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Delayed Healing

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The cut was deep, bled profusely and was tender to the touch.I had fallen in the back yard while collecting tree branches for a friend.My right foot was covered in blood.I hopped down to the patio and knocked on the window of my husband’s study.I had him hose off the blood which exposed a gapping gash on the side of my toe.He irrigated the area with peroxide, applied Neosporin and wrapped my toe.Any first year medical student would know the laceration needed suturing or at least Steri-Strip to close the wound within 24 hours.My foot continued to hurt, so after six days I decided it was time to actually care for my own injury.Russell drove me to my office and I did what I should have done the day I suffered the damage.I had hopped around on my foot for six days when I had the ability and expertise to fix the cut.The healing was always within my reach.I failed to do my part which led to delayed healing.

Proverbs 4:20-22

20 My child, pay attention to my words;
listen attentively to my sayi…

Carrying a Burden

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FROM MY PASTOR:  RUSSELL HOWELTON

Boundaries tell us what is our responsibility and what is someone else’s responsibility

Here’s Galatians 6:2-7, which talks about boundaries:

2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

We’re supposed to carry each other’s burdens, but we’re also supposed to carry our own loads. Think of a load as something which is manageable–your daily to-do list. But when something out of the blue hits someone that they can’t handle themselves, then we’re supposed to help them. We aren’t supposed …

I have ADD

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My name is Linda Fay Howelton.  I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  You probable are affected as well.  Check the lit of symptoms.        ..  Half way through a prayer you find yourself rehashing the day’s events or outright . falling asleep.Continuously forgetting what God has done for you in the past.     .  Fidgety in worship service, checking the time and wondering if that last song was necessary.      .    Dismissive of the gentle nudge by the Holy Spirit to redirect inerrant thoughts and to seek God first.       .   Unable to focus on His word for an extended period of time.       .   Procrastinating when it comes to doing His will.       .   A fascination about what everyone else is doing instead of completing your own assignment.       .   Unable to process and/or apply sermons until we’ve heard it at least four times from 3 different sources.       .   Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder runs in families.

John 10:10 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I…

A Covering

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My thumb still hurts. A few days ago, my nail split in half so I decided to just rip it off despite the voice in my head telling me “Don’t do it!”I knew it would damage my nail bed.I knew it would bleed.I knew it was going to hurt for a long time afterward but I did not want to take the time to find a clipper or look for scissors.I did what I wanted to do in that moment.When the deed was done, a wave of regret washed over me.I applied pressure to stop the bleeding and covered my throbbing thumb with a Band-Aid.For the next few days, the only thing that gave my self-inflicted injured thumb comfort was the protection and covering of the Band-Aid.
Psalm 91:1-4
91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will sayto the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his fa…

Holding Hands

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Holding hands is the last memory I have that marked the end of childhood for Jared and Zachary.  Those tiny hands intertwined in mine were a constant reminder of the daunting task of motherhood.  Two small boys depended on their parents for everything.  They had complete trust that we would fulfill our role without fail.  We would take them where they needed to go, shield them from danger, feed them, keep a roof over their head and provide a bed to sleep in every night.  With no questions asked or inkling of doubt, they followed our lead. Love was assumed.  Their future assured.  Eventually, their hand fell away.  It was time to let go.  Deep down, I wish I could hold their hands forever.
Isaiah 41:13 13 For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

God longs to hold our hand.  We spend a lifetime snatching our hand away.  His desire is that we have the faith of a child.  With nothing to fear, reach for the Father’s hand con…
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Decisions, decisions, decisions, cause much consternation and anxiety.Which course do I take?It’s hard to prioritize when choosing the right course of action especially when you throw in what will please your family, your colleagues or your friends.Making others happy is usually a fool’s errand.What is fine with one person sets off a war with another?Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had only one person to please?

Galatians 1:10

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

We truly only have an audience of One.There is only One Person we should concern ourselves with pleasing.The stress and strain of life emanate from attempting to please everyone.People pleasers live a heavy laden life filled with frustration and rejection because efforts to keep people happy cannot be accomplished.Not rocking the boat to keep confrontation and displeasure at bay only results …

It's us.

Isaiah 59:1-2
59 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
Sometimes, it’s us.There are seasons in our lives when God seems distant.Prayers have gone unanswered.We question whether God still cares. We wonder if God is able to intervene on our behalf. The elders intercede for us, our friends pray in earnest and our family stays on their knees.And yet, there is silence.
Be assured, God is not so far away that He cannot move in our lives. His arms are able to touch us wherever we are in life.He is in control and well aware of our needs and desires.He hears every prayer whether spoken or unspoken.
The problem is not God, it’s us.Our un-confessed sins, our long-held sins, our lack of awareness at just how unworthy we are hinder our prayer life.Our prayers are loaded with supplications and thanksgiving but lack repentance and confession.…

How Deep?

