had already left at 4:30 with my car packed to the brim with boxes. We had rented previously U-hauls filled with our little stuff. These guys were coming for the rest.
When the movers arrived at the new house, which was now around 8:00, they quickly tried to unload the whole enchilada while I ordered two large pizzas for everyone. We all wolfed them down while they were working and they stopped in-between unloading for a bite or two.
Besides gouging out some scratches on our old tile floors, the two guys managed to get it all done without any other incident. The only excitement was when a gecko escaped from a box and crawled up a wall. Tyler, one of the movers, caught him and released him outside our front door. It was 10:30 when they finished and we were so tired we felt overwhelmed.
But the next day, my friend, Linda, arrived just in time to help me unpack and then things fell into place… And the house began to take the shape of a home.
You know, that’s the way we sometimes are in general. Our possessions possess us and we give up waiting for the Lord to come through. We get too busy maintaining our stuff. Or we run ahead of Him. We seldom stop to listen to what He is saying.
Folks, we don’t have much time left! The signs of the times are getting worse and speeding up! In one day, more things happen than used to happen in a year! We may be moving out of this world very soon…the Rapture is coming and my question is: I hope you are ready. If there isn’t the Rapture yet, then we are going to be in for some very hard times…
But there is always hope: Jesus always comes through at the right time and saves us! His promises are always “yea” and “amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

And it’s worth all the trials and troubles to get to the final reward… Our mansion in heaven! Then we will truly be “at home”.

What a Crazy Week!

Sometimes, doesn’t it feel like a crazy week? Lately, it feels like every week is a crazy week. I can barely catch my breath. I’m sure you feel the same.

The good, bad and ugly happened this week. A man died in Las Vegas, covering his wife with his arms and saying, “I’ll see you in heaven…” We’ve had about a tragedy a week for a month here in the good, ole’ USA. Do you think GOD is trying to tell us something? I wonder if we are listening yet…

Don’t hold your breath: I doubt it. More judgments are yet to come. I’ll keep you posted…

Meanwhile, in my personal life, we are finally moving in to our “new” home in Davenport in a few more days. I’m living in what feels like an empty shell here in Winter Garden… Its kind of dreary and also confusing when you know most of your stuff is boxed somewhere 20 miles away in a garage… but that will be resolved, the Lord willing, in a few days. Also, my sister is coming with her four grown sons tomorrow and I hope they will help us finish the process of moving…so the Lord does provide.

Meanwhile,  guy we sold a car to was arrested for child pornography and he is awaiting trial. And he seemed like a nice person… Wow, what kind of crazy world are we living in?

A also met a guy at Publix wearing a tee shirt that said “F___” on it. (You can fill in the blank…) I was very upset with him and told him to not wear that kind of awful stuff in public. But the Holy Spirit prompted me, and I gave him a tract. He thanked me for it.

Of course, we’re off to a great start in our new home. Irma blew off 50 shingles so now we will need a new roof…I’m praying it won’t cost too much.

Ever feel like you’re running out of money? Every day in every way…

Lastly, I said good-bye to my neighbor, Jay, who lives across the street. She is an Indian and has never heard the Gospel until I spoke to her about it. I have talked to her extensively about it already. Today, I left her a track in Hindu and English. She was shocked I had them in her own language. (I do get them that way through Chick.) She promised me she would read it. As I walked away, her son was reading the English one already…

Just think, the USA is a mission field now and we are the missionaries… Folks, we need to get out of our comfort zone and pick up our efforts to share the gospel. (I’m talking to myself, too!)

All this happened in one week… It’s enough to make you dizzy.  But the Lord showed me the perfect verses to match the occasion:

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:7-8)

 

 

 

Come, Lord Jesus!

I’ve been thinking about the Second Coming a lot lately. I read an old book about it by Dave Hunt, published 32 years ago titled: Peace, Prosperity and the Coming Holocaust. The pages are worn and yellowed but he talks about the tell-tale signs of Christ’s coming “back then”.

Wow, folks aren’t we closer now than then? You better believe it! I’ve been so excited about it lately, I can’t stand it! No one has talked much any more (including myself) about the Second Coming until recently. And now, I have some friends that God has sent me to encourage me “as we see the Day approaching.” I appreciate their love and support! God bless you folks!

Also, I am reading a book by Larry Burkett, Whatever Happened to the American Dream?, that was written 25 years ago and it also is very prophetic. It shows you everything that is happening right now… He says there was a way to turn things around back then, but, guess what? It’s probably too late now…we’re 20 trillion dollars in debt! We can’t turn back! We’re in serious trouble! Be prepared for a roller coaster ride…but, remember, the Lord is going to always be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you until He comes back…

And, the way the Word is opening up with all the obscure prophetic passages coming to life, well, it is very interesting and exciting…

I challenge you to reread the book of Revelation and ask the Lord to show you what it means in light of the Internet, Smartphones, Amazon and all our modern stuff. It’s in there. You would be surprised what the Lord may show you… (Hint: especially chapter 11…)

You all better “get right with God” real soon if you aren’t! (And you’ve had plenty of time…)

Christian, lift up your weary head! Take a breath of fresh, heavenly air! Keep scanning the skies! It won’t be long now… days are very short…your redemption is drawing nigh!

All the problems and struggles of our everyday existence melt to nothing compared to the glories of heaven! (Romans 8:18-19) Amen!

