Do Me a Favor

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nature Calls

David and I were in the Smokies recently, and we saw some beautiful sunsets.  The sky had the prettiest colors and sometimes huge clouds.  Our campsite was on the Little Pigeon River. 

In other words, we were covered in nature.

While I was contemplating the nature there, my mind went to the creation story in Genesis.  I thought about the power God’s words had as he spoke them out loud into eternal time.

While I was doing some research into the creation story, I found this verse:

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3 (ESV)

I had found the creation story in the New Testament, short and to the point. 

“…that what is seen was not made of things that are visible.” 

Or “the visible came into existence from the invisible.” (CEB)

And this one: “did not come into being out of existing phenomena.” (CJB)

I think that’s pretty clear.  God created from his limitless power, far beyond our understanding. 

And (this is the good part!) He did all of that for you and for me!  Humans are the only creatures that can appreciate a sunset, flowers, rivers, birds.  He made it pretty for us!

Thank you seems so puny, but it’s all I’ve got.  Thank you, Lord, for making it pretty.

Do I hear an amen?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All I Have Needed - Guest Post by Miriam Bradley

Today is different here at Speaking Hope.  Guest blogger and author Miriam Jones Bradley is sharing an excerpt from her newest book  All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life.  It's a great book full of warm stories about her parents, grandparents and extended family and the impact they have had on her life. 
I met Miriam at a speakers' conference last year.  She has been very gracious and helpful to me as I continue on my journey of speaking and writing. 
There's a link at the end of the post that takes you to Amazon where you can purchase All I Have Needed - A Legacy for Life.  You'll also see Miriam's other books, the Double Cousins mystery series for young readers.
I have a favorite photo of my daddy. It reminds me of the phrase in Joshua when Caleb says to God, “Give me that mountain!” My daddy is a man of faith, a man of character. They say that girls get their view of God from their fathers. I am blessed that my daddy is a good example of the character of God.


In June I had the privilege of spending a day like no other with my family, including Daddy. We toured from my cousin’s house into the Sandhills of Nebraska to see three things. First we visited a barn which Great-Grandpa Jones built almost one hundred years ago. It has been moved off the original site to a ranch nearby and has been lovingly maintained.


The second place we visited required a bouncy, cramped ride over the hills to the site where the sod house used to sit. The sod house in which my daddy was born during the Great Depression. The sod house in which they burned dried cow manure for fuel.


There was nothing there except a flat spot, but the rancher who was guiding us remembered it. You see, the place my daddy was born was the place the rancher saw his first dead body when he was a kid. It was a memorable experience and every detail was etched in his mind, including where the sod house stood. Lucky for us.


The final place we visited was Jones Grove. Across the beautiful, now empty valley from the sod house site is an aging grove of trees planted by my grandpa, his siblings, and parents. It is also the site where the barn originally stood. Beside that grove we discovered the foundation of the barn.

I couldn’t help but think about the story of the wise man who built his house upon the rock.  When the storms came, his house stood. He had a solid foundation.


 I have been blessed with a great foundation. What kind of foundation am I leaving?  Maybe someday I will stand with my nieces and nephews at an old home place. More importantly though, I trust they will look at me and see a life that reflects a foundation of godly living, just like I see in Daddy.
You can find Miriam's blog here:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The preacher was doing the Children’s Minute during a church service.

“If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?” he asked the children.

“NO!” they answered.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”

Again the answer was, “NO!”

“Well,” he continued, “Then how can I get into heaven?”

A five-year-old boy suddenly jumped up and shouted, “You gotta be dead!”

You have to admit, the kid had a good point.  Nobody is going to heaven until they’re dead.

Well, the body has to be dead.  Which makes it sound like we’re just sitting around waiting for it to die.

I guess in a way, that’s true.  But there’s so much more to life than waiting for the inevitable.

As a Christian, it is my responsibility to get to know God the best that I can and let Him worry about when my body will die.

This is what I believe:

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.   2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

New as in fresh, New as in all cleaned up and ready to go.  We’re not who we used to be.  Whatever our condition, morally and/or spiritually, it’s all brand spanking new!

I’ve been a Christian for – let’s see, 61 take away 17 – well, for a long time.  But do you know the really neat thing about it?  It’s still fresh and new. 

Only the Living Word can do that.  I just love it, don’t you?