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How deep must you go to see the beauty of the sea?I enjoy snorkeling.It takes minimal effort especially while wearing a life jacket.Just a little kick here and minimal arm movement and you are off and going.Colorful fish of all sizes swim pass.Below are various hued coral so vibrant you can spot them along the rocks and coast.But am I missing something?Russell and Jared have marveled at the unparalleled beauty deep down, over one hundred feet beneath the surface of the ocean.The creatures are bigger and more numerous. There is a whole new world down under if you choose to explore it by scuba diving which requires lessons, certification, expensive equipment, multiple practice dives and a buddy to dive with you for safety purposes.How determined you are to see the beauty and richness of the sea depends on how deep you are willing to dive. 2 Timothy 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Seeing God’s maj…

Nothing Sticks!

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Nothing sticks!  Packaging tape doesn’t stick.  Scotch tape will not hold. Elmer’s glue falls apart. A glue gun and glue stick is iffy.  If it’s even a little off, Gorilla glue and precision applicator glue will turn out askew.  Nothing I tried worked yesterday.  I was trying to secure table cloths to picnic tables with table clips and tape.  While I was taping one table cloth down, with each gust of wind, two others would fly away.  It was as though the packaging tape had no adhesive whatsoever.   “Good night” I exclaimed, “nothing sticks anymore.”  I could say the same thing about friends, family co-workers, classmates, church members, neighbors or teammates.  With the first sign of trouble, they fly away because there was never much to cement them to you in first place. Proverbs 18:24King James Version (KJV) 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
I should have chosen duct tape.  Its stick is sure and last forev…

Fix Your Own Meal

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I received an urgent call from my eldest son last week.It was not an unexpected call.I knew it would come sooner or later.He was in a supermarket somewhere in Philadelphia needing to know whether what type of beef to buy to make spaghetti sauce.Mind you, he had been taught how to make spaghetti numerous times while at home.He refused to attend to the task or remember the steps.He even bribed his brother, Zachary to cook for him or trade chores for a meal.As far as Jared was concerned someone else would be cooking for him in the future.The future has arrived and he has come to the realization that you have to fix your own meal.
Acts 17:11
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Are you depending on someone else to do the majority of scripture study for you?We are all called to assemble for worship and study but what about homework?What we learn at church…

Let it Rain

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I was up early this morning watering the plants and Sega palms in the back yard.The leaves were wilted and the soil dry.My plants were withered and beginning to turn brown.I started close to the house while singing a praise song in the cool of an early crisp spring day when I began to see drops of rain hitting the surface of the pool.I then realized droplets of rain falling on me as well.I put the hose away and came indoors.I told Russell I had intended to water the plants but it had started to rain.His words to me were “Let the Lord do the watering.”

Exodus 14:14

14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

My little attempt at watering was feeble in comparison to the rain God sends.His showers come at the right time, in the right amount and to the right place.He is able to provide that same kind of power in dealing with our daily struggles.When we try to fight our own battles, our efforts are ineffective and powerless.Why use a little hose on the situation when the G…

Stop Worrying

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Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength -- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. -- "Clippings from My Notebook," 1982

Have you ever tried to erase tomorrow’s problems by worrying about them today?I write my problems down in advance.Organized worry is much more efficient.I can worry about the items on my list one at a time.This false narrative has led many to believe the more you worry today, the less you will have to worry about tomorrow.In actuality, worry begets worry and peace of mind is evasive. We become weary, anxious believers lacking strength for the task God has purposed for us.What makes us think we can take care of future problems when we do not know what to do about the issues confronting us today?

Philippians 4:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with than…

Make Your Bed

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How can something so simple be so important?My father deemed it a requirement to live in his house.Make your bed and to his specifications.He even bounced a quarter off the bed to make sure it was done right. Little did I know he was teaching a lesson?The first task of the day was to make my bed.Get that done and other task will follow.Maybe, my day would entail more significant task than making a bed but if I completed the smallest task I would be more likely to accept the challenge of larger assignments. I made my bed according to how I had been instructed and to the best of my ability.By insisting that I make my bed my father taught me that if I did the simple, small things well I would be better prepared to go out and make a difference in the world. Matthew 28:19 19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
A simple command was given to the church.Make disciples. This looks like a pretty stra…