He which testifies of these things saith: Surely, I come quickly. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. (Rev. 22:20-21)

The last two verses in the Bible…think about them!

Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

 

But Watch Thou

But watch thou in all things; endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)
What did we do the week before Irma hit? We watched for her, didn’t we? Every day was a new report as she spinned closer and closer to Florida. We ran around in a panic (almost!) getting supplies ready, bags of ice and water, canned goods. We boarded our windows and some people even sandbagged their homes or places of business. We were busy preparing for the event and it almost felt like Christmas was coming. The day was approaching…
Now, let’s make a comparison. What is Paul saying here to Timothy? Well, just before he says this, he warns Timothy about the Last Days and a time when men would not endure sound doctrine, having teachers with itching ears. And it sounds just like today…doesn’t it? So how shall we thus live? We better be watching in all things like Timothy was advised to do. We don’t want to lose our rewards, now, do we?
What does that mean? Check the news headlines, for one thing. Note the “signs of the times.” Have there been a lot of earthquakes lately? You better believe it! Have there been “wars and rumors of wars”? And the answer to that is: constantly! Has there been signs in the sun, moon and stars? Oh, yeah, lots of those too. So, keep watching! Jesus is coming back soon!
But I think we should also be watching in a second way. We should be watching our own lives and making sure they are the light they ought to be. Because the next statement is to “endure afflictions”. It doesn’t say, “avoid afflictions” like so many of us try to do. We must endure persecution, deprivation, difficulties, pain and heartache. Ouch! We don’t want to hear that “hard message” now do we?
The next phrase is what makes it all worthwhile. “Do the work of an evangelist.” But, “Sister Laura,” you might say, “I am not gifted in that. I’ve never had any formal training or degree.” Well, neither did Peter, James and John, so you are in good company… I just pass out tracts and talk to people. Whoever I meet that I might discuss anything with… I’m really not very good at it, but I keep trying. I might pass out 100 to 300 tracts a year. Leave them in bathrooms, put them in magazines, leave them at tables in restaurants, hand them to people, etc. Converse with people, too, and hope they respond. The time is really short! Many still have not heard…We just have to keep praying and keep going….
Last, but not least, we must make “full proof of our ministry.” Find a niche to serve the Lord in. Don’t sit every Sunday on your “blessed assurance”. It’s no wonder you’re so depressed and discouraged! Get involved in your local church and other ministries as well. It will lift your spirits… you’ll feel a lot better. The other religions are competing now with ours in the United States. We need to out-do them and outshine them. We need to point people to Christ and the Gospel as well as encourage other Christians.
I can’t emphasize how short the time is! The events of the last month should shake up the most complacent of us to action! Wake up, ye men and women of faith! (I’m talking to myself too…)
Wake up! The time is short! For the day is approaching!

Watch thou in all things…

 

The Wrath of Irma

We breathed a sigh of relief; we had missed the bullet with Harvey. But now, it looked like a direct hit from another hurricane: Irma. We brought Mom back to the house and made her as comfortable as possible. At almost 90, we didn’t want her to be alone and in case the power went out, didn’t want her to panic in the dark like she had before.

Of course, my younger brother was all bent out of shape about it and opposed it absolutely in his usual absolute manner. He said we should have stayed with her, not her staying with us. He started yelling on the phone about it as if he were the boss of our lives… Anyway, remind me when the next hurricane threatens not to evacuate her ever again… This is one of those battles I don’t want to fight because I would probably lose it….and it’s not worth the effort.

Anyway, on Sunday night, just when I glanced at the houses across the street and noticing how dark they were, the wrath of Irma fell. It was only 8:30 and the storm really had only been going on for a few hours. We had just watched a video of a service since our church didn’t meet at all that Sunday. I was going to make myself a cup of tea. Suddenly, the lights began to flicker and then die.

A little later, I made Mom as comfortable as possible in her bed with her flashlight by her head on the little table. The storm was really raging now and I wondered how any of us would ever get to sleep…

She was frightened so I read to her Psalm 91 and we prayed together.

I retreated then to my bed shared with husband, Bob. All night long, the storm raged outside. Strange noises attacked our ears and we swore the house was going through a car wash or the washing machine.

We checked Bob’s smart phone at 2:00 in the morning and were strangely disappointed that it only registered 53 miles-an-hour sustained winds… Hurricane force would have been 75. But there’s something about the middle of the night that made it so much scarier…

In the morning, we woke up to winds still whipping around. The rain had stopped around 3:00 so, after that, the noise lessened and I was able to fall asleep.

When we got up, there was still no power. We made coffee by heating up water on a gas grill and pouring it over the ground beans in the basket. We listened to an old transistor radio for our news. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches. And we waited until the curfew lifted to bring mom back home. Of course, my brother was calling every hour or two to see if she was all right until we finally quit answering the phone…

My 1970’s devotional for September 11 “hit the spot.” It was called “In Safe Hands” and the reading was Psalm 31:14-15. The last sentence was the best. It read: “Yes, we can rest content though the billows of life roar ever so threateningly, for we could not be in safer hands.” It’s nice to know we are safe with the Lord by our side. What a comfort that was to read! God has everything under control…

Mom made it safely home. My brother texted me an apology. The sun came out and dried up the rain. The winds died down. And there was only a little minor damage to our house.

We survived the wrath of Irma. By the grace of God… His mercies are new every morning!

Even though the power was still out…So we went to Mom’s and the lights finally came on five days later, but that’s another story…