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Say To-may-to, You Say To-mah-to

Several years ago, my husband David bought an SUV for me.

I remember telling my mother about it.  Then in her mid-80’s, she wasn’t grasping the concept of an SUV and kept asking how it was different from a regular car.

I was meeting both of my parents at a doctor’s office in the next few days, so I told her I would drive it then and she could see for herself.

On the appointed day, I drove my new SUV into the parking lot, knowing that my mother was glued to a window so she could see what the deal was.
When I opened the door to the office, however, I immediately saw that the waiting room was packed, and Mom and Daddy were not near a window.

As I approached them, Mom said, very brightly and in a voice that carried throughout the room, “Did you bring the SOB?”

“No,” I deadpanned, “I left him at home.” 

At which point my dad, then in his mid-90’s, laughed longer, louder and deeper than I had heard him laugh in years.
Photo by Jenny Wallace Webb

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Miracle of the Bed

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, we lived in a little 3 bedroom, 1½ bath house in Huntsville, AL. 

I shared a bedroom with my sister, who was and still is 18 months younger than me.  We each had a twin bed on opposite walls of the small room.  One day while jumping on the beds (which was a no-no), a slat under the end of one of the mattresses slipped out and the mattress fell with a loud bump onto the wood floor.

We had broken the bed.

But we didn’t know it was just a displaced slat.  All we knew was that we had broken the bed and Daddy was mad about it.  He didn’t really say much anyway, so if his words were in anger, we thought the crime especially bad.

My dad got down on all fours, looked under the bed, did something, and healed it in the process.

“No jumping on the beds,” he said sternly.  My sister and I clung to each other and nodded.  Boy, that was something to steer clear of, for sure.

Sometime later, my parents invited a family to eat supper with us.  This family had one son, and he was about our age.  We knew them from our church, so it didn’t take us kids long to run to our room to play.

I don’t want to point any fingers here, but I believe it was our guest who suggested we jump on the beds.  Linda and I said, “No, no.  Last time we did that, we broke the bed.”

Our guest’s powers of persuasion were strong and our weak minds soon agreed that the forbidden fun would not result in another broken bed.

Wrong!  After some robust bouncing up and down, we heard a loud bump, and, to our horror, we realized we had once again broken the bed.

Amazingly, the adults didn’t hear it hit the floor.  They were in the living room having coffee and visiting.  We had some time to cover our tracks.

We tried fixing the bed; but, having no idea what the problem was, we had no idea how to repair it.  Our guest, who, of course, wanted to blame the bed for this awful turn of events, suggested we pray about it.

We all jumped (no pun intended) on this idea and started praying mightily.  We even prayed out loud – probably the first time any of us had done that.  We pleaded with God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost (as He was known to us then, way back yonder in the previous century).

Well, it seemed that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost were not responding to our desperate prayers, so we decided to pray to anybody we could think of that was in the Bible.

We prayed to Moses and Noah, Samson and Delilah, all the disciples we could think of (similar to naming all Santa’s reindeer in that there’s always one or two you can’t remember).

When we ran out of names (which we did rather quickly), I sneaked out of the room to retrieve my Sunday School book for additional people to pray to.  We picked out the names we could pronounce, further lessening the number available to us.

We were sure the bed would miraculously be healed, and that would be the end of our troubles.

The wounded bed was not healed miraculously that night.  After our friends had gone home, we told Mom what had happened, hoping she could fix it and Daddy wouldn’t have to know.

Unfortunately, Mom didn’t know how, or didn’t have the strength to wrestle with the mattress, or just didn’t want to fool with it.  She called Daddy in and told him our pitiful story.

Daddy just sighed, got down on all fours, did something or another, and the bed was restored to its original state. 

And then he left the room.

No stern warnings, no anger, no nothing.

Linda and I climbed into our beds, breathless with the wonder of it all.  We didn’t get our miracle, but Daddy wasn’t mad so it didn’t matter.

Took me 40 years (and I mean that literally) to figure out that our miracle did come that night so long ago, it just wasn’t the one we were looking for.  We just hated to make Daddy mad at us, and he wasn’t mad at us, so there was our miracle!

I’m telling you, it’s a good lesson to learn.  Pray for a miracle and then keep your eyes open to everything.  Maybe it won’t take you 40 years to figure it out…