Disperse

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Methodist Hospital at Stone Oak is expanding.  Construction workers start their day before the sun comes up by hearing from the project manager.  The project manager receives their marching orders from the general contractor.  The owner hired the general contractor to direct the project and keep the building under budget.  Each day, the construction workers complete the assignment given to them in the morning. Many skills are required to complete the project.  It runs smoother when each person does what they do best, on time and with the best of their ability.  The expansion began last year and is not yet complete but it’s beginning to look more like the exterior elevation plan mounted in the hospital lobby.  As long as the workers keep showing up, listening to the project manager and dispersing to do their assigned job, the addition to Methodist Hospital will be up and functional this summer. Matthew 28:19-20 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name…

The Serenity Prayer

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I had never seen this poem in its entirety until this weekend.  It was recited by memory by one of the attendees at a conference.  All this time I had assumed this poem spoke of wisdom and the peace in knowing what should concern me and what should not.  When anxiety would overshadow me, well-meaning friends would recite the first two verses to remind me about the things I could not change so stop worrying.  There is a nod to serenity and wisdom in the poem but most importantly, it’s about contentment.
Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.
Live one day at a time, one moment at a time and accept what life brings.  To do this, we must entrust all things to God.  He is in control and is ab…

Vaccine Refusal

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NO Scripture today, just a thought.
The anti-vaccine rate is up in Texas due to the increasing number of parents that utilize the vaccine exemption clause.  Their decision not to vaccinate is attributed to the debunked belief that vaccines cause autism.  When vaccine rates decline, the likelihood of childhood diseases making its way back into the community increases exponentially.  This phenomenon is based on what is called herd immunity.  Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has becomeimmuneto an infection through immunization, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.  Non-immune people are infants not old enough for vaccines, children with cancer on chemotherapy, people born without an immune system and the elderly.  If the majority of people around them are not immunized then they are vulnerable to deadly infections. 

Lack of herd immunity may be why sin is run…

Sleepless in San Antonio

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I didn’t sleep at all last night.Stretching and floor exercises to relax did not work.Drinking hot tea with a heating pad on my neck and shoulders was of no use.Sad to say, reading my lesson for Sunday not for understanding but using the scripture as a sleep aid was ineffective with good reason.Many nights we lie down thinking about the news of the day, making plans for the following day, rehashing old conversations and re-configuring responses already uttered then spend the night fretting about not being able to sleep.We try in earnest to put ourselves to sleep.
Psalm 127:2 For so He give His beloved sleep.
God gives His beloved. Sleep.  How will He do it for us?  When we consider our day and are content with what God has given.  When we understand tomorrow is not promised and it will take care of itself.  When we can be grateful for the quietness and the time of refreshment He provides.  When we allow Him to do what we cannot do for ourselves, releasing our body into His care and ackno…

Damaged Goods

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1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Can you see it?  There on the edge, a small hint of mold.  It is damaged goods!  The revelation that this slice of bread was not fit for eating came to me after I had been using slices from this loaf for two days.  Rushing to make toast each morning, I had been reaching into the bread box grabbing a slice and throwing it into the toaster without looking.  I had not examined the bread.  I just assumed it was good.  This particular day, I was in no particular hurry and finally noticed the bread was defective.  This scenario occurred a few months ago.  I took the prerequisite photo shot and yet I have not been able to write a post about my experience.  I could not write until now.
I am damaged goods.  There I said it!  As believers, we have an intellectual understanding of our sinful state.  We know in our heads, Jesus Christ paid the cost for our sin and has made …

Left Behind

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We are still reaping what Brenda left behind.She lived a life of service, giving all she had with what little she had.Her finances were precarious at times and her bills overwhelming yet here we are five months after her passing enjoying dinner together paid for by Brenda McDonald.Her works followed her, not just here on earth but they are already there in heaven.Brenda got PAID!She is at rest but her legacy is still at work. Revelation 14:13 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

What are you leaving behind?Will anyone notice your legacy?It depends on what you are doing now.Serve instead of being served.Love the unlovable.Work with the hard to work with person.Notice those who are treated as though invisible.Be a difference and not indifferent.Your life’s reward for laboring here awaits you in heaven and we will be …

Broken Pieces

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Christmas is over once the decorations are put away.Hopefully, the joy of the holiday does not dissipate heading into the New Year.I was careless while removing ornaments from our tree.I tried mightily to catch the falling ball but to no avail.For a second, I thought it would survive the bounce then the crash came with broken pieces scattered over the entire floor.It looks like one small pile but despite thoroughly sweeping the area, I am still finding remnants 8 to 10 feet away from the point of impact.Even if I tried, this ornament can never be put back together again.The sparkle and beauty are lost forever. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.


Have you been dropped by someone you thought you could trust?Is your marriage fragile, your family relationships shattered or are there cracks in your spiritual life?Is your heart broken?No matter how long ago the hurt occurred or how many times you’ve hit rock bottom, God is able to collect all the pieces and put …